“If your wore a jacket once in a while, you would look more handsome,” she said. They were having coffee together.
“Yeah?” he said, “Not really my style.”
“It could be your style.”
“That’s very presumptuous to say on a third date,” he laughed but she did not.
“I’m trying to help you. You’re a handsome guy, but you have no sense of style.”
“Really? You think I’m handsome?”
“Oh, come on. Fishing for complements?”
“No, I’m actually… No.”
“You know, I never understood guys. We try to give you good advice, try to make your life better. But all you care about is your comfort zone. You think you’re so macho with you t-shirts and jeans?”
“It’s just comfortable.”
“It used to be only children who wore these. Now grown men dress like children. They act like children.”
“I’ll uh… I’ll try to do better,” he said. “Would you help me pick a jacket?”
“You should be able to do it yourself. My ex-boyfriend always did. He has such a great sense of style.”
A woman walked by with three children. He and she both looked at the woman, then at the children.
I was on the train to work, drinking a cup of coffee, when I got the text. My brother said the test results were back and he had liver cancer. Again.
Continue reading “My People”
“Hey,” the girl sat down next to me at the kitchen table. It was a party and it was 3 am. “Do you bowl?”
“Oh, the shirt?” I said, “No, I thought we were supposed to wear costumes. I’m Jesus from The Big Lebowski.” Continue reading “Bowling shirt”
The waitress at El Restaurante saw a significant customer. He was significant, because he looked nice, like he was part of the foreground rather than the background. She was not attracted to him. She just thought he looked pretty and important.
So, she took him very seriously and spoke in a serious (but friendly) way: “Hi, welcome to El Restaurante. Would you like today’s lunch special, or something off of the menu?” And so on. She also gave him a serious look before she left, as if she was saying “I got this, I’m a professional, so don’t worry about a thing.”
When she got back behind the counter to prep the order, she had doubts. Maybe she had been too serious? After all, even an important customer comes to El Restaurante to kick back an relax.
As she walked to his table with his drink, she was more relaxed and whimsical. Joyful? Happy-go-lucky? Bubbly? Words cannot describe. Should have sent a poet.
However, this was not right either. That night she would lie awake for a long time, thinking about the customer.
The customer, on the other hand, was not special, sophisticated, or important. He was in idiot, just like everybody else. And just like everybody else, faced with the miracle of human interaction amidst a universe that was vast and cold and dark, he was confused. He texted his buddy: “A waitress at El Restaurante was checking me out today.”
If you are reading this after I am dead, know I am not up there somewhere looking down on you. I am not on my knees worshiping the Lord. I am not in Heaven, eternally in bliss.
I am not in hell either, tormented by demons, of my separation from the creator.
I was alive and experienced great joy and great sorrow. But then I died and my whole self was extinguished.
I knew love, in that grey room with the rain outside, but warmth within. I was at peace sometimes. I was useless most of the time, as are we all.
I was not precious and worth preserving. I was not unique and valuable. I was just a realization of physical processes, and I lasted as long as I needed to last. Not a moment longer.