Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").
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Why Having Friends Sucks
Friday, January 10 1997 I dreamed last night that my Dad had a big nose ring that went over the bridge of his nose but didn't pierce the septum.
Deya and I went to the Italian Villa (which is on North Emmett Street just a short ways from the Corner) for an early afternoon breakfast. The Italian Villa is a sort of an expanded Waffle House that also carries dishes that Americans think of as Italian food. Not being fans of breakfast food, I ordered a ham sub and Deya ordered a vegetarian calezone of sorts. We discussed the the idea of going to big stadium concerts. She'd seen the Grateful Dead and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. And I'd seen Pink Floyd (in 1987 in Cleveland, totally sober, mind you). Those big concerts. That was how music was appreciated in the 80s, man.
Deya considered stealing some of the little bathtub chains that hold the blinds together. They'd make such good punk rock jewelry.
We went downtown and checked our e-mail at the public library. I'd received an e-mail from Sara Poiron in which she begged me to censor Big Fun in Philadelphia (later at night I caved in and did, installing beside my deletion one of those ubiquitous blue anti-censorship ribbons as an ironic commentary).
Then, on the Mall, we browsed Snooky's to keep out of the cold. Dave, Jessika's friend from Belmont, tried to encourage us to go find out about the 5th portal from an erudite-if-pseudoscientific afro-american bookseller who'd erected a table in the cold on the Mall. But I didn't want to find myself having one of those conversations when I could be inside a warm building.
Deya was with me at the bank as I cashed some checks and at Plan Nine as I bought a used CD (Lovelyville by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, copyright 1991) then at the Bakery when I drank my free coffee and listened to my CD (those Thinking Fellers make Sonic Youth sound like Billy Joel).
And Deya was also with me when Morgan Anarchy and Cecelia the Brazilian Girl searched me out so I could buy them cheap gin. And she rode along when Little Yayson drove us to the ABC store. And she was with us all in the horrid Wertland Apartment for the drinking of the cheap gin that I purchased with laundered food stamp money. And she accompanied me when I abandoned the dullness of the horrid Wertland Apartment, going to Theresa and Persad's. By now she was supposedly looking for Matthew Hart. When I left that place I let it be known that I wanted to get my before-work nap. Suddenly though, when Deya wasn't around anymore, I felt like I was a man utterly free to do anything I chose. In the brisk air I felt energized. On a whim I went to Jenfariello's place. But for perhaps justifiable reasons it would behoove me not to discuss, Jenfariello eventually kicked me out. So my pre-work nap did in fact happen.
I found the complications and subtleties required of me today very taxing and regretable. I sort of came to feel I do not have enough energy to have any friends. This point was driven home later when I was at work and was invaded by aliens.
Alien InvasionYes, I received a call from Jasio saying he'd be coming over. Sure enough he did, with both Cecelia and Leticia, the Brazilian Girls. They're all nice kids, but they're demanding and need constant entertainment in order to be happy. It was pointless at this point to even consider doing my own thing, which I so love to do. I consider my time at work MY TIME. Time for projects and creativity. NOT for socializing and being cool. And being cool was not easy with my guests tonight (none of whom are American citizens). For example, Cecelia quickly discovered a kiddie rubber stamping set (Micky Mouse and other crap) in the front room where I ended up hosting my friends (it seemed least likely to house breakables). Cecelia quickly set about compulsively using the stamps to decorate her arms with a black lacey design. Then Jasio did a little gratuitous punk rock stamping of the boxes and such with little stupid Mickey Mouse heads. Every one of these uses left the stamps more and more soiled with ink. Normally that would be no issue whatever. But I knew these stamps to belong to some of the fussy little children known to be ever underfoot here at my place of employ. Such children would surely be displeased to discover their precious stamps, Christmas presents no doubt, so obviously USED. Complaints to mommy would surely result in ire upon me, and I had no desire to go through that again (a pens-left-uncovered scandal in the Ping Office this summer was blamed squarely on me, you know).
When the aliens finally departed from their invasion, I was amazingly relieved. I went around undoing all the little instances of entropy they'd introduced...spilled sugar, tea and coffee, torn sugar packages, defaced issues of Ping, and ink-marred rubber stamps that I cleaned with rubbing alcohol. When I'm here by myself, I use only what I need to and disturb absolutely nothing else. If I make a mess, I am sure to clean it up instantly. My friends, on the other hand, are very high maintenance. They seem to think the world owes them the duty of simply absorbing the entropy that issues from them. The only one who was ever an easy guest at Comet was Jessika. She was always unassuming and undemanding. She'd complain here and there, but I never felt like I was invaded when she was around.
The whole span of today seemed to be a non-stop lesson that friends are every bit as much of a curse as they are a blessing.
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