Friday, August 19, 2011

in wooden shoes.

coffee shops are notorious for uneven tables — you know, one leg propped up by a folded napkin. yesterday, my table was not. i considered it not fortuitous but simply what i deserved: an uncrooked table. a non-crooked table? no, a settled table. settled. something i am notoriously not. who has time for being settled when there's curiosity to quench. that's been my way from the age of 17, i guess. i turned 35 a few weeks ago, and i can now say my list of curiosities has dwindled not fully, but significantly.

today i'm at the coffee shop again. my table is not uncrooked or non-crooked. it's wildly uneven. i don't mind. if it weren't for unevenness how would we know to appreciate evenness? we wouldn't. i remember some philosopher or theorist said something to the effect of "we can't know anything without knowing its opposite"...actually, i just googled it and kierkegaard came up. so i guess he said it. and i believe him. sometimes, our awareness of appreciating whatever it is we're currently appreciating is subtle, nestled somewhere in our subconscious. but whether we recognize it or not, that awareness is what helps us to enjoy things more fully. other times, awareness is right there in front of your face. when i lean my right elbow on the edge of the table closest to the nearly-floor-to-ceiling front window of the coffee shop, it wobbles. and the wobbles are what prompted me to write today.

outside this window — which i just found is made of plexiglass bc when the guy leaned his mountain bike against it, it went thunk instead of clack — a young couple, both strawberry blond and heavy-set...their resemblance is kinda weird, really... grasp hands as they walk around the corner, where they'll pass the adult book store with the blacked-out windows. in all my years living in morgantown, i never went in that store, though for whatever reason i had decided it was much more seedy than the other adult book store across from the coffee shop, where i had been inside. and i can say for sure that the 35-yr-old me would have the very same reaction as i did back then: i'd giggle and run squealing from gigantic phalluses as if they were about to jump off the walls and get me. i went in there yrs ago bc a girl i knew worked there. her name was tonya, but everyone called her "teabag." she had a tattoo of a wrench on her forearm and she called me "granny" bc i was so much older, and once she laughed like a hyena out the window of her car when she saw me trip over a caved-in section of the sidewalk as i was running down beechurst ave. i laughed, too. unevenness can be funny, you know.

outside the window boys carrying cases of miller light or foil-wrapped hoagies from the joint two doors down w the chalkboard advertising "FAT SANDWICHES!" are looking in at me as if i'm their age, or as if they don't care that i'm not. i prefer to think the former. one even tapped on the window at me. i laughed. if circumstances were different — and i don't mean my age — i might entertain the idea of hanging out with them. just for kicks. one boy with a ponytail and hippie-looking outfit just passed by. i've seen many of him today, in various lengths and widths and heights, in different shades of skin and hair and clothing. and these boys in particular make me think of my first year of college, 1994, and how boys with ponytails and hippie clothes would live in sunnyside — not on the first few blocks of grant ave. next to...what was the name of that off-campus dorm?...but maybe down a few blocks or on mclean or 3rd st. — and they'd hang out at terrapin station, or dr. johns if they were more serious about their drugs. i didn't know many people who did drugs when i was 17. one girl comes to mind. she was older and related to a friend of mine, and i recall hanging out with her exactly once. in fact, when i was here in morgantown yesterday, i drove past the parking lot where she took me that night to pick up mushrooms. she ate them in the bar later that night. of course she was polite enough to offer me a nibble, but i was more terrified than intrigued, so i declined.

i've been sitting here for hours. soon i'll have to go back to clarksburg, which is the thunk to morgantown's clack. i prefer the latter, but only bc i know the former. did i mention kierkegaard was dutch? i wonder which sound wooden shoes make...