TALCUM IN THE MIDDLE
Woke up. Urinated. Went out to a nearby restaurant for breakfast. Ordered their “Big Stack” of pancakes, which is supposed to be four pancakes. Instead of four pancakes, though, they gave me three and a tiny sliver of a fourth one. It kind of looked like a very thin crescent moon. I was already sitting down so I didn’t feel like getting up to complain. The handle of the maple syrup container was sticky. Put a napkin between my hand and the handle. The napkin tuck to the handle. Put photocopies of my artwork on bulletin boards. Went back home. Made some phone calls I can’t talk about. Felt depressed about my life so I went to bed at noon. Lay there for two hours. Don’t remember if I fell asleep. Got up, felt bored. Reorganized my bathroom shelf, hence the title of this entry. Did research for a book I’m writing, the plot of which I don’t feel like explaining here. Wondered if the facts I was looking up on Wikapedia were accurate. Finally found some books that seemed like they’d be more accurate. Made a cold cut sandwich. The squeeze bottle of mustard was nearly empty and none came out even when I squeezed it all the way in so I had to open it, get a knife and scrape it out. The only soda I had had aspartame in it and I’ve heard very bad things about aspartame so I didn’t drink it. Had tap water instead. Had a phone call that was both too boring and too personal to talk about. Watched “Saturday Night Live: The Best of Dan Aykroyd” on DVD. The image kept freezing because when I first got the DVD player I put the flatscreen on top of it to save space and, obviously, the screen pressed down on the DVD player and damaged it. Felt depressed so I went to bed early.
Woke up. My pillowcase hadn’t been washed for a few days and made the side of my head itch. Turned it over. That side made the side of my head itch too. Got up. Defecated. Brushed my teeth. Urinated. Worried that the toothbrush had been laying on the dirty sink so I washed the toothbrush and brushed my teeth again. So much toothpaste on the toothpaste tube that I couldn’t tighten it. It just kept turning.
Worked on a drawing. It had glued-on pieces. When I looked at it in side-lighting, I noticed that the stuff I’d glued on with a gluestick was starting to come up. Glued it on with Elmer’s glue. The glue spread to other parts of the drawing, dissolving the colored pencil. Wiped it up with a few Q-Tips. Absent-mindedly put the Q-Tips back in the box. Got a lemon-cranberry scone for breakfast. As I was eating it, I realized I put the Q-Tips back in the box. Not being able to really tell which Q-Tips had glue on them, I threw out the entire box.
Felt depressed and went back to bed. Got up 40 minutes later and went to T. J. Maxx. Something is happening in my life I can’t talk about. Wandered around the Harvard Ave./Comm. Ave. intersection. Talked to someone in a wheelchair I think is either homeless or just poor. He said he loved my artwork. Offered him some photocopies of it but he wouldn’t take them because he had nowhere to put them. I found a rubber band and rolled them up and, while he was talking to somebody else, put them between his leg and the armrest of the wheelchair. He kept talking and talking so I got tired of standing there and left without finding out if he wanted the copies there.
Went home to check my email to see if any of the 20 places I sent my artwork to in the last few days was interested in using my work. Nothing. Sat in a chair and ate a bowl of Wheat Chex. Urinated. Worked on the drawing. Felt unmotivated since no print publications are using my work and the only places I can show it is on Facebook and outdoor bulletin boards. An automatic telemarketing service called and I was suddenly listening to a recorded message about how I qualify for home loans. Hung up. Phone rang again 15 seconds later. This time no voice, just a very faint clicking. I said, “I know where you live.” and hung up. Watched part of “The Social Network” with DVD commentary, ate some Wheat Thins, urinated and went to bed.
