when you're drunk, you say you hate children.


the receptionist from across the hall comes in every now and then to take candy from the drawer, or just to shoot the shit. she's a funny girl, and she is what i imagine drinking coffee on a regular basis must be like. today, she came in and slumped down on one of the leather chairs we have in our little waiting area. her shirt started to slide up a little bit, and to be polite, i looked away. she started talking about how she stayed out for last call last night and how that wasn't such a good idea. i immediately thought of david brent on the office and how he would always boast about how he loves to get shitfaced. "do i drink?" "yeah, he drinks." anyway, while she was drunk, apparently she admitted to a coworker that she hates children.

the work study girl jumped in and said that she hates tweens. "i hate tweens, too," the receptionist said, "but mostly because i used to be one of them." she then held her hand up to her ear, simulating a phone call. "you know, they're always at the mall saying, 'come pick me up.'" she did a very good impersonation of an annoying tween. i sat there, amused by all of it, but feeling left out. it always seems to be the case that i'm surrounded by women, no matter where i go. and that's fine by me, yes, that's quite a bit of all right. but to me, it's a lot like how philosopher costanza puts it: "it's like being superman, but without the powers."

work study girl talked about how her friend is thinking about applying for teach for america. "are you talking her out of it?" i asked. "trying to," she said. "it's a lot like americorps, isn't it?" she asked me. "yeah," i said, "but you have more responsibility, and you get certification. but it's low pay, long hours, and she'll probably get burnt out." "yeah," she agreed. "i hate any organization that targets twenty-two year old idealistic youth." i didn't say anything. i felt like we've been saying this for years already.

i showed my coworker, one of the lawyers, how to set up her ipod. she had never used itunes before, but she's a blackberry wizard. "so i can listen to the rachel maddow show?" she asked. "yes," i said. i showed her how to subscribe to this american life's podcast. and then i tried to explain it. "so basically, it'll download the program every monday, and then it'll appear here on your itunes. then, once you plug in your ipod, the show should automatically upload to your ipod." "this is like a whole new world to me!" she said. i told her that she could also buy songs off itunes, or download them from other websites, or download songs illegally. i was trying to be funny, but it felt alien coming out of my mouth, telling a lawyer she had the ability to do something illegal.

yesterday, i had the sudden desire to eat ice cream while watching bugs bunny cartoons. those were the days when you could just sit on your ass, indulge in sight and taste, and not have to feel bad about it. at twenty-five, i would receive severe reprimands from family and friends alike. "what are you doing," they'd say. "what are ya, some kind of an idiot? get a job!" today, i have the sudden desire to be at circus circus playing that game where you roll the ball up into the colored holes and then you look up to see your horse moving forward. once, i cheated at the game. i took another ball from the slot next to mine, and i rolled two balls for myself. nervous about getting caught, i botched it and kept coming up zeroes. i lost cheating when i usually won playing straight.

we have a bulletin board in the office, where we post job/volunteer opportunities and upcoming events. i take down the old flyers when a job has expired or when an event has passed. the other day, i told emily, "on shows like homicide and the wire, they have a board where they put up names of those murdered. red if it's unsolved, black if the case is closed. sometimes, i like to pretend this is what i'm doing." she laughed. then, later, when i put up a new flyer, i said, "another murder by the lake," and she got what i was talking about. "now," she said, "you have to step back and look at the board as a whole."

i did just that.

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