Y’all. Something is up with Oregon. I mean aside from triple-decker man buns, obsessions with microbrews and whiskey, and wannabe hipster bro-boys. I’m talking about the ridiculously high ratio of gingers to the rest of the population. At least, I mean that’s at least a thing in the dating pool. Not that I’m complaining; some of these gingers are smokin’ fuckin’ hot. (Uhm. Maybe most of them. Which is weird, because as an aesthetic, I was never interested in gingers. I mean, I’ve always been a fan of ginger flavor – ginger beer, ginger snaps. But ginger boys? Too…pale. Oregon is changing my mind.)
If you stacked all of my dates up on a weirdass live human bar chart, the tallest bar would be gingers, by far. (This is not intentional.) At one point, I may or may not have been casually dating three gingers at once. One of them was pretty simple, but funny and wild as hell. Another of them was a super country libertarian boy (yeah, I passed pretty hard and fast on that one). The third was fucking brilliant – this weird dichotomy of former military and current anarcho-philosopher turned psychotherapist with a fucking PhD. Oh…was he yummy. Lemme tell ya… Too bad he was emotionally inaccessible and a bit of a sociopath.
Last night, I had a date with yet another ginger. A math professor. Yep. Another weilder of a PhD. (No, stop picturing a 65 year old in a tweed blazer with elbow patches. Fuck, I just planted that image, didn’t I? Stop picturing it!) Shy and awkward over text. Funny, witty, and deep in person. In between covertly checking him out (holy shit – since when do nerdy geek boys lift??) and getting coached on how to play pool, I was alternately laughing my ass off and diving off into deep conversations about math, the universe, string theory, self, other, the Bhagavad Gita, and Eastern Philosophy. With wild fucking abandon. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that rocks my socks.
We did a bar crawl – my first ever, I think – and drank. A lot. Well, my a lot is just a little compared to seasoned drinkers. I don’t drink often. So, the two jumbo-sized ciders and the sangria had me in orbit. (Oregon makes sangria with wine AND tequila, y’all, at least at rooftop bars in college towns. My name is Stephanie, and I approve this message. (That fucker also came in an oversized, don’t think you can call that a pint glass anymore, pint glass.)) I wasn’t wasted – those three drinks were spread over about three hours – but boy, I got spirited and (only slightly) wobbly.
We walked it off, then looked at the stars. Man, there’s so much less light pollution in that little town than where I live. It was glorious. We listened to Irish folk music and Ravi Shankar and had the deepest conversation I’ve had in ages, punctuated with sass and smartassery, crude jokes, and ribald laughter.
It was incredible.
That charming, brilliant, Irish bastard.
And it’s almost a 100% certainty that I’ll never see him again.
Why? Because out of this abundance of gingers, only one of them has been interested in more than a single date (see simple but wild boy – and he’s not in it to win it, either). And it seems the smarter and more philosophically inclined they are – ginger or not, but especially the gingers – the less likely they are to be interested in anything even remotely serious.
Unfortunately, what dating is teaching me is that my interests border on the fucking unattainable. If the guy isn’t a deep thinker, I’m not interested. If the guy can’t banter, I’m not interested. If we can’t talk until 4 in the morning (yep, last night was a late one) about anything and everything, with no filter, I’m not interested. If we can’t enjoy comfortable silences, I’m not interested. If all conversation is all about him, I’m not interested. If all conversation is all about me, I’m not interested. If conversations are about things or people, I’m not interested. If conversations aren’t about ideas and thoughts and philosophies and weird little eccentricities of self and universe, I’m not interested. If I’m not laughing until I’m doubled over in pain, I’m not interested. If he isn’t a little….wild, rough around the edges, I’m not interested. And every. Single. Motherfucker. That I’ve met that has those qualities – the ones I AM interested in, are “ethically non-monogamous” or “polyamorous” (welcome to fucking Oregon) or strictly interested in an “FWB” or “NSA” situation (yeah, I’m learning a lot of fucking acronyms lately).
And it feels strangely like the longer this carries on, the less interested *I* am in something long-term and serious. Sometimes I think I’m *too* fucking adaptable, because I don’t want to compromise my personal convictions, the ones I have just for me. But at the same time, I don’t want to go back to being a complete and utter hermit, either, afraid of the opposite sex and what they do or don’t want from me.
Dating is nice. But it’s also terrible and unpredictable and scary. And I’m fucking sick of it. And also wish I had one tonight. (Oh wait, I did. But after the stellar night with the Jacked and Ginger Buddha, there’s no way I could meet this other guy. It would have been a soul-sucking exercise in tedium. So I canceled.)
See. If I don’t even know what the fuck I want, how can I expect others to know what they want? I mean. Every time someone does want something serious with me, I’m the one that’s not interested. I “don’t feel a connection,” or something on that laundry list of elusive but critical qualities is missing. I’ve totally ditched boys for lack of banter. And I just ditched one for lack of depth/connection. I don’t wanna talk about tv shows and YouTube political commentators all the damn time. I wanna talk about Plato and Buddhism and Experiencers/Enlightenment. Fuck those fucking gingers for dangling that fucking carrot and running off because they wanna be deep…with a shallow girl.
Fuck those fuckers for making me think it’s possible, because there’s no way in fuck I can settle now. I know what’s out there. I’ve known it for a long time, and I’m just getting it reinforced now and then. (Don’t get me wrong, most of the people I’ve been on dates with are horrible. I have some horror stories to share with you people! But sometimes…the veil is parted, and I get a glimpse of what could be. And I know…fucking. I know, I’m not digging too deep or searching for something imfuckingpossible.) So fuck those guys…and thank those guys.
Back in August, when I was mainlining xanax to get through the immense stress I was going through trying to get the fuck out of Louisiana, one of my buddies from work came to chill in my office for a while. I’ll call him “Habanero,” since he’s the biggest RHCP fan I know (besides LE MOI. DUH.).
So we’re listening to the chili peppers and chatting about random shit, and finally we get into Oregon and Portland. Finally landing somewhere around this paraphrased bit…
Habanero: Dude, so I heard you don’t know anyone up there. I laughed when P. Whipped told me that.
Me: arches an eyebrow
Habs: No fucking way. Friends? Family?
Me: Nah. I don’t have anyone up there. I don’t know why everyone is making such a big deal out of it. shrugs
Habs: laughs and leans back. The whole Pacific Northwest? You know…nada? Maaaaan, P. Whipped thinks you’re nuts. Hell, everyone does. But me? I envy you. You got some serious balls. What’s your plan?
I give him the gist of what I intended – which was to spend a week in an extended stay, during which time I’d find a place to rent and take whatever job I could find.
Habs: Listen, I know a guy.
Me: If this is gonna end with me dead in the desert or in a Mexican prison, I’m not interested.
Habs: Dude, I think I saw that one! ANYWAY. I know a guy: Jalapeño. Jalapeño and I grew up together, and he has family in Oregon. I’m gonna hit ’em up. They’ll let you crash for a couple weeks, while you get settled. I’m tellin’ you. They will.
Me: My eyes must have been big as saucers. This is something I normally would have put the kibosh on I-FUCKING-MMEDIATELY. Really, Habs? You think so?
Habs: I fucking know it. I’ll talk to Jala. We’ll sort it out; you’ll see.
