Angst in the Kingdom
After work today I was so goddamn tired that when I finally got home I laid down for what I thought was gonna be a short nap and then woke up 3 hours later starving. And in order to go to the store to buy some food I had to put on a rather hurried ensemble of Adidas running pants, t-shirt and a black hoodie worn under my leather jacket and as I was crossing the lobby on my way out some idiot that I know who lives in the building asked “Are you going to a rave?”
“Me?” I said. “A rave? And like at a quarter to nine pm at night, so like what? A rave matinee maybe?” But in reality I really wasn’t in the mood to answer such allegations so I was short and as usual a bit of a smartass and like I already thought that this guy was an asshole but did he really need to prove it to me? And residing in my brain was the burning temptation to just say “Fuck off dude I need something to frigg’in eat and you and your useless banter are in my way!” Yet I didn’t and ignoring whatever else it was that he was saying I let his words wither away behind me as I headed out the door.
Unfortunately, because most of the stores in my neighborhood were already closed for the night, I was going to have to really scrounge for something to eat as my only prospect for attaining nourishment was Jacks Liquors and what was available there was gonna be either rotten, radiated or repulsive. And after the obligatory wandering amongst the racks of glossy porn magazines and dust covered shelves containing the usual array of outdated canned foods the only thing that looked the least bit enticing was a giant bag of white cheese flavored popcorn. Only not the organic kind with its declarations of no trans fats and imitation flavors or undue maiming of small animals in order for the popped kernels to all look exactly the same. Because there’s absolutely nothing organic at Jacks except maybe the grime on the floor and you know? I’m beginning to think that Ahmed – the owner, is a clandestine cheesy popcorn dealer. Because I’m craving these frigg’in things all the time now and I’m up to a couple a bags a week and I can see those dollar signs reflecting in his eyes every time I drag my cheesy puff jonesing ass into his store and its getting me a little pissed off!
However it could be entirely possible that these unfounded recriminating accusations of mine maybe a tad off base. Because as far as I can remember I was the one that bought the first bag and with no subliminal coercing on Ahmed’s part either. So what am I to do here? Get angry at myself for hav’in an overly processed saturated fat laden junk food habit that even with my grandiose sense of denial I’d still be hard pressed to consider it one of the major food groups? And as a finite quotient in this equation does my anger serve any actual purpose other than to mask the real problem which is that I’m eating garbage and making excuses in order to do so?
Obviously anger is a pretty volatile emotion and one that is very prevalent as its what’s most often expressed in my neighborhood and usually with some pretty tragic results. Yet it still seems to be the most common denominator of communication whether one is happy or sad or just shooting the breeze with the homeboys over a forty ounce or two while standing in the hazy shadows under the freeway. And as far as that etiquette thing that we as kids were forced to memorize? Those words like excuse me, please or thank you? Well, they’ve all been so discarded and forgotten that when once in a great while I actually do hear them being used out here on the streets they tend to sound like a foreign language.
Though tonight on my way back to my apartment with this bag of forbidden polyunsaturated bits of excessiveness clutched tightly in my hand the usual voices of discontent are drifting out of the alley. Way over there where the streetlight’s been busted out leaving the outer edges mired in darkness, and what type of argument it is that’s fermenting I have no idea. But its loud and getting louder collimating in smashing bottles and the thud of bodies colliding and then it all fades, only to start up again further down in the darkness as it continues out of sight and soon to be lost from my mind.
Yet I’ve go to ask myself – have I got this all wrong here? As maybe its just the tone or the inflection that I find about as subtle as the gnashing of teeth and maybe what is being said in these harsh undertones is really “I love you!” After all we as a society hardly ever exhibit compassion for one another anymore and is it like when we were kids and we showed love by bashing our friends in the head because we didn’t know what else to do? Yet is this really what I am hearing or like a lot of things these days is it just the grumblings of the disgruntle who are pontificating the universal language of hatred and the predominant atmosphere is just the emissions of the disassociated or the depressed or the downtrodden or any “D” type word that I can think of as it all comes out the same in the end.
Only here I am eating processed genetically altered corn particles with what probably amounts to filtered whey waste as a cheese flavoring and maybe, just maybe, the populace that’s fed the byproducts of industry whose actual nutritional value has been disregarded in the name of a fast profit is rising up angry through malnutrition and do we really want our nation’s obese kids brain-dead from genetic starvation? The very same ones that we supposedly coax away from drugs in order for there to be a future yet as they munch altered genocide inducing hors d’oeuvres does something else click in their neuron receptors and instead of empathy and compassion there’s the total disregard for all humanity?
It just doesn’t seem like there’s much chance of change if we keep going at this same mental tilt and what’s food for thought is the question of what’s causing this climate that is evolving. And is the daily diet of disrespect the only reason that our urban communities are in turmoil? Or is it really the high octane malt liquors and the heavily polluted narcotics? Or is it just that capitalism as a profit margin eats its young, its old and its poor in order for the prevailing one percent to gain?
Yet as I make my way through the piles of rubbish under the freeway there’s that old dude sitting there under the single working streetlight that illuminates my side of Third Street and he’s eying my bag of popcorn like it was a four course meal or something. And do I flow my goods to this man? Or do I save him from polluting his arteries with regurgitated palm oils and just keep the suspect bounty for myself? And in the end either way just who am I really saving here?