No Self-Service Here

A 3 a.m. visit to the local gas station, nothing more caustic to my living than a planned adventure in a redundant life.

Left, left. Left, right, trip.

Armored with my plaid Marks & Spencer pajama pants, a shit-brown hooded jacket and an old gym shirt that is no longer gym worthy. Too dirty to sweat in as I salivate over the possible cellulite-assed romantic ventures that turn me off as soon as they make eye contact. But that’s not the dirtying part, the self-loathing from the salivating is the filth agent. There is no detergent for inner filth, so fuck your laundry advice.

And lest I forget my prized $500 Italian sneakers starring in this short epic as my two-wheeled horseless chariot. After midnight, my feet only take me to bathrooms or to international one stop shops of water bottles, smokes and sleeping pills.

Gupal greets me with a tilted and almost toothless smile.

I say: “Advil PM. No smokes tonight, thank you. I’m cutting down.”

You haven’t. You just have a few extra packs lying about, don’t you?

The thick-haired grey fox of a 50 something Indian, Nepalese, who gives a shit, asks with an accent thicker than the village mongoloid in the middle of Kiev:

“You take this for pain? Or for sleep? Not good this for you.”

And then he looks at you with a flirtatious half-smirk while pointing to the cancer-stick collection of corporate genocide.

“Parl-uh-mint? Mar-bro? Try L-n-M?” he chuckles.

“No. I’m good.” I chuckle too. Nervously.

Take your receipt and erase that smile off your face. Eager to leave, aren’t we?

You’re walking back to your spotless apartment with your tainted soul that’s somewhere within your flesh, hanging around, waiting for a deus ex machina or a Shakespearean tragedy; Whatever fate has in store for your plot, it will, nevertheless, be ironic with any variation.

“Good luck quitting!” Gupal shouts with a maniacal farewell.

That clerk is a prick. A prick for being a stranger that enjoys having misunderstood conversations with you and a prick for trying to teach you how to quit smoking. You know how to quit, don’t you?

He’s a prick because he disturbs the not so natural flow of things, he disturbs your planned adventure. How dare he want a conversation when all you wanted was to fix your sleep because you need to wake up early and study for some nonsensical class about non-conclusive knowledge. Pseudo-knowledge that you so desperately need to consume for anything above a C+, because God forbid all this poisonous effort would yield anything but a passing grade.

A passing grade. Ha! Scoff like you mean it next time. What an undesirable result.

You know everything about undesirable results, don’t you?

Back in the cave, the hut of solitude, where filled ashtrays and empty notebooks wait for me, I am welcomed by silence. The AC on full blast doesn’t count. Sentence, drag. Paragraph, next cigarette. New piece, new pack.

Can anything beautiful come naturally without any ugly? Can’t I write one thing and feel good about it?

I’d give anything but my soul for…

Patience is an overrated virtue for someone obsessed with their Manifest Destiny. Disappointment and devotion are the only precursors I need for inspiration; I’m disappointed in you but I’m devoted to you. I will wreck myself to ruins and grind my being to pieces, pick it up with my right hand, blow kisses of myself onto all of you. Express.

One day, I will give.

But for now, I’ll take.

You take the pills, take a shit, take a sip of water, have a smoke, have a bad thought about everyone trying to fix your dirty habits.

Have a guilty conscience.

We all know about dirty habits, don’t we?

We all have a guilty conscience.

 

 

…You can piss off now.

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