20 January 2006

Comatose & Ampersands

"When the table moves, move with it."

That's what the fortune in the fortune cookie said when I read it sitting in a hole-in-the-wall Chinese food joint somewhere outside of North Carolina. A gap in the chain-link of an almost forgotten strip mall. Just a road stop on our trip to Florida for Dennis' birthday. The neon 'open' sign in the front window flickering like you'd see far off lightning in an evening sky. Patrons shuffled in, just barely squeezing their breadth through the front door. From the looks of it, a Star Trek convention was in town.

At times like this you can't help but feel you're being watched. You expect the studio audience just out of view to rip up in applause over the protagonists' apropos moment of clarity. You expect the music to start and queue a well edited montage depicting choices in a life merely resembling yours.

And it was there -- sitting in a metal chair at a dirty table -- next door to an equally neglected liquor store, that I had the worst Chinese food of my life. The worst Chinese I've ever had, and without a doubt the most relevant fortune I've ever received.

But that's just me, it's how I am. I find significance in the most trivial of things -- often out of left field -- while off in my dalliances.

Florida was what I needed.

Filling my tank with some 90 octane R&R. Hitting the clubs on church street. Doing my best to keep my pallor out of the sun. Celebrating D's birthday. No Checks! Bourbon and Swervin. Sleeping on a skateboard bed, next to a taco bed. Waking up to the RedDog dropping no less than twelve pots and pans on the tile floor next to my head. Telling the GPS to "find nearest bitches" and having it pull up a bunch of banks. Two player PSP and movies in the back seat. Wok and Roll! Eating gatortail and finding out that gatortail is people. Gatortail is PEOPLE! The Guitar Hero tour of the east coast. Dennis' dad requesting that I play the song Fat Up. A hot tub crammed with six people. No faggot, real fucking fireworks! Eating excellent birthday cake.

I've been moving with the table for a couple of months now. I've seen and done things I never would have had I been content to eat my meal long after there was anything to support my plate.

That's what the cookie said.

Just outside the supermarket -- on a trip to get beans for the cookout -- the Florida sky at dusk looked like an upsidedown painted desert. I stood frozen in the parking lot silently wishing I could see colors like normal people do. Tracing the blue and orange, pink and lavender over in my mind.

Standing there, hoping my eyes would just work for fucking once, it hit me like I had just come out of a fourty-year coma. This is not normal for me. A situation and location I wouldn't have found myself in a year ago. I've let everything go.

By the time we got what we needed and headed outside, back to the car, the brilliance was gone, returned to it's normal blue. A moment, the sky and I shared a moment. Just for a second I got to see how beautiful she could be, and that's all I needed.

4 comments:

Jon said...

I'm hearing an Andrew Bird song in my head... something about zeroes and ones...

kbryna said...

i don't know...."normal" people maybe can see more colors, but i still don't think most of them can see what you do.

Kevin K said...

You forgot to add "in bed" to the end of your fortune. Bad form, old man.

Anyway sounds like the road trip was tight. I wish I had went. Nuts.

H said...

I miss you. I know that sky and wish we had it a bit longer.

I'll try to appreciate the sunsets here more, for your sake. I've been getting caught up in some really messy introspective shit lately, and have been letting the things that count - like upside-down Arizona - just pass by like it's meaningless.

I'll try harder.

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