Just another rant

When I half-opened my eyes at the crack of nine this morning, a cockroach was crawling across my shoulder in bed. From years of experience living with roaches, I instinctively slammed my hand at it, but instead of splattering it flew across the room.

A flying roach? They have wings, and I think some kinds of roaches fly, but that's rare behavior for American roaches, so I got out of bed and walked to where it had landed, gave it a closer inspection, and it was a cricket, not a roach.

Splendid. Judith has a terrarium full of frogs and other reptiles, and feeds them live crickets, and now and then a cricket gets loose instead of getting eaten. I'm not at war with crickets, so I congratulated it on its escape, and got dressed to go to work.

♦ ♦ ♦

With more than a hundred vendors working on Telegraph yesterday, I'd ended up in a sorta lousy location by the time I'd signed in, so Jay says I should go to the daily drawings for a while, at least on the weekends, in hopes of landing a better sidewalk slot.

She's right and it makes sense to be there, but it still stinks. Participating in anything is anathema to me, the hermit, and participating in something stupid is even worse. The daily drawing is just dumb. Some college boy must've thought up this system.

All the vendors show up in a crowd and toss their names in a hat every morning, then sit around wasting time until they're picked. Then they wait around in a long second line to choose a space, and then finally they know where to take their merch and set up shop. They do this every damned morning.

Was this system itself drawn out of a hat? Why not do the drawing by phone? Or do it the night before, so we could just get up and go to work like normal people? Why not have one drawing every summer, and then rotate the spots every day, so the last pick today is next-to-last pick tomorrow? So many better options seem obvious to me, including — no drawings at all.

With no drawings, I'd just wheel my cart to where I wanted to set up shop, and set up shop. If someone's already there, then I'd pick an empty nearby spot. Early risers would get the best spots, and late sleepers would get whatever spots were left, which seems fair to me. Guess the city thinks vendors would shoot each other over their vending locations, so we gotta have a system, a lottery, and city employees with clipboards in charge of it all.

So today I was up two hours earlier than I wanted to be, to endure another dumb daily lottery, surrounded by people I'm none too fond of. I'm still a rookie, but there are several vendors I already hate, because of their scowls, their idiotic small talk, their persnickety snits ("Your table is two inches into my space!"), or their crazy politics, which (even when I agree) I wish they'd shut up about.

And today was a little extra awkward, since I was wondering if some vendor would come out of the crowd to accuse me again of selling smut.

Some of the vendors hate me, because I'm quiet, because I'm merely an employee and not an arteest, or because I'm selling fish they find offensive. And some of them don't like me because, well, the truth is I'm not very likable.

A few of the vendors shouldn't be shot, though. Yacoob is cool. Umberto might be OK. Like co-workers at any job, some are easygoing, some are pricks, and most are mostly mindless.

Whoops, looks like I've written a rant, and gone all anti-social, too.

Ranting wasn't my intent, but I ain't taking back a word of it. When I'm sticky and grumpy like this, keep your distance, or I'll scratch my ass inside my pants and then shake your hand.

Today was a day way too hot, and my t-shirt was drenched with sweat before even leaving the damned lottery — 97th pick out of 99, so not sleeping in accomplished nothing, really, and hardly anyone bought any fish today, anyway.

Ah well, tomorrow will probably be worse. Time for a shower, half a dozen vanilla frosting sandwiches, and then it's time for bed.

From Pathetic Life #14
Sunday, July 30, 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.

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