Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Things that piss me off when I'm walking

Things that piss me off when I'm walking on public roads/sidewalks:

Parked cars that block the sidewalk when there's plenty of room in the driveway.

Trash receptacles left in the middle of the sidewalk.

Tree trimmings heaped onto the sidewalk.

Lawn sprinklers that suddenly turn on like a pit of hissing, venom spitting vipers in the big ass middle of the big ass peace and big ass quiet of the big ass night. Right there alongside the big ass sidewalk.

When there ain't no big ass sidewalk at all.

Mirkwood spiders and their evil sidewalk-spanning lairs.

Blundering into an evil sidewalk-spanning spider lair and getting a face full of evil spider.

Trying to hold a cigarette, an umbrella, a flashlight and an e-Reader all at the same time when it's raining.

The completely out-of-the-blue, excruciating, undeserved pain of suddenly and forcefully receiving a face full of concrete.

The completely out-of-the-blue, excruciating, undeserved pain of suddenly and forcefully receiving a face full of concrete, with the added bonus of breaking a bone and/or an e-Reader/tablet/phone.

Well-intentioned drivers doing stupid and/or irritating things like...

... slowing down in the middle of a busy street to give me the right of way when I'm waiting to cross.
... stopping in the middle of a busy street to give me the right of way when I'm waiting to cross.
... slamming down on the brakes in the middle of a busy street while I'm right in the big ass middle of running the gauntlet.
... slowing all the down town traffic in the right lane so that I can cross the street, with the left lane zipping by at full speed.
... waiting at a stop sign for me to cross the street when I'm facing the other way, head down and reading an eBook/checking out the internet/writing about things that piss me off.
... using sign language to try to convince me to cross the road when I'd just rather not cross the road yet because I'm reading an eBook/checking out the internet/writing about things that piss me off, and besides, I happen to like it here.
... being cops, and 'pulling me over' at 2:00 AM because everything I'm wearing is black. Happened once.
... being cops, and 'pulling me over' because some do-gooder called me in with an outright, blatant lie that I was casing a joint/shining a light in parked cars/running and jumping around and generally acting like an escaped lunatic from Bellevue. That's happened... four times.
... being cops, and 'pulling me over just because'. Geez, that's happened more times than I can remember.

Drivers with butts for heads and asses for hats doing stupid/irritating things like...

... honking at me in the middle of the night when I'm walking on the sidewalk and there's no other traffic.
... throwing shit at me in the middle of the night, like soda cans and cups. Happens about once a year. Only at night.
... yelling things at me in the middle of the night like, "Fag!" and "Get a haircut, hippie!" and "Fuck you, asshole!" and "YEEEAAAHA HAHAHAAAA WHOOOOIEEEDOGGIES!!". Happens several times a year.
... slowly pacing me and offering unwanted and awkward sexual advances through the drivers window. Only happened once. At night, of course.
... driving really slowly past me, then turning around and pulling over to the curb fifty feet behind me and parking there with the engine running and headlights on. That actually happens repeatedly. At night.
... those same drivers who peel off like a bat out of hell when I turn around and approach them, just to have a word or two. I've only done that a few times. Last night, most recently. Allow me to elucidate.

I actually thought it was someone I knew... turns out it was a security guard for the High School on Fulton. I guess he didn't notice me turning around and approaching him after he'd stopped behind me with his brights blasting all over me... which astounds me, if that's the case. But anyway. I guess he didn't see me, because when I got close enough to see him (he had the dome light on), I could see that he was taking a good, long pull from a flask that he had tipped almost straight up. By then I'd realized he wasn't who I'd thought he was at first... that is, this security guard who's been coming into the store right before his night shift for the past three years. Naw, tweren't him...

