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You Wanna Talk by Ray Printer Friendly

You wanna talk, le's talk, come on, le's get...it...ON!

Work party Friday, and I went, thinking, why not, why not be a team player, see what it's like. Most of the people where I work are cool, might as well see 'em when the necktie's loosened, right? Half an hour, an hour, what will it hurt.

Talk to me talk to me, like you care, like you want me to care, like either of us know what the other is saying, we'll smile and pat each other on the shoulder, and it'll all be splatter tomorrow, the way the world looks in a mud puddle right when you step on it--broken but there, and a little sad.

Temperature drops and people arrive and people leave, and it's all fine and good, it's fun. Leave way before the legal limit, but still uncomfortable behind the wheel. A slow six blocks, reflecting on the world while the chilled air blows in through the window and blaring music blows out the speakers.

A million too-short moments later, I'm up before the alarm, watching the shadows fade as I sip coffee and ponder the upcoming day, but not too much because it's a Saturday work day, and thinking too much never helps on a Saturday work day. A bowl of oatmeal later, I'm left wondering why I went to the trouble.

Work work work, and finally it's over and I'm on the way home, I'm free again, for a day and a half, and company coming. House cleaning, show them the picture of what we'd be if we didn't have real stuff to worry about, if we didn't have jobs and exercise and if we weren't always so damn tired when we get home. Show the guests who we should be.

Things take longer, and the house cleaning is interrupted by the company, and they help finish up, because they aren't company, they're friends, and we aren't the people we should be and neither are they and we all understand and love each other for it. Perfect people suck, anyway. People who have their shit together are boring.

The kid's stupid cute, mind-numbing in his weird adorability, and I mention it several times because I find it unsettling to be so touched by a smile. Like a used car salesman in the baby world, but instead of greased-back hair and sleazy lies, he's powder clean and unsoiled honest.

I'm not fooled by you, I tell him. I'm on to your little game. He smiles and gives me a hug, which really just proves my point. But by then, it doesn't even matter.

What's that

?

You aren't satisfied with this story

?

You need a neurotic little dog

?

I hear ya, buddy. Rest assured, the little dog was there, acting completely irrational, except for when it peed on the carpet. That made sense to me.

Fire and everything, we did it, cooking meat, scaring the moon, whatever it is that the cavemen did, we did it, and when the stranger tried to alpha male us, we laughed. Two of us to his one, and either one of us could have taken him in a fight, but neither of us wanted to. He tried to push out his chest, but you can only swell so far before the handle of your Natural Light box breaks.

Rain? Rain. Sorta.

Why not, why not some moisture falling from the sky as we figure out the world piece by piece, most of the answers veiled behind our fear? So much to be scared of these days, what with the copious amounts of responsibility and all. Failing just ain't what it used to be.

We've reached a point, a tipping point, where it's more important to lose self-respect and succeed than it is to fail and prove a point. Living is dying a little each day, and winning is losing. Real life has always been the un-slayable dragon, but it's just now starting to bask in the glory of watching us squirm.

Does anyone else smell burning ketchup?

And what's solved at the end of the night, what's figured out?

Only that it's too damn late and we gotta get up too damn early, and I'd still hide the bodies for this bitter bastard, no questions asked.

The sun rises, and I find myself asleep, but not for long. Oatmeal waits for no man, not when it's being made by a mother for her child, and get screwed if you don't like the sound of pots and pans banging around.

What's it all about? That's what I ask myself later, when the friends are gone, when the place is quiet, when there isn't a yapping dog or constant laughing, or everyone repeating the random babblings of a child.

I don't know, man, I really don't. That crazy little spawn, he makes me think the world's an okay place, and if I didn't know better, I'd think I should contribute to the gene pool. But slick baby smiles and fun Friday nights are quickly erased by brutal Monday mornings and bosses that want nothing to do with pleasantness; two hundred and eighteen horrible news stories await; reality is back and who the hell was I to ignore it even for a second?

Biscuits and beef jerky for breakfast as I drive down a traffic-packed freeway, and I smile and I think about how the world will never beat us.


Comments:
Entered By Anonymous From Unknown
2009-10-13 05:04:36

It's writing like this that makes me have a small, respectful, anonymous crush on you.


Entered By Lauren From NH
2009-10-13 22:45:03

Crush my ass! It's a typical weekend in my world. p.s. I'm baaaaaaaaaaack. And YOU are thinking of breeding.


Entered By Ray From Austin
2009-10-16 00:23:47

Why thank you, Anonymous. Hello there, Lauren. Welcome back. I hope you brought enough booze for the rest of us.



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