Friday, July 25, 2008


Seven Reasons (Raisons en Francais) why you should Start to or Continue to Smoke*

Chapter One: Where a Cigarette fills in for Gainful Employment

I wake up in the morning and ignore the pile of clothes that the bedroom is doing a really great, like promotion-worthy, job of containing. I walk into the hall, which is doubling as my kitchen, and fill a saucepan with water. In the time it takes for the water to boil, I turn on my computer, grind up enough coffee beans to cover the agitator, and clean out my coffee press. If there's any electronic mail, I either delete it or do what it tells me to do. Sometimes I wash my face.

I am always careful to navigate the growing pile of books that the living room does a less remarkable job of compartmentalizing. The only thing keeping the bedroom from getting it's promotion and all the trappings that entails is the existence of the living room. The living room's perpetual underachieving makes the bedroom appear to be worse than an overachiever. It looks like a brown-noser. It is both independent and needy. Any self-sustaining bonus points are immediately undermined by the giant orange bed it so proudly displays. I know what that bed is saying. It's saying “don't leave me” and you can't have that in the management. By contrast, the living room is easy-going and unphased. You call it into your office and hear “Whatever, I'm trying.” And you want to help that kind of employee, maybe not with a full renovation, but a bookcase and a new lamp would really help them out.

By the time I figure out what the fuck my bedroom (MY bedroom!) is up to, the water is boiling, and the automatic motions of turn off coil, dump coffee grinds into press, put water on top of grinds, stir, fit plunger on top of “press,” go to bathroom,** push plunger down slowly, pour coffee fill in for conscious thought. It is maybe not the best breakfast drink. I take medication and gulping it down with coffee creates a comical expression which has been described as “self-pitying,” “somewhere between nauseated and confused,” and “contorted.” And this is about the time I get dressed.

I really like my porch. It's no more than the staircase that connects the third and second floors to the ground, but the well midway between second and third projects off the building and almost out into the sidewalk. It is almost the width of the building. I have considered putting a plant there. It gets direct sunlight in the afternoon. I people-watch from it. This activity, along with regular classroom visits, is probably the only reason I ever put on anything other than boxer shorts. People-watching requires appropriate apparel and accessorization. The dress code is broad. Pants or shorts. Shoes are not required. Shirts don't need to be buttoned, but they should be worn. I have coffee and a cigarette when people-watching on the porch. (MY porch!) It is a necessity.

*Something which will never be posted in its entirety here
**The bathroom is, if not the cleanest place in my apartment, the least cluttered. Despite the brand-newness of my vacuum, I have no faith in it, or really any other cleaning device other than a mop and bleach. To give you a better idea of just how committed I am to this, the first place I applied to was all tile. I would have rented it too if only for three months in the hopes of manuvering myself into a comfortable month-to-month arrangement afterwords, but it had a lease lined up for September.

Innovations: New Applications for Acrylic Polymers

I'm going to invent clear luggage. Hardshell Plexiglas ones with aluminium clasps and soft vinyl ones with your choice of colored piping!*

I saw some lady using the bag that bedsets come in as a suitcase. Damn sharp if you ask me... It also occurs to me that maybe this lady is a type of performance artist. Is it perhaps easier to simply travel with see-through luggage? Probably not. Though the irony of transparent luggage in the most accessible of situations where you come face-to-bureaucratic-"face" with the very opaque war on terror is pretty delicious, I doubt that the purchase of clear carry-ons will do anything but draw scrutiny until the FAA "strongly suggests" and then "insists" you purchase it. (luggage, not scrutiny) Then it will be like going to high school again.

*Never buy this, or anything else I am selling.

Other observations over Coffee & Kahlua:
-I prefer over-ripe bananas to under-ripe bananas. I find myself thinking "HA! caughtcha!" as I peel the soft banana, which is a better thought-emotion than "drat, I could have waited."
-The dryer in my apartment complex is awful. If it were a fifty cent dryer, I may have simply noticed that it was poorly named, but at 1.25 it is "awful."
-Rally's, perhaps fast food in general, is not the same without a cigarette to complete the double beef gorging.
-I am pretty resistant to the written word. I read Crooked Little Vein over Linguini and Clams and had to stop around the description of Ben Franklin's possessed rectum. I picked it up later.

a.Even so, the insinuation that a writer's/musician's/artist's lifestyle/sexual preference/political affiliations/continued practice or support of evil fucking shit* should be considered by his/her listeners strikes me as odd.
b.But if it's supposed to be a joke, or a roundabout attempt to point out that something is ironic...
c. like homophobic mexicans liking morrisey...
d. then maybe I should "just fucking go with it..."
e. because I'd be screwed if people didn't do that for me.

*Seriously, I don't care if Morrisey takes over the world and decides that the use of oil products or refrigerators are soylent-greenization-worthy offenses. I'm still going to listen to Strangeways, Here We Come.


popquizkid said...

I read your bedroom/living room comparison as just another example of the age-old adage it's all relative. Or, maybe, if we look at it from a gendered (?) perspective, the living room is the "bad boy" who gets all of the attention while the bedroom is just the nice guy trying to get ahead? (It sounded good in my head.)

Also, I've always taken my medicine with Diet Coke. I have a undefined uncomfortableness with this, but since it's undefined, I ignore it.

misanthropic bastard said...

Thank you for the reader response, pq1000.

Diet Dr. Pepper is my pop of choice. I am unsure how regular ownership of 20 oz. 6-packs would alter my morning routine, but I feel unduly burdened 2-liters. There's an expiration date on open 2L and there should never be expiration dates for pop.

The purchase of anything but fountain pop and cans feels like a double-bind for me. Finishing a pop can is doable, and yet, it may get in the way of my coffee consumption.

I could drink a glass of water. I bought a Brita jug this morning with that in mind. My tap water tastes nasty.

Filtering it has not improved that, but it is cold & filtered of taste-independent impurities.

misanthropic bastard said...

unduly burdened BY 2-liters.