Monday, March 31, 2008

Well, Fuck

According to blogger, I have not written in this thing since February 7th. That, of course, is a lie, as I do remember putting spontaneously written fiction on the internet, reading it two hours later, and sheepishly taking it down. Well played Blogger, well played.

It's about time that I start writing consistently. My plan was to join the Daily Collegian, which would inevitably force me to improve my skills as well as exercise them regularly. Oops.

On this note, I must say, what better place to start than the middle finger?

Earlier today, I had just finished lunch on the east side of campus and was too lazy to walk all the way downtown. This was one of the few situations I entertained the idea of riding a CATA bus. Normally I don't take advantage of the buses on campus, because they are crowded and sometimes smell like piss (usually on weekends, take a wild guess why), but worry over sitting two feet away from some random kid I took English 15 with two semesters ago was defeated by laziness.

Of course, I did see someone I did recognize. I wouldn't call him an acquaintance, as we have never had a conversation before, but we were both involved in an organization at one point, and I'm sure if we got to talking that would have come up. But I'm terrible with that. Especially on the Bus - if the conversation well goes dry, it's the most agonizingly awkward location outside of church. Next thing I know, I typically have gotten off the bus at a stop that is a mile away from my apartment just to avoid awkward silence.

So, I did what instinct told me to do and became very interested in what the bus was passing by outside. The kid literally sat down 18 inches away from me, so I had to be REALLY intrigued by things like the benches on Atherton. Seriously. I am that bad with seeing people in public places.

It wasn't all bad though. What I saw at the bus stop outside of Rec Hall got me thinking. It was a shaggy looking fellow, bespectacled and a racket under his arm, knocking on the bus door after the driver had closed it.

Suddenly there was human interest in the scenery - no wondering if I did indeed see a Smoothie King cup in the trash can on Curtin.

The bus driver had already made up his mind. He ignored the knocking and merged into traffic. I watched Scruffy McRacquetballer mouth "Asshole" and angrily extend his middle finger, raised in the air for all to see.

I started to think about the middle finger. When we were all twelve, it was like a brand new activity. You'd utilize it whenever deemed appropriate. I remember overstepping my bounds with this insulting digit - I'd try to trick my little brother into doing it during Mass.

Those were the glory days of the middle finger - I'd extend mine at least twice a week, to friends, relatives (when they weren't looking), random-ass pedestrians - it was great. Now I notice that it's use is limited.

There's this purgatory of the middle finger- between people you know well and people you don't know at all, our culture doesn't seem to use it. I will flick off my friends when they are being assholes, and the cockbite that cuts me off on the highway, but the friend of a friend who I have spoken to twice isn't getting the M.F. treatment. It's an unspoken rule - at least for the people I know, anyway.

I've never thought to try and flick off the members of this social median. Because my use of the finger is either joking or when I'm seriously pissed, I wonder how great of an impact it would make on that person's impression of you.

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