Wednesday Vignettes.

The girl I sit next to while waiting for the nine thirty subway has yellow hair and an iPod set on maximum volume. I stick close to her while the place fills and swells. She’s got a good taste in music.

I research, type, print, scan. When I’m done I click through relevant Wikipedia articles, going from eugenics to one-child policy to adoption to social movements to Nazi Germany to Mein Kampf to eugenics.

I take the bus to my orthodontist. While she’s yanking at the metal attached to my molars I count the freckles on her nose and wonder if orthodontia is all she’s ever wanted to do. I like her, but I hate the smell of her clinic. I hate how it sticks at the back of my throat for hours.

On the street I’m stopped by a curly-haired twenty-year-old. He rambles about violence and China and biofuel for a while before asking me to purchase a protestor’s pamphlet for twenty-five cents. It’s my own fault for not moving away briskly when he’d first approached me so I hand over some spare change and duck into the Pans & Company to read it. It’s pretty trite stuff, unconvincing and easy to argue against. Half of it is, oddly enough, in Portuguese. There’s a whole section of anti-economic crisis methods that makes me laugh out loud, followed by a paragraph on the glorious benefits of Communism. I find myself considering a yearly subscription for three euros, if only to bring to school and pretend to read in front of my classmates.

I remain next to storefronts while walking down streets, catching the occasional bluster of air conditioning.

My Wikipedia interests have moved into suspicious territory. I find myself fascinated with all the articles relating to human psyche, all the accounts of human depravity, human loss, human suffering, human Pyrrhic victories. I re-read the pieces on the Virgina Tech and the Columbine High School massacres. Sitting in my chair, listening to a phone conference in the other room, thinking through all the analytical details (gunvictimsshooterpoliceinterventions) I find the stories even more harrowing then before. How old was I when Columbine happened? Six, maybe? I can still remember the television reporting with ridiculous clarity. It’s my clearest memory. That, and the feel of my school bus at nine in the morning, September eleventh, 2001. I don’t think these were my most vivid because I was deeply affected by them. I can’t actually remember feeling any sorrow whatsoever. It was just the way my environment changed, that deep uprising in society, in faces, in people that made me emerge from the membrane of my own private universe and look around and marvel. Now, while recalling those memories, I’m struck by the idea that it is only at out most primitive moments of ferocious, startled expression do we demonstrate just how human we all are.

Why do I have to go through these surreal “profound” moments while at work? I need to go photocopy something.

I pass the hours looking up information on COPD. In the back of my head, I’m formulating a story called The Iliad Plus Vampires.

I’ve got a bus pass. I’ve got a metro pass. I’ve got five euros. I’d like to think of myself as a VERITABLE CITY TRAVELLER, but this is before I nearly walk into a pole. VERITABLE CITY TRAVELLERS have better navigational skills.

I’ve never realized how many tourists frequent Valencia. Whatever for, guys? There’s some nice buildings, true. Maybe four nice buildings. There’s the Oceanografic and the Bioparc, but those both cost an arm and a leg and possibly the other leg. I don’t know if I’m being ungrateful or absurdly realistic. I don’t know much of anything these days.

Nothing particularly happy happened today and I don’t really know if I’ve gotten high off all that printer ink but walking home I get the urge to turn a few cartwheels. Maybe more than a few, all the way home.

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