1 the hot food bar at whole foods. i know what you're thinking: "there's a sneeze guard for a reason, asshole." but that's not it. okay, some jerk's gross, influenza-splattered hands are kind of it. but what it mostly is are the prying eyes of everyone else hovering timidly over the blackened fish swimming in coconut curry silently judging how much overpriced food i am placing in my bowl. i am a firm believer in the restorative power of the hot bar at whole foods which, in times of gross desperation, has served as a suitable replacement for my absent mother's unconditional love. i eat dinner at whole foods at least once a week, because it's pretty much my only chance to have a balanced, nutrient-rich meal after a stress-filled hellday spent being harangued and derided while sobbing incoherently and shoving fistfuls of potato chips into my face. and i like eating there. it's fucking peaceful, okay? enjoying my nine pounds of organic salad surrounded by the soothing drone of the first world problems being lobbied around by the 1%,"god, are these really the only brands of agave nectar you carry!?", and enya. but before i can get to my bliss i gotta survive the one or two pinched old ladies who select each fajita vegetable one green pepper at a time pausing only to glare at how many scoops of wild rice i'm putting next to my honey wings. no need to roll your eyes at me: THEY WILL BRING OUT MORE, GLADYS. but i sheepishly put that second spoonful back anyway, withering under her watery gaze, and then add another helping of kale.
2 comment sections on the internet. I NEVER READ THEM. never fucking ever. and i refuse to fucking host one. you want to get a bunch of mouth-breathing trolls together to talk about how much i fucking suck? COOL, MAN. but you're not about to do that shit on my fucking shit. you better take your ass to gawker with that. jesus fucking christ, people are goddamned terrible. i am a marginally hilarious human who tries to write funny, self-deprecating things about myself on the internet for the sole purpose of bringing some giggles to others, and the number of times fools straight COME FOR MY SCALP is motherfucking staggering. a couple months ago i wrote some hilarious shit about hiding your leftover chicken wings from the dude who just banged you over the back of your couch for xojane; jezebel republished it and bitches were either trying to snatch my weave or taking pity on how sad and lonely i must be. because commenting for free on some internet jokemaking is somehow superior to getting paid to make those jokes!? oh yeah nawl. FUCK YOU, BITCH.
3 pedicures. after work one temperate day last summer laura and i decided to go get manicures and pedicures as a reward for spending the entire day lounging in comfortable chairs while eating delicious snacks and letting all of the calls go to voicemail. LIFE IS SO HARD. anyway, we went to this place that i can only describe as a, like, sweatshop of nails. rows of neatly lined up tables and chairs each with a masked person dressed in all white seated in front of it. stadium rows of pedicure chairs, two deep, lined up behind them on either side of the room. bright fluorescent lights illuminated the gleaming white floors below; no gross fake flowers gathering dust in the corner of the room, no disgusting vats of lukewarm wax congealing on chin-hair stubbled surfaces, no dried-out separated bottles of old-ass nail polish. this was the kind of spot where they remembered that while you loved having your toes painted pompeii purple but would choke a bitch out if she dared approach you with a bottle of miami beet. THIS IS THE APPEAL OF THE SUBURBS, leaving your car in a strip mall parking lot you don't have to pay for while waddling from starbucks to the beauty supply to panda express and fanning your nails dry.
it's the vibrating chair that got me. that and the fact that i'd opted to have my nails done first and then totally fucked them up trying to roll up my jeans so they wouldn't get soaked. homegirl looked at me like "YOU DUMB COW" and it wasn't even worth arguing with her that i was really the inconvenienced one who was going to have to spend an afternoon picking red nail polish out of denim. so i was already flushed and embarrassed and conspicuous and then that stupid vibrating chair made my pants slide halfway down my ass and all i was trying to do was scoot them up a little, all i was trying to do was not shit my pants as she forced my knee up into my chin over and over again, all i was trying to do was not further destroy the nails she'd already had to fix twice. i kicked half a gallon of water into that poor woman's unsuspecting face. and then we sat there as time froze, me praying for death while she just sat there with her hair dripping onto her shirt scowling at me. she dried herself off and finished while i felt more white guilt than any person of color ever should. then i tipped her twenty bucks. i have not been back since.
4 what my neighbors hear when they are waiting for the elevator outside my apartment. the other night my flimsy paper bag from trader joes fucking disintegrated right in front of my neighbor's apartment door. 1 i have bought approximately 6,328 of those $1.99 reusable shopping bags, yet i never fucking ever have one on my person when i find myself in a grocery store. why is that? why don't i ever know when leaving the house that i might mind up buying three boxes of fish sticks before the day is over? and 2 why they gotta look at you like a motherfucking child pornographer when you ask for a double bag for your six containers of hummus, two packages of those mini pot pies from the frozen section, and a bottle of that cheap-ass wine!? DUDE, I AM TAKING THE BUS. would i much rather be tossing this 1-ply bag of shit in the back of my prius? of course. but since i'm about to karate chop my way through the other snarling poor people crammed onto the 201 just trying to get home in a snowstorm after a grueling sixteen-hour workday, i need to make sure my gluten-free jalapeno puffs survive the trip home intact.
so i'm crouched on the floor picking up my apples and i hear this couple on the other side of the door start to have an argument. it wasn't loud, and it might not have even been an argument, but the end of the woman's sentences kept turning aggressively up, like questions that are questions but they're not really questions they are more like inferences, and i did what any courteous person would do: stopped what i was doing and paid acute attention to every single thing they were saying. from what i could tell dude was getting in trouble for responding to a text from his ex-girlfriend, and that was calling their entire relationship into question. because men who are happy don't waste time talking to sluts. LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY, MY DUDE. it went on like that for at least five more minutes, at which point i got a leg cramp and had to crawl to my apartment like an asshole. "hi helen," i whispered to the cat. "go get me some rubbing alcohol and a towel."
