Archives for: November 2008
Snacks and music to play.
Sunday, November 30th 2008
Sarah came over this morning. She looked ill and tired because she'd been drinking booze. “Big night last night, hey.” she kept saying, “And I'm still recovering from Friday!” We wondered what I'd be like if I drunk booze and got drunk. “God, Sharky, you'd be hilarious! I'd love to see you drunk! You'd be such a charmer, you'd hit on all the girls.” I said that I would never do that. I'm shy and they wouldn't like it because I'm fat.
“Don't be silly! There's nothing a girl loves more than a big, tall man to make her feel safe.” I suppose that it is true. I am pretty huge and I could fight someone if I wanted. Celene was really small. Still is. Maybe that's why she was into me.
“I think you should stop being silly, stop making excuses and get a girlfriend, Sharky! It'd be good for you, you could get this place all cleaned up.” I didn't know what to say to that. I want to keep myself open for when Sarah happens. Also, I was a bit hurt that she thought my room was so messy because I'd tidied it specially for her. “You could take out an ad,” she went on, “And put it up at the supermarket. I'll write it for you if you want, it'd be fun.” I stood up, shaking my head and it felt like things were getting out of control. I tried to reboot the conversation by going to make some tea. I started talking about Plett and how it was going to happen.
“We're going to need some tunes for the road!” she shouted into the kitchen. “Where are your tapes? I want to go through them and see what you've got.” I came out of the kitchen and made the face that said that she needed to come and help me bring the tea out. She got up very quickly and carried to tea back into my room and then she sat on the bed cross-legged and blew on her tea while I looked through my cupboard for some tapes. I gave most of my tapes away to the landlord when I got my computer. It was so funny – I used to go down to my car and sit in it whenever I wanted to listen to music. I didn't have anything else that could play tapes except my car. It feels so weird to remember those days when I didn't have music in my room whenever I wanted it. I only found two tapes in my cupboard – 'Monster Hits Volume 2' and 'Die Stellenbosch Universiteitskoor Performs The Best Of Celine Dion.” That last one was the landlord's. I was blushing.
“Sharky, I'm going to make you a mix-tape!” she was happy. “Lot's of mix-tapes. I'll burn them all to CD and use my dad's stereo to put them onto the tapes. I'll do it tonight. They'll be my tapes from me to you, okay? Each one will be a different combination that means something special.”
I have never looked forward to anything so much in my life.
“I'd better go now, I still haven't bought all the food yet. We'll need snacks for the trip too and oh, Sharky, thank you so so much for driving us up. I really don't think my mom wanted to do it. I don't think she really wants us to go at all but she can't stop us now. You're a life-saver.” she said, all at once almost. She'd hardly even touched her tea but she got up to leave. That's how girls punish guys who don't have enough good music.
“Wait,” I said, searching my brain and hers for reasons for her to stay. “Don't go. There's news. I want to tell you about it.” She slowed down and kind of folded up. She sat down on the bed. I was thinking so hard it hurt and I looked serious. “The landlord is thinking about selling this place.” I sad. Her eyes went wide and I could see one hundred separate sparkles inside.
“Oh Sharky, are you moving out?”
“I'll probably have to. They're going to develop it.” I said.
“Where will you go?”
“I don't know,” I thought about it for a while and then, “I'll have to start looking for a place that'll take me.” It worked pretty well. She didn't look like she was going to leave any more.
“Why is he going to sell it? Where's he going to go?” she said.
“I don't know,” I said again. “I guess he just doesn't care any more.” I stood there and didn't say anything. It was her turn. She could do the shopping later.
“Can't you talk to him, or – where are you going to go? What's he thinking?”
“It's not him. It's his wife. She's doing this.” Then I said, in a funny way, “She'd behind everything!” I showed that it was okay to laugh at this and Sarah laughed.
“So what are you going to do? Eat her?” she smiled.
“I'm going to break them up,” I said, smiling right back. “They're not strong when they're not teamed up with each other. We need to outnumber them.”
“I'll seduce him,” her voice was suddenly flat and dangerous. “I'll take pictures of us doing it and send them to her and she'd leave him and then the complex would be split into two useless halves that no one would buy.”
“That would work,” I said. It really would. I could see it happening in my mind. Sarah laughed. It was set.
“Thank you for sharing with me Sharky. I mean it. I'm not being sarcastic or anything.”
“I know,” I said. “You wouldn't do that.”
“You can get it all off your chest on the way up to Plett. We'll have lots of time to talk in the car. Right now though, I've got to get to the shops before they close.”
“How long will we be driving?” I asked.
“Sharky! Haven't you planned the route yet?” she said, getting up again and giving me a fake slap on the shoulder.
“I'll check it now!” I said, pretending to block and get scared. “I can handle it!”
Then she left. The grocery kid came in a bit later. He didn't say anything, just put the bags on the floor and then he left too. I think he thinks he's winning the invisible war.
Sarah is finishing exams right now
Friday, November 28th 2008
I am so excited. I'm probably just as or even more excited that a young girl who is polishing off the last essay question on her History paper while simultaneously figuring out how every part of her life will be from now on – where she'll go, what she'll learn, who she'll love. Hers are the only rules that matter now. It's up to her whether she will win or whether life will win.
The landlord's mother was just like that, back in the day. I mean, yeah, she had two kids and the war had got her husband already, but she had all these plans anyway about where she'd go, what she'd learn and especially who she'd love. She'd heard about me from the kids, who always used to be coming round the place. I'd send them out to fetch some groceries or I'd sneak them into the movie house out on Riebeek Street and such. When she came round, I'd been living a bit rough for a few months. Celene and I had decided by then that it was best that she and the kid didn't exactly live with me any more. She was living in at the Abrahm's house, which she cleaned, and left me some money and food and maybe a treat in a basket every week or so, but it didn't really stretch very far. Anyway, the house was really untidy and I'd been drawing a lot and putting my pictures up everywhere and some of them were of her and it was quite dark inside and let's just say that she was pretty shocked when I opened the door and there I was. I let her in. She didn't say anything for a while and then,
“You've been living here?” she kept saying it and pronounced it differently every time. She said it in Afrikaans but I'm translating because nobody speaks Afrikaans anymore. She calmed down after a while and I got her in the kitchen and found her some rusks to eat. I would have given her a glass of water too but the water had been cut off. She chewed on a rusk or two before sighing and saying, “I can't believe they didn't tell me,” she said it in a tart voice and was talking about the landlord and the grocery kid. The kids. I figured that she wanted an explanation for where they kept disappearing to.
