Cool By Proxy

I must think I’m pretty cool, huh. As I’m sitting in the bedroom reading my Michelle Tea book while over in the kitchen they’re snorting coke. I’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up in the sunshine and scoot off to Alameda to do my normal job. Where I’ll interact with normal people and secretly feel better than them because I’m cool enough to be the chick in the bedroom at the coke party. Where I also feel better than everyone snorting coke in the kitchen because I have a real, adult job to attend in the morning. What a boring conundrum. I should just pick one and commit to it, but I think I might be the type of person who likes having a ‘secret lifestyle.’ Like if I were a successful career man, I’d have a secret stripper girlfriend. But I’m not, I’m just an overgrown adolescent with a semi-legit job and friends who do coke on Monday nights. I don’t do coke on Monday nights, though. My friends do. I’m not sure if the reason that I don’t do coke on a Monday night is because doing coke on a Monday night is a loser thing to do at this age, or if I’m too much of a loser to do coke on a Monday night. I used to do coke on Monday nights, four years ago, but life changed and now I read books in the bedroom while everyone else gets wasted. I fuck someone who does coke on a Monday night, but loves to point out to me that I’m not nearly as fun as I used to be. I resent him for those kinds of statements and quietly remind myself that I make more money now that I’m less fun. But shouldn’t having more money be fun? Why am I less fun now?

On Tuesday afternoon when he gets up he chops up more lines so he can stay awake long enough to drop me back at home when I get off of work, and I stand there and watch. He offers me a line, and I say no, even though part of me wishes that I were cool enough to say yes. But I know what yes would mean: a thirty minute drive through rush hour traffic, gritting my teeth and then picking a fight, then sitting at home alone while the coke rush fades at 5:30 pm. After which my skin would feel dirty and I’d have to scrub myself off in the shower for too long, hoping that my roommates aren’t resenting me from the other room for not conserving water like we’re supposed to because it’s California. Okay, I’ll pass on the coke this time, and I tell myself it’s not because I’m uncool but because what ever brief coke rush I would have would be uncool. Instead, I watch him snort his lines, and we both know I’m judging him as he meanders into the other room, leaving me there next to the plate that used to be full of cocaine. Although, I don’t know why judgments are always perceived as negative. I think I have passed a positive judgment on him, even if it looked slightly bitchy as it passed through my mind. I was judging him to be much cooler than me, and as I stood in the kitchen and was part of his life for those forty five minutes, I was happy that he gets to be cool. That he gets to live that life and enjoy it. I don’t think I’d enjoy living his life, which is why I live mine, driving soberly through traffic back home to look at more spread sheets and fantasize about being someone much more interesting than myself.

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