This is my next attempt at sustained writing. I hereby reference it with the words Gloria Estefan used to mark her comeback from a spinal injury due to a traffic accident. She seems like a nice gal. Her words could be more tastefully exploited, sure. It is also January. I'm coming back from a week-long, supernaturally foul mood, brought on in part by seasonal letdown, in part by exhaustion, catching up to years of deferred maintenance, mostly fiscal. It is nonetheless an emotionally-loaded exercise. Here is, for example, a faded receipt from a California Pizza Kitchen in Atlanta.
I hate Atlanta. It is the thickest-skinned city in the world. Do I have a traumatic experience to justify my feeling? Well, not so much. I mean, yes, my luggage has been lost on arrival into Atlanta half the number of times I have traveled there. And, yes, one time the baggage handlers stole a laptop computer and eight dollars in loose change from my checked luggage. And in that particular CPK, I was served a glass of wine for $8 that looked so paltry, I refused to touch it. For some reason they would not take it back until I finished my meal.
And yes, if you have to switch carriers from SFO to Atlanta to save a buck, it's not a low-percentage chance that the bag transfer mucks up in Salt Lake City. (What fool checks a laptop and cash? I do, if it's an old Tadpole 3GX Sparcbook that looks and feels like a brick, and that's where I kept my parking meter change, aight?) And that assuredly machine-dispensed wine probably suffered in appearance more from a gallon-capacity glass than anything else...
Where was I? Oh, yes. I fucking hate fucking Atlanta. I imagine they have parks where the city's retired and elderly go to maintain their bitch chi. Led by masters who sustain their material lives as airline lost-and-found clerks, baggage handlers, chain-restaurant waiters. And all but 3-4 people I ever worked with while in that town.
One receipt down. Now, starting with October 2004, how many more to go? Here's the one where I consumed Scotch, sake, and cosmopolitans in one night. For a while, anyway. Here's the phone bill where I drunk-dialed my ex. No idea how I got to my hotel room from the bar, much less how I got to work on time the next day, but I didn't walk it. Here's another, where I Fed-Ex'ed a token to a former lover, who never once said I didn't spend enough money on her, but used the word "intent" a lot. I wanted to signal to her clearly: this transaction concludes our business.
Herman Hesse said this to me a couple days ago, by way of iGoogle's quote of the day: "If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."
I know Herman didn't mean to compare me to Atlanta. Still, it will take time to recover from that bomb.