Me: Dude, even if this doesn’t work out – you’re fucking awesome for even suggesting it. For thinking of me. Thank you.
Habs: Nah, you my homegirl. I can’t stand the idea of you going up there like that, with nobody at all. These people are cool. I mean, nice. Like. Nice as fuck. You’ll see.
Habanero didn’t contact them until around the last week of August…as in right at the last minute. But he wasn’t kidding. They took me in, showed me around, and now I’m renting a room from them.
It’s weird. And uncomfortable. Awkward as fuck.
And I’m tellin’ you, these people straight up act like they’re my folks. They’ve even introduced me that way once or twice, “This is Stephanie, the daughter we just met in September.”
They text me when they think I’m out too late.
They text me when they think I’ve been gone longer than whatever errand I’m on should require.
I do their laundry for them (sometimes).
I dogsit for them (often).
They drag me to family functions (after promising my presence and tricking me into going by telling me we’re doing SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY THEN WE SHOW UP TO A FUNCTION WITH SEVENTY PEOPLE).
They’re nice. And what I’m paying them in rent has enabled me to drag out the little bit I got back from the sale of the house…so that I can look for a job I actually want to pursue instead of settling for the first thing some agency could dig up for me. I had only been here a week when they approached me and asked me to stay. “The angels sent you to us. It was meant to be. We talked to our medium about you. She thinks you ARE an angel. Will you meet her with us?”
It’s interesting, alright.
And it’s a strange feeling. Being parented. At 36. After a lifetime of little to none of that.
They’ve taken me to the beach. They’ve taken me to restaurants my budget would definitely not allow. They gave me gifts at Christmas and cry and tell me they love me.
So I have to deal with some overbearing shit. So I have to deal with someone who may be at the beginning stages of dementia. So I have to deal with hugs and hovering and manipulation to spend time with them. So I have to listen to them repeat the same life stories over and over and over again for hours on end. So I have to deal with parents. Family.
I’ve also been given this two-fold gift of being able to take my time and pursue something better than “just a job.” And…as strange and uncomfortable as it is…it feels good, sometimes. To be depended on. To be…loved.
As grateful as I am, you’ll most assuredly get plenty of rants about how manipulative they can be. And how downright fucking mean-as-a-snake the man can be. But when I’m being fair, those times are few compared to how fortunate I’ve been and am right now. This is temporary – they both know that, though they’ve both also said they want me to stay for good. (Yeah, I’m serious. There’s obviously more I haven’t told in this little post: like how I think my very presence has acted as a balm for them and their loneliness, health problems they’re both dealing with, etc.) But I agreed to their rent proposition “for up to a year.” I’m not sure I can deal with the smothering that long, but hell. The way things are going, don’t ask me what comes next. I sure as hell don’t know.
Life is weird. And this new chapter book my life is writing is certainly no exception.
So I get back to basement after a grueling (read: not grueling at all) day of tutoring (one whopping student). I flip on the gas fireplace and bundle up, because it’s snowing and the basement is cold as fuck. Ask my nipples. (Don’t. That’s creepy as fuck. Pretend I didn’t say that.) I go into the bedroom, flop myself down onto the bed and greet first the boys, then Lucien.
I named my iPad after the librarian in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. And then I promptly filled him with books, anime and games. I’ll give you one guess as to what Lucien and I get up to the most. You guessed it: I wile away the hours playing mindless games. This. Is what I’ve been doing instead of Reading. Writing. Watching. Observing. Hiking. I’ve been sleeping. Fiddling on the iPad. Facebook. Sleeping some more. Sleeping. iPad. Facebook. Sleep. Work in progress. I’m a work in progress.
After the boys abandon me to go wrestle in front of the fireplace, I cuddle up under the blankets. With Lucien. Will he fill my mind with obscure ideas and scintillating wit, as I intended him to? Oh no. Definitely not. You’ve forgotten we paired Lucien with The Stephanie. The Stephanie abuses Lucien and dims his mind with trite rounds of knock-off candy-blasting and time-management games (because she’s oh so fucking skilled at that). The idea is always: 15 minutes to wind down like this. Heh. We all know damn well it never ends up that way. The Stephanie is a work in progress.
So this fucking piece of candy didn’t go where I swear to fucking crackerjacks I told it to, and it ruined everything. My last damn turn for twenty minutes. And I blurt out into the quiet (aside from the insane racket coming from the televisions upstairs),
FUCK YOU, JIMINY CRICKET!
That is what it took to snap me out of my mindless daze. I actually sat up and shook my head. What the actual fuck? First of all, how do I come up with this shit? Second…what the fuck did Jiminy Cricket ever do to me? Or anyone, for that matter?
He goes around teaching that splintered, lying piece of driftwood about manners and morals and shit. He’s like the ultimate good guy. Pinocchio’s a lying little twatmonkey, but Jiminy Cricket?! He’s the adorable little crickety conscience, hopping about, tapping his little cane, and talking about how it’s wrong to steal and lie and cheat and gamble and all that good-for-nothin’-scoundrel, now turn-your-life-around-and-make-your-creator-proud shit.
And here I am, all FUCK YOU, JIMINY CRICKET, because I mismatched a piece of candy and my little witch can’t concoct her fakeass potion on a fakeass game that means nothing. Yeah. Take that, Jiminy Cricket! It’s a double rainbow! What does it mean!
I’ve been thinking on this a lot lately: I’m kinda disappointed that I never got detention. Okay, maybe even a bit pissed off at myself.
Part of me says I should be proud that I was covert. I mean, I did smoke cigarettes and pot at school and on campus, albeit extremely rarely. Seriously, through all schooling, college, post-grad, blah blah…definitely fewer than a dozen times. I was too afraid of being caught. (Smokes were different in college, obviously, but even that I kept to a minimum. I never wanted to be perceived as that girl. Even though, I kinda fucking was…kinda.)
The other part of me is (and always has been) sick to death of convention. And sick to death of myself for not bucking convention as much as I feel compelled to. Pot at school? No. I would have gotten a fuckton worse than detention. But there were times that I wanted to speak up in class. Stand up for something I believed in (or didn’t). I felt compelled to say something. Do something. But I forced myself to conform. I’m a non-conformist at heart (and I’m not talking about the twats who call themselves non-conformists, then gather in a group and commence to conform to their own set of rules and norms), but I force myself to adhere – often to things I don’t want to or feel I shouldn’t.
I’ve been so fucking well-trained at conformity. So fucking well-trained at tucking my head and saying “Yes, Ma’am,” and “I’m sorry, Sir.” That sometimes I fear I can’t break out of it and even tell the difference anymore: which ones are my own personal guidelines, and which ones are the ones I’ve been inculcated with? Which ones do I want to keep, and which ones do I want to dash?
A work in progress indeed.
So perhaps this sudden, “Fuck you, Jiminy Cricket!” makes a lot more sense given the things I’ve been contemplating lately.
Perhaps I’m saying “fuck you” to my own enforced pseudo-conscience and searching for my own.
Or perhaps I’m fucking insane.
Either way, at least my musings separated me from Lucien for a bit.
This question was posed to me by someone with whom I enjoy thinking. You read that correctly. I’m referring to someone as a person I like to think with.
Now and then we pose questions such as this to each other. Questions that require more than a simple yes or no response. Questions designed to make you think, digging beneath the surface of the question and truly contemplating or even arguing your response. Questions that make you struggle.
