in the other cubicle row

Oh I heard they give out boxes or something.

Yea, like I rode in the car and was like, “I did not buy you one!”

Oh yea, I’m so unorganized. And I thought about it and then it didn’t, it came on your birthday so I ordered it on Amazon and I called and it came really fast. So it came much faster than I thought it would because it took six days to ship it.

Yea, I got a box of jewels and then burned me a couple CDs and then didn’t know…

Oh, the way things have become in t…

In the other cubicle row, the pair spoke about the Twilight film they had seen over the weekend in tones reflective of their dissatisfaction. They returned to the topic of birthday festivities until an awkward pause, which was broken by a deep exhale of a theatrical yet abrasive person nearby.

Well, I’m glad you had a great weekend! Happy Birthday!

[originally written November 2011]

fascinating times at Common Market

As I transcribe the words
of a person sitting on my right at the
outdoor area of Common Market,
I find the content of his speech
rather superfluous for his companion.
I realize in my desire to capture
distinct surrounding affects,
I need not rely on conversations
of others in order to animate
the mind. Many would likely
avoid wasteful contemplation of
those in close proximity since there
are many who bask in bromidic cordialities
that impede understanding the depths of
consciousness with which we crave
acquaintance. I hate ending a
sentence with a preposition
but the help of this grammatical
crutch can be extremely advantageous.

It’s been over a month
since I arrived in Charlotte
and I am learning my patience with
verbalization, despite the veil
of interest that can be used
to extract what it means
to be, is dwindling.
However, I still crave
listening to stories that
cultivate one’s mind during
today’s economic and political
chaos of American and global
societies. Then again, with
coverage of frivolously
lucrative charades,
political dras, and
artistic hoorahs,
it seems easy to fall into
ignorance of positive impacts
on marginalized and disturbed communities,
which ones who live in bounteous bliss can incite.

As I end my second glass of Merlot,
I find my mind traveling further
from reality while male and
female voices around me
seem progressively foreign.
Perhaps the speakers’ blaring
99 Luftballons alters a comprehension
of brogue more so than Bordeaux merriment.
I also arrive at the point of intoxication
where the validation of inquiring for a
cigarette is inevitable and I cannot
avoid laughing at my laudable
expenses, which contradict
saving money to address
the financial obligations
accrued during unique
educative journeys.

But what of bodies
of legislative, judiciary
and executive exploits, how
are college graduates expected
to fulfill repayment standards
when governing bodies, both
domestic and abroad, seem
incapable of setting
a positive example?
This thought bubbles
after taking heed to the
perspective of a commentary
created by an insightful minority
as does the influence of social
networking on conversations
enjoyed when in public.
How can online sensations
serve as points of elaboration
for those in close company while
jointly transforming into pivots of babble?

First, with how much wine should I fill another glass?

southern something

The couple behind me, eating
in the Atlanta airport, were
discussing enthusiastically
their strong distaste for
current occupations and
the mother expresses rather
fervently a situation in
which a manager approached
her about something that she
(the mother) needed to address.
Before this conversation took
place, the mother scolded
the young child in attendance
for demonstrating an inappropriate
amount of carelessness before
arriving at the table while
there in the line to exit
the plane. The child remained
quiet throughout the adult
conversation of the workplace
and extraordinary frustration with
employers but I didn’t notice
the age of the little one until
I turned casually to find my
waitress and to my surprise,
she was barely ten years old.

As the parents carried on, the
next interruption from the
child came about what was
being referred to when
the waitress asks about
a drink in the rocks to
which the father explained
affectionately using the glass
of water in front of him as
an example of what it means
to serve a drink on the rocks.
The young one then asked about cutlery
that was lain on the tables; the
knife was the only plastic piece
on the table top. When I heard
this, I immediately thought,
Well, someone can most certainly
stab someone with a fork, in response
to the argument posed by the father
regarding federal regulations on
what can be carried on a plane.
To my pleasant surprise, the
young one rebutted with a
similar question but more
in a way that made one feel
ridiculous for not considering
such a hypothetical situation.

I couldn’t help but smile
and notice my ears perk up
when the mother began speaking
of how well the waitress had
been doing her job based on
the waitress’s affectionate
diction and agreeable service.
The waitress was a splendid
breath of fresh air but at
the same time, I couldn’t
help but feel like this
was my initial immersion
in Southern hospitality.
Oh, she did have a special
something about her though
(the waitress) in the way she
makes one feel so very welcome
in a very foreign environment.
I believe her name is something like
Tekneshia and her spirit is meant to be celebrated
after hearing the way she used her diaphragm for a brief melodic moment.

oh, border patrol

I’m in awe of the treatment I overheard from the patrol officer. I was sleeping in the still car of the Amtrak and then was awaken by the strong male voice of someone asking, “Are you a US citizen? Do you have your state ID?”

I was frustrated because I hadn’t slept properly through the entire journey and finally was able to feel my eyes and body rest in the extremely uncomfortable seat but the questions continued with a persistent tone and despite the train riders’ confusion with what was being asked, the officer offered no other alternative to make his request clear. I continued to close my eyes as I became more infuriated with the way he was speaking to the people on the train but eventually he realized they were in fact citizens of the US and had their papers.

When he strolled passed the next rows of people, the same “Are you a US citizen?” was asked and when he came to my section, I barely opened my eyes and uttered a response in the affirmative. What would have happened had I not admitted that I was a US citizen? Although my attire indicates a very Midwestern foundation, and my ability to improvise a foreign accent is not quite at the level I would like it to be, I wonder if he would have asked for documentation on my behalf or if he would have sanctioned my inappropriate behavior since it would affect the train ride for everyone on board.

After he passed my section, he came to a young student who I remember seeing in the Toledo station. She was very polite, soft-spoken and comfortably dressed in a faded yellow Michigan t-shirt and light sweater with black sweat pants, which were more presentable than the pieces of heavy cloth with elastic. When he asked her his routine question, she hesitated and then made it clear that she was studying in the states.

He asked for her visa documentation (or perhaps something else, I was still quite groggy) and she said she didn’t have it so he asked for her state ID, which she possessed. There was a brief moment of silence and then asked which school she was studying. She named a school in Toledo, Ohio. He warned, “Okay, you should always carry [the name of the first documentation he requested] on you when you’re traveling.”

She responded, “Oh, okay, yes. I understand.” He left with, “Alright, thank you,” and she left him with, “Yes, thank you.” He continued walking down the aisle asking the same question multiple times until he walked through the mechanical door that led him into the next car.

When I adjusted my body’s position in the seat, my butt had no sensation in and around it and I saw a huge part of a train traveling the opposite direction of our train. It appeared old and unused for quite some time but when I began observing it more, my eyes crept along its rusted metal surface and found an interesting graffiti piece behind the ladder that was created align the metal tank’s surface.