Ever feel like you want to die?
No, I’m not suicidal. I want to live, actually. I just had a rocky afternoon that’s segued into an evening that, well, it just isn’t getting any better. In fact, it’s getting worse. Much worse. You know that old teenage prank story about the kids who put a sack of dogshit on somebody’s back doorstep, light it on fire, make some noise so the person inside gets curious enough to come out back, discover it, stamp out the flames, then the pranksters run around front and ring the doorbell? I feel like the dogshit. The muezzin is humming in brutally atonal prayer along with a flamenco record, which automatically does make me think of bridges and cliffs and skyscrapers and other things that, jumped off of, will stop the music, but I realize that it’s just another one of life’s shitty moments that’s best endured. It will get better. And it’s just in me; it’s the awful way that I feel that’s making other things so horrible. They’re not really horrible. Well, people humming is horrible; I’m sorry; I fucking hate it, from the days when I worked at the weekly paper and the editor I’d learned to hate with the passion of a thousand blue-white-hot suns, the miserable guy I called Tubby the Wine Snob behind his back, used to walk down the hallways in the morgue-silent newsroom whose once-vibrant atmosphere his presence had destroyed, humming, triggering that not-so-exquisite combination of homicidal and suicidal impulses in me and probably everyone else there, too. But, as usual, I fucking digress.
Right now, my body hurts. My hair hurts. I feel like I’m enduring one of those classic hangovers from back in the day, and in two weeks and change it’ll have been 18 years since I fucked myself up chemically enough to where I goddamn felt this way by my own doing. Today, shit, I dunno. I’m just going to plug in the earbuds and try to watch some BBC videos of bugs fucking, or ripping one another limb from limb. I’d blown this popsicle stand momentarily and hit Oscar’s (one of my local triumvirate of cheap Mexican eats) for a veggie burrito and a cane-sugar Coke, and that fucked me up worse than I already was feeling. Then I went to one of those meetings I go to, but this one, well, shit. One guy got called on who came in late; he looked like an O.G. from the barrio and he talked like one, too. About ten minutes into the latest iteration of what must be his evolving personal mythology, I felt so goddamn bad and hurting to where I had to leave. Ergo, I did a Houdini outta that joint. Sorry, but having grown up in the Stocktone, I’ve heard that particular episode of readers theatre about a thousand or so times already.
So hire I sit. More humming. Y’know, I probably wouldn’t feel so rattled if I felt okay. Really. —Jackson Griffith