It was the Old Chem building that had the best windows. The classrooms looked right at the quad. Duke University. You could see the library and all the people walking in and out of it.
When I think about Autumn, sometimes I’m in the Old Chem building. I had a couple classes there. The one I remember the most was Philosophy 102. The professor was young, he had strange shoulders – they were like bird wings, but half formed, so his shirts hung on for fear of flying off. And we learned some interesting things, I guess, but mostly I was watching the bird shoulders, and the quad, the changing leaves, I liked it when it rained. I have a thing for umbrellas. I like how people under them are always walking fast.
It rained today, we needed it. The Triangle’s been in a drought. Our apartment creek is barren. The trees had gone brown, but not in an attractive way. Dead rust, parched throat, but all that’s better because it rained. A drizzle. The clouds came over like a circus. I watched them – 30mph, balloon animals. Puddles formed in backed-up gutters. A couple kids got mud on their shoes.
October – this is how you’re supposed to be; quiet, dreary, watched through a window.
Last night, I bought a bean burrito and took it home. I ate the chips first so it was twenty minutes in that I found out they’d given me steak. Black as black beans, but sour like flesh. It tasted good. I let the steak sit on my tongue a bit before spitting it out. An opportunity to remember what it’s like to live off another critter’s life.
We all make mistakes. I’ve learned to let them roll off me (well, other peoples’ anyway). The lady at the taco shop was apologizing profusely, saying how frustrating it must have been since I don’t eat meat. I told it her it was fine, it happens. It does happen.
At the end of work today, we had an irate customer. I won’t get into the details, but he left spewing profanity. I think his biggest hiccup was that my boss is a woman. He kept asking to speak with me and I kept telling him to talk to her. She kept her cool. Eventually he left and we all laughed about it. It’s sad to see the world as two separate parts, disconnected, dangerously clean.
Our temporary dog goes home tomorrow. Her owner’s here, staying the night. I was petting the dog with my door open and she ran into my room. Her owner says ‘Just let her know she needs to leave.’ I didn’t mind her in my room, didn’t mind her leaving either. Her owner called her. She sulked out then started wagging her tail again. Water rolling off your back. We all make mistakes.
Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain