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I wish I was still that tiki bar in Key Largo tonight. On the way down with Elaine, Ken, Kenny and Nanny, I remember the thick palm trees and the saturated sound of frogs when Ken rolled down his window to pay the toll. I thought of the movie,
. In the car, I always laughed politely, but uncomfortably, when Elaine teased Nanny for her ailing memory. At the room, I stared at the tiki bar a few hundred yards ahead, flanked by torches and shadows--and belived I was almost ready to escape my limitations in Michigan forever.
Blake hurriedly snatched a shake cup behind me. As usual, his baby smooth skin and lips looked sweeter to me than all the chocolate shakes in the world, so I continued to stare at him carefully as the faint whir of the blender sounded and Blakes muscular, blond forearms moved the cup up and down rapidly for maximum effect. "Oh man..." he said. Looking back, chocolate fudge extract had pooled in his palm, dribbling down his kissable, big veiny hands, and onto his wrist. He glanced at me lazily with those cafe-mocha colored eyes, shaking his head slightly at himself.
As part of Home Depot's orientation, I am required to attend 15 hours worth of classroom instruction off site, in an office building across the street from the mall I got my first job at 11 years ago. The five story office building has a north and south wing, connected by an atrium on the ground floor. Each time I entered the controlled environment, I hear music from the super nintendo game,
, a very low-key and foreboding tone. Inside are two palm trees and ample tropical shrubbery, dripping with cold water. It sets the perfect mood, nostalgically speaking.
I sipped my vodka and redbull tentatively, noting the tall glass was filled with ice and had a bright yellow and flourescent orange straw. The name of the estabilishment,
was printed on the glass. Around Ben and I, it seemed the air began to get lighter. We saw a few guys and rated them on scales of 1-10, and I observed Ben was an especially harsh grader that night. Six flat-screen tv screens total adorned the wall above the bar. Three were on the moose's right side and three were on its left side, making the animal seemingly omniscient.
Watching the talking heads on the training screen proved to be more challenging than I imagined. Sometimes, I could hear a couple guys playing table hockey loudly in the locker room. Earlier, I was given a choice between locker 16 and 22 and chose 22, as if the numbers were assessments in themselves asking me how old I was. Most of the training was useless to me because all it required was common sense. It went too slow, so I sped it up to where it would ask me questions. I felt tired and particularly lonely, watching the clock closely.
Steve and I walked through downtown tonight, observing the closed carnival rides. The roads we so often driven upon were corridored off for the weekend for the sake of them. Walking by the house of mirrors and the flood light with an attached generator, we discussed the kinds of people who travel with these carnivals. Steve thought about his friend who joined the carnies one summer and was never the same afterward, badly influenced by all the drugs. Thinking how easy it would be to snatch a stuffed animal without being seen, I recalled the Dean Koontz book,
I awoke late this morning, but was in no rush...enjoying a rare day off from both jobs. Before getting up, I read a chapter of
Mean High Tide
, by James Hall, but then had a smoke and a cup of coffee in the garage, committing myself to buying training pads and sugar for mom. Back inside, my brother was playing a virus game on the computer when I spoke to him about the latest strategy game from Maxis to hit the stores. Eventually, I got into the shower, rubbing the grease off my body with a bar of Ivory.
After standing in the commercial section of HD all day, I couldn't help but reminisce over being here last year at tool rental. I was returning a tool Ben needed in preparation for the installation of his new door wall which I decided to help with, desperately needing something to do after returning home from Florida a month prior. Nothing compared to working with my friends on their deck, having an excuse to be away from home and that same weekend I got a job at GreenPath. But tonight, also needing something to do, I just stared...no Ben or Val.
What is beauty? How does it differ from one person's perception to another? Pat admitted she goes into convulsions today if she has sugar, but was seemingly undecided over if it was worse her blood sugar was too low. Meanwhile, George flapped his arms wildly as he strolled down State St.--a practice someone might think others do intentionally to broadcast their sexual orientation. But in his case, it was necessary to move his 400lbs body around.
"I had epilepsy,"
I told Pat, the weight of the words instantaneously evaporating as soon as they left my mouth. What beauty keeps them going?
I told myself I wasn't going to miss making an entry today because at the beginning of the month, I agreed with myself that I would make a commitment to write EVERYday for another month. Coincidentally, while driving home from Ann Arbor with my friend, Steve, I listened to him go off again on his usual rant--complaining about how he doesn't feel sorry for people who are wealthy and complain about the inconveniences of being in the face of natural disasters. He didn't understand how people make that much money, convinced he never would. "Tunnel-vision," I said, watching for deer.
