My home delivery shopper finishes delivering my groceries to the landing at the bottom of my stairwell and tells me that’s the end of it, have a nice day, and leaves before I get a chance to ask her how hers is going.

She’s hating me because I requested that she ascend the stairs she thinks to be an implied extension of me to my apartment door, stairs that seem like a dig on her sense of importance, that seem to say I don’t think you’re on the same level as me.

She takes off and I grab my groceries and carry them into my apartment. It takes a couple of trips

and while I’m doing that, I’m thinking about how all the things we carry also carry us for a while before eventually dropping us off and leaving us with the customary thank you, we’re so used to giving. It seems there’s always time for making yourself sound wise each time an implied kind of mockery nibbles its way through the fabric of contradiction in order to get to the cheese of everyday boring you.

Like the time my counseling professor in college once called on me to give an answer to his intentionally vague question in class, and I offered up something from another assignment he had given us earlier that, as design would have it, had nothing to do with the question he said he was asking.

The class laughed at me, and I laughed at me, and we were all laughing in one great big laugh party, until, that is, he told me to tell them to shut up, and when I did, asked me why I did what he told me to do.

That cut right to my self-esteem in a way I couldn’t even speak to at the time, I thought I’d had a stroke I was so angry. He even smiled at me and made a motion to his hip with his hand as if he were wielding a sword, and then started to victory dance old man style and lick his lips a little.

This, he explained to the class, while brushing back his white hair, is an example of how the mentally ill client will often try to manipulate your confidence by baiting you into a false sense of competence first before hitting you with an assault on what at first seems your intelligence and capability

but later, if you’re fortunate you’ll realize to be that pompous shit inflated ego inside you that’s always saying you can’t do this to me, how dare you disrespect me of all people, and do you know who you’re talking to.

I wonder what happened to him. If he’s passed away now or if he’s still teaching on the subtle art of ego deflation. If I saw him today, and because we need a self help book on how to be unattractive and still be worshipped, I’d probably say I’m still the pompous shit I used to be, only now I don’t have the energy to be a dick, even in secret, and so would rather just float through life seeing how weak and vulnerable I can be and still stand, while I listen to the birds chirp and sip on seltzer water, how about you?