Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
12:00 AM: The furry floor dwelling creatures have breached the bed and laid siege to it. I must remain vigilant despite having one armed pinned down by The Reasonable Cat, while The Cat Who Sheds Everywhere And Won't Ever Shut Up paces across the pillow, screaming so loud that, after a fashion, The Reasonable Cat stands up and smacks her off the bed. This is why I must always remember to close the door before I try and sleep. I shall try to sleep now, allowing the reasonable furry thing to continue to nap on my mattressy domain.
1:00 AM: The horrible screaming cat has ceased her yowling but is now scratching at the door. She retreats hastily when I open the door, not returning until she is certain I am attempting to return to sleep. As punishment, I have unleashed the reasonable cat into her kingdom. He is not amused. Somewhere in the distance, his nemesis, the third cat, is hiding, waiting for him to let his guard down. Guards. I need someone to guard my room who is not covered in fur. Someone with a scythe or a tazer or a sense of ... oh good, sleep is commmmmmm----- did someone just plow into a fucken recycling bin outside? Yeeeeeeeeeeeup, the street is covered in bottles and cans. Maybe if I count them all, I can get some sleep.
2:00 AM: SOMEONE OUTSIDE IS KICKING THE LOOSE CANS. I pick up one of the far too many empty soda bottles in my room, and head for the porch. I could totally probably hit this dude from up here and not cause him anything but embarrassment. That this seems reasonable and logical to me has reinforced that I need to listen to some calming music, and perhaps drop out of slam forever and ev---huh? slam? bottles? I'm going to put the bottle down. I'm going to turn my computer off and read a book until I fall asleep. This is healthier than looking at the computer because I read an article about how the light from the computer simulates daylight and it keeps you up, so a book...wait, how am I going to read a book with the lights off? OH MY GOD IT'S
3:00 AM: The laundromat opens at eight. I think I have enough time do at least three simultaneous loads of laundry before work. I haven't had a day off from work in weeks. Wait, yes, I have. I have had THREE days off from work this week. I even had a surprise day off when I was expecting to work. I've hardly been to work at all this week. I wonder what that's going to do to my check. Probably make it smaller. By how much? Let's see, if I wo-- YOU THINK YOU CAN USE MATH TO TRICK ME INTO SLEEP? THINK AGAIN. The washing machines at the laundromat hate me. My quarters are all slugs. Not counterfeits, my quarters are snails without shells, they can only be killed by salt. I can still sort of taste the chicken I had for dinner, I think I'm going to get up and brush my teeth again. Ahhhh, much better, now maybe I can WHO LEFT THE DOOR OPEN? WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CATS IN MY BEDROOM?
4:00 AM: There are people I hate who mostly occur to me when it is dark and I can't find my headphones. These aren't corrupt politicians or evil CEOs, not cylons or Freddie Kruegers, not journalists or Comcast employees. These are the humans with the best of intentions but the most hypocritical behaviors. The flawed martyrs who believe they are helping the less fortunate. The people who believe that "less fortunate" is equivalent to "helpless people beneath their social stature", who believe that pretty much everyone who's not the aforementioned politicians/CEOs/cylons/Kreugers/journalists/cable employees is beneath them. These people---these people shouldn't be affecting my sleep. I don't like warm beverages or -- yesterday I saw a sign in Harvard that said "Why did the hipster burn his tongue? Because he ate our flatbread sandwiches before they were cool." and I thought I should take a picture and post it, but I googled the joke. It's usually about coffee. It is all over the memebase. But flatbreads are not coffee. I don't like coffee but I could totally go for a flatbread sandwich right now.
5:00 AM I have set my alarm for 9:45 in case I ever reach sleep. Stretch to sleep. Let sleep consume me, arms first. Donuts! Oh, it's been two weeks since Union Square Doughnut Sunday. I could totally go for a doughnut. I would tire myself out walking all the way to Union Square, then doughnut up on my way to work. That's a brill--- Union Square Donuts is closed on Mondays. Forget donuts, there's that little breakfast joint around the corner. I've never eaten there be---wait, didn't I go there with Theresa Davis? I did! It was pretty good and--wait, also closed on Mondays. Why are so many things closed on Mondays? Is this city run by barbers? I'm going to have to shave my head again soon, I think. It's hottish and -- WAIT, that doughnut place where Tip O'Neil went, the one that my boss always talks about, that's right down the stupid street! I could go there RIGHT NOW. Ooooooh, it's open! Maybe I'll clean my room first, though, that should tire me out just enough to--
6:00 AM SERIOUSLY, GARBAGE TRUCK? IT'S SIX O'FU Oh, that's not a garbage truck but a utility truck lumbering down the road with a heavy breakfoot. I guess that's cool. I need a distraction. I need a game to play, something...oooh, I can play as a generic koopa or hammer brother like thing and do my best to Kill The Plumber! I am insanely good at this game, I don't want to use the word “prodigy” but I am slaying this game. This game that was clearly designed to be defeated by three fingered sloths with ADD and addictions to muscle relaxants.
