My parents divorced a few years ago and the response was a sigh of relief after the acrimony of what had been a five year separation process. My father stopped celebrating anniversaries, exchanging gifts for birthdays, and writing Christmas cards as two lives had become neatly separated but recently, my parents have been spending time together, I think out of entirely practical reasons. My father’s friends are slowly being picked off and my mother’s are rather static so they’re going out to eat, seeing museums, going to parks and other date-y things that drive my brother and I mad. Today, I asked my father what he was up to and he said he was going across the street to use some piece of diagnostic equipment our neighbor had. Later that day, I had car trouble and asked him “how’s the shop?” he replied “fine” but I distinctly heard my mother’s parrot in the background. I asked him if he was at my mom’s house and he said “maybe” and started giggling.
What kind of world are we living in where one’s dad can freely date one’s mom? That’s just weird.
I dropped off about 100 lbs of books to Books Through Bars on Baltimore Ave which was easily mappable by determining the local maximum incidence of “Free Mumia” posters. They were a homespun operation in a small but clean space permeated with classical music and the rhythms of packaging tape both being applied and removed and the blank faces of those who’ve realized they are howling at the tide. Next, the Salvation Army received four or five 60 gallon tubs of clothing and housewares that hadn’t been used for almost a decade but whose disappearance may prove suspicious.
Me: I donated a whole bunch of housewares to the Salvation Army that mom had bought.
Dad: What if she asks what’s happened to them?
Me: I’ll tell her mice got into them.
Dad: That’s ridiculous, the mice live in the warm and food-filled first floor not the cold and empty attic. Sure, we pick off one or two of them that get lazy every month or so but on the whole their community is probably better off.
At work, I’ve taken to writing individual tasks on spiral-bound fluorescent index cards and discarding each as I finish the task. The cards are quite easy to see and I’ve inadvertently given my boss a way of tracking my productivity. Today, I’d been in for a few hours and only had gone through two cards and a coworker gave me a hairy eyeball. After leaving, I threw about a 1/2 dozen empty cards in the recycling bin and received a much more approving look later.
I think I’m going to set aside six or seven cards to throw out and reuse daily to maintain the minimum appearance of productivity. Luckily, this is a new task each time, requiring anew card, further padding my excellence. I’m a f#$%ing genius.