(Dedicated to petitpoussin and our disagreement about Adaptation)
Our new theory is, that you must enjoy worrying about things.
I will not have a job this summer. I will have to find work. I will find work as a temporary employee in a very brightly lit office. The lights will make me sneeze constantly. There is a ceiling fan that stirs in the air in the office. The air is too cold. My shirts do not fit and one of them has a stain. I will not see the stain in time.
There isn’t time to finish drying the clothes. The jeans are damp. I have to fold them and put them damply in the cabinet. The damp is soaking into the cabinet and weakening the hinges and rotting the tender wood around the screws. The jeans will mildew. There is nothing you can do get out the smell. The mildew will cause all the belt-loops to pull free. The mildew can be breathed in. Pneumonia. Social engagements cut short.
I have an ulcer from drinking coffee. If I cease drinking coffee I will make grammatical errors frequently. I will become dull and will be easily fooled. I will purchase things seen on television. I will amass personal organizers. My speeches will become boring. Dullness will walk around with me like a Japanese wardrobe screen, hiding me from everything. The ulcer is unstoppable. I will not be able to eat spicy foods, fried foods, or foods that contain excessive chlorophyll. I will be unable to attend dinners at ethnic restaurants. At one such dinner a reclusive genius named Alhambra will reveal her new theory of time. It would have been immensely useful to my work. She will commit suicide afterwards. Her death is not related to her theory. We never knew each other. There is no written record of any of this, except the doctor’s note about the ulcer. One day’s excuse.
I am signed up for credit card extras of which I am not aware. These include automatic payment plans, credit insurance protection, roadside assistance, “shopping credits,” and photo verification. At some point the total series of these plans, plus two or three of the offers I receive in the mail, will begin working together as an autonomous unit. Nothing will be allowed or expected of me except that I send a small slip of paper with my signature to Halibut, Virginia every thirty days. Ten years from now, I will receive, in the mail, a travel kit with vintage shaving supplies. I will cut my index finger on the razor, my cheeks white with foam.
The letter was too subtle, and too linear. I was in a state of confusion about the recipient: is this love, anger, or whimsy? It has all the charm and spontaneity of a pie chart. The letter is received, thrown away in the “Trash.” The computer breaks. The recipient changes addresses. Two weeks ago, I left my good hat on their table. I am worried that the felt is weathering all this poorly. I see him in the street, wearing my hat. I want to give him another copy of my letter. “You could read it together, by the fireplace,” I almost say. The rain is surprising.