Waste of Life Won’t Motivate

The morning glows drowsy sunrays through the blinds. There is the smell of coffee. The living-room is clean and the couch is stain-free, and I am lying on the carpeting. There is something important I need to do today. I need to get a drivers’ license, I need to put food in the refrigerator, I need to pay electric and cable and gas and water and health insurance. I need to study for school. I need to find someone to interview for my blog. I need to write something fictional, for once, finally in the past month I need to devise a novel. I need to engage the world. I need to meet my neighbors. I can do anything I want to in life and my feet can cross the globe. I can be interviewed on NPR and CNN, I can travel the continent for book-signings, I can start a movement. Have a house on Long Island, a seaside flat in Venice Beach. My gut is a viscous malaise. I am content, here on the carpeting.

I slept 10 hours last night. I think I have work today. I am going to masturbate, and then I’m going to eat two eggs, pancakes and bacon. I’ll read, after that, and fall asleep on the couch for a mid-morning nap. I might work later.

This little house smells like a hamster cage, and I am content.

I am disgusted.

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Disengaged The World

College is three years behind down the road left lingering the paper-trail of an aborted degree. I have turned my facade into a quarry chipping away Doc Maartens and Oakley’s, peeling skin off TV screens and masturbating to Fox News anchors. Instead of two more years on an Art History major I am the animal-rights terrorist blowing open zoo cages I peer deep inside my self to see. I am the bathsalt nightmare flinging shit at alley walls; I am the molly nakedness supplicating gay bears at who brush across me; I am introverted by confusion not neatly parsing dreams from waking life. Wander into house parties stealing fridges for the day’s last meal. There are ghosts avoiding eye-contact on city streets and drug corners. Pallid skin cracks dehydration of bingeing month-long hangovers. There are childhood dreams folded into realistic goals, folded into consumer excess, folded into financial stability, folded into a college degree, into a part-time job, a decent apartment, into a shit-hole mattress on the floor. Repulsion and rejection folding further in, tear off the vapid and burn the social expectations burn and rot and burn and rot suburban sprawl wrapped in 10,000 count thread, ever further in. Gouged the eyes of every expectation indiscriminately, left dangling from the wire-strand lightbulb of this abandoned housing.

How To Suffer For Your Dreams

The jungle floor undercut with gnarled twisting roots, ankle-snappers, watch your foot, through the verdant thick that’s only green with promise, and when the sun sets the dark is impassable – but there is no time to sleep, step by cautious step hands feeling along the jungle floor. Some days the sun’s high but the canopy’s a carpet, no light gets through, there is nothing above, no sky, and what you crawl through is a shadow swamp of muck; up mud hills, across ravines, through miles of hemlock you crawl. You have dengue, yellow fever, gangrenous extremities; day-long vomiting and dark shivers you sweat through for no reason you can find. But you continue to crawl, up on your legs, cut through the vines. This isn’t an illness you suffer, it is a circumstance of everyday, even when the body’s spent with dengue-sweat delirium, this is everyday. It only stops if you stop.

The jungle breaks on a cliff of foresight – a thousand miles of impenetrable endless thick, and the horizon propping up the promised land on a mountain pedestal: your Eden at the top veiled by thick humid cloud, never seen, not yet touched, illustrated by your obstinate dream. To crawl forward is now to climb down.

And all along the way have been the Exit Signs, posted to moss damp trees, stuck to rock faces, placed glowing in the deep crevasses formed by roots where you know you can climb in and find – annual vacations, financial security, suburban housing, carpeted floors, a family to love, clean cars (working cars), cures for your malignancies and melancholies and fantasies and obsessions; a big screen TV, watching Netflix from the couch comfort after a long day at the office desk giving you paychecks for stability and shelter and peace of mind.

The body hurts and the heart’s stuck in the hopelessness mire. You ignore this and you crawl. Wading through stagnant bog moving piece by piece the branches of overgrowth barbed-wired with thorns. The rains have come, covered in muck and shit that gets in the skin gashes and begins to infect, your sense of being sense of time – it has already been seven lonely years – mosquitoes molest your face, spiders feast on your back. Vines tangle for your neck, roots grab at your ankles, leeches bleed the stomach and parasites multiply in your genitals. And you are crawling.