Woke up to a ringing phone. When I fumbled around for a flashlight to read the phone display to see who called, the cup of water on my nightstand fell and the ringing stopped at the same time. Defecated. While I was sitting on the toilet, I noticed that it was rocking from side to side. After I finished defecating, i looked for something about a quarter of an inch thick to slip between the base of the toilet and the floor to steady it. Thought of the cases to digital camera cards, but the cards don’t have cases any more. So I knelt down to pull out my supply of old camera cards in the fire-proof box under my bed, but when I slid the box out, it slid into the water i spilled fifteen minutes ago. Got a case, took the card out and slid the case under the base of my toilet. Sat down, it worked. Thought about getting paper towel to wipe up the water but the toilet paper was right there so I got a large rolled-up wad of toilet paper and wiped the floor and the underside of my fire-proof box. Then, since the triviality and the mundanity of these activities, and most of the rest of my life depressed me and my bed was right in front of me, I went back to bed for another hour and a half. Then I got up, went online and read an email response from an art director I’ve been sending my artwork to. I’ve been sending hundreds of samples of my work to him, in both email and snail mail, for eleven years and he’s never used it in his magazine. He wrote, “You’re artwork is getting better! Keep sending it!” Thought momentarily about telling him that he’s stringing me along and he should just tell me if he’s never going to use my work, but decided that if he really was stringing me along he’d just respond to my verbal confrontation by stringing me along some more, probably saying, “I’m really interested in this one piece but I can’t find your email, send it again blah blah blah” so I did nothing. Went into Boston to do an internet radio show on which I’m a semiregular. Can’t talk about most of what happened there, but I’ll say that last week they had water and no cups, so this time I brought cups in my backpack with me, but they already had cups now, but no water. When i used the toilet, somebody from a business down the hall was dumping some cloudy yellow-tan liquid into the toilet. Was worried it was poisonous and it would splash on me so I flushed the toilet three times before I used it. Went on the radio show. Took the trains home. On the second train, a woman of about 22 wouldn’t give me her seat when I obviously was very uncomfortable standing there jammed between two people with my heavy backpack. Wondered if it was rudeness or the fact that i looked younger than 52. Decide it was both. Finally I could inch my way to the back car and sit in one of the stairwells. Suddenly found myself at eye-level with a three-year-old girl. Her mother, who was holding her hand and had her kind of shielded in her overcoat, kind of wrenched her away from with a sudden movement and she fell back against her older brother. Went to eat lunch at a restaurant on Mass. Ave. Suddenly worried that the water I spilled got in the holes in the computer modem, which is near my night stand. Worried the whole time I ate my lunch, which kind of ruined it. Then I thought with anger about the art director who wouldn’t use my work but told me to keep sending it. Remember with relief that I was online after I spilled the water and it was working fine, but then the worry was replaced with anger over the art director. Finished eating. Something happened i can’t talk about. Played a song on the internet jukebox and just sat there listening to it. “Revolution Rock” by The Clash, not that it matters much. Took a train home. Found some acetate to cover a drawing with so if i found the energy and the motivation to go to Staples and get it scanned it wouldn’t get damaged. After I taped the acetate on I saw a film of water on the plastic! Remembered it was on a box near the floor when I spilled the water. Almost praying to myself, i ran my hand over the plastic. It was only on the side away from the drawing, thank God! Watched an episode of the medical comedy-drama “House” on DVD. The CGI effects made me feel bad about not being able to make a movie now, not that I’d be able to do CGI effects like that even if I could. Called 9 people and got only their voice mail messages. Too unmotivated and depressed to leave a message, and almost everyone doesn’t respond to them almost all the time. Sat in a chair, depressed. Lay in bed, depressed. Ate a tangerine. Wrote this blog.
Isolated incident: Opened a bag of Smartfood that said “Kettle Corn”, ate a mouthful, and discovered it was caramel corn! Worried immediately that if they put the wrong type of popcorn in the bag that there could be something else wrong with it, like it could have rat droppings in it or be poisoned! Do they even make caramel corn? If they don’t, that would be worse, wouldn’t it? Is caramel corn sometimes called “kettle corn”? I hope so! Saved the rest of it so, in case I get sick, the contents could be analyzed and I could find out what’s wrong with me.
