The Talkative Corpse: Part Three

Scroll down to begin with parts One and Two in previous posts.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Although I’m irrationally excited
about this project, I don’t feel like I have that much to say right now. Goddamnit.
I don’t want to just talk about my own sad dull existence. A fucking
time-traveling perzine[1]
is only marginally more useful than a normal Internet “blog.” But last night’s
comedy-news programs haven’t been posted on the Internet yet, and I only watch
the comedy news programs because the real ones are so full of bullshit. The
comedy programs have to make the news funny, duh, so they have to do their
research a little better to get all the little factual ins and outs that make
life on earth so murderously hilarious.
And to tell you
the truth, I’m in a better mood than I was in last week, because the heat wave is
just now beginning to break.
That didn’t stop
my goddamn neighbor from seeing me in my underwear this morning, though.
Goddamnit.
My luck being what
it is, of course it was another man.
People in Uptown
of the busybody stripe—the sort of needle-voiced sandal-wearer that likes
talking about ‘community’ despite the fact that she wouldn’t have a social life
outside of her goldfish if it weren’t for block parties and local elections— like
to brag that the neighborhood is, statistically speaking, the most ethnically and
occupationally diverse neighborhood in the country (a more bragworthy
distinction than “the vomitorium of the North Side”). Which is nice if and when
you feel like a beer and a random chat: if you get too tired of one kind of
shithead there’s always another, and people are social animals, after all, even
myself, technically speaking.
But when you’re not
feeling so fellowly, and you’re trying to mind your own business, you wind up getting
your face shoved into the intersection of  two facts: number one, that the differences in
the ways in which different cultures do things are not necessarily shallow, and
number two, if there’s one thing all people have in common it’s that they’re self-centered
and don’t think in their heads very much before they begin to stumble about doing
things in the real world.
Take the guy who
lives across my hall, and now knows roughly how large my penis is. To put it
mildly, he and I have differing ideas about boundaries. I’m not sure where he’s
from— I couldn’t place the accent, and most of his face was hidden under a
forest of curling red-black moustaches and beardstyles—but apparently on his
planet everyone lives in the same house.
I kind of get
the communal space thing, my family is Catholic; my relatives all treat each
other’s houses like an extension of their own. When my uncles come to town,
they don’t ask my Dad can we stay at your place, they tell him “we’re coming” and ask
“what’s to eat?” When my dad decides he wants to visit me at random there’s
no warning, I just come home from work and find him sitting on my bed, already
bored, with fifty different goddamn things he wants to talk to me about. I
don’t even know how the fuck he got the key! He got to know my landlady
somehow, I guess.  Maybe she lives near
him, in Bridgeport where I grew up. So, ding, there he is, like a gnome in a
fairy tale.
So I understand.
But I don’t assume everybody else is
going to be like my family (who annoy the shit out of me anyway). I try to go
with what I’m guessing are the basic common cross-melting-pot way things are
done. You know, act family with your family, act like a secretary on a sitcom
around everyone else, just to be safe and also to be basically courteous.
This guy, apparently,
he doesn’t think about that. Doesn’t even think once, much less twice.
I had my door
propped a quarter-way open this morning, to try to let some sort of breeze
through from my studio apartment into the hallway, because it was still hot as
Satan’s scrotum and I’ve only got windows on one side of the room. I was
sitting by the TV in my y-front underpants, under the reasonable assumption
that nobody I don’t know (I didn’t even know this particular neighbor existed till today) is going to fucking
wander the fuck into my room just because the door’s ajar. I know I said this
is a fixer-upper of a neighborhood, but the building itself, despite the low
rent and weird smell, has a landlady who is careful about things; the cramped
little rooms are mostly full of single young girls struggling to start out in
their careers… Nooooo, Future, I don’t bother them. Aside from being
self-aware I am also, at this point in my life, almost entirely and thankfully
