The other night I met a gal who had a fanciful dream like mine. She came all the way across town to this lonesome coffee shop under the spotlight, “for the atmosphere of the place” she says. It is a Friday night, so undoubtedly, a strange man came in to ask for change, and then an equally intriguing fellow told him to kindly fuck off in other words.
“What are you writing” I say
“My thoughts.” | in a leather bound notebook she got from Chapters. A huge corporate scam of her full $45 dollars. But what are our thoughts worth?
Recent off the high infatuation of Europe, she says she regrets not having recorded her journey. And here we are, in our virtual world, you’re reading mine. She shows me the screen on her laptop – because of course in this digital world, even the ever elusive romance of a coffee shop is perversely eager to be connected to the loud voiced opinions of the masses – she tells me it’s a public blog entry of anonymous users about sexism. I ask her if this was her passion in life.
“No, just a hobby on my days off. I work as a nurse.”
We small talk in ways one would passively contain themselves for want of the haughty intelligence for those half-a-world-away, those Francois and Italians who boast of their culture and music. Vancouver is beautiful we say. And it is.
I walk into a Whole Foods store. There are pumpkin flowers – of the real kind, sold for $25 each – and a young gal rearranges them and timidly greets a gentlemen and a gentlewoman walking her way. Her station smells pungent of fresh death. Soft petals stepped over. Let’s all celebrate Thanksgiving.
There is a soup station and I watch a young Asian couple scoop some into a small plastic cup. The boy tastes it; they mutter softly and leaves. I do the same, not even knowing if this was proper tradition or something you did and were overlooked because you are a young couple. The large scoop, whatever it may be called, spills some on my hand, but I pretend like it doesn’t hurt. I sip on it softly as if the warmth of it does not fog my glasses. It’s bland, but at the Whole Foods store, this is where the sophisticated health of our modern day happens.
I am back home. I have just moved out. A small little space. I listen to old school rock with a small iHome magnifier – if I did in fact catch that name right.
My drunken neighbor slips in and out of the shared corridor to smoke under the small wooden infrastructure in my landlord’s rugged backyard. I always thought the smoke would kill the plants, but then again, so does my every attempt at nurturing one, so what do I know? Their loud parrot hacks and caws. Quite honestly, it is such an ugly sound. I never came to regard one to be the same again.
I spend Saturday morning sleeping in.
My landlord’s children above stomps. My fellow downstairs neighbor – two women – one asks ” Why are you crying?” and the other whimpers, and that’s when I turn on the music and pretend like we’re not one wooden door frame apart.
I finally figured out this one vague memory I had of watching the news – like never.
A thin young man with ear phones commenting on some absurd thing or another. His name was Aaron Swartz, and I am a year late in mourning but I watched his documentary and thought to myself …
…So much. Then I searched rabidly for a certain poem by Billy Collins that I came across yesterday. You see, I would like to have my own library some day. In the same fictitious way you would watch documentaries and read literature for the fortified allegory of class; I search high and low for some respectable treasures. I bought a run down version of ‘The Color Purple’ and fell in love on the first page of its erotic, macabre, and dirty narration. Such a classic.
I found the poem. It’s called Plight of the Troubadour. I don’t really understand it, but I really don’t think I’ve ever truly understood a single poem in my life.