Vladimir noticed each street sign had a miniature logo of an oak tree with the word,
, below it while waiting for the light to change. On his way home from work, he observed halloween outlets open prematurely for business and compared Border's outdoor lighting with Canton 6's. Border's was still open, and beside each door was an imaginative slit-like a street lamp. In contrast, Canton 6 featured scribble patterns of pink, orange and yellow neon tubules inside and two standard street lamps beside its doors. He felt good about his decision to put reading ahead of cinema and tv.
I wasn't working today and slept entirely too late as usual. I knew that by the time all my errands were done, I wouldn't have the house to myself anymore--nothing more than a ghost of an emotion really, because I shouldn't be living at home still; however, due to the support and guidance my divorced parents are offering, I am here again temporarily nonetheless. All that taken into account, to say
to move out again is an understatement--sometimes it blinds me to what's most important. I'm here to get my life back on track.
Repeat twenty seven times
It's just not easy for an educated guy my age to admit he has limited life experience living on his own. Somewhere, something went terribly wrong with the way I viewed things and I often imagine how easy it would be to place the blame on others. I'm ashamed to admit that the actions I chose in the past have contributed to my dependency.
I've always been a good kid
, I tell myself foolheartedly.
I don't deserve this.
my parent's don't deserve this.
And regrettably then,
nobody deserves this.
These emotions just won't go away...so I write about details.
I can't find the quiet in me tonight, so I'll just ramble on I guess. The last thing I want to do is make this 100words thing into another journal exploit. It seems livejournal and all the notebooks I have spanning the past 10 years only discuss negativity:
Al thinks he can disappear and come back to my house and videotape me? Think again!
or how about those five pages I wrote in Bruce T. Hall Library, 1st or 2nd year of college...gripping my pen like a knife, tearing up the paper with capital expletives describing my disparity and impatience.
Dale was chopping tomatoes and onions in the back room when Theodore started knocking at the back door.
, he said, continuing his trek to the manager's office. He wondered what the two could possibly have in common besides drugs, chopping the vegetables into their respective metal pans to be used at the sandwich station. Sarah had those dark, latin eyes that probed you in a friendly way. Theodore was a skinny, adolescent smoker. He heard everyone
after work sometimes but tonight he was taking the dime bag he purchased from the big, black dishwasher home with him.
I watched the prompt, asking if I wanted to shut down my computer with quiet resignation. I was tired, so I confirmed. Before I got into bed, however, I was struck with the urge for a snack. While scarfing down the last Toasted with a block of Monterey on top, I immediately wished I had prepared more, staring at an envelope mailed from Progressive in Tampa. I wondered if Tampa is their headquarters? There's one just down the street I applied to on numerous occaisions. I wondered, sitting at a laptop and writing, about cheese and crackers and insurance companies.
Tonight I had the courage to approach the jukebox in a straight bar, but was noticeably disappointed when none of my three songs played. I picked,
Nickelback, If Everyone Cared; Aerosmith, Pink and Dave Matthews, Under the Table and Dreaming. Apathetically listening to the popular songs, I drowned the leftovers from their drinks to my right. My friend laughed, "I only spend six bucks at the bar...one for me and the rest what's leftover from everyone else." I laughed back, as it's something I did even in childhood at my parent's parties. Does that make me still dependent or what?
Poe walked casually through Borders, stopping suddenly when he saw his friend sitting on a bench below the stairs. After some debate, he turned around and took another aisle further to the left, squatting somewhat. Poe just wanted to read
The World Without Us
; uninterrupted by the idle chatter over young men Kay would initiate with Poe if he was spotted. So Poe proceeded to the second floor via the elevator, avoiding a inevitable confrontation at the stairs. After ordering a ridiculously expensive mocha, Poe looked down at his friend in the self-help section--silently wishing him well.
Once I've made the effort to select
from the homepage there is no turning back. I dare to think what the consequences would be if I acquired the audacity to simply close the web browswer because I wasn't in the mood to deal with a blank screen. Would I come back later in the day? Even if I did, would I close it again, and again? Perhaps I do it because I fear getting stuck in my thought process. I don't want to run into a brick wall, and it'd be embarassing to stop and write,
blocked, blocked, blocked...
That's okay, get here when you can,"
Christi said nicely. Tim knew he would be late, working until 11:00 the night before and having foregone early mornings all summer long didn't make for a good combination. But he didn't expect to have made his error the night before, setting his alarm to go off on weekdays.
