What’s not to love waking up to an LA all slicked-over and gray on a not-so-sunny Sunday when your gas has just been shut off?
I’m enjoying myself because despite missing a few key ingredients—one dead oven, four clicking but ultimately flameless burners, and an absence of hot water that makes for a shower like an Alaskan hose-down—what is available to me seems to be doing a real bang up job. Yeah, sure the gas is out in the apartment and my fingers and feet beginning to understand their status as expendable extremities (last night someone pulled the fire alarm and I guess that’s why the gas got shut off, as a precaution) but so what? I’m pleasantly wrapped in a sweater and jacket, tapping my boot on the concrete floor because 1.) I’m all jittery from that black coffee (still got electricity and ain’t it sweet) and 2.) The Shining just led directly into The Exorcist on the BBC America channel, and you know how that church-school saying goes—When God closes a door he opens a window?—Well I don’t mind them all being closed for as long as it’s raining. The outside can have it all, I like listening to the rattle of it on the roof. And despite the latest calendar check putting me five weeks from that big fat throbbing graduation day—thanks to the rain, there are other major, important developments coming down, too.
For one, I currently have a blanket spread across my lap. You want to feel all accomplished and used up like you’re eighty-seven years old? Spread a blanket across your lap. Nothing kicks ambition quite like exchanging your fitted jacket for a one-size-fits-most bathrobe. And if you’re a woman and interested in this kind of shit, too, I recommend going short and manageable with your hair. Let the drawstring on those sweat pants sway loose and proud. From here on out, instead of heels—it’s Velcro, baby.
You ever notice how an old man gets to a certain point in his life where he stops explaining himself and starts making grunts instead of words? Or how when he’s finally actually saying something, he’s just repeating what he’s being told?
“Do you like the ice cream, gramps?”
“I like ice cream.”
“Rocky road. It’s good right?”
“Rocky road ain’t bad”
“I think so too.”
“You think so?”
I’m wondering at what exact minute of eighty-some-odd years a man realizes he’s clocked in the necessary amount of decades to get away with that? Is it because he’s physically tired of explaining himself, or fed up that nobody’s ever been listening? Or maybe it’s simpler than that, and it just took that many years to figure out he never knew what the hell he was talking about anyway, so why keep doing it?
But the best thing about this rain? It’s making that question “So Andrew what’s planned after graduation?” feel strangely similar to “So Andrew what’s on after The Exorcist?” I can’t respond because I don’t know. The TVs just been dealing good movies all afternoon, the ceiling’s been holding up as watertight as a Coeur d’Alene canoe, and why ruin all of that that with a menu of what’s coming next? The slap of rain outside just means I get to put the TV all the way up. When poor possessed Regan roars THIS SOW IS MINE! it’s so loud it’s like she’s sitting next to me on the couch. And just because it’s raining and the gas is out doesn’t mean I can’t heat soup in the microwave, or make a throw-away list of all the stuff I was supposed to do today but saved for tomorrow. Maybe if I take on enough small tasks and spread them out over a long enough period of time between now and May, they might make a pile big enough to get my mind off the steaming mountain of other questions like “Where you gonna live next semester?”
To which I grunt: “What”s that!? You’ve never seen The Silence of the Lambs?”