The Gentle News

If I jumped every time a light flashed around here I'd end up talking to myself.

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Saturday Night’s Alright

April 2nd, 2011 · No Comments · Daily, Potpourri

I am typing these words into Windows Notepad.exe on a PC that normally sits atop my spinet piano in case I feel the urge to query the nets for lyrics or chords to the song I am attempting to recall or create. Presumably, I will later copy them and paste them into some other bit of software that will illuminate some of my more glaring typographical errors and misspellings. I will likely correct some of these mistakes, decide to leave a few in for fun, and completely miss a handful more.

I have no plans today. I know I have all day to accomplish some of the domestic goals I have let pile up over the last few months. I also know that at some point in the late afternoon or early evening I will receive an invite, directly or indirectly, to some social event, formal or informal, that will entice me to ignore the fact that I’ve allowed those domestic goals to pile up in favor of consuming various audiovisual and textual trivia all day.

The incredulity that will not permit me to believe the truck emblazoned with the “if you’re not right with God, you’re doing it wrong” (or some other such cute verbiage) back-window sign was strategically slated to pull in front of me on the freeway at the very moment I was having a semi-humorous, tongue-in-gums conversation with Christ is the same boring realism that prevents me from doing anything productive with the following actual memory from this week’s whirlwind trek from DFW to NYC to Austin and back:

I’m in an elevator ascending to the fourth floor after walking around the building for some at-this-point forgotten and unfinished purpose. I had received a phonecall eliciting an abrupt return to the office before reaching my intended external destination. The sharply dressed black gentleman who pressed the button for me after politely inquiring “Which floor?” exits on the second floor.

As the elevator door beings to close, I hear the receptionist at the second-floor real estate office ask him, “Victor?”

As the door is nearly shut, I hear the well-tailored man respond, “Who the fuck is Victor?” Both the question and the response are repeated, with heightened insecurity from the receptionist and near-violent defensiveness from the visitor.

As I reach my office, my phone rings again. It’s the previous caller, a VP who needs help with a customer. His phone signal is so poor that after three attempts to convey the specifics of the problem to me, he decides to hang up and call me from a land line. Between the end of the mobile call and the subsequent terrestrial one, I had remembered the reason for originally leaving the building: I was hungry and needed some lunch.

After giving the VP all the information I had about the problem, and several well-developed possible solutions, I am certain my services will not be needed for at least long enough to run down to the ATM, buy a gyro from a very nice Palestinian food cart vendor, and bring it back upstairs to sit and get cold while I entertain further confused distress signals from the same caller.

As I place my ATM card into the slot beside the external door to gain access to the ATM alcove (Have you seen these things? They’re pretty cool. Kinda like checkpoints to semi-secure areas of some civilian, capitalist space vessel.), I hear a mobile phone inside chirp out a semi-recognizable polyphonic muzak rendition of some Coldplay tune I can’t be bothered to recall the name of. While I wait for the previous patron, already finished with her ATM activities, to finish her obviously unimportant phone call so that she will move out of the way and allow me to get some cash, only one sentence from her typically-NewYorker, diarrheic mouth piques my attention enough to remain forever in my memory: “I don’t know anybody named Farris.”

She moves slightly to the left of the ATM screen, and I position myself to the right so she knows for certain that I, though completely respectful of her freedom to take her own sweet goddamn time, semi-urgently require the use of this functionally unoccupied, semi-public device. With a brief, “who-the-fuck-do-you-think-you-are” bit of eye contact, she puts the phone between her ear and shoulder and shuffles to the courtesy table a few feet away, all while continuing her wastefully cynical phone call and fishing out some shade of asshole-brown lipstick from her overpriced purse.

Gyro in hand, I walk to my temporary desk on the fourth floor and wittily dismiss my Hebraic cohorts’ semi-jovial accusations of supporting “the enemy” by purchasing and consuming “terrorist food.”

The preceding collage of empirically unrelated moments in time represent a miniscule glimpse into my internally well-reasoned (“good enough for me”) contentment with my inability to do (and disinterest in doing) the following things with any measure of aptitude:

⁃ Hold a sufficiently succinct telephone conversation with strangers or loved ones without either upsetting the other party or allowing myself to become uncomfortably annoyed that I have not yet hung up the phone.
⁃ Find a job that doesn’t frustrate me so much even if it means adjusting to a smaller paycheck.
⁃ Understand why some writers feel they are incapable of practicing their craft without access to specific tools upon which they have become sentimentally dependent.
⁃ Employ an adequately balanced mixture of adjectives, adverbs, parentheticals, and appositives.
⁃ Curb my addiction to sitting outside doing nothing but read, think, drink coffee, and watch my awesome dog enjoy the sunshine of her backyard.
⁃ Overcome my counterproductive tendency to write too much about writing.
⁃ Find something nutritious to eat when it’s 2PM and I’ve had nothing but too much coffee all day.
⁃ Over-edit while in the process of writing.
⁃ Finally, actually record that really kick-ass guitar lick I’ve been farting around with for months.
⁃ Remember what the hell it was I initially intended to convey when I began writing.

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