I’m laying here in bed, wide awake during the twilight hours, as usual, but there’s something different. No, it isn’t the sweltering heat or my “did he get a haircut? Why is there still so much hair?” haircut — it’s the reality that I’ve fallen off the precipice of structured life into “oh shit, the path I laid out has ended” adulthood.
I’m volunteering a handful of days/hours a week again at UCI’s HPRI. It’s still grunt work, for the most part, but it is keeping me out of the house on the days I go. I scheduled three days a week there with Wednesday being one of my days off. The plan was to go to the beach and lounge or go find a cool coffee shop to fall in love with a nerdy girl on accident while criticising my résumé, but I don’t think that’ll happen unless I push myself to leave the house. That whole leaving the house thing is still a high-level quest on its own, but that’s not my point. I was checking some data against the key I was creating for the survey while using a cheapy pencil. It was .7 lead — yuck. I press down fairly hard and at more of an angle than I should, so my writing looks thicker and messier than it could be. That same type of pencil thought sparked the tangented brain I’ve got into that “let’s get lost in wikipedia for 5 hours” mode.
I was in 2nd grade and I hardly ever ate lunch at the cafeteria. My parents taught me how to make my own lunch early on, so I’d make a trusty 2-3 ham slice sandwich, throw in a bag of chips, add a capri sun or apple juice and be good to go. Despite having a lunch I enjoyed (I’m a very selective eater, if you didn’t know), I always wanted to be part of the gang that ate in the cafeteria, or the “caf,” as they’d call it. I didn’t know what the hell low-income lunches were, but a lot of my friends had lunch cards they’d pick out. I never got a lunch card and felt… empty because of it.
Sometimes though, my dad would take me to school early. Maybe we’d get Jack in the Box breakfast before he’d go to work. Come to think of it, I still really enjoy Jack in the Box breakfast (had it today), but I think it’s mostly because it reminds me of those times I got to spend with my dad in the mornings. I really appreciate familiarity. When this would happen, I wouldn’t always get to pack a lunch, so my dad would give me a few dollars and I’d be able to get food at the caf. One day, however, we didn’t get Jack. He brought me to school early enough for me to eat breakfast at the caf, but didn’t give me $1 or $2. He gave me $5.
I never received an allowance other than getting enough to pay for lunch/gas from middle through high school, so money was a scarce resource in the cjal economy, particularly in the early years. Anyway, I bought my breakfast that day and had $4 leftover. The thing is though, there was a pencil machine that dispensed ‘em with all sorts of designs for 25 cents a pop. This was all the rage back in those times, so it was calling my name.
What did I do? I did what any sane 2nd grader who wanted to maintain his cooler than cool status would do. I put $4 into the change machine and fed that pencil machine quarters until I was out of money. I wasn’t as big of a hit in class as I expected, but a few of my comrades were pretty envious. What the hell was I gonna do with 16 wooden pencils? Spend as much time sharpening them in class as I could, I guess.
My dad was a little upset when I asked for more money for lunch another day since he assumed there would be change from that $5. Boy was he wrong. I don’t remember if he laughed or anything, but I do vividly remember this being the prime age for karate demonstrations. I never took karate, but had a lot of friends that did. Regardless, everyone was always trying to emulate Bruce Lee.
So what does a 2nd grader that wishes he were a martial artist do with those 16 pencils he obviously wasn’t going to use to completion (let’s face it, they were shit quality and nobody really likes writing with wooden pencils anyway)? He has his friends hold the pencils one by one while he karate chops the fuck out of them.
Pencils suffered major casualties in 1997. I’m responsible for at least 30 karate chopping incidents.
Oh, I really get curious about you too. I want to call you, but I don’t want to seem more pathetic than I already come across, so I don’t. I miss you, I think, not just the idea of you. I just wish I didn’t.
|Me last night:||This is the last message I will ever send you. I am sorry about everything. I will never bother you again. Have a good life.|
|Me this morning:||Hi.|
sex is pretty good but have you tried garlic bread