This was the most recent question he posed to me:
Do you believe in Free Will?
The arch to his brow and the gleam in his eye warned me of a trap. But the smirk indicated that he knew I’d sense the trap. It’s a game we like to play. A game of words and thoughts and perception challenging and devil’s advocacy.
I tilted my head, matched his expression and said something like, “Sure. But it’s not that simple, is it?” I added something about tabula rasa and imprinting, but that line of thought fell away pretty quickly.
The restaurant we were in was a bit rowdy with a spirited lunch crowd, and we easily distracted ourselves as well with the delightfully tangential nature of our conversations.
You keep looking at that broken clock. But you don’t wear a watch. Tell me why.
Why do you lay your phone face-down on the table? Explain the thought process to me.
See what I mean? Someone I like to think with.
Do you believe in Free Will?
My knee-jerk response to this question is, “Of course I do!” But that’s simply not good enough. It’s an incomplete and flawed answer.
Tabula rasa. Do you remember hearing this phrase in school? I can’t remember the first time I heard it, though I suspect it first really resonated with me in college. The concept is usually attributed to John Locke. Though it predates him by a long shot, I think Locke did much to crystallize the philosophy – at least according to his own interpretation of it.
Tabula rasa, Latin for blank slate, as a philosophy posits that each man and woman is born completely blank. Not imprinted upon by some collective conscious or unconscious. No input from past lives or ancestral or astral projections. Blank. We come into this world, blank and ready to be written upon. And the ones with the chalk to write upon our blank slates? Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, teachers, clerks, neighbors, rich and poor, young and old, pure and evil, selfish and selfless. All of our encounters add information onto our slates. And at some point, we receive our own piece of chalk to add to or categorize the information which has now been imprinted upon us. And we also have our very own chalk to print upon the slates of others.
What does this have to do with free will?
Well. I think that we do have free will. To an extent. It isn’t a pure and unaffected free will. How could it be? A man who was born to the ghetto and imprinted upon by all that happens in the ghetto will make different free will decisions than a man born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. They won’t even have the same options to choose from in life. A woman who was born within the confines of a prison and later raised in a halfway house will make different free will decisions than those of a woman born to a movie star or politician. Do they both still have free will? Yes. To an extent.
What if my free will conflicts with yours? What if my free will pushes me to apply for a job working for an NPO in the mental health field (fingers crossed), but your free will pushes you to select someone other than me? What if my free will causes me to text and drive, while your free will lands you on the highway moments before I crash into you, killing your family with my free will?
Let’s look at another important scenario. What if my free will leads me to a movie theater moments before the free will of an American Terrorist takes my life? What if my free will conflicts with yours? What if your free will conflicts with mine?
Is free will a good thing? Yes. To an extent.
Chick at work today reminded me of the free will conversation of a week ago (has it already been a week?). She said:
You know what I need? I need a rich servant. Someone to make all of my decisions for me – choose the right house, lay my clothes out for me every day, set food on the table in front of me at meal times. Someone to make all of my decisions. I’m over it.
She, in essence, told me that free will is burdensome to her. She’d rather not have free will in all instances. But can we pick and choose? We kind of do already, don’t we?
We “elect” government officials to make decisions on our behalf, decisions we believe they’re better suited to make than we are. That’s putting it simply, but that’s the premise, yes? So I’m turning over portions of my free will to them. And in return? They get to inflict their free will upon me, because I’ve given them the power to do so. When I’m up against them, do I still have free will? Yes. To an extent. If I choose to act upon my free will and drive to Baton Rouge to participate in rallies and peaceful protests, I could end up dead at the hands of a cop who has the free will to shoot me for blocking the streets and gathering en masse. That knowledge impacts whether or not I act on my free will, doesn’t it? Of course it does.
It happens every day in every circumstance. I could use my free will to stand up and shout at Queen Bitch, “You’re an evil, filthy cocksucking enema bag, and I hope you rot.” And my supervisor could use his free will to fire me. Not the best idea for me to act upon my free will in that instance, then.
So perhaps the answer is this:
Yes, we have free will. But whether or not we act upon said free will is heavily influenced by factors environmental, biological, social, financial, etc.
I believe that almost everything is a choice. And we have the free will to make whatever choice it is we decide upon. But needs must dictate that we take into consideration the free will of others and how they may or may not act upon theirs. We must also consider biological necessities: I could use my free will to stop my breathing. I could use my free will to never eat again. I could use my free will to deny my body of water. But then we enter moral questions of “right” and “wrong” and “should” or “shouldn’t.”
We could argue about fate, which I believe my thinking partner mentioned as well. And perhaps this should have been more of an essay about free will versus fate. I’m not quite ready for that one yet. Because I have many conflicting views. I do believe in free will. But sometimes shit just feels as though it was or wasn’t fated to happen. But perhaps that’s the Bible Belt in me speaking. Or perhaps its my own observations of the universe and what appear to be certain immutable laws.I believe that is a conversation for another day.
I suppose my views boil down to a conflicting dichotomy between free will and determinism. Many Buddhists adhere more toward determinism and shun the more Western idea of free will. This philosophy essentially posits that events in our lives are caused by influences external to our own free will, thus whether or not we have free will matters very little.
While I agree with much Buddhist philosophy (and have much to learn), I think a fully deterministic view is rather bleak and just as incomplete as a full adherence to the idea of free will. Yes things happen to me. Yes things happen toward or at me. But I still have choice. Sometimes, the correct choices are so obvious that they are basically no choice at all. And sometimes the consequences can be dire: follow my own free will or live to discuss it another day? For many, I’d say they wouldn’t even consider that a choice, hence negating their own free will.
It gets rather circuitous, doesn’t it? But the question has been on my mind for a week now. I’m still thinking about it. And I still haven’t fully formed my ideas on the matter. I’d like to do more formal research, dig into the ideas and perspectives of philosophers and great thinkers and, of course, consult my thinking friend.
What say you, peopleaneous?
What say you, thinking partner?
Feel free to use your free will to comment..or not. I’ll use mine to not edit, because I’m actually tired. Wonders never cease.
On another totally random note: I’m researching communes in Oregon.
I’m in something of a wild mood. Do you ever have wild moods? I get them fairly regularly. Thing is, I never actually do anything about it. And I wouldn’t. But fuckin’ hell, I really want to sometimes.
Usually, these moods just translate to bouncy, snarky, playful hyperactivity. And that’s only fun if there’s someone to hang out and interact with.
And now, well. Yeah. I’m in that wild mood, and I’m thinking things I don’t talk about on the blog. So let’s just make it easy to read between the lines: it’s a good thing I’m not one of the hot chicks. Because the first thing that hit on me would have a fun night. Every now and then, I really wish I could be that girl…just for the night…or a weekend…fuck it, let’s go for a month. But I’m not that girl.
I’m ready to be off of work, but there’s another hour to go. I’m contemplating going to the pub. It would be alone, since no one really hangs. Well, there are some people hanging tonight, elsewhere, but I’m not part of that clique so that’s out. And everyone else is married with children. Yawn.
The pub sounds fun, but it doesn’t sound fun alone. So I think I’ll save my few precious coins and just go home. I can’t afford to go anyway.
I’m ready to be off of work, but I don’t want to go home. Sucks. Because I’m feelin’ like a criminal.
