I am driving. I take the Parkway three exits past the one I want. I come to the exit toll. I throw the money in the toll. The toll says I didn’t throw enough money. I leave my truck there. I put one leg inside of a suitcase. The suitcase has wheels on it. I begin to push like I am riding a skateboard.
I feel angry with myself for missing the exit. Someone is rollerblading behind me. I feel like they want to pass me. I see a lot of signs. I can’t find a sign for Parkway South. I keep pushing. I come to an intersection. I see a man with long hair on the sidewalk of the intersection. He is on rollerblades. I start making fun of him. We start fighting on the sidewalk.
Neither the man nor I know how to fight very well. I feel like none of my punches are connecting. I feel like none of my moves are working on him. I feel like he is slightly winning the fight.
I am at work. I wash my hands. I dry them with a towel, and pick up a napkin from the sink. The napkin is green and has pictures of leaves on it.
I hold the napkin up to my co-worker John Travolta and say “Look how nice these are,” and then I violently erupt my snot into the napkin. I leave the bathroom and John Travolta goes into the bathroom.
I go into the garage. I open the door and move a metal bench (the one that John Travolta painted last summer) into the sun. I move John Travolta’s keys and cellphone off of the bench.
Our lunch today is sandwiches from Subway. The sandwiches are in a plastic bag along with two sodas and two bags of chips. I sit on the bench in the sun and open one of the sandwiches. It is turkey and cheese on shitty Subway bread.
I look out at the clouds. It is a warm sunny fall day. The sun feels nice on my face and I wonder if I sit here long enough will I get tan.
I finish half of my sandwich. I open my soda and wonder where John Travolta is. I open my chips and eat some chips. They are baked sour cream and onion chips. I hear John come into the garage. John Travolta sits next to me on the bench. I ask John Travolta if we should move the bench so that the sun can be in his face too and he says no.
John Travolta asks me if I am finished and I say no. I point to the bag with his sandwich in it. John Travolta starts eating his sandwich and chips. John Travolta always eats his chips and his sandwich together, like, he will take a couple bites of sandwich, and then eat a couple of chips, until he is done. I started doing this too.
I ask John Travolta if he is feeling better. He says yes. John Travolta tells me last week he had a fever. “What kind of sickness did you have?” I ask.
John Travolta says he got sick from the stress of having to evacuate his house.
“Did you have a stuffy nose?” I ask.
John says yes.
“Were you coughing?”
John says yes.
“I was sick from Sunday, until Sunday,” John says.
He just started feeling better on Monday and Tuesday.
I say that is good. Today is Wednesday.
We stop talking and go back to eating. I look at a circular pattern in the pavers of the driveway. They seem to be rippling out from a single stone at the center. That stone is me. That stone is the “I” stone. I think about remembering this moment, how nice of a day it is, and my conversation with John Travolta.
John is staying at his sister-in-law’s house.
“How is your dog?” I ask.
John Travolta says she is scared. John Travolta’s dog’s name is Venus, but when he says it with his accent it sounds like, Beanus, or Baynus. When his accent really slips it sounds like Penis.
“Does your sister-in-law have any dogs?” I ask.
John Travolta says yes. I ask if they are big dogs. He says no, they are small.
I ask “Are Venus and the dogs friends?”
He says yes.
I say that is good.
I am at my parent’s house. I ride my bike to a bar. I order a beer. Sally Jessy Raphael is at the bar. It is Thanksgiving eve.
I say to Sally Jessy Raphael that none of my friends are here. We talk for about five minutes. Sally Jessy Raphael references the lead character from the movie V for Vendetta. I ask who that is. Sally Jessy Raphael tells me that he is the lead character from the movie V for Vendetta.
“I’ve never seen that movie, but I think there are a lot of explosions in that movie,” I say.
“Do you like explosions?” Sally Jessy Raphael asks.
I say yes and no.
Sally Jessy Raphael says that Natalie Portman is bald in the movie. I say that I like that.
“I mean, I like a bald Natalie Portman, not baldness,” I say.
Sally Jessy Raphael says she has to go back to work. She leaves.
I stand by the bar looking around for a little. I go outside. I sit at a table on the deck. A man named Abe, a younger looking bar employee, and a bartender are standing on the deck. It is cold. They are trying to light some space heaters. For a while, they can’t get one to light.
