scatter the mulch.


early yesterday morning, my cousin and i went to get mulch from smud. on 59th street, while trying to make a left turn, i wasn't sure if i was supposed to yield to a driver in oncoming traffic who was trying to make a right turn. i hesitated, and the people behind me honked. it annoys me when people honk in this town. it's not san francisco. you don't have to be anywhere important. do you know where you are? you're in sacramento. you have no place to be, and there's no reason to be in a rush. it's hotter than hell and it sucks here, so keep your hands off the fucking horn. assholes.

smud is a giant, complex place. there are many trucks there, and lots of people who walk around with hard hats, as though they have very important work to do. "maybe i should work for smud," i said aloud. "didn't they go bankrupt?" "i don't know. probably." we drove in a long, inefficient circle until we finally found the big mulch area. it was basically just a half rectangle of wall with all the mulch pushed up against the wall. there was an old couple with a truck, and they were filling up. my cousin and i filled up two big garbage bags, not even completely full, and we agreed that that was probably enough. "that should be enough," i said. "alright," he said. we threw the bags in the trunk and drove away.

minutes later, we had to pick up our other cousin from school. as we entered the st. ignatius parking lot, i searched for a common bond between us. "i hate being here. even though i don't know anyone here anymore, i still hate coming here." "i just try not to look at anyone," he said. we had some time to kill, so my cousins decided they wanted to see iron man. there isn't much selection in the theaters these days. i didn't object, since i knew that anything playing was going to be horrible. and anyway, in my mind, i've typecast robert downey, jr. forever as editor terry crabtree from his role in wonder boys. crabs was now just going to put on an iron suit and blow stuff up. i could deal.

the movie wasn't awful. it's the kind of movie you could picture an educated adult watching on tbs or tnt on a lonely saturday night. it had to do with weapons manufacturing, and i hoped that it was subversive enough to get children everywhere thinking about taking down raytheon and lockheed and martin when they get older. but it probably wasn't. instead, what they'll probably come away with is that if they work hard enough in life, they can afford fast cars, a giant beach house in malibu, and a private jet full of scandalous stewardesses. god help us.

during the movie, i had nothing else to think about, so i started thinking about weapons manufacturing. while i know nothing about the subject, i know that it's probably a long, complicated process, one that involves a lot of science and numbers and experimenting and money. all that time and energy and money put into something that's just going to blow up. it doesn't make any sense. who do you have to be to say i'm going to go to school so that i can create weapons to be used in foreign lands?

speaking of people dedicating lots of time to something so frivolous, i went with the rich bitch to his friend's rock band party. for those of you lucky enough to stay away from the modern technological era, rock band is a video game for the xbox 360 that is part guitar hero, part karaoke, and part drum hero, if there is such a thing. basically, there is a list of songs to choose from, and up to four people can delude themselves into thinking that they are actually playing the song by pressing colored buttons, hitting drum pads, and singing off-key. as rich's friend and his three buddies displayed their superior ability to rally up 1,000,000 points, i sunk deeper into my existential dilemma, thinking things like, if people can dedicate this much time to perfecting something so trivial, why can't they work together to produce something meaningful? even just making real music would be a start.

let's just fast-forward, full speed ahead into a world where everything is virtual and we no longer have to think, feel, or act. a good start.

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