Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Does anyone else want to murder people at the supermarket?

Just grab a can of pineapple and not stop swinging until the man with the bullhorn tells you to put the weapon down? Who moves this slow without a reason? There are handicapped mosquitos trapped in amber that move faster.

I must be missing something. Maybe they have a new disability I haven't heard about because I don't pay attention to the news. Where I live the news is sports highlights that segue sans transition into yet another barn that burned down. In the almost eight years I've lived here, no one has found a way to keep barns from burning down. Additionally, no one has found a magic formula to regrow teeth, so the witnesses to said barn burnings continue to look like pale human jack-o-lanterns.

When I worked at a grocery store as a stock boy, I called the slow people "moths". They'd hover in the aisle, facing the shelf, presumably performing an incantation to find the cheapest kind of corn. I'd stand there, holding a pallet of product meant to go right where they were standing. Did the product packaging paralyze the part of their brain responsible for awareness? Was my work shirt an invisibility cloak? They must get bad reception on Planet I'm-The-Only-One-Who-Matters.

In moments of true honesty, which are rare, I realize I'm the problem. I have no patience. That's not the full picture, though; I have plenty of patience, but it's long term patience.

Long term patience is save your paycheck, gravy is not a condiment, you don't know that girl well enough to kiss her patience. I can live a successful life because I have long term patience, and I'm thankful for that.

Short term patience is what I don't have. What that means is that my brain, without asking me if it was okay, put together a list of things that should happen instantaneously. When anything on that list takes a single second longer than my brain decrees it should, adrenaline dumps into my system like I'm running with the bulls at Pamplona.

Single second is not an exaggeration. My brain is an arrogant bastard. "I move at the speed of thought," it says, "why shouldn't everything else?" Because of that unrealistic expectation, I get kicked around all day long by that high and mighty grey jerk.

If I open a tab, and Chrome gives me that spinning circle instead of the page I want...

If the light turns green, and the car in front of me doesn't slam on the gas immediately...

If I tilt my phone, and it lags as it switches from vertical to horizontal...

All of those first world problems tell my brain that it just got locked in a room with twelve naked rapists on crystal meth and it better pump out the hormones to deal with that problem. I instantly go from normal human being to normal human being trapped in a prison shower, incoherently shouting at a universe that wants him dead and defiled for reasons he doesn't understand.

There is nowhere worse for my short term patience problem than traffic.

The town I live in - burning-barn-jack-o-lantern town - has traffic that's disproportionate to its size. It takes me half an hour in the morning to drive five miles. Not hyperbole. Six minutes a mile, while an admirable target for a runner, is not acceptable for a city of this size. Los Angeles has traffic that bad or worse, but we have 3% the population they do. Again, not hyperbole - I did the math. I did the math while sitting in traffic, because it's that slow.

So I sit there, my entire being a boiling cauldron of rage, loathing, and impatience. I press the button on my gear shift repeatedly, praying to whatever god will have me that just once rockets will shoot out of the front of my car. Just once. I watch the blinking lights as they sync up, pass one another, and sync up again. I think about frequency, sine waves, and wish I knew enough physics to solve this problem.

It's too late, though- this city's streets were built by a hobo who had a bet with the Planning Commission, and by god, he won the bet - he could read blueprints while double fisting Mad Dog 20/20. Sucks to everyone who thought differently.

Sometimes, in traffic, I wonder if the streets weren't built this way on purpose, as opposed to in a drunken haze. They look kind of like a bicycle wheel from space, or maybe some kind of eye. What if they're a summoning rune, like those found in the Lesser Key of Solomon?

What if the roads, avenues, and boulevards are really the sigil of a demon lord, and the impatience, frustration, and accumulated dark emotions of a thousand drivers are fueling his advent? What if every day I participate in the dark necromancy of the transportation system, and when The Beast rises, I'll have no one to thank but myself?

I knew my impatience was going to kill me eventually.


  1. Looks like you've got a little leftover stock boy angst.

    Pears, pears, pears!

  2. That's the funniest thing I've read since I devoured an Enquirer while I stood in line at the checkout. Here I sit, all by myself, laughing out loud and making the dog nervous. Thanks. I needed that.