I look at my phone and text someone. I ask the bartender how much a beer is. She tells me. I watch people come into the bar. Abe finally gets the space heater light. Abe says “See, Abe ain’t no dope.” The younger bar employee alerts Abe to the fact that one of the space heaters looks like it’s on fire. Abe says it just needs to burn off.
I watch Dennis Rodman arrive on his bicycle. I don’t say anything to Dennis Rodman and he doesn’t see me. He goes into the bar. I see Courtney Love’s car pull up. Her brother is driving. She is with two friends. They go inside.
I go inside. Dennis Rodman, Courtney Love and her friends are standing together in a group. I walk up to them. I say hello to everyone.. We stand in a circle and talk. One of her friends asks me what is the matter.
I say “nothing.” I say I am fine.
She keeps asking me.
I say that I just woke up from a nap.
She stops asking.
I order another beer.
This friend of Courtney Love makes direct eye contact with me the entire time she talks to me. I match her eye contact. She is very confident. Courtney Love’s other friend rarely makes eye contact with me. The verbal exchanges between myself and Courtney Love’s other friend feel awkward. Courtney Love’s other friend always tries to seem like she is making fun of me. I talk to Courtney Love’s eye contact friend a lot. Her eye contact makes me slightly uncomfortable but I continue to match it.
I try to start sincere conversations with Courtney Love’s other friend. I feel like it’s hard to say things to her. Courtney Love’s other friend tries to purposely never give me her full attention. I ask her if she likes my new coat. Courtney Love’s other friend announces to the group that I asked her if she likes my new coat. She says something to me about the coat. Courtney Love and her eye contact friend say things about my coat, mostly Courtney. Courtney Love says that the way it’s pulled in in the middle is very stylish.
I finish my beer.
I say that I haven’t drank alcohol since last weekend.
Courtney Love’s eye contact friend says she drank last night.
The bar begins to fill in with a lot of people. It becomes hard to move around. We move to a table. The band starts playing. We order a lot of beer. Everyones level of social interaction starts to decline. We just look at each other or talk to the person next to us. Courtney Love’s eye contact friend seems to always be looking at the tv behind me. The band starts playing the song “Jessie’s Girl.” Eye contact friend changes the lyrics and sings that she wishes she was my girl. I think she likes me. Other friend sings that she wishes she was Dennis Rodman’s girl, but I think she likes me too.
I notice that there are a lot of pretty girls standing around us. A girl named Saeko that I hung out with a couple of times before I started dating my ex-girlfriend talks to me.
A very attractive younger girl talks to me. Her body is an hourglass shape and her face is very pretty. She goes to college in Florida. I ask her how school is going. We have a very generic conversation. I watch Courtney Love’s other friend watch us talk. Hot Florida girl leaves. I wonder why Hot Florida girl was being so friendly to me.
We order a pizza. I eat one slice. I feel drunk. The band continues to play. We continue to play the game of stealing glances at each other. Courtney Love’s eye contact friend begins to look annoyed. Courtney Love calls her brother to come pick them up. They leave. Dennis Rodman leaves.
I hang out with my friend Thursday. He brings me a Redbull and I say “You saved my life.” We get really drunk. He always seems to have a spare unopened beer in his pocket. I compliment his style. We go outside and bum cigarettes from our mutual friend. I see Saeko. We talk for a little. We go inside.
I ask her where her fiance is. She says they are no longer together, but that they are still friendly to each other. I say something about them getting “dis-engaged.” I feel clever for saying that. She says they didn’t get along, he never wanted to go out to places with her. I say the same thing about my ex-girlfriend. She says she is looking for her friend.
(Before when I was talking to Saeko I could feel Courtney Love’s other friend watching us. I wanted to say to Courtney Love’s other friend “I don’t like blondes,” meaning Saeko, “I like brunettes,” meaning her (Courtney Love’s other friend).)
I think about all the things I could and should have said to Courtney Love’s other friend. I finish my beer. I tell Saeko I will call her or text her soon. We say goodbye. I walk out of the bar. I unlock my bike. I walk my bike down to the end of the parking lot. I lean my bike against a pole. I walk into the woods a little. I take a piss. I walk out of the woods. I get on my bike. I ride home.
