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The end table

Today was one of those wonderful do-nothing days. Nothing memorable or even interesting happened, nothing healthy was eaten, and nothing worthwhile was accomplished. I did not go to the movies, and like all the very best Sundays, I did not go to church.

I slept late, then ate a whole pumpkin pie for breakfast. Slightly tidied up the room, wrote a few zine reviews, and put away the chess set — I’d been playing someone by mail, and winning, so he stopped sending moves a month ago. Washed some t-shirts and Tupperware in the sink, put new batteries in the beep beep smoke alarm, blew soap bubbles out the window, and had a late lunch / early dinner at Tad’s Steak House, where the motto should be, "Reasonably priced, reasonably good."

After that, I was tossing out old rough drafts from the drawer in the end table, so I pulled the whole drawer out to dump the paper and dust, and I found a pay stub under the drawer. Fifty-six hours worked over two weeks in 1988, by some guy who must have lived in this room, and made more wages than me per hour, and didn't work as many hours. Which sounds good.

1988 means his pay stub has been there, under the drawer, for six years. I remembered where I was in 1988 — still in Seattle, still between girlfriends, still doing what was expected of me. I wasn’t normal but I was passing. Guess I'm still passing for normal, but 1994 is more abnormal than 1988. It's a long and winding road.

Wondered what else might be inside that end table, so while the drawer was still out I pointed a flashlight inside, and you know what that end table was full of? Roaches. Mostly dead roaches, but twenty or so were crawling around, scattered when they saw the flashlight, and died when they smelled my lavender-scented Black Flag bug spray.

Memories of Mr Wizard made me wonder what the roaches had been eating. Most of my meals are eaten in bed, so there’s crumbs on the blanket and on the carpet, so there are sometimes roaches on the bed and floor. Rules of the game. Chow down, neighbors. But I never eat on the end table, because it’s old and rickety and kinda gross, so what are they eating?

Careful examination reveals that the roaches have been eating the end table itself, or at least the back of the drawer. It’s made of that cheap synthetic fiberboard stuff, and about 1/3 of the back panel has been eaten away. I wonder how much more they can eat before the landlord expects me to pay for a new end table.

From Pathetic Life #5
Sunday, October 23, 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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