You are crawling and your body is tearing into pieces. The mind is rejecting itself and the skin is suppurating from boils, gashes, abrasions, infections; melting away. To sweat all day and continue through the night, through the body aches-and-pains of a seven-year disease. You keep going because your skin and muscles will fall away, an exoskeleton you leave behind and feel refreshed – third fourth fifth wind this day – and the path behind you is littered with the selves you’ve shed, and you keep yourself from noticing how each skin is just a bit smaller than the previous, that you are in fact finite and running out of self and time. You keep yourself from noticing because it doesn’t matter: you will get there or you will (like a candle slowly extinguished in an opaque fog) fade into an obscure, meaningless death. It doesn’t matter.

you crawl on.

In Every Adult, Hidden The Child

I am the bottom feeder hollowed out by worms and full of holes. This is the subtle, vacant vibration of an early-morning rude to the past night of liquor and molly and remarkably personal conversations with acquaintances. This is me finding my way home from a downtown flat.

Rush hour. The morning is still gray and I am lost. This is a part of the city strange and disorienting, the sidewalk rush of suits and hipster office packs, harried cellphone calls while hailing cabs and the slaughter house of an over-packed bus stop.

I am sure of where I was: I am not sure how I got there, or how I will get back, back to the old duplex with the rotten-wood front porch and the Craigslist furniture. I am seated on a low brick wall along the sidewalk, watching the buses come and go, wondering if the 16-bus or the 9-bus goes up Fourth Avenue.

And what I’m wondering is who these people are. Why the mirror-glass high-rise offices and the pretentious houses in sub-divisions – who has the estates, who’s stuck in the Home Owners’ Associations? Who has a wife that drives a Porsche minivan, who has a clunker hoping a promotion to a higher floor comes with the net-gain of buying a Jetta? Who has four bosses? Who has a dozen people working beneath them?

Yet there is a brightness summoning.

The man leaning against my brick wall has his briefcase beside his feet, shiny black pointy-toe shoes. He’s eating a cream-cheese bagel still half-wrapped in foil, and he uses both hands to hold it, bringing it to his mouth using both hands as though it were a prized possession that must be so carefully taken care of and admired lest he lose this gift.

There is a woman on the bench seated back but with her hands on the edge of the seat, fingers curled under. Her open-toed heels are knocking discordantly against the sidewalk beneath her and her face is chewing her cheeks, eyes lost somewhere inside of herself. She sticks her legs out, and it becomes so apparent that she is looking at her painted toenails to try to take her mind off of whatever it is she feels so irresponsible for.

The man beside her has earbuds in, a neat gray suit with silver hints and a face you can place on a moody teenager waiting for the school bus.

A bus pulls in and the waiting crowd as a unit clusters and moves to where the bus will come to its final halt. The doors open and the business ladder-climbers move up the steps, the line moving. There are some sharp words from the waiting mass, looks of annoyance – they will be scolded for being late. Someone is talking to the bus driver, trying his best to get on the bus but I’m Sorry Sir This Pass Has Expired. He is digging through his pockets, saying I’m Sorry I Have To Have To Some Change In Here, looking through his wallet apologizing to everyone in tardy-limbo. His look coming back down the steps trying to squeeze past everyone, it’s embarrassment and worry and the tangle in the lower-intestine that you are going to be late. The feeling doesn’t change with age.

There is a brightness here, in the confused face of the corporate accountant trying to make sense of the bus-route map. He has the same stomach-pit of helplessness he felt at his locker in middle school.

I think of my parents, for the first time since abandoning the college they were helping pay for. They’re no different, just children trying to raise children. Of all their perceived abuses, injustices, I’m aware of their breakdowns, panic-attacks; parents at 45 still feeling helpless, unsure, and themselves in need of a parent (but my grandparents have been dead).

The brightness is the child still buried in every suit, in every beggar, in every golfer and every dead-beat; in the drunk and the executive – it comes through in everyday moments of fear, unsure of the outcomes of a decision, worrying what the next days will bring.

There are uncertainties feared in all of us, and this is what is beautiful:

The wonder of childhood is the not-knowing, the wonder, the unformed lump of clay still sought as an answer, every impression an indentation savored as something miraculous in need of understanding: this still comes through, no matter the outfit.

Melancholy and Newton’s First Law Of Motion

I am in a computer lab for Multi-national Communications 105. The professor is speaking about something and I am watching the mouse cursor make a Ouija board drift across the screen. If I focus on my nostrils I smell the tropical scent bodywash of the porcelain legs in the seat beside me. I don’t know her name. What I do know is an image in my head of those legs forming a fleshy crescent with her pout buttcheeks. I hold the image in my head but it has no meaning or tumescent effects – an anhedonic thought. I try not to look at people because of the constant sensation of being judged. I wish it weren’t a gorgeous Spring day because then I could put on my sweater, cross my arms and enjoy the warm fabric of this computer lab swivel chair.

