Cleveland died today. Well he actually died two weeks ago but I just wanted to steal and alter Camus' famous opening line because its one of my favorites.
Death is a natural and regular occurrence in life but this doesn't make it any less a cause for sadness. Cleveland was proof that I am becoming a real man and his passing is marked by a feeling of loss. I was always a late bloomer. Reaching 5' tall in eighth grade was a milestone, even though everyone else it seemed had achieved this a year or two previously. Hell, I don't think I even started growing armpit and pubic hair until I was close to 15.
My beautiful and flawless existence has always been dogged, or besmirched if you like dirty images, by my body's inability to catch up to my age. Then finally, against all belief, I grew my first chest hair this year. On the barren white plane that is my chest a hair dared to grow and flourish, and so it was only natural to name the hair, the Atlas supporting the weight of my masculinity, Cleveland.
Oh did we have good times! We saw movies together, drank together, made love in one another's presence, were even comfortable enough to provide each other company on the toilet. Cleveland became a constant companion, and not just because he was physically attached to me. But I took my bronze wire-like friend for granted. I stopped shampooing him, combing him, applying various thickening tonics, or spiking gel for those "punk" days. Then two weeks ago I looked down to give a silent howdy to him, and he was gone. Sure I now have Mitch and Bob (right pectoral and upper chest respectively) and they are great, but Cleveland was my first, and I suppose in many ways my only.
To eulogize him, I give you this, my only poem written of my own volition*:
"Ode to Cleveland"
You were a lone sprig of hope in a fallow field of nakedness A bronzed ringlet nestled against cream made solid A constant companion you were, silent, intimate I took you for granted You, my hope, my reassurance, my one, my man-hair, my Cleveland I knew that "all things must pass" and you are no exception This hollowed soul you leave behind my never mend Though you may be usurped, you will never be replaced You, my hope, my reassurance, my one, my man-hair... My Cleveland**
* I don't write poetry ** This is written in free verse because we are talking about a damn chest hair. A meter and rhyme scheme would be excessive to say the least.
I've always prided myself on my ability to no be shallow. When it comes to attraction, I keep my mind wide open. Speech impediments, oversized or exaggerated facial features, excessive body fat, abnormal height, missing appendages, crooked teeth; I can see past such things so long as I see that they lead directly to a bedroom.
But, and this feels horrible, I seem to have found a real challenge. There is a girl who works at Potbelly right near Hell, and I go quite often. There is a young lady there who seems to fancy me (unless she reads this blog and can figure out who I am; then the jig will probably be up). She remembers the time she misheard my request for a "wreck" and made turkey instead. I was on my lunch break, a generous 30 minutes, and didn't have time to wait for another sandwich so I went with the turkey. The next time I went in she brought it up, a blush reddening her face. Awww.... Every time I go there and she is working, she greets me even if she is doing something that doesn't involve speaking to customers. Being nice by nature and having a proper upbringing rarely seen anymore, I say hello and chat pleasantly when occasion calls. She is probably nineteen or twenty, which is too young for me anyway, but there is another reason why I can't find attraction there. This is what makes me feel terrible. She has an astigmatism, or what I generally refer to as a "wonky eye."
When I talk to her I don't know where to look or which eye to focus on, so I settle for the nose or her forehead. Give me a girl with half an arm that ends in two mobile digits, fine; but one wonky eye and it's over. It makes no sense I guess, and it makes me feel like a right bastard, but there it is.
That last post was a little negative don't you think?
I really don't have anything to say, but I feel like I should do something to lighten the mood. But I'm not feeling very funny, so, as a group, let us marvel at the peerless and ethereal perfection of one of my long-standing crushes.
I'm feeling better already. And even if this woman is not your cup o' tea, at least I'm not whining. Everybody wins!
So I’m down one less brother. Joe lost his fucking mind and is not a member of the family anymore. I don’t know if it sucks that it happened, or that it didn’t happen sooner. Since I was the official Boot In The Ass, I guess I could just say that the time had come.
I am trying to tell myself that it’s okay that I don’t have Joe as a brother anymore, and in a lot of ways it’s really good. I don’t have to worry about him stopping by drunk and asking me for more money. I don’t have to answer phone calls from Barb or Mom about how Joe is at it again. My dad and I have lost a subject to talk about, but it’s not a subject either of us liked to talk about anyway, so no big deal there.
But that means I’m down to Larry. And that is as bad as it sounds.
