Monday, November 14, 2011

oh my god, the humanity.

picture this if you will.

i am sitting in a study room in the basement of the library at eight o'clock in the evening wearing a cardigan and my matching toms. my boyfriend is across from me reading some gigantic poetry anthology. bill and connor are doing something terrible that involves genetics. amy is spinning and reading art history.

our room is loud. the iron and wine in my ears is not loud. i have so much spanish homework to do i'm thinking in english.

welcome to my life.

right now i have another terrible need to blog, and this blog is probably going to be literary and all over the place. so i'll start out with this because i need to get it out.

THINGS I AM EXCITED FOR.

1. i currently have a copy of midnight for charlie bone sitting next to me.
2. i'm almost done with the prisoner of azkaban for the forty-sixth time!
3. it's gift week. I GOT MY GAMMA PHI BETA CRAFT BOX! (if only i knew how to craft.)
4. i found this really cute picture of a psychopathic dinosaur on my phone.
5. i made up a latin word and was right, it's a real word. that word is quadrennial.
6. i am definitely getting a smart phone.
7. i made myself an iron and wine shirt. and a frightened rabbit shirt.
8.. i am not doing any of my homework and i am not feeling guilty about it in the least.
9. some half-rational part of my brain is telling me to just drop out of college and write poetry.

my lastest poem looks something like this:

his marvelous maybe

sat on a window sill

                        mouth open like a venus fly trap


  trying to swallow the world.

please do not ask me to explain my poetry. i have no honest idea. my pen just kind of vomits them out.

okay but this is what i really wanted to blog about while i listen to iron and wine and ignore all of my homework. i want to blog about walmart. walmart and literature. literature and walmart. and doughnuts, we can't forget the doughnuts.

once again, the fabulous dr. vivian had given me another daunting and fabulous prompt: go to walmart, people watch, and write a reflection on it.

well. i wrote my reflection last night before i went to chapel to praise God and write MUFASA on my spanish name tag (which i later stuck on my dorm door), and i feel the need to blog about it.

the first part of this trip involves me buying hairspray. i need hairspray to survive. it is a fact that i am not entirely comfortable with but accept. i also bought a small plastic plant for gabberdine (that's my new fish) but when i stuck it in his bowl, it was too big and poor gabberdine swam around in fright, trying to avoid its little poky pokers. i took it out immediately and almost cried.

and i bought a gigantic box of clearance doughnuts.

you know those little chocolate doughnuts that have chocolate coatings but are white cake on the inside and they're bite-sized and a whole crap load of them come in a gigantic box and you just keep eating them and eating them and then your stomach is like, "what the hell did you just do"?

oh yeah. i bought those.

from there, i proceeded with my purchased items to sit in the subway by the self-checkout lane. the guy working at the subway was slightly suspicious, but i assured him that i was just sitting and eating doughnuts. he disappeared into the kitchen. probably to kill a chicken.

this is where it gets fun, and i had a pretty sweet paragraph about it in my reflection (tentatively titled "walmart", i'm so original). here's how this was going to play out.

1. i was going to an FBI profiler! like dr. spencer reid!
2. i was going to make up stories. mostly based on what i saw.

intrepid walmart shopper numero uno was an older lady wearing a nice pea-coat style trench coat with a single rose pinned to it. the minute i looked at her i knew that she felt like her husband was cheating on her. he was probably a professor (not at my college) and god forbid that he was doing anything scandalous with a student. she had a steady job, most likely working for a small business, that held nothing for her. after she left walmart, i knew that she was going to home, pour her and her husband some wine, and they were going to sit in bed together silently, watching television (probably lifetime). i felt that she was using the self-checkout because if she actually had to talk to a living, breathing human being, she would confess what she suspected about her husband. and she was not ready to do that to herself yet.

