My return to the east coast has been five Magic School Bus books’ worth of self-discovery. All but two of these discoveries relate to how difficult it is to carry out my life whilst entirely submerged in water. Normally I love humidity because it means I don’t have to perm my hair and I can grow mold directly in my sinuses instead of having to snort it out of the vegetable crisper. But, after returning from a place with lunar aridity, I feel overpowered. Holler at me if you enjoy moist, because you’ll fucking love every goddamned floor, wall, and table surface in my apartment. You’ll be mashing your body against them like you’ve taken a double hit of ecstasy while singing Marvin Gaye and bathing in rainbows. I’ll be in the corner, wearing shoes.
I’ve slowly been replacing “sleep” with “writing.” I have a lot of buffer here, thanks to the past twenty-seven years where I slept a few extra minutes each day. Those minutes were stored somewhere safe, or invested wisely in some Roth 401A, from which the return dividends are then tax advantaged with subprime deposit withdrawals and rollover minutes. It’s going well, words are moving. The time and manner of the inevitable endgame is less clear; I can tell that eventually I will simply owe the world an apology.
Monday was the first annual Labor Day dinner outing at P.F. Chang’s. Between the three of our group, we had it from an estimated 0 people that this was a worthwhile endeavor, and one person told us literally five minutes before our arrival that we were all going to contract what was made to sound as some form of Montezuma’s revenge. But we pressed on, as we had just donned our supper jackets and the private reservation had already been made. What was most impressive was the restaurant’s dismissal of the idea that food was actually requisite for our enjoyment of their establishment. Over the next six hours I observed the same tray of eight wonton soups delivered over and over again to the same distant table, to a man whose face was never seen, by a boy who has never aged and knows nothing of greed or petty jealousy. I had a Coke that must have refilled at least twelve times. And then at one point I looked down and discovered that, not only was there food, but there was food no longer. I opened my mouth in wonder, and it was blocked by something. That something is known as The Great Wall of Chocolate; it is an admixture of the darkest cocoa, lead, and original sin. Two of the really real actual Terracotta Army knelt behind us in silence, a twinkle in their eye that bespeaks having just watched three souls eat product containing horsemeat soaked in brine. We checked in with one another after twenty-four hours. Ryan reports an overall decrease in his desire for food of any sort. My atrophy is more universal; I could go either way on nutrition, motion, and breathing under my own power. And Chris is gone as far as I know.