The asshole that hit me got out of getting a ticket. Thank you, smug bastard judge that won’t receive my vote. I hope he chokes on his fucking gavel. Or a dick. Or, even better, he’s just killed a bicyclist with his car, and he gets to enjoy daily anal rape from King Dong Bundy for the next five to ten.
I tacked on an extra semester to my scholarly career, because the concept of finishing on time from an educational institution is just a bit too tough for me.
Barring unforeseen miracles, the next relationship I will be in won’t happen until I’m 33. Alexander the Great had conquered all of the known people on the planet by that age, and I am hoping for the possibility of a woman finding me decent enough to waste a year of two of her life with me, only to be unceremoniously dumped on the Ides of March. Oh, wait, that’s already happened. But no worries, I am sure I can be humiliated in love in some other soul-drowning way. We’ll just have to wait and see! Stay tuned!
I hate both of my jobs. The kids are terrifyingly spoiled, the retail thing blows in every direction but up, and I have both jobs because of Mary, so I never get a real chance to get away from her. Awesome.
And hey, how about this weather?
Family sucks. School sucks. Love life sucks. Work sucks.
I haven’t had more than five hours of sleep on any night in the last four weeks.
I’m begging you all to give me something to be happy about. It’s getting bad here in the Zeepdoggie Den. Cute Overload didn’t cheer me up today; it’s getting critical. C’mon, somebody cheer me up!
Don't operate the hand-sprayer-thingy on the sink.
Don't work where you're the only guy.
Don't waste a hard-on.
Don't put off grocery shopping for a month or more.
Don't drink alone.
Don't listen to "Simple Together."
Don't trust a fart.
Don't believe anything is what it says it is, or "supposed to be" (whatever that means), or what it looks/sounds/feels like, or that it can last in any way. The Pyramids are losing against time. Fuckin' Mona Lisa's falling apart...
In my LitCrit class, we have been having an ongoing discussion that deals with defining literature. So, since you are all obviously intelligent (you read me, don't you ;p), you tell me: what is literature? Be specific or vague, give examples or not. Let us discuss!
The Pope apologized. Pussy. What did he say anyway? He was QUOTING (that means that he didn’t make it up; somebody else said or wrote it first and he’s saying it sometime later) a dialogue between two men dead since the fourteenth century about how Islam is a violent religion. And the Muslim world’s response to the quote? Burn churches, write legislation to ban the Pope from various countries borders, and kill a nun in a hospital. Wow. At this point, I don’t know which quip to go with, so I will give you both. Pick the one you like best. a)Way to support the quote, idiots. b)Was that 14th century guy off-base with his argument! I’m not a theologist, and I’m not unbiased either. But I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that, as a whole, Islam needs to just chill out a little. I’m a Christian, and I don’t flip out every time I see a piece of wood with a nail in it. Being raised Catholic, I get to hear all the wonderful jokes about priests and altar boys. Am I going out and killing the comedians making the jokes? No! If I don’t find it funny, I don’t laugh. If I don’t like it, I don’t need to listen.
Islamic leaders need to do two things: start promoting dialogue with other faiths and cultures and stop the silent acceptance of extremism.
No doubt I will receive a fatwah for this. See you in the pit, infidels!
