Colorado, Utah and California Vacation and Audio Books
I took this month-long trip and drove to Colorado, Utah and California. Alright, I'm going to be driving 8000 miles so let me get some audio books from the public library before I go. I get four books. Two on tape and two on cd. I start in NJ and get to Pennsylvania and decide to listen to the first tape, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins. I'm psyched cause I really liked Still Life with Woodpecker. I open the thing up and the first tape of ten is missing. So there's no fucking point in listening to the rest of the book (even though I would totally watch the last half of a movie I've never seen before). I figure, eh, whatever, I've got three other books. So for the rest of the month I didn't listen to any of them. I get back home and now I have to return these books. I bring back the three that were complete but I can't bring myself to return the one that was missing the tape. I guess I was afraid that the library staff wouldn't believe me that the tape was missing from the jump. So I hold on to it. And hold on to it. And hold on to it. Now it's two months late and I realize that there are books I want to take out of the library and I can't do that if I have outstanding fines. I figure I've got to return the book at some point so last night was a good time. I bring the book to the desk, open it up and tell them that the tape was missing since the day I took the book out. The woman said,"OK" and erased it from my record. Just like that. No problem, no capricious whims acted out on a suspecting library patron, no nothing. Great.
I sit down to study and now I have to shit. So I go to the bathroom. By the way, this building must have been an elementary school at some point because the toilets are about 4 fucking inches off the ground. And there are no locks on the stall doors but I figured out how to use my keychain to prevent anyone from accidentally getting in. A determined turd burglar would definitely get past my rigging, though. Alright, so I wash my hands and give them a cursory drying and as I'm leaving the bathroom I dab my wet palms on the back of my pants without realizing that I must have left wet hand print marks on my ass and now I have to walk through the main part of the library with wet hand prints on my ass. Not only that, as I'm walking out of the corridor where the bathroom is all the library staff are amassed at the central desk surrounding the sister of a friend of mine from high school. So they all look at me and she waves and says,"Hi, J." So I say hi back. Going through my head though is the thought that they are discussing what an asshole I am for returning a book on tape without the first tape and how I must have lost it and been looking for it for the last two months since I'm returning it so late and what an asshole I am for lying about the missing tape. Then I start worrying about the wet handprints on my ass and how they probably think I don't know how to use a hand dryer or fucking paper towel.
I get back to my table and then the meta-neurosis sets in. The one where I start freaking out about how I'm freaking out about such piddling bullshit. I have faith that one day I'll come to an acceptance that dumb shit happens to people and it's hilarious and there's no reason to get so freaked out about this shit. And also to not worry so much about what other people think of me which I think is my biggest hang up. Next to my ex-girlfriend.
It's so abusrd because in the past few years I've been broken hearted, gotten caught jerking off and was seen shitting in a public toilet that had no stall door on it by four different people who walked in each time I tried to wipe my ass. None of which has caused me as much angst as the minor stuff like the time I saw my aunt's pubic hairs sticking out of her bathing suit or the time my friend thanked me for coming to see his show and my response was that I wouldn't have come if his band sucked (what was I thinking?). Or the time I gave a bottle of wine to my friend's parents as a gift and when they asked where I got it I truthfully told them that I got it from my mother's wine rack (that one sends shudders down my spine). Or the time I was gossiping about someone who was sitting directly across from me at a small, round table. Or the time I was all fucked up and ran into this girl who I dug at school and in a slurred, obnoxious way insisted that she had to come meet my friends who clearly felt this girl's pain when they met her. Or every time I've ever decided not to be such a passive pussy and spoke up to someone only to question my action for the next several years. Or the time...