Monday, November 10, 2008

I just might be crazy

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My ceiling fan was an epiphany this morning: I'm messed up.


I wake up and look up. There's a giant five-legged asterisk above me. It's ready to pounce. Bright House Networks' commercials make me fear such things. Beware of the fine print of phone-company advertising, they say. As if my ceiling fan presents a danger.

In low light, I see something coiled on the floor. It's a snake! I like snakes at the zoo. I don't like them on my floor. But it's just my belt.

I think I'm crazy.

I'm obsessed with punctuation. I used to be strict with its use. Comma can't go here, exclamation mark isn't necessary, don't use a question mark with a statement. Now, punctuation is as interpretive as the words it's used with?

Fonts irritate me. I decided not to buy a greeting card because of its font. The inscription was good. But the font hurt my eyes. Too much serif, curve, glitter. I was repulsed.

I eat things other people wouldn't. It's genetics, from Dad. Parmesan cheese goes well with grainy cereals, particularly bran flakes, sometimes with raisins. It's a reliable substitute during a milk shortage. They're both dairy.

Maple syrup and yogurt go with cereal, too. Yogurt's a go-to breakfast food. I scramble eggs with yogurt and sugar, sometimes raisins. Yogurt is good in pancake and French toast batter.

Black tea and hot chocolate is my autumn drink. I mix them.

Sometimes, I drink hot chocolaty tea from a cup but forget to finish off the last few ounces. I never used to do that. My mind is going. Deteriorating. Rotting. Possibly early-stage Alzheimer's.

I microwaved a mug once. I forgot to put water in it.

I bought canned sardines. People with taste buy sardines. They're gross, so only sophisticates consume them, as with caviar, foie gras and Dr. Pepper. I tell myself these things. I think sardines on matzos would be classier than sardines on saltines. Ritz are the middle class. But I've never eaten sardines; they're still in my pantry.

I bought shrimp, pork chops and flour. They're still in my kitchen.

Peanut butter is good. I think my co-workers feel sorry for me when I eat crackers and peanut butter, carrots and peanut butter, apple slices and peanut butter, or just peanut butter. But it's healthier than Reese's peanut butter cups left over from trick-or-treating.

PB&J pancakes are good.

I was addicted to "Guitar Hero" for a week after I bought a used PlayStation 2. I haven't touched it since.

I was addicted to Starbucks for a week. Not the coffee; it's overroasted. I craved hits of the atmosphere: classical music, whirl of the blender, young people like me.

I'm forever addicted to coffee. I go through stages when I pledge caffeine sobriety, and my teeth get whiter. Then I don't sleep one night, and I relapse in the morning. I'm like an alcoholic: once a coffee drinker, always a coffee drinker. Do they have Coffee Anonymous meetings?

My addiction to work won't go away either. But at least I'm not alone. Staff meetings are like group therapy. And doughnut day is medicine day.

I like fine wine. I've developed a collection because I don't have the social life that would justify me opening a bottle. Doing it alone would lead to real alcoholism and real AA meetings.

Sometimes I buy ginger ale and pour it into a glass flute. It looks like real Champagne: a tinge of amber, a squiggly line of bubbles streaming to the surface.

Cranberry ginger ale looks like rose brut.

My neighbor is a sex offender. I haven't slept well since I discovered this, which explains my perpetual coffee drinking. Where's my coupon for Dunkin' Donuts? Where's my handgun? But a Web site says my neighbor likes girls. And that puts me at ease because I'm not a girl.

I write too much, but not frequently enough. So, this felt good. I needed to share. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

My latest addiction is reading. Five books - all memoirs - in five days. Six trips to the library. Good thing gas is cheap, $2.17 a gallon. Cheaper than milk. And Parmesan cheese.

6 comments:

Joe said...

Holy crap, your a good writer. If you wrote a book, I would read it. Stop wasting your talents as an editor.

Mark said...

I'm going to have to agree with Joe here. This writing style is very entertaining. It reminds Candace and I of Chuck Palinuik's style. (He's the guy that wrote Fight Club and Choke)

Andrew Knapp said...

Well, thanks guys. But, Joe, I have to point out that you need an editor ("you're" instead of "your" in your first sentence). But then again, you're a reporter, so I can forgive you.

And, if news reporting allowed me to write like this, I would.

Joe said...

There's a lot more to journalism than hard news.

Andrew Knapp said...

There's a lot more to journalism than just writing, too.

Andrew Knapp said...

On second thought, with the news industry going into the crapper, maybe I should think of a lifeline.