Today the red line was running late for reasons not listed on any apps, or revealed through their social media. As a result, I waited about twenty minutes at Downtown Crossing for the red line to come, making me about five minutes late for work.
While I was walking down the platform, I saw one of our subscribers and gave him a head nod. He either didn't see me or didn't recognize me, and didn't respond, which is totally fine.
When the T finally arrived, he got on the same car, and sat down across from me.
When we arrived at Harvard, he trotted up the ramps and the escalator, so that I was still getting on the bottom escalator as he was exiting the top.
I watched him turn the corner toward the store, as I passed where Curious George used to be.
Clearly, he was going to the store, so I picked up the pace, and probably arrived about forty-five seconds after he did.
Repeated Customer: "There you are. I've been waiting, like, ten minutes for you to get here."
Me: "No. You just got here. We were on the same train. I was sitting across from you."
RC: "I've been waiting ten minutes. I was about to leave."
So I shrugged, turned around, went to the CVS and bought some energy drinks. He wasn't here when I got back.
I'm not starting my day by enabling liars.
Regular I Haven't Missed: Do you have FandangoNow?
RIHM: Well, the other day, I saw that there was an animated movie on the service that I'd never heard of before. I don't remember the name of it.
RIHM: It looks like it's by an artist that I hate, do you know the artist Blah Blah Blah Nobody Cares?
RIHM: Well, it looks just like his stuff. And his stuff is awful.
RIHM: I went to watch it, and it wasn't very good. But at least it wasn't by Blah Blah Blah Nobody Cares. It still stunk, though.
RIHM: I think you can also find it on Youtube.
Me: So you're saying there's a terrible show, that you hate,and don't even know the name of, on a streaming service I don't have access to, and I should commit my time to tracking it down on
Me: Why would I seek out something you just told me was awful?
RIHM: Maybe you would like it.
I very much don't miss Saturdays here.
We thought we had wandered through the entire top floor, and not seen the table or desk we'd been hoping for (oh, we'd seen tables, and, oh, we'd seen desks, just not the right size or style), so we got generic lunch in their generic balls of food department. After some crunch and sip, we went back in and discovered we'd somehow cut out half the showrooms. We snaked around, found a desk we liked, and then arrived in the bar counter and kitchen counter department.
Me: I think this table is the perfect height, and the width should be fine.
Dude: Yea. It shouldn't block the entrance to the kitchen.
That had been a problem with most of the other tables that were the right height.
Random Claude: We just wish this table came in that height, don't we honey.
Honey: Yea. Sure.
Random Claude: We've been here for hours, trying to find the perfect table. We saw it online, but can't seem to find it anywhere.
Honey: I told you we should have written it down on your phone.
RC: I didn't think I'd forget it. It had some cute little foreign name.
H: They ALL have cute little Swedish names. It's a Swedish store.
RC: Well, I didn't know that.
H: I'm going to go the bathroom.
RC: That one comes with all four of the stools. For that price? You can't beat it.
Me: Oh, yea. We don't need stools, though.
Dude: Where would we even put them?
RC: Excuse me a minute.
She has had her phone out this whole time. I thought she was just one of those people that always had their phone out, but it turns out she'd been on hold.
RC, not adjusting her volume in the slightest: Hi. I'm calling about the results of my STI test. Yes, I know that's why everyone calls. Sarah Lastname. Could you tell me quick? I'm on a tight schedule.
She then begins to scratch herself.
We move on, and find a delightful counter with a half wheelbase that is now assembled and in the kitchen.
Neither of us caught The Scratch.
"I don't like the word 'butt plug', it's too harsh. My husband and I call them 'anal pacifiers'." --Said to a couple of people loudly discussing butt plugs on the 39 bus. It was the only thing I said during the entire ride. I got off at the next stop.
(I am still not married. Nor have I ever called them "anal pacifiers" before.)
Imaginary Person: Hey Adam, why did you eat all those goldfish?
Me: I'm trying to steal their memories. Oh, look, a castle.
IP: How is that going for you?
Me: Oh, look, a castle! Who are you? Oh, look, a castle!
Random Vendor: Hi, can I talk with (Former Coworker Name)?
Me: They haven't worked here in years.
RV: I guess I haven't called in a year.
Me: It's been ten years since they left.
RV: Are you sure?
Me: Yeup. They trained me, and left a few months later.
RV: Can you get me their personal number?
Me: Nope. We don't have it.
RV: How would I go about selling my product to you?
Me: What is it?
RV: It's a fanzine.
Me: About comics?
Me: ... uhhh ... why don't you call you back on Friday and talk with the owner?
RV: Does he have their number?
I delete the person's phone number out of our computer, and write it on a note, to add it back in a couple of weeks, when I'm certain the person won't call again.
RV: It's pretty important that I get in touch with them.
Me: If you leave your contact info, I can pass it along to them. We have some mutual friends.
This is another lie. I see them every few months.
RV: I don't feel comfortable giving my number out to someone I don't know.
Me: RIGHT? I hear you.
RV: Will they be in next week?
Me: No, dude, they DON'T WORK HERE anymore. At all. Ever. And haven't in a decade. Your info is way out of date.
RV: That can't be right.
Me: It's right.
RV: Who have I been talking to?
Me: Couldn't tell you. But we haven't carried that book in the decade that I've worked here.
RV: NO. I send them out to you every year.
Me: Nope. Never seen it before.