I am in Metronomic Psychology 101 and the desk is too small, caricature of over-grown adult in kindergarten. I am trying to take notes but the professor’s voice has decompressed into Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice and the chalkboard is too far away to see the hieroglyphs.

At night in bed my heart is a percussive staccato. I am excited to do something but there is nothing to do because it is 1 2 3 4 in the morning and the excitement is vapid. It is a wasted load. I want to be doing something but I have nothing to be doing and these are the eager maggots crawling beneath the scalp of vague dreams. I spend the hours between my classes appeasing exhaustion. Daylight vituperative in my bedroom windows but I have my TV off, no more Reality TV I am reading because I have life goals and two pages in is when my eyelids become lead curtains I can’t hold open – sleep is an irreality of dreams indiscernible from life; I am daily restarting conversations I’ve never begun, apologizing for injustices I haven’t committed.

I am spending increasing amounts of class time sitting in bathroom stalls wondering why the proximity of other human beings feels like judgemental penetration of my fleshy inner-self.

I waste time between Micromanaging 203 and Consumer Success 501. I take the long way thrice around campus. I am staring at a bulletin board on the campus green and the fliers and notices are posted thus:

Lost Cat. Lost Dog. The Bachelorette Season Finale Party. Guitar For Sale. Easel For Sale. Melancholics Anonymous. Nihilist Support Group – Help Us Find Ourselves. Childhood Dream Curbside Sale – Take Everything You Can. Help Save Indigenous Possums In Sao Paolo.

There are meaty crows in the tree overhead and they are eating the baby birds that didn’t fly in time. I know nothing of their experiences. Campus is empty because the 3:15 classes began 10 minutes ago. I am gilded by the decadence of afternoon sleep.

I have been a Geology Major. A Philosophy Major. A Journalism Major with a focus on Photography. I am a Marketing Major.

I have been dumped from the high school conveyor belt into the collegiate funnel and I was even allowed to decide my major. I will in ten years be making $80,000 annually because I wisely chose Marketing instead of Journalism. My conveyor belt is set to deposit new Acuras and a fully furnished starter-home in an upscale sub-division by the time I’m 27. All I have to do is sit at my desk. Sit at my desk. Sit at my desk. Sit at my desk.

It is 2pm and I am in bed reading Techniques of Modern Photography to feel productive. I have read two pages and the sentences blur again into the irreality of deep, irresistible sleep.

Stay at my desk and happiness will be delivered.

I am back-sprawled on my bed. I am naked. It is Thurs or Fri or Sat and there hasn’t been hunger or thirst or lust or exhaustion in 2 or 3 or 4 days. I am staring at my ceiling. Stare at a single point long enough and the patterns take new forms – I am staring at a large Newton’s Cradle, four big silver balls clinking one off of the right, one off of the left. It is sometime between sunrise and sunset.

It is dark in my room but in my peripheries I can make out the darker forms of my desk, flat screen, laptop, PS3, dresser, closet full of clothes, shoe rack. And for some time now these darker forms have been evaporating with a slow, frothy hiss, evaporating up into the walls, depressurizing, the shadows of my material possessions creeping up the walls and as this evaporation spreads it leaves behind a pristine darkness, immaculate and speckled with a million points of shimmering blue.

There is nothing but the vastness and the stars. I feel only the heaviness of my own body – there is no pressure, no thing to act against and I cannot be sure if I am moving or in any meaningful way exist. The stars are too far to give perspective. There is nothing horrible about this. I can exist here in perpetuity and never physically suffer because I know that all I have to do is reach out to take a handful of stars, and what is so profoundly wrecking is the knowledge that it would all be pointless, because my mouth is already full.

 

Recalibrating Your Dreams

My wife is hanging new curtains. Purchased from… I don’t know what she’s saying. The curtains were procured at a price of… I don’t know what she’s saying because what I hear is ’16 hours of work’, or to play it back again in my head, ‘a week and a half of groceries’.

The curtains match the couch we bought on Craigslist. It’s new-ish and the dog hair’s been vacuumed out. My wife was a boho street queen when we met, a princess with a molly habit. We still have the same dream, sylvan simple house far from neighbors, in the hills. But here in our urbane townhouse there must be Netflix and Hulu and K-cups and an additional dresser to supplement the closet space.

