Merry Christmas Monday

I told myself that I would leave the UPS notice alone but, of course, I had to track the piano down. It’s at a hub that is closed on weekends. I tried everything short of bribing the worker who was hinting that he could, maybe, get to the box. But I am by myself today and I’m not sure the tip would have been worth being unable to lift or transport it.

It would have been nice if Guy had worked around the overtime, but 1. I have not allowed him to comprehend the importance of such a thing and 2. Hello, a full day of overtime. There is the Working World and there is What I Want. We have been exchanging some harsh words as of late.

Scott, a difficult man and manager, understood rather well. If it has anything to do with culture or class, you bring out his gentleman side. He says I can wait around all day for it to show up, Monday. We both know that UPS is Disappointing and that a piano is necessary.

I’m just waiting to say hello. There is so much about it that I don’t know, yet. It’s digital, has USB and SD ports, is dark brown in color. Comes with a bench and headphones. The simple idea is so exciting. I will be happy as long as it sounds good; I really don’t care about the synth aspect or transposition or anything like that. I just want to hear some brilliance and see if the piano resonates anything like reviews claim. I wonder if the keys are lighter or heavy. I wonder if they will have a ting, ting plastic clank against what short nails I manage to keep. And I have to figure out where it’s going to stay, in the beginning. I hope that it has not been damaged. I hope that it plugs in.

I need to get ready. It would be rude to have these dishes still in the sink. It might not care, then again it may be offended.

I hope it likes me.

Hormonal Excuses

It was the twelfth time I had seen him with that can of spray cheese in his hand.

“Really? Let’s see what this big fucking deal is about.”

“Whut?” he asks, confused as I take the can from his hand.

The can, of course, feels empty. I manage to squeeze a pile of orange on top of several crackers before shoving them into my mouth.

Eh. Kind of not great.

I read the nutrition info from the back, explaining, “So basically, I’m swallowing lard, right now.” I have a few more crackers.

“What are you doing?”

“Okay!” I clap my hands. “What’s next? AH HA!” I nod to the familiar wine glass (or three or four) that have concluded his days for over the past year.

I threw the freezer open and grabbed the Jager bottle.

“Are you okay?”

I empty it into a glass. Maybe a split second of hesitation when I lift the black sludge from the counter top.

Downed. Tastes like codeine syrup. I’ve stopped making eye contact. Rinse the glass under the faucet.

“Now, what? Do we stand outside in the freezing cold for a smoke break? Let’s smoke some pot. Let’s go.”

I can tell he decided to stop it, there. That maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t bluffing.

“AUTUMN, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?”

“I’m doing what you do. You told me a long time ago, ‘this is me’. I can like you or I can go like someone else, right?” I slam the glass down and retreat.

Silence.

He leans over the ledge to the living room and looks down. Quietly, he says…

“I thought we were having a good day.”

I turn and look up.

“I’m not mad.” Maybe disgusted. Maybe tired. Definitely not myself. I wanted to show him something I hadn’t even translated, yet.

“You don’t have to make me feel bad.”

“I’m sorry,” I say. I’m numb. All there is, is this time.

“Maybe I’ve become an abusive person.” I offer.

He blinks. He cries.

I look over the next morning and blood has come from his nose, onto his upper lip. He spent hours in the attic, laying fiberglass insulation for our house while I’d paced the bottom level.

I shut up.

What the hell, or, Monday Morning.

Last night I took the yellow bus before I remembered that I parked my car outside the school. And wasn’t even in school anymore. The bus only had a few kids on it. I thought, “Now I have to wait for the route to go way out into the country…”

Somehow I was dropped off at the end of the building’s parking lot. I walked to my car and was suddenly in a garage where a pool or tub had been removed.

In the middle of the floor, water started coming up. It was going to flood everything so I took a hose and got the water to suck up from the puddle to a well-draining patch outside in the yard. It was raining, too.

Bruce Springsteen walked out and the rain turned to sunshine. We started walking away from the garage and he said, “We’ll need to meet somewhere different, this time.”

I felt kind of bad. I had planned the meeting places.

“They were okay, ” he explained, “but there were so many evil spirits.”

Now we are walking through an open field, orange and yellow, wheat grass almost as tall as me in big patches.

“We had to kill that vampire. Remember that?” he asked.

Though I cannot now, I remembered, then. The team effort. A monumental feeling.

I hugged Bruce Springsteen. Temporary euphoria. It felt like love.

Then he put his hands around my neck.

I couldn’t quite believe it.

I start fighting and yelling. He just goes, “Shhhhhhhhh.”

I struggle with what’s worse, dying, or dying by a hero’s hands. Both have left me in shock.

Then I am watching us, or not even the woman, anymore. She has a barbed wire fence wrapped around her neck and is stuck, kneeling there.

She says, “You know they’ll come for me.”

Bruce looks like he hadn’t thought of it, like maybe he’d planned to kill me/her himself. But this sounds better. He just walks off.

She/I waited for him to disappear. She starts pulling at the wire around her neck and

I wake up.

Friday Nights

I have a paranoia that, in social situations, I look too quiet. Not that it reveals that I’m shy or that I can’t be very shy… But oftentimes I land in these places where people are talking loudly, laughing hard, shouting with crazy looks in their eyes and I’m just standing there.

Everyone was laying the jokes on thick at the bowling alley. They would throw a gutter ball or hit some pins and every time, something inside them made them yell and cheer about that. Every time, every person, every kind of bowl.

At some point during his euphoric nacho scarfing, ball-driving and shit-shooting, Brad took a look at his beer mug. He said, to all of us on the group date, "Why is there a nacho in my beer?"

I sat there sipping my Crown Royal and Coke (old soul) and I thought, "Oh, Jesus. Don’t say it. So stupid. Fuck it."

"Nacho’ beer."

Blair took a second of silent amazement, his face getting ready for the outburst, and started to die. When his girlfriend made it back from the lane he was still laughing, "Oh my GOD you MISSED it."