It’s cold by Ramentown standards, and I dunno what I’m doing tonight
Whatever it is I’m doing this evening, I have no idea what it is. Rather than get in some porcupine-rasslin’ match with Ron Paul enthusiasts on Facebook, for which I really don’t have the bandwidth tonight, and rather than fix some dinner at home, I elected to bundle up and walk down to the local twentysomthing cafe three blocks away. Figured I’d eat a salad, drink a root beer and bang out one of these little windows into my cranium.
I might have drived/driven/drove, but that would mean I’d have to give up my parking slot in the apartment complex first-come-first-serve lot, and I’d have to park on the street because the lot is full, and that’s because a lot of chumps from neighboring buildings are parking there, and our manager has other things more pressing than telling these nincompoops to vamoose or get towed, so it’s a sucky situation and I have a lingering resentment that makes me race home after work just so I can grab one of the slots before one of the other resident tools gets in first, like this one balding goatee’d troll in a VW GTI who grabs the front slot, I swear he lurks and watches until someone leaves and then he runs out and gets in his car and whips it into the empty space, so I have a stupid resentment about all that. Stupid, stupid resentment.
Anyway, I walked.
So then I got a table, which is nice because the usual crowd of college kids is on hiatus. Ordered a salad and a root beer. Tuned into the two couples at the next table because they were talking loud about nothing in particular, found myself getting judgmental, realized that all my judgments were in my head, so I went back to typing. Found a really dumb Croatian blond-wig band for your enjoyment. Ate a salad: The bleu cheese is surprisingly catboxesque, but not in a bad way; it’s just pungent in the way your dog’s breath is when he kisses you after snouting his way through the Fresh Step in search of kitty-sourced Tootsie Rolls.
And now they’re gone. This place stops serving beer around 10, even though it’s open until 11. Those kids wanted to drink. Doesn’t make sense, they complained. I told them I thought it might be because when the coffeehouse, a fixture in this part of town since before I arrived in the mid-1980s, got new owners, who were more foodie-inclined, they went for a beer and wine license and got a lot of pushback from the neighbors, many of whom are old hippies who bought victorians and other old houses when they were run-down piles in the 1970s, and they kicked in a lot of time, love and money into bringing them up to suff, and they they grew older and grumpier and turned into old-city preservationists. Nothing wrong with that, but you can’t stay fixed in a time when you packed your bong and cracked an Anchor Steam and blissed out to the willowy strains of your favorite Crosby, Stills & Nash record, because those days are long since passed, and this is a young person’s town now.
Which I actually like, even though I’m older now, too. It’s a really crummy place to be single, though, because most of the women in this ‘hood are closer to my daughter’s age, and I prefer women who are much closer to my own age, which is, um, like, well, I was born in the first year Chevrolet offered a V8 engine in its Bel Air model. Not to hard to figure out. Which is to say that it’s after 10, and I’d better start ambling back to my tiny apartment and hope the neighbor across the way isn’t having ring-shout sexytime. If I’m awake, I just improvise my own porno soundtrack via some ninth chords and R&B vamps on my guitar. But waking up from a dead sleep to hear some random woman having a theatrical orgasm can lead to some pretty jinky dreams, like animals getting tortured and things like that.
Cranked the heat before I left. I know my bed’s yummily toasty now. G’night! —Jackson Griffith