14 February 2005 at 3:11 pm
My CCS work in evidence of talent follows. Please edit mercilessly--any suggestions/criticisms/hate mail is welcome.
A few words about getting through the day:
Notwithstanding orgasms and paying off debt, the first sip of coffee in the morning is one of life's grandest treasures. We are a fatigued people, worked sometimes to the death (be it literal, of body, or figurative, of soul), and anything to alleviate that incessant weariness is a gift from the heavens. Fortunately, we are also a business-minded people and have finagled our way into some of the best agricultural communities in the world to ensure that we will have the supply to meet the demand of the people. But these thoughts are the furthest from my mind as I settle into my little corner of office, remove the lid from the $1 coffee from the cafe below my place of employment, close my eyes, deeply inhale, and experience those first precious drops that hit my tongue and work their way into my system. One of life's greatest legal potentially harmful substances, for many, coffee is to the workplace what confession is to Catholics: a chance to be reborn a better servant to The Man.
A few words about attempting a social life:
It starts off small Ė no big deal. Say, youíre running late. No worries, just hurry up, hereís what you need to do before you leave: make-up, hair, manageable stuff. Then, your hair wonít quite do anything right Ė the clips you bought look garish, but itís curling weird if you leave it down, fuck it, nobody will care, just get out the door, hail a cab, youíre good to go.
You walk towards the elevator, youíre fine, double-check the purse Ė somethingís missing. Whereís your lighter? And your cigarettes? You go back to your apartment and tear the place apart, desperate for the slow suicide you call a habit. You catch your reflection in the middle of your one-woman hurricane Ė these jeans fit all wrong and your top looks ridiculous, but thereís no time to change, thereís no nicotine to be found, and youíre throwing things around in a blind rage, angry at your inability to Keep It Together, to be Responsible, to be Perfect. Another caught reflection further demonstrates your hairís inability to perform correctly, a frustrated sob catches in your throat, and you imagine what the night would entail if you bothered leaving at all: uncomfortable chit-chat, conversations forced through Cheshire grins that make your cheeks ache as you struggle to present the proper persona, cheap beer shared with people you never want to see again Ė truly, a healthier night would be one spent alone.
You throw off you coat and call the person with whom you were throwing this obvious disaster of a party, describe the week that lay behind you, detail the stuff that makes up the morrow, and express your deepest condolences, which arenít really that deep.
As soon as you hang up, reassuring yourself that youíve done the right thing, you really do have to get up early tomorrow, you really arenít in any shape to be thrown into an awkward social situation, and you really canít afford the cab ride anyway Ė you find your cigarettes. You tell the world to piss off and fall into a bitter sleep amidst the background noise of parties occurring the next building over and ambulance sirens on their way to parties just ending. Your last thought before a dreamless night, borrowed from that great philosopher Ernie, of Bert and Ernie fame: ďPerhaps tomorrow will be a better day.Ē
A few words about IKEA:
IKEA is a supposed to be a place of togetherness, a place where new roommates and relationships blossoming to the next level can come together and buy cute, cheap furniture. It's a place to feel stylish without having to worry about whether you really need a $500 lamp to feng shui your life back into order. A place to wax philosophic about dreams of all the love and laughter that will fill the spaces between your SKUBB organizer and your EKTORP sofa -- dreams, ladies and gentlemen, that will never be realized, because before you leave that store you will be bleeding to death, whether from self-inflicted stabbings of those stupid IKEA pencils, from fellow IKEAnese who, in order to nab the last GLADOM coffee table, bite at your ankle until your foot is dangling by a thread of pulpy skin, or from your significant other who has ripped out every hair on your head in an effort to convince you that the HOL storage cube is a much better match for your apartment and your relationship. Somehow, someway, you reach down deep inside and finally make it through the checkout lines and drag your new belongings to the loading zone. You're crawling now, a trail of blood following you, and you sit for a moment trying to recuperate while you formulate a plan to get those As-Is items that seemed like such a good idea into your car. Your significant other trots off to get the vehicle. A half an hour and six phone calls later, he returns, cussing because he couldn't find his way to the second floor loading zone without leaving the IKEA perimeter, getting onto the freeway, waiting three exits to get back onto a side street, and fighting the incoming IKEA traffic. He parks crookedly, taking up two of the precious eight spaces designated for loading and unloading only. You get a few glares but easily brush them off -- you've survived the battle, and if you can make it home in just a few pieces, you'll have won the war. Somehow, in your last breaths before you pass out from exhaustion and lack of blood, you finagle your purchases into your too-small car, cram into the seats at angles not meant for people with joints that bend only one way, and drive away from the hellhole that is IKEA.
