Wallpaper emergency

Between the fish sales and one or two weekly shifts at Black Sheets, I'm making enough money to survive, so there haven't been many odd jobs lately. I'm still willing to do anything legal for $5 an hour, but the flyers get ripped down by asswipes within a few weeks, and I haven't posted fresh flyers in ages, so there aren't many calls on my "I'll do anything" line.

A call came in yesterday, though. Some guy left a message saying he had a "wallpaper emergency," and needs wallpaper hung "STP." His message helpfully explained that STP means "sooner than possible," which is one notch beyond ASAP.

He left his phone number and address, and his address is San Jose. That's 50 miles south of San Francisco, and San Francisco is 15 miles west of me. I'd have to BART to Frisco, then CalTrain to San Jose, then somehow find the guy's house — which might be nowhere near the train station, and I don't know public transit in frickin' San Jose. I've been there maybe half a dozen times, and certainly never posted flyers there. It's a different damned area code.

I'm not doing it, and also not calling him back. He can pick his own no's: No, nothing about wallpaper could possibly constitute an emergency. No, I'm not working for someone who wants work done sooner than possible. And no, I'm not spending two hours — and two hours' wages — riding two trains to and from San Jose.

♦ ♦ ♦

Instead, feeling mysteriously motivated, I spent today sorting through my stack of accumulated mail. Between moving in, having a houseguest, and my general laziness, it had been three weeks since I'd even been to the maildrop — it's a train ride to the city now, not a quick bus ride like when I lived in SF.

The backlog of mail was a hassle, but I wanted to get it done STP, and I did. Dozens of envelopes full of my life are now in the mail to suckers connoisseurs of fine literature all across the globe. Maybe I sent one to you!

There were also letters, of course, which I almost never answer. People, please, consider the math. You can write me a short letter in a few minutes, a long letter in an hour, but you're not the only one who writes. I got nine chatty letters, just in today's mail, and I am not spending hours answering them. I've read 'em, and snipped excerpts that might be printed in the zine, but I can't be a pen-pal machine, and still have time to write a zine.

♦ ♦ ♦

Today's little triumph was getting a bunch of Pathetic Lifes into the mail, but other than that everything has been boring since Sarah-Katherine went home to Seattle.

No, damn it, I'm not withering in my shell, pining away for her. I don't pine. I'm a loner, a hermit, a recluse, and the day I need a damned romance in my life will be, well…

... Today, I guess.

I rarely answer the personal letters that come to the zine address, but Sarah-Katherine has my home address, and her letters get answered lickety-split. She's still writing to me, and a letter from her came today, so I'm going to write back to her, right now.

From Pathetic Life #14
Wednesday, July 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.

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