Sometimes I think about weird things. Weird, random things about which I have no clue where my curiosity came from.
Exhibit A: Getting ready for work this morning, the following thought train barreled through my head.
I wonder how many people snore while they’re in comas.
Seriously, can people snore while comatose?
Ohmygod, can you imagine? What if you had to share a room with a comasnorer?
What if you were a comasnorer’s nurse or hospice person thingy?
Can you imagine sitting bedside and listening to twelve hours of chainsaw snoring?
For twenty fucking years?!
An entire lifetime of comasnoring?!
I FUCKING HATE YOU, COMASNORERS!
I pose the question to a friend. Who promptly destroys my perfectly rational comasnore rage with less rational reasonable rationale. Yes. Less rational rationale. Shit about life support and definitions of coma and blah blah blah. Thanksafuckinglot, Ezekiel, for derailing my thought train. Again.
Exhibit B: Whose idea was it to remove all the bones from chicken? You know. For boneless chicken.
What sick fucks figured out how to debone an entire chicken, leaving slabs of seemingly undamaged chicken meat stuff after?
Dude. I wish I had that patent. Imagine how much boneless chicken I could afford.
Wait a damn minute.
Eggs are chicken. Right?
Those motherfuckers are boneless!
CHICKEN CAME UP WITH BONELESS CHICKEN! They…they literally gave birth to it!
I don’t know what to do with this information. But I’m glad to have it.
Exhibit C: Have you ever wondered how many people, in any given moment, are shitting at the exact same time?
I have. Especially Monday. I thought it a lot on Monday.
Like…what if we could harness all the pushing power happening this very second?
I bet we could circumnavigate the globe.
Maybe rocket straight to Jupiter.
With all the horse ass power happening simultaneously each and every minute.
I mean, I’m guessing it would be a messy ride. But still.
This is useful information. To whom, I know not. But I know it’s useful! It’s probably not useful.
I know I’m not alone here. What’s the most recent weird shit you remember thinking?
…so I’m here. With nothing to say. Shall we see if I end up saying something anyway, like yesterday. Why not. [(Fuck question marks. Question marks are squiggly little pricks that make it sound like I lack confidence in what I’m saying.) (See, this is the kind of bullshit that escapes when I don’t have a plan! Who the hell has problems with question marks. I do, apparently. Who knew.)]
How ’bout them Yankees. No. Shitty topic, seeing as how I don’t give a fuck about them Yankees.
How about cookies. Archie brought cookies in today, some elaborate recipe with oatmeal (who knew), raisins, coconut, some other shit, some additional other shit. She said her Mr. Archie complained they were too dry, so she brought them to work. They were too dry. I ate two anyway. For breakfast, because I’m a gangsta. Also because I’m out of oatmeal so I ate dry oatmeal cookies. Fair trade.
Well that got old fast. What now.
There’s a video going around of goats jumping on a trampoline. It’s pretty awesome, and reminds me that I want a trampoline. I need one to have a bouncing army of Garry Goats. Shit, that means I need goats, too. Good thing I want goats. And chickens. And my own personal library. One of these things is not the same, but I still want them all.
This is really fucking boring. Do I sound sufficiently blasé. Uhm. Uhhhh. How can I liven this post up.
Explosions. That works in Hollywood. But what do they know. They worship volcano aliens. Ohmygod, maybe that’s how the aliens get here. All those fucking explosions are really eruptions, shooting evil alien overlords over the masses. Only they travel via airwaves, so they’re distributed among the masses at summertime popcorn explody movies. Yeah.
Topics are good. I should probably make a list of them or some shit. For days like today, when the lack of said list results in a rambling post about grammar, oatmeal and Scientology. Fucking weirdo.
My shoulder is hurting like a motherfucker. Pain shooting down my arm like needles, fingers going numb. Pinched nerve, I bet. Just what I need. My shoulder is a dick. (Ohmygod I just said I have a dick. I don’t. Unless you count my shoulder, in which case I do have a dick. And my foot that hasn’t healed in nearly a year. That’s also a dick. So’s my head. It hurts like a motherfucker. (Ohholyhell that means I’m a Motherfucking Dickhead. Wow. (I wonder what happens if all those dicks get erect at once.)))
Damn, I’m nasty. That’s okay. Y’all already knew that. And if you’re new here, Welcome to the Gutter. (Please sing that to the tune of “Welcome to the Jungle.” It has the same number of syllables, so it totally works. Trust.)
Going to the orthopedist today to have another x-ray of my foot. I don’t see the point, as I can tell him for a fact it isn’t healed. I’ll give you a hint as to how I know: PAIN. Yeah. Damnit. Gonna ask him if he can either check my shoulder as well or make an appointment to do so very soon. I’ve been putting up with it for a few weeks now, but instead of getting better (as I’d hoped), it’s monumentally worse. Yay.
That’s okay. I’m gonna beat these assholes somehow, someway. How else will I go hiking once I hit the PNW. Exactly. So these assholes have to heal, so I can hike. I will it so. Damnit.
House. Almost ready to list. I realize I keep saying that, but it’s superclose now. Repairs made and just needs a hard scrub. (My shoulder’s gonna loooooove that.)
Jobs applied to with the company I currently work for – in the PNW. Fuckin’ aye. I’ve got an in with a local VIP who has an in with a PNW VIP. So, while there are no guarantees and it may take a while, it would enable me to keep my current insurance and bennies. Fingers crossed.
Speaking of PNW, considering taking on a roomie when I move. Could save me shittons of money or get me slaughtered in my sleep, my guts churned into a breakfast smoothie. Worth the risk? I dunno. I value my privacy too much, probably. And my guts. Sometimes.
Mental Health. I’ve taken myself off of all psych meds, and my brain feels better. I still wake up wishing I hadn’t, but none of the drugs I was on ever took that away. So. Fuck it. Why pump my body full of drugs just to feel the same way in the end. So fuck that psychiatrist. Gonna get my GP to prescribe the sleepytime med and stop pouring money down that pill-pushing hodonkey.
Uhm. Those are the shortest updates I’ve ever given. Heh.
Okay. That is all. Good day.
And don’t forget: McGruff the Crime Dog says to Say No to Drugs. I say take a bite out of McGruff.
What up, homeslices. See how hip I am? I still say “what up” and am so gangsta I didn’t even use a question mark. Yeah, bitch.
So. Y’all already know I’ve been pushing myself lately. More than usual, I mean. You know I had the April thing get canceled and I carpéd the fuck out of those diems (I just indecently Latined all over your faces. You’re welcome.). With the haircut. Masturdating with Deadpool. At the bookstore. At the park. At the park again. I even willfully introduced myself to a stranger! And the little turtle peeking out of the shell didn’t get her little neck cleavered! Do wonders never cease?
They do not.
For the tale I am about to tell is a tale of public Stephanie in public at public places with public people doing public things.
Did I mention I did more things in public. Because I did.
I publicked my ass off. (That’s the correct way to past-tense verbify public. I know. I’m an expert on these matters.)
Ass Publicking Chapata One (That sounds so fucking wrong. So I’m leaving it.)
Rewind to Friday, April 22. That’s, what? Two Fridays ago? This dude suggested Happy Hour to me months ago, as a great way to loosen up, kick back and just enjoy life a bit. But I was adamant in my refusal. No. Fucking. Way. Was this ever going to happen. And then this dude pushed me to go “network” at Happy Hour for weeks. Relentlessly for weeks. WEEKS, I tell you! So I finally relented, but it was no easy task.