“I've been taking them to the movies,” I said, and added “And we have lunch here most days, when I've got it,” because she might also have been wondering why they might have seemed to have lost their appetites. I had it all covered. She cried a bit and when she'd stopped she told me in a stern voice that she was going to fetch some brooms and things and we were going to clean up my pad and then we were going to clean up my life. I said that I knew a young Japanese cleaning lady who could do that, probably, if we could pay her and she looked at me and I was apparently missing the point. While we cleaned up my kitchen she told me all about the future and how things were going to be. She was going to run a little bed and breakfast and have guests in all the time and go to Rhodesia for christmas and meet people and have all these friends and the kids would grow into such gentlemen and then she got angry with me and left. This was kind of a miniature version of our whole relationship from that point: cleaning up, talking big about our business, making awesome plans and then some emotions would happen and we'd be right back to square one.
It's going to be different with Sarah though. I'm going to drive her up to Plett. That's where all the kids go after they finish exams. It's a whole town full of young people expressing themselves and decompressing and listening to all sorts of new music. Her life is going to start there, I just know it. And so is mine.
I was outnumbered.
Wednesday, November 26th 2008
When the grocery kid came round with the landlord to hang out today I told him that I would no longer be requiring his services. I slipped it into the conversation really casually so it didn't look like I'd planned it. People hate it when you plan things that affect them emotionally. It went like this:
“That blumming doctor – I'm going to see him next week about my back but now he says I've got to fill out some forms on the internet first.” This is the grocery kid talking.
“On a computer?” said the landlord.
“They've got this new system,” spat the grocery kid. “It's all computers now.”
“What's wrong with the old system?” smiled the landlord.
“It's all donders deurmekaar, that's what it is.”
“Looks like you'll have to let him use your computer,” said the landlord, looking at me and using this big hoho voice. I smiled.
“Good thing you told me now – he won't be able to use it next week!” I said. I told him why. I'm firing the grocery kid and doing all my shopping on the internet from now on. I can buy whatever I want whenever I want and it will be a lot more efficient. My friend in America will pay for it and I'll pay him back with a cheque. I've got it all figured out.
“Oh no, Sharky. Not this rubbish again.” said the landlord. The grocery kid didn't say anything.
“It's not rubbish,” I said, correctly. “He always buys the wrong thing and I always run out of food before he does a new shop.” The landlord just shook his head.
“No. You're not firing him. You know, -you- never actually -hired- him, Shark. Celene did.” They both looked so angry. It was a mistake to do this with the landlord watching. He gets so emotional and his stronger emotions beat my logic because I like to keep things polite. I could have handled the grocery kid on his own. I outnumber him. I looked at their faces and they looked old and ugly. Then I smiled.
“Hey, you guys can't even take a joke, you know that? Sheesh!” I said and I went back to my websites. The grocery kid left and the landlord didn't make any food and left earlier than usual. I got really hungry and ordered pizza even thought it wasn't a Friday. I felt kind of naughty doing it. The pizza was a bit cold when it got here but that's okay, really. I kind of like it like that. I almost always burn my mouth when it's hot.
I gave him ops
Tuesday, November 25th 2008
Today I asked my friend on IRC if he'd help me get my internet shopping set up. He said he would and I gave him ops. He's been wanting those for some time.
My relationship with my friend on IRC (I'm going to call him by his nick-name '@groombridge' from now on, since he's got ops) is pretty interesting.
It all started when I banned him for talking about Leonard Cohen in my music chatroom. But then, hey, I had a change of heart and I think that Leonard Cohen is good now. I talk to @groombridge almost every day and not always about Leonard Cohen. It's funny because – even though I've known the landlord for a bit longer than I've known @groombridge, I feel that the things I talk about with him are more real than the things I usually talk to the landlord about.
It's like this – the landlord will come in and he'll ask me if I'm fine – I'm fine – and then he'll tell me if the alarm accidentally went off the night before or if anyone in the building is getting visited by the kids or has a new grandchild or fell over and or anything like that. Then he'll talk a bit about how messy my room / the courtyard / the garage is and how I should maybe sort it out (he means hire a cleaner – yeah, about that...) and then maybe he'll move onto something he heard on the radio that upset him. A few weeks ago he was all worried about a story he heard about people hacking into people's pacemakers and stopping their hearts. “I can't imagine anything worse!” he said. “Some nerd killing you like that on his computer!” then he looked at my computer and made a face. Usually after that stage of the conversation we'll basically run out of things to say and he'll hang around for a few hours and then he'll either make some food or leave. If I try to talk to him about Moe or any of my friends or my blog or anything I've found on the internet, he either gets kind of stressed out or doesn't believe me.
But @groombridge is -on- the internet. He even lives in America. He's wise to what's going on out there. He knows about blogs and Leonard Cohen and he's a parent too, so he knows all about real families and how they hurt sometimes. This is why he's going to help me get internet shopping.
The most complicated part of internet shopping is that I don't have a credit card and they don't do it like pizza, where you pay the guy who comes to your door. You've got to pay before the food even gets here, before you can even see it. What if you get the food and some it isn't right? Like if it's been opened or burnt or something. What if you change your mind and no longer want any of the food that isn't right? You can't change your mind. It's a new world. You must be resolute.
I don't know anyone with a credit card. Well, no one except for @groombridge. We'll work something out. I know it. He's connected. He's got access to all sorts of knowledge. It's like he's got superpowers and everyone else has these superpowers except the landlord.
Oh, I forgot to tell you guys, but on the weekend the landlord brought me a box of stuff that he'd found when he cleared out his mother's little granny flat. He said that I should sort through it and pick out anything that was mine or that I'd want to be mine. I reckon I'll do that tomorrow. I'm going to do a big sort-through of all the stuff in my room and in the back room and in the box too. I'm going to have all these piles: Keep, Throw Away and Not Sure. The landlord will be really pleased when he sees those piles. It'll be progress.
My matric dance experience.
Sunday, November 23rd 2008
So guys, it's Sunday. There's nothing much on TV, the landlord's come and gone, there's no one on IRC and I'm not in the mood to work on stuff for my television company. I'm in the mood to write about what happened at my matric dance. Sarah's going to finish exams next week and we'll be hanging out all the time after that so I probably won't have time to write so I'd better clear the backlogs.
I spent just about all day getting ready. I showered twice and used all the best facewashes and shampoos and stuff. I put on a bit of that perfume I've been saving. I was really excited and kept running from room to room because I had so much energy to burn off. I didn't want the excitement to show up on my face so I practiced some calm faces in the mirror until I could look totally stable whenever I wanted to. I was like a rock.
I gathered up all my things – my keys, my wallet, my important photographs of places and people that you don't even know and all of the stuff in my house, but in miniature form. I had a little monster that you could bend and stetch but which would never break. I could fit all of it in my pockets. I could go anywhere.