Woke up. Noticed that my bed was becoming more slanted than usual as a result of lying close to the right edge for years. Crawled over to the higher left side and lay on it until I thought it did some good. Got up. Noticed that my fan was still pointed at the right side of my bed. Pointed it at the left side. Then, since I wasn’t lying there anymore, turned it off. Defecated. Felt anxious and depressed and just sat on my couch staring at the far wall for twenty-five minutes. Got a bowl of peanut butter-flavored granola mixed with Rice Chex and cinnamon Life. It was a metal bowl that I clean with an S.O.S. pad and I worried that I didn’t rinse it before I put the cereal in and might therefore ingest the little metal wires. Dumped the whole thing in the toilet, flushed it and washed out the bowl, making sure to rinse it afterwards. There wasn’t enough cereal left now so I decided to go out to eat. First, I did my monthly activity of emailing samples of my artwork to the art directors of 15 magazines and newspapers, and the curators of 10 galleries, even though nothing ever happens. Went to a nearby restaurant for breakfast. When I sat down at the table, a woman starting talking in a loud, shrill, high-pitched half-shout on her smartphone in the small space between my back and the internet juke box. Decided to play the juke box so she wouldn’t be able to hear the person on the phone and would therefore move away. When I moved my hand to insert the dollar bill, she thought I has reaching for her crotch and moved away anyway. Played “Riders on the Storm” by the Doors. After the storm sound effects and instruments, when Jim Morrison’s voice came on, one of the twentysomething guys behind the counter turned the volume nearly all the way down using a remote device. The woman eventually wandered back. Another seat opened up, so I moved. Ordered a ham and onion omelet with home fries and toast. There were only four pieces of ham in the omelet. Nothing interesting happened as I ate it. Went home. I open the lobby door for a woman who was struggling with a large box. She didn’t say thank you. As she was walking away, I sarcastically shouted “You’re welcome!”. Her head jolted back as if someone was attacking her and then she stared blankly at me me and then gave me a faint wince/smile and walked away. Went back to my apartment and finished my portrait of actress Betty White, which I’m drawing just because I don’t know what else to do. Called Staple’s to ask them if I could get it scanned if I came in in 20 minutes. After listening to “Allentown” by Billy Joel and the beginning of some new song I don’t know, someone came on. I asked the my question and then realized I was talking to no one and when a song came on I realized the silence had been the space between two songs. I listen to the first few seconds of another new song I don’t know and then someone else came on. I asked my question again. They said there’s a 3-hour wait, but I could leave the flashdrive off and come back. I said since it always needs adjustments I’m going to have to leave it off and come back every time they make a slight correction. They said that’s all they can do now. I hung up and suddenly felt depressed and put in a DVD of “Arrested Development”. Noticed that I’ve seen every episode, so I played the extras. Noticed that I’ve seen the extras. Was too depressed and unmotivated to get up so I watched them anyway. Urinated. Went for a walk, putting up my art flyers on the very few legal places I can put them. Ran out of tape and started using bits of loose tape hanging off other people’s flyers. The wind kept pulling up the edges so I gave up. Wandered around a thrift store. It smelled like baby drool. Bought a pillow case. Went to a restaurant and got dinner. Spaghetti with veal cutlet. The spaghetti was overcooked and dried out out. They wouldn’t give me tap water so I bought a $2.25 bottle of bottled water just so I could pour about a tablespoon in the spaghetti. Something happened that I can’t talk about. Something else happened that I can’t talk about. Watch the sports commentary that was on the big-screen TV. Steven A. Smith’s voice sounded like a street being torn up. Couldn’t stand it so I went home. Urinated. Noticed that my pillow case had a rough lace edge on it. Cut it off. Put my artwork in the inboxes of dozens of Facebook community pages, went on a boring messageboard that almost no one types on, wasted time watching parts of old TV shows on YouTube, lay in bed for a while, got up again, sat on my couch and did nothing for forty minutes, ate a stale maple scone, typed this blog.
AN INCONVENIENT TOOTH
Woke up. Urinated. My comb fell on the floor right near the toilet. Momentarily considered washing it but then realized that using it after that would still bother me, and realized how cheap the comb is, so I threw it in the trash. Washed my hands. Went to a nearby restaurant and got blueberry pancakes for breakfast. The metal filling of one of my molars fell off. Picked it out of my mouth, wrapped it a napkin and saved it. Finished my breakfast, worrying that it would get infected if I didn’t go to the dentist. Went home and called the dentist but just got their machine saying their office wasn’t open yet even though it was supposed to have opened 14 minutes ago. Watched part of “Girl, Interrupted” on DVD, repeatedly going over the hole in my tooth with my tongue. Tried calling the dentist again. This time I got the secretary. As I explained what happened with my tooth, my tongue kept scraping painfully against the sharp edges of my molar. I was in the process of having someone interview me for a bio about me and I was worried that it would make me slur my words, or that the pain would be visible on my face. Made an appointment for eight days from now. Worked on a drawing. The pencils were too soft and the points repeatedly breaking took my mind off my tooth for awhile. Urinated. Went back to the drawing. I don’t have a scanner and I finished it too late to go to Staples to get it scanned. Went down to get the mail. There was none. Didn’t feel like going up the four flights on the stairs in the lobby and went over the hole in my tooth with my tongue. Though about getting an emory board to file it down. Thought I probably had one in my apartment but wasn’t sure and didn’t want to climb the four flights only to find out I didn’t have an emory board so I decided to go to Shaw’s to buy one even if I already had one. Went to Shaw’s to buy one. Didn’t know if the rough or medium surface was best so I bought both. Went back to the lobby. Tried to open it so I could use it in the lobby but I couldn’t open the package without a scissors. Went up the four flights to my apartment. Sure enough, I found an emory board right near the scissors. Defecated. Filed down the sharp points in my tooth the best I could. Couldn’t tell if it helped or if I was just imagining that it helped. Had a phone conversation that was too boring to talk about, not that what I’ve been talking about is that exciting, and talking made my tongue sore. Felt depressed and anxious and lay in bed for 25 minutes. Got up and posted my artwork on Facebook community pages. Urinated. Ate a bowl of Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal, chewing carefully in an effort to avoid breaking off more of my fillings. Watched part of the movie “Superbad” on DVD. Tried to file down my tooth more. I think it helped a little but it annoyed me that I couldn’t remember how bad it was before so I couldn’t be sure that it helped. Checked my email. Mostly spam and links to images my computer couldn’t open. Changed my socks. Right now I’m writing this blog while intermittently running my tongue over the tooth.