So, I dunno what that was all about. Maybe he did see me coming after all, and he was steeling himself up for an encounter with a swig of liquid courage. That's what I'd do. So why'd he stop in the first place then, and provoke me so blatantly, yet so passive-aggressively? I dunno. Once we locked eyes though, and our truths were exposed to each other, I smiled and waved and apologized for thinking he was somebody else, and then I high tailed it. About two blocks later I looked back, and he was gone.

Ok, back to whatever... oh yeah. Only at night. Oh. And maybe nothing about that had anything to do with me at all, and I just have a big ass, giant ego. That's prolly it. But at night! A big ass ego at night!


... driving by repeatedly, shouting and cursing, thinking they wanna fight me because I CALLED! them on being a dickhead every time they drove by and shouted/threw things at me, and then getting me all tensed up and scared shitless and shaking and ready with my blinding laser, my knife, and my club after they finally stopped, only to peel away after pretending to get out. That's only happened twice. At night!

Neighborhood do-gooders who somehow think it's perfectly all right to interrogate me at 2:00 AM as to my name, address, destination, and/or reason for doing a thing at night that they wouldn't even notice, or give one and a half flash-frozen shits about during the day, like say... walking, for instance. Like they were the self-appointed frikin' Thought Police! Sorry, but that one in particular really burns me up. Happens a LOT. AT NIGHT.

People who offer me a ride at 2:00 AM and won't take 'no thanks' for an answer. Almost always those same do-gooders. I've had to walk very quickly away from this situation more than once. Night again! WTF is it with everybody wanting to fuck with me at NIGHT??? HUH

Sorry. Pardon my French. I speak French real good.

99 percent of the time though, everything is quite peaceful and enjoyable when I'm taking a stroll, even AT NIGHT. Except whenever I'm depressed and want to die... but that's only like, 2 percent of the time. So it's 97 percent of the time that things are ok, not 99 percent. Still, 97's pretty good.

Oh look, there's that nursing home. How'd I get out here again?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Perpetual Pickle Paradox

BthrrrrrrIIING! ... BthrrrrrrIIING!

...7-Eleven Oak street.

Do you have pickles?

Hang on... Yeah.

Do you have the single pickles in the plastic package?

Lemme check... Yeah.

Are they sour?


Are they the sour kind? Sour pickles?

Uh... Yeah, they're pretty sour.

Could you have it ready at the counter for me?

... Yeah, sure.

Because I'll be right there. How much is one?

It doesn't say on the package.

Is it less than two dollars?

I dunno...

Cause I only have two dollars.

Ok, lemme check... It's a dollar twenty nine.

Ok thanks, I'll be right there.

--- time passes ---

Hi, I called about the pickle.

Ok. Buck twenty nine.

You said on the phone you had the sour kind.


Don't you have the sour kind?

... As opposed to the sweet kind?

No, this is a dill pickle.

Uh... yeah. Dill pickles are sour, right? Is there a sourer pickle than a dill?



Sunday, August 30, 2015

That place, revisited

Since I wrote about that abandoned nursing home, it's been on my mind, when usually it ain't. Like I said, it's normally just a couple of times a year that I even go by that place, but I went by there again tonight. I went by there, not on purpose... at least, not knowingly... and this time I realize that I've never actually been down there close to it.

I had almost passed it when I realized that, because I was walking and all, and thinking about other things, but I did realize it... so I turn around and walked back to the beginning of the parking lot of that nursing home, and I walked down that slope.

I don't know what I expect to find down there. I say that now of course, because I don't remember exactly what it was that I expected to find, but I know it's something, or else I wouldn't have gone down there. And I found something. It was like... you know the feeling of anticipation of a thing that you get, before the actual feeling of the thing? The expectation, verses the reality? That's what happened. The real version of what I was expecting actually happened.

Oh and by the way, if what I've written seems disjointed, it's because I've been doing a lot of the realizing as I've been doing the writing. And as I've remembered it, geez... it's just an awful pain in the ass to go back and edit it into a consistent tense or whatever. Sorry about that. So. Back to it. I went down the slope..

