Thursday, November 14, 2019

Parking the Car :: Short Story New York Papers

Parking the Car Today has been like most days. I wandered in a dreamlike state from class to class, across a campus with falling fiery leaves, up three flights of beer-stained stairs, into a room littered with the debris of my chaotic existence, and straight back into a chronically unmade bed. I chased images and thoughts in my mind, getting nowhere, while faintly aware of music drifting from my computer. I closed my eyes without trying, and dreamt without sleeping, and thought without thinking real thoughts. I spent as much time luxuriating in nothingness as I could, before the bar of guilt and responsibility clamped down on my shoulders, compelling me to do homework, to think about thinking. Now it is back to nothingness. I am lying on our dorm room floor delighting in an unexpected snack. "This is damn good stuff," I say, shoving a tortilla heaped in salsa into my greedy mouth. "This is amazing," Thea agrees, shutting her eyes to intensify the already orgasmic experience of eating homemade chunky salsa. I disregard the desperate and pained pleas of my hall mates as small pieces of tomato fly from my overloaded tortilla onto the rug. The poor chip is terribly weighed down and breaking under the pressure, causing salsa to slide off on all sides. I remember that in a moment of frenzied sanitary obsession last week, I actually cleaned the toilet. There is, therefore, no reason to be clean now. I recline in a salsa-induced stupor, squinting in vague curiosity at a plate of cookies in the kitchen. I try to ignore them, but I just can't. Eat us, they hiss. I saunter lethargically into the kitchen and engage in a momentary face-off with the provocative plate of cookies. My heart speeds up for a moment as I weigh the attributes of each cookie. I don't want to make a mistake and take the wrong cookie. That always happens, and I end up resenting my cookie and asking it why it can't be more like the other cookies. I finally settle on the biggest one, though it does seem to have fewer raisins than the others, a drawback that bothers me. Nonetheless, I secure my fingers around the cookie in a defensive death-grip, which means I'll be eating a cookie as well as a little bit of everything else I've touched today. Oh well.

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