I am stuffing the new shirts she bought me into a trashcan at the curb. My cellphone is 6 years old and is made fun of because it can’t Skype, or receive picture messages. I want to dig a hole in the warm earth and assume the fetal position. I love her painfully and I want our children in the best public schools and I want us to have 30 acres on the outskirts of a little urban center where everyone knows our names and there’s a single coffee shop and nothing is headquartered 1000 miles away. I want art galleries and farmers markets and an unpaved driveway. I want to live in Zanesville or Ashville or Ithaca and we are dirt poor. We don’t have degrees. I dropped out and to finish is another two years and $40,0000000000 in debt. My wife is hanging new curtains and I am never again going to look out the damn window.

Irreconcilable Desires

Out of the apartment window I see down into the street, tree-lined, sun-streamed verdant, quiet. There’s a family getting into their SUV/minivan, an immigrant family from some East Asian country – abandoned the crowded oriental casbahs and sweat shops for American opportunity. The husband’s getting their 9yr old into the Volvo, new and shiny and probably capable of autonomous parking. His wife’s in the passenger seat on her smartphone, talking through the open window to her parents who are watching the youngest kids for the day, walking them down the sidewalk on tricycles and plastic foot-pedal cars. This man and his wife have Made It, and brought over their parents, and they all live together in the townhouse next-door to ours.

My wife and I live 800 miles from our families. There is no generational-continuity. We left, abandoned, ditched, forgot. Our toddler’s seen his grandparents and his aunts and uncles exactly three times. We are alone here, in this bustling city we made our frontier. Except it’s already been settled. What are we doing here? What are we doing? What am I doing? I am at my typewriter drunk at 2pm and there is nothing to produce, just wringing my heart into the bathroom sink and wash it down with Draino to make sure the waste doesn’t clog.

We are in the cheapest townhouse in an expensive suburb 10 minutes from downtown. Together the wife and I, 80 hour work weeks. And I hate our neighbors. I hate our decor and I can’t stand the New Car smell of the faux-leather in the used Mazda I just bought to replace the dead chunk of metal and oil that’d been stuck along the curb for four months. Monthly payments.

The family out the window is happy. They’ve Made It. They’ve made themselves successful and happy and when I put myself in that man’s car with my own happy kids in Nike’s and name-brand clothes I resent myself. I want what he has: a good job and a comfortable income and plenty of food and a nice big HDTV and plush furniture and a wife who doesn’t have to work every night. I want a new car my own car and clothes that match and the financial ability to take week-long vacations at the shore, and I want a smartphone and a tablet and a laptop that doesn’t freeze every time I open Google Chrome.

And I hate all of it. My heart strangles thinking of having a closet and a dresser both full of my own clothes. I cringe thinking of having a $300 razor to stylishly cultivate my facial hair and who the hell actually spends $400 on a digital watch that monitors your footsteps?

I want to be happy and comfortable. I don’t want to dread bills. I want to be able to afford a doctor because my ear (infection? pierced ear-drum?) has now throbbed for two weeks.

To attain these things I must sit in an office. I must take orders with obeisance. I must make monthly payments to an insurance corporation. I must enjoy high-tech entertainment and pride myself on the luminosity of my detailed BMW.

To be happy I must become everything I despise.

I shut the blinds and the happy Made It family disappears. I drink from the bottle because it kills me quicker and when I begin to type I am banging my forehead on the typewriter.

 

The Humanity of Strangers

 

I will sometimes get irrationally annoyed while I am driving. I will be following the speed limit, and someone at the stoplight ahead will make a right on red, turning in front of me. And if I have to use my brakes, I get annoyed, and if the person who cut ahead of me is driving below the speed limit, I get angry. This person could have waited five seconds for me to pass, and then turned onto the road. They are now slowing me down. When this same person does not maintain the same lane as he is turning at the next light, I will be driving right on their back bumper, ready to hold down my horn.

God forbid this person has an Obama bumper sticker.

But then at the next light I change lanes and am pulling up beside this other driver, this object of my spite. I get a look at him, though we do not make eye-contact, and I can see in his face that he is worried. I feel remorse. I feel bad for antagonizing this person by tailgating him for 1.4 miles, even if he never noticed. I begin to make excuses for him, sure that is he dealing with the death of a relation, bad news from a wife who is packing herself a suitcase, or just on the phone with a boss who is no longer going to give him a paycheck. I can even understand how someone can become, through no fault of their own, deluded enough to support a politician.