I went down there, and it's all in shadows. Is first person past tense okay? I went down there, and as soon as I was down there, well... I realized that I was down there. That was a thing in itself, you know? I guess it was kind of a 'had to've been there' moment. First, when I got down there...

OK, stop! I went down there, OK? Can we establish that and continue, please? In an orderly fashion? Without all this frikin' exposition? Sorry, but sometimes I go back and read what I've written...

OK! Just assume I'm down there, waiting for future guy to describe what is happening.

So there I am... I mean, there he was... I mean, there I was! Dammit! There I was, at the bottom of the slope. I was in shadows, and I was afraid that somebody would see me down there. I was thinking about what I'd say, if somebody called me on what I was doing. That worried me a little, so I crouched down and clumseled along on my ankles and into the proper shadows of the place.

There was this fountain of a cherub, firstly. That's the first thing I saw, right after I crouched down, and it scared the crap outta me. Once I'd shuffled on into the shadows all the way, I stood up and went on past the cherubim and into this alcove, which was a part of the building proper. It was kind of a room, with walls, but no ceiling... like a little tiny courtyard. There was an ice chest, and some stacked boxes, and a couple of full trash bags. There was also a painted sign with an arrow, pointing 'this way to machine shop'. There was also a closed door, with a screen door that was opened a little bit.

I noticed all of this as I stood in one of the dark corners of that alcove. After about five minutes I went up to that closed door, and just for a second... geez, so much can happen in just a second... I thought about opening it. Whatever it took to open that door, that's what I gave a disproportionate amount of thought to. Getting it open, and going inside.

Well, turns out I'm not as stupid as I thought I might be,, and dangit, I ain't crazy enough either. So I creeped out of that little alcove and just walked along the front of that place in the parking lot, like a normal person. Like that was a normal thing to do.

I forgot an important thing... an important part of this experience to relate, and part of the alcove experience, too. The smell. The smell was the most important part of the whole thing! I didn't mention it, because... geez, it just ain't something you would normally try to put into words, but it was the biggest part of this experience. I can't believe I forgot about it.

Down there in that alcove, there was this old, musty smell. It wasn't bad. It wasn't nasty or repellent, but it was still, somehow... not right. It was that attractive, stagnant smell type of feeling. The awake version of my dreams... the smell version of the comfortable hell. Damn, I can't believe that happened. It was an old, familiar musty smell of it all, and I was wide awake and in the middle of it. It smelled like my childhood. It's weird, trying to explain it, but I'm sure that it will make sense later.

It was a mostly dead smell, and it had so many memories in it. I can't believe that my life has been long enough that I can recognize the smell of death in things, the dead smell of things, the attractive smell of death, old and dead, that old smell... I can't believe I know that smell. I guess I just never knew what to call it.

I kept waking past the front of that building. That's where I was... did you forget that's where I was? I almost did. At that abandoned nursing home that I'd finally scraped up the balls to actually visit. I was walking along the length of the front of it. I also forgot what I was doing. There's no way I can possibly describe all of it, really... I just have to continue like it was normal, I guess.

This next part, geez. I feel like such a dumb klutz for remembering it like this, but confession is all about being honest. I was very close to the actual building, and suddenly I realized that it was older, oh so much older than I'd thought. Up close I could see how the brickwork was cracked and deteriorating, and that there were vines growing all over everything. Things I'd never noticed from the road, a hundred feet away.

The rooms were all there, right there, right in my face, just so close, closer than I ever imagined I'd see them. Glass window fronts, ceiling to floor, and inside... I dunno how to describe it. The thing, and the feeling. Empty book shelves. Empty floors. Clearly delineated shadows. Tiles. Patterns. Wood grains. Long shifting lines. Those things, and emptiness. I'd never realized before, just how much emptiness a dim light could reveal.

I dunno what else to say. That's what I did tonight, that's what I did.