A few words about having oneís car stolen:
I spent last night dancing and singing along to Top 40 radio, drawing black eyeliner all over my face in a vague attempt to be trendy, and reading in the bath. I also sewed some buttons back onto my new dress, watched a few episodes of The Office, and fell asleep around 11pm, preparing myself for the drive that I would be taking to my hometown today.
While I was doing all that, sometime between 8:30pm and 2:00am, my car was stolen.
I discovered this when my boyfriend woke me up at 5am and asked me if I had moved the car. The resulting exchange was something like this:
Hey, did you move the car?
Because it's not where we parked it.
Um...are you sure?
You can go look if you want to.
And sure enough, it was gone, and a new car had replaced it.
I called the police, certain it had been towed, though they had no record of it. Still certain it had been towed, we had the dispatcher send over a policeman to fill out the "Aw Shucks, My Car's Gone" form. Certain I will be getting a notice in the mail saying I owe a thousand dollars because my car's in a lot somewhere, I called Progressive and filed a claim (as an extra ha-ha to me, love universe, my insurance doesn't cover theft- only other cars I slam into).
I called my mom at 5:30am to let her know what had transpired, wondering if maybe she could fix it, and she told me to walk around the park to make sure it hadn't been moved- in case some guy saw my car, a 1995 Toyota Tercel sans back seat and radio, and was all, "Hey man, let's take this lady out for a joy ride, I hear she goes from 0 to 60 in ten minutes."
It had not been moved.
The only value in that car is the memories: the road trips up and down the coast, the hundreds of hotboxing adventures, the conversations, the fights, the "Whoops, there's my exit, excuse me please" misadventures, the...the everything. I loved that car.
Cue video montage of me learning how to drive a stick shift, stalling it a million times before making that first precarious journey around the block, of me sobbing in my car after escaping from my house, of me laughing in my car with friends I no longer keep in touch with, of me petting the dashboard when the car magically starts up, of me hitting the dashboard and cursing the car for the battery dying in the middle of the busiest street in Seattle.
That car had been with me through high school, through college, through jobs, through friends, through boyfriends, and though we didn't necessarily agree about exactly what its job was, we never parted angry.
I'm sorry, car, for not changing the oil when I was supposed to. I'm sorry my dog ate your back seat, but everyone loves a hatchback, right? I'm sorry I don't drive very well and forced you onto many a hill that you weren't prepared for. I'm sorry I didn't love you quite the way I should have, but I loved you all the same and I hope your new owners are treating you the way you ought to be treated.
A few words about lonely days:
There are several crows gossiping outside my seventh-floor window and Iím almost positive that they are mocking my inability to do anything but mope.
I would feel better about everything if I could do anything remotely close to productive. But Iím not just a slob; Iím a slob with an obsessive need to find a why to every how. The reason I never clean is because thatís always on my to-do list, and when thatís gone, will there be anything else to do? I know thereís always something that needs to be done, but Iím just lazy enough to avoid finding out what that is.
The crows have left to scoff at some other poor fool. The clouds, illuminated by the setting sun that was blinding me twenty minutes ago, are looking awfully lonely. I think Iíll go join them for a cigarette.
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