7:00 AM and I can't beat level 37. The plumber will NOT die.
8:00 AM and this time, really, garbage truck and recycling, and definitely no sleep to be had in the Kingdom of Exhaustion. I walk to the late 1970s decorated Verna's. There are eight men sitting around a table. They were in their forties when this place was painted. There is one dude in front of me but no one behind the counter. We stand. The coffee he is holding freezes into ice coffee, then melts again, dissipating in the room. There are now seven cups of various shapes and sizes. As some of the coffee grounds gain sentience, one of the men at the table yells out a name. It's not Faye, but it's pretty much Faye. There is no answer. The man gets up, walks to the kitchen, calls her name again, shrugs and says “I guess I'll do her job for her.” and he grabs a doughnut for the guy in front of me and his coffee continents. As he rings him up, Not Faye comes in from the back. I am sooo tired. I order six donuts. I ask for one chocolate glaze but she sneezes directly on to the doughnuts, so I switch up my order. There is no further sneezing. No germ breeze. The future is a drowsy bus. The present is traffic. The immediate is get off the bus. The ugh is walking faster than the bus.
9:00 AM is the streets. Not mean. Not slick. Not adjective. And definitely not adverb. This street is not verbing. My shoes are footing. My pay is not shensitive. My eyes not zeyathomas not eyuhmaine. The bars are closed and I wouldn't go in them if they were offering free doughnuts. You know I don't even really like doughnuts that much. I really wish I'd thought to charge my ipod before I..awww, man, I left my phone at home. It's gonna be like the mid-90s in my pocket. It's the mid 50s outside and I'm in a short sleeved t-shirt. I am still ahead of the somehow bus. Past the sock place and oh I never got to do my laundry. Past the Temple, the Lizard, the park, the first CVS, stop in at the second because I forgot how much better the first one is. They are stocking everything I want as I go in. No way to walk around the warm juices, the elbow bodies, the the elbow accents, the raisin eyes.
10:00 AM is paperwork and waiting. My nails are getting long but I don't remember where the clippers are other than naturally not here at work. Pick up the paperwork at the print shop. Ipod charged. Honey Tip doughnut downed. Drink drink Monster Rehab. I am either one of those thing but probably unboth. Butter crunch disappointment. Stomach would like to remind you that tongue doesn't even particularly like doughnuts and brain is an idiot and why do we even have these things? (the doughnuts not the anatomy) And knock on the still Closed door. The stomach looks up. The eyes stay down. It's never mattered which is bigger because neither of them could take my exhaustion in a fight. It's like Mike Tyson in his prime vs. My Great Grandfather's Hip After It Had Been Removed From Him. My great grandfather had no legs while I was alive. 102 the last time I saw him. Swimming. Well, floating. A pool in A Home. I was in an orange inner-tube. Oh no. Tubes like doughnuts like not going to eat ever again.
11:00 AM and a woman and a baby are my first...I don't know what they are. Either I'm completely exhausted (and I am completely exhausted) or she is babbling at the baby. And the baby is definitely babbling but that's to be expected. And she says. I have no idea. And she looks at me for a response. And she says. I say pardon. She says “Sorry. I am looking to Wiser.”
I say. “Wiser?”
She says "Wiser." It gets so quiet
I say “Will Eisner.”
She says. I have no idea. But her eyes are brushed and flossed. And I lead her to Eisner and she says. Ugh. She says “This is too” and she can't have said anything anti-Semitic. I'm almost certain she never did.
I say “Too religious?”
She says “Wiser. No religion.”
I say “How about New York?”
She frowns. “He How Draw.”
“Ah.” I say. “We DO Have a How To Draw book by Will Eisner.”
I hand her the book. She nods, puts the book down. Leaves.
Five minutes to ponder before a man comes in. He is also gibberish. I must be REALLY exhausted. I can't understand language at all anymore.
The delivery guy stops in and says virtually almost completely nothing. I don't know how language works anymore. Loiterer leaves.
“Do you have any idea what that guy said?” Delivery Guy asks.
“Oh, thank God. I can understand you.” I say to him for the first definitely ever time.