Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wandering about

I could feel the last remnants of my initial high slowly fade away and turn into lethargy as I mustered up enough strength to refill my bong bowl with the last bit of the half oz I had picked up with the money from the last cheque I’d received at my job before I’d quit several weeks earlier. I was broke and stoned and only getting more sober as time passed which depressed me. Id left my old job because working the till at a thrift store wasn’t dignified enough for someone who was supposed to be a comedic genius. The clientele didn’t do much for me, if I wanted to hear immigrants yell at me I’d visit my parents more often. Elderly women in broken English would ask ‘how much?’ and when I’d offer up the price they’d ask/yell ‘lower price?!’ which I assumed was their archaic attempt at haggling. One time I asked a women why I should give her a lower price, and with a blank stare she paused before walking out of the store, perhaps the question was too layered and she needed a moment to ponder an appropriate enough answer, she never came back so maybe she’s still thinking of one. Scruff faced twenty somethings would come in and I’d resent them for being happy. Douche bags with circles in their ears or rings on their lips walking around in a cavalier fashion as if they’d accomplished something other than projecting carelessness, accompanied by their dirty haired girlfriends wearing the latest vintage thrift Birkenstocks, looking as if they’d been doused with teabags in order to look older and more worn then their obvious youth portrayed, I’d undress them mentally and think they’d be cute if they didn’t have all that stupid shit on.
I imagine the whole lot of them getting into the Dance Cave for free with their student IDs wiping the sweat from their crusty moustaches as they ‘dance’ to the falsetto crooning of one their ilk, tortured over his/her own alienation from society or his girlfriend or whatever else he/she has to bitch about, all while the huddled masses listening whisper about how commercial their records have become, and instead suggest a new band they found on a new blog evoking an old sound. And no sooner than the band gets mentioned, its merits are all but dismantled by another one of their skinny jean wearing brethren who instead suggests another band before being dismissed by another with thick glasses frames and no prescription, and the circle continues until the cocaine gets passed around and the conversation starts to turn into a competition of who can declare how fucked up the other is with the most sincerity. I also hate them because they’re young and some beautiful, as am I on the surface level. But I don’t feel like it -I’m too aware of my own flaws and mortality and am only comfortable when intoxicated, as is the comedian’s burden and greatest gift. Even if he/she doesn’t indulge in any sort of narcotic or alcoholic beverage, every one of us chases the high of the laugh on stage, instant adoration and validation, chuckles giggles guffaws bathing over you like a warm blanket, or a mother’s kiss, or the most intense orgasm all at once. But like most fiends the periods after a high always lead to a void, a sense of ‘what now?’ which is my current state of mind as I exhale the last bit of weed I’ll be able to afford before my income tax money comes in. I’ve decided I’m not going to lie to myself and make a delusional promise that I’m going to spend the money on something slightly more practical like food or soap, I have too much self respect to try and dupe myself into believing I won’t buy drugs. And with that thought I start to have a mild panic attack and wonder if I’ve degraded into some kind of lost cause. I look over at my glass bong; it looks worn and dirty like an old whore after being let loose in a prison. I eyeball the large black streaks of tar-like marijuana resin, and contemplate scraping it out of the bong until the butter knife I used has a thick chunk of a substance on it that looks like Nutella and smells like shit. I’d then smear the resin back into my bong bowl and inhale the sceptic-esque recycled waste of weedy past back into my lungs for a harsh toke that feels like gargling with razor blades, then sitting in a dazed stupor wishing I had more pot to smoke. It was with this thought that I felt compelled to chuck my bong out the window and marvel at the shattering glass particles exploding in every direction. I was transfixed by this until my attention turned to someone yelling ‘What the fuck was that?’ outside of my window. I decided it was best to leave my apartment building as soon as possible to abdicate any responsibility for what had happened. I walked briskly down several steps and increased my pace dramatically as I opened the front door to the outdoors. The sun burned intensely and seemed to zero in on me like some sort of unwanted spotlight. I began running, to get away from the sun and the life I’d left for myself in my apartment. I quickly got winded and collapsed with an almost rhythmic panting onto the closest bench possible. A young couple walked by me hand in hand flaunting their happiness. They both looked over at me, the man of the couple made some kind of remark, probably a dig at me in an attempt to impress his woman. She forced a laugh, which was a minor victory for me, but a loss in the long run because he was probably getting some pussy and at best I’d have to settle for a bag of Doritos. But I was so hungry at that moment Id rather have chips in my stomach than a lady on my cock. I binge eat when I’m depressed because I figure I might as well make it as pleasant as possible. I imagine placing a chip on my tongue and having the spicy cheese flavour melt on it like a dissolving mint strip. I imagine putting two chips on top of each other before putting them both in my mouth and doubling up on the crunching. I imagine having little cheesy circles form on my fingers from the residue of the nacho bag and licking it off, and its here that I get disgusted with myself and momentarily lose my appetite. 