There’s a cool (and very popular) Irish pub within walking distance of my house. I’d been once before when the greatest history professor to ever walk the earth took all his Historiography grad students out for a couple of rounds on him. But that’s the only time I’d ever been.
Other than that, I was always on the outside looking in. I drive past the joint on a regular basis – in fact, I did so daily for several years.
But I was always outside.
At the people looking out.
At the people unwilling or unable or uncool enough.
To come in.
But this would be the day that I’d make the transition. I was fucking determined. But I was not going alone, damnit. That’s just pathetic. Single fat chick sitting alone at the bar during Happy Hour on Friday night? No.
So what’s a girl to do?
Round up a posse of course.
I was having a slow work day, so I wandered around the building herding geeks. Y’all know those little decorator crabs? The ones that wander around, plucking pretty debris from the seashore and affixing it to their shells? So that they may adorn themselves in their very surroundings and be hidden and protected?
That was me.
Unwilling to remove my shell, I wandered the building plucking rogue geeks and affixing them to my shell. They followed me around like Mother Fucking Goose. I was the Pied Fucking Piper of Geeks, trying to lead them down the path of rowdy drunken carousing.
At one point, I had about seven geeks straggling behind me. I’d formed my own posse. And we were going pubbing.
If we could get The Sloth to go.
See, these boys are a unit. And I was going to be the ultimate Dungeon Master, corralling them all for drinks and vulgarity and laughs.
Well, The Sloth would only agree to go if we could get Pookie to go.
So commenced The Hunt for Red October Pookie.
We couldn’t find him. I texted him silly pictures of The Sloth and Buttermilk doing slothy semi-gay things on warehouse equipment.
“LOLOLHAHAHA” came the mature and measured response.
Posse in tow, we rounded corner after corner until we had Pookie in our sights.
Naw man. It’s not pay week.
I told him I’d buy the first round.
I said, “I’m not being weird, you little fucker. Bring your damn girlfriend.”
He blushed again.
Well, I’d HAVE to bring my girlfriend.
I stared at him.
He blushed harder.
I stared at him.
He looked down at his book.
I stared at him.
I just really can’t. I’m broke! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!
“Pookie,” I glared into him with rage in my eyes and condescension dripping from my voice, “you’re dead to me. Now The Sloth won’t go. And then Buttermilk will back out. And then no one is going to go.”
What about Thundercat and Lebowski?
“I asked THEM before I asked YOU. But Thundercat is home alone with his spawn tonight, and Lebowski has to go to some viewing for a dead uncle he never met. You’re dead to me, you understand?”
As I walked away, he was laughing, blushing and apologizing.
I flipped him off without looking back.
So, as anticipated, everyone backed out. I nearly had The Sloth convinced, until he remembered he had other plans. Looking up at me from the filthy warehouse floor, looking every bit like he’d just disappointed the potty-mouthed version of Mother Teresa or gotten caught sniffing his finger after scratching his ass, all wide eyed and hesitant, he tells me…
Aw fuck, I wouldn’t have been able to go even if Pookie went. I promised Dangerhole I’d drink with him tonight.
“That’s a thing? Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me right now, Sloth?”
Noooooooooo. It’s his drinking weekend, and last time I wasn’t there to keep him calm, he broke someone’s face and went to jail. That cost us a month of drinking money, man. I’m sorry, but I promised.
I called them all lousy motherfuckers, told them to enjoy their weekends jerking off in their mothers’ basements and stalked off. This whole mission lasted about two hours.
I had a decision to make, and fast.
To Happy Hour alone? Or to Home?
And then I remembered: you don’t have a home. You have a dwelling. A domicile. A house. Is that where you want to go? You want to go cry in bed? That’s preferable to going out just because you don’t have the support of a group of semi-friend stoner geekboys from work? You barely fucking know them anyway.
Decision made, I clocked out early and determined to open the place. It opens at 4:00, and I knew I simply Would Not Go if there was already a crowd before I got there. So if I was gonna tackle this, I was gonna do it on my own terms.
Fuck the Geek Squad.
Everything happened in slow motion:
I pulled into the parking lot.
I braked to a stop.
I put the car in park.
I looked at the guy unloading liquor from the back of a pickup.
I looked at him look at me.
I killed the ignition.
I palmed my keys and wallet.
I pushed my shades atop my head.
I opened the door.
I stepped out.
I closed the door.
I walked to the front (because I wasn’t a regular and didn’t realize there was a back entrance).
I opened the door.
I observed the old men at the bar.
I chose a stool near the register.
I sat on it.
I put my things down.
I made eye contact with the regulars observing me, the stranger.
I smiled back at the bartender.
Do y’all have cider?
I opened my very first bar tab.
Haha no, I’m not new in town. I’m just new. To going outside.
A big exhale.
My first sip.
And I was in.
Listening to the old men, who trickled in one at a time, talk about golf and wives and exes and crooked dicks and business trips gone wrong.
Right about the time I agreed to try Irish Champagne (apparently just some sort of Irish beer mixed with cider), Wes plopped down beside me.
Soft. Blonde. Blubbering. Gay. Twenty-something. College student. Clearly a regular. At some point, he simultaneously cracked open a Miller Lite and a lame joke. I laughed politely.
Then he showed me the picture he had up on his phone, “That’s my granddad.”
Is he flexing?
“Why is he in his tighty whities?
“Haha Haha………Haha. I don’t really know. I took a picture of the picture, and I think he must have been posing for grandma back then.”
The bartender, a chick, chimed in, “So that’s where you get it from.”
Haha no way, he was definitely posing for grandma, not some guy.
Much much laughter.
“That’s not what I meant,” she said, “although…but I meant the flexing in your underwear.”
He laughed and agreed that must be the case.
Wait. Wait. You flex in your underwear? And people…people know this about you?
“Hahahahayeah, wanna see another one??”
And from that point forward, I called him Flexy Wes and finally just Flex.
At some point in the midst of all this, I took a phone call. Laughing my ass off, I went to one of the tables by the window for the call. And I saw it. I became aware of what I was doing.
I was one of the ones on the inside.
I was looking out.
At the ones looking in.
I was looking out.
At the ones unwilling or unable or afraid.
To come inside.
I wasn’t one of them anymore.
By the time Flex left, I was about four or five ciders in and was feeling righteously buzzed. Also, the Friday night crowd was fast filling up the place, and I felt it was time to make my exit.
Fucking proud of myself, too.
I sat in my car for quite a while, waiting out the buzz. It was worth it. Totally worth it.
Ass Publicking Chapata One, Part Two
I got home. Changed clothes. Plopped down in bed. Updated stupidityhole about my “networking.” Played on my iPad.
And then The Anklebiter texted (about two hours later). She had been updating me off and on throughout the evening, telling me that she would perhaps, maybe, eventually make her way to the pub. But she never did. She kept trying to get me to go to this big party. I refused.
And now she was texting.
“Where are youuuuuuuuuuuu?!???????? Are you in bed???????????????”
I replied, “How did you know?”
“LOLOLOLOL that’s where I’d be! Come back! We’re here! Pleeeeeease! It’s my biiiiiiiiiirthdaaaaaaaaaay!”