free of the bitch-goddess Hope. My point being, they’re almost as unlikely to come
bother me as I am to go bother them.
But suddenly I
hear a knock—one fucking knock! Barely even a formality!—and suddenly my door’s
yanked open wide and this fucking MAN is standing there staring at me in my
private goddamn underpants!
We’re both quiet
and completely embarrassed for a minute—I supposed that he didn’t expect me to
be in my skivvies with the door half-open any more than I supposed anyone would
consider that crack of the door an invitation. Insofar as I was supposing
anything besides “NO, FUCK YOU,
BUDDY!”
Finally he
mumbled that he wanted to know which way my window fan was blowing ’cause he
wants his window fan to blow in the same direction so we can get a current
blowing through. So I know that he goddamn knew
I didn’t have my goddamn door propped because I wanted to invite the entire
building for the grand tour of the postage stamp I live in. He knew I had that damn thing open BECAUSE
IT IS HOTTER THAN SHIT. But he just stuck his nose in there anyway like I was
his fucking cousin. I appreciate his cooperative spirit—I have to admit, it’s
definitely cooler in here now that we’ve got the coordinated fan system going
instead of sweating to death in our private cells. But christ, man, why the
fuck would you simultaneously knock on and open a stranger’s door? I’ve even
trained my brother to pretend to be more thoughtful than that, and he’s a
goddamn Neanderthal.
What was my
neighbor thinking? He had no fucking idea what he was going to find behind that
door he just barged through. Didn’t he think people would be walking around
their own apartments in their underwear in this goddamn heat? Doesn’t he? If
he’s too much of a prude to think of walking around his own place in his
tighty-whities then why is he barging in on someone else’s private space?
And—now that I
think about it—he didn’t even know he’d find another guy behind the door he
broached in such a neighborly fucking fashion.
Was he half
hoping (his chances were pretty damn good in this building) he’d be apologizing
to a half-naked girl instead of me? Fucking sack of shit! I practically feel
like I’ve been raped in the vagina. Part of me wants to go over there and bash
his head in on behalf of my sisters so my old dad doesn’t have to do it. What
the fuck was he thinking?
Well, like most
people, he was not fucking thinking. Why the FUCK doesn’t ANYBODY EVER
THINK!??!
Do you have
nonthinking problems, Future? I hope people get smarter before you read this,
because otherwise, I’m not sure I want there to be a future.
Then again, I
suppose I’d rather have a dumb-shit knuckle-dragging neighbor that I complain about than a dickhead young
professional who’s going to complain about me,
possibly to the landlady. Not that there’s any danger of someone like that
moving in here. I think half the reason I’m crying like a bitch these days is
because I’m getting to the end of the part of your life where there’s really
much hope for any substantial change—well, for the better anyway. You might
take up Chinese[2]
with your tired old brain and learn to beg for mercy, but that’s about it. I
just realized the other day how pathetically happy I’d be if I could suddenly
move up from eight bucks an hour to ten, and I cried again.

[1]
“Perzines” were an unfortunate mutation of the late-20th-centry
“fanzine,” itself a delightful literary form in which fans of certain forms of
art made their own magazines devoted to their obsessions; when these became
somwhat popular, the more self-indulgent among their readership started
photocopying and distributing their damn diaries, which became inexplicably
popular with other fuckwits. With the gallumphing triumph of our electronic age
the perzines mutated further into personal weblogs, or blogs, where the quality
of the writing (further) deteriorated because it was so fucking easy to do that
you didn’t need much motivation or inspiration to flood the e-waves with your
uselessness.
[2]
China is a gigantic communist country whose (private?) banks now own a good
chunk of our national debt. Yeah, I don’t understand how that happened either,
but the jokes that my contemporary nationmates make about how they’re going to
own us someday sound more nervous all the time. (Or we might be owned by
Britain again, since that tiny island nation somehow has most of the important
banks in the world, but that would be almost too symmetrical for this sloppy,
borderless universe.)

 

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