The first place I went to was downstairs. I went out through my door, down the hall, round the corner, past the trapdoor to the attic and I passed Mr. Roberts on the stairs. Yeah Mr. Roberts, no towels. I'm wearing a suit, so what? Yeah Mr. Roberts, I'm going to a matric dance with this girl who totally knows what's going on. She's got a tattoo on her ankle, Mr. Roberts, but I bet you couldn't guess what it is. I bet that you wouldn't know what is was even if you did get to see it. It would just be shapes and squiggles to you. You wouldn't get the meaning. Goodbye, Mr. Roberts! Out I go!
I heard whistling as I strode out into the courtyard. I thought that it might be coming from David, sitting over there on his plastic char, sipping his coffee and insightfully smoking a cigarette just like he used to do. But David wasn't there. He moved out. But don't worry, I thought I'll meet him later. I knew.
So I pulled opened the gate and stepped out into the street. My car was waiting outside. I'd prepared it the night before. It was washed clean and the engine was running. As I got in, I noticed that I hadn't closed the gate. Then I saw the landlord standing just by the front door. He looked so small and far away.
“That's fine, no, leave the gate open,” he said proudly. I wound down the window. I was smoking a cigarette. “Let me close that for you!” he was saying this quite loud because he was all the way over by the door. His arms were by his sides, fists were forming. I looked at him straight.
“I'm so scared!” I shouted and then I flicked my cigarette out of the window at him (I didn't hit him, don't worry), gunned the engine and before you knew it I was at Sarah's house. I didn't even close the gate!
Sarah was waiting for me at her own gate. She was all in blue – an old timey dress that she said belonged to her grandmother. She waved at whoever was watching her back in the house and got in the car.
“What music is this?” she asked. She was in the back seat and smelled like youth and beauty and a kind of flower that was probably really nice, which old-timey grandmothers would have harvested every morning before breakfast. “It sounds so sad and beautiful and about girls, like a dream I forgot years ago and just remembered all in a flash.” I offered her a cigarette before I answered. I turned around in my seat and looked right into her face as I lit her cigarette off mine and said,
“It's Leonard Cohen.” She accpeted this and leant in closer to me and the radio so that she could hear better, even though the speakers were in the back.
“This is nothing like that other music you listen to – that Burdum guy,” she said.
“No. I've always been more of a Leonard Cohen type of guy than a Burzum type. It's too angry."
That got us talking. She told me about music, how enough of it can change you. She told me about how this one band played so magically that they dropped the crime rate in the area for a whole month. I told her a little story I knew about a band that shows up to their gig but just spends the whole time setting up their instruments and never actually plays anything and then the janitor who worked at the concert hall sees this and he really wants to be in the band too. He believes in what they're doing. But then no one will turn up to their concerts anymore because they don't 'get' it like the janitor did and the band, which was all rich kids except for the janitor, breaks up and the janitor has nothing. No bad, no job. Life is really tough, especially if you're poor, I say. Just as I finish the story, we drive by the homeless shelter that I always pass. Sarah looked out of the window and she saw them. The homeless. They were trying to get inside for the night but they couldn't because they were four minutes late and the landlord wouldn't let them in. The janitor was with them. He looked the saddest of all the homeless. He'd tried so hard and he'd taken his big chance but man, I'll say it again, life's tough if you're poor. Sarah looked away from that horrible scene and up into the mirror, at me, with tears in her eyes. I did a smile. The smile said, “We're young and crazy. We'll find a way to make life count. Together.” She laughed joyfully when she read that smile and hugged me right through the back of my seat. I laughed too. We were in love and life wouldn't get us today.
I heard the whistling again as I got out of the car and opened the door for Sarah. We were at the Riverside Club. It was the venue. Inside would be an amazing time and a three course meal and a cover band and lots of emotions – good and bad. Parents were dropping their kids off and telling them to have fun, meaning it. Some parents were staying in their cars right there in the parking lot. They were waiting for their kids to finishing dancing and having fun so they could take them straight home. Sarah pointed them out to me so that I could be in on the joke.
We didn't go inside straight away – they were still getting everything ready – so we hung out in the foyer and Sarah introduced me to all of her friends. She has so many! They said all the usual things like, “We've heard so much about you,”
“Is that your car?”
“Can you get us cheap / free pizza?” and,
“You better not break her heart!” This last one was a joke but I took it very seriously. I looked at the girl who had said it and said,
“If Sarah's heart were to break, for any reason, mine would break too. It would kill me. We're linked together through love, through togetherness.” It was a romantic thing to say and everyone could hear me say it. Just as her friends were catching their breath, the doors opened and it was Dance Time. I don't think I can really describe how magical is was. The ceiling went up forever and there were stars twinkling up in the roof. There was detail everywhere – folds of gold on every pillar and doorway, blue drapes that matched Sarah's dress perfectly. I can imagine all these workers and decorators spending hours on hours on putting all this detail in because they just want people to feel like they're in a place that people have spent a lot of time on. The band was still setting up, but the colour and the chatter from people was music enough, in a progressive sort of way. I was almost dizzy when I sat down at my place. I knew it was my place because there was a little piece of card with my name on it right there at the table. They'd used a special pen to make it. You can't buy those pens at most places. There were also three round chocolates waiting for me, covered in foil. As a joke, Sarah ate mine and I ate hers. They were more delicious than anything. Everything was talking about all sorts of things – mostly about other people. There were people everywhere – most of them were young and nervous, but there was an occasional boyfriend who was old and, upstairs, watching over us in case we misbehaved, were Sarah's teachers and a few volunteer parents. They looked so pleased with us. It was just, 'Hey guys, you've earned this. Sorry we've been such jerks to you up to now, but you made it. GO HAVE A LIFE.' It must have been such a relief for them every year. It's like they get to be young and pretty and romantic and getting it for just one night but also to see these people they've put all their hope and love and time into just relax and do their thing.
Then the food came out. They had these really classy vegge-bakes and whole turkeys with purple juice to drink. I didn't have too much purple juice because I thought it might make me sick. I just needed the energy. Then I noticed that I could recognise a lot of the people at our table. There were two girls and a boy who all used to hang outside with David and Sarah in the old days. They smiled and waved and I gave a little wave back and then I heard that whistling again and looked around and there he was – David. But the whistling wasn't coming from him, it was coming from somewhere else. I moved up and down and around, looking for the sound. I checked until the table but my hair got in my eyes but then David spoke to me and I stopped and came up.
“Hey, listen,” he said. He looked like he had something heavy to get off his chest. I brushed my hair out of my eyes and lent in closer so I could hear better.
