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Showing posts from September, 2017

Origins 1

I am named after my father, though I don’t know why. Perhaps my parents simply didn’t have any other ideas at the time. I wasn’t expected, after all. O, I’m sure I was expected eventually, and certainly by the time the actual birth came along, but I was not expected at the beginning. Not “planned” is the term I’m looking for, I suppose.
I remain, to this day, unconvinced that a sequel to my father was, strictly speaking, necessary. From him, I’ve inherited little but my tendency towards depression and alcoholism.
Dad was in the Navy and later on worked as a truck driver, then as a welder, and for many years, as a sheet metal fabricator, whatever that is, or was. He was, for a time, a member of the Teamsters Union.
Several years before I happened along, while Dad was driving extremely large trucks all over the country, he was in an accident during which he got thrown through the windshield of his extremely large truck. They say he died for a time, but he got better.
There came a day when…

The panhandler

(based on a true interaction, with apologies to Thomas Bernhard)
I am not Hispanic, said the panhandler, to me, as I passed him, and he wasn’t. I know this because I am, said the panhandler, in the absence of a more precise term, a panhandler, and according to the theory which I have arrived at, said the panhandler, over many years of arriving, it is not possible for me to be both.
It is possible for me to be a panhandler, said the panhandler, according to this theory of mine, in the absence of a more precise term, a term not synonymous with homeless, not synonymous with beggar, the latter term which has fallen out of societal favor at any rate; it is possible for me to be Hispanic, or if you prefer, Latino, but it is not possible for me to be both a panhandler, which I am, said the panhandler, and to be Hispanic, which I am not. The Venn diagram, under this theory of mine which I have arrived at, over many years of arriving, simply does not allow for such a scenario. The two terms are…

Forbidden text

I arrived early. I have always arrived early, at all places and times, it is a point of pride with me learned from my mother, and truth be told I shall probably arrive early to my very grave. But on the morning of which I write here, I arrived at the Federal Department of Licensing even further ahead of time than was normal for an arrival, for me.
It was an important day.
The building itself – the Federal Department of Licensing, I mean – was so entirely nondescript that I can think of nothing to say of it here despite considerable efforts. It was not even bland, for had it been, then I would have something to remark upon, wouldn’t I?
In a waiting room, eventually, a hood was placed over my enormous head and I was marched seventy-three steps to another room, where sounds echoed more. I took seventy-three steps to get there but ninety-seven steps, later on, upon my return to the waiting room. I cannot account for this difference. Whether I took smaller steps or the hall had grown longer s…

Labor day

It was Labor Day again and I was laboring. At last. Or maybe not “laboring,” not really, all that sweat-of-the-brow exertion the word implied, to me – the kind of work my father once performed – but still, I was working. Shifting papers around with great intention and malice aforethought.
On Labor Day.
I had no desire to wait for Labor Day to work again. That was not something I would plan to do, like that. No. But my office closed for a week on account of Harvey and then I found myself sitting there, alone, trying to run through five days’ work in an eight-hour holiday.
My phone rang. The office one, I mean. It broke some Great Unwritten Rule, didn’t it?, probably unwritten, or at least a universal understanding that one does not call an office phone on Labor Day.
But I answered the phone and a voice came out sounding surprised. “Mister Hamid?” I stopped the shifting of my various papers. “This is Chip for XXY Corp., calling about the Banta matter.”
I told you about Banta. Before. I to…