no title because i just found this in a box today

12:37 PM

You know what would happen if I wasn't here today? I'd probaly be sitting outside of some cafe...people watching. I'm not an excellent judge of character by any means, but there are times I can read a person entirely by the way they hold their plastic coffee cup.

All of the above. The biggest indicator that something is wrong is the size of the cup. This can be misleading at times because even when I'm having a wonderful day, I opt for the larger coffee, but for some people, most people, they only go for the venti when they are dealing with something. That something could be as mundane as 'subway vs taxi' or could be as taxing as 'house in the Hamptons vs saving for that Chanel dress'. If they hold it with both hands they're feeling the need to be possessive over something. Maybe recently they lost a battle with another individual and need to regain some sense of power. Or maybe they're just paranoid that someone is going to take their latte. I've got the times in front of me. I'm trying entirely too hard to do the crossword puzzle. I've completed it only one time...in ink. The last response I entered was the answer to the question/prompt 'a four letter word for yield.' Stop? It was stop, though I find that statement to be somewhat not valid.

Slow would make more sense, but I was completing the words access, rabbit, polo and raindrop, so you tell me? It had started to rain that day, and after I completed the puzzle I tore it out and saved it for framing. That's something that deserves to go on the wall next to your high school diploma. I used the other portions of the newspaper to shield myself, but for some reason, I continued sitting where I was. Rain or no rain, I didn't feel like moving. I wouldn't move until about 10:05 am when I had to hail a taxi and make the journey to whatever office I was working in that day. I touched my coffee with one hand and noticed a man looking at me. He smiled and held his cup up in a gesture that said, 'good choice of beverage, now tell me why you're sitting here in the rain when there are several chairs and tables shielded from the water?' I just smiled and took a sip. How fair of him to judge me just by my coffee. Oh wait...whatever. He doesn't know what I've been through.

Some were up and some were down. That is beside the point. My point is I'm being judged by the random man across from me and for some reason it's upsetting me.

When it comes time for me to leave, I hail a taxi with ease and slide into the seat, relatively dry. The cabbie asks me where you goin' in a heavy Brooklyn accent and I spat off coordinates as if I were spatting off the brand names of shoes I own...it's become second nature. I have a deadline. Have I met it? Not today.

I enjoy taxis, really I do, but there are times I miss having a car. There is nothing like going on a long drive and turning up the music as loud as possible. Sometimes music just sounds better in a car with a beautiful scene outside either window. Now when I'm traveling, I rely solely on headphones, which are fine...but I still miss the freedom of letting y ears experience sound bouncing off of car windows then going straight into my head. I was supposed to have something worthy of handing in today. I spent the night watching reruns of MASH and I let my work suffer for that. I always seem to have trouble with inspiration. Why is that> It used to come to me, now I'm lucky if I can write about anything with any substance.

Hmm, you're probably right. I've never been one to handle my coffee intake. It always makes me crash but I do it anyway because that is what you do out here. When I finally arrive at work, I answer email and return messages. I have several messages from associates, some from the few family members I still talk to and some random ones from friends. All are set up the same way. Salutation. How am I doing? How they're doing. Whatever the primary reason for sending the email/leaving the message and then a closing...it's pretty easy to respond to. I am waiting for someone above me to come in and ask for my article. I thumb through past ones I've written but have never turned in hoping maybe there is something in that pile I can salvage. No such luck, I'll have to fake it.

I was done. I had just received a voicemail. Unless you have an amazing reason, article on my desk by five. Great, fantastic, wonderful. I couldn't do this. I scribbled a note. Family emergency> Illness> Death of a pet? I sucked at excuses, probably because I lacked inspiration there, too. Finally my mind settled on something I know wouldn't be questioned. I left the note in the inbox of my immediate supervisor and left. Unexpected psych appointment. Evaluation results back. Will have article by five. -J

