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She didn’t even say “Uh.”

Today was a shitty day.

Woke up against my will at 7:15, same as on a workday but without the alarm. Masturbated myself back to sleep until 8, but I wanted to sleep more. I'd been awake half the night, for no reason except the ordinary insomnia. I always want eight hours and settle for six, but last night I got maybe 4½ hours of sleep, and I yawned all day.

Long and boring backstory: I’ve been an insomniac since seventh grade, the onset of adolescence, when sleep became elusive. Part of growing up, at least for me, but not my favorite part. I've had about half a dozen good nights of sleep since then, and under my eyes are always dark sooty bags. Even if you’re fascinating I’ll still probably yawn in your face. Don’t take it personally.

Or take it personally if you’d like. Your choice.

Counting sheep doesn't work, but I've counted thousands, and tried everything else from warm milk to chakra chants. Sleeping pills sort of work, if I take double or triple the recommended dose, but I'm paranoid about getting addicted so I don’t often swallow pills.

When somehow the ZZZs finally come, I'll wake up in the middle of the night to pee, and won’t get back to sleep. Or a car horn honks at 4:00 in the morning, and I can’t get back to sleep. And so it goes, last night and just about every night.

♦ ♦ ♦

Usually Margaret calls me at work, or if she leaves a message on my service I'll buy some quarters and call her back the next day, or maybe the day after. This time I wanted to talk, though, so I called her, and she spent the first few minutes teasing me about it. Seems the gentleman is always supposed to call, but she said I’m no gentleman. "You never call," she told me ... when I called.

“We broke up, right?” That's me, getting to the point quickly.

“God, yeah,” she said with a laugh, “I’m not moving to San Francisco, and you’re not moving to Washington, so we broke up. We’re just friends, and you'll never get all this again.” The way she said all this, I knew she was doing her sexy shake at that moment.

When I didn't say anything she said again, “God, yeah, we’re exes. Why do you even ask?”

I deftly changed the subject instead of answering, and we talked about her mental health until I got tired of standing at a phone booth and said goodbye.

Why did I ask, though? Only in case my dinner with Kallie turns out to be something more than a couple of office pals having dinner. It isn’t, of course, and it won’t, it's impossible, and it’s stupid to even imagine it could, but … I wanted to make sure I’m a free agent.

What’s annoying, though, is that when I asked if we'd broken up, Maggie didn’t hesitate. She didn’t even say “Uh.” She said, “God, yeah,” said it instantly, said it laughing, and said it twice. 

We're over, and we’ve been over for months, but you know, she didn’t have to answer quite so quickly and with a laugh.

♦ ♦ ♦

Here, take a Muni quiz: I thought I’d see a double feature at Stonestown. That’s a 30-minute ride on the M streetcar, which runs every 12 minutes. So how long before showtime should I be waiting at the Powell Street metro station?

42 minutes minimum, right? Muni is notorious for delays, though, so I allowed plenty of margin for derailments or whatever. I was waiting on the platform an hour and fifteen minutes before the movie started.

Not enough Muni margin. I flunked the quiz.

A K train went by, then two Js, two Ns, and an L. Then another K, two more Js, K, N, L, and then five minutes of nothing. Then two Js, another K, a J, two Ns, a K, and an L, and by then it was too late to possibly reach Stonestown in time. Dunno where the M trains were, but there will be no movies today. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.

♦ ♦ ♦

I would bet thirty bucks that I had thirty bucks in my pocket when I left for the train station — three tens. That's more than I'd need to see the movies, because I was also planning to buy underwear and batteries at the Stonestown mall. I clearly remember guessing how much money I'd need, thinking it should be less than twenty bucks, but everything's always more expensive than you'd think, so I put three ten-dollar bills in my pocket.

When I came home from the train station, already grumpy, and emptied my pockets to go pantsless the rest of the day, there was only one ten-dollar bill.

Had I been jostled and nudged by a pickpocket? Honestly, I don't think so. If you're as uncomfortable around humans as I am, you notice when people come too close, and anyway, a pickpocket wouldn't have left me ten bucks. I think two out of three tenspots blew out of my pocket while I was walking.

That's worse than being pickpocketed, ain't it? At least with a thief, you can respect someone's effort and skill. At least you've been victimized by someone else, not by your own damned self. Dumb Doug — I carry a wallet, but put the money loose in my pocket.

Twenty bucks, gone with the wind.

So, yeah. Today was a shitty day, the weekend is half over, and I'm not in a good mood. I’m taking three sleeping pills and going to bed. Not going to sleep, probably, just going to bed, where I'll lie there wishing I was asleep.

From Pathetic Life #5
Saturday, October 1, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

 

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