7:45 a.m.- My Volvo is Emma Thompson from the movie Wit; confident, invulnerable, and then something else. At one time she rested less than 25 feet from my bedroom window like a dark blue lioness, indifferently perusing the local environment with all of the certainty that the top of the food chain is accorded. Like Emma, there was no part of her that I would not happily lick. But now she is excreting various rainbow inducing fluids, dry-heaving sluggish billows of blotchy smoke, and seeming to be looking to me for answers; answers that we are both certain do not exist.
8:05 a.m.- I vaguely feel as though I am embarking upon a tremendous adventure, carefully tying the shoes that I almost never wear and meticulously arranging, the way a Spec Op surely would, the necessary tools- iPod/headphones/wallet/do I need the Leatherman?- but catch myself and immediately feel ridiculous. I head out wondering if there might be some chemical explanation for all of this.
9:15 a.m.- Walking sucks. I feel as though I should somehow be above this. When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we
admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a
good man is, how to live, and so on. The two drunken teenagers who seem to have established permanent residence somewhere within my consciousness and who have clearly been designated to debate 'important matters' are going at each other over whether or not I should have chosen The Denial of Death as my early morning walking soundtrack. Both of them are wrong.
10:23 a.m.- Is it possible that someone has poisoned my feet? Can you do that? I feel as though I am walking upon Belladonna infused pillows of calculated revenge. Who have I wronged to such an extent? Clearly a frustrated botanist of some sort; someone with access to my teas.
10:37 a.m.- I pretend to not heavingly lunge into the Convention Center light rail station, at once overjoyed by the fact that I will soon be off of my poisoned feet but dismayed by the fact that I will still have a 30 minute walk, after the final stop, to my trumpet lesson. Non ridere, non lugere, neque detestari, sed intelligere.
11:13 a.m.- I smugly walk through the doors of Music-Go-Round, a local music store, fairly certain that I have accomplished something remarkable. No one seems to notice and I am too much of a gentleman to bring it up.
11:45 a.m.- I have a great lesson with an awesome nine year old who is going to be far better at the trumpet than I ever was.
12:47 p.m.- The fact that I am nearly out of cigarettes makes me want one in an almost sexual fashion. There is a liquor store down the street from the music store. I decide to switch to music for the walk home. Hey, I guess you're lonely, when I gave, you only took. So then it's stranger than its ever been. I guess it's what you wanted. If it was cloudier I would be happy. Still, I am something close to happy.
1:05 p.m.- For a guy who is legitimately misanthropic I have a great rapport with local shop owners. The guys who run the 7-11 by my house are virtually kin, and the dude at this place smiles at me as though he has been waiting months for the opportunity. It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom. I grab a bottle of grapefruit juice, a pack of American Spirit Menthol (for no sociological reason whatsoever, although I sometimes feel as though it may help) and a small bottle of Vikingfjord Vodka, which I would never have bought if not for Joe Rizzi; fucking marketing.
1:25 p.m.- It's not easy to fill a bottle of grapefruit juice on a busy public road in the middle of the day without drawing attention. Yeah, in tight bursts is the lyric I use to muster the courage. Once again the teenagers in my brain are restless.
1:45 p.m.- Stalactites, stalagmites, shut me in, lock me tight... it seems early, but it's on. Oh yeah, I forgot to eat. Something about the blood barrier in the stomach. My feet no longer hurt. Neither do my perennially chaffing thighs. Damn good thighs. If my Volvo was my thighs then this story would not exist. No knock on you, Emma.
1:58 p.m.- Last week fucked around and got a triple double. This lyric has suddenly made me acutely aware of the discrepancy between how I am viewing myself (prowling the streets with an intentionally reserved bad ass menace) and how I am viewed by others (he doesn't appear to be homeless, but something's up.)
2:15 p.m.- When you make a mistake walking it takes much more time than could be usefully utilized in a blog piece. Mine involved a psuedo-court and several diligent locals. They were pleasant, but I was nearly in tears when I realized the amount of backtracking that would be involved. I did have a plan. I was going to go to the bowling alley near Union Ave. There I would order a double vodka grapefruit and casually ask for a pen, as though I didn't have a care in the world, and sign my lesson check so that I could take it to the bank in the complex. I don't feel the way I ever felt: well, not quite true, but the song kills and made my questions seem irrelevant.
2:20 p.m.- I wrote my bro and Palladino what I thought was a penetratingly meaningful text regarding the futility of existence. It wasn't.
2:37 p.m.- Honestly. I'm not sure the bus is even coming. Do they run on Christmas Eve at this time? What the fuck are these people... oh, here it is. She seems uncertain. I don't know how long she has been a bus driver, but she clearly lacks the wound. Give it up to me, give it up to me, do you want to be my angel? I don't let her know.
3:12 p.m.- She turned out to be very helpful. Now I am waiting for the #60 bus, that she recommended, to take off. The new driver is clearly horrible. I ask him when we will leave. He says four minutes. I tell him I'm going to take a quick smoke. He says that's OK, just as long as you don"t exhale near his bus. Dick! He looks like Pruitt Taylor Vince's stunt double. I get back on the bus and sulk into a far away seat. Turns out he is an awesome dude. Lots of cool info about unions- paranoia, paranoia, everybody's coming to get me- and the general obligations of a VTA bus driver. I am in fine form. Am I? I could be worse.
3:45 p.m.- Home. Every part of me hurts. The interior of my right elbow; many unfortunate things taking place on a cellular level; my xiphoid process, disastrously. But it is obvious that I have won. Irony leaves no residue. I lurch down the hallway in mock celebration clutching at framed photos of people who are not my family: And I'll find strength in pain, and I will change my ways, I'll know my name as it's called again.
4:45 p.m.- Christmas(ish.)