“I just wanted to say that I'm sorry, to you and to you, Sarah. I never meant to be such a lame-o. I brought these back to you,” he took an envelope out of his pocket and slid it across the table towards Sarah. She opened it and I saw the photos. They were of her. She had given them to David make him love her, long ago. He turned back to me. “I can't imagine how hard it must be an Ashkenazi. I imagine you must feel alone all the time – totally separated from those around you, from your family. Not many people 'get' you. I tried, but I failed. I didn't have what it takes. But I think Sarah 'gets' you. I believe that with all of my heart.” Sarah looked at me and I caught her glance and looked back at her. She smiled, blinking back the tears that were so happy they couldn't breathe. "Love is when you say someone's name and you just know that any other name wouldn't fit.” I said. I looked into the mind behind her eyes and mouthed 'Sarah' over and over again. She said 'Moe' over and over again. We kissed and when we had finished, David was gone. He'd gone to live up in the attic. We didn't see him again that night. His part was done. But that didn't matter. Sarah took me by the hand and led me to the dancefloor where we danced so romantically and well that it led so naturally into us making love. Everyone was cool with it and it wasn't a big deal, even though it was beautiful. Some people were watching and they became inspired by our love. Up on the top level, among the parents and the teachers and a couple of the old boyfriends who were friends with the parents and teachers, Ric and Carolyn embraced as they watched us on the dancefloor. They put their heads together and their cheeks touched and the smiled. Burzum was there too, leaning over the railing and laughing with all his heart. He was crying and the tears were getting on his light brown suit, turning it jet black. Then Leonard Cohen came up from behind them and hugged them all at once and squeezed them so hard and laughed so heartfully and he was as big in real life as he was in their imaginations. The band were still setting up, just piling more and more instruments onto the stage and checking the wires over and over, but that didn't matter because the room was filled with whistling and everyone was dancing to that. The whistling was coming from me.
So the dance ended but every second of it counted. Sarah was under my arm and her friends were all laughing and talking. We went outside in the night but the air wasn't cold, the air was alive with the connections between people and all the hope that has ever been felt in the world. That was when I saw him. The Ancient Shark Of Despair, out there in the parking lot, covered in damp towels, waiting in his car along with all the other parents. I don't know why, but I got really angry right then and ran up to the car and banged on the window. I wanted to shake him up a little but he got really scared and drove off and screeched his tyres.
When I got in, I lay down on my bed and put on Sarah's music. I wanted to play it all at once and fill the room with her thoughts and feelings but it won't let you do that. You have to do it one at a time.
I could hear his footsteps go all the way to the car.
Friday, November 21st 2008
Here's the thing – I don't quite believe that Moe -has- quit. I just can't picture him doing anything else other than delivering pizza to families and other people and getting these tiny glimpses of their lives, leaving their gates open by accident and getting tipped extra when it's raining. Every time he sees a new person – which is dozens of time every day – he understands the sum total of humanity a little harder. He knows that everyone is pretty much the same. Not in a bad way – everyone eats, everyone is trying to get the hang of this family thing, everyone doesn't want the future to get them today. You're cool with the way people are. You understand. Don't brag about it or use your understanding to get ahead of people. You're Moe. You can't help but stand apart from people. It's all part of your system. Just keep going, Moe.
So I tried telling this to the pizza punk (that's what I call them) who came by today with my dinner. I was quite clever about it. I didn't put the money in the usual place, in the plant. This time I had the money with me behind the door. He had to listen to me before he could get it.
“Do you know Moe? He works with you.” I asked.
“Nah, nah, Mike quite a few months ago. Where's the money?”
“Does he work for a different pizza company? I'll call them.” You could hear I was joking in my voice. I was smiling. I was cracking codes.
“The sheet said the money is in the plantpot usually, bru. But I'm checking and there's no money here.”
“I've got the money in here with me.” I said, casually.
“No way. I'm not coming in there. We've all been warned about this place.”
“What's wrong?” He probably thought I was going to eat him. I bet Moe told everyone that I was a shark. The landlord would be so mad if he found out about that.
“Mike drew up a whole sheet of instructions and put them on the wall. We know, bru. We know all about you. Give me the money.”
“Where's Moe now?”
“I'm going. I'm taking these pizzas and going. You can keep being childish, you can keep the money.”
“No, wait.” I said. I put the money through the box and he took it, dropped the pizzas and walked. I didn't tip him though. He shouldn't have called me childish. Later I felt pretty bad about not tipping him. I'll tip the guy who comes next week. I hope he's cooler than this last guy.
Sarah says that Moe is doing Sound Engineering at college now. I said that my landlord used to be an engineer and she said that this is different. This is creative. I guess things are generally more creative these days.
I have to use a toilet brush (but I never use it for the actual toilet - gross)
Thursday, November 20th 2008
So Sarah e-mailed me again and said how people in her class are still talking about her matric dance and what a splash I made. I meant to tell you guys about it as soon as it happened but I only typed out half of the story and I got distracted and I guess I just kind of gave up.
But it makes sense that people would still be talking about it. I did and said some really profound things that night. We danced. I'll tell you the whole story pretty soon but not now. I want to tell it right and I'm a bit tired right now. I had this crazy dream last night where I pulled out a lot of my own teeth so that I could clean the rest of them better – turns out there was a lot of gross guck stuck between them. So I did clean them out and it was really satisfying but then I tried to put my teeth back in. I thought that they'd heal back into place. Sarah told me that wasn't the way teeth were and I felt so stupid about pulling them out in the first place. I looked stupid with all these gaps in my mouth.
You know, it is quite difficult for me to clean my teeth. It takes a long time and I usually get a cramp in my neck or my side. The funny part is that shark teeth are infinite. I can never run out of them because they always grow back. I only clean them so my breath doesn't smell. If I really wanted to, I could make a little house out of my teeth. Sure, it would take a long time, but I've got time.
I'm nearly completely out of food now – it's tuna and beans until the grocery kid does a shop on Sunday. My supplies haven't really got back into balance since he took that weekend off. I could fire him an get the internet to deliver my groceries. That way I wouldn't have to put up with his nonsense. I bet the guys from the internet would put the bags of groceries right onto the counter too. I could get food whenever I want. My system would become much stronger.
Me and my body
Wednesday, Wednesday 19th 2008
The great thing about blogging on the internet is that it gives you this whole new perspective on the way you think. Before, whenever I had a cool or interesting thought it was nothing special because they came along all the time. If I had one in the middle of a conversation I might casually bring it up, but someone like the grocery kid or Celene might not have understood me. I think this whole process was pretty wasteful. But now, whenever one of those cool or interesting thoughts comes by, I grab it with my whole body because it could be good for my blog. This blog. And if one guy doesn't 'get' it, that's fine. There are probably an unlimited number of people out there.