person of interest numero dos was a high school aged boy clutching a gigantic bag of dog food while his little sister rammed him in the butt with the cart and his mother snapped at both of them. here's where my elite (oh dear) profile skills come in. this kid's jacket was all the way zipped up. he wasn't comfortable being near his mom or his eighth grade aged sister. he was definitely awkward and uncomfortable around women, he had no real male role model in his life, and simply lived with his mom and his sister. he even let his sister bully him, judging by the fact that she was sneering at him and driving the cart right into his butt and he wasn't doing anything about it. he even edged away from the nice female cashier who accepted my doughnuts without question. when he left with his mother and his sister, he walked demurely behind them, and i felt like maybe he was losing some perverse game of "which child does my mother love more?". his sister was definitely winning. i hate seeing parents who favor their kids above their other kids.

i ate another two doughnuts for him.

next came a young-ish overweight guy wearing a zip up hoodie that half-hid his tuxedo shirt. i'm sorry, but those are never classy, no matter who you are. he was tall and wearing sweatpants underneath his tux shirt and decently nice hoodie. he was simply going through self-checkout with two gigantic bins of ice cream. after scanning one, he couldn't get it into the plastic bag and gave up, looking upset. the more i watched him, the sadder i became, because this guy was definitely clinically depressed. i also truly believe that he thought that it was just a phase that he would move out of as he neared his thirties if he wasn't already there. he was not going to move out of that on his own.

the most interesting couple award goes to midwestern/bluecollar/slightlyimpoverished mr. and mrs. claus.

santa was a big guy with nasty turning white blond hair that went halfway down his back in thick weird rope curls. his beard was big and bushy and grimy. his gigantic glasses had that eighties yellow tint and he was standing at the check out counter, watching my cashier silently in a huge pair of dirty overalls. i at first thought that he'd been laid off, but then i realized he was probably a mechanic. for sure he owned a big, old truck that he tinkered with.

mrs. claus was a small, frail lady who looked about ten years older than santa. she had short cropped white hair around her extremely lined face. santa just watched while she unloaded the entire cart and reloaded it. it looked like she would fall over from the effort. she looked incredibly sad. i marked her down as a sunday school teacher that none of the kids really like. i also pinned her for taking santa to church with her even though he didn't like it. he kept going because they'd been married for so long that "yes dear" might now be the only way to get by.

of all the people i saw (including an unhappy girl who i just know will go to a big state school and go to a really bad party when she enters college), the most hopeful person i saw was my cashier.

she was a rather overweight lady in her mid forties. her santa hat was nice and jolly and went with the tinny christmas music that was playing all over the store. (i hate christmas music. for the record.) she was super smiley and upbeat while she checked me out, and even the saddest people who went through her lane smiled at her. she was infectiously bubbly.

but the first thing that i noticed about her was that there was no hair underneath her santa hat, and even though she was overweight, i could tell that she had lost a lot of weight in a decently short amount of time.

this lady, the happiest lady i had seen in the entire walmart, had cancer.

i don't have to be a profiler to see this. i did not randomly make this up by looking at her coat. i genuinely believe that the kind-spirited woman who gladly scanned my box of clearance doughnuts has cancer. and i also firmly believe that she is more happy to be alive and to have a job than anybody i've ever met or known.

that got deep really fast. don't worry, it did in my paper too.

sitting at the subway at walmart was fun. part of the time i pretended to have a gun like dr. spencer reid. the other part i just sat there shoving doughnuts down my throat and feeling depressed with humanity.

i'll leave you with another poem that i'm still trying to understand.

the waterhole



african animals wander
(lionsandtigersandbearsohmy)
            elephants
                                    lions
rhinoceros

perhaps hoping to find the waterhole

they forever wander the blank canvas
            surrounded by a red world
(of more canvas)
                                    forever in the stench of my bare feet

never to find the waterhole.

this poem is actually about the animals on the insides of my toms. so if you were confused about how my feet played into it, there ya go. :)

and for your entertainment...


dr. spencer reid profiling with a gun and wearing an interesting sweater vest.

me wearing a superhero costume pretending to be a super profiler. no gun. just a cape.

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