02 June 2014

The Truth About Commuting Not Being Yourself and Aliens Who Walk Among Us (With Very Few Parenthetical Remarks)

"But I never dreamed, and even in spite of my great determination, my experience in the arts of solitude, and my poverty's freedom -- I never dreamed I'd be taken in too by the world's actions I din't think it possible that --....
Well on with the details, which is the life of it -- " - From Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac.

This woman standing in front of me line at the BART station was texting and I snuck a peak. She had begun one message: "um, who are these magical people taking care of Michael..." Really. She began a text with "um." Texting is a succinct communication to the point that people generally go with "k" instead of "ok" because you know that extra letter. But she actually tossed in an um. I didn't know whether to be confused or impressed or shocked. So I went with awe struck. Good choice no?

MUNI drivers called a sick out today and I like a lot of people didn't know so I waited 30 minutes for a trolley. Idiot. I support the workers. Power to the people. One big union. Right on. But I was peeved at the world 30 -- friggin' minutes. On a Monday. When I happened to have a lot to do before charging in to my first class with a burst of "Good morning everybody!" And I better get a good response. Dig.

So what I had to do see was take a cab. Can you imagine taking a fucking cab to work? Put me out $12. Really. But hey I performed a miracle and was ready for first class with time to spare so dashed to Starbucks for a coffee -- grande dark roast. And of course didn't have time to take my wallet out of my jacket pocket  and jacket was hanging on a hook so couldn't pay but they know me so I was like comped. Cool. Had my fix and it was "good morning everybody!" The response was tepid so I demanded an encore. Got it and time to talk prepositions.

Had to walk to BART on trip home. That was 30 minutes on the nose which was as you may recall was how long I'd waited for a trolley that never came. Got on a train backtracking to get a seat because you know I'd just walked an unexpected half hour and needed to sit. So I did and saw a lot of people. Man folks come in all sizes and shapes and colors and wear all kind of clothes and smell different and act different and avoid each other and talk and laugh and hide from truths because the truth is so difficult because there it is. Truth is in front of you and obvious and uncomfortable if you don't welcome it. You've got to learn how to embrace it and accept it and make it part of your life. You can't hide. You can't drown it in liquor or obscure it with drugs or pretend its something different because of your religion or political ideology. You need to swim in it. Let it course through your veins. Dance with the truth. It will make you free. And happy. If that happiness comes out of pain well so does life. Or do you not remember being born? Say you don't.

Picture not taken today. Call it a file photo.
Finally got to downtown Berkeley and strolled home. Walked by the historic post office near downtown that is supposed to be sold. Some people have been UP IN ARMS about this. Been dragging on for what like years almost? The "activists" fighting this sale are persistent, let me tell ya. There were four of them meeting on the post office steps. And the calendar may say June but it was cold and totally overcast. There they were four old people probably in their later '60s probably upper middle class people strategizing or whatever the hell they do and dressed like they find their clothes in the dumpster because Berkeley. I kind of like these people. They've got something in front of them that they're not letting go of. Very zen in a way. Just at it. Methodically.

So I walked home. Came in. Hugged the wife. Saw a book I ordered had arrived (I tried to buy it locally but could never find a copy). Was disappointed that it was a crappy old mass market paperback edition with that minuscule print that I can't hack anymore and not the what they call trade paperback very recent edition. Had to send angry messages. (Since you're wondering the book is You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe. Any other questions I can help you with?) If only a local bookstore had had a copy for the last year or so that I've been looking none of this would have happened and I wouldn't feel guilty for leaving a bigger carbon footprint by ordering on line.

Dinner was really good. The missus outdid herself. She was outdone and by her own self. Being surpassed by yourself must really be kind of weird ya know like your schizophrenic. Not that the wife is. Far from it. I'm the loony tune in the relationship. People look at us and wonder what the hell she's doing stuck with me. Hell I wonder that myself and I am me -- last I checked anyway for all I know I'm somebody else now which would be weird because if your not yourself....I have had days when I haven't been myself but then again I haven't actually been anyone else. If you're not yourself today are you someone else? Who? Are you someone who is alive at the same time like you're a doppelgänger? Or have you assumed the form of someone who is dead? Or perhaps even someone who has not yet been born. Maybe you're just fictional. Not a real person at all. These are things to ponder next time you find yourself saying: I'm just not myself today.

I'd be careful.

Do aliens assume human form and walk among us? Are they the people having loud cell phone conversations on buses? It's hard to imagine that a human would do such a thing. I can totally see humans killing maiming and torturing we do that shit all the time (not me personally mind you but our species). But somehow it seems unimaginable that a human would be stupid and insensitive enough to start yakkng louldly on a cell phone while in a public conveyance surrounded by fellow human beings. I believe I'm on to something which means we just may have to give a pass to those assholes talking on their cells on the bus. They're from other galaxies and just don't know.

So why walk among us? Why not just introduce themselves? "Hi my name is Karl I'm from such and so planet in such and so galaxy a billion miles from here. Nice to meet you." What we're going to do is say "hi" back and maybe ask a question or two. But I see it from their perspective. Next thing you know they're doing the talk show circuit and before long they're on Dancing With the Stars. Totally not worth it. Better for them they just observe and report back and if they're race is at all intelligent they'll vow to stay away from us. Although I bet you they'd bring back some pizza. 

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