it’s a pasta and ramen kind of day

i am sitting here slurping on a bowl of creamy tom yum instant noodles that i made with too much water. i don’t normally eat instant noodles or food from 7-11, but tonight i did both because today sucked and i want it to choke it dead with carbohydrates.

i woke up early and went for a walk and that seemed like a promising beginning, but while i was walking i got stuck behind an old man slowly pedaling down the walking/bike path ahead of me. every few feet, he would hork a loogie to the right and then let sail a snot rocket to the left. one or two expectorations from an old dude in the morning is still fucking gross but within the realm of shit that happens, but this dude was a bicycling biohazard. i kept back and tried to avoid seeing whatever the fuck he was leaving in a trail behind him. he stopped his bicycle at the intersection and took a long drag of his cigarette and i realized he was killing himself and mindlessly spreading contagions like he’d decided the rest of us have nothing to live for. thanks, old dude.

that was fine.

i had trouble getting focused but i nailed out the last couple paragraphs of a short story that i started working on like two weeks ago and at least i have a rough draft now. i thought that would be enough joy to get me through the day, knowing i’ve finished yet another story, but no:

i went to this smoothie place at like i swear to god 12:15, it was not that late. maybe 12:20. there are a couple of tables, but just one couple at one table and that’s it. i walk in an order a smoothie and a wrap. to be clear, this is food that has to be assembled, not made, and this is basically the only food available at this place: coffee, smoothies, and three kinds of sandwiches.

i step back and look at my watch. as long as i am out of here by 12:40, i will definitely have time to bike to work. but i am certain that i will be out of there before 12:40 because that would be ridiculous. these people put lunch meat and slices of lettuce on bread for a living, they are professionals. at 12:35, the chick walks out from behind the counter and i jump up, ready to grab my stuff, and OMG SHE IS JUST BRINGING TWO FUCKING SMOOTHIES TO THESE OTHER PEOPLE. like i watched this chick cut up some strawberries, wash them all, rehome them in some tupperware, wash the plastic box they came in…and none of that was for me. i have been there twenty minutes, these people even longer. and the manager was over there interviewing a prospective employee at 12:30 AS YOU DO IN A RESTAURANT…i took a deep breath because obviously now that these smoothies are out of the way, these ridiculous fucking smoothies with fruit arranged on top like a goddamn carmen-miranda headpiece, this chick will be able to roll up some lunch meat in a tortilla and send me on my way. so i wait til 12:40 and i can’t really wait any longer, it’s gonna take me 15 minutes to get to work, and i peek over the counter AND THIS BITCH IS MAKING WAFFLES AND GRILLING CHICKEN.

i did not order waffles or chicken.

i told her i had to go, but like right now, sorry and thanks, tee-hee, and she shuffles the shuffle of the overworked and underpaid and pulls out a tupperware container with some meat in it and starts to put the beef on the grill like i have twenty more minutes to waste on her making bad life choices. finally the manager was done and also tuned in to what was happening and she saw a solution, how about i just take the chicken if i’m in such a rush?

if i had fucking wanted chicken…but fine, it’s actually too late for me to get food anywhere else at this point anyway. so there’s like US$7 which is actually pretty pricey for lunch in zhongli and like a solid 40 minutes of my life wasted getting somebody else’s overpriced lunch.

and then on the way to work, literally just riding my bicycle down the side of the road, a car passed me. i noticed she had her right turn signal on pretty much right when she turned. i slammed both my brakes, and when you do that on a bicycle, you stop dead, unless you slide for a second on your not-moving wheels, which is what i did. i was furious–i hadn’t been going slow at all and it wouldn’t have taken but a second for her to turn behind me instead of cut me off. i almost fell over the handlebars, and then the person behind me honked their horn. i was apoplectic and residually afraid for me life, so i screamed at that guy and waved my arms, “don’t fucking honk at me! it was that car!” and then that car was still there so i did what any professional elementary school teacher would do in public when she’s lost her fucking mind and i tore off down that road with the intention of i don’t know, ringing my bicycle bell at her a bunch of times and flipping her the bird.

lo and fucking behold, she’d stopped like just right there because some other jackass was doing a surprise u-turn. so she’d almost caused an accident because she had to make that right turn so fucking fast, and here she is waiting because it’s zhongli and nobody can drive and everyone double parks and the roads suck SO WHAT IS THE POINT. i got alongside her, i waved my right arm around and shouted, “you’re a real dick, you know that?” because that was what was in my heart of hearts at that moment. and then because the other car was still not pointed in the right direction i drifted past them both and then had to stop to make a left to get back on the road i was actually supposed to be on so i could go to work, since i was running late. she had to pass behind me, and when she did, i gave her the stinkiest of stink eyes, and willed the stench to stay with her the rest of the day.

of course by the time i got to school i felt bad for losing my cool–what if that had been a parent driving the car? awkward. but i also felt a teensy bit justified since she’d made me almost shit my pants.

i am afraid of ending up on youtube. i actually feel sorry for people some people who lose their shit and end up on youtube because sometimes unless they are racist or transphobic or what, i feel like i get it. there but for the grace go i…

and then i had to teach, within like an hour of me wanting to see some lady bounce her own head off her steering wheel. but that’s fine, i’m fine with the students. we made little posters and read a story about a pig named slim and it was fine. the “poo-poo” all over the floor of the boys’ bathroom was actually mud and the “blood” was actually blood, but it was just a nosebleed. all in all it was fine.

then i spent thirty minutes of my prep time looking for the shitfucking projector i was meant to use, and then thirty minutes of a forty-minute class looking for damn files on the usb because i knew that as soon as class was over, any other teacher there was going to show me where the files were and say something passive-aggressive about my being an idiot. only nobody could find the files after class and then we found the last person who had used the usb labelled “reading adventures” and found out that satan had compelled her to remove the “reading adventures” files from that usb and put whatever the hell she wanted on it.


i went to the dentist after work to try and find my health insurance card and the receptionist asked me about a dozen questions and told me to wait a minute and i kept explaining to her that i only wanted to know if i’d forgotten my health card and she kept saying it would take a minute to find out…then she finally came from the back with a file with my name on it and said you just want to know to know if we have your health card? and i said yes, and she said of course we don’t, if we did, we would call you. and since that wasn’t the dumbest thing that happened today i just accepted it.

and then the vietnamese place was closed and i could have gone to the night market but people, and i thought about going to madotz for hot pot but people, so i got pasta carbonara at 7-11 and the lady said “nihao” to me and didn’t grab anything out of my hands so that was pretty much the best part of my day so far, except for actually finishing the first draft of that story.

but i don’t have my health card so i can’t go to the doctor (without paying US$15 instead of US$3 for a doctor’s visit) so this cold is just gonna hang out here. unlike the old man, i will not force anything out of my body, i will just sit here with leaks sprouting in my eyes and nose.

at least i am not in texas. nor do i have children. and there’s still one more episode of game of thrones and a new episode of insecure.

and loads more ramen.

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