I'm going to be a happy idiotAnd struggle for the legal tenderWhere the ads take aim and lay their claimTo the heart and the soul of the spenderAnd believe in whatever may lieIn those things that money can buyThought true love could have been a contenderAre you there?Say a prayer for the PretenderWho started out so young and strongOnly to surrender - From 'The Pretender' by Jackson Browne(Author's note: This was all after work a couple of days back. A day where I showed up despite a nasty cold and used adrenalin to push through the achy sneezy discomfort to teach because that's what I do. I provided the planned lesson except for postponing meeting with students about their writing as that would have assuredly been pushing it in terms of exposure to my cold. After work I took a melancholy ride on a wistful trolley to the urine scented subway station looking forward to home and rest. Pretty much worked out. And oh by the way I'm feeling a lot better now and will be back at the gym tomorrow.)
There was a surge of people forcing their way on the subway car. Chubby Mexican women and fat African Americans and angry old white men and a spaced out kid with a mohawk and a confused middle aged white lady and me. I got one of the last seats as others twirled around in angry confusion. Quickly got book out of backpack to lose myself in its pages and avoid looking at my fellow passengers.
Next stop more people crowded on including one stoned black kid blasting his music so we could all hear it so I put on my headphones so that I was drowning out noise now as well as sights. Did glance up and see that same jerk and he was rolling a joint right there in front of everyone on the crowded car. He didn’t care and wouldn’t care about anything or anyone much until the day he woke up in jail and was all like what the fuck and angry/depressed/confused and suddenly quite bitter but not curious about how his life got that way it just did and sheeet. Maybe he’ll avoid all that and turn his life around and go to school and get a job and be productively happy and fruitful and contribute ideas to a better society and good positive energy. Likely not though. Not a lot of people successfully change their directions in life most going down one way streets and a lot headed the wrong way. Bam. All those head on collisions in life.
I got off the train at my stop which is what I usually do because getting off before or after my stop is fucking ridiculous and I may say and write some ridiculous shit but rarely do I do anything so ridiculous as get off at a stop that isn’t mine. I’m kinda normal that way. I was in the throes of a nasty cold so had arranged for oldest daughter to pick me up and she wasn’t there yet coming as she was from work herself and so I waited cause what else was I gonna do? She arrived and I got in the car and we talked and listened and then were on our block and parked and then were in the house where my wife was glad to see me and sorry I didn’t feel better and made me tea and rubbed my back and I wanted to cry because she was so sweet to me but instead I sat down and numbly watched some TV but not too much because I’ve gotten to where I can only stand a little bit of it unless its showing me a movie without commercial interruption or a really good soccer match. Otherwise TV makes me want to pour my brain out and fry it and then let it cool on the window sill before feeding it to a hungry dog which is what you might as well do if you watch too much TV.
I went to bed early and slept.