I shoehorn my fist into my pocket to try and fish out my wallet, fat and lumpy from the chunks of spare change that make up my net worth. I count out about ten dollars and thirty eight cents. Enough to buy a twenty oz coffee at the nearest overpriced liquid cocaine dispensary conveniently located ten minutes away from the park bench Id used to recover from my impromptu cardio session. Walking towards the coffee house I found myself behind the couple Id encountered several minutes earlier. I was annoyed at the pace they were keeping, it was about the same tempo as mine and I wasn’t in any mood to speed up so I could lap them. I also didn’t want to bother with increasing my pace, getting ahead of them, and then speed walking for the next while as to maintain my lead over these two dorks. So instead I slowed down to distance myself from them and spare myself the unpleasantness of their mundane chit chat. The woman was going on about the poor manner of some girl they’d had dinner with the night earlier. Going on about how she should know better than to expect anything else, the man of the couple agreed, probably because he knew he would have to, else he’d have to form his own opinions and be an individual. Somehow the two spontaneously got into some romantic horseplay, which might have been endearing if I hadn’t already made up my mind that I disliked them both. The cunt got on the pricks back in a piggyback fashion and as he attempted to walk forward he tripped and the two landed on the sidewalk making a violent and satisfying thud followed by spontaneous and uproarious laughter from myself that seemed to add to their sudden misery. I made eye contact with the clumsy guy, smiled and said ‘Dumb faggot’ which I feel like I can say with impunity, as I’m not homophobic and am often mistaken for gay. Mostly by faggots who wish it were true. 
As I move forward the sounds of the couple arguing over who was at fault for their collapse starts to fade out and the machine gun diction of high pitched tones fade in as I find myself walking behind two teenage looking girls. I glance over enough to notice their approximate age and gender and make the calculated decision to avoid any eye contact, as they might be cute looking, and I’m far too ethic in a white neighbourhood to feel at ease gawking at teenagers. I cut through a side road and take the long way to get to my beloved caffeine spot where I spend a little over half my life savings for a quick jolt of mocha, which I rationalize as an investment in my own joy and well being, which in turn will lead to good things in the future. I walk out of the shop with a plastic coffee cup the size of my head proudly hoisted up in the air, as if it were a trophy Id been awarded for ‘most wasteful spending habits’. I head over to the twenty four hour air conditioned drug mart and in my mind I go over my various chip options taking into account what would best compliment the taste of white mocha Id been sipping on. I do this in order to cut down the time between being chipless and having a stuffed face full of crunchy potato snacks. I get close enough to the entrance that the automated doors slide open before I’m interrupted by the two girls I’d avoided minutes earlier, posted up by the front of the drug mart, the braver of the two yells ‘excuse me!’ I look over at them and raise my eyebrows in a gesture to indicate I was listening. I also smile instinctively, which I always do around people I don’t know well enough to scowl at. After an uncomfortably long ‘ugghhh…’ the smaller of the two girls tell me they’re involved in some sort of bizarre scavenger hunt like activity with their friends where they have to get a stranger to buy tampons for them. I’m hesitant until they let me know they’d be fronting the funds, and I was a good enough sport that I obliged. I asked them if this was part of some school project and they laughed, which instantly triggered me into comedian shtick mode. I cracked wise and charmed, in return the two teenaged girls lavished interest on me which was intoxicating. The pleasure derived from their company wasn’t based on any sort of primal physical want, as scummy as I can be, even I had no desire to stick or rub these two in any way. I just liked attention. They seemed to feel different however, as we searched through the blindingly white aisles of the drug store I acted cute which is my default mode anytime Im around girls except when Im yelling at them. The taller blonder girl shamelessly violated my personal space by pressing her torso up against my arm so hard I had to pretend I didn’t enjoy it until I was almost able to convince myself I didn’t, I pulled away and looked away making brief eye contact with the smaller pluckier blacker haired of the two who was staring so hard at me you’d think she was trying to figure out what the inside of my brain looked like. I was impressed with myself initially but all