RV: Is this Name Of Store That's Not Even In The Comic Book Industry?
Me: No. It's Store Name.
RV: OH. Yea, you guys don't carry my books.
Me: We sure don't.
RV: I didn't even know Former Coworker Name worked there.
Me: I'm thinking now that it is an entirely different person with that very common name.
RV: Wow. I just wasted a ton of my time.
RV: Do you happen to have the phone number of Store That's Not Even In The Comic Book Industry?
This is yet another lie. I have Le Google. But I'm not going to le use it.
RV grunts and hangs up.
I re-add the former coworker's contact info into the computer.
Dude mutters something in his sleep.
Me, quietly: What did you say?
Him, quietly: I'm really into scat.
His eyes pop open.
Dude: Skippity bop bop bop bop sha wow wow yeaahhhhhhhh.
Dude closes his eyes and rolls over.
Me: I. Love. You.
Dude: Boop boop ba ba bop zooooooooooom.
My dad listens to talk radio in the car, on our way back from the Portguese American club, where he goes on a regular basis, despite not being of Portugese descent.
Racist White Lady: I want to thank you and ICE for your service protecting our fine country from terrorists. The illegals keep killing people. And there are no reprecussions for them. They just go to to sanctuary cities, and hide, like cowards.
Me: That's not the way sanctuary cities work. If you commit a crime: murder, embezzlement, drunk driving, illegal gambling, you still go to jail, or get deported. You just don't get arrested for existing.
My Dad: I want to hear what she has to say.
RWL: All our money goes to paying for illegals to get health insurance and drivers licenses. Meanwhile, all our homeless veterans are freezing to death on the streets.
Me: This lady should start volunterring at homeless shelters. Maybe donate some money to some veterans' institutions. No one is stopping her from supporting our homeless veterans but herself.
Dad: But our money keeps going to help illegals.
Me: No. Our money keeps going to Jeff Bezos and Zuckerberg, and Trump, and all of those other people who don't pay their employees health insurance or a living wage. Who stiff the people like you and me, who actually work for a living, so that they can afford to play golf on one of the courses attached to one of the dozen hotels they own.
Dad: That's captalism.
Me: IT DOESN'T WORK. I work thirty-five hours a week for a guy that doesn't pay my health insurance, and who owes me seven and a half months of back pay. Capitalism sucks.
Dad: Why don't you work 40 hours a week?
Me: Because the people who own businesses schedule people so that they don't have to pay their health care, because they're greedy shitheads who can't actually afford to support their business while also living the lifestyle they think they've earned.
Dad: But why should my money --
Me: NO ONE WANTS YOUR MONEY. You're not wealthy. Trump has never climbed a telephone pole to restore electricity. Rush Limbaugh has never spent an hour trying to help a depressed mom find a cheap graphic novel to help her son learn to love reading. Tucker fucken Carlson has never volunteered his time for Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Of America. They SUCK. They don't care about you or your money unless it's going to them, personally. They hate you. They hate me. They even hate my boss. Why do you keep listening to a bunch of White Nationalist Assholes who want you dead?
Dad: We can agree to disagree.
Me: No. You are protecting the people who steal from you, and redirecting your anger at people that they are trying to murder. This isn't "which type of music do you like?" The people you're listening to for life lessons are actively starting a class and race war against the people who would actually help you if you were in trouble. If you're tied to a railroad track, and a train is coming, who do you think is going to help you? A person who, like your great-grandparents, came over to this counyry to escape terrorists and poverty, or a smug, shitbag in a bowtie who tells you all Mexicans are drug dealing rapists?
Dad: Why do we argue about this every time we get in the car?
Me: Because you don't listen to music anymore, you listen to wealthy white guys who've never worked a day in their lives, who try to tell you that people who work 40-60 hours a week for a non-liveable wage are somehow the enemy just because they didn't wait twenty years to get a bunch of paperwork signed by the same people exploiting them for work by not paying them enough!
Dad: Can we agree that religion is our enemy?
Me: YES. But note how all those Christians that you don't like are supporting the media and President that you support. Isn't that, like A Giant Red Flag to you that these people are full of shit?
My dad turn the radio to the oldies station.
Last Person I Was In A Relationship With: Same jobs. Same poetry routines. Is there anything new at all with you?
Me: Actually, I've been seeing someone for a few weeks now. I would invite you to hang out with us, but we're really gross. Not, like, saccharine nicknames and matching clothes gross, just constant eyefucking, and when we're not hanging all over each other, you can tell we're thinking about it.
LPIWIARW: Yuck. Love sounds awful.
Me: It's actually pretty great.
LPIWIARW: Well, I guess you deserve it, what with the whole coming back from the dead thing. Eventually you were bound to find someone you love who actually felt the same way.
Me: WE DATED FOR A YEAR.
LPIWIARW: Did we, though?
Me: You moved into my apartment. Twice!
LPIWARW: I didn't have anywhere else to go. I'm an awful person. I assumed that's why you were attracted to me.
Me: It sounds like your therapy is going well.
Harvard Student 1: Look at those cute little rabbits!
Me: (looks at what are, by Cambridge standards, two adorable rats)
Harvard Student 2: I've never seen rabbits with ears that short before.
Harvard Student 1: Or such long tails.
Harvard Student 2: I'm going to look them up on Wikipedia.
Sadly, my bus was coming, and I missed what, I'm sure, was their fascinating realization.