Wednesday, August 02, 2006


The coffee shop.
There, you can see the woman spending hours on her Sudoku puzzles, shrieking when she can’t solve a square, or leaping from her seat to adjust her pink fishnet stockings that she wears over her aging thighs and under her hot pants every day. But she’d be considered chic compared to the dude who stands just under five feet even with his four-inch heel cowboy boots and ten-gallon hat, offering his two cents to each busy barista, coffee-drinking customer, or anyone who’ll listen. Most people won’t. Some just want a place that’s quiet and cool to catch up on reading and writing during a hiatus from their TV gig. What’s Sudoku Sadie and Tiny Tex’s excuse for not working?

The Santa Monica Public Library
. You ever go into a health food store, and notice how all the shoppers look deathly ill? You can’t tell if you’re at the All-Organic Emporium or Auschwitz? And you wonder why a place that’s supposed to support a strong body attracts such sallow-faced sickos? Same with the library. A place full of books should be populated by intelligent, healthy-minded people, but everyone there seems to have some kind of mental disorder. Sit down at the tables by the periodicals or non-fiction section and there will be all sorts of disturbances by others twitching, sniffling, humming or scratching the odd patterns in their facial hair. It’s frustrating. The facility itself is great -- recently-re-constructed, the library is beautiful and open and kept cool all day. But it’s also free, making it a refuge for the damned.

Home Depot. My dad always hated that store, because like all franchises, they take away from the small businesses. Home Depot hurt our local King’s Hardware, where you got great individual attention. The knowledgeable guys working there could settle arguments on how to fix the pool pump before me and the old man went to blows wielding his rusty socket wrench and skill saw as weapons. Now my dad’s not around and neither are the local places. So I’m left with no one to stop me from killing the pretty boy condo kid trying to snatch the last A/C unit from my cart. Or the loudmouth sweaty guy who forgot to measure the dimensions of the entrances on the building he’s subcontracted for, so he’s blocking the aisle, looking to buy up every screen door in every size, while a certain individual just wants one 36-incher, dammit.

Michael’s apartment. In his newly air-conditioned living room -- that can also be well-ventilated with his freshly-installed screen door -- wondering if it was all necessary now that the unbearable heat-wave has finally broken, but satisfied nonetheless, there’s just one weirdo. One quiet, cool weirdo.


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