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.