So you know what I did?
I went back out. Met up with The Anklebiter and her friends. Wished her a happy birthday. Had more drinks. Listened to the band. Had more laughs.
And had a fanfuckingtastic time.
Booyah. First Happy Hour a rousing success.
Ass Publicking Chapata Two
Chapata Two occurred this past Friday. And it was happening because of me. You see, I had asked a certain group of people to do Happy Hour with me before I ever tried to get the Geek Squad. But most of them had prior engagements and promised they could go out next week. But I couldn’t wait. I had to go that first night – it was a now or never kinda thing.
I no longer wanted to go, though. I knew it would be fun, but I had a raging day-after headache from the Modest Mouse concert I’d gone to the night before. I always have head-splitters on the day after a concert. (And I went to that fucker by myself, was the only one standing in my section, danced and sang and cheered and had a blast. An absolute blast.)
But I took care of my headache, drove home from out of town, gave myself a pep-talk and went to the pub.
And this time was soooo different.
It was me, Anklebiter and Her Little Dog Too, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, The Woman Formerly Known as Crankles, UberGeek McHottiepants, and even my supervisor, McFly, for a half hour or so. (Thanks a lot, Anklebiter.)
And I laughed so hard my stomach and chest hurt.
And then I drank some more.
A lot more.
And then I laughed so hard we became that table. We were outside, under the covered patio part, and we were the obnoxious ones.
And it was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in my adult life. Hands down.
I got there before anyone else – had to open the place to quell my anxiety. Got a cider or two in, and the old men from the first Happy Hour talked to me this time. Called me a snob for drinking cider. And I called them cheap old fucks with their PBR.
When the crew got there, UberGeek McHottiepants made me follow through on my promise to do an Irish Carbomb with him. HOLY. SHIT.
Everyone laughed and asked, “how was it?”
And the antics continued. There’s photographic evidence of me cringing as I slammed the carbomb with Uber. There’s photographic evidence of me sucking on a lime wedge after slamming Patron with Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.
It was hilarious and vulgar and fucking fantastic. Uber and I made some of the dirtiest jokes…but we were at a separate table for a bit, so we had a blast making the others wonder what was so fucking funny.
Once the band started setting up, everyone wanted to leave and go to Anklebiter and Her Little Dog Too’s house. Everyone except Little Miss. She bailed. (And McFly had been long gone, though he did witness the carbomb.)
Ass Publicking Chapata Two, Part Two
I went because I didn’t have a choice. Uber and I couldn’t drive yet, so we rode with The Woman Formerly Known as Crankles over to Anklebiter’s place.
There was talk of Karaoke and mixed drinks.
But we mostly chilled and talked about the concert I’d gone to the night before, concerts, 90s bands, gardening.
We listened to music. They learned how vulgar I was (this group had no idea – well Uber did. And Little Miss did. But the rest had nooooo idea).
I only had one more drink once we got there, because I needed to sober up to drive.
It was nice. Chill. We played with the dogs and had a fuckton of laughs.
And it made me question my judgment of The Anklebiter. She’s not what I thought she was. She’s not what she presents as. Well she kind of is, but not in a malicious way.
Before we left, Anklebiter had us all take a group selfie. One of them has a dog licking my boob. And the other one has Her Little Dog Too’s bare abdomen in it.
Not low enough for Grandma’s mustache.
Ass Publicking (Future) Chapata Three
And tomorrow night?
Happy Hour at a Mexican restaurant for three dollar margaritas with The Anklebiter and The Woman Formerly Known as Crankles.
I don’t want to go. It’s going to be extremely crowded. But The Woman Formerly Known as is like me in the sense that she’s trying to put herself out there for the first time. I never knew that. But she shared it with me, because I told them it’s what I was doing. They knew, anyway. I’ve rejected everything I’ve ever been invited to – granted, it has never been much. But I’ve never participated.
So. Even though I hadn’t gotten along so well with The Woman Formerly Known As back when I first started working here (she reminded me of my mother – and that’s a bad thing), she’s working on herself just like I am. And she asked me to go, so I’m gonna go.
So. About that four-day weekend. I kinda went crazy, y’all. I did a lot of masturdation. And you know something? I’m a damn good date.
Mkay. Let’s see. (I’m putting dates on these, because this was actually the weekend before last. And I did more shit this past weekend!)
Thursday, April 14: Sassy and Pensive
I’ve already told you about the sassy new haircut I got last Thursday. That was on the 14th. So last last Thursday. And then later, I went to the bookstore, too! And bought books!
Friday, April 15: Date with Deadpool
I’ve also already told you about the Deadpool masturdate last last Friday, so let’s move right along.
The end credits had such cute (and vulgar) graphics. This was one of the only clear snaps I could get.
Saturday, April 16: Please sir, may I have some more…books?
I found myself lying in bed. All. Fucking. Day. Around 7 P.M., I had had enough. I was angry and disappointed with myself. So I got up, took a shower, and went to the bookstore. I didn’t know what else to do or where else to go, but I knew I needed to get my pathetic ass out of the bed and move. Also. It’s always fun checking out the cute geeks in the sci-fi/fantasy/comics section. Sometimes they’re so deliciously yummy, I want to kidnap them (don’t worry; they’re adults) and do things to them. So uhm. I bought more books. Quelle surprise!
Added three more to the TBR stack!
Looking forward to reading this when time allows. Speaking of time, that’s a “pocket watch” on a chain. I wear it around my neck to remind me that time our time on this earth is finite; it is precious and I must Carpe the fucking Diem. “There’s only lifetime. GO!”
Yes, I spent too much money. This is rare for me. But when I do decide to spend on myself, it usually happens in a splurgy burst. But I at least had coupons for books! So I didn’t do so bad at the bookstore.
I also justified it by using “spending money” I had set aside for the trip that wasn’t. I wanted to treat myself after some personal shit went down. And y’all, I ain’t even done. I’m tired of being in the backseat of my life (unless, of course, someone is back there with me) (even then, maybe I want to drive for a while, damnit).
No, I didn’t buy this. But seriously? Trigger Warning? Sex Inside? There’s sex ON THE COVER. But “trigger warning”? Good fucking grief. Overuse of “trigger” shit drives me nuts. And sex? This is Cosmo, people. It’s gonna be like, “10 things to make your husband less likely to fall asleep after cumming in 3 seconds flat.” or “5 tips on how to bedazzle your vajazzle.”
Anyway. Let’s get to the park, shall we?
Sunday, April 17: Parks & Masturdation, or One if by Land, Buddha if by Trees
This dude has been driving me batshit about getting the fuck outside. I make excuses. He tells me to piss off. I make more excuses. He says so the fuck what. I say, but I hate it here. I want to be in the Pacific Northwest! He says, but you’re not in the fucking Northwest. Get out and live now. I say my foot is broken; he says piss off and go hobble.
So you know what? I fucking hobbled my ass to the park last last Sunday. And unfortunately, I have to admit that the smug fucker was right. I couldn’t do much walking. My foot is legit still broken (had new x-rays and it’s finally and slowly healing, though – NO SURGERY! NO PINS!)
Anyhoodles. Park. I got my ass up. At oh…1 in the afternoon or some shit. But I did good. I went straight to the shower then straight to the park (with an intermission for getting dressed – it’s not that kinda park).