5 being reprimanded for sitting in a coffee shop all day using their internet. is that shit illegal? or just frowned upon? i bought three coffees and a donut, shit! LET ME TYPE.
6 taking a shit in a toilet with a weak flush. I COULD BE A FUCKING PLUMBER. i did a reading once that was held in this tiny, sweltering cafe that specialized in vegan baked goods and running out of everything else, and three readers in i knew i was going to have to take a shit. and not a normal one. no, this was the kind that feels like boiling oil sliding through your belly at breakneck speed. and i know the rules: you gotta walk in the stall and test-flush immediately, especially if the toilet has one of those little home handles. you know, the ones that look like a horizontal comma. usually i don't even fuck around with a bathroom like that, i go look for a starbucks or whatever because i already know the heartbreak that lies in wait at the end of that delicate flush. but it couldn't wait. and as i stood there sweating with the lid off pouring water into the tank so that i could activate the siphon and manually work the flush valve i promised myself that i would 1 never eat solid food before a show ever again and 2 call the number for that trade school that always advertises during maury because goddamn i am hella good at this.
7 making small talk with a cab driver. this might actually be the biggest fear i have in life for real. bigger than butt cancer, bigger than runny eggs when i asked for hard scrambled, bigger than realizing the SVU marathon i woke up special on a sunday to watch will feature only pre-ice t episodes. NOTHING ON EARTH IS WORSE THAN TALKING TO A CABBIE, and i was once in the back of a cab that stopped to solicit a prostitute on the way to my crib. i'm sorry, but i can't make conversation at two o'clock in the morning. I'M DRUNK, DUDE. or i just ate a huge dinner. or i'm sleepy. and it's taking every last bit of energy i can muster to send this five word text message, so please stop asking me which road i want you to take. and turn down that euro house mix playing on B96, but not so you can ask me "where the party is happening at." i'm just trying to watch these porn vines with my headphones on, my dude. i don't want to keep pulling the left one out so you can ask me how long i'm finna be where i'm at so you can come pick me up. SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LET ME DIE BACK HERE.
8 being out in public without my headphones. there is no greater punishment for being too poor to afford a car than having to ride public transit without protection from the banal chatter of regular humans provided by a pair of decent fucking headphones.
9 HANDING YOU MY FUCKING PHONE. omg we need to come up with a name for the stomach falling out of our butts feeling that you get the minute someone reaches for your pocket-sized dirtbag sinning machine. holy god, i had lunch with eve the other day, and halfway through the meal she asked if she could use my phone to make a call. hers had died on the way to the restaurant and we weren't seated near any outlets which didn't matter because she doesn't carry a charger with her anyway, WHAT.
my first thought: who the fuck lets her phone die in public?
my second thought: WHO THE FUCK STILL MAKES PHONE CALLS!? and if you do, whose number do you have memorized? if my phone died right now i could call work, empire carpet company (588-2300), and the police. totally fucked. my hands went clammy as i reluctantly handed that idiot my phone and watched her fumble around trying to figure out how to make a call, my stomach threatening to fall right out of my butt the entire time as her clumsy fingers grazed dangerously close to the camera and text message icons. i stared at her for the entire two minutes she chattered at her dumb boyfriend, a cold sweat forming at the base of my spine, my cheeks pink. when she finally finished i reached for the phone and she pulled away saying, "let me just look at it for a minute." and then my brain exploded.
-don't read my fucking texts. i sext a lot of people, b. and you don't deserve to read that. except that really isn't true. the real gag is that i don't want you to read how much nasty, hateful shit my people and i talk. screenshots of your stupid facebook posts, forwards of that dumb-ass email you sent. NOT NICE.
-don't check my goddamned email. 4,637 unread messages, all causing me shame as they glare up at me from that teeny illuminated screen, most from directv reminding me that my shit is totally about to get disconnected next week. i have so many drafts, so many half-started emails that i have every intention of finishing if i could just stop sleeping through my lunch break. unless you're a secretary, don't look at that shit.
-don't try to browse through my motherfucking pictures. unless you like big titties. AND PICTURES OF YOUR FATHER'S DICK.
-don't look at my goddamned voicemails. omg i have a bunch of voicemails that if anyone knew i had them shits saved and occasionally listened to them when i am bored or sad i would fall over immediately and die. also there are 37 that i refuse to check and that makes me look like a terrible person i'm totally sure.
-don't click on my internet. here are the windows i have minimized at 3:47pm on 3/13/14, hand on a stack of bibles realness:
1 CTA train tracker.
2 julep nail polish virtual store.
5 that xojane fat black lady in yoga article.
6 chicagoist 18 best brunches in chicago.
7 that weird lil jon/lazytown remix.
8 a kid mero article from complex magazine.
9 xvideo mature lesbian pajama party.
10 xvideo kinky MILF fantasy.
11 xvideo bbw loves big dick.
12 youtube dmx sings rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.
13 palimas.com at home booty.
14 palimas.com but i have a wife!
so bring a charger, bitch.
buy an extra battery, bitch.
here are some quarters for a payphone, bitch.
SEND THAT DUDE A SMOKE SIGNAL, BITCH JUST BACK UP OFF MY MOTHERFUCKING PHONE.