comfortable in my cubicle. god. i have given enough of time away to feed a village of small children. jesus. they are eating my time. ugh. they are digesting my air. shit. my air in the stomachs of starving kids. my carbon and particles in the bodies of someone who can make better use of matter.
What I think I remember: The fly on the left wall. Everything bare, black, and heavy.
I shaved my head. The hair was there in the sink and I watched it. It moved.
And Christ, there is hair growing out of my nose and out of my ears now.
I walked outside. It was colder than I remember it being in January, especially with no hair. January twenty-somthingth. No, February. February sixth?
I walked back inside to find a hat.
The carpet felt good between my toes. I needed shoes too.
I found the hat. The grey toboggan I never wear. Fits right around my head. It feels good. It feels warm.
There were two dirty socks on the floor. One white and one red. They fit. So did my sandals.
I walked back outside and I felt warmer. It was snowing a little. A cat carrying in its mouth a dead bird ran down the road in front of me. A car swerved to avoid hitting it and blew a tire over a pothole.
All of that seemed to make sense somehow.
On Tuesday, the sandwich shop across the street gives half off for senior discounts. I walked across the street and it was closed. It must have been Sunday.
Beside the sandwich shop is a Chinese place that I walked to.
I walked inside and stood in the doorway.
The buffet situated near the far wall looked good and it was hot and steaming and the steam collected on the glass and it looked warm and comfortable.
The girl behind the counter asked “how many”?
I looked at the buffet.
She said “scuse me sir how many”?
I kept looking at the buffet and said “oh it’s just me.”
She said “booth or table”?
I said “No.” I said that I just wanted to beef chow mein.
She scrunched her lips at me and cocked he left eyebrow.
She said “You don’t want chicken chow mien you want with beef”?
I said “yes. And an eggroll. And white rice.”
She wrote something down on a blue piece of paper with a black pen. She smiled and said ’10-15 minute’.
I walked toward the bathroom, passing the buffet. I stopped to look down at a tray of food. It had some kind of soup in it. It was steaming and it was hot and clear with little white globs of things floating around in it and I could see to the bottom. I named it ‘dryer sheet soup’ in my head. I thought about putting my hands in there and letting them wade around until they burned. I wanted to burn my hands in the soup. I wanted to feel the soup burning my hands. I looked at the waitress and said ‘can I have some of this, too’?
When I got into the bathroom I went to the sink and put my toboggan down across the faucet. My face looked strange. My head looked strange. I brushed my hand across the top of it. It felt prickly. It hurt a little.
A young man walked in wearing a baby blue polo shirt. Something embroidered on the crest of it. His pants bleached and ripped at the knees. He nodded at me and then he smiled at me and then for some reason he saluted. He walked behind the partition of the urinal and began to urinate. His stream strong, I was jealous and angry.
I looked at my hands. My hands are huge. Long, wrinkled fingers with big blue veins. Knuckles that jut out and point in all different directions like they were just thrown in there. The young man walked up beside me to wash his hands. Fingers as long as mine, but not wrinkly, firm and strong and callused looking. The smell of gasoline. He smiled at me and all of his teeth were in there and white.
There was a feeling in my stomach that had never been there before. There was an octopus propelling around in my stomach. It’s arms spreading around everything in there, rearranging my biology.
I walked out of the bathroom and back to the counter.
The girl who I had given my order to earlier when I walked in was standing there tying a knot out of the handles in the plastic sack that had my food. There was a smiley face on the plastic sack and on the girl.
She pushed the sack over to the side of the counter I was standing on.
She said “10.05, please.”
I handed her a ten dollar bill. I grabbed my sack of food by the knot she tied and turned to walk out of the door. She said “sir, it’s 10.05” I turned around and looked at her. She said “You only give me 10.”
I looked at her for a second without saying anything I think. Or maybe not, I don’t remember.
I do remember looking at this steak knife on a small table sitting behind the counter next to some lemons. I thought about the octopus holding a steak knife in each of its arms, cutting up the inside of me.
I said “how much do I owe you?” She said “five cents you owe me five cents your total was 10.05.”
I reached inside my pocket and pulled out a nickel and 3 dimes and a penny. I handed her all of it.
I said “I’m sorry sweetheart I’m so sorry.”
She said “no no it’s only five cents”. She put the nickel in one hand and the rest of the change in the other and tried to hand me what was in the hand that didn’t have the nickel.
The octopus tangled its arms together and then untangled them.
I waved my hand at her and shook my head at her and walked out of the door. It was still cold out. I left my toboggan in the bathroom but didn’t go back in to get it.
I walked home and when I got there I sat the bag of food on the coffee table in front of the couch. I kicked off my sandals and sat down on the middle of the couch. I laid back, tired.
It was strange: the back of my head against the cushion feeling like the back of someone else’s head.
seems like this is going to turn into some sort of notebook or ‘practice’ space or something.
I don’t know.
I uhm —
I’m not trying to hurt you
I’m not trying to hurt anyone
what do yr feelings do ((repeating))
feed me the glass from the mirror you use to put on make-up
I will eat the glass from the mirror you use to put on make-up
I will cut my throat on the glass from the mirror you use to put on make-up
send me home to my parents crying