on the way to the chiropractor

Today, for the first time ever, I went to the chiropractor. And it was pretty much what I expected: a healthy, fit guy in casual clothes made me take off my shirt and then sat on me. Or something like that. I had my head turned to the side so I wasn't quite sure what he was doing, but if felt like he sat on me, punched my kidney repeatedly and then tried to pull my limbs off like I was a tasty pretzel. The whole thing felt a little Greco-Roman, if you know what I'm saying. But my God, I never knew how much I needed someone to sit on my back and punch me, until I stood up from that weird vinyl table and felt... normal.

I hadn't felt normal in weeks. Moving from one apartment to the next had twisted my body and set my entire torso at a strange angle to my hips. One leg felt shorter than the other, which gave me the orthopedics heebie-jeebies. In my experience, people fitted with orthopedics are condemned to walk up and down the concourse of the crappiest shopping mall in the city. They don't stop, unless it's to buy their sullen pimpled children fries from the A&W. They just walk the dead spaces, the clomp of their heel hard on the tile, living out some ghastly twilight existence in the shelter of retail outlets. So you can see why I wouldn't want an orthopedic shoe. I like to limp around horribly walk in the world, people! Here's what happened on the way.

In the Sears: I stopped to buy underwear at Sears. Why? I needed new ones.The ones I had on were not the freshest. The apartment move kind of interrupted the natural cycle of laundry, and there was no way I was going to the chiropractor without decent underwear. Plus they were old and looked they'd been in a gang fight. I felt like the grandmother from Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" who wore her nicest underwear for a car trip, just in case she died in an accident. Is this more than you need to know about my habits? I figured there was little chance that the chiropractor would want me to take my pants off, but in that unlikely event, I wanted some fine fresh underwear.

I also discovered, or rediscovered, that old people are bullies. I don't care if you've accomplished the remarkable feat of not dying for eighty years - stop butting in front of me in line. Yeah, I'm talking to you, lady. Oh, I see you're buying underwear as well. Visiting the chiropractor?

Passing by the windows of HMV: The posters for Johnny Cash's latest and likely not last album read: This Is The Music Johnny Wanted Us To Hear. That's a new tack - guilting the public into buying a dead guy's album and invoking a kind of mournful solidarity. There's always something a little ghoulish about the recording industry propping up the dead to sell product to the living, but this feels almost bullying. Hey Paulie, should we throw down money for the latest Rick Rubin album featuring the voice of Johnny Cash? You bet, Cindy - it's what Johnny would have wanted. But Paulie, we already spent that money we made selling methadone to those kids in the Durango. Damn, Cindy, time to go turn tricks again. One handjob should do it, hey? Plus there's that 'us'. Are we supposed to join in on the mourning with the people who are selling Johnny Cash to us? I don't think so.

In The Park: I'm not going to google this at work, but I'm pretty sure that the guy who passed me with a cell phone stuck against his ear was talking about a musician named MC Fecal Matter. Yeah, he's the guy who raps about shitting, he said, which didn't surprise me. He just raps about taking a shit. People on benches looked up from their private heat highs and swung their necks around, trying to locate the source of the shit talk. I couldn't imagine whom I'd phone, just to talk about some guy who talks about shit. That sounds kind of Carveresque: What We Talk About When We Shout About The Shit-Rapper On Our Cell Phones or something.