ok - i know - it's been a few days. don't think that i don't know. i know. but let me just be real with you: i'm scared.
I got such a high from selling that fan- that single fan - that i'm not sure i can handle the impending rejection of hitting the streets again. call it foolish pride. call it a sophomore slump.
there are 3 things worth talking about.
(1) the actual shirt came. the one i ordered. a painful reminder of my grand plans. first of all, it was fucking HUGE. Medium my ass. Medium village, maybe. And "pre-shrunk" - so I'm guessing they put it in the washing machine - and i'm guessing they did it a million times since the printed writing looked like it was the victim of a fucking silly putty ambush.
since i had already put the shirt idea to rest, and i had already ruined a perfectly good hanes-his-way-or-if-you-don't-get-back-in-there-and-clean-the-kitchen-then-you-ain't-my-bitch-no-more v-neck with a makeshift backup, i figured I could try something out with this shirt.
there are these men at the gym that have shirts with no sleeves and no sides. as a member of the academic bowl team starting in the 7th and 8th grade, and a member of the marching band for grades 9-12 (officer, 10-12), never in my life have i had a shirt without sleeves, let alone without sides. but i have matured a bit since my days as a social outcast and may have even developed what generous people would call a bicep. (in comparison to the days of intruder alerts and fire drills, i think i'm fucking ripped, but the people around me have nothing to compare it to. so i stay humble.)
I grabbed a pair of scissors and gave it a shot. Goodbye right sleeve. Goodbye left sleeve. Goodbye fabric down both sides. And hell - why not make it a v-neck since crew necks remind me of priests and priests remind me of bread and gluten is so out right now. And being molested.
Ok - i don't know if the problem was that I did the cutting, or if only certain shirts can become these very exclusives sleeve-less side-less tees (I should stress, I was first chair all four years) - but this shit did not work out. The potato-sack looked like a pillow case turned smock and the shoulders looked like some 1967 sketch of what fashion in the year 2000 would look like. Where was my robot dog and my best friend from Pluto?
And then I remembered, after staring in the mirror with the same grace as one of the old women that model jeans on the 12th hour of the Today show, that it had "I'LL SELL YOU MY FAN" written on it in giant black letters, and that with a sleeve-less side-less tee at the gym, it was sure to be taken as some sort of sexual message. I'm not sure what the message was, but I was just having flashbacks of the 1st-chair-marching-bass-clarinet, academic-bowl-captain who had just applied to be editor of the newspaper standing in Abercrombie and bravely buying the shirt that said "Cunning Linguist" on it because he thought he wrote good lyrics. And then they day that someone explained why they were selling that shirt at Abercrombie, and how he would only turn it inside out and sleep in it from that day forward.
So I took it off. I'm not throwing it away though. Fuck you Robert Peterson. And your fucking Varsity jersey. And your prom crown. Meredith Fisher made out with Seth Franklin on the party bus while you were running in to get her corsage. Bet you didn't know that, did you?
(2) I have left the house with a fan and made subtle attempts at marketing them, but I've already defeated myself in my head and I know it's reading. Yesterday on the subway I held my fan and a man turned to me and said
and i thought it was about to be another sale, but instead he said -
"my friend is a bus driver and makes $40 an hour."
"oh wow." i said.
then a long silence as I wondered if he was somehow trying to start a conversation in order to buy my fan. but nope. that was it. 3 stops later, we got to 18th street, he told me to have a nice day, and then he penguinwaddled away - right off the train - no fan in hand - no sale made.
actually - i think it's supposed to get very hot today. maybe today. maybe today.
(3) I met my friend Michael for coffee yesterday and he said to me "I was running the other day and I got mad at you cause I thought- How dare Paul think that of me. He's the paranoid one. But I can't think of what it was."
"What? Oh. Sorry?" Is that what I was supposed to say?
"What was it?" He directed inward.
"I don't know - but I haven't sold anymore fans."
"That's what it was! I was thinking - if anyone came up to Paul and tried to sell him a fan, he would think they were trying to kill him and run away."
"And you were mad at me for that thought?"
"You said "mad."'
"No ---" As if to say "come on."
Then an awkward pause where I wore that face that was like "Yes-huh!" and he wore that face that was like "It's so quiet."
"I wouldn't think they were trying to kill me!"
"Yes you would," he said. "Or that they were trying to bomb you or rob you or something"
Which - I'll give him that. That could be true. People are crazy!
And then I thought - would I buy a fan from someone myself? If it was 98 degrees, and the humidity was through the roof, would I buy a fan from someone?
And then I remembered ---
One time I was at a bar in the East Village and it was 3 in the morning and I was with a bunch of friends and I was WASTED - we're talking like 2 whole beers here, people - and a garbage truck pulled up outside, collecting the trash bags from the urine ridden street. And as I looked out the window, all my beer eyes could see was the glasses worn by one of the garbage truck workers. They were clear rimmed, and they had lights IN them. Blue and and red lights. and they FLASHED.
"LOOK AT THOSE GLASSES!" I yelled to my friends. They could see how badly I wanted them.
Like Sloth from the Goonies, I launched from my seat and ran out to the street.
Over the 3 AM roar of the garbage truck I yelled to the man "WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE GLASSES?!"
"I sell them!" He yelled back.
In an effort to not jizz everywhere, I contained myself "HOW MUCH!?"
It was like Christmas.
"STAY RIGHT THERE!"
I ran back into the bar and everyone was waiting to hear what I'd found out. "HE SELLS THEM!"
There was a unison gasp.
"I NEED TEN DOLLARS!"
Every girl reached for her purse. Every boy reached in their pockets. Except my friend Stephen. He's not very giving.
I myself put my hand in my pocket, originally thinking that I had no money- but what's this I feel? What was this magic? Yes. Yes that's right. A 10 dollar bill just waiting there. I wasted no time and ran back outside, waving the ten dollar bill as though he were the Arizona police and these were my papers.
He grabbed a big blue laundry bag from the truck. I gave him the money, and out of the bag he pulled a pair of blinking glasses.
"Do you make these?!"
"Something like that." Which at the time, did not seem like a sketchy response.
I got a quick tutorial, walked back into the bar, and was the happiest man you'd ever seen for a solid 3 minutes before everyone was like - oh fuck it's late I need to go home.
The next morning my room mate and my friend who lives in Queens slash yes you can use our couch woke up around noon and we realized that 10 dollars was in fact NOT a steal for blinking glasses but in stead quite a rip off. I had to make sure to wear them a lot. To get my money's worth.
I know this is a long story and what does this have to do with fans and yadda yadda but here's the translation:
I realized that I am much more willing to buy things when I am drunk.
I'm going to a bar tonight....