January 27th, 2000 at 10:43 PM

a day downtown


 I wake up close to noon which isn't uncommon in my modern era of late night teasurfing and futon pressed dream fantasy tossing and turning and oh, you know the deal. I shower and Joshua hops out of bed, suddenly motivated to get the fuck out of this apartment. We each eat a hard boiled egg, because there are some in the fridge and hop in the car to cruise down to the starbucks where he worked on tuesday, despite his recent back injury. And when we get there he runs in and reemerges with a satchel full of chili that the mother of this fly girl he works with made for him when they heard about his motorcycle accident.

He took the chilli and fled, because the manager was in a bad mood. 

huh load up the recent built to spill album right we roll eastward downtown phoenix we park and pump the meter full of loose change remind ourselves to pay the goddamn parking ticket been hiding in the glove compartment walk into the downtown starbucks yeah great another one and what's that look on his face barista boy seems like he's stoned who josh knows hooks us up with some lattés, about time too,

which isn't un common in my modern era.

We sat outside on the mostly comfortable steel furniture for approximately 30 minutes, chatting about movies, human nature, and golf. I enjoyed my blueberry muffin quite a bit, and I believe I mentioned this fact to Joshua more than once. I found my latté to be only partially satisfactory, however. The conversation lit upon recent films such as American Pie and She's All That, as we exchanged points of view on the recent onslaught of teenage cinema and discussed the statements these pieces make regarding modern American youth culture. I told a witty story about a woman I once encountered on the train in Boston. We shared a rather long moment of amusement. After a time we bored of the scenery and proceeded to stroll down along the cement walk, passing by the usual disheveled undesirables,

who stop, askin for change

were talkin bout what Phoenix has to offer, what Tuscon's got goin, life back in boston, shit like that. And one of us said somethin about friendship, and what its like having friends when your old, and I said "well, you just choose to start spendin all your time with your wife and your kid and your friggin job, and that's all you have time to do!  And besides, dude, most male friendships aren't like our friendship at all", or somethin like that. He said it's about time he started puttin in the extra effort to hang out with other students when they're not in school, and that sounded like exactly what he better do,

as we walk through an outdoor mall full of consumers, shopping. 

So we sat down again, for a while. There are really only a few friends we've had over the last few years that we don't see much anymore, and we talked about them. Sometimes people are cool enough to enjoy hanging out with, but because you don't truly connect with them the friendship gets strained and difficult. I've only had to deal with that a couple of times, but it's not easy. We started laughing when we thought about the time Josh was a little drunk in Delihaus, my favorite restaurant back in Boston.  This kid we know named Kevin was there, talking all kinds of shit about himself as usual, and Josh blew him off with a mocking "Blah, Blah, Blah!"

These people come into your lives, and leave again.

They stand up from their seats on the balcony of the outdoor food court and decide to head back to the car. He glances through the window of a novelty store at a plastic "Parking For British Only" sign, and declares his complete lack of tolerance for easily accessible humor. Ryan had long felt that the institution of the joke was one of the lowest forms of comedy. These novelty signs were even lower. Together the two friends pass a gallery full of tacky art and descend the escalator. As they approach the car they suddenly realize they have completely forgotten about the time limit on the parking meter. "Oh no," they exclaim. "Not another ticket!" As they arrive within sight of their vehicle they are relieved to discover that the windshield is ticket-free. Joshua puts the car into gear and backs out of the space. Ryan remembers to remove the previous parking violation they had received from the glove compartment. They decide to pay the ticket using a credit card, 

and decide to take care of it immediately.

i'm sitting shotgun holding the ticket, and he's driving and we decide to fill out his card information right now, which will require an immobile car, so out of nowhere josh turns right onto fillmore st, swerves hard into a vacant lot, and the rear end slides 90 degrees across 25 feet of gravel, kicking up dirt and dust, which was a hoot, and i decide that it was worth the slight wear on my tires, because it was fun as hell, and then we fill out his credit info on the slip and suddenly realize that there is a drop off box for tickets right around these streets, so delighting in the coincidence we jump out of the car and lock the doors and slam the doors and walk around until we realize that we are nowhere near the drop off box at all, so we walk back to the car and Joshua checks his pockets and says,

"Oops. Sure glad you have your keys."

"Uh, I don't have my keys."  And we both let out an exasperated "Fuuuuuck!" and stood in the vacant lot staring at my twenty-year-old sedan with all four doors locked and one set of keys stuck in the ignition and another set of keys lying on the passenger seat. Great. So we walk down 5th street, declaring ourselves complete morons, and call AAA from a pay phone a few blocks away. We walk back and sit on some railroad ties at the edge of the lot as cars wiz by and people occasionally saunter through. Josh says "Damn, I sure wish there was something around we could use for a slim jim, and he starts throwing pebbles into an empty malt liquor bottle to "pass the time". I walk around the corner, pick up a piece of wire, and eventually stumble on a dumpster that contains, among other things, wide strips of flat metal used for crate packaging. Joshua cuts notches in a piece of the stripping, and I start winding up my wire. Across the street, a man steps off the curb and falls on his face. This seems appropriately random. So Josh is yanking his metal around inside the body of the door, trying to grab at the lock mechanism, and I'm trying to slide my loop of wire through the door seal into the interior of the car and around the lock peg. Down the street we see cops; people are everywhere, but no one says anything to us. This is disturbing. Eventually we join forces. I've got the metal strip inside the car, with a loop of wire tied to it, about to lasso the lock peg, and up walks the very man who fell off the curb earlier. He is drunk, with a mustache,

"Hu..hello, I am froma long way from heeeer.." 

and Ryan goes, "uh.. hey, what's up" as he's sliding the thing we jury-rigged around inside the door, trying to get the wire around the goddamn door lock, and the drunk guy gets right up in our faces, and he starts talking about how he's from far away, and he's been having a hard time or whatever. Ryan starts cracking up, totally losing his shit, and he says "yeah, dude, we're having a hard time too... we got locked out of our car." So the guy says, "Oh.. hey, here man... lemme do it," totally slurring his words, and reaches out to help, but Ryan says no it's cool, we're all right, and the guy starts talking about how "if you believe in the bible it will help you," and I'm like, "Oh, really? Jesus Christ is gonna help us get our keys out of the car???" Ryan is still stifling his laughter, of course, as the dude tries to grab the piece of metal from him, and I look over the top of the car to see some other guy about to walk over, and I'm like, all right, enough of this shit. I check my wallet first, and I say,

Hey man, do you want a dollar?

And as soon as he said it the Mexican guy's eyes light up. Josh said "I'll give you the dollar, but you gotta take off, okay? I don't want a bunch of people around here". The man nodded, and extended an arm. Mind you, while this was happening I was still trying to break into my own car, just to see if I can. Joshua casually held out the dollar and said "Here you go. Now go away." And the drunk man happily stumbled off. I closed my eyes and leaned on the Granada for support, smiling. Moments later the 20-year-old tow truck guy tore through the lot in a blaze of dust, jimmied the car open, and left as quick as he came. We dropped of the paid parking ticket and drove home through the 5 pm traffic. For dinner we ate one of the jars of chili. Joshua left for class,

and I was all alone again.

finally i finished up the journal entry still thinking the whole time about beautiful Kariann and the great talk we had on the phone last night and i posted the entry it to the web server and put on a galaxie 500 cd and sipped my cup of tea and i laid back on the futon to think about her some more boy do i miss that girl