A car hit me yesterday. I was on my way home from work, and as I was cruising down Lake Street, not going too fast since there was a red light at Oak Park Avenue, some guy from Missouri who really needed to get into the parking lot of the US Bank cut me off and I hit his rear passenger quarter panel. Here's the graceful bit: as I go down, I hit my shoulder on his car, which stops me from getting my hands down to slow my impact, and my feet won't come out of the stirrups. I splat pretty hard on my left side; my elbow got all bloody and scraped, my knee was all wonky, and my shoulder was not in a happy place. So I get up to go and talk to the guy, and he just drives around the parking lot, and starts to head toward the exit! WTF, is he fleeing the scene of an accident? I step in front of his car, and one of the better exchanges I had for the day went like this: "Hi. Did you know you just hit me?" "Yeah?" "Yeah. You cut me off and I fell." "Oh..." "..." "You okay?" My left forearm is covered in blood, and I am standing on one leg, my knee swollen to the size of a grapefruit: "I don't know. I just got hit by a car." "Uh, yeah." "I think there might be something wrong with my knee." "How's your bike?" "I don't know. I just got hit by a car." "Okay." BTW, he's still sitting in his car, the engine running, and his seatbelt is on. "Well, are you okay?" "I don't know; I just got hit by a car!" At this point, I see a man in the car next to us get out, and he's wearing a Police Sergeant's uniform. I point and say, "I think this guy is going to want to talk to you." The look on the driver's face is fucking priceless. It turns out that I have two witnesses: the cop and an off-duty ambulance driver! More cops come, along with an ambulance that bandages me up, and Zeepdaddy comes and picks me up because I am not sure as to what might me wrong with my bike, or me, and I don't want to take the chance. What became hilarious is when the cop finishes her accident report, I’m sitting on the sidewalk with an icepack and Mr. Careful in his car mentally calculating the rising interest rates for his automobile, she then has to explain to him why it's his fault. "The witnesses both said that he (me) was in the far right lane of the street, as he should be. When you cut him off, you left him no room to stop and he hit you. So it's your fault.” "But you said he hit me." "Yeah, with a bike." "But he still hit me." The way she stares at him made me fall in love with her. "Sir, he's on a bicycle, and he was obeying the rules of the road that cyclists have. Two creditable, unbiased witnesses saw the accident, and their descriptions are very similar.” “But he hit me, right here,” he says, pointing to the driver’s side left quarter-panel, where there is significant scraping. “No I didn’t!” I chime in. “You were turning right; I hit you here!” I am pointing to the little bit of skin left on his car, which I wipe away when he tries to claim it is paint damage. He says, “That wasn’t there before.” I wipe; “And it’s not there now.” The cop then explains to the guy that I don’t have a seat belt, safety glass, airbags or an enclosed frame. I have a helmet and gloves and brakes. His Chrysler Concorde weighs well over 800 pounds; my bike and me don’t even break 180. “Clearly,” she says, “caution should be on your side.” He tries to say something else and she says, “If you hit a cyclist who has two witnesses, one of them a police officer stating that he was obeying the rules of the road at the time of the accident, then it’s your fault. Be at the courthouse on your date, and if he (me) doesn’t show up, you won’t get a ticket. If he does, or if you don’t, then you get a ticket.” She hands me her card with the court date on it and says to him, “This guy could’ve stayed at the emergency room, but didn’t, because he was being honest. He saved you a lot of trouble, so just be thankful that the most that will happen will be a ticket for failure to show proper care.” If she were just a little bit hotter, I so would’ve asked her out right there. She tells me after he leaves, "You better show up!" Don't worry, my hot cop, I will.
So the rest of the night is fairly uneventful; I don't have to work because of my jacked-up knee, so that's nice. I'm taking the bike to Dan's and have them give it a check-up. I'm sure that the front wheel will need truing and my pedals got jacked up. Also, my cell phone doesn't work, so I will need a new one. Now comes the pertinent question: anyone know the way I get this stuff replaced by Mr. Careful's insurance company?
I haven't posted in a while, and for that I am not sorry, because I have spared you, my faithful, beautiful, loyal readers the agony of me going from sad to diarrhea-inducing pathetic, with occasional bouts of “burn the whole FUCKING world” angry. Usually there was little transition between the two, but if there was, it was slack-muscled boredom. Wow, I am the master of adjectives today!
Back when I was stupid (read: high school) I thought it would be awesome to have nothing but language classes. I really enjoyed my German class, and English was my favorite subject. I figured if all you had to do was really cool stuff like English and German, life would be ultra-mega super keen.
We’ve all heard the expression that one should be careful what one wishes for, and it is true. While I am enjoying my classes so far, I am dreading the appearance of the many-headed hydra of several papers due at once. Granted, one of the classes is the writing fiction class, for which I have all the homework done already. But the other three are going to be rough; I can just feel it in my water.
More good stuff followed when I went to my counselor for English Ed. She’s S, and she’s new. So we had the discussion I had with Wendy about why I am rushing through the EngEd program, and S was quite adamant about me having an extra semester tacked onto my college career. I call it a career because it’s starting to feel like one, one I regret being interviewed for. I know that last statement is in direct contrast to the well-documented fact that I love school; I don’t care. I want it over so I can have a REAL job with a REAL paycheck and REAL vacation and REAL insurance and potentially REAL women to date. But S may have a point, one that I am reluctant to admit, but it’s still there. So I am considering tacking on an extra semester to my schooling. Just like in high school. Shit.
