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Synonyms Of Banana Bread
The city. The streets. The peasants of the twenty-first century. In and out of mainstream clothing stores, up and down Avenues of Luminescence trying to repress epileptic convulsions, jumping in yellow cabs and reappearing on the same streets with the same peasants in the same city. The city of pursed lips and babes in bandeau skirts with windows serving screwdrivers. Plastic and pregnant with despair.
And I find myself just like every other one of these nonsensical heretics. Mildly-Moderately attractive with room for personal bias. Horn rimmed glasses, “throwbacks” if you will. And what damn purpose do they serve if I’ve seen all I care to? What purpose do my flannel shirts and my irony have even if I’m naked anyway? We all at once, said the Stain Horse.
Same as always. Same clouds, same sunshine, same aching soles and damp underarms. Just glad to be out of that soul-sucking office. I fantasize about leaving, but what else is a fool like me supposed to do? It’s better than seeing my ribs through this pale skin of mine.
I shut my peeling door and I watch the dust particles around my ankles collect, wishing they would thicken and fill the room. Then take me with them when they disperse. Such sad thoughts. Such sad thoughts I’d never say aloud.
A friend tells me, “You need to clean this shithole.”
“My clothes are fresh. I am loving the lint roller; it has my vote.”
“I never know what you think.”
“Too much maybe.”
“Maybe. Maybe I am soliciting synonyms of “banana bread” and have absolutely no idea. Maybe I’m withdrawn and dream of Vicodin and lobotomies. Or maybe I don’t think at all.”
“Don’t remind me or you’ll be just like the rest.”
“Just don’t kill yourself tonight. Morning I’ll see you.”
He leaves a sweat stain from his meaty ass on a perfect good chair. Goodbye, chair. You were everything to me.
Temperature is endurable. Cool for the merciless summertime. Figured I ought to relish in the peaceful silence and honking of twilight in urban America. Street lights are a nuisance, but a necessary nuisance I suppose. People eating while they walk, disgusting.
Eating alone is an artistry of mine. A prized quality. Humans are pack animals. Bogus. Why is there then a fierce demand for isolation and moments spent in solitude in front of a computer screen? Watching a blinking cursor on a blank page or dysfunctional families resolving arguments every twenty-three minutes. When I eat alone I am perfectly content, but don’t trust me, I’m a liar and an ungrateful consumer whore. But these things don’t matter who got made fun of way back when.
Diners are nostalgic establishments that cannot be trusted. The waitresses are embezzling uglies with too many suckers at home. But I participate. I make sense of the nonsense and force myself to conform for pancakes after dark. But these people, goddamn them! Just look at them. Forking American cheese and sipping red wine with their asses parked on pleather seats and fluorescent lights beating down on their lovesick shells. Whether it’s financial independence or emotional independence or just being exhausted for, they are phonies. So jealous and special also. More built for this world than the truth tellers like me.
So I leave as by myself as when I arrived. Turns out the keychain renewed the lease and what does anyone know? Dear Self, no feeling very.
I sink back into a trance of glazed eyes and my filthy green couch beneath me. Green like snot. Green like dying palm trees. I surround myself with unpleasant colors and shapes and sounds. Force myself to listen to absurd music lacking any real poetry. Just a thought why I delight in disgust. My favorite most beloved emotion. Oh how I comfort in it. Disgust is a knitted blanket of Bohemian yarn and a mug of hot cliche liquid and Christmas carols oozing in from the sewage pipes. Joy is being stuck in traffic on Pacific Coast Highway and wizards more like magicians and broke assholes dressed up like Elmo in Times Square. Joy is second-hand embarrassment and racial slurs and body odor and headaches and toothaches and car crashes and backaches and medication that makes you s*** yourself. Shall I go on?
Mornings I don’t indulge in coffee. Fatigue is a benzodiazepine. Walking to and from my destinations haunts me like cats with milky paws and oddly placed whiskers. Define cuteness for me. I am asking. But walking is an inevitable odyssey; it’s become like the adventures. I am Oedipus before he f*ed his mother. A code-master of animalistic Hollywood deception and tomfoolery. Out to save the city I might eventually rule. My odyssey constantly evolves. New evils lurk in Prada and Nike. In communal trashcans and behind sunglasses. In purses, in briefcases, in big curly hair, in gutters and scaffolding. Remove the crust from your eyes and if your lucky, the spell is lifted. Now how to make it stay lifted. One press of the perfume bottle.
I see women resembling the ones I used to know. Witches beneath the skin with trimmed claws and eyes too close together. King Midas. Lip-stick stains on all they touch. Stay away from me. I lost the game and didn’t receive a goddamn participation award. The helpline called. So much for that Christmas card; sweaters don’t suit me no how. The low cut everything. Don’t they know they’re all serial killers who prematurely knock down the dominos?
Her nose is frosty in the summertime. She thinks that snow can dampen our merriment. The corner girl on Third. Seventeen, maybe. Already aspiring to greatness cause daddy got her a goddamn internship for the “experience,” but most likely for that college application. Maybe I’m making it all up though. I catch her every day during her ten-minute escape, puffing on Dunhills. Not Marlboros. Dunhills. Like some kind of I don’t even know. Dressed in corporate costumes that can’t disguise her desire for torn up tights and bustiers. She looks me dead in the eye and scowls like it’s high school again and I’m me and she’s her.
You’re a ridiculous question, corner girl. She is not her. She is she. And yet she is her if her is what I choose to see in she. Again the guy in the show is falling between you. It sounds like I might regret saying this, but I’m done with these suckers, I just begun. Corner girl, with your flatulent tongue-twisters, are you nothing more than a Cartier ring and demonic red lips? Are you really scowling? Are you really repulsed by my early-onset frown lines and apparent aloneness? Sometimes happiness is what does one. Or are you as intrigued as I am? But numbers between us force me to the other side of the street, sweet corner girl, sweet Lolita. Heaven and Hell form heart shaped hands that confuse me yes or no.
Would I have a single excuse if fear were not a factor? Trust me to come up with a reason why not, my beloved corner girl. You’re a lot lately. I feel competitive with a cape on. With super-human radioactive powers, I’d have you. Someone to eat with. Someone to deliver convoluted speeches of meaningless love to. Nature and nurture f*ed me over on this one. Where’s my plaque that states I’m not a jackass. My walls are looking bare. Stuffed penguins to the core.
I walk on, but this time look back at corner girl and see she is looking at me. Is it disdain or is it curiosity? Or yet more still. My subjective lenses show me the worst, but a childish lobe deep within me delivers promise. I’ll say hello tomorrow. I’ll etch it in my forearm if I must.