Room wanted

Once, someone shoved Dale Carnegie at me — How to Win Friends and Influence People — so I read the book. It's a little stale, but it could be very helpful for people who want to win friends and influence people.

In a moment of personal liberation, though, I understood that wasn't me. You have friends or you don't, but I never want to "win" friends, like a plush puppy at a carnival. That's a game I'm not playing.

I won't pretend to be outgoing, or listen with a smile to boring people. Better to have no friends, than the kind of friends you have to 'win'.

♦ ♦ ♦

On the phone, I was making arrangements to help some guy move on Tuesday, and he said the job would go smoother if we had a second man. I said I'd see what I could arrange, hung up, and of course asked my flatmate, Pike. He's taken my overflow work in the past, but we've never worked on the same gig.

The work starts at 7:00 in the morning, though, and that's usually about the time the drugs have worn off and Pike is ready to fall asleep. So he said no, and I kinda snapped.

"Jesus Christ, Pike. It's work, and you've got no money in your wallet. Couldn't you lay off the speed, crank, or whatever for one fuckin' day?"

"Don't give me crap," he muttered. "I'm just saying, there's no way I'll be in any condition to work at 7 in the morning. You'd rather know now than then, wouldn't you?"

"Well, what about the rent? Will you have the rent on the 1st? I'd rather know now than then about the rent..."

He didn't say anything to that, which means the answer is no, he won't have the rent.

"Jeez, man," I said. "You've gotta put the bong down long enough to do a day's work and pay your way." I kinda regretted it as I said it. It's true, yeah, but it sounded like my mother. 

Pike started to say something back at me, but Terry interrupted, and said, "Doug's right, Pike."

Oh, I hadn't mentioned that Terry was there? She's always there, like the furniture — furniture that talks, and says stupid things.

"You're a lazy bastard," she said — to Pike, "sponging off my food, my drugs," and he started hollering at her and she hollered at him, and I tactfully faded back into my room.

One, I don't want Terry on my side in any argument.

Two, I don't want Terry in my apartment.

And three, she says Pike is sponging off her for food? I thought she was sponging off me, eating my food, or maybe both of them are — there's a few fewer slices in my loaf of bread than there were yesterday.

Five minutes later, they're still arguing in the next room, and I'm in my room trying not to listen, and deciding I really don't like sharing the Mierda apartment on Slum Street with those two.

This is a long shot, but is there anyone reading this who might rescue me from my flatmates?

I don't smoke. Don't play loud music. Rarely cook. I'm easy to get along with, provided you're not an asshole. I need to be near a Muni rail or BART line, inside city limits, but that's almost all I need. A cot in a closet would be enough, long as there's an electric outlet and toilet and shower access. I don't want to pay much rent, but I will pay it, and on time.

My number is ███ - ████. Leave a message. Please.

From Pathetic Life #12
Friday, May 26, 1995

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.


  1. Robert Louis Stevenson returned one last time to his adopted home of Samoa and died there four years later. He was well-loved by the Samoan people, and they built a road to the site of his grave, and made sure that his poem, Requiem, was inscribed upon his tomb. Requiem would make a nice poem of the week.

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Under the wide and starry sky,
    Dig the grave and let me lie.
    Glad did I live and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will.

    This be the verse you grave for me:
    Here he lies where he longed to be;
    Home is the sailor, home from sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill.


    1. That's fine, especially with the backstory provided.

      Mostly because of your good influence, I'm paying more attention to poetry these days, even visiting two poetry sites in my daily surf cycle. The batting average, hits per at-bat, is low, but it only takes a few minutes, and once in a while there's a good dinger.

      This one here, from Bobby Lou Stevenson, is a definite dinger. Also, I like that it's short. Some of those poets, man, just go on and on...

  2. I had no idea I'd be putting my man RLS up against a war orphan with a proclivity for the oral tradition. Certainly a different kind of treasure than is to be found on Stevenson's Treasure Island.


    1. Most of the classics I've never read, and I'd thought Stevenson's biggie was Robinson Crusoe, but nope, that's by Louis L'Amour.

    2. I don't get the joke, but I would say, at random . . .

      Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
      Treasure Island
      A Child's Garden of Verses
      The Bottle Imp

      10 more novels, 20 more short stories, more poetry, more travel . . .


    3. Sincerely I'm surprised that the same dude wrote all of the above. I've seen about fifteen movies based on the first three titles, but never read any of them. Ignorance is my main defining trait.

      It's a sweet success when people think they've missed the joke, and I do love making people wonder. Often, though, like this time, folks don't get the joke because there was no joke to be gotten. Gotcha!

  3. So, I might have missed more than the joke. I've not read Robinson Crusoe since high school, and although the Crusoe trope permeates electronic culture and bar jokes, I think it's possible that he actually played 2nd base for the Mariners for a few years (although that might have been his cousin Robinson Canó.

    Since Daniel Defoe published Crusoe several years before Louis L'Amour started kicking up dust, I assumed you were smuggling in a small joke about the authorship of Crusoe. Then the Ukrainian professor worked her way into the mix and authorship was up in the air.

    You don't have time to deal with nothingness now. You have a cat and some other things to move 1,957 miles west. You just want to get to Seattle by a week from Friday, although had Friday been the professor's name, it would have completed some sort of cosmic circle. What the hell? It worked for her sister who found nice man here without an article.

    best luck and hugs,


    1. I chuckle here, at my own ignorance and not knowing Defoe from Stevenson from L'Amour, but I have no intention of ending my ignorance. :)

      A week from Friday would be awesome, but a month from Friday feels more accurate. Today, no progress at all, as instead I'm driving a hundred miles for a last lunch with the in-laws. They're Wisconsin, and good people, and I'll miss them, but it was easier seeing them with their daughter.

      Obviously, I have nothing much to say this mo0rning.


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