i dont like cold weather. i dont like holidays. i dont like being forced to give people things. i dont like religious holidays that have turned into such an absence of religion that it mirrors the sham that took place last week where a so-called Conceptual Artist put a flickering lightbulb in an empty room and called his art, “Bare Room with a Light that Switches on and off,” and won the coveted Turner Prize in England where not only did he rake in $28k, but Madonna presented him the award.
So much wrong with all that, but so symbolic it’s frightening.
The emptiness that we pretend to be substantial is ridiculous, especially on a brisk sunny morning riding a bus.
when im unimpressed by myself i usually take risks to break out of it. sometimes it’s not all that amazing, sometimes it borders on self-destructive. this morning i chose to take a different route to work which was risky because i was already running late and i didnt know if the route would be quicker or longer and i didnt even know which busses i would have to take.
took the subway north, got off on hollywood and highland, which looks pretty nice in the morning, maybe better than it does at night cuz it looks less fake and more like a real urban area. caught the 217 Fairfax. lots of working people, more whites than browns. turn down fairfax and all the blue hairs get on. the bus stops at every stop and it becomes apparent that im gonna be late – again – for work.
nice old lady has been sitting next to me since ive gotten on. i have the window seat and i keep trying to look out the window but she keeps asking me questions.
im hot in my stupid big jacket. the batteries of my cd player have gone out, but i keep the headphones on to give the old bag a hint. it’s too cramped to pull out my newspaper, and “Tund” is buried beneath my gym clothes and extra socks so im forced to smile pretty and count the moles on this nice Greek lady’s bearded chin.
the bus pulls over and lets on a handful of people. one of the new riders is a young japanese girl whose hip-hugger jeans catch my eye immediately. my eyes move up and shes got on a thin jevi’s jacket, a cute scarf and the sweetest face. im such a sucker for the asian girls. are those mittens? whoa. i think to myself, there used to be a time when you coulda gotten that girl. you need to get back to that place. you need to be that dude again.
old lady asks me if im married.
yes, i have four wives.
she says, “whats that dear?”
i say, “i have four wives. i’d have more but my religion forbids it.”
she says, “what religion is that?”
i say, “im a Scientologist.”
miraciously the lady quits talking to me and at the next stop she gets up and moves to an empty seat.
I see an old man move to sit next to me, but wait, it’s Japanese girl who beats him to it.
fate is a fucker and we dont usually get along, mostly cuz i dont believe in it, and it appears that the feeling is mutual.
i dont know if this girl speaks english, i dont know if she’s legal, i dont know if i smell, i curse myself for not shaving or wearing something that is the least bit attractive. i see that shes not reading anything or listening to anything. i have no clues to what to say so of course i say nothing. im tounge-tied. this superhero that we read about on the ever-truthful Internet, in real life is a nervous geeky below average fake with bad clothes and no courage.
we pass CBS Television City and i try to see if anyone is in line for Price is Right or one of those shows, but no, noone’s. there. today is Hanukkah. it might be the first day, it might be the second day. Fairfax isn’t super dead, but it’s less-crowded than you’d expect. I look at the huge building where I saw Tsar perform on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, the building where I met Jon Stewart and got to see a taping of Politically Incorrect and I’ve always thought that I might be able to do something good there and I have never even tried.
I thought about how this guy who used to write for my college paper went off and got his masters in journalism and is now covering the NFL for Sports Illustrated and there I was riding the bus. i thought even if this girl fell in love with me, how would i pick her up for our date, where would i take her, what would i wear?!!!
and then something inside me made me go into my bag, get the huge yellow pen that said eBay on it and then i got my Directv bill and i flipped over the bill and i wrote on it these magic words, “you are so pretty i cant even speak. maybe i’ll do better on the phone.” and then i wrote down 3-2-3 and then i made seven big squares. i didnt even look at her. i just tapped her knee with the pen and i handed her the bill.
she giggled. thats good. giggling is pretty much always good. infact i cant remember one time when it was bad. still trying to think of one time when it was bad, but cant recall it. so i handed her the pen. she didnt take it. i wrote a 6 in the first box, she said, “4” and then she gave me the rest of the numbers. and then the bus stopped at my stop and i got off and she got off.
then she went to her next bus stop and i walked four more blocks to my work and i was out of my little rut.
while i was walking i remembered something that Sonny had said a while back. he said, you should always do one cool thing each day, and if you can do it before noon you are the man. i couldnt wait to tell him i had done mine before nine.