here's something i wrote. its the only thing ive written that i think is OK. what have you written that you like? no one reads anything i write, despite my request. if thats the case with you, post something and ill read it. i probably wont comment, and ill hope for the same. comments seem stilted, for whatever reason.
to the store
Am I important today?
I check my calendar. Itís a Tuesday and Iím unimportant.
I am hungry though, and without much more than raemen noodles and a beer, I walk to the store. Itís right there. Right across the street from my house. Well, my parents house. Can you see it?
Iím already out the door, so I can see it quite clearly.
As I gain more ground on the grocery store ďenterĒ doors, whatever does whatever, cause and effect, and the electronically motivated doors move to their open position. I walk through, whatever does whatever, as the money motivated man standing there, burdened by a sickly colored vest, moves to his hello position.
His hands creep out of his pants pockets. His shoulders shift gaunt and defeated. Heís looking down and then he looks up. His glance turns down, and before it gears up again, I greet the man with a ďhelloĒ to defuse the awkwardness.
ďHello,Ē he replies, as he is paid to do so. He might not be talking to me. There is another person walking behind me who says hello at the same instant, but for self-image's sake I'm going to presume he was welcoming me, too. No, letís make that, ME ONLY. Maybe I am important today? No, itís a Tuesday. Iím never important on a Tuesday. I only end up rhyming, at least twice, like Dr. Seuss on Tuesdays.
Itís a funny thing: a person paid to greet you. Perhaps I too will begin paying people to say hello to me. 25 cents a HI seems reasonable. To have so many people acknowledge that I do indeed exist, that could be a boon to my life. And whoís to say, maybe everyoneís life?
Perhaps this practice will catch on, and nearly everyone will begin to pay others to say HI to them. Invariably there will be no reason in exchanging the 25 cents. It's senseless if I say HI to you and receive 25 cents, and then you say HI and I hand you that same amount back. The result of this would be the extermination of all loneliness.
Of course, living in this time and place, cause-and-effect, Iím a pessimistic-optimist. I doubt such a fairy-tale ending would ever materialize. If I begin to reimburse people 25 cents for a HI, eventually someone will come along incorporating and copyrighting (perhaps it would be me?). Due to "scarcities" and the cost of labor, prevailing market prices for greetings consequently rise and rise with the sun each morning. I suppose there will be drilling in the wilderness preserves here, and exploitation of third world nations there, to increase supply and lower labor cost to 13US cents per hour, but cost-per-HI will "unfortunately" continue to increase due to demand. Thatís my justification for everything. Itís how the system works. I have no other options and neither do you. Sorry. Itís economics and itís got all of us by the balls. So bend over with a nice, flawless smile and enjoy the ride.
Prices for verbal acknowledgements will eventually be out of reach for everyone, but the very rich. Sure sure once in a long long while you, the little person, could spring for a HI; maybe on some sort of payment plan? Afterall, I do have to give just enough to the little folk to prevent a revolution, but don't bother dreaming of a ďWell, hello! How are you doing today, sir?Ē That costs 5200 bucks, and rightly so! They're popular and scarce, ya know?
I walk in the direction where the horribly over-processed chicken patties lie. This is what Iíve come to purchase.
As I look down to avoid eye contact with passer-byes, who donít say hello, I notice that I'm traveling inside a city-like grid pattern. The design of this Louisville sized grocery store, with carpet and tile clearly delimiting where your walking is preferred and where it is not (unless you have a specific interest in the carpeted region's products), is aggravating. I am inefficiently traveling exactly where the architect of this grocery store wants me to, here, on this gum/grape/bug/me persecuted tile. Refuse! At least I do.
Though I feel I must clarify here. It's not that I see myself as better than anyone else, this refusal to walk the path of my fellow shoppers. In fact, Iím not at all decent. Truth be told, Iím not even an allegory of a life, but to silence my mind a little I will walk primarily on the less-popular areas. Stepping on the dirty path only when completely-absolutely necessary.
Clip-clop, squeak. Clip-clop, squeak.
My shoes are falling apart.
I'm walking on the tile right now to get a better look at a blond girl. She stands in an uncarpeted line. Her eyes are birth, death, and everything in between.
Might this place sell heliotropes, because I could never be confused as confident? As such, I walk past existence, and look at her for no more than a despotic second.
Now that I've past-by her, thereís an overbearing compulsion (An irresistible impulse to act regardless of the rationality of the motivation. I memorized the definition of compulsion to impress people.) pushing me to hurry the hell up in finding the commodities Iím here for so that, perhaps, I might pass-by the presumed pulchritude yard of blond girl once more. Hurry hurry, I do and I do, but what was the point? Yeah, sheís still in the checkout line, just her and her slim fast, but I might as well have three heliotropes attached, wherever, as she doesnít notice me.
Maybe I do? I feel a rock in my shoe. Heliotropes for everyone, I guess. That would certainly explain the lack of HIís.
I turn my attention towards my food: are these chicken-squares commodities? Their utility is suspect.
While I simply glance at the girl now, I stare mindfully at the machine she is attached to. A big something, comprised of (1) a touch-screen, (2) a weight sensitive base, (3) a change taker and a (4) change giver, and (5) beeps in a nauseating surplus. In-lieu of all human cashiers, this grocery store has some self-serve robotic checkout terminals.
Thatís just like life. Whatever does whatever, and you enter through an automatic door greeted by costly salutations. When you exit, youíre usually attached to some machine and alone. Nothing to fear though, because thereís impulse-buy magazines and candy to help pass the time.
Hopefully the time will go quickly. The magazine titles ďMillion dollar question: Is he gay?Ē and ďLose 29 [lbs.] by JulyĒ are staring me down, and itís quite painful. I know there are far greater topics that should be delineated. Oil corporations polluting, killing, plundering. Clandestine organizations scheming to exploit HI-rich, but cash-flow poor countries. I'd love to read about that, but instead we have ďSecret Affairs Revealed." I need some sort of escape. I need some kind of freedom. One drink won't do. I know I have a lighter somewhere in my pockets.
Resolving it is indeed a commodity, because the utility of high saturated fat and interminable sulfites will kill me, I decide to forfeit my money, beep-beep, in exchange for whatever this cheek'n stuff is. Finished with capitalism, I guess for the day, I say HI to no one and proceed to the exit.
The door opens, the door closes. A second door opens, and as the second door closes I hear something. An ineffable sound. Does this Door cry? Sad to see me go and melancholy that it can not come with. Or does it laugh? A cruel part of this malevolent world, pushing me further away from it? Or, maybe the door hinges need grease and Iím very much the lunatic.
Outside, the sun is burning pragmatically. The sky is the color of a blue clichť. There's a hole in my pants pocket and I've lost my lighter.
And this day happens far too often for my taste.