Ye Rustic Inn, December 23, 2022

i read a line from Michael Ondaatje, “befriend the ropemakers,” as “boyfriend the ropemakers.” At Masa one of my customers at a table of 4 says “I have a sensitive piece of information to share with you.” i say “Great.” He says “I fingered my glass of water.” i say “I’m not sure what you’re trying to say but I’m already sure it isn’t that.” He says “I fingered this glass of water and I had already accidentally fingered my glass of beer.” The woman sitting beside him says “He put his finger in my glass of water.” i walk away and come back with a new glass and set it down and say “Never been fingered,” and hate myself for my complicity already. i hand another customer the mobile POS device and say “insert the chip card here,” and the customer says “That’s what she said.” And i just stare at him and think to say “Is she a robot?” but i just stare at him. And then he says “I’d rather tap it” and i say “that’s what he said,” and this 60 year-old man fist-bumps me. The ego is not a complex construction. It is built of complexes, crystalline formations encrusted with the accretion of happenstances of circumstance and of pain, but none of it is complex. If you follow the line of bizarre jokes people make you find the line traces to its source rather quickly, everyone is brittle. But of course my saying that is an attempt to universalize a fragility particular to me, a desire to not be the only one so easily broken by a word, by a batted eyelash, by an eyelash i wish would be batted. This is why writers are writers, to convince themselves, more than to convince others, that their particular and lonely existence is actually universal and solidarity-building. i just did it myself.

Jared Joseph is boring.

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