[Authorís note: I wrote this in the last week of December, but it seemed like too cynical a post to end the year with. Perfect for bringing in the new year, though, I guess.]
It could pass as a cool spring night, if you want to know the truth. If you donít want to know the truth, ignore whatever cold-ass weather nature has dealt you, and pretend youíre in a place where itís late December and still feeling like a cool spring night.
We got a bit of cold weather down here in Austin, but it didnít last. I find myself thinking about the temp agency I worked for when I first moved to NYC, I donít know why.
I find myself thinking about how cold it was that first lonely night when I had moved to a city that held no empathy for a small-town boy who was just learning how to face the world. Long blocks, short blocks, where the hell am I? I think about playing Jacobís Gamecube until six oí clock every morning, watching the moon rise and sink, I think about the romantic loneliness that only New York City can offer, and I find myself missing it.
Being down south, man, youíre never alone, romantic or otherwise. There might be six people on the street at a time, but you could start talking to any one of them, and theyíll talk right back. In The City, youíre surrounded by something like a billion people, and youíre still all alone.
I miss The City, man, I miss it a lot, the same way you would miss an uncle thatís dead. Maybe you never really loved him, maybe you didnít even LIKE him most of the time, but thatís not the thing. Because heís gone, now, out of your grasp. And you can never talk to him again.
New York, it screws you, man. Once in a while, thereís lubricant involved, and it feels pretty cool. Other times, it just hurts and hurts and hurts, and the only reason you donít want to die is because you remember those really cool moments. Iím sure Iím getting carried away here, but nobody is forcing you to read this, so piss off.
Our favorite Admin, he told me that I would never be the same, and he was damn right. Because it changes you, living in The City.
Life is good here, donít get me wrong. My credit cards are getting paid off, instead of getting maxed. I get in my car, I make it to work in ten minutes, as opposed to the forty-five minute subway ride.
The bums here, they wash their clothes, they stand at the intersection (when the weather permits, of courseóthere are no homeless people in Austin when it rains), and they behave. Itís not like in New York where thereís that piss smell everywhere, and the homeless are out all year, no matter how cold it gets, being all surly and poor.
Honestly, I donít know about the guys that beg for my money around here. I donít trust the fair-weather homeless of Austin. Maybe they got no jobs, maybe they got no homes. But when it rains, or when it gets cold, they donít give a damn about making money. Iíll give my spare change to the first person that begs in harsh weather, man, I swear. Hang out there on the corner when itís forty degrees and the windís blowing, Iíll give you whatever change is in my ashtray. Otherwise, just put down your cardboard sign and stand the hell back so I donít clip you with my side-view mirror as I drive by. Anyone can beg when itís seventy degrees outside.
And bumper stickers. I didnít see many of these in The City, because you didnít stand around looking at peopleís bumpers, and I didnít drive while I was there. Theyíre all over the place down here, and itís truly frightening.
Want to know why? Because the shit that these people will put on their cars, and youíre actually stuck out in traffic with them. It just terrifies me to think that Iím cruising down the highway at seventy miles an hour next to someone who willingly pasted a sticker onto their car that says something like, ďWill write code for food.Ē Itís just creepy. Thatís not the worst, though, because at least thatís an attempt at humor.
I got stuck in traffic behind this little Focus today, the back of it was covered in bumper stickers. Iím not kidding, man, just covered. Itís really not that hard to imagine, if youíre ever seen how much space in the world the back of a Focus takes up, but still.
There was one of those little fish things that says ďJESUSĒ in the middle, and I had no problem with that. Then there was a bumper sticker that said, ďPray Hail Mary For World Peace.Ē I didnít know WHAT to think about that. Is the car trying to tell me how to worship? I donít know. Another sticker ordered, ďBan Planned Parenthood.Ē And another said something like, ďPray for forgiveness.Ē Something like that.
Anyway, it made me want to ram it.
Donít get me wrongóIím a Christian. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus. I prayónot nearly enough, probably, but I prayóand I do it with sincerity. I donít need a compact, fuel efficient, thirty-nine-mile-per-gallon candyass-mobile to tell me to do it, either. Itís one of the few things Iím ever serious about in life, if you want to know the truth. And Catholicism? Iím all for it, man. Itís one of the few branches of religion that I feel perfectly comfortable making fun of. I mean, there are a lot of strange ideas out there, but one thing that I feel really certain about is that Catholics have it all wrong. Maybe not ALL wrong, I guess, but most of it.
Of course, I know almost nothing about Catholicism because most of my information comes from movies or fallen Catholics. But from what Iíve heard, theyíve got it all backwards. Maybe someday Iíll do an entire rant about itóheck, maybe Iíll even do a little research first. But for now, let me just say this: The Second Commandment. Check it out, boys and girls. I bet that includes Popes.
AnywaysÖback to the bumper stickers.
You stick something like that all over your car, I donít want to hear any complaining when someone keys it, okay? ďBan Planned Parenthood?Ē Come on, man. Your parents probably felt the same way, and look what happened to them: you. And thatís something I think we all regret. I meet new people every day, and almost every time, I wish their parents had had a few more condoms around the bedroom, you know? Instead of banning planned parenthood, maybe we should just ban the idiots like you from all sexual activity. And POOF! No more goofy-ass bumper stickers to bring out my hostility.
And thatís my rant for tonight, kiddies. Yeah, random as hell, I know. What are ya gonna do? I have to go now and write some Portly Boy. Oh, yeah, and I have this great bumper sticker I need to put on my car.
It says: ďSpread your lethal STDs and kill everyone who would have sex with a loser like you. And run those guys with the ĎBan Planned Parenthoodí bumper stickers off the roadóthey need to die, tooĒ It takes up most of my car, but I feel like itís worth it.