I took an extra napkin from a Taco Bell for unspecified use "later." I sat on a bench on a hot day, enjoying the breeze as the man next to me fanned himself. I read the headlines of a newspaper that was for sale in a kiosk box. I divided a single-serving DingDong in two, and had it for dessert on two consecutive days. I listened all the way through to a Metallica song emanating from my neighbor's radio, but closed my window when the commercial came on. I remembered the movie times in my newspaper from the day before so I wouldn't have to buy a copy of the paper today. When a friend's cat chose my lap to sit in, I petted it, precisely to discourage it from moving to the lap of its rightful owner. I said "What a long, strange trip it's been" without air quotes. On the Amtrak "quiet car," I listened to a man in the seat ahead of me explaining to the bored woman next to him how he gets such a great shine on his shoes. I have since used his technique, successfully. I have stared carefully at reproductions of great paintings. I asked for and received a "tasting spoon" of mint pistachio ice cream, anticipating, correctly, that I would not like it. I smelled the aromatherapy candles in an aisle in the Stop 'n' Shop. Frequently have I browsed stores with absolutely no intent to purchase. On some such occasions, I have felt fabrics I did not intend to buy. I placed a bag on the seat next to me on the subway. I continued to wear in public running shoes after the Nike "swoosh" wore off. In a Italian restaurant, I entered their "win a free lunch" contest by putting into the jar a business card from a job I had recently left, with my new phone number written in by hand. I have retold the joke about the man who meets a pirate in a bar without ever once explicitly acknowledging that I was not its author. I gazed with lust at another man's bikini-clad wife. I deeply inhaled the smell of popcorn in a movie theater, but I did not buy any. One late summer evening, I purposefully and with intent committed to memory the purple of the clouds. That I still remember the edge of the chill was unpremeditated, however.
A No-B.S. Guide To Life