Chinese Philosophy, Mozzarella Sticks, and Underprivileged Children

by G.T.

Day two of texting poetry to every motherfucking cell number on my Contacts List was interrupted by an unexpected happening. My sister accidentally fucked up the computer while trying to install wireless internet. Apparently, she thought one could unplug any cord from the cable modem, and stick it in any random plug in the whatchamacallit wifi thing. I wasn’t able to post Monday’s text poems, because rather than fix the computer, I had to get ready and haul ass to work, for a nine hour shift. On Labor Day. Definitely the most ironic holiday of my year. The mess up turned out to be advantageous, as you will find out. Here’s Monday’s textual poetic outburst.

Andy L. (707) – Andy was one of my closest pledge brothers in my fraternity. Born in Hong Kong, he moved with his mother and sister to California when he was seven years old, and is studying to be a, you guessed it, architect, in Chicago (There’s going to be a lot of architecture students in this project). Andy is a lovable guy, and has a tendency to get really saddened about his romantic shortcomings whenever he gets drunk. Who doesn’t, though? I think of him as a big teddy bear, but since he’s Chinese, I guess it’s more appropriate to say, panda bear. A panda bear that likes to get high. I sent him a poem at 3:01am.

“Hong Kong baby that saw
California too young.
Opposing worlds where
true love hides.
Finally, you were seduced
by Mary Jane.”

3:07am, Andy: “Your poem was speechlessly breautiful…”

Breautiful…I can imagine him pronouncing it that way…

3:08am, Me: “Much love, homie.”

3:09am, Andy: “XD
What you up to this fine evening…? =]”

I think that ‘XD’ is also a form of smiley face. I’m not hip on text lingo.

3:09am, Me: “Writing. You?”

3:10am, Andy: “Learning Chinese philosophy.”

3:11am, Me: “I applaud you.”

3:13am, Andy: “You can too.

What a guy.

Audriena C. (773) – This one was my first challenge, or at least I viewed it as one until I realized, “why give a fuck anymore?” In December of 2008, I went to this really shitty party on Chicago’s Northside, and I met Audriena, who is a friend of my friend’s girlfriend. Liked her, but didn’t really pursue anything. I found out in May of ’09 that she was interested in me, and I said, “What the hell? It’s worth a shot.” I went to a party at Audriena’s house a few weeks after with the intention of asking her out on a date. After spilling beer all over myself and accidentally offering one of her pregnant friends a beer, I thought the night was done for. But I asked her out, she said yes, and we went out a week later.
Long story short, the date went as followed…
She partied the night before, passed out at her friend’s apartment, totally on the other side of Chicago from where her house was and from the restaurant I had chosen was located. I drove to the apartment and picked her up, walked to a restaurant that her friend had suggested, discovered that that restaurant had closed down, ended up at Rainforest Café where she only ate mozzarella sticks and french fries and I sat at the table trying to speak over an animatronic gorilla that was roaring next to our table. On the way to drop her off at her house, she didn’t know how to get home, so we got lost on the Southside for almost an hour, I had to pee and stopped at a KFC, dropped her off at her house, and we haven’t spoken since.
Hey, at least she got a free ride home. And we made it to her house after she called her pregnant friend for directions. Not the evening I expected.
I recall her Facebook profile stating something about loving “Chicago Summers”. Sounded like something to write about. At 3:16am.

“Chicago Summers.
The heat of spontaneity
ends with the first cold wind.
You never stopped to take a
breath and enjoy the moment,
and must wait another year.”

I fell asleep before I ever got a response. But, Audriena eventually replied.

8:44am, Audriena: “Who is this? New phone”

No, I am not New Phone. I’m George, but like I said, I won’t reveal my identity to anyone who asks.

While working last night, I grew bored as usual, and was disappointed that I didn’t get a better response from Audriena. Maybe it was her and she had deleted my number. Perhaps she changed her number, and didn’t remember mine. Or I could’ve had the wrong number. Midnight was approaching, so there was only one thing I could do. Send her another poem.
Audriena was a bit shallow, I’ll admit, or as I came to find out, rather. And earlier this year, I heard that one of Audriena’s friends had slashed her in the face; with hands that had those scary fake nails. Sounded like a great poem. At 11:32pm.

“Famished for an image
something shallow,
untelling like a cheap
paper illustration.
Only to learn it’s nothing
when torn by a
vulture’s manicured claws.”

11:41pm, Audriena: “Who is this”

I thought of creating a pseudonym based on Rainforest Café and us being unable to find the right way to her house. I was going to call myself…Amazon Mecca. Instead, I chose to engage in conversation before turning ridiculous.

11:47pm, Me: “It’s just a poem. Like the one before it. Everybody gets one. Maybe two, but no more after that. Don’t make a big fuss over it. It’s just a poem.”

11:48pm, Audriena: “I don’t have anyones number I got a new phone I’m just asking who this is”

11:57pm, Me: “Now if you enjoy the poems, I don’t mind sending poems every now and then. My job is boring, and writing poems to random numbers keeps me occupied.”

11:58pm, Audriena: “Don’t send me any txts weirdo”

Weirdo? What would make me weird? Ah! I have a job. That would strike someone as odd.

Midnight was around the corner, and once the next day arrives, I can’t go any further with these people, because it’s on to the next three people. Maybe that was Audriena, or it was my first wrong number. I need to think of a way to correspond with these strangers without them becoming so turned off by my accidental waltz into their lives.

August D. (815) – August, or “Aug”, is one of the few friends that I hang out with these days. Usually for a couple of hours, once a week or once every two weeks. At 3am, he was drunk, at a birthday party for a friend who I no longer keep in touch with (somebody who is also in my Contacts List). Minutes before sending the poem to Aug, he sent me this text message:

3:11am, Aug: “I walked home from Theresa’s and I only saw two cars”

Big fuckin’ whoop. It’s unincorporated Lockport. Nobody’s around, especially at three in the fuckin’ morning. Only drunk kids walking home. That’s the only activity going on at that time.

Quick sidenote. Aug is an aspiring teacher, and wants to teach in an underprivileged area, to students who do not have the resources that more affluent districts have. I respect Aug for wanting to do this, and even more impressive is that Aug had a fairly comfortable upbringing, but wants to stray from the snobbish, primadonna whiteys that we both went to school with. However, Aug’s current student-teaching deal is at a high school whose student body is predominantly upper-middle class suburbanites. He may have an opportunity to teach there full-time sometime soon, knows that it would be a smart career move, but in his heart-of-hearts, is having second thoughts. So here’s your poem, Aug. It may have inadvertantly offended your drunk ass. At 3:19am.

“You saw a child of rags
and loved him for his own good.
But now you see the child
of riches and loathe him
for your own good.”

Aug didn’t, or wouldn’t, respond.

3:26am, Me: “Say something, Aug. Are you alright? I would’ve given you a ride home.”

3:30am, Aug: “I am fine. Now I must sleep, thank you though”

One of my pet peeves is trying to discern emotion through text, or when people try and discern emotion through my text messages. I’m often sarcastic, and people are insulted when they shouldn’t be when reading one of my sardonic texts. I sense that I struck a sensitive spot with Aug, because this poem did touch on what is likely the biggest conflict in his life right now. However, I didn’t want these poems to be cute and fuzzy. They were supposed to be specific to each person, and suggest something about them. Maybe I’ll write Aug a poem and tell him that he’s got a big cock, or something. I’m capable of flattering people, I just don’t do it often.

I plan to send the next three poems around noon today, so I’ll see how that turns out soon enough.