Once in high school I remember reading something from an Israeli writer who talked about how shootings and bombings and death were so commonplace in the area (at that time — shit was going down) that the people had become accustomed to them, that they could become immune to the idea that they might get shot today.
I remember this only because I thought it was so crazy. How could the possibility of being killed ever become mundane? What kind of place must you live in that repeated, mass killings would be normal?
It doesn’t seem so crazy anymore.
|Me:||(after explaining I want to submit a finished short story, but trying to decide where -- and Steve staring at me like he's never heard of this before) It is something people do, you know, like make money writing stories. It is a career.|
|Steve:||Oh, sure, like Irish dancing.|
|Me:||I really didn't do much work today. I mean I did stuff, but not work.|
|Steve:||What'd you do?|
|Me:||Maintained my brand.|
I worked the late-ish shift at KQED this afternoon, which meant on a Friday evening it was just me and a handful of anchors, editors, pledge drive volunteers and people preparing for the weekly TV show. With the pledge drive on, there was more food than mouths. That meant while I finished a few projects, I did my part to eat a high-end grilled cheese. Then I walked to the bus to head to a friend’s, stopping at Sports Basement on the way. It was a nice day, early evening and still warm, but the breeze was blowing and the lines outside bars were starting to form. I walked down the street in my best impression of cute work clothes and the parties seemed to very nearly include me. A girl asked if I had a lighter and I didn’t even mind that she wanted to kill herself by cigarette because it was all part of the city and the parking lot filled with food trucks and the sense that you had done something and now you were going somewhere. I stopped to get a cinnamon-sugar crepe on the street and as I ate the warm buttered sweet, sugar sticking to my fingers, I thought: when people move to the city, any city, hoping to make it, this is really all they hope for. This is it.
|Brian:||How many sausages could you eat?|
|Me:||Six or seven.|
|Brian:||If you eat all seven, I'll pay for them.|
|Me:||Yeah, that's not really an incentive.|
|Brian:||What, you get free sausages.|
|Me:||That's not really what's stopping me. I wasn't like, oh man I'd eat seven brats, BUT I JUST CAN'T AFFORD THEM.|
|Steve:||Turns out Tupac's a boy|
|Me:||What?? We'll have to totally change our parenting style.|
|Steve:||Yeah, I'll stop teaching him how to cook.|
|Girl at bachelorette party:||Well, I've been a bridesmaid a lot. But, I've aged out.|
|Me:||I personality-ed out.|