The Unpaid Internet Content Provider was talking to himself again. I was standing relatively nearby with absolutely no part to play in what could be construed as a stilted conversation. If I yawned, which I did, it was in retaliation. In that way, I was able to pretend with a sophisticated world weary affectation that I had heard it all before. Ennui has been proven in many instances to be an effective face saving device when used as directed. In that way, I was in no danger of losing my joyous bundle of vital self-esteem. The tonality of the exchange shared many similarities with the call and response of a well tuned gospel choir, but without the the rhythm, the rhyme, or the reason.
Finally, with a modicum of modern attitude, I declared, “I’m standing right here.”
In kind, he replied, “You wouldn’t understand.”
He was right. But, I did not ask precisely how he knew. I was afraid he might have a good answer, a better answer than mine.
I said, “But, still.”
The Unpaid Internet Content Provider prefers to talk to himself because he claims to be such a good, heady listener, which is a rarity these days, what with all of the high achieving sugars, acids, fats, and artificial elixirs in ascendant positions of power. Once petroleum wildcatters hooked up with corn oil drillers on a recipe for steamy hot pudding that causes virtual blindness it was die cast and game over.
“How am I supposed to know if you don’t tell me?”
He said, “Your point?”
“It’s no way to communicate effectively.”
He said, “Works for me.”
I briefly had a rejoinder but lost it in the maze. Instead, I yawned again. All too soon, steam emanating from the pudding overtook me. My breathing became as shallow as my convictions. Unless that was admixed fog and haze. To the best of my recollection I still had a pot to stir prior to the arrival of the teen twins for my week in custody. No one can prove to me that my priorities are crooked.
I said, “You’ll have to leave now.”
“I don’t get what the yin twin has against me.”
“She’s not alone. She’s a twin.”
The highly chronicled deficits in attention and memory due to the cramming of pharmaceutical mandates into the chill format of catchy pop tunes may not be as they seem. Coercive foodstuffs with leaden sweeteners, too. That’s largely due to the vibrant artificial color talking trash to the snappy packaging on the inside. Real deficits don’t have to be erased when not included in vital wry algorithms from the get-go. Who remembers how it all began when Chubby Checker twisted his prominent hips and shook in black and white all over? No one present and accountable, that’s who. Walt Disney became frozen in place and likely Dick Clark, too. A coincidence? As if.
According to the same staid chronicles, the favored way to get ahead and win your eternal race by the grace of a wrinkled neck, with no unsightly lather foaming at the nose and mouth to spoil the view deep inside of an open casket, is to slave hard for the man. In earnestly doing so, remember to leave the attitude at home. Hit the bricks hard with all you’ve got. Don’t stop ’til you drop. That way, it is alleged by the man that the numbers will one day add up.
“Who’s this hot shot he you keep talking about who’s supposed to be such a big deal?”
“It’s the mass expression of a singular pronoun.”
I was explaining the harmless nuances of verbal give-and-take to myself after the Unpaid Internet Content Provider left. It is a topic on which honest professional opinions may differ. My moderate bass tone did not constitute criteria for a hypomanic episode, however. I am fairly certain of that objective reality. Certifiable categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revisions, (DSM-IV-TR), are moderately rigid on that point. I remained as aware of fleeting surface phenomena as ever. I was looking forward to reading the hot parts in the 5th edition coming soon. I honestly felt as if I qualified as a sentient creature. Superficial honesty is not to be overlooked. My skin exhibited mere minute traces of clamminess. The sky was pressed close like a vise and I honestly felt a distinct cooling trend coming on that was plenty strong enough to emit the chill willies.
When the teen twins arrived, though, I felt strongly as if something nearby was missing. There was no clash and clatter of disposable objects. Was I now not not hearing things correctly, too?
I said, “Where are your heavy backpacks with the disposable objects that break so frequently?”
In harmony, I heard, “School’s out for Summer.”
Their triumphant song and dance had a familiar, monotonous beat. The fix was in. I heard the thin lifeblood of hip-hop mixed with the rusted remains of heavy metal. Attitude, attitude, attitude. Another win by a questionable TKO.
In response, I thought, uh-oh.
I tried to duck but it was too late for my side. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Attitude, like electricity, did not have to be invented. There has always been a there there.
The pot I continued to stir contained roots, branches, sticks, stems. How many more lies did I need to believe to be full? Only one nervy spice bit back hard. I had expected the teen twins to ask for seconds. Now, mere language failed me.
I said, “As you can see, I’m stirring a pot here?”
“I need a ride.”
“You just got here.”