Similar grievances happen at the grocery store. I am getting angry at the woman in line in front of me, because she has exactly four items, and she is going through a binder of coupons. I am in a hurry. My child keeps grabbing candy off the rack beside us, and I have nowhere to move. There is no reason for this to take so long, she is buying four boxes of generic pancake mix that are already on sale, why does this creature need a binder of coupons?

But the woman looks up at me and apologizes, was absolutely sure she had the coupons out already, gosh what a hectic day she’s been having, she is sure she has a five dollar bill in here somewhere, really sorry this is taking so long. I feel bad. I imagine this woman is taking care of her grandchildren because her daughter is addicted to FDA-prescribed heroin. She probably has little money, and is a professional coupon-er, one of those people who will sometimes leave with full grocery carts for $5. I respect this woman.

And I try to remember these things the next time I’m on the highway and someone is driving slowly in the express lane, while talking on their cellphone. I try to remind myself that I have little ability to imagine the driver as a person. I have not met that person, this driver who is slowing me down, he or she is nothing but a concept to me, a undefined placeholder for the human being who is driving this vehicle, slowly, in front of me.

I try to remind myself how little I view other people as actual human beings, especially those I cannot see or cannot speak to, cannot interact with – these people are placeholders, vague molds with no filling; bodies, without humanity. I know absolutely nothing about them, and my mind finds it difficult to fill these empty molds with identities, issues, emotions, circumstances, histories. Because my mind is focused on the here-and-now, or on my job, or my family, or what I should do with my hair before my brother’s wedding because I look homeless. I am unable to fill the thousands of molds of the individuals who cross the street without looking, slow down traffic, hold up the grocery line, take forever to return my desired book to the library… every day, a thousand reasons to be angry at and spiteful of a thousand different people – who would actually trust Donald Trump’s mouth? Why do these assholes spend $100,000 on these fucking Porsche minivans?

But I cannot imagine them. And if I met these people, I know I would begin to make one thousand excuses for them, and I would imagine their parents neglecting them, their classmates teasing them, their health insurance charging exorbitant fees and the pressures they feel from a society hell-bent on glitz and ownership of the glitz.

And I do not think this goes without saying, that imagination is the pre-requisite of empathy; that it takes cognitive effort, work, to imagine the life of a person I have no contact with. That, until I have met a person, until they have spoken to me and shown me the color of their eyes – until I am forced to see them beyond their immediate effect on my own person, I do not see them at all: they are only the effects they have upon me, superficially. I do not think this goes without saying, that our immediate, default perceptions do not perceive other people as human beings.

Still Refusing to Purchase Health Insurance

When somebody tells me they like Obamacare, I have this tendency to picture gills on the sides of their necks and if I zone-out long enough the person turns into a pants-wearing fish from SpongeBob…

… Ask a fish what’s above the water, and the fish will have nothing to say, other than maybe, “There’s something other than this water?” They might not even be aware of something called ‘water’ – having never experienced a lack of water, they have no way of isolating and defining water.

Ask an Obamacare Fish about Obamacare, and whatever it is the fish might be saying, the babble is roughly translated, “I’m a Fish Cog and nothing exists outside our Fish Machine! Are you paying for the Gold plan or the Platinum plan this year?”

“There is no such thing as a Fish Machine!”

I don’t know how people could have fallen for this Obamacare: “Spend your life making mandatory monthly payments to insurance corporations and love us for it.”

Is that progress? Has someone defined progress as “Crush Your Soul In The Cogs of Our Massive System In The Name Of Saving You”?

I’m not participating. I’m not going to be forced to spend my life making monthly payments to insurance corporations. I’ve yet to purchase health insurance, and have no intention of ever doing so.

The ACA is a trap, the first Federal mandate to include every single human being in existence in the US. Sure, we had Social Security, but you never had to work over the table and pay into it. But now, if you exist… damn well better be paying your monthly corporate-insurance dues. For the first time in US History, every living person is forced to participate in a massive bureaucratic system controlled by wealthy CEO’s, our lives turned into meaningless cycles of payments to our chosen corporate masters.

Fuck the ACA. Fuck The Obama. Fuck all of you Fish Cogs. I’m flat out refusing to ever purchase health insurance – let the IRS fry my tax return, I’ll choose a shred of humanity.

