There’s good reasons why it’s alone
The whole thing started off badly. I forgot that Fran Lebowitz had rescheduled her talk at BAM when I scheduled a visit to my parents, so Sabine had to give away my ticket to a friend. The day of departure I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and arrived at the airport an hour and a half early. Then as I stood on the security line half asleep I overheard three college bros behind me talk loudly about starting off their day with a beer in that unmistakable douchey accent of theirs. I was on my way back to Texas.
I began praying to be seated far away from them. I don’t believe in God, but I just knew he was going to stick me next to three drunk frat guys. Then I saw a woman ahead of me who I swear was modeling herself after Howdy Doody. She looked like she too liked Fran Lebowitz, so I added her to my prayer: “Please God, don’t seat me near the frat boys, seat me by the Howdy Doody lady because, judging from her style, she probably wants to be left alone on the four-hour flight to Houston as much as I do.”
After our recent success with pupusas, Sabine and I made tamales for the first time this weekend. This reminded Sabine of the time we had a party a couple of years ago when I went to pick up a big order of tamales in Woodside and got lost, missing the first hour of the festivities.
The thing is, after living in Queens for five years I’m still not sure which way is north. Although I’m well aware that in Manhattan the Queens-bound 7 train is headed east, in my mind it magically points north as soon as it crosses the East River.
Sabine was making pupusas, a sort of filled corn tortilla from Salvador. Usually when she cooks I might just help with slicing and dicing, but as the dish was Latin American I got more involved and started making some pupusas myself.
As we cooked, I told Sabine about my conversation on Friday with our company’s director of human resources. I’d gone to talk to her about year-end review stuff, but at some point the conversation took an unexpected turn.
I’m pretty sure this is not St. Francis of Assisi
My brother told me that I should be careful about the persona I’m creating on this blog. “You’re coming across like Andy Rooney,” he warned. “Your friends might think it’s funny, but the people who don’t know you will think you’re a cranky old jerk.”
I see his point, so I’ll refrain from writing about my experience at Apple’s “Genius Bar” (gag) and instead I’ll write about something that shows me in a better light: my love of animals.
As I’m sweeping the leaves in front of our house I see a mother and her toddler heading in my direction. The child is kicking through the piles of leaves in front of the other houses, but surely she’ll stop him when they get to me? She and I lock eyes as the kid kicks my neighbor’s leaves onto my just-swept sidewalk. ”I’m sorry, that’s probably not helpful,” she says, making no attempt to stop him. I guess there simply was no conceivable way to avoid this.
Day 1: I get on what looks like a new 7 train (same model, but everything looks new and shiny—maybe Sabine slipped some mescaline in my oatmeal?) and sit across two old men. “They’re all going to work,” says one to the other, and they both laugh. I laugh along silently.
A couple of weeks ago I received a letter summoning me to jury duty. I looked at it askance partly because I have one bad eye, partly because when I first lived in Queens in the early 2000s I ignored several of these, so I’ve been afraid of getting arrested for contempt of court ever since.
We went to a wedding this weekend, my first in several years. It’s surprising that I don’t get invited more often, as I’m a delightful guest. At any rate, this was my coworker Lucy’s wedding, and she invited me because we work closely and have shared a small office for a couple of years. And perhaps because I hinted that I would have her fired if I didn’t get an invitation. I was honored to attend.
Sabine ordered special shoes for the wedding weeks ahead of time, but I didn’t feel the need to make any preparations, considering my flair for improvisation. The night of the wedding I asked Sabine what I should wear.
It’s nothing, I’m just a little achy
Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I was getting sick. The Mayo Clinic lists a handful of symptoms for the common cold: congestion, sore throat, cough, slight body aches or a mild headache, sneezing, watery eyes, low-grade fever, and mild fatigue. Of those, I only had the aches and fatigue. Maybe the rest would show up later? Sunday, I still felt the same way.”If I feel like this on Monday I’ll only work a half day,” I told my wife.
Monday came, and I felt no improvement, but I didn’t get worse, either. I went to work and stayed the whole day, though I can’t swear I worked the full eight hours. It’s Tuesday now and the truth has finally dawned on me – I’m not getting sick, I always feel like this.
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I’m a pretty negative guy. A total hater. I hate so many types of people that I can’t name them all. They include spitters, lip-smackers, and mouth-breathers; high-fivers, back-slappers, and fake-punchers; Republicans, evangelicals, and frat boys; people who stand at escalators and moving sidewalks, and those who press the elevator button more than once; adults who mistreat children, and, paradoxically, children themselves. And that’s just a start.
What fresh hell is this?
But I’m not all hate. I also love some people. Number one: other haters. Not just any haters, though. You’ll never see me at a Tea Party rally, no matter how desperately I might want to try on a three-cornered hat. Their hatred is unfair, and just as unforgivably, it’s boring. And Tea Partiers can’t spell, achieving a trifecta that hoists them to the top of the list of people I hate. Give me interesting haters, like Fran Lebowitz, who hates people who cross their sevens, Mark E. Smith, who hates Kojak (and calls him “a twat”), or Nabokov, who hated writers who used the phrase “the moment of truth.”