I grabbed my book, Buddha in a Teacup (which is bullshit so far – more later), and did a little wandering. Not much, mind you. My foot wouldn’t let me forget it’s broken. I went first through the greenhouse. It was always my favorite part of the park, though they’ve let it go to shit.
Lemme share some lovelies from that day:
That was park day numberus oneicus.
Monday, April 18: Parks & Masturdation, or Making Friends and Influencing People, or A Writing Assignment
Because some little shit couldn’t be satisfied, I went to the park two days in a row. (He also says go listen to High Pass Filter right now!) And I mentioned it to someone else…all like I know I should, but I don’t wanna and he was all but you must go! And you must write something while there! No reading! Must write! These demanding asshats, I’m telling you. I did go, and I did write. But I can’t share the writing yet, as it’s to be part of a collaborative something.
Lemme share a gratuitous amount of flower piccies, and then I’ll tell you about someone I met. It was one of those moments in life when you just know. You just fucking know. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be.
But first. Flower porn. GASP! New word! FLORN!
Ahhhh isn’t spring glorious? I fucking love flowers. Can you tell? No? Lemme show you some more.
KIDDING. Just kidding.
Lemme tell you about Anthony now. I had been watching him, you see, crafting the beginnings of a short story based on him. He had no idea, of course. I just saw him and was inspired. I caught a glimpse of him from my table. He was down fishing off this little covered pier thingy. It showed up in the picture up there with my notepad.
I actually snuck an excellent shot of him re-baiting his hook. It was the perfect shot of him in his element, but I won’t even show my face on the blog. Not my place to show his.
Anyway, the more I wrote, the more I felt compelled to meet the real man. Not the one I was making up.
This. What I’m about to tell you about is well and truly outside of even the remotest of my comfort zones. But I felt compelled, in the truest sense. I had to meet this man.
So, for what seemed ages, I gathered my courage.
And then I gathered my things.
And then I walked down that pier.
And then, heart pounding, I spoke,
Hi! Mind if I keep you company for a bit?
It’s a public pier in a public park, but he was alone. Serene. And compared to the weekend chaos at that peer, with all the kids and geese, I figured he was probably enjoying his solitude. His communion with nature.
But he turned to me and grinned, telling me “Sure!”
So I put my things down, and he said he’d seen me writing. Asked if I was in school. Hehe. I said no; I was just writing a story. So he told me about his granddaughter. She writes children’s books, but is having fits getting published.
We chatted for a while. He asked questions about me; I answered. He told me about himself. Turns out we work for the same company. He had been retired, but grew bored after a long relationship busted up and went back to work. In his sixties now, he expressed that sometimes he grows weary of having been in the same place all his life.
Only so many times you can see the same ole thing and not wonder what else is out there that you’re missin’ out on. Ain’t much time left, and I’m past retirement age. Got a brother in Minnesota, though. Sure do love it up there. Why not, right? But it’s a scary thing, so I don’t know if I have it in me.
Why not, indeed.
So I shared a bit of my story with him, and my desire to move to the Pacific Northwest. He asked why there, and I told him how I’d been in love with Oregon ever since watching The Goonies as a kid. And then once I visited the region, I fell even harder and knew a life change was in order.
He told me I’m young and should go for it.
So I pointed at the “pocket” watch on the chain around my neck. Held it up for him to see.
Do you know what this is?
He shook his head, “Naw. Reckon you gon’ tell me, though.”
I popped it open and showed him the watch. “And do you know why I wear it?,” I asked. He just looked at me, expectantly waiting.
I wear it to remind me that life is short. I wear it to remind me that our time on this earth is finite. I wear it to remind me that there’s no time like the present time. I wear it to remind me that there’s never a right time. There’s only right now. I wear it to remind me that as long as I continue ticking along with it, it’s not too late. So I’m moving to Oregon. And you’re moving to Minnesota. And we’re going to make it count.
He smiled a winsome smile, tilted his head and cast his line back into the water.
You know somethin’, young lady? I’m gon’ call my brother tonight. See what we can see.
He looked hopeful now, wistful. I smiled and gathered my things.
Then I shook his grimy bait hand, told him it was a pleasure to meet him and to have good luck with his fishing.
And hey, Anthony? Make it count. Let’s make it count.
He grinned back at me and said, “Never too late.”
This post brought to you by:
Tomàs, for encouraging me to write even when, especially when, I doubt my ability to write anything worth anything at all. For making me feel worthy, writing aside.
Stupidityhole for relentlessly pushing me to get the fuck out of bed and the fuck out of the house. Many. Many. Many times now. I am eternally grateful.
Dedicated to Anthony and everyone else who thinks it’s too fucking late. Grab life. Pluck it when it’s ripe; carpe the fucking diem.
Coming Soon: Masturdating at Happy Hour last Friday, complete with photos of old men flexing in their tighty-whities. Perhaps a recap of tomorrow night’s concert – yes, another masturdate, and then my group Happy Hour this coming Friday night! Oh. Oh yes. And allergic reactions and moronic recruiters and the relocation conundrum. Stay tuned! You know me. I’ll fill you in in a month or so. (Winky Face, bitches.)
Priority #1: I mentioned getting my eyebrows “did” the other day. This was before even deciding to get my hair did. And dude says that reminds him of a Missy Elliott song. (Dudes, how did I not listen to more Missy Elliott? I loved her.) He thought that’s where I got it from..maybe it was. But I have no idea. So anyway, here’s the very filthy song as an intro. Enjoy, fellow pervs. (Also, thanks dude. This song is nasty, and I love it.)
So. With that fun little nasty outta the way, let’s get to it.
I have an issue with haircuts. Heh. I have an issue with lots of things. First cleavage, and now haircuts. What the fuck? “Is she Pentecostal?,” you quietly whisper among yourselves. No, she isn’t Pentecostal.
I was sitting in the chicky’s chair, wondering why I’ve always been so afraid of changing my hair – that goes twofold. I’m scared to cut my hair short, and I’m scared to dye it. And that goes for “normal” short cuts and “normal” colors, not just scene styles or funky, attention-grabbing stuff.
And, as I was encouraging her to “choppa choppa choppa!,” it hit me.
You see, Butch McGee was our immediate neighbor and, budding hairdresser that she was, offered up free haircuts. My brokeass mother was unable to turn down a free service, so she offered us up as sacrifices to The Ruthless Butch McGee.
The roiling river of acid finally hardened into a steely lump in my gut as I trudged forth toward The Eye of Sauron my doom. Butch McGee lured me into her lair with promises of loveliness and free-ness that would help the mother figure. Her lair reeked of fried things, turnip greens, dirty laundry and chitlins. The air laden with grease, the sticky particles struggled to find purchase as everything was already coated. Don’t dare touch a surface. You’d become one with the abode. Stuck forever to watch the family suck crawfish heads and watch reruns of All in the Family.
Her husband, a local tater chip distributor, was completely vegged out on a sticky recliner, watching “wraslin'” and chugging the cheapest beer on Earth. Her son (whom I had a semi-crush on until my brother tarnished his image in my little eyes) asked me if I’d ever had frog legs before. “They taste like chicken,” he swore. I took a little nibble and to his upturned, expectant brows said, “I guess so.” He smiled like he’d won a prize, then said he forgot that was a rabbit foot and not a frog leg. Then he blushed and went away, only to come back later to tell me deddy sed them wasfrawg laygs. They’d already eaten all the rabbit.
