This morning after four hours of sleep, I had breakfast with my friend Bonnie at The Fort Smith Coffee Company. (That’s us in the picture. That’s also a guy I think I know but am not sure how. I hate it when that happens.) Anyway, Bonnie has been in freakin’ Paris (Paris, France) for the last month (a whole month!), so we decided to catch up, eat some bread, and pretend like I was there too. It sort of worked for about an hour, but it’s REALLY HARD to forget you’re in Fort Smith when you’re in Fort Smith.
Other than catching up with Bonnie, here’s the best thing that happened during our time at the coffee shop:
Bonnie’s laughing because the cup says, “ho room,” which we figured meant, “no room,” as in, “no room for cream or sugar.” But ho room is way funnier, so Bonnie took the cup home with her, kind of like a souvenir from our time together in Paris (Fort Smith, Arkansas).
I spent this afternoon running all over God’s green earth on a mission to find a new cell phone because the one I’ve had for over two years has been seriously acting up, and I finally had enough of its bullshit. Anyway, it was a six or seven hour ordeal, and it included trips to Best Buy, AT&T, the Fort Smith Public Library (twice), Sprint, and Verizon (twice). I’ll spare you all the details, but I’ve been with Sprint for eleven years, and they don’t sell the phone I initially wanted, so that led me to the other providers. Well, I figured out that if I left Sprint, I could get better coverage, the same deal I have now (unlimited everything) for less money, AND I could use my phone as a WiFi hotspot. (Specifically, that means I can use my phone to connect my laptop to the Internet so that when I’m at home, I don’t have to write blogs on my laptop, copy them to my phone, do all the editing on a screen only slightly bigger than a deck of cards, and then post everything from there.)
This is really, really good news.
I ended up saying goodbye to Sprint (It’s been real) and going with Verizon. A super guy named Gavin helped me out the second time I was there, and the dude spent over two hours with me in order to get me signed up, switched over, and set up. I mean, it’s never a fun feeling to drop money on a new phone with all the amenities, but my monthly fee stayed about the same, and that includes the new phone. Plus, good customer service, like a good personal lube, makes all the difference.
After I left the Verizon, I joined Bonnie and her husband Todd and some of their family friends for a Paris-style dinner at their home. The whole affair lasted for two or three hours. There was cheese, bread, salami, bread, crackers, bread, salad, bread, some sort of chicken and vegetable situation, and dessert (fruit, more cheese, and more bread). Also, there were three types of alcohol. (Todd told us that in Paris (Paris, France), you’re required to look everyone in the eye when you clink your glasses together for a toast. I love that.) Basically, between the bread and alcohol, it was everything I probably didn’t need to eat in order to make the yeast infection under my arm pits go away.
But it sure tasted great.
After dinner I spent about four hours setting up my new phone. This may come as a shock to some of you, but I’m pretty anal-retentive, so I couldn’t really put it down until I got all my favorite applications installed and placed on my home screen in just the right place. Plus, I had to log into all my accounts and set up my voicemail and the hotspot. Those last two items took the longest, since I guess I had to log into Verizon’s application first, but no one told me that. Still, I finally got it all done, so now I’m at home on my laptop–blogging!–and I’m actually connected to the Internet.
Welcome to the 21st Century, Marcus.
There are still a few things I need to do in order to get the new phone set up, but having it mostly taken care of, especially the part about switching networks and actually getting a new phone, feels fantastic. The whole situation has been a point of stress for a while now, so now maybe I can move on to figuring out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life or, as one friend so delicately put it, attend to my moldy armpits.
Almost ten years ago, I visited some friends in Dubai. Well, one day we saw a local medicine man, some sort of witch doctor who made his own potions and healing ointments. I told him about my sinus infections, but there was a language barrier, so I kept pointing to my head a lot. And the guy just stood there and nodded his head, and he finally said, “Oh yes, weak brain.”
That was actually his diagnosis. Weak brain.
At your service.
Even now my friends and I joke about that. And whenever I’m exhausted and can’t focus (like now), I think–weak brain. I guess the body just wasn’t made to blog until six in the morning and then get up four hours later, even if it does mean coffee in Paris. I mean, I thought I was going to take a nap today, but that didn’t happen. And really, I’m glad it didn’t because sometimes when I get tired, I can’t really fake anything. It’s like exhaustion is a shortcut to authenticity. This afternoon at Verizon and this evening at Bonnie’s, I kept thinking that I should chat more, but I just didn’t have it in me. So I chatted some, and the rest of the time I quietly enjoyed what was going on, which left me grateful for good customer service, and–even better–long meals and good friends who look you in the eye, wish you well, and don’t require that you be anything other than who you are–tired, weak brain, and all.
Quotes from CoCo
"Sickness and health come and go, just like everything else. It's just the way life is."