Saturday, December 17, 1994

On the sidewalk, on my way to breakfast with George the janitor, I ran into a human I semi-know — a familiar face from down the hall at work. He said hi, and I said hi, and it should’ve ended there. Heck, I’d’ve been happy if we’d said nothing at all, not even made eye contact. We could’ve kept walking. 

But no, this guy wanted to pretend we had something to talk about. All smiley, he said something about work, and I came up a boring response, but what I was thinking was, Is this over? Can I go now?

“Have you finished your Christmas shopping?” he asked.

“Yeah, I finished my Christmas shopping early — 1986, to be exact.” He looked bewildered, so I continued. “Christmas is for Christians and capitalists, and I’m neither, so I don’t do Christmas.”

He said, “Well, uh” a few times, and then hurried on, so I'd say that our exchange went splendidly.

♦ ♦ ♦

George and I had flapjacks and fake maple syrup at some restaurant out in the avenues. It was acceptable, not great, but it left me comfortably bloated. Then we “hung out” — that's what the kids call it these days. We sat around in his apartment, listening to his favorite rock’n’roll records, and talking about the music, and antique phones, unpleasant childhood memories, illegal immigration, women, politics, and our matching pessimistic outlooks. 

The guy’s OK. I like him. It was the longest, most interesting time I’ve spent talking with anyone since coming to California in 1991, but I wasn’t too terribly disappointed when my alarm watch beeped and it was time to mosey to the movies.

George reads the zine, or at least he read the last issue, so maybe he’ll read this one, too. Writing about someone who’ll be reading what I’ve written ... that’s a new and odd element in my pathetic life & zine. I’m tempted to write only the nice things, but nope, I won’t do that. If George does something annoying or says something stupid, I’ll write about it. I'll mock him, insult him, critique him in detail, same as I would anyone else.

He hasn't done anything annoying or said anything stupid yet, though.

♦ ♦ ♦

I returned to the Elmwood for another dose of Close Encounters. There were no protests, coming or going, thankfully. I would've been uncomfortable crossing a picket line, even just an "informational picket." 

The movie was as good tonight as it was yesterday, and if it was playing tomorrow I’d go again, but it’s not, so maybe I’ll have to wait another fifteen years. 

Yeah, I know it's just me, but Close Encounters clobbers me, every time. Objectively speaking, it's probably not that great a movie. I'm not recommending that everyone rent it or buy it or watch it. I only recommend it for me.

 From Pathetic Life #7
Saturday, December 17, 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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  1. Pretty sure you and I saw Close Encounters together - they did a remaster or something on maybe the 25th anniversary. It's a damn fine film.

    1. Yup, a few years later you and me and our Mrses saw it at the Metro on Noe Hill. Which is now a fitness club.


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