having an episode on labor day

Happy labor day lovers and friends manic summer is officially over, and grind season has begun. why aren't there labor day episodes of tv shows, like there are christmas and thanksgiving? anyway I have to speak cryptically but i’ve found myself sucked out of the languid lulls of suburbia and into the throes of hustle. waking up every morning and fighting for my life. but i brought this upon myself, i asked for it and sought it out. so i can’t complain, that would be silly of me. i just have a few memories / vignettes / thoughts to share from the last two weeks of life.

first i left crash by jg ballard and lolita by nabakov in a lending library outside of a great-big playground, a favorite of neighborhood kids. i selected these two books, drove to the red mildewed box on stilts in my honda civic, and nestled them in with the bloated rejected discount books no one wants. chicken soup for the sport’s lovers soul, a young woman’s guide to financial independence. it felt synchronous / full circle to me because a year ago, from that same little box of offerings i picked up V and Vineland, hits by Pynchon. so i had to return the energy to the source. doing this i got a perverse delight in imagining the teenagers who will pick these two books, and maybe get shocked down a rabbit hole of sexually deranged fiction. my old books will impress upon them into their brain. i’d expect someone to the same for me, and i think someone already did. they were never my books really to start with. after i dropped them though, i felt regret / some lingering attachment to them. i went back to the box, and the two had already gone, snatched by an eager reader, or a scandalized mother even. onto the next life, my old books living without me.

next i went to the bar to see my friend carter. i sat on a wooden slatted picnic bench on the asphalt outside and scrolled ig while i waited for him to arrive. my coworker abbey walked over, because she just finished her shift next-door. i said hii, she said hi. i said what’s up how was work? she said it was pretty slow, and we could’ve been out by 930. but then a 6-top came in right at 9, ugh. she rolled her eyes for emphasis and lit a cigarette. that sucks dude, i said. she said, tika was going to come over, but some terrible shit just went down with her bf and a bag. my eyes widened and i gulped. i knew what that meant, and i felt afraid to ask. what happened? i inquired. well he and his friend were doing lines, and his friend passed out after the first bump. her bf was driving him to the hospital when he called tika, and she left work. jesus dude. i said. that sounds like fent right, like that’s totally fent? oh my god. that’s so scary. i always test my shit. i started rambling. i don’t like to do hard drugs like that, for this exact reason. i hope he’s ok. i’ve lost too many people to drugs for this to go over lightly. eventually carter showed up, and a lot of other friends like alex and patrick. i let the heaviness of the conversation with abby pass through me. i drank three glasses of wine, because alex said he could give me a ride home. i went to the bathroom at the bar and saw the altar candle lit up in there, next to a kitschy portrait of jesus in the city, giant standing by a high rise. i said a little prayer for the friend of a friend of a friend who i knew was struggling for his life rn.

i left the bar and alex and i drove to one of his friends’ houses to smoke weed. we stood in the gravel parking lot, at the foot of a dripping waxy catalpa tree. i hit the bowl, and the stranger said, i’m having such a deja vu about you right now. i think i saw you in a dream and we had this conversation already. i shrugged and said look at the tree… it looks like it’s breathing. the moonlight and the summer sticky heat made the air quiver.

finally, one day at the restaurant i waited on an attractive and friendly young couple. they were both fit and tall, had vocal fry, and seemed super freakishly impressed by the restaurant. i didn’t know anything about them, but i imagined they were from a small town out west somewhere, and he works for nationwide, and she’s a personal trainer. that’s why they found themselves in ohio. is everything good? i asked. like, sooo good oh my god. amazing. this chicken.. mmmm. then giggle giggle. my boss said, oh they’re so nice, they’re great, super nice. two weeks later a young couple, blonde tall and strong, friendly came into the restaurant. my boss said, hey they’re back that’s great! i came out and gave them waters. i said, hi welcome back it’s sweet to see you again. they said, we’ve never been here before. suddenly vibes were weird. i felt deceived, i wasn’t about to argue with them, even though they looked exactly like the couple who’d come in a few days ago. they had the same attitude, cadence of speech, everything. but they insisted they’d never been here, and were suddenly retracted and cold, sparked perhaps by my own awkwardness. i walked up to my boss and said, i feel super weird. that couple just said they’ve never been in before, but you know they have right? i waited on them a few days ago. i feel like they’re lying to me. he went out and talked to them, it turned out, there are two pairs of twins dating each other. or so they told him. i’m not sure what i believe.

ok, that’s all for now. send me good vibes, and i’ll send you good vibes. peace & love for the infinite future.