I am riding in a car with two other people. One of the other people is going to get his hair cut. We drive into a shopping center. I’ve been to this shopping center before. I see a bookstore.
I ask to be let out of the car in front of the bookstore. I tell the two other people in the car that I will meet them at the hair place when I’m done at the bookstore. I get out of the car and open the trunk of the car. I reach for my wallet and the car starts driving away. I run after it. While running I grab my wallet. I slam the trunk closed and stop running.
I walk up to the bookstore, but when I look inside, it is really a large gym. It looks like the gym was expanded, taking much of the space of the bookstore. I see the door to bookstore to the left of where I am standing. I go into the bookstore and there is no one behind the counter. The shelves are white. There are many kinds of women’s fitness magazines on the shelves. Women’s fitness magazines are the only kind of magazines on the shelves. A woman comes through a door. The door seems to be connected to the gym. She stands behind the counter. I ask her if they only sell women’s fitness magazines now. She says yes. I say ok. I feel disappointed. I glance at some magazines and think about looking at some. I decide not to look at any magazines and leave the bookstore.
I am at my parents house. I think about yesterday when I said that my Dad has to borrow my truck tomorrow to take our cat to the vet. I think about saying “My Dad borrowed my truck to take our cat to the vet.” I think about the complications of getting into a romantic relationship. I feel unable to weigh the good and bad consequences. If I say “My Dad borrowed my truck to take our cat to the vet,” I think she will offer to come pick me up. So I haven’t said it yet. She says she is free all day. I think “She is free all day.” I think “I would rather she cost more than free.” I think I would like her much more if she cost at least an hour long conversation during the day, or something. She can be free at night. I don’t think I would mind that. I don’t know what to text back.
I am at my parent’s house. Ellen Degeneres picks me up. Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, and Dennis Rodman are in the car. We go to the bar. Ellen Degeneres and I go into the bar. Everyone else stays outside smoking cigarettes. Ellen Degeneres and I sit next to the pool tables. I ask Ellen Degeneres if she wants a drink. She says no. I walk up to the bar and get a beer. The smokers come inside. Allen Iverson and Jason Kidd start playing pool.
I sit by the pool table. I drink my beer. They play pool. It is karaoke night. I ask Ellen Degeneres how to spell “karaoke.” She tells me. Ellen Degeneres signs up everyone except her to sing the song “Yeah” by Usher. The first karaoke singer of the night goes on the stage. She is an employee of the bar. She sings. She finishes her song. The karaoke host announces our names and our song. We take the stage. The music starts. There is a man sitting at the bar with long hair and a long beard. He watches us and seems amused. Other people sitting at the bar seem slightly amused. We suck. We know the chorus, kind of. The Ludacris part comes on. We all know the Ludacris part. The song finishes. We get off the stage. We go back to the pool tables. More people come into the bar.
“Do you think lesbian unicorns use their horns during sex?” I ask.
“Female unicorns don’t have horns,” Allen Iverson says.
“That’s not true,” I say.
“Just like female rhinoceros don’t have horns,” Allen Iverson says.
“Who told you that?” I say.
I ask Ellen Degeneres what her favorite Nicki Minaj song is. She looks like she is thinking but then she stops. She doesn’t answer. I ask Ellen Degeneres if she likes Nicki Minaj. She says yes. She says she likes the one song about getting high. Ellen Degeneres recites the lyrics “Lets go to the beach, beach.” She says “that one.” I say “Starships.” She says yes.
Ellen Degeneres says her mom has a lot of tattoos.
“Do you have any tattoos?” I ask.
“No,” she says. “Do you?”
“No,” I say. “Do you not like tattoos because your mom has a lot of them?”
“Yes,” she says.
I say “I understand.”
“Do you parents have tattoos?” she asks.
“No,” I say.
I go outside to smoke a cigarette. It is freezing. Jason Kidd says he’s not even cold. I say “I know why you’re not cold.” I finish my cigarette. I go back inside. Jason Kidd comes inside. He says “Why do you have to blow up my spot like that?” I say “They don’t know what I’m talking about.”
Someone plays more pool. We leave. Ellen Degenere drives past my parent’s driveway. I say ‘This is fine right here.” I thank her for the ride. I get out. They drive away. I walk down the driveway. I go into my parent’s house. I go into my room. I go to sleep.
