This Hater’s Gonna Hate

Walking past a coffee stand, I noticed that the Barista — who was a woman with mannish mannerisms, obviously queer — had a thin mustache which on a “natural” man would have looked pervy. He, or she, was a man now, though whether “below the belt” i.e. full gender reassignment I cannot say, and would rather not look. I support gay sex, marriage, divorce, everything, so my aversion to the sight wasn’t political or ethical; the hormonal dissonance was just a little too early in the morning for me. Also, the Barista in mention never had a nice attitude towards me. In my former patronages, she acted very frat boy-y, perhaps as some weird heteronormatively hyper-male compensatory measure. I started feeling nauseous.

I often talk to myself, sometimes in public. I am not insane, just enjoy my company a little too much. Where others bore me, I am captivated by what I’ll say next. Case in point: I was walking down the sidewalk, lightly damning the Barista under my breath — with, again, a kind of repulsion which transcends contemporary politics — when I sensed someone walking closely behind me, by whom I quickly became subdued, for fear of being heard. I stopped talking. They were walking rather too closely behind me, in a way intrusive to one’s “personal space.” I slowed down to let this mystery asshole pass. It was a 12-year-old Latina wearing fucking headphones. I had stopped my vigorous conversation for no reason at all. Where the hell does a 12-year-old Latina have to go in such a hurry? Planned parenthood, that’s where.

I enter the cafe in which this article is being composed. The Barista in this particular establishment is a white pudgy male in his late-30s. Based on his affected haircut, some conversations I’ve overheard, and his grand indignation at working here — displayed by the passive-aggressively loud way he “plops” my bagel on the plate — I gather he is a failed musician. I used “failed” in the sense that, were he successful, he would not be working here. Of course, there is a chance he’s some musical genius, whose feedback-inducing slouch into the speakers is divine, but I am not his biographer. Too bad for him. Anyways, and here’s where I get pissy, he’s apparently one of those musical purists who believes they can sense the difference between an .mp3 and vinyl. Dude actually brought his record player and is playing records, some solemn nod to better days when you needed a milk crate to carry around fifty albums. That’s so precious.

Concerning coffee’s diarrhetic effect, about seven minutes have transpired between this paragraph and the last one. Instead of saving this post, sleeping my laptop, placing it in my canvas tote bag, and bringing it in the restroom with me, I simply addressed the nearest stranger (who looked fully bathed and employed) and said “Hey man, can you watch my laptop while I go to the restroom?” This is an unspoken contract between people in cafes with MacBooks. We involve each other in our respective shits. I let a lanky brown ghost slide from under me. When I came back, I was sure to make eye-contact and nod, the implicit reticent “thanks,” which he barely acknowledged. Self-absorbed bastard probably would have let some hippie steal my MacBook. God damn hippies, this is the problem with Socialism.

I feel self-conscious right now as I had mentioned by canvas tote bag, some of whose demographic of users are those annoying sensitive and effeminate men who carry their gay ass shit around: MacBook, Harper’s, local bicycle coalition brochure, fennel, beets, basically anything besides beef jerky and some extra large condoms. I say this with more derision than anything else above, as I find myself being that kind of guy: mildly creative, vaguely depressed, passively liberal, freaking snobby. Let him walk the sidewalks of his city judging others, sneaking punchlines into a blog post, feeling pretty good at how clever he presumes to be. Desperate people tend to need to feel pretty good all of the time, in order to slap the sadness, stunning it. When you fantasize about how comfortable your coffin lining must be, it’s time to move on. Until then, just wave to me from across the street. TC Mark

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