I think I saw my old boss, Chris, in the comic book store today. He'd put on about sixty pounds, and I was immediately too embarrassed to go up and talk to him. Not that I am the most gregarious person anyway, but he'd changed so much in the four years or so since I last saw him, and I, as always, am exactly the same. Also, there's the whole "I mistook you for another black guy I know, oh no I'm a fucking racist" paranoia if it didn't turn out to be him after all. I stared at him in the back mirror of the shelves for a while, wondering if he'd see me there like a spectre in candy-apple hair and dark glasses. But he didn't. So I scooted up to the front of the store and bought the Geof Darrow book I'd picked out. The clerks were chatting me up and I just wanted to run.
I didn't have any reason to be in that mall, but something wanted me to go there, and at first I thought it was so I could grab this copy of 'Shaolin Cowboy,' since I don't follow comics and I'm always missing stuff when it comes out. But as minutes passed, I became increasingly convinced it was Chris I was supposed to run into. Why not? He was a good job contact, I liked him and enjoyed working with him, and I needed to find work sooner or later anyway. So this would have been a serendipitous little meeting. Had I met him even a week later, I might've loosened up enough from the hormones to talk. But it was just me, as always. I come close to succeeding, but then I fuck it up. I'm always going to be second-rate, at best. If it wasn't for dumb luck I'd be in an alley somewhere, pushing a shopping cart.
Unlike Peggy. As I expected, half a dozen people fell over themselves to offer her a place to stay, now that she's mooched her way out of two apartments in a row. The idea that they'd let her end up on the street is laughable. I like Peggy, and I don't want to see anything bad happen to her, but I have zero sympathy for her with regard to this matter. Unlike everyone else. Yes, I'm certainly bitter. I can't help but feel I would not elicit the same level of concern, were I to find myself in a similar situation. I remember saying with great confidence that Paul was going to be in my band, but like the Beatles say, Paul is dead. That and the continuing lack of an actual band make that assertion a little problematic. Peggy, however, flourishes, despite what she may choose to believe. Could be my thinking is similarly optional.