So I suppose that means I’ve tried frog legs. Sort of. Maybe.
Butch McGee set me down on a sticky stool. My thighs stuck to the vinyl top of the damn thing. I kept looking at her hair. It was this helmet-like thing. Or was it a mushroom? I couldn’t be sure. All I knew was it looked like my crush had two dads. And Butch McGee was definitely the manlier of the two. She was grumpy and brusque, abrasive and pushy.
Butch held me down on that stool, one hand gripping my shoulder with the force of Andre the Giant, the other hand snipping away at my now frizzy and grease-laden hair. Even my little eight/nine year old brain knew this was a bad sign: one hand forcing me down and only one hand snipping? Seriously, this could only end in tears. And it did.
I was so upset, my usual M.O. of hiding my emotions dissolved into a puddle of tears when she showed me my reflection in the mirror. Tears. Tears. I choked out a timid little “thank you Ms. Butch,” and practically ran the twenty feet home.
Bad. It was bad, y’all.
The pudgy little tomboy-looking thing was no more. No, no. In her place stood Stephen. That’s right. Stephen. Now I was a pudgy little boy with a soft voice and an extra-feminine shyness. (Shut up. This is my blog, and y’all already know I ain’t PC. So suck it. You know. The dick that I don’t have.) (But for a while, everyone sure thought I did.) (Except, WHAT THE FUCK, PEOPLE. No one should have been thinking about my privates at that age. Fucked up. This world is fucked.)
I had officially gone from long, curly hair to short, bushy helmet-head. Much like Butch McGee’s do. Oh yeah. Fucking bitchwhorecracklicker.
Shortly after the Haircut of Doom, the mother unit took us to a little local park. We walked over. I mean, seriously. It was right. fucking. there.
I always felt out of sorts at events like this.
What am I supposed to do, here?
Play with other kids?
But I was taught not to talk to strangers.
Plus. I hadn’t forgotten that little girl that shunned me not too terribly long ago. So I knew better than randomly trying to make friends.
I just kinda walked around, looking every bit the Charlie Brown (except I had at least three more strands of hair than him). Kinda mopey, kicking dirt, hands in pockets, face fearful and shy.
I finally stood in line at a slide. Just as it was my turn, this little girl darted in front of me and started climbing the ladder. The thing’s mother appeared and admonished, “Hey Spawn, that little boy was here first!” So Spawn backed off, and I started crying. Silently, of course. Spawner held Spawn back and insisted I go ahead. So I reluctantly climbed that ladder, in obedience to Spawner, slid down the slide…and went and sat down until the mother unit was ready to leave.
And this was a mild version of what happened from there on out until my hair finally grew back out. God, the bullying was intense at school.
Anyway. This is less about that and more about the why of my haircutaphobia.
Fast forward to sometime last year. Hell, it’s probably been closer to two years now. Yeah. My hair was down to my waist – all one length – and nearly to the point where it would be getting caught in my jeans again. And I knew I needed to do something about it. Or at least I had an urge to. I was tired of being afraid of short hair.
I’d cut it up to my shoulder blades a few times over the years. But the ex loved the long hair, and I loved it, too. So that was as short as I was willing to go. But I started getting anxious for a change.
So a couple years ago, I got this cool, funky cut. Kinda reminded me of Mikasa‘s awesome hair. Except it was just past my shoulders at the longest layer. But it was semi-choppy and cool. And totally different. I asked the chick to give me long, funky layers. And man. That’s all I told her, and she gave me my favorite haircut ever…to that point.
It was cool and funky, and I loved it. Well. Fast-forward about six months, and I knew I needed to get it updated. Bring all the layers back up. But I couldn’t find the chick who had done it. She had gotten fired from the place I found her. So I called the number she gave me…and I was told she no longer lived there. And I haven’t been able to find her since. I have her first name and her profession, and that’s not good enough. I’ve called so many hair salons, and they all tell me she’s not there.
This past Thursday, I had a wild hair (hardy har har) and made an appointment with a new chick. (Oh. Forgot to tell you, I let a dude from the first chick’s original place cut it…and he ruined it. Fucker. So that’s why I went two years without messing with it again.) Anyway. New chick. I’m going all anxious crazy person on the phone with her.
I had this haircut a couple years ago.
It was awesome.
Best haircut ever.
Then the chick disappeared or got fired or died or something.
Then Ricardo cut it, and he ruined my life forever.
And now I’m calling you. I mean, no pressure you know?
Can you give me something fun and funky and choppy and shaggy and cool?
Yeah, but can you give me something that works straight or with curls? Cuz my hair is naturally very curly!
Can you tell I’m nervous?
Can I come in today? Is that okay?
Okay. Today. What time again?
That’s today, right?
Is that with you or someone else?
So today at 4:00?
And and we can talk about it when I get there? Before any cutting commences?
Yes, much laughter was had while I was rambling and anxious and kind of freaking out on her. I was talking fast but friendly…but very clearly oh so anxious. She finally said, “Just come on in at 4:00, sugar, and we’ll work it out.”
So I’m sitting in the chair, after she shampooed the shit out of it. (There wasn’t actually any shit in it. Unless it’s like fly shit. I bet tiny little microscopic bugs shit all over us.) (Fucking. Ew. Fucking. Ew. Thanks a lot.) I showed her some piccies.
She told me which ones would not work, because my hair would look like a curly mullet on days I decide not to straighten it. So those were an obvious no go. I showed her one, and said look…this is what I want not to look like: the fat chick that tried choppy cool layers. She laughed her ass off and said, “oh honey, you’re not gonna look anything like that. Relax.” Then it was my turn to laugh.
So she got to chopping, and then told me that she didn’t want to go any further until she dried it and let me see it. Once she dried it? I was like duuuuuude, CHOPPA CHOPPA CHOPPA! More layers! More movement! More choppies! More chunkies! More shaggies!
She laughed and said I was fun. And they tried to get me to go out to a pub with them. I know I should have taken them up on it, but I didn’t…I didn’t. Maybe next time. I also went ahead and told her to put her house on the market, because she has to follow me to Oregon.
Best. Haircut. Of my Life, dudes! I freakin’ love it.
I’d show you if it weren’t for stupid internymity. That’s Internet anonymity. It’s cool as fuck, and I love it. I even have little bangies, and it’s juuuuuuuuuuuust long enough for the tiniest ponytail on Earth. And I actually think I could let her go choppier next time!
So I have a badass new haircut that I debut at work tomorrow. I’ve been off for a few days because of plans that went awry. But I kept some of the time off and accomplished so many personal achievements that I’m glad plans went awry. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. But I do know that I seized the opportunity, took the bull by the horns, made the best of it…ran out of cliches. You get the idea. And the haircut was just the start of it.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll tell you about masturdation (yes that’s a D, not a B) and parks and recreation and making friends and influencing people. Perhaps, perhaps. Soon.
But for now, just the haircut. Because I need to go shower and shave and have a late dinner and get my ass to Mars bed.
I’m going for my orthopedic consult tomorrow. They want to put rods/pins in my left foot. But I’m going to hold my ground and request we try a hard cast and crutches before going for the surgery. Either way, this needs to be sorted before the move.
Fuck, I’m hungry. I’m going to eat and shave and all that fun stuff.