Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

Thirty-five

Posted by ilbebe on December 30, 2008

New Year’s Eve Eve. People love or loathe holidays, or have a mixture of the two feelings, and New Year’s Day has got to be one of the best, because all it celebrates is a demarcation in the calendar that’s supposed to represent something. In the lunar calendar, the turning over of th months actually means something, like when you can expect to stop bleeding or when you should plant tomatoes or something, but in the Roman calendar, New Year’s Day means only what you make of it. Honestly, I’ve been celebrating the coming end of this accursed year since New Year’s Eve Eve Eve. I got drunk in the middle of the day while hanging out with my friend Shawn while he painted, came home, made ramen, and passed out on the couch around nine. Now it’s four-thirty in the morning and I’ve had a full night’s sleep. What to do?

I sold my car yesterday for just enough money to cover January’s rent. Later today I’m going to take transit out to the suburbs to visit an old friend who’s in town, the trip will take about two and a half hours to cover a distance I could have driven in fifty-five minutes. When I get out to the suburbs, I’m going to borrow my Mom’s car to go and see my friend, she said she wants to go to a local bar to see if there’s anyone there she knows. Shit, hopefully I can convince her how astounding it is that I’m there. ‘Former Salutatorian Seen Driving Minivan, Drinking St. Ides’, what a headline that would be. I’d love to be at the center of an incident in my old hometown that would have people saying Gosh, You Never Think That Sort Of Thing Would Happen Here. Hopefully nothing violent, just mind-bendingly strange…

When I woke up on the couch an hour ago, I read for a while and came across another instance where one of my favorite writers described the main quality he admired in his favorite writers as fearlessness. Good thought. Honesty is to be revered, certainly, but not worshiped. Bravery is definitely sexier. On Sunday I went to the horse track with the foolish notion of winning big and not having to sell my car to pay the rent. I picked one winner, a horse named Liver, no joke, it came in two lengths ahead but it was one of those fucked-up races where they run a one and a one-a horse, so Liver as the one-a only paid off at seven to five. Twenty-two bucks on a ten dollar win bet. I should have gotten another twenty-something dollars for an eleven to one that showed in the sixth race, but when I went to redeem my ticket it turned out that the rat bastard who took my bet gave me a ticket for a race happening in southern California, not the one happening in front of us. Que sera, sera, eh? As it worked out, I lost eighty bucks that day and left with four dollars in my wallet and seven left in the bank. More specifically, I lost sixty dollars and spent twenty on admission, a program, a hot dog, and fourteen one-dollar beers. I left fantastically drunk.

When I sold my car I couldn’t stop thinking about taking the cash to the track and trying to double it for February’s rent, that would give me some breathing room to wait for my income tax return, but luckily it’s really fucking hard to get to the track without a car. No buses go there, perhaps there’s some higher logic at play. What’s important is that I took the cash from the sale of my car and got a cashier’s check in my landlord’s name for my rent, and I’ve still got about a hundred bucks. It’s a quarter to five in the morning, about fifty degrees outside, and I’ve got time to shower, eat, and get to my favorite six AM bar in Oakland right about when they open. I enjoy getting in there around dawn and being the only patron who’s buying pitchers of beer instead of coffee. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. It’s down the street from the hospital, so I should be good.

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