Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, final part: Bus, Crappers, Caffeine, DFW, D-i-v-o-r-c-e…

Desert Oasis in California

Desert Oasis in California

(continued from previous)

And so the bus breaks down, at three in the morning, with battery problems, or something in the electrical system, as those things are hard to pinpoint without accurate diagnostic tests. Anyway, it’s not good news, though somewhat mitigated by the fact that the desert is not so hot at three in the morning, AND…

…the place has crappers. This is important for early morning ablutions, almost indispensable, in fact, given the circadian rhythms of the human body, without even considering the semi-trauma of being broken down on the side of the road, albeit in a pump-and-poop parking lot. It’s not the first time I’ve ever been in a broken-down bus, but the first time in America.

Midnight in America

Midnight in America

Previous incidents include: Chiapas, Mexico; Macedonia, and Tangier, Morocco; in all of which cases the vehicle actually physically refused to move any further. Usually they limp on in, and I’m wondering why this one didn’t make the effort… Crappers, blessed bleeping crappers! That’s what we’d likely be without if the bus had ‘gone for it’ and left us truly on the side of the road.

At least this way your misery can be mitigated, motivated—even masturbated—away, with a few flicks of the dick, if that’s what you want to do with your few precious moments behind the closed doors of your bathroom stall in the fried chicken department of the Park-n-Poop filling station at 3 a.m. You might even find an electrical socket within an extension cord’s reach, in case you need to charge something. You’ll be needing it, since there will be none back on the bus.

Product DetailsDavid Foster Wallace is perfect for the modern distracted state of mind, my state of mind, every sentence prepared to stand alone in defense of boredom. Wallace even uses ‘Hasidically’ as an adverb, which probably endears me to him forever, some kind of bond between us now, with the literary acknowledgment of the head-bobbing and wailing-walling that goes with that definition, the otherness that is orthodox Judaism, something as bizarre to modern Western thinking as its long-estranged first cousin fundamentalist Islam.

So I read on about Wallace’s further adventures in the year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Meanwhile the natives are restless, threatening legal action and worse, all of which will be quickly forgotten when the bus finally comes. And when the new bus finally does come, the bad news is at least mostly overshadowed by the good news: the new bus runs fine, but there are no electric outlets, and there is no Internet, boo hoo.

Pit Stop

Desert Pit Stop

That means emergency shutdown of an already-depleted telephone battery, in case that one last crucial call is necessary for access to my wife’s crib in Thai Town, East Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. But it’s light now, and sleep is no longer even a remote option. So I dig into my emergency two-year-old Nescafe and begin self-administering, down to the last drop.

I figure I must have about 200 ml (or is it mg?) of caffeine running through the bloodstream now, and I’m flying. The bus must be topping a hundred by now and the scenery whizzes by accordingly: greens and reds and blues mixing to form the basis of all other colors according to the laws of electronics, not pigmentation, thereby relegating yellows to a subordinate position of derivative mix not a base of prime color, purples and oranges and pinks floating slightly behind as the eye creates them, like the slightly higher regions of a live flame climbing, murkier upper flames licking and lapping at darkness…

The Day After

LA: The Day After

I haven’t seen my wife Tang in over a month, so I hope the reunion is good, better than the last time after four months, when I’m googling online divorce websites before the first day is over, ready to push the ‘divorce now’ button, but decide to wait, to see if the next day brings change—and it does. In my overactive mind I secretly imagine that everyone is out there hating me and waiting for their chance to pounce on the chance to give me an unguarded kick to the soft spots, knowing that I wear no protection and will exact no revenge…

Past wind farms and tinted windows, oily hair and oil fields, strip malls and strip clubs, auto zones and autos-da-fe, we finally close in on the beast best known as ‘LA’, gradually coming together no angel in the beast for sure just empty parking lots and uncollected rubbish, homelessness and heartbreak, sun high in the sky now and I reeking to heaven, step off the bus before the wheels even stop, out the door and down the street, board city buses that lead to city trains, red line to Hollywood Boulevard, then a short walk to what once passed for home in the sense of crossroads and corners coordinated and connected. Keys still work and soup is on the stove. Telephone battery screams its final warning and the clock strikes 11 a.m. It has truly been a perfect day—no thanks to David Foster Wallace.