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.”
It’s Columbus Day, and a few doors down our neighbors are whooping it up. Or maybe they’re fighting, I can’t really tell. That’s because to an introvert like me, even the friendliest celebrations imply a threat. Every after-work party is a toast away from turning into a Beer Hall Putsch.
You say Columbus Day Parade and this is what I see.
All my life I’ve struggled with introversion. I’ve never felt comfortable in groups, and growing up in Mexico I preferred to read comic books over partaking in games of soccer or attempting the violent overthrow of the government. While it was difficult to make friends, being by myself led me to develop a love of reading and a talent for drawing. I was also exposed to a lot of colorful terms for “homosexual” from my non-introverted classmates.
The intersection of Fifth and Fifth
This Friday after work I went to Park Slope for an art opening featuring our friend Sarah Nicole Phillips‘s work. The gallery was near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street, which led to a predictable mistake: I walked up and down the wrong block, lost and completely flummoxed. I finally walked into some sort of ethnic restaurant (Esperanto, I believe), where I asked two pretty employees for help. After conferring in their Cryptophasia, they apologized for not knowing where the gallery was, but a kind, mysterious stranger appeared out of nowhere and told me that he had made the same mistake and told me to go around the corner.
As I got off the train the other day I saw one of my neighbors from the block two steps ahead of me. He’s nice, as is his wife, but they’re a little… boring. Actually, they’re really boring. They’re so fucking boring they make me want to dig up my Organic Chemistry textbook from college to reignite my interest in living.