I'm extremely insecure. It gets bad. One thing I am lucky enough to be able to fall back on is the fact that weekly I visit an expensive friend to listen to my troubles and then charge me for it. Really, I had no evaluation results back but everyone in Manhattan sees a shrink. It's as common as taking your clothes to the dry cleaners. And as far as supervisors go, they rarely ask you to explain why you ha an immediate psych appointment because if they do they know they're just asking to be the next person you go to with problems if your doctor happens to be unavailable. I'm insecure, especially now that I have a deadline. There are times where I just don't have anything to say, so why would anyone want to read anything written by me if it isn't something I feel passionate about? I wouldn't. Half the reason I read things is because I believe that whoever is writing then cares about what they are expressing, It's the same way a musician plays music or a dancer dances. They want to share a piece of themselves with the world.

I could take to drinking. Don't think I haven't considered it. I have and weirdly enough I tried to become an alcoholic. Then I would have an excuse. I couldn't do it. I like drinking but not to the point of making it a daily occurrence. Brush your teeth, take a shot. Change your underwear, take a shot. It's not that easy. Alcohol is expensive. When I leave my building, I see a homeless man sipping from a paper bag. I give him a look almost sub-consciously and then I realize it's not alcohol he is sipping at...it's pepto bismal. I automatically feel like the lowest human being. Like I said, I'm not an excellent judge of character. There are so many things I could write about. I typically write about anything involving pop-culture. I'm a culture vulture, excuse the pun. At this moment I could probably write an article about the homeless man that spent the dollar some rich dude gave him on a bottle of pepto instead of a bottle of vodka. Takes me back to my sophomore year of high school when I used to chug bottles of the pink liquid before a date. We have that in common, sort of.

It's cold. It's fall. I love fall. Next to winter it's my favorite time of year. It's crisp, I love crisp. There is a photo shoot in Central Park today. Some...model. I'm not sure who she is so I don't gawk like everyone else. I kind of want to. I kind of want that life. Sure, people are aware of who I am, but in the elusive writer sort of way. I'm known for being witty and funny, not for being devastatingly gorgeous or remarkably talented. I usually find this to be better, but there were times where I was viewed for the latter and I miss that sometimes. Only sometimes.

My mind always wanders...and it just upsets me but I do it anyway. As I see everyone in the park as I sit there alone (latte number two, cigarette number four) I miss people. I miss my dog, I miss my dad, I miss my friends. I miss him. Those things are just things I had to let go of. Don't think I didn't struggle...I still love them; it's just one of those things. Model is on a break now and a pair of young boys on Razr scooters have glided up to her. She smiles at them and signs their pieces of paper in a timely manner and as they roll away, she doesn't roll her eyes. She doesn't do anything but continue smiling and I'm a little shocked. Is that odd?

I've pre-judged two people today. Wait...three. The guy at the cafe included. Well kind of. And wasn't my initial thought 'I'm not an excellent judge of character, but I can tell things about people by the way they drink coffee?' Seriously I have issues. Maybe I should make a shrink appointment, complete with an actual evaluation. I will key this into my Blackberry now. Judge and ye shall be judged. I judge yet I hate being judged (re:insecure). I won't go as far as to create a whole new persona to get people to like me. Honestly enough, the reason I probably don't do that is because I'd forget what I've told people and the lies would come pouring out and blow my cover. It's too much of a hassle. I speak incorrectly even though I hate it. I make typos, I trip over my feet, I forget to button a portion of my shirt and give the construction workers a show. I make mistakes and I hate it. I guess there is nothing else I can do. You're going to judge me; i have (relatively) thick skin. Unless i know you're being a jerk. Then you're just being a jerk.

I can't spend money. I want to shop, because that's how I relieve stress. Haha not! You think you know me? That's not my therapy. I'd much rather read, did you know that? I'm a reader. I'd much rather read or watch a movie. Or talk to someone about something meaningful. I"m not all superficial, though I can see where you'd probably get that impression. I tend to come off that way. Here I go defending myself again. Why? Because I do care. I care what people think. Sometimes. There are a lot of things that I don't care about, but deep down I think it does matter. I don't want to be a martyr, but a role model wouldn't be too bad.

