The Tire: My Harbinger of Doom

At the end of August I will become unemployed. I intend fill the time leading up to my unemployment by writing. I can absolutely promise you that each post will be as banal and unimportant as this. 

This is, before all else, a promise to myself that I won’t spend my final months with HBO exclusively watching HBO.

Today, for instance, I watched Showtime. 

This afternoon I discovered a tire in my driveway. It was 3:00pm, and I was leaving the house for the first time in twenty-four hours. I was concerned enough by this oddity to consider researching the phenomenon, afraid, obviously, that a tire in the driveway marked the spot of a future burglary.

Burglars were heavy on my mind as they make regular appearances in the waking dreams that accompany my falling asleep. Perhaps not burglars, exactly, but plotters. Plotters who make residence, rather unsafely, I hasten to add, in the uppermost branches of tenuously rooted backyard trees—the only spot from which one could watch me attempt sleep in my second-floor room. The plotters wait and watch. For what, I don’t know, but I’m sure this tire has something to do with it. Occasionally they are joined by plotters on the other side of the house. On those rare occasions the established back-yard treehouse plotters communicate by morse code—assuming, of course, that morse code also works by way of flashlights—to the upstart laddered front yard plotters.

At any rate, I rolled the tire across the street. Then I went to see Rock of Ages, a movie which gave me ample time to consider the plotters in my window and imagine the many ways they were working on their own long-con. It also allowed me to imagine the inherent percussive potentialities in pole-dancing, an occupational boon I had not considered. Plastic heels on plastic floors sound like a snare, especially with Mary J. Blige at the helm, assuredly asserting to a novice singer-turned-stripper that any way one wants it is, in fact, the way one needs it. As long as one isn’t you and and it is money and you can climb up a pole using only your quadriceps and gluteus.

It’s a remarkable movie because it reminded me that More than Words is a song—the first popular song, in fact, that I learned to play on my hand-crafted Spanish Classical Guitar, an instrument meant for Romance and Bach but deployed for Extreme, Hootie and the Blowfish and Bon Jovi. It’s a movie that’s remarkable because it reminded me that I cannot, in fact, do anything. Most notably, I cannot control the muscles in my upper legs. Or lower legs. But also, I cannot move to Los Angeles, or anywhere else, and start again. I am too cynical for that. Too cynical to hope that any one talent could ever give me a living wage. And too naïve to imagine a life wherein a subscription to HBO is not a basic necessity subsumed within the category “living wage.”

I feared that the tire would have made its way back to my driveway by evening. But I can see it, safely on the curb, directing the burglars to the house across the street. There are no harbingers, only cushy, half-realized hallucinations whose power dissolves by turning on a lamp.

The anxiety is real, though. Windows and mirrors and shadows can play a mighty trick. And I wonder what Los Angeles, or, more daringly, a life without HBO might bring.

Listening: Moonrise Kingdom Official Soundtrack // Hanna Official Soundtrack

Reading: Crime & Punishment // Slate’s excellent coverage of the ‘Girls‘ finale

(Soon) Watching: Girls // Nurse Jackie

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