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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This World Would Be A Better Place...

...if it revolved around me. There, I've said it. And you know what, I'm kind of embarrassed that it took me so long to come to this realization. Other people have, but I never realized the inherent brilliance in such a situation. I guess, I've always thought the person wanting to be revolved around wasn't necessarily someone I wanted to gravitate toward.

And then there's me. My god, would I make a phenomenal touch stone or what?

Hmm. You don't look convinced. Spend a little more time with me and you'll see.

THROUGHOUT THE LAND, ALL CAFES SHALL BE OPEN 24/7!

I'm in a cafe now, counting the minutes until it closes. Two blocks down the street, my laundry tumbles through warm water. It will be ready to toss into the dryer in about 17 minutes, which is 18 minutes before this cafe closes. The barista is cute and sweet and she makes a mean lime Italian soda, but damn, I need them to stay open at least another hour.

ALL CLOTHING SHALL BE DISPOSABLE, AND CHEAP!

So while my laundry dries, I'll have to find someplace else to hang out and work, just because the owners of this cafe weren't able to see the truth in the above statement.

It's "late". Around 9:30 in the evening. Most of the shops on Geary are closed or closing. Like they didn't know I'd be out! But I am, you see, and I've got my second wind coming on strong.

I like the night. It likes me right back most of the time. But unlike some of you out in the fringes of my browser's periphery, I like the light too. The light in the dark. So no unlit dark animal scurrying dark streets for me. I don't go near Golden Gate park after about 9 p.m. The beach, yeah, well okay, nothing like a fire on the beach to keep the shadows at bay.

9 PM CURFEW ON ALL RACCOONS, RATS, BIRDS, AND CREEPY CRAWLIES -- 365 DAYS A YEAR!

Speaking of shadows, this weekend is Ghost Story Weekend (of course, if the world was my mistress it would be closer to home than Oregon, but hey, I'm dealing). I've been looking forward to it for a long time. If I'm lucky, I'll get to reconnect with a couple of friends when I get there -- one for sure, the other is a little iffy (I'm trying, kiddo, I'm trying). Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to have such good people in my life. Makes the craziness of day-to-day life a little less so knowing they're at the end of a phone line.

ALL GOOD PEOPLE WITH PRECIOUS HANGUPS, UNUSUAL APPETITES, AND LITTLE TIME FOR DOGMAS SHALL BE JUSTLY REWARED WITH CENTS-OFF COUPONS FOR DISPOSABLE CLOTHING!

But then again, craziness fascinates me. I think I have an affinity for it. I know what you're thinking, and THAT'S JUST MEAN. Okay, maybe there's a little truth in it too, but didn't your momma teach you better?

About a year ago I began using public transit almost exclusively when in the city. My reasons were many, but in the end, one I didn't expect has surprised me. During the day, the buses are...interesting. Crammed with students and workers and tourist and players and families and homeless. During the night though, when it's time to crawl back to my cave, well, that's where things get really interesting. Or disturbing -- your take.

ALL BUSES SHALL BE ON TIME, ALL THE TIME, AND OUTFITTED WITH TIME-RELEASED DEODORIZERS!

The other day, I got on the bus and sat in the next to the last seat. In the last seat, an old black woman sat. She had a cane and a shopping bag and a parka. She was wearing one of those parkas with the fur trimmed hoods. You know, standard-issue parka. She had the hood on and it was pulled down over her face so that all you could see was the bottom of her chin...no lips, just the bottom of her chin. As I sat down, she nearly shouted,

"A paranoid schizophrenic driving a bus!"

Okay, that was odd. And I didn't know what to think at first. Was she talking about our bus driver? I hadn't really peeked him when I got on, but surely if he was drooling or googly-eyed or maybe sizing everyone up who came on board as a potential threat, I probably would have noticed. Most drivers are good sorts, but a some of them are bitter. They take it out on riders by quickly accelerating before you can get to you seat and stopping as ingracefully as possible. I guess, if you're a bus driver, cursed to drive up and down the same street day after day, people pinball is just good clean fun.

"I don't have a driver's license!" she yelled, followed a few moments later by, "That don't make no damn sense!"

That's when I grabbed my computer bag and pulled out my tablet...I keep it in standby so it only takes a few moments to get it to bend to my will.

"Potato field!"

Okay, that one made me laugh inside. I wanted to dip into her head right then and there, get lost on the bisecting roads of her psyche long enough to locate a rest stop or park bench, where I could sit and watch life go by. There's a part of me that's appalled at a system that allows this. That doesn't care enough about the plight of the ill to provide more benevolent care for them. When it comes to helping the sick and the ill at mind, we can be a very stingy people.

"Oh, yeah, I'm in the fucking system! I'm a fucking registered voter! I vote. I live here. I was born here. I didn't come here to take people's money and barbeque! I live here."

That's verbatim. From this woman's lips to your ears, I swear. I couldn't make up that barbeque line in a million years. But I'm gonna use it. You can be sure of that (:

Did I mention I have an affinity for crazy people? I did, didn't I"

MANDATORY MENTAL ASSESSMENTS AND MORALITY ADJUSTMENTS FOR ALL POLITICIANS!!!

If only...

4 comments:

Kate S said...

Ah Clifford, throw in mandatory self-cleaning cat boxes and I'm your minion.

Though I will take your money and barbeque.

Charles Gramlich said...

I, on the other hand, am not quite so quick as Kate to abdicate my already considerable personal power over the everyday world. After all, Cliff, I'm quite sure you are actually a figment of my own imagination. And should I turn my life over to an hallucination? I think not.

Clifford said...

Kate,

Both my parents and my sister had one of those boxes years ago. They kind of suck. Both broke within a year ):

I've trained four cats to use the toilet...really. Even wrote a book on it (unpublished, but a book none the less), so if you need help getting your kitties to share your bathroom habits, I'm your man!

Charles -- You mean you're not a late-night burrrito dream of mine? If that's true, maybe this Internet thing isn't the result of a weekend project of mine that spun out of control. Hmm...one of us is very confused, my imaginary playmate. I'm not pointing fingers, but...

Thomas M. Sipos said...

I like the 24/7 cafes.

How about forbidding/preventing neighbors' apartments' noises/odors from intruding into one's own apartment?

And more darkness. Days should be shorter all year round.

Less sunshine, less heat, less humidity. More night, and cooler.

Halloween twice a year. One's not enough.

And cheaper houses. Nice ones, too.

And no more aging. We will look & feel 30 (at most) well into our 80s.

That's part of my wish list. Grant that, and I'll support you for President of the World.

About Me

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.