Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
I said goodbye to no one when I finally moved out of Cranberry Lake. I put in my two weeks notice at Kookaburra Canyon. Told my boss from the fudge store that I needed some extended time off. Then I put all of my non-essential items in storage, and moved to Boston to become a full-time poet and writer.
I moved in with a woman named Zuzu who I’d met at a poetry reading in Cranberry Lake. I’d been slowly moving into her house since we’d met. First spending weekends there, staying up late and making fun of fellow performers that we knew. Eventually, I was there so often that moving there just made sense. In lieu of paying rent, I gave her my grand piano, which her husband used to teach their ten year old son, Lot, how to play.
I stayed there about four months, living the dream, before I nearly came to fisticuffs with the man organizing the Boston poetry scene. I was mentioning this to a poet in Vermont that I’dbefriended, when she suggested I move up to Burlington.
I had no money saved up, no tentative place to live, no job prospects. Moving up to Burlington would be incredibly impulsive and stupid. I moved up the next day. Again, without any goodbyes.
I’d been up there and unemployed for nearly a month when I reached the stage of poor where I was salivating at the prospect of Ramen noodles. Even the mention of the word cheeseburger gave me an erection. After a month of living off popcorn, rice, and charity dinners, I knew I needed a change. More than change, I needed some paper money fast.
My friend got me a job packing fudge. This time there were no costumes, thous, or lesbian looking gay boys involved.
It was during a shift of fudge packing that Ted tap danced into my life. “You’re pretty good at that.” I said.
“Nah.” he said “It’s just real easy to fake on this floor.”
I pretended not to stare too intently at Ted, as he and my female coworker flirted. Cut fudge, wrap in tissue, center in box, fold corner flaps, wrap in bow. Cut fudge, wrap in tissue, center in “You can come, too if you like.” he said.
“Sorry, I was in Chocolate Walnut Land. Come where?”
“My house. I’m having a little shindig. Do you....study?”
One of the uberhippies in Burlington goes by the name of Jesse. Jesse is connected to one of the larger, more successful organic drug dealers this side of Canada...and the other side of Canada (that being, Canada). We’ll call him The Guru. The Guru’s legit job was as a book salesman. Therefore, people like Jesse called Guru at work and ordered textbooks instead of drugs. I don’t remember which subjects corresponded with which drugs, but it was something to the effect of mushrooms being Biology, LSD being Calculus, Ecstasy being Anatomy, and cocaine being “look shithead, I don’t deal cocaine, it’s time for you to get counseling.”
For this particular party, we’d be studying Anthropology. I brought my bubbler.
Do to the vast amount of studying I did at said party, I don’t remember very much of it. Iremember eating some sort of veganesque sandwich. About halfway through, I became incredibly full. Not just full to my stomach, but I could feel my brain pressing against my skull. Memories oozed out my ears. My two month backlog of sperm shot out covering the room with a-- you get the idea.
“I should go.” I told Ted’s cat. “I’m really tired, and I have to work tomorrow.”
“Don’t you think you should crash here, and call in high?” The cat asked.
“No. My boss doesn’t mind me coming in high.” This was true. During my interview, my boss asked me whether I smoked. After a six hour pause where I looked quizzically at my shoes, he said “Don’t worry. I just want to know if I should invite you over to my house for a few weekenders.”
“Suit yourself.” said the cat.
“Bye Ted’s cat.”
I staggered down the stairs of the apartment and out into the freezing fucken cold streets of Burlington. Having only been in town for a few months, and never having been to the section of town where Ted and his cat lived, I was somewhat unsure what was the most expedient way home. I knew the direction, but there was an assortment of annoying buildings and sculptures in my way. Plus a mall. Fucken malls.
I was a bit southeast of the mall when I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of deja vu. Once I had ascertained that there was no gun rack or “I hunt red heads for sport” bumper sticker, I returned to my paranoid about everything but the pickup truck state and walked toward the mall.
About two minutes later, I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of deja vu. Once I had ascertained that there was no gun ruck or “Honk if you love Homocide” bumper stickers, Ireturned to my paranoid about everything but the pickup truck state and walked toward the mall.
I was about fifty yards from the mall when I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of What the Fuck I Know I've Seen This Pickup Truck At Least Three Times Now, and broke into a run. That’s when I spotted the police car.