Anyway, sometimes when I'm lying on my bed or just sitting at the computer, I imagine my belly becoming really swollen and fat. I guess I'm kinda fat already, but I'm talking about localised fat. Pregnant fat. As I get fatter and fatter, I start to think about all the stuff I'd have to buy in order have a baby properly. They have so much of that stuff now!
I'd have to buy a pram and a constant stream of baby clothes (babies grow) and those cardboard books and everything. The baby would need a whole room to itself. And I'd have to make sure that the baby watched all the right TV shows and didn't swear and went to school every day. It would be so tiring, the whole thing. I think I might lose my identity. I wouldn't be able to invest in it any more. Because having a baby isn't like it was back in the day when Celene had the kid and the whole process was so much more organic and fine.
And then I imagine this baby getting older and, yeah, it's cute for a while, but then it just starts disappointing me in every possible way. Like, what if it did badly in school and listened to the wrong music and fell into all the traps that everyone falls into unless they're special and with it? What if it hung around bars all night and dated bouncers and the bar staff? What if all that training and money I used on it just counted for nothing? Think of how sad parents get.
So all this is happening in my imagination and I'm hearing the landlord's voice telling me how expensive this big swollen belly is going to be and I haven't moved a single muscle or changed the expression on my face the whole time since I started getting pregnant but then I smile and open my mouth and I “RARRRR!” and then – fwoosh – a big geyser of fat and grease shoots out of the hole that Ric shot in me. Turns out there wasn't a baby in there at all. I was just being silly. Thanks Ric!
Birds walk slow
Monday, November 17th 2008
I went outside to put the garbage out early this morning and there was a bird in the hallway. This has never happened before. For a lot of good reasons.
Most of the windows in the building are welded shut. The landlord did this himself because he was worried about people getting in. They are alarmed too. Whenever there is a new person in the building (this doesn't happen very often) they always try to open the windows and the alarm goes off and everyone knows that there's a new guy and they haven't learned about the windows yet.
The only way the bird could have got in would be through the attic. Nobody lives in my attic. It's mostly there for pipes and boxes and stuff. I hear it's very, very dusty. I've never been up there myself. You have to go up a ladder.
Point is that the trapdoor that goes up to the attic is really far away from my room. The bird must have come through the trapdoor because if there were any other holes in the roof, the landlord would have told me about them by now. Also, the trapdoor isn't left open because that would cause a draught and people would complain. But even if the trapdoor to the attic was left open, the bird would have had to walk all the way from the other side of the building, round a corner, which wouldn't be a sensible thing for a bird to do because they like to be high up and flying, not walking around whole corners and being on the ground. Not only that, but it was outside my door at exactly the time I opened it. There's a huge amount of time where I'm here but my door is closed. To put it in perspective, I'd say that my door is only open about 0.01% of the time. Less, maybe. Those are huge odds.
The bird didn't do anything weird. It just stood there then walked around a bit. Then I went and did the garbage quickly because I was outside without my towels. When I came back it was gone. I mean, it wasn't anywhere. There's no way it could have got back into the attic in the time it took for me to do the garbage. Birds walk slow. I'd have seen it on my way back up the stairs.
Look, I'm not saying that the bird was magical or anything. I'm just saying that I think what happened was important. I think that I'm doing the right thing.
How my landlord met my wife
Sunday, November 16th 2008
I spent all day yesterday watching my sitcom tapes. They're not really funny any more, but I getting into their rhythym. I did this to relax. I'm still a bit stressed out from all that stuff last week.
I haven't talked about it with the landlord since. He's been leaving his messages and coming round and everything, but it's never really come up again. He talks about Celene a lot more than he used to. Apparently she's doing fine.I guess that since the power shifted her way he's been a lot more comofortable / proud of the face that they're an item. I don't think it's got much to with the fact they met through me. I've always been cool with the whole thing.
The landlord was about ten or fifteen when they met. He was definitely still in school because I remember him with his cap and suitcase and uniform on. He wasn't the landlord back then either, obviously. A little kid couldn't do that job. Actually there was no landlord at all back then. I lived in a big house and so did he. The houses were next door to each other.
The landlord was pretty cool as a kid. He was always making funny remarks about people and getting into trouble. He'd get caned at school all the time but that would only make him more mischievous. Anyway, he used to come round with his brother after school even though I'm pretty sure he wasn't allowed to until later. As I said, pretty cool. I don't know why he stopped being cool like that. I guess going to the Navy really kind of knocked all the life out of him. I think you're allowed to be cool and be in the Navy / Army these days but when he was there it just was not possible.
So here's the first time he met Celene. He came and knocked on my door.
“Hello little boy! Isn't it nice that you are keeping nice company with me to-day!” I would have said this kind of old-timey, and in Afrikaans too. I was never very good at Afrikaans. I was learning English pretty fast because of movies (I knew a projectionist kid who could sneak me into the cinema and I'd go there quite often, even though it was all the way out in town) but I was still kind of surprised that there were other languages apart from Japanese. Having lots of languages is something that's never really appealed to me as a cultural thing. I stick to English these days, of course. The landlord was forced to learn it at school because it's better than Afrikaans in most ways. Once he got trained up in it, I hardly spoke Afrikaans again. So much for that!
So I let him in and he told me about his day, probably, and he would swear a lot while he did because I was the only person he could swear around without getting in trouble. I remember I wanted to show him something cool all of a sudden. I smiled a smile that reminded him that I was full of wonders.
“Do you want to look at a baby?” I said. I thought my son was pretty cool. I hadn't seen any babies that weren't him. I thought that maybe they were rare. But the landlord wasn't really very interested. Lots of people had babies, he told me. He thought that mine looked weird and ugly, too. I wasn't sure how they were supposed to look so I didn't say anything about that. Though I'm pretty sure he was lying to look cool or maybe just being racist. It was the big thing to be back then. I thought about showing him some other things because I wanted to see if he thought they were ugly too. Problem was that I didn't have a lot of stuff in those days. He'd seen my house and he'd seen the baby. That didn't leave much else.
“I've got a cleaning lady,” I said. It wasn't really a lie because she did clean the house. Besides, it would have been weird to say 'wife' out loud. It would have felt too much like one minute I was one of the guys and breeding and having a great time but then all of a sudden I'm married and everything's gone. “She's really hot,” I probably didn't say 'hot' because no one talked like that back then. I must have said something old-timey like 'she's a real flousie' “She's about your age, too.” I went on. She's not, actually, she's quite a bit older than him but I didn't know that at the time. Besides, I wanted to sell it right.
