Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One-oh-six

Posted by ilbebe on April 5, 2012

“Standing on the corner/ of Fifty-Second and Telly/ I feel so safe/ On the lawn in front of the library”

Adapted from Rancid. Kudos, acknowledgments, etc.

I have no brother biologically, so of course I have no gay brother to take the heat off of my ass when I find myself in the state that I am in. One step backwards, and beyond!

Here’s the particulars of my life, 9:26PM 4/5/12:

I woke up this morning thinking, this is funny. I thought I was going to wake up in bed with my girlfriend at her place, but I seem to be alone and at my place. Then I remembered that I abruptly left her place and broke up with her last night. Huh.

I turned my laptop on and made the mature decision to skip jerking off in favor of checking my bank account immediately to see if my unemployment payment had come in. This was a rather crucial thing for me, since my roommates and I were mailing our rent in today. I logged in to my online banking account to check the balance in my checking. Two cents.

Fuck. Did I mention I broke up with my girlfriend last night? I owe her a hundred dollars. Fuck.

So I went down to the corner laundromat to wash my clothes, and spent three and a half precious bucks for the privilege. Then I walked across Forest to the coffee shop and got some coffee, also hoping I could score some good conversation there and get my head straight. The older you get, break-ups get worse and worse. You start to think that what your seventeen year-old virgin ass was thinking might be have some truth to it; you are ultimately unlovable.

At the corner coffee shop, the owner Sheesh told me a bummer-ass story about how while I was out of town over the weekend, enjoying my broke, unemployed ass in a different state, his lady had been in a car accident in the intersection right outside the shop. She was fine, physically, but the guy who hit her, who was drunk, had successfully fled the scene, and their was significant financial worry on Sheesh and his lady’s part. This put a very sobering chill on my own financial worries. When my laundry was done, I walked home and put it away, then checked the mail. The sole piece of mail was addressed to me, from the unemployment bureau. It was a notice that seemed to say that they had reconsidered my benefits and decided to give me about twenty percent of what I was getting before. This seemed to ensure that even if I did get paid tomorrow, it wouldn’t even be enough to pay all my other bills, let alone cover the rent that was in a check I wrote today for my landlord, who is a really decent guy who I really don’t want to give worry to. Fuck.

So, fuck, why not do what I was planning to do anyway. Gotta do something. I picked up my guitar and headed to the BART station to busk.

I dropped my case, and started my first song of the afternoon- “Half It Ain’t Me”. Two minutes later, some BART maintenance dudes started up a wood chipper about fifty feet away from me to grind up the rogue limbs they’d taken off of some trees in the front landscaping earlier. Shit. An hour and a half later, though, I had made two and a half dollars, and talked to this rad guy named Jack who was

a)the original bass player from seminal East Bay band Fifteen, and

b)a recent survivor of OPEN HEART SURGERY

ZWAH? He gave me two of the two-and-a-half dollars I made. That guy fucking rules. Also, a girl rolled up and gave me thirty cents for a cigarette, and then half a loaf of bread after I played Sloop John B for her. It was a fun-ass early afternoon. I played through damn near every song in my current “repertoire”, and I had fun. FUN. I’m having fun now, I thought, leaving the BART station. I love feeling this way.

Then I went back to the coffee shop, thinking I could part with one of the dollars I had just made on another cup of coffee at Sheesh’s. Sheesh told me that in the two hours since I’d left, he’d seen a dog get run over in the same intersection outside where some drunk asshole hit his sweet lady’s car a few days ago. The dog was okay though; an open wound that was bleeding became evident after they tracked it down, but the reason they had to track it down was that even though it was hit by a car going fast!!, it got up and ran away under it’s own power. Shock power!

So the dog was okay, but I felt weird all over again. I remembered that I had a new ex-girlfriend that I owed a text to, a text that would simply assuage her fears regarding my well-being. As I said, I left her place pretty abruptly and under false pretense last night; given my history of borderline behavior,  I have to respect her fear and concern. So I sent the text, had a couple cups of coffee, and played a few songs inside the cafe for Sheesh and the other people there. I felt better by the time I left, and Sheesh put the coffee on the house in exchange for my performance.

I went home and checked my email. Unexpectedly, an item I had been selling on eBay had sold, so I snapped into action to get it packaged up and in the mail, which involved a trip to the library to print a shipping label for the shit on the cheap, like fifteen-cents-style.

I knew the label I printed out was short of the total postage required for a package of its weight, so I stood around the post office for twenty minutes in line (complete with crying baby in the lobby) so I could get the shit weighed and pay the difference. I was hoping the difference would be like a buck, buck-fifty, but no, of course it was $5.55. No joke. God dammit. $5.55 is exactly what I’m going to spend on BART tomorrow, going to first the A’s 2012 home opener against Seattle and then SF for my twin sisters’ 28th birthday party. This after walking from my house in Rockridge down to Shawn and Jess’ place in Chinatown because I don’t wanna spend another $1.75 (which I don’t have anyway) on a BART ride down to their place. I’d actually rather walk the 3.2 miles. I might find some change on the ground!

After the postal experience, I went to see my pal the Dub at her nearby work. She not only bummed me a smoke and heard me out on my financial predicament; in parting, she gave me the rest of her pack of Camels (Camels! The Sweet Life! Oh, Dub, We Had Some Good Times. I Am So Glad We’re Still Friends. I Love You.) and some past-sell-by-date chicken sausage links and a little similarly-unsalable piece of fancy cheese. Life = good.

Later, walking down to meet some friends at an art studio where there were installing a wacky surreal landscape of bright, triangular, multi-colored pieces of cardboard that, to me, approximates a mountainous array in your acid dreams, I took stock of the moolah I had at my disposal. Counting the change in my pocket but my not my super-oh-shit two dollar bill, I had $5.80. I thought, five-eighty. East into the Dark Heart. Fuck Yeah, Oakland. Oakland, Yr My Home.

Then I thought about the state that I am in.

I’m alive. That’s what I had to text the girl I broke up with yesterday to make her feel okay. It’s true. The rest of the facts concerning my present state or the overall arch of my existence are up for debate at some degree or another. The one indisputable fact is that I am alive, and if there was a second indisputable fact, I’d say that it is that the sun also rises.

May this be a clumsy segue into saying

My Heart Goes Out To Those Lost In Oakland This Week.

What the fuck. A small, private, religiously-affiliated professional school in a forgotten little pocket of town exists to serve an oft-overlooked-if-not-outright-forgotten class of people: Recent Immigrants. Many of whom do not speak English. For a tragedy like this to happen to happen to some people who really could use a break instead of a heartbreak is fucking heartbreaking to anyone who has a heart. Even though it occasionally appears otherwise, I have a heart. I’d like to think I have a big one, one I am in daily communication with, one I don’t mind crushing with cigarette smoke given the anguish it disperses my way whenever people I’ve never met get gunned down by a tragically misguided soul who felt like he had run out of other options. What the fuck. I thought life was good. What of the seven lost on April Second at Oikos University? This past Sunday was for jokes, and palms, and next Sunday is for a merciful Christ. So what happened on Monday? Jesus wept. Jesus walks, but if He’s anything like me (who is just me, lower-case me, don’t for a second think I haven’t wondered what it felt like up there on that cross, but don’t for less than a second think that I know my life has not really been that bad) – he weeps damn near every day. The sorrows of this world, the glory…

One day in New York City baby

A girl fell from the sky

From the top of  a burning apartment building

Fourteen stories high

And when her spirit left her body…

10:13PM 4/5/12, home, on the couch, “Ghost”, fear, freedom, joy, completion…

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