I start to think the breakfast I consume most days, on workdays specifically, is not real. It’s not that the eggs are fake, or made of plastic, or synthetics. It’s not that the sausage is some kind of frankenfood, made not of pork but some obtuse combinatorial of string and glue. The banana is not fake for being made of cotton candy and a uniquely edible brand of rubber.

That’s not what I mean. It’s not a matter of fake food or synthetically made edibles.

I don’t think the food I eat even exists. I’m imagining it, fantasizing its existence, going through motions of eating and chewing when nothing is there. Not even air. It’s a fantasy that I would have food to eat. The presentation of it, in the self-serve buffet thingies, is artfully abstract. The creators of this canard see nothing. They see people like me scooping up quantities of air and emptiness, paying for the privilege, then sitting at the tables shoveling spoons and forks at our mouths as air and emptiness feed us.

Bartender asked how my Sunday was. I said “Dismal,” then added “miserable failure.” I don’t really know why I said that. I slept too late, which is never good for me. But the late sleep came from aggressive and even manic cleaning and washing dishes until probably 2am. I was exhausted.

Spent the Sunday in pursuit of a mystery payphone, located in an asshole part of New York, forgotten even by its owner. I reminded him of its existence, meaning he may now feel obligated to get rid of it. So I made haste in documenting it.

I popped a zit this morning. Blood everywhere. Looked like I’d been punched but it all washed away, leaving a slight blemish where there had been a freakin’ monster.

Its eruption occurred in the shower, this morning after the dismal Sunday in which I failed once again to cross paths with the woman I’m interested in, and from whom I detected something mutual. She just was not there, as she seems to usually be at the hour I arrived.

Just as well, given the monster zit I was sporting. I blame zittiness on my return to wearing a cloth mask on the subways and elsewhere. The zits appear right where the edges of the mask rub hardest against my precious, sweet, otherwise impeccable face.

I also got strange-seeming signals from the woman on the train. I sometimes suspect I get drunk and post comments on her website or TikTok. I remember coming perilously close to doing that but I have no memory of actually doing it. I even start to ask if she is who I think she is. In person she looks so much smaller than on the screen, or in my mind.

I see a doctor on Wednesday. I don’t even know why. I feel doped up on these pills, addicted to them even. To just run out of them would be bad. I have a solid supply at the moment but things can change. I could get fired and lose coverage.

I tested negative for Covid. I had no symptoms but cases are on the rise, I ride the subways and never sanitize or anything except wear a mask, which I consider unpredictable in effectiveness. I’ve always been skeptical of the maskfulness but it’s almost hopeless when almost nobody else is wearing one.

Glad I popped that zit, though. It was waiting for a few days. Now I’ll look better should my path cross with hers this week. Appearances mean a lot. Not everything but a lot. She is older than me. Most of my encounters these past few years involved younger women, some much younger. Age is good, though.