01 March 2015

A Meeting, A Bookstore and Homeless Screamers

Was in a meeting at work Friday. One of those 50 minute deals that could have been done in five at most or better yet done without entirely with the announcements being handled by email.

I sat there and imagined taking a long razor sharp needle and jabbing in into various parts of my head until enjoying death’s sweet release. Voices droned on saying nothing. The more words spoken the less meaning. Every utterance floated wistfully in the air swaying from ear to ear with no purpose or destination. Words became like a dentist’s drill. Minds softened to pulpy masses. Brains putrified. A sigh here. A yawn there. Feet shuffling. Pencil drops. A head is scratched.

Then we see charts. And graphs. They have numbers that represent nothing. We don’t care. We stare glassy eyed. Boredom clutches at throats digging its fingers in towards the larynx. The clock ticks backwards. In other parts of the world people are dying, over dosing, being arrested, being operated on, suffering intestinal pain, fighting and arguing and being diagnosed with incurable diseases. How I envy them.

But it gets worse.

We are to discuss this utter rot  on the  charts and graphs. In groups of three. My group includes a man who came to our school from the bowels of hell. He is a strange creature who keeps to himself. Perhaps because no else can stand the sight of him. There are only three things he ever utters: stupid remarks, offensive remarks and prevarications. His acquaintance with is only theoretical.  So yeah I'm stuck with him. He dominates our conversation. The other member of our troika is a wonderful human being. She gamely tries to counter the miscreants ludicrous comments. I stare at the table trying to summon Dante. It is an intellectual inferno.

I mutter one comment just for appearance’s sake. Then return my steady gaze to the table. Vultures are circling the room. I will soon be carrion. I imagine the floor covered with blood and feces and entrails and carcasses and spent ammunition. I blink. This is a crippling agony of human discomfort. This is a mighty corporation foisting its banality on teachers and one of the teachers, the one to my left is a blithering idiot in the guise of an intellectual.

At least we are as one group. Free from the troll. (Why did I sit next to him? Right, it was the only empty seat when I entered. Why didn’t I decapitate him with an axe? For this I have no answer.)

The meeting goes on and crazy lady starts to yammer. She has a good soul but no brain. For every point she has a comment. A long winded comment. A diatribe. She has no self awareness and does not realize that in a group of 20 she does 30% of the talking and it ranges from the insipid to the obnoxious. We are embarrassed by her. Once she gets started people begin to study their shoelaces.

At least the meeting ends. I grow wings and fly from the room. Free. The great release from a dungeon most foul.

I do not like meetings.

There was a young couple in a bookstore. They stood very close to one another in the fiction section. They were lovers. Obviously. Earlier that day they had awoken from a night of vigorous love making. He woke up first. His name is Rob. He got up and urinated and smiled into the mirror. Rob returned to the bed and Kristen had woken up and was looking at her iPhone. They kissed. They made love again. They showered. They dressed. They went out for breakfast and the wait was 45 minutes. They talked about their hometowns and high schools and their favorite professors and Summer plans. They ate breakfast. Now they were in a bookstore. Neither of them had much time to read what with being juniors at the university. Plus  Rob worked part time at the library and Kristen was on the lacrosse team and of course they had full loads. But Rob was an English major and couldn’t resist getting a copy of Eliot’s Silas Marner cheap. Kristen was an economics major. She bought a card she thought her mom might like.

The two lovers — Rob and Kristen — left the bookstore and went to study together. I saw them leave and wondered how long they’d stay together.

Then I walked home. On the way I passed two homeless men arguing. One was saying: “go ahead and hit me then.” He was sitting cross legged on the ground. The other man stood above him. Across the street were two more homeless people arguing. This was a man and a woman and they maybe were a couple. The man was wearing a Minnesota Twins cap. The woman was very dirty. She had no shoes. One of her socks was black and the other white. Her dress had a huge tear in it. I’m pretty sure she was severely mentally ill. She was screaming at the man in the Twins’ cap. I did not wonder anything about either of these pairs of people nor have I created a back story for them. I was glad to be away from them and home. At home I spoke with my family for a bit and then had a bite to eat. I’d been walking home from a basketball game when I stopped at the bookstore. The basketball game was one of those perfect sports events that make you tingle the rest of the day and want to go to another.

The meeting I mentioned before was on Friday. The events of today I’ve described were on this a Sunday. In between was a Saturday which was my birthday. That was a really good day. I got dinner, cake, gifts and was sung to. Can’t beat that. Now I’m going to watch Ingmar Bergamn’s Persona which was one of my birthday gifts. Lucky lucky me.

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