August 22, 2011 : Benjamin Van Loon

August 22, 2011 : Benjamin Van Loon

Monday is perfect day for bullets. I’ll lay them out here in chronological order. (The label reads: Take 30 minutes after a heavy meal; blend with water, whiskey, Seinfeld re-runs.)

• I am plunging into infinite terror and saved by a cell-phone alarm clock. I beseech the Holy Trinity (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon) for adjudication, fresh cereal, etc. My wife complains that my prayer is drawling, gives me a peck on the lips, skips out the door.

• Teeth thoroughly brushed, I don my Alden cap-toe Oxfords, navy chinos, Cole Haan black leather belt, Charles Tyrwhitt blue & pink Prince of Wales shirt, lightly starched.

• Take the El to work; sounds of Pig Destroyer, crying children, day-traders. In my lap is a weathered copy of ‘Humboldt’s Gift’ by Saul Bellow. I don’t know how it got there.

• Residual feline dander lining my palms from pet-session with stray cat leaves my eyes itchy, watery; nose running. My soul is pleased with itself for its good deed of the day.

• Get forehead scanned at work. Take elevator to third floor. Sit in chair. Work. They say a man is defined by what he does with his hands. I frequently wash mine.

• I walk out of the side doors at lunchtime and elbow my way through a thick veil of cigarette smoke. People from the mailroom have conversations about Indiana. Bellow and I enjoy a crisp, Asian salad.

• Women parade by in high heels, short skirts. Men loosen their ties and flash ten-watt smiles. A wailing fire truck speeds to the rescue of an overheated suburbanite.

• Back at work I check my messages, respond to messages left, leave messages of my own. Wash hands thoroughly.

• “Do not attempt to board the train while the doors are closing. Doors are closing.”

• I get home, pop a Zyrtec. My wife arrives thereafter. We perform a series of ancient rites to decide what’s for dinner (pad thai for pick up). I brave the wilds of Western Avenue and return home unscathed, food in arms.

• Eat, enjoy, digest, say we’ll go to sleep early, kid ourselves.


About the author: Benjamin van Loon (@benvanloon) is a writer from Chicago, IL and the founder of Anobium Books. Find him online at

Filed under: August 2011

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