And boy! my sleepy eyes sure are happy when they are with you (The Futon Blues)


I’ve noticed many of the wealthy have a sort of peaceful restfulness about them. I imagine they sleep on beds made of clouds that revitalize them and keep them hydrated, a quiet sort of condensation that osmoses into the skin, and their dreams are wispy and light and all fair-weather cumulus; they wake up rejuvenated. Whereas I awoke this morning curled up on two oversized pillows tossed on the floor and a sheet over me because at 4 in the morning, by god!  I’d had enough of my abusive relationship with my futon. Ours was a silent struggle; shit-mattress-barely-padded-metal-bars protruding into rib cages, leaving bruises, all-roll-to-the-center and claw your way out. My body couldn’t take it anymore, and besides, I find that people that don’t have wealth like me find it strangely comfortable sleeping on floors and couches.


Anyway, I woke up on the wrong side of the two-over-sized-pillows-on-the-floor. I had a feeling likened to Capote’s mean reds: “The mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid and you sweat like hell but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen only you don’t know what it is.” Do you ever get that feeling? It is strangely impotent, not knowing what you are afraid of. And that saddest part it, even if it isn’t real, even if your fears are fabrications of your own imagination—they are real, because they are real to you. Ain’t that the pits? I needed coffee in a bad way, all dark around the eyes. As I entered the coffee shop on my way to work (moving from one abusive relationship to the next) I happened upon the dewy presence of a Pierce Bronson-esque male in his 50s. He looked amazing. Not in an “I want to get biblical” kind of way, but he looked like Saint Peter—the face god wants greeting you at the pearly gates; god’s front-man.  He looked well-rested, crows feet made happy nests about his eyes as if he laughed often and in abundance. He looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world holding that coffee in his hand, slipping into the leather seats of his SUV that is probably serviced by a registered mechanic regularly. I smiled at him, but I only looked dewy from biking in the rain. Man, his cloud bed must be fucking awesome.


I guess I am going with the religious references because I am feeling strangely pious today. My boss mentioned Catholic guilt yesterday because he was raised Catholic. I am not a Catholic. But I can sympathize. I have human guilt—I feel guilty that I understand and see how fragile we all are and I can still be an asshole. I know we all do this, but I feel really guilty about it. I wish I could be nice to everyone. But that is fair-weather cumulus thinking, and I sure can’t afford that. I was in the midst of filling out copious amounts of paperwork while my boss sat across from me reading emails and supervising. Next thing I know he is looking at the pen in my hand with a look of unrequited longing. “Where’d you get that?” he asked, almost greedily, “I am jealous.” I am not going to lie. It is a nice pen. It writes real bold and smooth. I like that because I write quickly; helps with my flow of thought. I had an extra pen, although they aren’t cheap, what did I care? “Have it,” I said, holding the pen out to him. He looked taken aback. And then he looked at me accusingly, “No, I will buy my own.” I know he can afford it. I know he is looking at me like that because he does not understand how a 27 year old college graduate is still making car payments on a car that broke 10 months ago, has a tumultuous relationship with a sadistic futon for lack of funds to replace it, who lives in a shoe-box of an apartment, would give him ___________ ___________, Regional Sales Manager, a pen that I can barely afford. Something about it frightened him. I bet he is going to buy a chicken for some kid in Somalia now.


He just got back form a three-week vacation to Paris with the wife. I am looking for a cheap form of escapism that doesn’t just involve aluminum cans. Us poor folk have to latch onto the coat-tails of “vacations”, which really means living on the niceties of friends who have their shit more together than we do. But boy, three-weeks paid vacation somewhere where I don’t know another living soul sure sounds like heaven—thank you Peter, you cotton-cloud dweller. But that is just my head day-dreaming in clouds in which it doesn’t belong. I am more grounded; I did sleep on the floor this morning. Thus, I will ride the coat-tails of my friends who have their shit more together than I do and sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world— “Shasta or bust!” And I will just hope that the old adage is true, “More money more problems,” and that the ethereal glow that seems to exude from those with money is all an illusion and boy! my sleepy eyes sure are happy when they are with you.  


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