The Bird Cage
So the guy with the unfortunate task of being on the office birthday celebration list opposite the program director accidentally slept in this morning. He arrived late to work empty-handed and sat dopily at his computer for half an hour before realizing why the buzzards were sloooowly slinking past his office door, giving him the eye. It finally dawned on him that they were going to spread mayonnaise packets from the break room condiment slush bucket all over his ass and eat him for breakfast if he didn’t do something, and quick. He ran out and bought four entire cases (CASES) of donuts from the bakery down the street, and two boxes of cupcakes. He spread them on a table in the library, assuming there would be no students or resource needs for the entire morning, I guess. The birds settled in and began picking at the boxes of sugary dough wads, laughing and yapping noisily as they joked about having seconds, hahaha, wouldn’t that be funny if I had a second? But I won’t, oh no, I won’t…wait, are you going to? I will if you will hahahahhahahahahaha. But really…
No sooner had the birds flapped away than the power turned off, and the wolves descended. Literally moments after my screen went dark, the shadows of the ten-ton bitches from Admissions darkened the doorway. Guess who wanted to sit in the library and talk about minivans and eat donuts? One of them even looked at me and said, “We’re looking for the food…is the food here? We heard it was here.” I pointed toward the darkened corner where the trays of donuts lay, a fatty dream: to eat a globule of shimmering fried dough in the dark. They sat and sat and talked and snacked and joked about seconds and ate seconds and thirds and the moment the lights came on, they were gone like those black pterodactyls in that space movie about how it’s not safe to be in the dark because your ass’ll get eaten by black pterodactyls.
The allure of the donuts was lost on me, they smelled weird and looked like they’d been sprayed with glue and raped by everyone in the entire building. So I picked up a chocolate cupcake with white frosting and crumbled up Oreos all over the top. I struggled to bite through the chalky outer surface of the cuprock only to discover that the inside cake wasn’t halfway worth the effort, it was just as dry and crumbly as if they’d put a turd in a toaster oven for thirty-five minutes. So basically what I had in my hands and all over my face was one of those horrible, poorly-baked pieces of shitty cake with a really fancy topper, made yesterday and left overnight in a bakery case and called a cupcake. For shame. I mean, does the coroner go around putting fancy hats on people who get splattered all over the road in traffic accidents? Well, maybe he does, I don’t know, but he shouldn’t, because they’re still dead and splattered and nobody should have to look at them.
I hate *everything* lately.
But that doesn’t mean that the things I hate haven’t been worth hating.
For instance, I do realize that I’m hard to get along with. I totally understand that I’m not the easiest person to be around. For real. That’s because I am very open about it when I don’t want to be a person that people be around. And I’m hard to get along with because I hate crap, and I see no reason why I should keep my mouth shut and sit around and withstand bullshitty crap because that’s the friendly thing to do. Well, who said I wanted to be friendly? You suck. Go away from me. Let’s not be friends.
It’s just the worst when you’re around someone who cannot stop using your attention as their sounding board for who they think they are. Someone who not only talks about themselves constantly, but who obviously spends hours every day reading celebrity gossip news, announcements of new works of fiction, film, and theater, every article on Wikipedia, and also has their ear to the ground on whatever it is that you’re interested in, and not only knows more than you do, but can’t wait to tell you just how much more. And why it’s stupid that you’re into it.
I hate being interrupted. I hate being one-upped and talked over and eye-rolled because I like something or don’t like something else. It got to the point recently where I just have to go completely blank: I refuse not only to look this person in the eye, but also to state anything that could be relatively construed as anything resembling an opinion. I tried not to make it sound like I knew anything at all about anything ever, because if I did, well oh boy, I’d be stuck in a corner with this asshole barfing everything he knew all over my face. And it’s not as if I’d be stupid enough to come out swinging and challenge someone like this on anything they think. It’s the simple act of breathing that sometimes sets it off.
Ick. And it’s totally the type of person who listens solely to a very streamlined and specific group of musical artists, and knows eeeeeeverythiiiing about those artists, and carries around their fucking CDs, for chrissakes. Who carries CDs? The last time I saw someone carrying CDs, it was this forlorn, overweight, Nirvana-identified pre-Goth kid in high school who was desperate for everyone to know he’d just purchased that gaywad mini box set that the Smashing Pumpkins released with their singles in it. He carried that goddamn thing like a purse. Now I have to put up with this son of a bitch who actually knows SO MUCH about MP3 players that he has decided they’re a useless technology and is going to stick with compact discs.
Really, I’d like to make a game out of it. I’d like to sit this person down with a panel of people who know what’s up. You get points for getting him to talk about certain things. Not like that’s hard, but it gets interesting when you get to the point in the argument (for every conversation with him becomes an argument) when he starts citing fake sources to support whatever claim he’s making (opposite of yours). And holy mother of Christ, whoever wants to challenge him to a battle of early 90s music knowledge wins the fucking trophy. Game over. Now just try and shut him up.
I’ve always wanted to ask a certain five people I know if they realize just how much of a character they are. I mean, you know that all of the characters from The Office are based on real people, right? How does that make you feel, you shitbag? You do realize that you are that annoying, yeah?
The bottom line is that some people are all around users: they’ll use your tab for some drinks, your coat pocket for some cigarettes, your car for rides, and worst of all, your ear and feigned attention for their sense of self. And what’s worse is when they do all of the above and you’re expected to suck their dick for it, and if you decline, well, you’re the asshole.
So maybe I don’t hate everything. Maybe I’m fucking exhausted and I need a sabbatical from people and how fucking…overwhelmingly…constant they are.
Maybe if I turn off my phone and pull the covers over my head for the rest of the day and night, I’ll be able to bite the inside of my cheek enough to hold onto a fake smile for fifteen seconds the next time I’m being told why my favorite author isn’t that great, actually.
Things That Are Currently Making Me Want To Have My Head Smashed Like a Berry Between Two Massive, Sharp Rocks
I went to undergrad with her and endured her listless slumping about in the hallways, her outdated, comical green chunks of hair, ironic nose ring, and overall punk rock prom queen attitude, and now I have to look at her books on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and read her horrible blog.
When one of our classmates died, she waited for his birthday to come around to post this on his MySpace:
Happy birthday. I got the advance copies of my book yesterday and would have loved to give you one as a birthday present. You really didn’t have enough birthdays. I’ll have a drink in your honor tonight. Miss you much.
How…thoughtful. “You’re dead. Let’s talk about me, though.”
Commence the smashing, please.