Electric purple petals got blown all the way down to the mental home on Stanley. This morning one of the tenants helped me parallel park, “Keep going, keep going, now stop.” Then when I got out of my car he congratulated me. “See? You did it!” I hope someone loves him. I hope someone loves me. Maybe we should love each other and just parallel park all day. I’ll have to tell him about my steering wheel, how the pump with the steering fluid is broken and it’s hard to turn. That’s why it took me so long to back up. That and I didn’t want to run over his feet.
I think that home is working. Everyone seems highly functional.
Usually by the time I leave here and walk by the big brown home, one of the tenants has left tiny cups of water for the public out on the porch railing. The water isn’t measured with any kind of consistency...some glasses have only a couple drops while others are overflowing. I imagine the person who put the water out justifying this by saying, “Some folks want more, some want less. Everybody’s different”. I think he or she would use the term “folks” because the building has an old-fashioned, Southern look to it. Maybe I’m romanticizing it with that description. It’s actually falling apart. Wait--is the water for the public or is it an experiment in evaporation, or were those once empty cups that someone put out to catch the rain...The answers to this and much much more in another train of thought that goes nowhere.
Now a swarm of 20-somethings in navy blue t-shirts that say “Michigan Love$ The Price is Right!” are squinting at the menu at my coffee shop, my coffee shop, I own it, no but I wish I did, no I don’t, if I owned this coffee shop I’d have to do book keeping and the last time I did book keeping I ended up stealing a nightgown. What? Well this professional gambler once hired me to add up all his personal expenses, and he also asked me to clean out his daughter’s room and if there were any clothes I should throw them away, so I just took the one thing.
YESTERDAY AT THE “GENIUS BAR”
Me: What kind of computer do you have?
Blake (the Genius): Me? A really old Powerbook.
Me: Do you all your friends ask you for computer help?
Blake: No. They either know as much about computers as I do--
Blake: Or they’re the outdoors type.
Me: (observing a child) Is that kid watching ‘Up’?
Blake: No, that’s a game. He’s playing a game.
Blake: There’s a game for everything.
Me (eyes swelling with tears): I know....(then) Blake?
Blake (taking my face in his hands): You want to me to kill you.
Blake: You want to take me to Colombia.
Me: No. Just wondering if it’s possible to install Microsoft Office.
Blake: It looks like you need version 2004 or earlier. You can’t get that here. You can’t get much here.
Me: I can’t even get my heart broken?
Blake (taking my hands): Stay here. (runs into the back room. ME sends a text message to a friend: “HEY, IM AT APPLE STORE. DO YOU NEED A NEW COMPUTER? I WILL TOTALLY BUY YOU ONE. ALSO, I WANT TO START HAVING BREAKFAST PARTIES. WHERE EVERYONE COMES OVER AND MY APARTMENT IS CLEAN AND WE EAT MANGOS.” BLAKE returns with a small dark package.)
Blake: You should leave now. (I quickly pack away my laptop. Blake is already calling the next customer to the genius bar.) Miguel? Miguel? Hey man, I’m Blake.
Me: Okay then....
(I leave the Apple Store, sit down on one of those glossy wooden mall benches, open the dark package. It’s MS Office 2004. Not really, but this is a fantasy. If anyone reading this has MS Office 2004...)
So all these Price is Right kids are here; one of them in a pink baseball cap that says HOLLYWOOD.
-What are you getting?
-I don’t know. What are you getting?
-I think I want a mocha. No...
One boy reaches into his shoe and pulls out damp twenty, uncrumbles it, and rocks back and forth, a thumb in each pocket, blowing air up into his bangs.
The barista is patient with the group. I can’t tell if she regards them as a profit or a pain. Poker Face.
Behind me is The Wolf, who I used to crush on, imagining I’d fall asleep on his leather couch on a windy day next to an open window while he was in the other room doing dishes. That was a nice fantasy because it allowed me to avoid so many other things, like the work in front of me. I think I developed the crush for that reason.
The goal is to write 2,000 words today. My friend just said that’s her sister’s goal, and now it’s mine. I’m a goal-theif. My soul starts beeping and the guard pulls your ambitions from my bag. I stand there covering my face saying, “I don’t have a receipt! Just a phone conversation!”
Did you know baby sharks can swim in as shallow as two feet of water? Frankly put, I am longing to go back to temple. We are all contemplative today. Even The Wolf, who sits with his legs crossed into a giant question mark, holds his face and gazes glazedly out the window. And now softly through the speakers Christna A. is making it clear: she’s beautiful and don’t you bring her down today...