Kind of want to go to sleep, kind of want to write the next great American novel in the shade of my dark room with my laptop on dim while my sister sleeps in the corner. It’s funny how life takes you to these disjointed places and you can’t help but narrate like you’re in some kind of independent film or something. There are also those times where you can’t help but diagnose yourself as some sort of unhinged bipolar because sometimes your mind is a completely blank hole and other times everything is playing out all at once in the thematic slideshow that is your life.
I was drinking coffee and eating toast this morning and now I’m standing on this writer’s doorstep in the Chicago cold selling him energy with an overenthusiastic Cuban. Thirty minutes ago I was at a bus stop in the same cold with said overenthusiastic Cuban as he told me that this part of the interview would show how, as an account manager, I would go door-to-door advertising energy for our client. Seven days ago I was shaking the CEO’s hand and being offered a second interview. Two days from now I’ll realize that the overenthusiastic Cuban never answered the text he asked me to send him about how the rest of the interview went. I decided not to take the job as I smelled the coffee emanating from the writer and stared at the tattoo peeking out of his tinted tee shirt. The tattoo was a word that I somehow couldn’t read, as my brain had turned to cotton.
Most of my life is a blank space that I have no recollection of. Life happened, I’m sure, and sometimes I pretend to vaguely remember some great thing that happened that time with that girl at that place because someone else remembers it and so wants me to share in the memory of that time we were together. I can do that. What I won’t share with that person is that thing that I do remember in that hallway with that boy being shoved into the wall by that other boy who I ended up living above, because no one really wants to remember that with the same excited tone. The new kids never really stuck together when we should have.
I googled the writer. I probably wasn’t supposed to remember his name, from a legal standpoint, because I wasn’t the one who was supposed to be looking at his electric and gas bills. Although, a name like Fredrick Swank isn’t easily forgotten; or so I would claim if need be. He definitely didn’t want us on his doorstep. I kept quiet, so maybe he didn’t mind me, but he sure minded the Cuban. When he would ask a question pertaining to the importance of our visit the Cuban would make it sound dire; he needed us. In reality, we were saving him a small fee that he would incur over the course of the one month he would be staying at that residence after the electric policy changed in May. Nothing was fully explained by the Cuban, which I realized was a good sales tactic; just rush right through and tell the customer as little as possible. In reality, I did forget Dr. Swank’s name but woke up the next morning with it on the tip of my tongue.
Twelve years ago my cat ran away. I couldn’t help but blame it on the name we had given him. Calling him Shoo-shoo was in essence telling him to go away, twice. He never made it to the pet cemetery we kept in the corner of our yard. The writer had to bury his mother and brother at a young age. He wrote stories about that.
“We all started at the bottom,” the dashing CEO said before I shook his hand for the last time.
“It’s a long story,” the pensive writer said in answer to the overenthusiastic Cuban asking him why he wasn’t going back to his teaching position at the University of Chicago. The energy form loaded on the Cuban’s tablet.