Friday, December 30, 2005

Tales From a Great Indoorsman

Sorry for the delay in posting ... J.S. Bankston brings us up-to-date on his November.


Saturday 11/12
I had a gristly steak at the IHOP. To kill time I'd brought a stack of papers to prowl through, containing notes, sketches, etc., from the past few years. There were a lot of references to all the hundreds of frui
tless job leads I've pursued since 2001, one of the most amusing being for a dance instructor. The ad claimed, "No dance experience necessary." I e-mailed them that I couldn't dance, but that I did know the difference between Rudolf Nureyev, Bob Fosse, and Denny Terrio. They did not grant me an interview. I later learned the place was probably a front for a male escort service.

Several people, including, amazingly enough, my mom, have suggested I write a book about my troubles and travails in looking for work in the post-dot-com economy, but I've assured them it would be unpleasant to write, unpleasant to read, and would impart no Great Lessons or Morals.

Sunday 11/13 – Monday 11/14
Sleep. Restaurants. TV.

Tuesday 11/15
I lunched with James and his buddy, Vern. The entire time they talked computer geek stuff, and afterwards I confessed to James that I felt I knew what an expatriated American must feel like in a foreign country: I didn't understand a goddamn word they said.

We stopped by a news stand for papers and magazines (skipping the store's naughty adult section), and the clerk recognized me from my last visit, when I'd come in to get a refund. (The guy'd charged me $35.00 for a $3.50 magazine.) On the way out I sarcastically said to James, "At last, I've achieved my lifelong dream of being recognized at my neighborhood wank mag shop."

When I got home I went over the newspapers in my customer manner—on the toilet prior to my shower, and got a
gut shot from the San Antonio Express-News--Earl Abel's, a restaurant/diner that has been a San Antonio staple since 1933, is going to close. The owner sold the property to a fucking developer and it may be torn down as soon as January and replaced by a high-rise condominium.

Earl Abel's stays open late, mostly caters to the elderly crowd, has huge portions, keeps the same employees for decades, and probably had its last major renovation in 1969—some of the dining rooms are decorated in faux Mediterranean bachelor pad swank, and would not look out of place in an episode of "Mannix." Other parts of it still look very 1950s, and the neon outside is just great.

When I was but a lad my folks would take me to the zoo or the Witte Museum or the funky Playland amusement park and then afterwards we'd go to Earl Abel's. And now that I have grown to a man's estate, as the saying goes, I usually try to stop in whenever I come through SA. It looks like a requiem pilgrimage, if you could call it that, is in order.

God, why do people keep fucking up all the cool, worthwhile stuff in this world?

Wednesday 11/16
At lunch at the China Cafe, James was telling me about a recent call with his cousin, Tree. Tree's teenaged daughter, Chloe, is spending this year living with her dad in Utah. Many of James's friends regard Chloe as a surrogate niece and are very protective of her. We would need very little provocation to beat any mouth-breathing teenaged boy that hurt her into an irreversible coma.

--We don't hear from Chloe much anymore. Tree says she has a boyfriend now—a senior. She's a freshman and her boyfriend's a senior.
--Well, that can't be good.
--Well, you know, a four year difference is nothing among adults, but in high school it's a very big difference. But Tree said this guy's already gotten suspended for a week from school ... for fluffing.
--[Looking up from my beef, chicken, and shrimp in garlic sauce]--Um, does that mean something different in Utah than it does here? Because if not Chloe's got a bigger problem than the fact her boyfriend's much older than she is.
--Yeah, I asked Tree that, and she wasn't sure. I asked if he was specifically busted for fluffing, and then she thought about it and decided that no, maybe the word was "schluffing," as in "schluffing off school or something. But I don’t think she knew what the word "fluffing" means anyway.

We got a good deal accomplished today. We hit a Wal-Mart, where I got some hoodies and warm-ups and other wintery stuff (a front blew in last night), some extra bedding and pillows (I like to sleep like a Pasha with at least eight pillows on my bed, so that anywhere I roll I wind up on something padded), and at long last, my collapsible stool. And after years of notorious service I bought a replacement for what is probably my most important regular article of clothing—my bathrobe.

In the parking lot James made me howl by quoting a Dead Milkmen line:
"I know it's the queers. They're in it with the aliens. /They're building landing strips for gay Martians, I swear to God."

I also freaked out James several times during the course of the afternoon by reading his mind and finishing his sentences for him. At home, I brought in all my plants in anticipation of a freeze, and counted all my CDs.

Thursday 11/17
My mom now thinks I may be suffering from an enlarged heart, Myasthenia Gravis, emphysema, and I don't know what all else. I seem to get a new major disease or ailment with each call she makes or e-mail she sends. At this rate I should be dead by the end of next week.
Oh yes—she also thinks I weigh 300 pounds, which isn't even remotely close to the truth.

As for the Myasthenia Gravis, well, I had e-mailed her some recent digital photos I'd taken of myself with a really bad case of bed-head, and she decided that my eyes looked abnormally bugged out, and according to her, bugged out eyes are a warning sign of Myasthenia Gravis.

Nothing much happened today. I went to three stores in the neighborhood in an unsuccessful attempt to find a Thursday New York Times, and retired early.

Friday 11/18
I'd like to see the new Harry Potter film, but I want to finish the 730+ page book upon which it is based first. I've not read many books that long before.

Fred and I have both been restive today. He kept waking up all night and morning, wanting either water or walks, and has been panting heavily. I've been torn between tidying up, reading, napping, and getting out somewhere, but I just seem to be going to the bathroom a lot.

Saturday 11/19
Slept. Walked Fred. Read. Tried and failed to sleep more. Tidied house, bought groceries, and ate Chinese.


At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mommy knows all!


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