Orange Shovel, 2018.04.25


He never required a birthday or a promotion to spew his congratulations
in the form of booze and stomach acid and underchewed peanuts on-to
the pavement or a girlfriend’s lap. Tonight he’s wearing a shirt of Republican
red and waxing wise on the Card’s playoff chances while me and Debbie
sip white wine and eye better options. At midnight, he stumbles to his feet and slurs, “Lesko.”
Debbie sighs and gives me that look she’s always saved for his benders and puts on
an old high-school-boyfriend-esque letterman jacket she’d picked up during her
most recent thrift-store binge—the same one where she went and got me a big
-ass stuffed tiger, pink, blue-eyed. She handed it to me, acting like she was a carnival win
-ner and the woo-woo paragon of tossing rings onto bottles and baseballs in
-to stacked milk bottles. I don’t care to remember anymore how he became our problem, and the
truth is, I don’t need it anymore. Maybe once his grade-A suck helped me feel special,
like I was doing good things in this world, like it wasn’t too late for my election
by God’s finger. I don’t know why being good should be requisite for heaven or for
hell—as far as I can tell, it doesn’t make much difference anyhow. But this is Arizona
and no matter where I drive pretty much every single goddamn suburban house
looks like the one my parents raised me in. Over by the door, I can hear him yelling “’Seat!”
and I know they’ll soon be at a Denny’s or somewhere eating ham and eggs, and Debbie
will have to order his food while trying to get him to order hers because he will
make her swap after three bites anyway. The question is am I ready to switch from wine to do,
I don’t know, a strawberry milkshake or something. I would hate that this question is a
likely candidate for weekend’s-most-important-issue, but what if life were filled with actual great
and compelling matters of concern? Stress. More opportunities to watch folks vomit. I’m not Job,
after all. I got a job, a 401(k), a paid-off car and three payments left on a 4K tv. Try not to im-press
anybody else and all that’s left is yourself. And as far as I can tell, all anybody wants is
enough to go out now and then and somewhere else to stay in. That’s enough. So
let them go. I’ll finish this off and pay my bill and go to my top-floor apartment and be silent.

- - - - -

I'm thinking about beginning a series of golden shovels born of Trump tweets.... This is the first.

No comments:

Post a Comment