“That kid is here,” I told Celene. I was standing in our room. I had this grin all over. She was sitting on our bed. She hadn't been doing anything when I came in. She smiled automatically as soon as she saw me and asked me if I wanted something to eat. That's when I told her that the landlord wanted to meet her.
“I told him you were pretty and that you were always asking about him and now he's really excited and you have to meet him and you can't let him down.” I'm extrapolating here. I know that I was quite enthusiastic. It was a pretty exciting thing for me to be doing. I was introducting people. I was building a community. I was giving them no choice but to be friends with each other. She didn't want to go downstairs, but I was thinking too quick for her and could beat all of her reasons for not going by using my own, better reasons. So she came with me and she got all shy and sat in the kitchen with the landlord who was also getting all shy.
“Good afternoon, Ms ... “ he said. He didn't know what to call her. He wasn't mischievous or cool any more. Celene looked at me. She didn't know what he was saying. She didn't understand Afrikaans. She smiled at me. I smiled back.
Later on, after the landlord had gone back home, Celene came by as she was putting the baby away. If it had been Modern Day, I've have been watching TV. I don't know what I was actually doing.
“That boy seems very polite. He is well-mannered.” she said. I laughed. If only she knew how much he swore!
“Hey,” I said, “You know what would be funny?” she shifted the baby from one arm to the other. She wanted to know. “It would be so funny if you guys got together.”
“I don't understand, sir.”
“It would be so weird! Your personalities would merge together into one big super-personality!” I smiled. My smile knew the future.
So I'm not trying to claim credit for calling it first or anything, but I think that, after a while, Celene couldn't quite tell the difference between my joke and reality. I think maybe she turned it into a recommendation in her head. As soon as I broke up with her, she started hanging out with the landlord at his house and when he got back from the Navy they got married. I was cool with it the whole time. I had my own thing going on. I just wish that they had been thinking a bit more clearly and rationally and not have let a joke turn into the real thing in their heads. I think the same thing is happening with this whole 'selling my house' situation. I don't think those guys have a very strong grip on reality.
I'm going to have to fight my family with ideas
Friday, November 14th 2008
Sarah still sends me e-mails. She doesn't talk about sex so much anymore and she hasn't shown me any more pages of her diary. That's okay, I can still remember the ones she did show me. Mostly she talks about how stressed out she is about exams and how she's going to leave home straight after school and go live in a Kibbutz or pick hops and be a part of something real, like a community and not something you only even knew anything about because you happened to end up in one specific little time and place, like a family.
Yeah, I've been thinking about family a lot. Sarah says that she's going to feel so guilty when she leaves her mother to look after her broken old dad all by herself. I don't think that's true. Sarah's just saying that because she doesn't want me (or others) to think that she's being mean. She thinks that her guilt makes it okay for her to be mean. But Sarah – don't worry. I know how it is. I've lived a really long time. Families leave each other all the time. It's nature, you can't stop it. Sometimes they don't even say it to your face when they do it. They get lawyers involved and it becomes stressful. More stressful than exams. Exams are only stressful because everyone's trying to mke you excited about writing them so you'll do well. It's like the holidays. Everybody wants them to turn out nice so hard. They're pretty stressful too.
What I'm saying is that you can always count on families breaking up and making a big mess of things and threatening all the systems that people have very carefully been building up for years and years. Your dad or your mom would have to be pretty silly and not getting it to not have known this all along and not to have had some kind of plan in place. Plans are what a good system is all about.
I've got a plan to stop my family turning on me. My plan is Love. But that's not all because Love wouldn't work on its own. My plan is Moe.
I bet she's fat too.
Wednesday, November 12th 2008
So the landlord came but it wasn't first thing in the morning. It was actually more around lunchtime. I fell asleep a few time waiting for him. When he finally got here I was so tired and not thinking so quickly, but I had a plan.
He wasn't wearing his suit any more. He was back to his woolly sweater and his tracksuit pants, which is his 'everything's cool' uniform. Yeah, right. You could tell from the moment he came in that he looked like he'd lived a million lives back-to-back. I closed the door behind him and he began.
“We're still planning to sell the place. I'm sorry Sharky, but that's just how we feel.” He'd been rehearsing it. His brother had told him what to say and Celene had blessed it with her smile.
“I don't think you know how to feel,” I said quickly. I was not lying down or sitting. I was standing up. I am bigger than him. I'm pretty huge, actually. “You've never been trained up to do it the right way. You've never let me do that. That's why you're making mistakes.” He didn't like that even though it was true and helpful. I could see every part of him even though I was tired. I'd been watching for years.
“Don't be silly,' he said. “Look, I've felt like this for a long while. It's time for me to move on. I've got to get away from this,” he said. I looked around.
“From what?” said my face, though I didn't say it out loud. But I knew from what. He couldn't handle the emotions of this place. It's absorbed so much of me over the years. That's what happens when you have so many emotions. Everything around you gets jealous and tries to latch on. The landlord had all of that under control for a little while back there but then he got old and he just sort of lost his gip and his will imploded. That can't happen to me.
“From all of this!” he said, waving an arm across the room. “From this place, from this life, from every day... from you, Shark. I can't do it any more.”
“Why not?” I asked, though I was sure I knew why. I think I asked that because I was quite offended at that point. “I pay you.” I added to remind him.
“That's not it, Shark. It's – don't you know how much you affect the people around you? Whenever you do something – anything – now it's me who has to suffer it.”
“Like what?” I asked. I kept touching my face. I didn't want to be doing that but I kept noticing that it was happening.
“Like bringing kids up here and scaring the life out of Mr. Roberts and driving around outside! Whenever you get hungry or need to change a bulb or clean out your damn bottles or any little thing, it's my problem.”
I felt like things were getting away from me. I touched my face.
“It can't go on like this,” he said. “Things are changing, all around. The country's changing. Someone will find out about you and they'll find out I've been hiding you and then what, Shark? What happens then?” He was getting really out of breath. I had to do something. I wanted to stop touching my face. I think it was making me lose the argument. I walked closer to him.
“If you sell this place,” I said, “I will eat you.”
“What?” he said, suddenly calm again.
“I ate Monopoly. I tore him apart. I'll do it to you if you try -”
“Who's Monopoly?” he said, suddenly confused.
“He's Moe's cousin. You know, Monopoly. He used to come over and play TV games but he was gross, so I...”
“You mean Bradley?” he said.
“Is that his name?” I asked.
“Bradley lives on the bottom floor with his mother.” he said, shaking his head. I hadn't planned this far ahead. I was so tired.
