compromising his artistic integrity.


i saw my first label on the bus yesterday. i sat down next to some asian chick, and there it was, pasted at her eye-level: "all college gave me was a whole lot of debt." when she got off at 5th and jackson, i slid over to take her seat. i looked at the label and saw that the edges were a little rough, as though someone made a halfhearted attempt at peeling it off. but it was there. it lasted. i smiled to myself and had to think of other things to keep from laughing. i just thought it was such a ridiculous thing for someone to post on the back of a bus seat. and then other people read it, and what were they thinking? i found it all hilarious.

on the can this morning, i was thinking about new year's and the new year's before that. the only sentence i could form when thinking about it was, "that makes sense." it makes sense to have confetti and a big tv showing dave clark's countdown in new york. and my uncles getting plastered. when we were young, they'd thrown coins, sometimes bills, and all us kids would scoop it up like little competitive, money-hungry vultures. i don't know why they did that, but it made sense at the time. it still makes sense now.

i'm not sure what made me think of new year's. maybe it was having a conversation recently with friends, and how they admitted they'd never had a fun new year's. pretty much everyone i've ever met in my entire life has told me much of the same: "i've never had a good new year's." maybe it's because hollywood always makes new year's look like some coke-driven sex-fest where there's always someone to kiss at midnight. but high school is nothing like an episode of saved by the bell. there was never any max for us to hang out in after school, and there won't be lines of coke, lines of g-strings, waiting for us when the ball drops in 2009.

the other night some out-of-towner was gabbing away on her cell phone. the 174 at night is a very ominous looking bus. it's pretty dim, and there's only a blue light at the front of the bus. i don't know why they keep it so dim, but it always looks like some shit's about to go down. most riders, i think, are people heading into the city from the airport. i think this because they're always carrying those rolling suitcases, the kind fhat became a fad for college students. anyway, this chick is talking at a normal volume, and just about everyone on the bus can hear her. from what i heard and remember, she was on vacation, and her friend is dating a "redneck." i exchanged glances a few times with some other passengers, and our looks said it all: "can you fucking believe this woman?"

honestly, though, i kind of admire people like her. people without any common decency, people who can just say whatever the hell they want at a normal speaking level. i watched the life and death of peter sellers last night. there's a scene where he's at the pink panther strikes again premiere party, and he calls the director talentless. "people ask me again and again," peter says, "why i compromise my artistic integrity by doing films such as this? i tell them the same thing every time: 'money.'" he then goes on to tell the audience to enjoy themselves, "if that's at all possible." what a man. a wreck of a man, and never considered a man by his first two wives (of four), but still. what a speech.

so, this card goes around the office every time some big life event happens (i.e. having a kid, getting married, getting sick, etc.). there was even a card for boss' day last friday. i had no idea boss' day even existed. how about underpaid and unappreciated everyday workers' day? i guess that's everyday, so there's no cause for celebration. anyway, this card goes around, and i never know what to say, as i don't even know any of these people yet. i just look at what the last person wrote and write much of the same. that's probably what all those sixth grade summary assignments were for. what do you say to someone who's just had a child, and was readmitted to the hospital? get well, get well soon, we want you to get well.

stupid hallmark, instilling, and then profiting from, the individual's sense of social obligation.

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