Being single is starting to take its toll as well. I won’t get into it beyond that the dates that I went on with one woman felt like dates, smelled like dates, looked like dates and were, in fact, not dates as she saw it. We still talk, because I am a fucking sucker for dark hair and light eyes, and also because she is really cool and may have hot friends. And who knows, she may change her mind. Fool that I am, I actually believe that.
I jerk off so much I think I’m developing a callous.
I went karaoke-ing again, and developed another crush or three; one really sticks in my head. She is C, and she is just adorable. She was super-excited about art, and told me her #1 favorite painting. She has a lisp, which I find just too cute. Zeepdoggie used to stutter (and sometimes still does), so speech impediments are a sign of cutesy to me. Yeah yeah yeah all fucked up, I don’t care. But nothing will come of it, because I have only seen her once, will most likely never see her again, and if I should, I would be too chicken-shit to ask for her number or anything.
Let’s talk about work shall we? I started the new position at the other job, and it’s going well, with the exception that I have to work with Mary’s mom and her sister now. Yeah, that’s a lot of fun. Her mom I have no problem with, but her sister…well, she told Mary it would be a great idea for her to be single and be rid of me. Is there more to it than that? Yeah, there always is. But the “more to it” just makes it worse, and I am not into going that room painted with boiling rage right now.
The other job is still Hell, and I don’t get to work with GringO or Japes or the other really fun folks as much as I used to. I feel like now would be the opportune time for the place to just blow the fuck up. If I'm in it when it happens, that's not sounding like it would be too unfortunate right now.
So, you are now all caught up without all the despair and depression, and a little of the anger. I really, truly hope that your time has been spent doing better and more meaningful things, enjoyable things that make you as happy as a bunny that has escaped the clutches of an evil five-year old girl.
Until inspiration hits me squarely, have a good time.
This semester I am taking ENGL 212, a.k.a. the intro to writing fiction. My prof is big on us writing really short stories, and suggested that we think about a song as a good example. So i listened to a song called "White Wall" by Lights of Eurphoria and came up with this. It turns out that it takes as long to listen to the song as it does to read this bad boy fairly carefully.
The night was cool, but the club was hot. The guest DJ from Germany never let up, the crowd continuously pulsing and in motion like blood cells in the veins of a predator. They had come to witness his spinning, hear his magic of weaving new music from old. She and he were no exception. She made it to the bar first, because women always make it to the bar first. She ordered their waters. They were both good and buzzed, sweating from exertion much like anyone in the club. The time for shots and beers had past; hydration was her goal and she didn’t want him getting tired or sick. He roared like a lion when he vomited. There would be none of that tonight. This night, tonight, was the night. Weeks before, she saw him opening up the record store on her way to work. She had made passes, looked in, but never entered before she saw him open up the store. After work, she bought a CD and he rang her up. It was his favorite DJ. Hers, too! The got coffee. They had dinners. They had drinks. They watched movies, and swapped books and music, and they shared their first kiss, and kissed more. They had gone out, and they had stayed in. Once, she cried, and as he held her she smiled through her tears. The DJ was coming to town, and he knew the club owner. They were going. He had never danced, not really, until he danced with her. Responding to her body awoke in him a new rhythm, a strong coordination to her eyes, hips, hands and feet. He felt like hers, and he wasn’t frightened. Finishing their second waters, they heard the odd staccato guitar, and before the bass thump began, she grabbed his hand, eyes wide with joyful recognition. They screamed “White Wall!” in unison. The CD she bought that first day, their day, in his store. Rushing to the middle of the floor, with every body jumping, gyrating, jostling, around them, they found their way below three mirrored globes; this was the center. Knowing intimately every beat to the song, they moved as if a perfect string tied every joint, every ounce of blood pumped by their hearts (beating in simpatico), every gaze, together. They moved closer and closer, the strings shortening, becoming nonessential when they finally touched. The bass stopped, and lush, synthesized strings float up, and they are so close that she knows the tremble of the muscles under his skin under her hands and he can smell nothing but her sweat and shampoo and that she blushes wherever he touches. When the bass returns and drives the dancers into a fresh frenzy, they stand and sway, holding each other. She hears of the dark room, and the white wall, and she feels the helping hands on her hips as she starts to fall.
I’m getting dressed, it’s 0930 and my sister who lives with my folks, Zeepsissy, calls. She wants to know when I’m coming over to do laundry. I tell her in a few minutes. She says, “Oh, I thought you were coming by later.” To which I reply, no, that I had planned on coming over earlier, but I was a little sleepy having not gone to bed until 0400.