“Please.” I said. “Please.” The landlord sat down on the bed and shook his head again. I was still standing. It felt awkward that way.
“The plan is that we'd keep Ma's little granny flat and you could live there for as long as you wanted.” he said. “We'll see what we can do about getting you an allowance. We'll put up an ad to get someone to look after you.” He didn't say anything for a while. I just stood there. I was trying to imagine what Monopoly's mother looked like. After a while, he stood up and made us some lunch. I'm running out of food again.
He's not coming back until the morning.
Tuesday, November 11th 2008
Okay, so I've calmed down right now but I've had a really stressful day. This morning I was looking out the window, smoking a cigarette and chilling when I tried to imagine what the courtyard would look like after the developers buy up the place and do their developing. I saw the developers filling up the courtyard with more and more apartments which got filled up with more and more people – pregnant people, sad people, teenage people, people who pretend to be vampires, people who are really into their trucks – and there are just so many people and they all need a place and they all need food and they all need a community and the developers are all wearing light brown suits and they are making more apartments but they can't catch up with all the people coming in and the place just collapses with the weight of all the people and all their neediness and then the developers pick up all the rubble and turn it into a homeless shelter and all the people live there now, packed into cots, no space, too sad for most people to care about.
There's another group of homeless people just outside the gate, just where the landlord's mother's little granny flat used to be. Everyone in the group is a parent. Every day of their lives they hoped that the future would turn out just okay enough for them to slip just one more person under the wire but now that hope is a joke. They're outside the gate and the gate is closed and the landlord is sitting there in a deckchair looking at his watch and he won't open the gate and let them spend the night in the shelter because it's four minutes past closing time and it's tough. A car drives past, but it's not Moe in the car. It's no one. It's Mr. Roberts. Moe's gone. He probably didn't make it. Turns out this place was the source of all his power and, with it gone, he was all alone out there. Having no community watching your back means that none of your talents are worth anything and no matter how insightful or brilliant or cool you are, life will find a way to crush you so easily. So it's so long, Moe. Life just didn't care about you in the end.
I ran into the bathroom to pick up my phone and I called the landlord. He didn't pick up at first but I kept on calling.
“What's happened?” he asked, a bit angry and a bit worried. I don't call very often.
“Don't sell this place!” I gasped. “I don't think you know what you're doing!”
“Shark, I'm up in Joburg. I'm in the lawyer's office. I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay? First thing tomorrow. Just – calm down. Get something to eat. You know how you get when you don't eat.” He hung up and I went back into the bathroom, turned on the shower and didn't come out until all the hot water was used up. Then I crawled into bed and stayed there for a little while. I must have fallen asleep for a bit because the next thing I knew, it was dark and I was calmer. I did eat something but now I can't get back to sleep. I'll wait up until the morning. I don't want to miss the landlord when he comes round.
Big news in a little voice
Sunday, November 9th 2008
So the landlord turned up here late last night. He didn't even knock, he just used the key he has and came right in. He had been drinking and he'd lost his light brown jacket. He hasn't drank in years. I can picture him saving it up, like a deep breath or a special move, just waiting for the right time to unleash it over everyone.
"That's it," he said, sitting down on the bed. Then he threw up his hands and said, "That's the last of it." He meant his mother. She's all gone now. He didn't cry but I think he wanted to. It's so like the world that a man who looks like he's on the verge of crying all the time suddenly can't cry at all when he's got a really good reason to do it.
He just sort of chilled on the bed for a while. I stood in the corner and wondered whether I was in trouble or not. He started to talk about the funeral. Apparently not a lot people showed up. She only had the one friend who wasn't as old as her and everyone else had been people she'd made and their spouses. The landlord and Celene were there and so was the grocery kid, his daughter and her ex. I haven't seen the grocery kid's kid since she was a tiny baby. I'd like to think she brought some youth and coolness to the funeral. They need that kind of perspective in the mix. I hope that life hasn't destroyed her yet.
“Was Moe there?” this is me talking.
“No,” he sighed. “Moe wasn't there, Shark.” I kind of figured he wasn't. But I could just imagine him there at the back of the crowd, peering over everyone, eyes cold, playing with the stuff in his pockets. He'd look at everyone's faces one by one and would have been able to tell if they had loved her or not. Damn, what's up with Moe these days?
We kind of ran out of things to say after that. The landlord wasn't in the mood to look at any of the new websites I'd bookmarked and he didn't start making dinner like he normally did, so I played some TV games and he watched. I'm still pretty good at most of my games. I've finished a few of them but I'm out of practice these days. I've forgotten a lot of the moves. I kept falling down this one bottomless pit that used to be no problem at all and had to keep on starting from the beginning. The landlord watched me do this for about fifteen minutes before he piped up again.
“We've been talking,” he meant him and the grocery kid and the team they formed when they ganged up on me. He didn't continue for a while because he was psyching himself up towards making the thing he was about to say real. “We might sell this place. There's a developer who's been interested in it for years. And with Ma gone it just...” he finished the sentence with his shoulders.
“I own this place.” I corrected him. I've told you guys the story before.
“I was talking to Ma's lawyer today,” he said quietly. “And it seems that Celene owns this place. She always owned it.”
I'm pretty sure that's not how it is.
“It's just an idea,” he said, standing up. He looked around the room like he'd never seen it before, like he was trying to figure out what it was all worth in money. “Of course we'd have a lot to sort out first.” He was talking about me.
But you know, that got me thinking. Maybe it's time for a shake-up around here. Sharks have to keep moving to stay alive. Not literally, of course, but it's like a state of mind. I spent most of today typing out new things that I'd do if I moved out of my pad. It would be something like the adventure I had (the real one, not the lame one with David) only bigger and it would never stop.
I'd pack up my essentials, sell of the rest of my stuff ... a lot of it is old and probably really valuable. My bottles for instance. I'd drive up to Moe's house, my glove compartment full of money. He'd come out and he'd whistle and he'd understand what was happening. He'd stop only to grab a fresh change of clothes and the miniature versions of the things in his house and he'd hop in. We'd find David, wherever he is, and we'd patch things up with Sarah. I know that we could do it if we all did it together. Out on the road, one of us might have to sacrifice his or her life for the good of the many but we'd never stop learning lessons and all the world couldn't contain our growth / power.
Yeah, I think I'm ready.
That guy is so weird!
Saturday, November 8th 2008
It's the landlord's mother's funeral today. It's happening right now actually. The landlord really wanted me to go. He turned up here really early in the morning and knocked on my door and said my name over and over. He didn't say it angrily, just loud and clear enough to let me know that he was serious about me hearing it. It was like this:
Knock (four knocks)
Then he'd do it again.
