Each night when I close the store, I call M——-. Sometimes we have one of those painful phone conversations for nothing more than the sake of phone conversation. Lots of vacant “yeah” and “well”. I call tonight and must recant my previous proclamations of A——‘s stupidity. Because, today, I have met someone so stupid, so white-latex-paint-glugging stupid like with brown eyes, of which you can only ever see the lower 60%. Stupid, with a chipper ponytail and lots of unpunctuated, uncapitalized “huh.” Dim, and I mean dim, 10:00 pm in Pyongyang on the day after Kim Jong Il’s birthday, a heat-stroking cat that only walks in counter-clockwise circles, like a pita in a damp pantry.
Stupid, sad stupid. When she tells of her daily struggles, the bottom of my stomach starts to cry, and I suddenly would prefer having diarrhea in a Waffle House to feigning empathy with a toothbrush.