*I didn’t tell her about the 0400 part, because she doesn’t need to know that I had an awesome time hanging out with GringO and the Girly last night, they having taken pity on an old man and letting me tag along with them for pizzas and wy-un-nuh (pompous French accent).*
So Sissy says that she just put a load in, since she thought I would be there later. Now, if she knew me better, she would know that I am a morning person. I like to get everything I need to get done before 1200 strikes. But she doesn’t know me any better than any casual acquaintance I see more than once a month. She may know me less, now that I think about it.. So I ask how long her laundry will take, and she tells me that she actually has two loads to do, and if I could wait until later. I say that I will be there at 1130, she says okay and hangs up.
She calls me back four minutes later and asks if I can come over after noon. I say that kinda sucks for me, because I don’t want to break my day up into two distinct pieces of no work being done. She says please, and since she lives there and can lock me out, I don’t have much of a choice.
I’m sitting here, thinking to myself, why didn’t you do laundry this weekend? You had the whole place to yourself, you could have done it at any time you wanted. But then I remember that her boyfriend was over there on Saturday, and most likely Sunday. If he’s the guy I think he is, then he’s probably still there, eating my folks’ food and being a jackass. Sissy picks winners. And I start to think about why Sissy might need to do an emergency two loads of laundry, and promptly pass out.
So I’ve recovered (kinda; at least the shakes have stopped) and am now sharing yet another intimate moment with you, my wonderful, loyal, jaded readers who clamor for my continuing embarrassment. I am your private monkey/a monkey for funny/I do what you want me to do…*
What the hell is going on? Why am I home on a Saturday night at 8? Why hasn’t anyone called, or emailed, or stopped over? I am starting to fear for my friends. Several of them seem to have gotten old. Not older, like aging, which we all do, but old. “Let’s not go out anymore,” old. “I don’t want to leave the house,” old. Granted, my friends have never been amazingly extroverted (extraverted for the Jungians out there), but I remember that we used to do stuff. Back when we were dumb (read: high school) we hung out all the time: at the park, in Baker’s Square, at my folks’ place when they were out of town. We hung out, man. After high school, when anyone would come home from college, it was time to have a party. When everyone came home from college, it was a party a weekend. There was always a place to hang out, always someone willing to do something, always something worth doing. We’re a tight knit group, and I love that. You have to be of a rare breed to enjoy our company. But now, there’s a part of me that regrets that. There’s this little voice, getting louder, that says, “We should know more people! We should be having fun right now! We get one day a week off, and we are sitting here, typing.” While the idea of having a “we” in my head is a little spooky, the fact that he’s correct is downright unpleasant. I don’t need to go out and drink. I am not a big fan of being drunk. PEANUT GALLERY SHUT UP! Seriously, hangovers are a bitch, and the fun of the night before is never worth it unless you wake up next to an attractive someone with whom you may share your suffering. But we could do something. I’m not old. And I am afraid that this might just be the middle of my life; Zeepdoggies burn out pretty quickly. So I must live whilst I have the chance. I mean, my sister, Zeepsissy, is at home with a date right now. Never mind that it must be creepy for him; after all, he had to wait until his 45-year old girlfriend’s parents went out of town so he could hang out. Would you even date someone that sad? It’s a good thing she’s easy. Anyhoo, the point is, my sister is getting in on the life action, and she barely has a life. "Waah waah waah. Then get up and do something, you sad sack of poop!" I agree, except that I don’t lone-wolf it. I go tandem, at least, for any kind of nocturnal encounter. A good squad of four to eight operatives is ideal. But I have no team. No SOG for nighttime ops. I’m fucking trapped here. I love my place, but I think the walls are closing in just a bit. I guess I should just surrender to my fate and do some homework.
There are two of us, we bloggers. First, there is Zeepdoggie, who is best summed up with the quote, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." He's sometimes funny. Then there is GringO, who does the art thing well, is more often the funny one, and has exceptionally poor customer service skills, so don't ask him for shit. We are not a couple, despite what everyone suggests. We have in common: hatred of retail, being broke, musical tastes, unformulaic comedy,and hyperaggressive tendencies. The things we differ on: who we find attractive (sometimes), family upbringing, future goals (or lack thereof), artistic talent, and our ability to grow facial hair (one day, GringO, one day...).