Although I was in a neighborhood that is that supercool Brooklyn, I entered none of the charming places, instead I went into Dunkin Donuts.
Although it was a full sunny day and I had had a perfectly restful and productive morning, I hated everyone and everything, and I had decided the only thing that would make me feel better was a blueberry doughnut. I walked up to the counter and I said, “I’d like a blueberry doughnut, please.” I added, “If you have one,” and this jinxed me, as the woman said, “We don’t have any blueberry,” and I thought a beat, about not looking like the kind of person who can only eat one kind of doughnut, or eating a doughnut that was not really what I wanted, if I was going to eat a doughnut, I want to enjoy it like a little pig in mud.
I swept everything off the counter with one foul swept and I said “Yes, you do! Go get it!”
No, I just said, “Okay, thanks,” and walked out and told this lady who asked me where the subway was where it was and went down the stairs and waited for the train while someone played the banjo and I hated him for playing the banjo, what kind of hipster nonsense was that, the fucking banjo.
I couldn’t wait to get to Manhattan where everyone wasn’t trying so hard, we were just going about our business.
I was reading about the bombing of Berlin, and it should have cheered me either that my city was not being bombed to kingdom come, or that the Nazis were about to be defeated in my book.
I considered going on a hunger strike to prove how angry I was at life, but then I decided I should go to Chipotle like a reasonable human being, and just eat another burrito even though all I ever eat is burritos, half of them from Chipotle, $9 at a time, an outrageous price for beans, rice, and a tortilla that costs the corporation 78 cents. A guy was standing in front of Chipotle’s door. “I’m sorry, ma’am, we’re closed. We’re having trouble with some of our equipment.”
I was denied a blueberry bagel for my heart, and a burrito for my body.
I had taken a cab to my meeting this morning, and the guy drove me through Williamsburg, I was looking at all the Hasidic people who were walking around as if there was God, and I thought, I should really get out of the car and tell them there is no God.
Frequently I find seeing someone who is orthodox or Hasidic gives me a good feeling, like, well, at least someone thinks God (well, G-d) is real and tries to do something about it. It’s not the something I want to do, but, still.
When I went to church on Saturday, I was walking down the beautifully treed and brownstoned street to church thinking, I don’t want to go. Which is a rare thing for me, I pretty much always want to go, whether I’m getting off on the spiritual stuff, or hearing great literature, or seeing everybody there are so few of us, I will be missed, or sitting in the beautiful room with the blue and the gold angels and the dark wood, or just carrying out my routine, which I find so soothing.
Usually it’s enough that I want to say I’m a practicing Christian. I don’t know why I’m practicing, exactly, but I practice.
I believe in commitment, I guess, and practice, I believe in them, I just hate them, too.
I wasn’t mad at God, exactly, that would be cleaner, I was more just so sick of His shit that I was shut down. I listened, I took communion, because you only have to shut up and take it, and it might improve you. I got to hear a baby gurgle through the prayers.
I become sane and sober and mature, but it does not follow that my life is happier or easier. Life always has difficulties and sadnesses. And that pisses me off.
I miss people, it’s been a long time since I’ve been with my family , I feel exhausted from not knowing what’s going to become of me, and maybe mostly, there’s the fact that it is dark at 4:00 now. I really don’t wake up until like 3 pm, so this is bad, bad, bad, I already feel like a vampire.
I was back teaching in the afternoon. Another teacher told me about teaching “Harrison Bergeron” and talking about the Constitution and how fun that was. One of the kids came by and told me the Royals sucked, which was way delayed conversation from when I gave him shit about the Mets last week. Another kid asked me how much money I made, and then we talked about taxes and how they work, and then this:
“I’m never gonna be a teacher.”
“That’s okay, you don’t have to be.”
“I could never. I don’t got the patience. Teachers got so much patience, man, I would strangle a kid.”
“Well, you’ll probably get more patience as you get older, if you work on it,” I said.
“I don’t know.”
“You will,” I said.
Image: a portion of “Christ Presenting the Keys to Saint Peter,” made in Cologne, around 1315, Metropolitan Museum of Art.