Woke up in the middle of the night. Noticed that the end of my quilt that’s usually at my feet was up at my neck (I wrote “feet” on the end so this wouldn’t happen). Smelled the quilt and, yes, it smelled like feet. Tried to turn the quilt 180 degrees while lying down but most of ended up hanging over the edge. Tried to go back to sleep with it like that, but the pulling of the part of the quilt hanging over the edge was unpleasant and uncomfortable so I got up and put the quilt on properly. The effort kind of woke me up. Urinated and defacated. Tried to watch a new DVD I bought yesterday called “Disinformation” but I couldn’t open the wrapper without scissors and I was too lazy, and didn’t care enough, to get the scissors so I just sat there and looked around the room for a while. Ate breakfast at home. Since my kitchen is rather cluttered, I couldn’t find a place to set the empty bowl down when I was getting the cereal so I put it on top of the overflowing heap of garbage in my wastebasket. Ate the cereal. I have the internet at home now again. I went online. This site said if the Mayan calendar was right, the world will end at 6:11 A.M. tomorrow. Since a childish, irrational part of my brain thinks it might be true, I set my alarm for 6 a.m. so I wouldn’t die without knowing it and suddenly be dead, or if it didn’t happen, worry that I was dead and think the rest of my life was a dream. Watched Disinformation and an episode of Arrested Development on DVD. Then I tried to clean my bathroom. Then my alarm clock went off. Since I’d got up in the middle of the night, I forgot that it would go off at 6 a.m. today and not 6 a.m. tomorrow. Set it for tomorrow. Since I was near my bed and felt lazy and depressed i sort of fell back into bed. Woke up four hours later. Realized I left the cereal bowl on the couch with the cereal and milk encrusted on it. Urinated. Washed out the bowl. Was depressed so I called 9 people, but only got voicemail, and, since I was depressed, I didn’t bother to leave messages. Left my apartment because I was sick of being in it. Wandered around the neighborhood. Went to a nearby restaurant which I won’t name. Wasn’t very hungry so I just sat there. The only one eating there was one of the staff and usually when I order something they tell me it’s taking so long because they’re so busy, so I wanted to see what would happen. Ordered a bagel. It took a long time so I asked them why. They said they have a lot of take-out orders. Went to Goodwill. Got a shirt and a DVD of “Superbad”. Then I hung around reading the few books that held my attention. Then I got in line to pay for the book and the DVD. Then I opened the DVD to see if it was scratched and there was nothing in it. Knew that Goodwill didn’t keep the DVDs behind the counter and it was stolen. I was too lazy to go back to the DVD section, so when no one was looking I left it in a wicker basket on a miniature Christmas sleigh on the checkout counter. Bought the shirt. Walked around the neighborhood. Had a cell phone call that was too personal to talk about. Had another call that was too personal to talk about. Put my artwork on the bulletin board in front of the UPS store. Someone put a cigarette burn hole in some of the pictures I already had up, but you could still see most of the picture and it looked kind of cool so I left them up. Went home and urinated. Went only online and posted my art in the Inboxes of Community Pages on Facebook. Deleted pictures from my camera. Ate a sub I bought the night before. The oil saturated the bread and made it soggy. Tried to eat it quickly so I wouldn’t gag. Was sick of the apartment. Walked aimlessly around the neighborhood. Bought a scarf at T.J. Max. The aisles are too close together and the guy who wrung it up looked like he had a skin disease. Was worried about wearing it on the way home so I decided I’d wait until i washed it. Watched part of an episode of “Monk”. I’d already seen it so I didn’t care about the plot. Washed the scarf in the kitchen sink. Ate some Dill & Olive Oil Triscuits. Felt depressed and just sat there staring at the far wall for about 20 minutes. Went online again. Posted some more artwork. Urinated. Ate an “everything” bagel. Watched a couple episodes of “Arrested Development” and part of “Disinformation” again. Wrote this blog.