(2012) Thoughts Composed While Eating Steamed Edamame Alone at a Duke’s Location on Bay Street on a Friday Night and Reading Supervielle’s “Homesick for the Earth”

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No environment could make me more angry. I shouldn’t have gone here. I don’t want a beer, I don’t want this (awful) coffee, I don’t even want the plate of edamame I ordered. There’s a baseline anger that the atmosphere exacerbates. My back is locking up. I’m so blind with rage that I stutter whenever my waiter arrives (I’m sure the staff thinks I’m nervous). I hate the way the office workers dress: loose khakis and sweaters pulled over their huge guts. I hate the way everyone greets each other when they arrive at their table. I hate their complacency (I can feel it hanging in the air, in the menus, in the cheap slogans printed on their napkins, in the glow from the all-news channel playing on the televisions). I hate that I’m alone. I hate the way the female staff are made to dress.

It’s all at odds with Supervielle. I read a poem about god searching the ocean for a particular raindrop. I read that there are some things even God can’t do.

*

I can pretend to be angry at complacency.

Dulled or not, unpleasant or not, these people have lives.

They came here after work to talk about everything that’s on their minds, trivial or weighty, eloquent or frustrated, it doesn’t matter.

They shout above the din, do their best to listen, look into each other’s eyes.

At the end of the night, when they get up, pay their bills, say goodbye to their friends, begin the long journey home, they feel a vague satisfaction, a feeling of fullness.

Even if satiety is death.

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