It Hardly Matters

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shits and Giggles

At this very moment, there is a large man wearing headphones making grunting noises standing in front of me picking a wedgie out of his khakis. Seriously.

OK, so I've been really, really, trying to stay in my house for the past couple of days to get some work done, and to save money. I had an auspicious start: I stayed in the house from Wednesday night until about 40 minutes ago (please, I beg you, don't ask me if I got a lot of work done). But after two days of so-called self-discipline, I started to lose it. Caged animal syndrome. I had to get out. Of course, it's like 12 degrees outside today, which doesn't make for the best strolling weather. But despite the potential discomfort of 40-mile-an-hour wind, I pulled on nine layers of clothing, grabbed my computer, and headed to the cafe for a change of scenery.

I arrived, pissed off partially because of the cold and mostly because of the lack of stimulation. But I felt a good mood peeking through, ready to embrace the familiar cafe: tunes of the 70s streaming through the speakers, laconic yet sweet waitresses, a $3 bagel with cream cheese. Calm, lovely, not too stimulating, but way more stimulating than my room. Nothing wrong with that.

But then the grunting man. The sounds he emits every 23 seconds are shivery, consonantless, reminiscent of something you might hear coming from a bathroom stall in a restaurant that serves a particularly heavy brunch. I think he's wearing headphones so he doesn't have to listen to himself. But I have no headphones. I'm two tables over (he moved back to his seat), typing like a madwoman, shoulders clenched, face furrowed and closed. Why did my goddamn headphones have to die two days ago? I think to make me listen to this dude. To punish me for spending $3 (plus tip), for blogging instead of doing work, for being in a bad mood.

I don't know what's wrong with this man. I feel sorry for him. I also feel sorry for me. But I can guarantee that he and I both came here for the same reason. To get out for a bit before we head home again, to that empty place where no matter how much noise you make, no one hears.


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