Monday, February 23, 2015

Drunkenness in blue

It’s self centered to think the city is deliberately fucking with me, but It’s getting to the point where that’s basically the only option. It used to be it was just annoying, with the dilapidated buildings, empty library, bad coffee and whatnot, but now it’s calling me out specifically.
Since I was off work, I spent my afternoon taking a lengthy walk. This was not an unreasonable or even unusual decision. It's perfectly normal for a normal person to go on a walk, which begs the question, why did someone set out to ruin it?

Perhaps they weren't deliberately targeting my walk, but my name on the wall made it clear they were at least targeting me. Instead of letting me go about my day normally, some guy thought it apt to expose me personally in large, deliberate strokes on the back of the K Rogers. The message was simple, but its implications blindingly obvious: "Tyler Jacobs does not belong," in bright blue, in huge letters, for all to see.

Anyone here that's spent time around me could tell you that easily enough, but seeing it posted so publicly strongly suggests that the poster means it differently. If people catch on to what (s)he really means, I stand to lose a lot. It's taken significant effort to separate myself from my home and maintain a life here, which I'd really prefer not to lose.
To combat the attack on my hard-earned normalcy, I went to Joe's. Though I wouldn't usually go, it seemed a good place to have normal interactions with normal people. This proved to be a true, as I eventually found myself engaged in conversation with Lucia and one of her friends. I even tried (for the first time) to turn down the complaining to avoid drawing attention.

Several hours after I entered the bar, it became apparent that the aforementioned friend had drunk a bit too much, and would need to be escorted back to her apartment. I apologized to the bartender as she stumbled her way onto the sidewalk, though I imagine he's used to it. The ensuing journey took far longer than it otherwise would have, almost 15 minutes to get around the corner and up some stairs, thanks to our intoxication. Evidently it was a tiring 15 minutes, because shortly after we got her friend into the right apartment, Lucia herself lost consciousness.

Though I briefly considered leaving her on on the floor outside my apartment, I decided it would probably be a better idea to at least get her through the threshold and out of the way of Dreamwood's foot traffic. Unfortunately, I ended up falling asleep shortly after, so neither of us got much further than the threshold. Since I woke up I've relocated her to the couch, so there's a chance she won't realize she spent the night on the floor. In the event that she does, hopefully breakfast will make up for it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A sculpture of ice and fire

Today was different from most of the days I spend in here. It wasn't necessarily the best day I've had here, but it sure as hell wasn't the worst. As much as I've been complaining about this place, today felt like a step in the right direction. I've already gotten my morning routine down to a science, so that stayed much the same. That was about it, though. After I made up my mind to go outside and face the bitter cold, I shortly came across a scene that felt like something out of the bible or, you know, whatever book talks about lighting ice on fire. The fountain, as you may have gathered, was aflame. Admittedly, this was a bit of a shock. However, almost as disconcerting as this monument to irony was the guy grinning in front of it.

Everyone goes through a bit of a pyro phase. None of the kids I grew up with could honestly say that they’d never tried to blow up  a lighter or make a flamethrower from an aerosol can. That being said, this particular fire seemed a bit much, particularly for such a public place. Most people at least have the decency to keep it in their backyard, or off in the woods somewhere. The blaze seemed to be contained, however, so I overlooked my initial apprehension and admired the kid’s handiwork (I assumed it was his doing, given the bottle laying at his feet.). This was something I wouldn't have expected to see here. In a larger city, maybe, with a greater number of drunk/crazy people, but not here, where it was clearly as deliberate act, and a rather beautiful one at that.

Eventually we both tired of watching the writhing sculpture die, and opted to get coffee. Though I would have preferred my own, I thought it best not to let the pyromaniacal stranger into my apartment, so we went to Gavin’s instead. This too was a new experience since, for the first time since my arrival, the coffee I was served was both hot and strong, a pleasant change. I’d long since given up hope of ever enjoying their coffee, but there I was, talking to a near-stranger, over a drink that I actually enjoyed.

The stranger did eventually reveal his name, and I mine. During the conversation that followed, I learned that he’d lived here a fair bit longer than I and, similarly, found himself somewhat dissatisfied. Unlike me, however, he described himself as generally apathetic, which he claimed to have contributed to his stunt with the fountain. In return, I explained an earlier comment I made earlier about his display being “the first legitimately interesting event” in the town. I explained how the town seems to constantly let me down, though I’m not sure I honestly believe that any more, now that I've met more of the people.

TL;DR: I went out and talked to the town’s most intellectual pyromaniac. I drank good coffee and and found the town harder to dislike when I got home.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A parody of home- apt. 322

Today was a long day. Still is, actually. Thanks to Craig’s bowling tournament, more people have passed walked through the doors than we usually see in a week. This might be the first time I've been busy in months. We've had players that looked like they were 90 all the way down to some little girl that couldn't have been more than 9. Honestly, I don’t even think most of them even care about bowling; I’m pretty sure they’re just trying to get out of the snow. I don’t blame them, really. It’s absurdly deep, probably about up to my waist. People had fun for a little bit, especially coming from the warm weather earlier in the year, but by this point it’s lost its magic to even the most excited children. I wasn't too enthralled in the first place, having lived in a place where an igloo would almost have made sense as year-round shelter. Before I moved here, it wasn't a question of “will it snow this winter?” but rather a question of “how long into spring do you think it’ll be before the snow melts?”. Snow was a guarantee, and a big part of everything there. It was a tedious, inevitable chore and one of our primary sources of fun when it was cold, and it would reliably last through multiple months of the year. Here, even though it’s deep, it’s not going to be here more than a month. It feels like the town itself is trying to get me to like it, but it’s still not working. Though the snow is a nice touch and certainly helps cover up some of the ugliness, it’s still a pain, and it’s driving people into the bowling alley, thus continuing the town’s trend of not letting my finish my book. I've only barely managed to get this out between helping people. Less than an hour to go, though, so wish me luck.