I am at my parent’s house. It’s quarter to midnight. I can hear the sound of a jackhammer coming from the direction of the town dump. This particular dump has never been active for all of the years I’ve lived here. Now they use it to dump the debris from the hurricane. I never hear the sound during the day though. I wonder why that is. I wonder if anyone has complained. Our house is about a mile away and if I can hear it in my room then who knows how loud it must be for the people in the houses closer to the dump. I wonder if all that debris will stay there or if they are just using it as a transfer station.
Tomorrow I will drive by the dump and realize the jackhammering sound was from the construction they are doing on the Parkway and not from the dump.
I am in a library. I am sitting in a booth. There is a window directly in front of me. There is a sidewalk outside the window. Beyond the sidewalk, there is a road. Beyond the road, there is a church. The church is surrounded by a graveyard. The church looks old. The graveyard looks old too, but aren’t all graveyards by definition old?
I wonder what percentage of the authors of all these books in this library are living, and what percentage are dead. I guess authors leave behind books as well as gravestones. It would seem sad to me to only leave behind a gravestone. I’m sure there are other things people leave behind. I’m sure there were people who were happy to leave nothing behind, not even a gravestone. Gravestones are like books because they have words on them. Gravestones are not meant to be ambiguous. There aren’t many gravestones with just like a picture of a tree or a fish or something on them. I would like to see a gravestone like that. I would like that for mine.
I am somewhere. My dad’s band is playing. I walk into Walmart. I hear the band. I walk into the seating area of Lenscrafters. Half of the seats are filled by old men with canes. They are cheering. I sit in a seat. I look at the band. They are wearing makeup like KISS. My dad is playing guitar. Another guy is playing bass. I am unsure if they have a drummer. They are playing psychedelic jam music. Both my dad and the other guy have name tags on. My dad’s name tag says ‘William Coffin.” The other guys name tag contains an obviously made up name.
The other guy in my dad’s band has a daughter. She is tall and hot. I leave Walmart. I go somewhere and take Mdma. I find myself in some girls college dorm room. They are in the process of building a closet or something. I ask if the college is allowing the construction. Someone say yes. Someone says it is a project that was started by the last person who lived there. There is a guy there. He explains something about how hard it is to nail nails without hitting wires. The tall hot girl is there. I leave.
I go to my friend’s house. They are having a party. It is towards the end of the party. There are people who look younger than me sleeping in places in almost every room. My old roommate lives here. I go into his room. We talk about the events of the night. I tell him that I took some Mdma earlier. I tell him that I’m not drunk at all. It is getting close to sunrise. He asks me if theres anything more to do. I say no. I walk out of his room. I walk into a room. There is a someone sleeping on a futon. There is a mirror on the wall behind the person sleeping on the futon. I look at myself in the mirror. I shave my neck line with a razor. I don’t use water or anything. I check both sides to see if it is even. I think it’s messed up. I think it’s not perfect. It’s never perfect. I think about going home to my dad’s house. I have a feeling that the tall hot girl will be there.
I am sitting in the library. I feel 10% happier than before. I just read the first 50 pages of Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I think “I feel 10% happier because I can think about what I just read.” I think “I ‘feed’ my brain things to feel happier.” I think “My brain digests them.” I think “Then I have to feed it again.” I go to the bathroom. I come back from the bathroom. I think “It feels like the things I read give me some kind of purpose.” I think “Do I need to be in a ‘purposeful’ career?” I think “No, but it would be nice.” I think “Low levels of purpose Vs. The highest purpose.” I think “The greatest purpose.” I think “Porpoise.” It’s taken me 1 hour to read 50 pages of Revolutionary Road. Revolutionary Road is 355 pages. It will take me about seven hours to read Revolutionary Road. I think “I am unsure what the proper level of self awareness is.” I think “I am unsure of the existence of a ‘proper’ level of self awareness.” I think “Self awareness.” I stare at the wall. I think “Purpose: stare at wall.” While purposefully staring at the wall I feel “a joy of purposefully staring at a wall.” I feel that each second of purposefully staring at a wall renews the feeling of joy and the purpose itself of purposefully staring at a wall. I think “Purpose of finding a wall and my imagination entertaining.” I think “Value of that.”