I didn't answer because I thought it was a bit rude that he was here so early. I'd told you how tired I was yesterday. But then he called my phone and then I was trapped. So I got myself over to the door and pretended as though I had just woken up that second and was all sleepy and confused.
He was wearing a suit. I'd forgotten he even had one. It was light brown and didn't fit so well. I stared at it, but I think that upset him and he just said, "Sharky. Let me in." He only calls me Sharky when it's emotional.
I offered him some tea but he just brushed that off and kind of pushed me down onto the bed and sat down beside me.
"You're coming to her funeral," he said. I shook my head. That really isn't the way I do things. "You didn't come to see her once while she was ill. She kept asking for you but you didn't come," he said.
"Yeah but I can't go outside," I said.
"You've been going outside with those bloody kids all the time. You've been driving that little girl around at all hours of the night doing who-knows-what!"
Okay, now that really wasn't fair. First, I haven't given Sarah a lift anywhere for months, not since the matric dance. And she's hardly a 'little girl.' She seventeen now and says that she's going to leave home quite soon. I didn't say that though. He was too angry to talk to. His face was hard and pleading. It was weird to hear him swear again. He used to do it all the time!
"And after all she's done for you. You'd be dead if not for her," he went on. "You have to come today and pay your respects."
Even though we were just sitting on the bed, I felt that really I was in a corner and the landlord was just lunging at me again and again. He wasn't hitting me, just psyching me out again and again.
"Okay," I said. "I'll go. I don't care who sees me." That made the landlord stop lunging at me in my mind. He stepped back from the corner. I could leave now if I wanted.
"You have to come," he said again, but not as forceful as before.
"I will, I will. Just let me get ready. I need to get ready first." I said. I meant that I'd need to finish up my websites and lock up my pad and clean my skin. My skin produces a lot of grease to make swimming easier, but it's not so helpful when I've got to be around people. The landlord knows all about this.
"Thank you, Shark. This will mean a lot to her." He stood up, took a deep breath and swallowed whatever it was he was going to say next.
"I'll take my car. It still runs pretty well." I said, smiling. We used to be really into my car. The landlord smiled back.
"Thank you," he said again. Then he left.
But I don't know, funerals aren't really my thing. Instead, I spent the day on IRC chatting to my friend who likes Leonard Cohen with me. I told him that I wasn't going to the funeral of this girl I used to hang out with who was my old landlord. He said that he understood and that it was more important that you got all that stuff sorted out while the person was still alive.
Exactly, I said.
These new pizza punks
Friday, November 7th 2008
I ordered pizza today, even though there's still a lot of food in the house. I've got to be more careful with my money, actually, since the landlord didn't collect the rent from anyone last month.
I've told him that all that stuff can be done technologically now, through the the internet. He doesn't like that idea, I think. To him, if the money is not in his hands or in the bank account that his first job set up for him, then it is cheating. I wonder how many people in the building have the internet. I hear modems dialling up sometimes, but the landlord would probably know for sure. He goes into all of the rooms and knows everyone's name. But I don't think it would be that many since they are all old people.
Ordering pizza isn't quite the same since Moe quit his job. I mean, it's cool and everything. I'm not freaking out or giving up pizza. (Though the landlord says I should.) I told you: I've got a system. But I miss having a regular guy who gets associated with pizza and food in my mind. I've tried talking to these new pizza guys but it's no use. They're these hot-shots who don't want to connect with anyone. They're too fixated on the big picture and getting to the next delivery that they don't want to take in some real human interaction. What can you do with people like that?
They all know exactly where to look for the money I hide though. I guess Moe briefed them on everything like that before he left. He was probably a pretty high rank among the pizza guys. I can see him standing up on a podium, pointing into the assembled crowd of peasant pizza guys and assigning them their delivery zones and demanding a cut of all their tips in this giant samurai voice that he would never use in day-to-day life. When that voice came out, you knew that it was time to obey. I think that the reason he quit was that being the top guy like that must have been pretty draining and the position of command would have isolated him and made him terribly lonely. But hey, Moe was all about loneliness. Maybe now he's left his job he's ruined forever. Change is like that to people who don't have a good system or a community to support them.
But nah, Moe definitely had a system. You could see it in his stability, in his ability to just cut through all the stuff that keeps normal people from understanding other people. I think that is why Sarah fell in love with him. She fell in love with his system.
The landlord sounded pretty stressed out on the phone this morning. He kept asking me if I was going to go to his mother's funeral. I don't know about that. I'm pretty tired already and I've got a lot of stuff I need to do tomorrow.
If you could cry on demand, I wouldn't believe a thing you said
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
So the grocery kid came round today. Apparently it is his birthday. He came in and put the groceries on the floor instead of on the counter (which is his new thing) and just stood there with his arms folded and this look on his face that was just, 'Can't you see that you've hurt me.'
'Do you know what today is?'
'No, what's today?' I asked. He wanted so hard to look relaxed, but this was a big deal. You could tell he'd been thinking about it all day.
'How long have you known me?' he asked.
Time doesn't mean much to sharks because we live forever. I've told him this before.
'It's my birthday today. It happens every year on the same day each time.' Then he left. He wanted to leave me feeling bad about myself. I picked up the shopping, which was difficult, and noticed that he'd bought as many things in glass bottles as he could. I wonder if he thinks we're having this big, invisible fight.
Not much has happened here. Sarah's writing her exams now, Moe's quit his job, I went to a matric dance and the landlord's mother died. She was the grocery kid's mother too, but I don't really think of him that way.
It sounds like a lot of stuff when you lay it out in a line like that but it's really not. My life's still the same - nothing's destabilised. I've got a pretty good system that corrects against this sort of thing. It's not as if there are such things as 'events,' scientifically. It's just: day in, day out - yep, looks the same.
There's plenty of food in the house now, so I'm feeling in a pretty good mood, even though the landlord made me give the grocery kid a raise just because their mother died. It was easy for the landlord to do that since he handles all the accounts. He just said he was going to do it and then wham, it happened.
Though the grocery kid has been a lot less of a jerk since that happened. Except for today, of course. I guess that's all that people really want: A bit more money and for people to love you when you're feeling sorry for yourself, even if your mother was over ninety years old when she died. That is so old for a person to be. I'm not sure if I'm even that old.
So yeah, it feels good to be blogging on the internet again. I don't know if it's the same for you guys but it seems like everything on the internet takes longer these days. I think that's why I haven't been using it as much.
Anyway, be cool guys. And if your mother is over ninety and then dies, don't act like it's a complete surprise. You should know better than that.