Another weekend takes a dump.
48 fucking hours, down the chute in the blink of a retiring eye.
How can this be so?
Am I the only person to be affected by lethargic levels of melancholy on Sunday evenings?
Sunday evenings are the twilight of freedom.
Weekends, the pinnacle of unstructured life and escape from the commands of the material world we must join, the Society of Responsibility that requires us to give a little…if we want a little. And for those of us who ask less of society, it seems we must still give-give-give in a crescendo of increasing doses to offset the selfishly little that others give. Our society is just a messed up system of checks and counter-balances and eventually the Masters will get their share. They always do and they don’t care from who or how or matters of fairness. They know what their cut is and that’s where the story concludes. Until you fail to give them your share of the cut. Then you are fucked. If your (excessive) contribution to their cut is disproportionate to your (minimal) demands, they shrug. Tough shit. Give us our cut.
Those of us who trouble ourselves by continuing to contribute, despite the fact our neighbor may very well be neglecting his share, are succumbing to our own conscientiousness. But rather than stopping out of principle…the nature of conscientiousness is such that it is self-perpetuating and stokes itself further. Charlie Brown never gets to kick the football, does he? But he’s conscientious about the effort!
As I was saying, Sunday nights can assault me with a melancholy pall. To watch the sun sink to the horizon on a Sunday evening is to watch the drab Society of Responsibility begin to emerge anew from the darkness, to watch it rise from the depths to reclaim your soul for another week.
Funny how I bemoan the loss of a weekend in which, 1) a trail of bird shit splattered across my right leg leaving a crusty white stain on my jeans, 2) I vacuumed and dusted areas of my apartment I didn’t know existed, and 3) I immersed myself in a spectacular Sunday morning bowling tournament crowd.
In 45 years, I’ve somehow managed to elude being struck by aerial bird-borne gifts from the skies…until today. There I was, you see…sitting on a low cement wall, enjoying the ocean breeze. A heavy flicker of movement flew across my field of vision. Like a fly or moth or other frantic flying insect. I don’t know what prompted me to look down but that’s when I saw it: the fresh, liquefied dribbling of a glob of bird shit slung across my right pant leg. At the very tail end, as the bird flew by, the last dribble of his excrement pelted my shoe. I ran to the public restroom but it was too late. Bird shit, the fascinating and gag-inducing puzzle that it is, dries quickly and solidly. It’s like super glue. I tried to wipe it clear with a wet towel but that proved impossible. This would be a job for detergent and a good, vigorous tumble in the washing machine. I should be thankful my mouth wasn’t agape as I stared in awe at the brilliant SoCal July sun. That is a possibility way too nauseating to contemplate. Reminded me…I think it was in the 7th grade when this Asian guy in my class was eating his lunch at the next table. There was no overhead awning in our section and out of nowhere, a big white splash of white bird dribble materialized all over the top of his scalp, a snowcap on his dark mountain peak. Horrible, man.
When I separated and moved out of the house, I was the proud inheritor of a big-ass wood computer armoire which was a great idea for furnishing the wide open spaces of a house’s hardwood-paved living room. However, in my apartment that thing loomed like a mammoth beast of burden which I endured for 5 years. To be honest, I didn’t care early on, but in the past year, as I’ve embarked on a mission of simplification and the excision of needless shit from my life, that thing has become a Big White Elephant in this apartment that I cannot shake off. I’ve tried selling it, to no avail. It is big and heavy and contrary to the contemporary motif of the modern computer and its minimalist presentation. That armoire is to computer housing what one of those old, circa 1958 IBM behemoth computers is to the modern sleek computer. I could find no one who wanted to fork out money for it. Finally we began posting ads asking people to please take it for free! We spent hundreds of dollars buying that overpriced firewood and now I was more than willing to give it away if someone would just come and take it off my hands. Last week I had a bite, some guy in Pasadena sounded ambivalently interested…it was worth a shot. He said he would be by about noon. He would call me when he was in the neighborhood. 12:30 came, no call, so I called him. He sounded surprised. “I was waiting on your call,” he remarked. Oh God. When we spoke earlier in the morning that was not the understanding. Oh well, this was a response to an ad which appeared in one of the free circulars…what do you expect. He revised his story. He told me he was leaving home right now and he would be down here in about fifteen minutes (which was pure bullshit, it takes more than that amount of time to get to East L.A. from Pasadena) and I said great. I was humoring him. 12:45 passed, 1, 1:15, 2…fuck it. My brother helped me tumble that dinosaur on its side and we scooted it over to the the far wall where it now serves as a table until I can find a way to ease its imposing mass downstairs. Tipping it out the window is a dangerous but tempting idea. Another thing…that sucker was the worst dust collector ever. It was filled with hidden drawers and cubby holes and cracks and it was BIG and dust settled into places that light had not laid their brightness upon in at least 5 years. Once it was moved, the area where it had rested looked like a scene from a Vincent Price movie. I took a vacuum cleaner to the area and scooted over a simple table which now supports all my computing equipment. So much sleeker and modern…. While the armoire lays on its side like a defeated beast which will not budge. A dead white elephant.
Bowled over by the chub.
I spent my entire morning at a crowded bowling tournament as I often do, but it wasn’t until today, perhaps roused to consciousness by the megadose of caffeine I’d slurped before leaving home, that I noticed many of the bowling parents are contending with a serious case of the rotundness. In other words, the bowling parent demographic is heavy as shit. I’m not talking a couple of pounds or waist inches here and there; I mean some serious heft. If you thought Homer Simpson was just a cartoon character, you need to join me the next time I attend one of these tournaments. Homers abound. That unmistakable “I swallowed a bowling ball” shape en masse, men and women alike. Granted, obesity is prevalent everywhere in the modern world, but nowhere does it appear in the same jiggly abundance than it does at a bowling tournament’s fan section. I mentioned this to someone later in the day and they shrugged with a dismissive matter-of-fact attitude as if to say “what do you expect?” Yes, we all realize this. Bowling tends to be more of a social feast of beer and bad food intermixed with trace amounts of energy/caloric expenditure. I understand this, but why is it, 1) most PBA bowlers are not fat (in fact, many are thin) and 2) most of the young bowlers in the tournies are pretty thin.
Nope, the only thinness to be seen in the bowling alley was out on the lanes. The onlookers are a horde of folks sporting layers of cellulite and 30+ BMI’s. And though it’s easy to dismiss this as a “bowling thing,” how does it explain the incredibly predictable levels of obesity among parents of bowlers? What is the role and nature of their mentality that results in such weight dynamics among this specific demographic? I think this is a vitally important concept which must be addressed and thus examined in the hope that it may allow us to extrapolate across the broad spectrum of modern society’s rampant obesity. What is it that is entailed in the role of bowling parent, which psychological switches or triggers are at play that lead to overeating and unmotivated sedentary levels? Bowling is behaviorally concurrent with what…?
While I was there, I had two pieces of pizza from the banquet lunch and an order of french fries. That was my lunch and it was delicious.