Friday, March 8, 2013
The Talkative Corpse: Part Three
Scroll down to begin with parts One and Two in previous posts.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Although I’m irrationally excited about this project, I don’t feel like I have that much to say right now. Goddamnit. I don’t want to just talk about my own sad dull existence. A fucking time-traveling perzine is only marginally more useful than a normal Internet “blog.” But last night’s comedy-news programs haven’t been posted on the Internet yet, and I only watch the comedy news programs because the real ones are so full of bullshit. The comedy programs have to make the news funny, duh, so they have to do their research a little better to get all the little factual ins and outs that make life on earth so murderously hilarious.
And to tell you the truth, I’m in a better mood than I was in last week, because the heat wave is just now beginning to break.
That didn’t stop my goddamn neighbor from seeing me in my underwear this morning, though.
My luck being what it is, of course it was another man.
People in Uptown of the busybody stripe—the sort of needle-voiced sandal-wearer that likes talking about ‘community’ despite the fact that she wouldn’t have a social life outside of her goldfish if it weren’t for block parties and local elections— like to brag that the neighborhood is, statistically speaking, the most ethnically and occupationally diverse neighborhood in the country (a more bragworthy distinction than “the vomitorium of the North Side”). Which is nice if and when you feel like a beer and a random chat: if you get too tired of one kind of shithead there’s always another, and people are social animals, after all, even myself, technically speaking.
But when you’re not feeling so fellowly, and you’re trying to mind your own business, you wind up getting your face shoved into the intersection of two facts: number one, that the differences in the ways in which different cultures do things are not necessarily shallow, and number two, if there’s one thing all people have in common it’s that they’re self-centered and don’t think in their heads very much before they begin to stumble about doing things in the real world.
Take the guy who lives across my hall, and now knows roughly how large my penis is. To put it mildly, he and I have differing ideas about boundaries. I’m not sure where he’s from— I couldn’t place the accent, and most of his face was hidden under a forest of curling red-black moustaches and beardstyles—but apparently on his planet everyone lives in the same house.
I kind of get the communal space thing, my family is Catholic; my relatives all treat each other’s houses like an extension of their own. When my uncles come to town, they don’t ask my Dad can we stay at your place, they tell him “we’re coming” and ask “what’s to eat?” When my dad decides he wants to visit me at random there’s no warning, I just come home from work and find him sitting on my bed, already bored, with fifty different goddamn things he wants to talk to me about. I don’t even know how the fuck he got the key! He got to know my landlady somehow, I guess. Maybe she lives near him, in Bridgeport where I grew up. So, ding, there he is, like a gnome in a fairy tale.
So I understand. But I don’t assume everybody else is going to be like my family (who annoy the shit out of me anyway). I try to go with what I’m guessing are the basic common cross-melting-pot way things are done. You know, act family with your family, act like a secretary on a sitcom around everyone else, just to be safe and also to be basically courteous.
This guy, apparently, he doesn’t think about that. Doesn’t even think once, much less twice.
I had my door propped a quarter-way open this morning, to try to let some sort of breeze through from my studio apartment into the hallway, because it was still hot as Satan’s scrotum and I’ve only got windows on one side of the room. I was sitting by the TV in my y-front underpants, under the reasonable assumption that nobody I don’t know (I didn’t even know this particular neighbor existed till today) is going to fucking wander the fuck into my room just because the door’s ajar. I know I said this is a fixer-upper of a neighborhood, but the building itself, despite the low rent and weird smell, has a landlady who is careful about things; the cramped little rooms are mostly full of single young girls struggling to start out in their careers... Nooooo, Future, I don’t bother them. Aside from being self-aware I am also, at this point in my life, almost entirely and thankfully free of the bitch-goddess Hope. My point being, they’re almost as unlikely to come bother me as I am to go bother them.
But suddenly I hear a knock—one fucking knock! Barely even a formality!—and suddenly my door’s yanked open wide and this fucking MAN is standing there staring at me in my private goddamn underpants!
We’re both quiet and completely embarrassed for a minute—I supposed that he didn’t expect me to be in my skivvies with the door half-open any more than I supposed anyone would consider that crack of the door an invitation. Insofar as I was supposing anything besides “NO, FUCK YOU, BUDDY!”
Finally he mumbled that he wanted to know which way my window fan was blowing ’cause he wants his window fan to blow in the same direction so we can get a current blowing through. So I know that he goddamn knew I didn’t have my goddamn door propped because I wanted to invite the entire building for the grand tour of the postage stamp I live in. He knew I had that damn thing open BECAUSE IT IS HOTTER THAN SHIT. But he just stuck his nose in there anyway like I was his fucking cousin. I appreciate his cooperative spirit—I have to admit, it’s definitely cooler in here now that we’ve got the coordinated fan system going instead of sweating to death in our private cells. But christ, man, why the fuck would you simultaneously knock on and open a stranger’s door? I’ve even trained my brother to pretend to be more thoughtful than that, and he’s a goddamn Neanderthal.
What was my neighbor thinking? He had no fucking idea what he was going to find behind that door he just barged through. Didn’t he think people would be walking around their own apartments in their underwear in this goddamn heat? Doesn’t he? If he’s too much of a prude to think of walking around his own place in his tighty-whities then why is he barging in on someone else’s private space?
And—now that I think about it—he didn’t even know he’d find another guy behind the door he broached in such a neighborly fucking fashion.
Was he half hoping (his chances were pretty damn good in this building) he’d be apologizing to a half-naked girl instead of me? Fucking sack of shit! I practically feel like I’ve been raped in the vagina. Part of me wants to go over there and bash his head in on behalf of my sisters so my old dad doesn’t have to do it. What the fuck was he thinking?
Well, like most people, he was not fucking thinking. Why the FUCK doesn’t ANYBODY EVER THINK!??!
Do you have nonthinking problems, Future? I hope people get smarter before you read this, because otherwise, I’m not sure I want there to be a future.
Then again, I suppose I’d rather have a dumb-shit knuckle-dragging neighbor that I complain about than a dickhead young professional who’s going to complain about me, possibly to the landlady. Not that there’s any danger of someone like that moving in here. I think half the reason I’m crying like a bitch these days is because I’m getting to the end of the part of your life where there’s really much hope for any substantial change—well, for the better anyway. You might take up Chinese with your tired old brain and learn to beg for mercy, but that’s about it. I just realized the other day how pathetically happy I’d be if I could suddenly move up from eight bucks an hour to ten, and I cried again.
 “Perzines” were an unfortunate mutation of the late-20th-centry “fanzine,” itself a delightful literary form in which fans of certain forms of art made their own magazines devoted to their obsessions; when these became somwhat popular, the more self-indulgent among their readership started photocopying and distributing their damn diaries, which became inexplicably popular with other fuckwits. With the gallumphing triumph of our electronic age the perzines mutated further into personal weblogs, or blogs, where the quality of the writing (further) deteriorated because it was so fucking easy to do that you didn’t need much motivation or inspiration to flood the e-waves with your uselessness.
 China is a gigantic communist country whose (private?) banks now own a good chunk of our national debt. Yeah, I don’t understand how that happened either, but the jokes that my contemporary nationmates make about how they’re going to own us someday sound more nervous all the time. (Or we might be owned by Britain again, since that tiny island nation somehow has most of the important banks in the world, but that would be almost too symmetrical for this sloppy, borderless universe.)