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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Don't Wanna

Someone once told me, as I was complaining endlessly about an unpleasant task I had set up for myself to do one day, "Don't do it-- we spend so much of our lives doing things that we don't want to do-- paying bills, visiting our inlaws, wiping our asses, getting the car inspected-- why should you have to endure one more annoying thing that you don't want to do-- just because you think you should? Fuck that."

Just. Don't. Do it.

Hmpf. Pretty revolutionary, don't you think? As advice goes, anyway.

Trouble is, nobody actually said that to me. It's just sage-like advice that I pulled out of my ass (after wiping, of course). I do this sometimes-- give myself advice, like an old friend might, if I ever asked an old friend for advice. Which I don't, which is a shame, because that's essentially what old friends are for, and I do have a couple left. But I'm far too busy with my spinning little life to pay them much heed. You know, there are bills to pay and cars to get inspected.

Anyway, I give myself advice every now and then, and, invariably, I heed it not. At least I don't pay some clipboard-toting shyster to give me advice that I will then ignore. Of course, good therapists don't give advice. I learned that in college, and not much else, I'm embarrassed to say.

Yesterday, after a thoroughly annoying day of working with some of society's less fortunate, less desirable, and less assimilated beings, I got to fight through forty minutes of just-out-of-school traffic only to arrive at the doorstep of my middle sister's shabby apartment on the outskirts of the city. Broken red moulding disgraced the threshold and, as I leaned back against the wooden railing propping up her doorstep, it bent unceremoniously and threatened to cave beneath my not-very-impressive weight. I texted her, as she requests, probably because her doorbell is broken.

"I'm here."

My sister, who has had her iPhone surgically implanted up her ass, usually texts back in under two seconds flat. After four minutes of freezing my tibbles off in the cold rain, I called.

"Hi. I'm here."

"You're where?" she asked.

"I'm at your doorstep. Can you let me in, please?"

"What are you doing here?" she asked, obviously put out.

"Well, I was supposed to see you last Monday, and you postponed until this Monday. And now, it's this Monday."

There was a brief pause.

"Oh," she replied with customary eloquence, "well, I thought you were going to, like, confirm."

Like, confirm, huh? What is this, like, a doctor's office?

Instead of that biting little remark, I said nothing, determined to be a good boy.

"Well," she said, "it's too cold to go take the baby to Starbucks."

"Um, I know-- I don't care about going anywhere, I can just come up and say 'hi.'"

"Oh, yeah, sure, we'll come let you in."

And so began what was one of the more traditionally awkward twenty-six minutes of my life: meeting with my sister, on her turf. Where my mother and eldest sister are not around to conduct air puff residue tests on all of the baby's toys and sanitize his every corner. This apartment is not the happy medium I hope for my nephew. He toddles and doddles around the living room happily, putting discarded Starbucks coffee cups into his mouth that have been lying around on the floor, he gleefully chases a yellow, plastic ball that goes careening towards the vast tangle of wires and cords connected to her modem. There is shit. Everywhere. And she puts on some sort of digitized bastardization of Mickey Mouse that he pays attention to for sixteen seconds, and then wanders off in search of other stimulation-- I don't know, like, where it's supposed to come from.

And neither does he.

And neither does she.

Maybe he'll pick up some wisdom from the pithy quote on the side of the Starbucks cup, if they're still doing that-- but I doubt it. He is, after all, fourteen months old.

I'm tired of doing things I don't want to do. I just want to take my nephew away, to a diner somewhere, for bacon, eggs, and well-done hashbrowns-- like my father did with me-- once the kid's old enough.


  1. OH YUM.

    I swear I read your post, but all I was left with at the end was a giant neon sign reading BACON, EGGS AND HASH BROWNS!

    Damn you.

    Also, maybe that child needs a nanny...

  2. Harley-- he's got a nanny: my mother.


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