Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DUN AND DONE

Dinner: salad and two Boca burgers, original vegan, 70 calories each. A little lettuce and red-pepper hummus on the buns. I do love the taste of a good burger. I haven't had one in a long time. I would quote Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction — "I can't usually get 'em myself because my girlfriend's a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian" — but I don't have a girlfriend. Truth is, I don't know why I'm eating a fucking veggie burger, but I already made them and it would be a shame to let them go to waste, even if there's no one around to appreciate my slim and fit frame.

Today's Merriam-Webster word of the day is "plaudit," a noun describing "an act or round of applause." It's usually used in the plural, but tonight I'll give myself a plaudit: this is post 340 in what I once called a letter to a curious artist. Strung together it's probably close to 100,000 words, more than enough for a book, if someone had the time and desire to knit them together.

Here's another Merriam-Webster word to digest: dun. As an adjective it describes something dull or drab, words that I have increasingly come to embrace as truths in what I once called (and believed to be) my semi-charmed life. That flip description no longer fits. The charm was probably always cheap surface sparkle, anyway, and most of it has rubbed off so the only thing showing is the ugly base, the core that has always repelled the people I loved the most. The're the ones who saw the real me and spoke truth: Just leave me the fuck alone, I don't want to be your friend, it's too hard to be your friend. In public and to their face I agreed with the frank assessment and never spoke an ill word about them. In private, alone with the door closed and the lights out, I apologized to their memories for having the bad luck to make my acquaintance, and I cursed myself for being such a dull, drab, lifeless man.

I am not angry at those who got to know me, became disgusted, and threw me into the abyss. In another lifetime I wrote about it this way: I am angry at myself for fumbling away my fate. Had I been more interesting, more captivating, I might not be alone. Because I was not good enough, I am alone, and no amount of meditation or medication will ever change those truths.

Today at work, for only the second time in nearly six years, I fumbled badly at timing out the newscast and the anchors were forced to fill with chatter and smiling small talk. It was the second day in a row I made this mistake, and I saw one of them put an imaginary gun to their head after the newscast was over and mime pulling the trigger. I know exactly how they felt. I only wish my Half Japanese shirt was here so I could don the appropriate uniform, but the mailman did not bring me that gift today. So instead I am doing laundry, washing the smell of me out of the few clothes I have remaining that fit.

Darks are in the dryer; I can hear the buttons on my jeans clanging. It feels right to put on freshly laundered clothes tonight, to make sure I am clean. Spring is here but it's about to snow; the storm is only a few hours away. This boy from California hates the snow and the cold.

It is time for dessert.

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