Small Little Hierarchies

I have myself working food for the winter, until my outdoor job starts up again. I cook food in the morning, drive it to a corporate cafeteria, and serve it to hundreds of people on their lunch-breaks. I have a tremendous dislike for this job. Not just the serving food at insurance headquarters and Bailout Bank corporate-parks, but the owner of the fast-casual restaurant I work for runs the restaurant as a labor mill – productivity isn’t high enough, make the employees do more but don’t give them raises, $9.00/hr is plenty for them to run themselves sick over grills and rice pots and mashing avocados.

Most of the people I work with are Mexican, both legally in the US and illegally in the US, and the rest are middle-aged white people who spite authority and social greed and don’t understand why the owner of the restaurant, who owns a dozen other restaurants, needs to make the GM work 70 hours a week because he’s refusing to give anybody a minute of overtime.

We’ll call the owner Gary.

Which brings me to a reason I don’t like hierarchy – people shouldn’t hold authority over other people. But if you want to survive, you have to live with the authority others have to determine your value as a human, because there is no way for you to be self-sustaining – you are fully dependent on the system, and you need that hourly-wage.

The corporate cafeterias we serve are all managed by a single company, which we’ll call Quantico. The regional manager is a maybe-27-year-old blonde woman. We were setting up the line in a cafeteria, getting ready to serve, when she walked in and was greeted by my boss, Gary, the owner of the dozen fast-food restaurants.

We’ll call this woman Maggie. Maggie is a good-looking woman in a pantsuit and a business hair-bun, holding a binder of Important Documents. She picks up a conversation with Gary, saying, “I’ve been running all over trying to find more tickets for you guys but none of the stores have any. I went to OfficeMax, Giant Eagle, Wal-Mart – I swear I’ve never hated shopping so much.”

To which my co-worker Bill chimes in, “Oh, sure, I doubt you ever hate shopping.”

Maggie looks from Gary to Bill, blinks at Bill with her mouth slack…

And just picture this for a moment, because Bill’s close to 40, rents a shitty duplex where homeless addicts piss in alleys with gunshots somewhere down the street; drives a 1995 Mazda, works two part-time jobs at $9/hour, and has no desire to marry or to Get A Real Job. And Bill, who has never met Maggie, the Regional Manager for Quantico (and technically our boss), has just made a blatantly misogynistic remark to her. This decimates all norms of our social hierarchy – for this, I appreciate Bill, marginalizing the authority this woman is supposed to have over him.

Bill was a high school baseball-star. He got caught smoking pot in high school, but the teacher let him go. He’s had numerous girlfriends over the years, proud to have dated the high school prom-queen. He was arrested once for drunk-driving. He used to sell landscaping equipment with great commission, but quit after 10 years because he was bored of it. He has several of his dad’s old guns, and lived on unemployment for a while. Bill lives a simple life, no aspirations to make more money than he needs. He’s also active in his church, which is how he knows our General Manager, which is how he got the job – neighbor helping neighbor, an important part of Bill’s All-American, Anti-Authority character.

We’re serving food at another cafeteria for a large insurance company. The lunch rush is over and the line has slowed down. Two young woman walk in. They both have blonde hair, are in shape, and look to be about 22 or 23 years old. The one who is a bit taller does the talking, and has a deeper voice. They’re sharing a meal, and the taller one places the order, does the questioning about “What’s that stuff, there?”. The shorter one stays quiet, holding her own arms or hands or leaning on the counter, staying right next to the taller girl.

The taller girl is wearing an Oktoberfest Munchen shirt. I’m excited. I ask her about it; I’ve been to Munich, but never to the festival. How was it? She tells me all about it, it was amazing. Her name’s Sara. And this is great – because here are two young women with affection between them, excitement because they’re new to each other. And their faces are clear and bright to be alive, because they go to Europe and to music festivals and road trips to national parks; because they are happy to be alive and to experience and explore and have in-depth conversations with spontaneous strangers sitting in GreyHound bus stations because it’s raining while they wait for the bus to Arizona. They are free and beautiful people.

The couple gets their food and walks away towards the cafeteria tables. Bill says something to our other co-worker, and they share to each other how excellent it would be to get between those Two Hot Lesbians – Damn, that was excellent, I can only imagine what I’d do them.

Bill and my other co-worker keep glancing over at the couple, and the two Hot Lesbians are quiet at a table by themselves, and the table is cordoned off in the middle of the cafeteria, and there is a large marquee sign above them, and they are insecure and timid and looking only at their Insurance Corporation lunch.