My busy social calendar

The nose pimple is shrinking, damn it. I’ve enjoyed watching people avoid looking at it, and toyed with the idea of painting it red and topping it off with a dollop of White-Out to heighten the effect, but alas, it’s almost gone. 

♦ ♦ ♦

Usually the crazies aren't up so early in the morning, but today a Christoholic was preaching at the corner of Powell and O’Farrell, on my walk to work. There’s often a preacher a block down Powell, at Market Street, but this wasn’t that guy. I do hope they’re not franchising.

“I say, sinner," he said, "are you ready for the Rapture? Are you ready to be judged by Jesus?”

It’s futile to respond to the street people, so I kept walking. I felt sorry for the guy, though, because he didn’t seem to know that the Rapture already happened. Christ returned in the winter of 1987. He couldn’t get booked on the talk shows, but he found both Christians and took them back to Heaven with him.

♦ ♦ ♦

I don’t have any interest in learning any of what Marcia knows about workflow in the company, but after her, I’m the worker who knows second-most about things. Our lead, Jennifer, probably comes in fourth. 

With Marcia leaving, today's the first Friday I’ve been certain I wasn’t being laid off. Yeah, Marcia’s new job gives me job security, for at least as long as it takes to train some new hire on the basics — a couple of weeks, maybe. By company standards, though, that’s a career.

And there’s still not much work to do at work. So why do we call it work?

♦ ♦ ♦

By not getting laid off, I lost my bet with Beatrice. Tried to give her a tenspot, but she said she’d rather I buy her a beer some night after work. She’s twenty years older than me so that’s not a romantic invitation, just an offer of friendship, but I don’t much even like beer. And jeez, am I looking for friendship? 

I like Beatrice. Apparently she likes me. When we’ve kept the conversation superficial and mostly work-related, it’s flowed smoothly. And she’s my crumpet dealer. So ... OK, we’ll guzzle a beer some night, and see if we’re friends when the talk isn’t so shallow.

♦ ♦ ♦

That’s enough social interaction to get my membership in the Hermits’ Association canceled, but wait, there’s more:

Kallie is a co-worker in my department, and her TV fizzled and died a few nights ago. When she mentioned it yesterday, I offered mine. I meant it as a loan but didn’t quite make that clear, and when she said she’d take it if I didn’t want it, fingersnap, just like that I decided I didn’t want it. Not even in the closet.

So this morning I put the TV in my backpack and brought it to work, to give it to Kallie. It’s an old, small black-and-white set, and I don’t know what it weighs — five or ten pounds? Kallie has back trouble, though, so she offered me dinner if I’d deliver the TV. 

Uhhhh ... Kallie is about my age, and she’s attractive, and a little overweight, which could go nicely with my “a lot overweight.”

Am I allowed to think such thoughts? 

No. I’m certain it’s not a date, and if it is a date or ever becomes anything like a date, Kallie will have to explain it to me and she'll have to bring up the subject, because I sure won't. But we're having dinner at her house within a week or so, “when I can afford to cook,” Kallie says.

♦ ♦ ♦   

Two social events are on my calendar? Even one would be almost unprecedented, but two?

If I didn’t know these ladies I’d be nervously squirming already, but I do know them, so I hope I’ll be able to relax and be me, not the tongue-tied petrified run-and-hide shy guy that I’ve always been when humans are around. Especially female humans.

I hate navigating the social realm, though. I am introverted, with as much to say as a table says to a chair. I fumble all over myself trying to make small talk. And I’m fat and ugly in my own eyes, so even a fleeting thought of smooching some dame seems like an insult to her.

Margaret was my girlfriend mostly by mutual default, but except for her, I haven’t so much as held a woman’s hand for … nine years. (I had to stop and think.)

And except for Bruno, a friend I left behind in Seattle, and except for maybe a few zine-weirdos who hang out in my mailbox, there isn’t even anyone who’s really a friend.

Maybe it’s time for one or the other.

♦ ♦ ♦  

End of month postscript & call for art submissions: 

Words, words, more words. It’s hard on the eyeballs. What this zine needs is some artwork — a few comics, drawings, or imaginative doodles could class up the joint and keep readers awake.

If you’re looking for a creative artistic outlet, you’re invited. It doesn’t need to be funny, doesn’t need to be on any particular theme, doesn’t even need to be all that good. It just needs to be not too profoundly ugly and fit onto a piece of paper. Or why not shoot the works and give the next issue a cover?

Payment? No.

From Pathetic Life #4
Friday, September 30, 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.


Pathetic Life 

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