There is a certain joy in the car that roars by blaring some hip hop tune you don't know (but should). In the time it takes for the car to pass your open window you can take in and recall the hook, which allows you to look it up, which allows you to download it, which allows you to appear knowledgeable to your more-knowledgeable friends (who actually listen to crappy hip hop radio all day). To be clear: I'm fond of hip hop. But hip hop radio still sucks.

I feel certain that the Germans must have a word for those people whom you run into once every couple of years in some distant city but whom you would like to run into more because you suspect that they're deeply interesting. It's probably like 'liebenschadenkunstlerfreundenkatzenschwimmt.' Why does English have no word for this? I'm at a loss for how to refer to these people other than using the word 'Danielle.' Which simply won't do.

I think the Germans must also have a word for that hollow feeling you get when you're walking down the dark 1 a.m. street eating fig newtons that cost your last two dollars when your former (and possibly future?) girlfriend pulls up in her Honda and yells your name to ask if you want a ride home. Fuck I hate that feeling. And fuck the Germans for having a word for it. They deserve it.

It's a spiritual condition, that word. It's a failing, a weakness. All of these words. That certain joy. That inexact longing. That odd doubt. I really hope the Germans don't have a word for that because it would be like twenty-seven syllables long with a bunch of crazy umlauts, and they would use it once every two hundred years, and only in a Wagner opera. But I, of course, would miss the stupid opera because I didn't have my I.D. on me or something.

Did you know that when an Italian airliner lands at an Italian airport, the plane captain speaks to the control tower in English? It's true. And really, that's the problem, isn't it? A disproportionate number or Italian planes just crash. (That's not true.) For no reason. OR MAYBE...

But I guess we all make the most of what we've got. Me, I only own one item of clothing that has lasted since high school. It's a Joy Division t-shirt. I think it's some synthetic blend, which is why it hasn't disentegrated, unlike all those more organic cotton t-shirts. Clearly there's a lesson in there somewhere. But every time I wear it, which is disturbingly often, I think: wow, I've had this thing since high school. I'll probably have it when my (ostensible) kids are in high school. It will probably be here when the sun burns out.

I don't know how I feel about that.