The breaking of stuff actually started last week with the demise of my 15-year old CD player. It's kinda hard to get upset about that, 15 years is a good run. So I hooked a DVD player to the stereo- and the fucking DVD player breaks. The damn drawer refused to open, trapping my Peter Tosh CD inside. On-off. Press buttons. Cajole. Plead. Threaten.
Finally, I used a screwdriver to open it. The patient did not survive the operation.
This still isn't too bad-I've got a turntable, so this gives me an excuse to convert my LP's to CD's; something I've been meaning to do for years. Got a brand new spindle of blank CD's all set to go. Put one in the CD recorder, cue up some Lou Reed and : NO DISC.
Remove the NO DISC and put in another. Same thing. Oh crap. I can afford another CD player, but not another recorder. Almost panicking, I go upstairs and put the offending CD into the 'puter. NO MEDIA PRESENT. Try another disc. The same result, over and over. The entire batch of discs are bad, which is much better than my recorder going down. No major disaster-I think I even have the CD reciept somewhere.
Monday, my wireless phone/answering machine breathes it's last. At first,it seems the battery just needed charging, but after further investigation it turns out to have completely lost it's will to live. OK. I've got other phones.
Tuesday,I break a string on my bass. I don't think I've ever broken a bass string before. No spares on hand, so I watch TV instead. It doesn't break, but sometimes I wish it would.
Yesterday, I regret not replacing the phone. I can't screen calls on my old-school phone. It's the cable people-my bill is overdue. No, it's not. I just checked my bank account, and that payment cleared today. As soon as I hang up ,the cursed thing rings again. A young sounding woman asks for me by full name. Figuring it's Comcast again, I hang up. Rings again. "Is this Allan xxxx who went to such-and-such High School?" Yeah, Ok, I'll bite.
Who is calling?
This is Debbie Xxxx!
( Using my work voice) What can I do for you Debbie?
Don't you remember me? From Journalism class? Sixth period?
No.(I haven't one bloody clue who this chirpy bird is)
Well,what are you doing now?
I'm drinking beer and reading old comic books.
(A pause, a nervous girlie giggle)No, silly. I meant for a job.
Nothing. I do nothing.
(Pause) I'm sorry. I didn't know...
Don't be. The pay is good. By the way, how did you get my number?
Er, your cousin gave it to me. I'm calling to invite you to our 20th class reunion. It's next month! (I make a mental note to kick the shit out of my cousin)
Oh. Well, I'll be sure to be there. Send my invitation to -(I give her the address of a pizzeria in Newark)
I thought you lived in Richmond?
Oh. Well, I look forward to seeing you. Bye-Bye!
I hang up. I'll write about this. My keyboard doesn't work. Damn.
The phone rings again. I yell WHAT NOW! into the reciever. Oops. It's my friend, Biscoe, inviting me to a cook-out in the country. That's an invitation I can accept. This weekend might not suck after all.
Hours later, I still have no idea who Debbie is. I don't have a yearbook. I've never had my picture in a yearbook,for that matter. I was a teenage curmudgeon. I only had one friend my senior year, and we're still friends. I really don't care what any of the rest are doing today. I don't wanna hear about their kids, or their jobs or their banal lies about nothing. I certainly don't want to explain what I've done since 1984.
Looking back, I wonder why I even bothered to finish High School. The only thing I learned in school was contempt for authority and how to play the system. No one has ever asked me to prove that I graduated. Not once.
Last night,I tossed and turned as I mentally reviewed every bad thing that's happened to me in the last twenty years. That's not a healthy thing to do. I get little sleep.
I need to be able to screen my calls.