Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I May Not Have a Lot to Give / But What I've Got I'll Give to You

Sometimes you ride the subway alone, reading a book, listening to some music. Other times you're standing, squashed against an old man's butt. But every once in a while you get to sit across the aisle from one of your favorite singers, whose album will always remind you of nighttime in the summer, driving outside of Cleveland. However, this reverie will be punctuated by a man and his five children breaking into their rendition of "Can't Buy Me Love," complete with tambourine and guitar.

Actually, I would give an arm to be listening to anything right now, including a tambourine at close range. I forgot to bring any CDs with me and my friggin' iPod is dead because, well, because I forgot to charge it, so I guess I can't really pass the blame on any of this. Instead of humming along to something and secretly tapping my foot, I'm listening to the hum of the photocopier and catching the occasional line of inappropriate conversation drifting out of the offices. You'd be surprised by the amount of lascivious verbal offal that finds its way to my ears. Highlights:

You think he wanted to SLEEP with me? He didn't want to SLEEP with me! He's MARRIED. [Creepy pause] You think I could've slept with him...?

[on the phone] Yeah, so, you know, we went out to dinner, saw the movie, told everyone goodbye, you know, then went home and made A WHOLE LOTTA NOISE.

Minus the naughty bits, the majority of what I can hear is just desperately boring office conversation. It's actually so boring I'm convinced there's a way to use it as a weapon. This, I swear to God, is the conversation going on right outside my cube right this very minute:

Man 1: This looks okay. It's kind of fuzzy.
Man 2: Yeah. It is a little fuzzy. It's okay, though.
Man 1: Shame.
Man 2: It would be okay if it weren't so fuzzy.
Man 1: Did they try to blow it up or something? Is that why it's all fuzzy?
Man 2: I don't know. It is pretty fuzzy.
Man 1: Well, I'll call down. I'll see if we can get a good one. One that's not so fuzzy.
Man 2: Yeah, it'd be okay if it weren't so fuzzy.

The only way I can make it through the rest of the day is by convincing myself they're talking about Man 1's genitals.

You know who I find more fascinating than anyone else in the world? Those people who manage to look naked even when they're wearing the most conservative of outfits. There's a naked girl who works in my office who wore a full suit yesterday and still managed to look positively stitchless. It's a weird and paranoia-inducing circumstance; does she know she's a naked person? Jesus, am I a naked person? Are you? Why, oh why wasn't this covered as one of Descartes' Meditations? Was he a naked person?

If you're picturing Rene Descartes naked right now, my job here is finished.


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