keeping it dense

I like it when it rains because the paint on the buildings looks so much brighter and more uniform. The streets are all a darker black, like they just got a fresh layer of asphalt. The air smells cleaner and the trees look greener for the dust that’s washed off. It was only a quick one today. I missed it, in fact, while I was home for lunch. I ate my panfried Gardenburger unaware. I first noticed it on the street and grass leaving my house and heading back to work. And, instead of turning left, I went right. Right and then right again, towards downtown, away from work, past the more brightly uniformly painted strip malls, rolling over sleek black roads. To the local record store, where I walked the aisles a bit, admired the cute girl behind the counter, wondering what kind of stuff she might be into, maybe it was her who had put on the currently playing copy of Disraeli Gears. She had a longish buttoned-down overcoat on, it was tan with wide angled collars. She wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but she works at a non-chain record store and she smiled at me as I sung and hummed along to “SWLABR.” She easily topped that half-hour’s list. Still not feeling work I moved up a planned afternoon errand and moved towards the Post Office next. I hate the way the drying rain mottles the clean matte finishes it only minutes ago evoked. Now things look unfinished and patchy, the road spotted with sunbleached grey, paint on buildings dried in anemic streaks and spots, making them look sickly. After parking, I walk through the barely-falling rain and inside to stare at the locked doors and drawn blinds for a good thirty seconds before some kind stranger intones from over my shoulder, “It’s a holiday.” “Oh,” I say, “I knew that. Thanks.” I leave defeated, wishing I would’ve shipped that package Saturday when I instead did nothing, hoping it doesn’t mean negative feedback from my buyer. Then I feel guilty for not remembering it’s Martin Luther King day. The white man’s guilt. Work sucked for another few hours as I realized I’m going to be buried in annual-review work for the rest of the week; should be working on it right now, am not. The looming blocks of hyperbole I’d have to write are running after me in my head, a waking nightmare where I’m drowning in a sea of platitudes and sincerities. It haunts me even now. I took my 4pm from home, but gave up and put down the earpiece after Keaton woke from her afternoon nap with a 103° fever. You’d never know it from her attitude and wont for “play.” Sharaun was gone all night, cooking dinner for single-parent teenage moms up at church. She runs the show, like the boss of the teen moms thing, I admire her for the time and effort she puts into it. Came time for dinner and the supermarket deli people really should send undercover agents to surveil the chicken rotisserie-er people at Costco. So much more juicy and seasoned perfectly, and it doesn’t squeak in between your teeth as you chew, not to mention are at least a pound plus heavier and nearly cost-equivalent. It’s a win-win. Even Keaton enjoyed hers, along with the fresh green beans mom left dad to snap the ends off of, steam, salt, and accompany the bird. Played with Keaton, climbing couches and rolling on the carpet, bouncing her on tummy and hiding with her in blanket-roofed forts. Saved the day by replacing batteries in not only the stroked-out-sounding Chicken Dance Elmo but also the chopped-and-screwed hyphy rocking horse. Afterward, Keaton in comfy pajamas and safe in bed, Superdad watched the first part of the History Channel’s “Life After People,” before his loving wife made him turn it off in favor of the dreaded Friends reruns. It’s times like these when I turn to the internet, follow some dubious links and end up reading grotesque things I wish I hadn’t, yet being fascinated none the less. And thus ends another day, 738 words later. Goodnight friends and lovers, until tomorrow.

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