that's off.


at my boss' kid's first birthday party, i made a fool of myself right from the start by asking if her husband was home sick when he was standing ten feet away across the room. she looked at me like i was crazy, and then she told me that no, he just had a twenty-four hour bug. i smiled, and then i let the adults continue talking. i handed her my birthday present to her daughter, which was a set of three sailboats for the bathtub. i remembered liking toys in the bathtub when i was a kid, so that's why i bought it. when i bought the toy, i saw my barber, holly, and she said hello to me. i said hello back and told her that i was shopping for a birthday present. in the store, i also wanted to buy these cool-looking japanese dolls that were $16, but then i thought, what business does a grown man like myself have buying these japanese dolls?

i was out of place at the party, which was nothing unusual for me. it was a real grown up party, though, a bunch of couples with their infants, and why did i show up to this thing anyway? i made a plate of caesar salad with some quesadillas and i sat at the a small table, where i ate by myself. i walked around the playground a bit, and this south korean woman introduced herself to me. she was an elementary school teacher, and she was there with her husband, who worked security for boeing, and they had a tiny daughter who looked at me and smiled. the woman and i talked about teaching in korea and the richmond night market.

i went to the basketball court where this black kid was shooting hoops by himself. i asked if i could shoot with him, and he said sure. so, there we were, shooting hoops. i made some, bricked some, air-balled more than i would have liked. i worked up a sweat and asked the kid if he was in high school. he seemed flattered, and then he told me no, that he was just gonna be in eighth grade. i tried to make small talk, asked if his team was any good, where he planned on going to high school, etc. he answered questions, but didn't say much else. only other thing he said was, "that's off" before missing some shots.

afterward, i got some groceries. i went up the escalator to catch the light rail, and i thought that i might want to be a dad some day. but only because i like my cousin's kids, and my boss seems to be happier, and my other coworker looked like he was really having a ball pushing his daughter on the swing. actually, not just having a ball. it looked like that that was it. it looked like that was about as good as it got in this stupid crazy world. he was pushing his daughter on the swing and she was just really laughing it up, and his wife was just standing there, taking it all in. and i thought this over on the escalator ride up, and i thought about how i was gonna make dinner for one, and spend my saturday night watching a lot of television. my friend has told me, it won't always be like this, and i won't feel this way forever. but it's sure starting to feel like forever.

i'm going to have to change it up real quick.

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