Date: 2002-11-18
Time: 11:40 a.m.

yeah hey yeah. so it was raining. I get through 4, 17, 287 no problem. tollbooths on 87, no problem. stop for gas, coffee. no problem. keep going. it starts to snow. fine, ok. pretty. whatever. then it really starts to snow, like really really. could be a problem. brights on, the world looks like starwars hyperspace. off, you can't see jack shit. fortunately no one else is on the road really but then past poughkeepsie there's a bit of accumulation. on hills the wheel jerks around, not enough to seriously fuck with you but enough to be deeply unsettling. I'm finding that I have to force myself to unclench my fingers cuz I'm gripping the wheel very very tightly.

the last leg is really horrid. there are some near-skids. insane truckers blast past me and I can feel my control of the car just teeter on the edge. but it's ok cuz I get to troy ok. but then wait, there are no parking spaces near my house. I'm like what the fuck. this is TROY. there couldn't possibly be this many people in the place. I go around the block in disbelief twice berfore realizing what it is: there are two fucking RVs parked on the legal side of the street across from my house. that's a contributing factor for sure. fine. sure. resignedly, I park on the other side of the block. get out and haul all my fucking shit in the fucking SNOW stepping in SLUSH PUDDLES back around the block home.

get in. call laura. mmmmmmmmm.

but then I sort of stare into space for a little while. I'm very dazed at this point. it's kind of really nice cuz basically my brain is as off as it's going to get; that is to say, it's still running but all my thoughts are kind of fragmented and I'm blissfully not formulating any grand conclusions about life and whatnot, like thank fucking god. but so yeah I stare off for like a half hour w/ the lights down low and then go to sleep.

I wake up and my head hurts. water, advill, coffee. I go downstairs. I open my suitcase. I realize that I left the fucking macy's bag containing the other new white shirt I got and the other new pair of boxers, fresh and unopened, in the hotel on friday night. like all it takes is a glance at the stuff in there and I instantly know this and fine yeah yeah so right off I'm definitely shaking. yes. not a happy way to start a morning, right? but so then I unplug and close my laptop. the sleepy stroby doesn't come on. it remains dark. fine, w/ this new one and jaggie it sometimes takes a moment, right, but so I open it up and it doesn't come on. I hit the power switch and it doesn't come on. I hit it again. I turn off the cd I'd put on and hit it again and listen intensely. NOTHING. I get it to work by pulling the battery but now I'm freaked the fuck out. I still am w/r/t this actually.

fine so I throw my shit in my bag and walk around the block. there's my car. I get in the car. I put the bag on the seat next to me. I look out the window. there's a ticket on the window. I stare at this for a moment. I had checked the signs last night and I was sure that this was a legal space. like sure sure. like I want no beef with that type of shit. I really thought it was. but whatever so I get out and look at the ticket. it's for one hundred and forty dollars. a parking ticket. one hundred and forty fucking dollars. I look at the reason. it says 'handicapped zone'. definitely definitely shaking, I turn and walk slowly, dreamily almost back to the fucking sign and stare up at them. no mention of handicapped. no little vector wheelchair logo thing.

then, this guy parked behind me who has is window open says to me, "it's printed there on the street." he's sitting in a old maroon chevvy blazer with rust in the wheelwells. he's wearing a tan cap with earflaps and his face is almost comically red. pointy chin, blue eyes, stubble. I swivel my head slowly and now that some of last night's blanketing of snow has melted I can in fact percieve a few blue lines that I'm sure in the total absence of accumulated precipitation would just scream 'handicapped'.

I look at the dude in the car. he looks at me. I say, "what?"

"It's printed, right there on the street. Handicapped." he smiles humorlessly. I look again. a few blue lines, and slush.

"Are you a cop? Did you give me this?" I ask idiotically.

He smiles a tiny bit more genuinely. "Aha, erm no." pause. "I would just let you go!" he concludes, with the most minute of shrugs.

... the rest is just me getting in the car and screaming and screaming and screaming and turning the radio up all the way and trying very very hard not to drive angrily as I go to the dunkin donuts in a miserable attempt to start my day normally. after standing in line and getting the typical coffee and typical bagel and the atypical donut I sometimes get to convince myself that the morning routine isn't always drearily the same, I get back in the car. music on. same music. not the doves anymore but something retarded off a mix. slush everywhere. parking ticket wet and festering in my jacket pocket. I just want to drive. I showed up here to work yeah and now I'm writing this but I want to drive drive drive. just not stop. like whatever. the gas tank is a little more than half-full and maybe I need new tires but what fucking ever. if I can feel the backpressure of the gas pedal and the corresponding push-pull of the engine running then fine. but not work. not now. not all this.