What was my point again? Oh yeah, I want to shop. Only because I have nothing else to do. Maybe someone over on Fifth Avenue will have a story for me. I can turn the washing directions on the back of a tag into a stunning piece of literature. Or I can just wash, rinse and repeat. I haven't the means to purchase anything that isn't essential right now, especially because if I don't have an article on the desk by five I will probably be out of a job, or at least back in the mailroom. I worked too hard for this...there has to be some kind of light. I look up and there is a pigeon above my head. Just my luck.

I moved out of the line of the pigeon before any real damage could be done. I'm quick like that. It's two pm. I've wasted a long time. I better start focusing. WAIT A MINUTE. I judged that pigeon. I assumed he was going to do his business right on top of me. Man, I'm batting a thousand today. Seriously, this is becoming too frequent. I'm not sure I should be doing this. I wander and find a bench, adjacent to Strawberry Fields. Life would be so much easier if I was John Lennon. Wait, I'd be dead. I guess that's easy. My deadline is getting closer. Let's recap. I've judged three people and a bird. I've debated shopping. I've rambled about insecurities. I've had two lattes and several cigarettes. I've missed people. I've made up ailments. The only thing I haven't done is strip down to nothing and told you the rest of my secrets. If I wrote for Playboy, my article would almost write itself. Wait, maybe it is just that easy.

My editor is probably going to judge me. I'm sure he already is, especially if he thinks I'm at a psychiatrist's office waiting for lab results from a lobotomy or something (I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than have a frontal lobotomy). I love the impression I'm making. It's three thirty and I'm slightly closer to a story idea than I was an hour and a half ago. It kind of clicked, but now I'm just working out the kinks. I live in New York, we don't have restrooms, we have subways.

I was in Bergdorfs the other day and I overheard this conversation.

Girl 1: *loudly burps*
Girl 2: Oh my god, did you just seriously burp in Bergdorfs? Who are you?

I start to make my way back to my office. I've come up with a relatively good story. It has nothing to do with anything I initially thought I'd write about today...in fact, the entire article may actually end up making no sense to anyone but me (and possibly you) but that's the risk I take...everyday. I won't get fired, just looked at quizzically, but that's normal for me, I sometimes wear red shoes.

I sneak into work, I have only about forty minutes to type everything up. It's times like this when I wish that I had a voice recorder for all the mental notes I take throughout the day. It would honestly be so much more convenient and save a lot of time. Today I wore black shoes, suck on that. People pass by me constantly with looks of worry. It's an office, secrets are only secrets for so long. Everyone knows your business, but they rarely call you out on it. They just give you looks of sympathy or pity. Even if you just celebrated a milestone, you'll probably get a pitiful look almost as if to say 'its' all downhill from here.'

I converse with strangers, one in particular. I'm not sure who it is. I received a random anonymous email one day, sometime I thought had read my articles and just wanted to comment. It's developed into more. We started talking and had good conversations. I have no idea who this person is, but for some reason, talking to them makes me feel better. I am not sure if they feel the same way, but they continue writing and sending their thoughts. We almost have a friendship. IT's odd. I thought about that person today. I thought 'what if that person was expecting me to write them something? What would they have me write> Would they value what I had to say> Would they care at all? But most importantly...would they judge me?' The answer is yes. They do. All the time. And I hate it.

I'm pretty much done with this. I print out what I've written and look at it. It's amazing how I can shorten a years worth of words into a one-page article in small font. I guess that's what I paid for in college. I"m kind of proud that my ramblings have gotten me this far and that there are a few people that still enjoy it. It's not amazing, but it's honest. That's the one thing I can be in my writing, well most of it anyway. I still suck at fiction. I CC the article to my stranger in hopes that they read it and giggle. That's what I like to hear. I may feel judged but at least it keeps me on my toes. Maybe that's their intention. Maybe that's why they act the way they act on paper. OR maybe they're just like everyone else.

Told you I'd have it on your desk by five. I'm even a little early.

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