that wore off when I realized that these girls were used to teenaged boys, so wowing them was akin to showing an indigenous tribesperson a game boy color and feeling proud you’d blown their mind. No sooner than I had this thought was I proven right when two lanky generic looking seventeenish year old boys approached from behind with iphones and recognition, which the girls were receptive towards but not overly so. I got the impression that these four were involved in some kind of high school mating ritual process, and judging from the body language of the entire group it was a painfully slow burn on all sides. The two boys noticed me but didn’t acknowledge me, until they were forced to when the blonder girl gave them the low down on the whole situation. I waved with my left hand because I was holding a thing of extra absorbent tampons in the other. I argued for the more heavy duty brand, as I felt one can never have too much absorption. We headed to the check out line and the girls snapped a quick phone pic to prove to their friends they had completed their quest, this was unnecessary as almost as soon as the picture was sent, the rest of their friends flooded into the store. The mass collective looked like every stereotype I’d ever imagined of white young people, right down to the beanie caps bright hoodies and Vans sneakers.  I counted them all, there were an even four girls to four guys, so I assumed there would be an eventual pairing off with separate romances for each set. I said a quick series of ‘what ups’ to the group and left after being thanked by the initial two girls to which I wanted to reply with something like ‘my pleasure’ but in context seemed creepy and I opted instead to smile and walk off. Once outside an emptiness enveloped my being as I came to the realization that I had no one to tell about what had just happened and no where to go. I also forgot to get my chips, which really bummed me out.
So instead of going anywhere in particular I wandered endlessly, hoping I’d eventually head somewhere all my problems would be solved or at the very least be identified. I walk so far and long that night falls, and I continue going until daybreaks. My internal ramblings are momentarily suspended by laughter and sounds of general glee from a nearby playground. An unrelenting cynic, I wondered if the children had all gotten together and planned ahead to make a show of their happiness in order to mock my despair. I keep walking as to not give them the satisfaction. 
I move forward, on the other end of the side walk a little girl walking her dog is accompanied by an older woman yakking on her blackberry. I assume the woman is the girl’s mother based on how routine she’s treating the entire outing. The convoy walk towards me; I have trouble deciding if the girl’s that little, or if her dog is that big, as the two are about the same height. I lose interest in the group and return to my own narcissistic thoughts, wondering if not showering or shaving for the past few days adds to the rugged loner image Id been trying to cultivate for the past while, as I mull this over in my head, my eyes wander around and settle on the little girl with the dog, both edging closer towards me. The kid looks up at me with a mild smirk as if she knew something I didn’t. My stoned blood red half shut eyes met her round bright wide ones as she said ‘hello!’ I stopped slightly startled, as if this girl who I’d previously thought of as a mere extra in the movie that is my life actually had a speaking part. ‘Hello.’ I replied smiling. Still smirking- in a bizarre type of blunt kindness she asked me if I would like to pet her dog. Something about this struck me in such a profound way if I’d have known how I might’ve cried. I ask her if the dog would be okay with me petting it and she says he would. I take a knee and brush my fingers through the dog's course fur, the animal doesn’t seem to mind and looks pleased, though it also looked pleased before I’d touched it and would likely look the same after. I looked back over to the little girl and asked if the dog bites, which perhaps would have been a better question to ask before I’d actually rubbed my mitts all over the mutt, but she assured me he didn’t, still not breaking the initial smirk from earlier. I made small talk with the little girl about whether or not the dog was a boy dog or a lady dog, and whether or not the dog was a good boy (the dog was in fact a guy), all while the mother continued rattling off something about accounts and payments over the phone. I stopped brushing the dog’s hair with my hand and looked over at the little girl and genuinely thanked her for her time, she in return continued to smile. I told her goodbye and she did the same. As I headed home things seemed less bleak than I’d previously thought. Plus I still had a few bucks for a bag of chips.

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