Friday, January 16, 2015

More sparkle than expected

Things are looking up here in purgatory, or at least they're not looking down quite as much. I've restocked my coffee and read most of the way through the book Earnestine found me. It's been interesting and, for the first time in a while, I can say the same about my day.

Don’t get me wrong, this town isn’t devoid of interesting things or people. There's always some minor curiosity to keep things relatively interesting and to keep me from packing up and leaving. That being said, they usually aren’t significant enough to warrant me telling you about them. Last night (this morning, if you want to get technical) I got a bit of an upgrade. Along with the usual frivolities of the day, I got to watch a meteor shower for the first time and, as though that wasn't enough, I maintained a conversation with a stranger for more than 30 seconds, marking a new personal record.

I did not expect to have a meaningful conversation with anyone yesterday. I suppose I didn't expect to watch a meteor shower either. I expected to drink my coffee, read my book, and go to work, but evidently someone decided that routine wouldn’t fly. Not that I would have been happy with the original, but I’d at least like to know what my plans are before they happen. If I'm honest, the majority of my day went by unaltered from the norm. The coffee part went great and I went to work as expected, so time-wise, relatively little was different. Between the two mundane activities, however, when I sat down to try to finish my book, I was interrupted by splashing and yelling from the street below my window. Some parent, it seemed, decided that the warm weather meant they should let their child noisily play in the fountain. When I looked out my window to verify that assumption, I found that the child's was alone.

Unable to make any progress in my book, it was at this point i decided to investigate, and it was at this point I started approaching the events that night. On my way to the street, I caught a fragment of conversation from a few people talking about the meteor shower. This of course immediately derailed my previous mission as I sought to learn more about the upcoming cosmic event. I ultimately agreed to watch the celestial display from the roof that night. By the time I got to the street, the noisy kid had departed and it was almost time for work.

Though I hoped to make up my list reading time between work and the party, this proved impossible, as when I came home in the evening, I found my apartment noticeably sparklier that when I left it, now inexplicably sporting a fine coat of glitter. I spent the next few hours cleaning the damned stuff out of my carpet, an incredibly tedious task without a vacuum cleaner, and one that lacks all of the joy typically associated with glitter.

By the time the party rolled around, I was thoroughly sick of all things sparkling. I thus found myself unwilling to spend much time watching the sky (as exciting as it was), forcing me to interact with people instead. By my count, I talked to a whole 8 people,  and even held up a conversation with a few. Lucia was one of the people I met and is proof that my dissatisfaction with the town is warranted. Even she, a cheerful and friendly enough person to strike up a conversation with me, seems to feel let down. She mentioned something about an essay for her lit class at the college, so here's hoping she can find the right book in that barren library.home.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tyler and the Tedious, Tiresome, Somewhat Good, Mostly Bad Day

The day started with disappointment and, as if that wasn't enough, continued the trend for several hours. I got up yesterday at 6:00 or so, but after discovering that I’d run out of coffee beans, my journey to wakefulness was heavily delayed. I’d normally have brewed myself a nice strong cup of straight caffeine before even thinking of facing the world. Instead I was forced to descend 3 floors and walk down the street to get a cup from Gavin’s. As usual, it was unbearably weak, so I had to append to the first cup a few more servings. I don’t dislike the place, but it’s like they've got a vendetta against me. I dread having to drink their coffee. I need to get some new beans before they start thinking I’m coming to the shop voluntarily.

Now that I think about it, that’s basically how I feel about this place in general. The people here are nice enough, but the town itself gets to me. The buildings aren't decrepit, but everything seems kinda depressing. Case in point, after beating back my drowsiness, I visited the  library to grab a new book to start on, where I discovered they had exactly 0 of the books I was looking for. Earnestine was very apologetic and helped me find a different one, but I can’t imagine how the kids at the college get their required books with such a feeble selection. If not for amazon, I’d have run through their entire selection within my first month here.

In a turn for the better in an otherwise unsatisfactory day, I was able to spend the afternoon reading in the park (having taken the day off from the bowling alley). Instead of having to put up with bad coffee or an unimpressive library, I was able to spend that time engrossed in someone else’s world.

Of course, shortly following the pleasantness of the afternoon, the town brought me back to reality, taking out the power last night just as I was about to post this, which is why you’re reading a jumbled mess instead of the eloquent tale I initially wrote. Hopefully today will be better than yesterday, since I've got work to distract me and a new book to read, but I’m still living here, my coffee’s still out, and the library’s still empty, so I’m doubtful to say the least.