I walked to a nearby shopping centre to finish off my Christmas shopping Tuesday. I walked because the night before I’d gotten pulled over on the way to Tim's. I was inexplicably angry all day yesterday, so maybe I was a little shorter than I meant to be as I talked to the copper. I got the impression he thought I was a dangerous delinquent, or at least someone who was trying to pull something over on him.
Oh, yeah--why did he pull me over? My frelling break lights are out again. I told him I'd just gotten 'em fixed, saying something like, "Yeah, the guy at the place told me they're out 'cause the bulbs are out but the genius didn't think to wonder why the bulbs on a fairly new car'd gone out."
The Man didn't like my tone, I don't think. That's my theory as to why he wanted to see my license and registration so badly, made a big point in telling me he wasn't gonna give me a ticket this time, only a warning. Gee, I guess I ought've thanked him for not being a complete, bottom-feeding asshole.
Anyway, to-day I wasn't so much angry as having a bit of difficulty concentrating. It was a dim day, I guess. But ominous.
I got lunch at Quizno's where, I discovered, the price of a small Veggie sandwich and a bottle of lemon Snapple is exactly $6.66.
"I feel lucky!" I said to the cashier, whose weak smile suggested that she was either unfamiliar with the sign of the beast or loathed my flippant reaction to irrefutable evidence of my sin coated soul.
After that, I went to Target and bought the very last Christmas present I needed to buy. As I was waiting in line with it, a man behind me, who looked like a large, more weathered version of Peter Straub, suddenly said to me, "No rest for the wicked, eh?"
It took me a moment to realise he was talking to me and I could tell from the subtle reactions of everyone nearby in the crowded store that his statement had puzzled everyone. The man's wife gave him a quick, angry look.
It was a mysterious, slightly inexplicable incident. And like most slightly inexplicable incidents, the mind took it and feverishly attempted to decode it for hours. From concluding it was a feeble result of his observing my black clothes and hat and needing somehow to comment on them, to thinking perhaps he was a vessel meant to convey to me some Jacob Marley-ish revelation.
All I know is that Christmas, and this Christmas season in particular, is starting to take on this vast, overbearing, bruise-fleshy shape of chilling, and unknowable significance. It's like a big ghost of a genetic experiment, its mottle skin sagging grey through the sharp metal restraints until it resembles nothing so much as an overcast sky . . . And let's not forget all the red painted on everything.