Today is Saturday
he kept telling himself throughout the day. Outside, a young woman who never introduced herself to Tim probably thought she was being funny by being a bitch over arriving late. So Tim asked her how long she's been a bitch, professionally.
And so I sat, watching an old episode of
, thinking of watching it years ago above the landing of my grandparent's apartment. Gently, I kneaded my soft stomach like batter, chastising myself for not exercising regularly but also comparing the human experience to maybe a day in the life of the Pillsbury doughboy: absorbing life experiences, emotions, sometimes even people with the expectation it should all be confined to one sedimentary layer in time. Many of my old relationships here in Michigan have changed, moving back over a year ago, leaving me with only a desire for more yeast.
One of my memories of family dinners involved getting full on cube steak, but still having half a dozen bites left over. I wanted to go outside and play or run through the bushes with my friend Steve. Today, rinsing the chili meat again for Wendys, I smelled that same cube steak. All the different jobs I've had as a teenager, particularly in the fast food business, must soon end, forever, along with many of the redundant emotions I am a slave to today--but only if I can concentrate and eat those last few bites, shaved in A1 steak sauce.
This evening I got onto the interstate finally, in the mood for having a drink somewhere on my own. I texted my friend announcing my decision shortly before reaching the onramp, and quite easily navigated the thoroughway without problems. At my destination, I smiled triumphantly at the bar goers to my left and right, striking up a conversation with them easily as well. I received a business card from someone on my left and followed the person on my right to a karaoke bar and even did a song later, although the dj kept telling me to sing louder.
Terry went on about a friend with bad morals on our way home. It all started when he was about to run into him somewhere, so I agreed to call it a night and go home. I listened but said nothing, sniffling-my eyes watering from allergies. He kept on trying to say what I already understood, basically:
How some people can be artifical
. Irritated, I kept asking him why he bothered. "What about your friends?" He asked. "I have a few close ones, everyone's always told me I act older than my years," I replied, tired of just listening. Continuing.
Empty. That is the look in my co-worker's eyes when there is no one to help. I'd forgotten how monotonous life as a cashier can be, so was refreshed when I saw Dina using this lost time to paint for the store. Releasing receipt paper, I drew women in dresses wearing the store logo and captain planet sorceresses in charge of one of the five elements-slowly graduating to pictures of golf courses, swirling each green into the shape of a hurricane. Much the same way I drew them in Florida, my own quiet way of expressing love for my dad.
Harry asked for another pitcher.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" He asked jokingly, staring at the tall waiter. I watched a train go around the restaurant and observed the older patrons, set in their ways and sitting at the bar comfortably. Just then, a larger train obscured the windows and the large traffic light inside turned red. Below the winding set flight of stairs, patrons were in another room with watching themselves in a mirror.
"I used to wonder how I could replace old friends." Harry responded.
"Yeah, it's like I'll be old by the time I do," I said.
"How did you get that mark?" I asked, referring to the discoloration on his knuckle.
He said it was from working for the lottery a couple years ago and explained the office equipment involved in his mishap.
Outside, the palm trees were dancing in the breeze. Inside, I continued to look at his hand. I looked at it the same way I did a couple weeks later while we were driving on the interstate in Michigan. I was a shadow amidst the glowing speedometer, wanting to kiss it when he showed me where his brother was in the car accident.
Rochelle and I were at a quaint coffee house downtown, but inside it was decorated like it was outside, with black side railings you see outside restaurants flanking each floor. She wanted something to smoke, so I bought it for her, approaching one of two people wearing hoodies in the middle of the place-an oxymoronic display of secrecy. I wanted drinks, and Rochelle was uncharacteristically complaining about something trivial, when the place began to sink. Her car was smashed and was informed it would be no problem, so we approached my car-casually getting into an argument with the Mediterranean owner.
I am grateful for what I have. I need to do what I need to do. I need counseling, but can wait awhile longer. I need a better job. I am grateful for what I have. I need to do what I need to do. I need counseling, but can wait awhile longer. I need a better job. I am grateful for what I have. I need to do what I need to do. I need counseling, but can wait awhile longer. I need a better job. I am grateful for what I have. I need to do what I..
Today was one of those days with something other than space and time at its root. Just one tree here and there was bright orange, its leaves scattered on the ground like bile. Wendy sat against the window, behind the hot dog stand in front of me all day, either texting or reading. Occaisionally, she'd look at me with eyes the color of the overcast sky above...barely noticeable under her long, straightened blonde hair and shrewd demeanor. Was it still the weekend? Was it Monday? Finding no point in watching the clock, I let be what was to be then.
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