Did you ever meet a character? I mean not in the stupid "He's a character" way, but in the way that makes you think you are actually in a sitcom right now conversing with the wacky foil and there's a laugh track playing in all the stupid glory of the moment? There's a woman who works in the office next door. Denise is her name. She drives a blue SUV with a vanity license plate that reads: NECIES. She's always baking things that don't really taste good. One time she gave me a piece of banana bread and I ended up wrapping it in a napkin and putting it in my purse because I was afraid to leave it in the trash where she might see it and then get her feelings all hurt and whatnot. And then I forgot about it and it ended up drying out and and I had all these disgusting crumbs and little pieces of walnut at the bottom of my purse mingled with the buttons, coins, safety pins, candy wrappers that had been gathering in there for many months. It made me want to throw up a little bit.
And she talks. A lot. "So many non sequiturs, so little time" seems to be her standard operating procedure on any given day. If I so much as say "Good morning" to her, or "God Bless You" when she sneezes, she's standing at the door of my office telling me about how she went shoe shopping at Value City and bought a pair of sneakers for $5.99. And right after that she yammers on about her boyfriend's terrible car accident, complete with head trauma that left him on disability. I know. I KNOW. That's a sad story. But now they're engaged and getting married! And no doubt having the tackiest wedding since this one:
Do we all know this type of person or is it just me? Does anybody else know someone who seems to exist only to fascinate and annoy you in a million different ways? It's like how I felt about teachers in elementary school: like they didn't exist outside of that context. I know on a rational level that Denise is a real, alive type of person with complex feelings and hopes and dreams and all that shit. But there is a part of me that can't accept that she has a soul.
What stuns me is the fact that I am weirdly drawn to her. I engage her in conversation. I tell her that her food tastes great. I even told her to bring in her photo album from her first wedding where she made head pieces for all her bridemaids out of tulle and glue and fake pearls. I want to see it. It's like this THING. I need to see that photo album and experience the monstrosity in all its plastic floral centerpiece splendor. Maybe I'm more of a masochist than I thought. I mean I know that I have the capacity to inflict pain on myself in a lot of intense and strange ways, but this is beyond that. And now I'm thinking about Saturday Night Live. Remember the skits about Pat? Well maybe Denise is Pat.
You know the truth is that she seems like a really nice lady. So I don't mean to sound like a bitch, even though I kind of am. I'm just starting to think about my own damn self, and what I look like to the people around me. What character am I playing in this fucked up universe? I see that 90210 "what character are you" app floating around, so I know that I'm not the only person who wonders about this type of thing. Maybe I don't really want to know the answer to that question. It's just all too meta, I guess. Like if I knew what insignificant stupid role I really played in this world I'd collapse into myself and turn into this black hole, or be like two mirrors falling on one another into infinity.