Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year 3 of 3

My father called back; the solution was a locksmith. He would text me his number. I waited for the text and immediately called. The man was nice, but foreign. I could barely make out what he was saying. I explained to him that I was on the bus but he kept saying, “you come here.”

Here is a relative term. Did he mean Seattle? Did he mean his locksmithing shop? Did he mean my apartment? I wanted to scream at him, “where the hell is here? What kind of place is here? I’ll meet you at my apartment in Seattle, damn it!”

I said that in a more or less polite manner and hung up. That was taken care of and I had battery to spare. I rested my eyes uneasily on the bus for the rest of the way. There was little to do except stew in my own insecurity. I tried to close my eyes but all the images and thoughts I had were sad. The bus was the first time that I had been truly alone in a week. I had even been sleeping in the same room as my parents and sisters. Four beds crammed into a tiny back room so that my uncles and aunts could have their own space. I had just about had it, and was excited to be by myself a bit.

But then the creeping sadness reminded me why my whole family had huddled together in the first place. Being alone with my thoughts was the time for my subconscious to gather all of my emotional baggage and pile it against the door. Closing my eyes was like opening that door and having it spill into my conscious--waves of sadness and helplessness overtook me. I hated everyone on the bus because they had problems that weren’t mine. I hated them because they didn’t have to worry about getting into their own apartment. I hated them because they weren’t me and they weren’t hurting like I was. Granted it takes a lunatic to arrive at one thirty in the morning in downtown Seattle, but they weren’t lunatic like me. Which was enough reason to hate them.

After 20 minutes at an empty station in Tacoma and 40 minutes on an empty freeway normally packed with the world’s worst drivers, I arrived in Seattle. It is an awful place. I have never felt a higher contempt for a Greyhound Station. The Seattle bus terminal is what happens when architects take a dump on a piece of paper and expect the cheapskate financiers to eat it. Even when it is empty it smells of body odor and bathroom. It is what one would expect from a Greyhound station, which is to say that it has that Hollywood quality to it. It is a place so degenerated and nearly collapsed that every sign is a cheap print-out of the nice ‘modern’ signs that you see on new greyhound buses. The station is little more than a bathroom with a ticket booth and even the security guard seemed to know it. He nodded at me as I scurried through the terminal to try to grab a cab.

Just as my luck would have it, there was no cab. And there wouldn’t be for another thirty minutes. It took me nearly fifty minutes to escape the empty downtown. In that time I passed the general assortment. There was a drunk couple; a girl in a mini dress obviously giving her boyfriend the cold shoulder over something he did. That’s what happens when you drink; people get angry. They probably went home, yelled at each other for a while and passed out in the middle of a drunken lovemaking session. It’s that kind of masochism that convinces me that the human race is too dumb to ever have world peace. I stood on the corner of Stewart and 6th, tried to flag down several taxis. Not one stopped to pick me up. Two men passed me. One was walking his bike and the other was carrying just the frame to his bike. The wheels had obviously been stolen. I tried not to laugh. I was the idiot carrying a huge duffel bag in the middle of downtown at night. I might as well have worn a sign that said, “mug me; go on, take all of my stuff, I don’t mind. Why else would I carry this unwieldy duffel and not seem to care?”

I finally made my way back to my apartment. The locksmith had already gotten into the apartment complex and my apartment. The man was a Korean. He seemed nice and harmless enough. He had made me two keys and charged me too much for them. The entire time he talked to me, “you daddy tell me he pay. What you daddy number? What’s you daddy name? John Hara? You daddy Japanese? Oh, good. I’m Korean.”

I wanted to correct him and tell him not to call him my ‘daddy’. I wasn’t into that BDSM stuff that the word daddy implied. I realized that even worrying about it made it seem like I had daddy issues and goddamnit, I definitely didn’t have those. So the Korean kept running around his van with his obviously unhappy wife in the passenger seat, talking about my daddy and the keys that he made for my apartment.

The wife just sat in a daze, trying not to wake up so much that it would be hard to go back to sleep. And I bit my tongue and tried to see him off so that I could just crawl into my bed and not have to deal with the world anymore.

At eight I awoke with a start. The house was empty and I thought to myself, “happy new year.”