Monday, December 29, 2008

stop coughing

As soon as the temperature drops below 50 degrees, why is it that everyone starts coughing everywhere all the time? I can't go outside my door without hearing someone in the hallway cough. Then someone at the bus stop coughs as I walk by. Then someone at the Metro stop coughs, then on the Metro, and again at the next stop, then on the escalator, and on the street, then at the intersection with the long light, again in lobby of my building, another time on the elevator, and finally one last time as I walk down the row of cubes to my office. Today I heard someone coughing for 30 straight minutes at McDonald's across the street from my window. Cough. Cough. Cough. I think it must be boredom or something. You're sitting on the metro, thinking about how bored you have been for the last 6 minutes and how bored you'll be sitting there for the next 12 minutes, and wondering why you're so bored even though you've taken the same metro trip twice a day for 15 years and haven't thought to bring something to read or listen to, and then you hear someone cough, think to yourself, "Holy shit, that would break my boredom for 4/10 of a second," and then "COUGH!" Suddenly the rush of boredomlessness is over, and you wallow in its passing, and yearn for it to lift your spirits again, so again, you "COUGH! COUGH! COUGH!" But by now it's getting old, and you don't get the same thrill as the first time you coughed. Your marginal utility on each successive cough decreases, you reassess your boredom reduction strategy, and you start to risk seeming rude to the other passengers, assuming that you have even considered the other passengers standing 6 inches from your face in every direction at 7:55 am. So you pause and collect yourself, retreating into a deeper boredom. Then you hear someone on the other side of the train cough several times, and you wistfully recall how it was when you coughed, growing ever more jealous of their cough-induced glee. The cough continues its slow echo around the train: from the elderly man to the high school girl to the unkept person everyone knows is sick and/or crazy and tries to avoid at all costs without looking like they're trying to avoid him. "How long before I can go back to coughing without seeming suspicious?" you think. You know you don't have a cold, or even a chronic cough, in fact whenever you cough you giggle to yourself about how implausible it is that 9/10 of the passengers riding the train at any one time has either of these conditions. But still you debate within yourself the merits and demerits of sending yourself into another artificial coughing episode. So 45 seconds after your last cough, you "COUGH!!!" again, this time really loudly, partly to convey the seriousness of your made-up condition to your fellow passengers, so that the next fit of fake coughing you engage in a minute from now, and each minute thereafter until you get off at Gallery Place, is presumed to be necessary rather than entirely unnecessary and completely annoying. You get off the train, cough again, go up the escalator, cough, walk down the street, cough, stop at the long light, cough, walk into the lobby, cough, go up the elevator, cough, walk down the hallway, cough, and then turn around, go outside, and sit outside at McDonald's in the 35-degree weather sipping your hot cup o' jo for a half hour, coughing the whole goddamn time.

Brice Lord sighting?

A contemporary of mine alerted me to a possible Brice Lord sighting at an anonymous Holiday Sweater Party on 12/13. Well, I guess it isn't anonymous if it's capitalized. The Brice Lord candidate seems to have been seen and noted by an amorous 25-year old woman at said Holiday Sweater Party who then posted this missed connection ("naughty or nice") on Craig's List 6 days later; the 6-day delay was likely put to good use in developing the playfully suggestive post (e.g. "you looking for a mrs. claus, mr. claus? hit me up and we can spread a little holiday cheer..."). Apparently the enamored saw Brice Lord's likeness on "an acquaintances' photos on facebook" and decided to act on this particularly productive and fortuitous episode of stalking.

Unfortunately for Brice Lord proper---that is, the real Brice Lord---he was not at the Holiday Sweater Party but instead dutifully studying for final exams that evening, so the gentleman with dashing good looks, brand new Nike kicks, a fitted olive green faux-WWII-era military issue shirt, a questionable black and yellow scarf, what looks like half a knit beanie, and proportionally large hands gently grasping a solo cup filled with jungle juice as if it were a snifter of cognac is not, alas, Brice Lord. It should also be noted to the readership, and to the lascivious Mrs. Claus, that Brice Lord is exceedingly homosexual, so in actuality, were Brice Lord even at this party---and if he were he would probably dress quite similarly---he would be surveying the "m4m" section later that week instead.