My Daily Day

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

On Wednesday, December 31, 2003, shortly before midnight, he whispered into her ear, “what if 2004 is the most spectacular year in the history of the human race? What if this year sees the end of war and poverty, what if all problems find solution and all hopes are realized? Think what this year could be! What we could do! And of course, it won’t, we won’t, but then maybe next year and those brief few moments before 2005 that glimmer with possibility.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

On Tuesday, December 30, 2003
the Arboretum made their jackets smell fresh.

Monday, December 29, 2003

On Monday, December 29, 2003
he learned that the three wealthiest individuals in America own more than the combined assets of the 60 poorest countries.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

On Sunday, December 28, 2003
he watched digitally generated beer bottles race each other on the jumbotron at Lambeau field. He and his father left before the crowd realized the Cardinals had won.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

On Thursday, December 25, 2003
he opened presents, hoping that the orientation of Christmas had long since evolved past material acquisition.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

On Wednesday, December 24, 2003
he went cross country skiing with his friend Andy near the Wisconsin River. While skiing, they talked. The conversation was warm and half-amused. He knew the afternoon would become inflated and romanticized in his memory, that like all good memories it would assume dimensions beyond its mere fact, that he would ascribe meaning, use it as an example of the purity of friendship, the hope inherent in human relations, but in truth it was just two friends skiing and talking on a cold December afternoon in northern Wisconsin. This is the best life has to offer. It need not be spectacular or earth-shattering, in need not be self-conscious. Life at its most beautiful is utterly ordinary and irrevocably commonplace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

On Tuesday, December 23, 2003
the doughnut balanced perfectly on the handle of the toilet bowl as he wiped.

Monday, December 22, 2003

On Monday, December 22, 2003
he referred to himself in the third person, followed it with a bunch of quasi-metaphorical, pseudo-philosophical bullshit mumbo-jumbo and called it a journal entry.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

On Sunday, December 21, 2003
he wondered if a human individual possesses the capacity to really know another human individual. Once, while camping, a friend made a similar observation, “You can never really know another person.” “But you can come damn close,” Pete shot defensively. It was like something was at stake. But now, several months later, he wondered. Are we all strangers? Can we know ourselves even? What is knowledge? Must you know you know something in order to know it?

Saturday, December 20, 2003

On Saturday, December 20, 2003
he wandered around downtown Chicago in the cold. The steam off his breath obscured the faces of shoppers.

Friday, December 19, 2003

On Friday, December 19, 2003
the United States of America called on the telephone. “Peter,” they said, “we’re no longer sure of ourself and we need to lost weight. If we sell your future, it is because we feel lost and alone in today’s global economy. Every dollar you spend helps our security, our efficiency, our dominance. But it is for you Peter! The power and ambition for you! The widening gap between rich and poor, between industrialized and third world nations, the soaring costs of health care and education, for you we do these things! We lay your citizenship on a foundation of celebrity, consumption, and rugged individualism, for you! Please love us, Peter. We have only our best interests at heart.”

Thursday, December 18, 2003

On Thursday, December 18, 2003
he wrote his apologies on post-it notes and mailed them, sans return address, to the fictional protagonists of his favorite novels.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

On Wednesday, December 17, 2003
he drank too much coffee and spun around his house in a whirlwind of domestic activities. Laundry, dishes, garbage, every unclean or disorganized aspect of the home cowered beneath his massive ambition.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

On Tuesday, December 16, 2003
he turned in his last exam. On the bus ride home he watched the campus buildings sliding away through dirt caked windows. This was tough, he thought. He got off on Allen St. purchased a box of Apple Jacks from the Open Pantry, and listened to “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan once he got home.

Monday, December 15, 2003

On Monday, December 15, 2003
he studied until his brains glossed over and zombies crept up the side of the carrel, whispering threats, peddling deceit, telling him of some illusive reward at the end of a good night’s sleep.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

On Sunday, December 14, 2003
in a burst of spontaneous prodigious ability, he suddenly spoke five languages fluently. Having no foreigners to converse with, he spent the day speaking English anyway.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

On Saturday, December 13, 2003
he and a friend attempted to drink one beer apiece at every bar the Kissers ever played, in a single day. With a thin blue sky potmarked beige with clouds, their car careened around the midwest at 20mph over the speed limit. The bars on the east coast were disqualified, due to the impracticality of their location.

Friday, December 12, 2003

On Friday, December 12, 2003
The birds descending, flapping noisily in the sharp morning chill, filling the sky with chirping. Each: a day forgotten, a life passed, a failed purpose, but they descended on him and carried him into the sky above Madison, hundreds of feet, until he could see the entire city below, huddled quietly on the shores of its lakes, many curtains still closed and steam drifting placidly from the industrial stacks. He was frightened at first, but the birds reassured him. This is how life happens, they told him, very small and vibrant, a complex noise clustered on the edge of a great stillness. By now, the birds had carried him far beyond the sky, beyond the atmosphere. Do you see it? they asked him, it only deepens with distance.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

On Thursday, December 11, 2003
his friend Steve bought some Guiness and the two of them studied for the History of Journalism final from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Also he set fire to the trees in his yard.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

On Wednesday, December 10, 2003
the various conflicts of interest in his life sat him down at a table. “Pete, we need to talk,” said individuality vs. community. “Your identity at this point contains a host of contradictory self-images.”

“You don’t know yourself,” added personal desire vs. respecting the boudaries of peers, “and consequently you have difficulty being honest with yourself and with others for the true motivations behind certain decisions.”

Reason vs. emotion had a few words on the matters as well, “Often times your prostitute yourself for acceptance. Perhaps to avoid confrontation, but you should really just kill them. Fuck what anyone else thinks.”

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

On Tuesday, December 09, 2003
he stepped out of time. To disguise his absence from the space time continuum he molded pillows into human form beneath his sheets before departure.

Monday, December 08, 2003

On Monday, December 08, 2003
he watched medieval peasants roll hoops across the oil landscape, but what really plowed him back through epochs was the heady scent of malt whine steaming from his coffee mug.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

On Sunday, December 07, 2003
he and seven other contestants were sequestered in a remote Alaskan cabin as part of Fox’s new reality show, “Cabin Fever.” The scenery was beautiful, the cabin fully furnished with electricity and running water, and the snakes in the pond didn't bite. But the video library contained six copies of a cautionary documentary about cabin arson, and the director violently accosted the cast when he found out a female contestant was pregnant.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

On Saturday, December 06, 2003
he choked, but hey, whatever doesn’t kill you only puts your death in context.

Friday, December 05, 2003

On Friday, December 05, 2003
he was excessively negative and pessimistic.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

On Thursday, December 04, 2003
he fixed the brakes on his bike after a near death experience.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

On Wednesday, December 03, 2003
he skipped Environmental Geology to practice but really couldn't get anything done.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

On Tuesday, December 02, 2003
he got his paper in under the wire.

Monday, December 01, 2003

On Monday, December 01, 2003
he drifted off in the middle of Environmental Geology, daydreaming about his graduation party some few months off. He stood in the sunlight and made a speech. Remember Pete, he told himself, tell your friends you love them.