Such a crumbling beauty

This, ladies and gents, is my kind of afternoon.

It’s raining like a bitch, and I’ve got nowhere to be. One of those days where you can choose your company with care, and for me it’s Faulkner, it’s Johnny Cash, and it’s Milwaukee’s Best. Draw the shades, kick it down to one light, and tell the American Public to go fuck itself. Hopefully the moat in the front yard, which conveniently borders the bog we call “lawn” will keep the riffraff out. Better bolt the door just in case. The house is its typical rotting white, and the kitchen smells like burnt quesadillas again. It might not have that dirty poolhall mystique I wish it did, but it’s home, right?

I think tomorrow I’ll stop kidding myself and just go to F&P, buy a pitcher, and read till the room spins. That’s actually a genius idea. They need places like that; coffee shops without the coffee or the brown knapsacks or the vegetarians. Tiny places with dim lights and a jukebox full of Tom Waits, where I can get that same sociable atmosphere of reading near others and yet not be distracted by flaring, homicidal urges brought on by overheard conversations of the spoken-word chai-tea Ani DiFranco crowd. It gets hard to read when I spend my time wondering if, when I kick the long-haired ass hat behind me through the plate glass window, he’ll manage to land without spilling his latte. I wonder if your knitted beanie is any kind of defense against a concussion.

I guess the technical term for a day like this, a brief, wide-eyed gasp of relief, would be a respite. Granted, the world still looms. Raabot Itself is decided un-functional, and let me tell you: buying parts for a complex robot at Radioshack is like buying replacement organs at the Ralph’s meat department. Responsibilities, that dark and filthy word; they hang around my neck like dead albatrosses. Ah fuck it, it’s raining.

A girl I know asked me an interesting question today:

“Trevor”, she says, “why don’t you have a girlfriend?” A thousand embittered, sarcastic retorts came to mind. They lined up in my brain like shitty actors at a WB teen drama (trama? new word? ) audition; all clamoring and dancing and flapping their arms in the hopes of being chosen. Not today friends, thanks for coming out though.

“Well… me and the ladies just don’t get along that well.”

“Why not?”

“You’re the girl, what are you asking me for? They started it.” We laughed, me forcibly. She remained as confused as before, but I had maintained. Some questions don’t have answers. Some questions don’t deserve answers. A question like that… that’s the kind of strange shit you’d see in a Trivial Pursuit Psychologists Edition, right between “What does this inkstain look like to you?” and “Have you ever considered that there might not really be bugs all over you?” It was obvious from the question, however innocent she meant it to be, that there was an implication of fault, of failure. Not necessarily mine; that’s why she asked, after all. Still, between the lines it reads: to be single is to be incomplete. My response, also hidden cleverly between lines, reads: my ass.

It’s hard to be offended by a genuine question. A lot of people manage it, but still… When their tone carries the humble weight of authenticity, I try to keep the wolf in his cage. Not that she would do the same if I asked her why she can’t do a pull-up or why she thinks clothing is an accurate gauge of personal character, no matter how genuine my tone. But hey, it’s me. Always striving to be the better man. Keepin that higher ground.

Why don’t I have a girlfriend?

Why don’t you take an accordion on a deer hunt?

Because all you leave behind is a lot of noisy baggage.

Time is a-wasting, and I’ve got many a chapter to go before the sun sets and I have to go handle my shit. See you cats later.

-T.

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