Last Post On The Bugle

Woke up.

I couldn’t tell the blueberry pancakes from the chocolate pancakes. Wondered about the health differences. Felt a bit sad that I’d stopped caring which it was. Lots of maple syrup.

Decided that I like my slept-in hair better. I have just realized, typing this, that of course Bed Head products already exist. Faulty advertising, though. Impossible. Enough water pressure would make it worth the loss, but no water pressure.

Toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian. Did not eat the sausages. Five cups of coffee. They make it very thin, so the kids don’t explode. Burned my throat very lightly. It tickles.

Three eggs and a plate of potatoes. Claimed that I was reading the Book Review (Kakutani’s latest). Actually reading the Style section. Initially, I had diffident breakfast partners, which is why I got away with the lie. Reading about guys who play dress up with their video game characters. Closetedness. The guy in the article described himself as “that fat, bald guy you see in malls.” It occurs to me now that he was probably straight out of Zizek on skinheads who can psychoanalyze themselves. How would he know who we see in malls?

Listened to the Killers, probably because I was turning tomemos’s post over in my head. Remembered that I want to write a post comparing “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” to Yeats. Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife. Listened for the swallowed rhyme,

And my stomach is sick
And it’s all in my head
But she’s touching his…chest, now

and thought of

It’s a perfect day, for doing the unstuck
for dancing like you can’t hear the beat and you don’t give a
f…urther thought to things like these

Read the following on a blackboard: “Step 1: Do the following steps.” Nothing else written.

Went for ice cream. Made the mistake of ordering mint chip with sprinkles. Too childish, tasted crumbly and plastic. We talked about honey and peaches. I used to leave Farmer’s Markets with huge bags of honey sticks, and I’d suck them dry very delicately, like a Louisiana old-timer eating boiled crawfish. “Are you an only child?” my friend asked. She’d noticed that I was the only child in my stories. I said that the stories took place in a total vacuum, just myself, honey sticks, and the whole adult world. The reaches of interstellar space.

We bought peaches. The color was incredible. Like a fool, I had no money, so no strawberries. They winnowed into a little ruby constellation, once we drove off. Back to the peaches. I couldn’t get enough of the color. It was blazing in my hand. We made plans to carry them around like babies, from middle school. One school had given out babies made of marshmallows and gummy bears. We were supposed to wait for a couple of days, to see if we ate the peaches at the same time. I ate mine an hour later, early by several days. The sourness was nice, and it came cleanly away from the stone. I think I also busted the egg, when I was given an egg baby fifteen years ago. It was a hard-boiled egg. Overcooked by the powers that be.

Tried to blog about the fact that people actually do change after adolescence. Failed — the point was too obvious. I’d wanted to write something about post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, alcoholism, regret, and snack-based coping strategies. Remembered that I’d also deleted a post about Polonius entitled “Our Zombies, Ourselves.” Listening to the Libertines, wondering what happened to that dim, admonishing voice in the band’s flame-out. Now I’m remembering the tabloid stories about Kate Moss. Good for them, two kids in love. Toyed with ways of teaching “Jabberwocky.” Working on setting up a blog where students conduct debates and write in the voices of different characters. For example, blog posts by Alice, comments by the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, and so on. Like a costume party with an IP address. Teaching about unreliable narration via Humpty Dumpty, who tries to straighten out “Jabberwocky” for Alice’s benefit.

A friend told me about the sound of feeding coins into slots while doing laundry — he said it was soothing, delightful. I recommended William James. Some people are only born once, I said. Everything gives them pleasure. I know, he said. That’s why I could never be a therapist, he went on. I like people and I like hearing their stories, but I’d probably tell all of them “Why, buck up, old chap!” My sister is a Goth, he says. Actually she’s very cheerful, but she always dyes her hair black, and her friends have tattoos. So my dad calls her a Goth.

But it’s a good place for people who feel like outcasts, we agreed. Hipster neighborhoods. I hate it when they create the old hierarchies all over again, though, I said. Plus they have their guilty pleasures. It’s true, he said. My sister is all about her guilty pleasures.

At breakfast I read about marriages. Half of them break up before the third anniversary. The end of the seven year itch, declared the article. I wondered whether the columnist respected himself, at all. Then I turned to the back pages. Announcements of marriages. Married in New York City, in the Rainbow Room. Wondered if it was kitschy. You know, bad tinsel. Trying to get through a whole huge smile of honeydew, just thawed (you could taste the too-cold freezer). The peach still hours away. The little Italian chain restaurant for dinner; you could hear the cooks and the waitresses talking. We’re out of oil again…Jane, I need you…Oh God!—I just dropped my ring. My ring!

Is that going to show up in my pasta, my friend asked.

Yes, you get a free prize, I said.

Or a free ring.