Tuesday, December 28, 2021

I was in a music store and impulsively bought a guitar, an Epiphone Les Paul. The cashier was Will Ferrell. “Does it come with a case?” I asked. Indeed it did. Will produced a soft gig bag from behind the counter. I oohed and ahed like it was something beautiful, amazing. The total was $177 and something cents. I handed him $180. He fumbled around the drawer, looking for change. He didn’t seem to have the correct denominations of bills and coins. “Am I overpaying for this guitar?” I asked, thinking it was a fabulous joke. “I am not going to overpay for this guitar!” On my way home with it I wondered what I was going to tell S. What the hell did I need another guitar for anyway? I didn’t imagine choosing to play it over my regular one.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

I was at work, in what looked like a cafeteria, taking a break, maybe at the end of the day. I was reading a Don Delillo book and two colleagues sat nearby. One mentioned how much he liked Delillo. “It’s not for simpletons,” he remarked.

“I think if he heard you say that,” I said, “he might accuse you of—”


“Condescension. Being condescending.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

I was on a trip to a casino with coworkers and friends and some people I don’t know. The theme of the casino was the albatross. We looked for a place to eat. As usual there were dozens of restaurants in far-flung corners of the place, which sprawled over a vast area and included a main building and multiple wings and annexes. It was hard to keep the group together as we moved through these spaces. I located two options after searching what was best on my phone, Mexican and Asian. As we progressed, I found myself with different subgroups of people. We’d have a quick chat. I wondered when someone would sit down at a table to gamble but no one ever did.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Our electrician was also a bookie for NFL games. He carried around big cards with each game and its point spread written on them. He pointed out my Eagles hat and asked how they were doing, as though he didn’t know. So-so, I said. Still have a decent shot at the wildcard. They need to beat Washington tomorrow. And the Cowboys and the Giants. He charged $460 for whatever he had done. My pockets were full of crumpled-up foreign money, euros and Caribbean dollars and shit. I wondered whether I’d have to go to the ATM.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

J.D. was opening a restaurant. The first day didn’t go great. It wasn’t in the best neighborhood but I told him that shouldn’t matter. Plenty of great restaurants are in shitty neighborhoods. What he needed was a lighting design consultant. “Spend ten thousand dollars on one,” I suggested. That sum seemed about right. High but worth it considering. “You need warm, low lights,” I said. “It needs to be cozy.” I hadn’t seen the dining area but I supposed it was marred by high, bright, inhospitable light. Then I went through a door and looked around it. In fact the lights were pretty nice. But there was something off about the place. The decor didn’t hang together right somehow. I told him he needed to spend twenty thousand dollars on an interior design consultant. His eyes widened at the price. Now I felt like I might be exaggerating. But I said tens of thousands of dollars is worth it if it means the survival of his restaurant.

Monday, December 06, 2021

Desolate dream about falling behind in college. I resolved to work harder, to attend all my classes, including that one I hadn’t been to in months. It all seemed extremely important and also impossible. B.S. had given me his embroidered Grateful Dead jean jacket and I wore it even as we’d had a falling out.

Friday, December 03, 2021

I was on a plane and I thought of the Twilight Zone episode where William Shatner sees a monster on the wing. Then it started to happen, except I was watching it like it was a movie, a longer, scarier remake starring a trendy young actor. He was on the phone in his seat trying to get work done while the beast was doing its thing outside.

I was contemplating a job with a realm of new responsibilities, mostly financial—signing off on this or that. There would be opportunities for corruption. Would I stay on the straight and narrow? I thought yes.