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Handshake

It's been better than a year since I've had a TV, and it's approaching six months since I've had any contact with my family.

And you know, I never give my family much thought at all, but this morning I woke up wondering how things are going between Becky and her low-life husband on Roseanne.

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Whenever my hair gets too long, needs too much combing and shampooing, it's time to plug in the clippers and re-do my crew-cut. As of this morning, hair and beard are a flat quarter of an inch all over my face. Looks ugly. Drug dealers think I'm a cop. Marines salute me. Girls shun me, but that's probably not about the hair.

I don't care what I look like. I am fat and funny-looking, and that's not something that can be fixed with mousse and a blow-drier.

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My evening was pleasantly wasted with Josh, for a meal and a movie. In an unexpected moment of schmaltz or sentiment, I confessed that I'm starting to think of him as a friend, and he didn't respond the way I did when Gertrude said essentially the same thing.

He said thanks, shook my hand, and bought our tickets to the show, but I'd like him even if we went someplace that didn't cost money. He's a good egg, soft-boiled.

The movie was Devil in a Blue Dress, at the UA multiplex in Emeryville. I usually avoid the plexes, so I hadn't been there before, and it's a strange place, a recent vintage megaplex built to look like an old-style movie pace from the outside. Inside, of course, it's soulless, identical to multiplexes everywhere.

The movie? It's very noir, complete with voiceovers and a plot that twists more than Lombard Street. It has a big edge over the original noirs of the 1940s and '50s, in that the racial realities of that very black and white era are bluntly acknowledged, folded into the story, not ignored like in most movies. Can't sidestep it when the movie is set in the '40s and the star is Denzel Washington.

Afterwards, Josh bought us a Vietnamese dinner at the Emeryville Public Market. Loved my veggies in rice. Didn't love the condom-wrapped shrimp rolls.

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I'm extremely tired of fish drama, but there were developments today and I'm a reporter, sort of, so here's the news:

Two months ago, Jay filed the required forms and began waiting for the pinheads at City Hall to decide whether we can sell funny anti-religious fish under the Constitutional protections of free speech. Seems to me that having to wait months for the government's permission to say or do something is not free speech.

Jay's patience is running low, so she called the city today to inquire whether they've lost our application a second time. They told her that because there's a 'history' behind the application — meaning, she'd previously bought a business license and a seller's permit, and she didn't complain about being regulated until the city told us to stop selling Darwin fish — our paperwork is no longer being considered by the Department of Traffic and Engineering. Instead it's been shunted over to "Legal," where lawyers, not bureaucrats, will decide what's allowed and what isn't. 

I'm not up on my Kafka enough to know whether this is good news or bad news. All I know is that it remains illegal to put a plastic fish with 'Darwin' engraved on its belly on my fish stand. Someone from 'Legal' promised Jay that, pro or con, "a decision on this matter is forthcoming, possibly within just a few weeks."

Ptth.

I'll say only this, then drop it: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

From Pathetic Life #18
Thursday, November 2, 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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