Nothing seems real. This morning I had a cat, a girlfriend, a job, and an apartment – and in the course of the last few hours, I lost it all.
To tell the truth, my girlfriend was the least surprising of my losses. She had a laundry list of demands that no man in this world could ever meet. She constantly nagged about the state of my apartment, my tardiness for dates and my choice of clothes. So I was relieved when I received the wake-up text telling me she would no longer waste another moment of her life on my pathetic, sorry ass. I was glad to be out of that hostage situation.
As I headed to work, my squat landlord approached me along with a large bald-headed gent carrying about a pound of keys attached to his belt. As soon as my hand left the handle, the large man bowled me over and commenced to change the locks on my apartment. I stood aghast as my landlord read to me the eviction notice and his rights to repossess my apartment and everything in it. My eyes glazed over at all of the jargon he threw at me, but I nodded just the same at his every accusation. Yes, I was terrible at paying my rent. Had it really been over four months since I made a payment? Really, I couldn’t remember.
I did a quick mental inventory of the place before I turned on my heels and left him spouting off something about the deposit. There wasn’t much I was leaving behind. There was certainly nothing in the fridge. The tv was borrowed, the cable stolen. The mattress I found in a vacant lot. There were a few clothes and toiletries, but nothing that couldn’t be replaced. Everything else I needed, I carried in my backpack.
As I stepped out of the building, I looked up at my apartment window. My cat stared down at me. I waved, only to receive the same indifference he had always shown me.
“Ungrateful cretin. I see how it is.” I shouted to the window. The cat lifted his head and disappeared from view. Probably in cahoots with the landlord, I thought. “Well, go eat your steak and caviar then,” I yelled, ensuring I got the last word.
When I arrived at work, my boss approached my desk.
“Not today, Frank.” I said. “I have already had a shitty morning.”
Frank, apparently didn’t give a shit about my shitty day as he asked me to come into his office. I was late, again. No surprise. At least I had a valid excuse today. Who can reprimand a guy who has been just been evicted and dumped all in less than two hours of being awake? A guy by the name of Frank, that’s who.
“I’m sorry, but rules are rules, man.” Frank said with a hint of I’m-better-than-you.
“But I …” I started.
“All the ‘buts’ in the world can’t get you out of this one.” Frank interrupted, shaking his head. “Better just collect up your things and hit the road.”
Head down, I did just that.
Not knowing what to do with myself, I wandered the streets before ending up here, in a random park, in a random part of town. I take off my shoes and lie on my back in the sun-dappled shade of a sugar maple tree. Closing my eyes, I feel a slight breeze tickle the hairs on my arms. I feel the coolness of the grass on my feet, fresh from daily care. I hear children playing on the nearby playground and birds singing to each other while a plane flies high overhead. A sensation washes over me as I realize I don’t give a fuck about what happened this morning. That stuff is just stuff. I didn’t lose anything. This is what’s real. Right here, right now. This is where I want to be.