Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
When one of my ex-roommates was four years old, his parents held a party with all their friends from work. It was an Adult party (not to be confused with an ADULT party), and as such, it was no place for a four year old. And, besides, it was past his bedtime.
Not one to be denied a party, the sage four year old sat down on his bed, and tried to think of a way to go to downstairs and mingle, without being caught, and sent back to bed. He could tie a red blanket around his neck, and wear his Superman pajamas and go downstairs, but Superman was a do-gooder boy scout, who, when asked to go upstairs and go to bed, would be forced to comply. He had once gone downstairs naked, imagining himself invisible, and that had made his parents very cross. What, then? He dug through his closet, and there he found The Answer To His Problems. A Darth Vader mask. Who would dare send Darth Vader off to bed at nine PM? Maybe Emperor Palpatine, but that's about it (these being the days before anyone knew of whiny emo Anakin).
This is how there came to be The Greatest Party Ever, in which a bunch of suited up water cooler types, sat around the couches, and leaned in doorways, listening to a tiny Lord Vader regale them with stories about dinosaurs, and computer games, and other things that strikes Tiny Vader's fancy. Tiny Vader is, at no point, sent upstairs by the little boy's parents, but eventually falls asleep on the chair, and wakes up the next morning clutching the Vader mask like a teddy bear.
This has nothing to do with the story I'm about to tell you, except that when Jim said, "So I've been telling a story about you recently that involves Darth Vader, and I thought you should know." This was the only story I could think of.
"Vader?" I asked him.
"Yea. And, the thing is, I've told a lot of people. And, I figure the story is probably going to get back to you soon. And, so I should probably tell you."
Three sentences in a row that star with And usually spells doom. Particularly when there are three syllables between the a and the n. Doom.
"Remember last week, when I was over your house?" I did. "And, you know how I had you watching videos on Youtube for a while?" I did. "And, remember how I got up and had to go to the bathroom?" Well, this I didn't remember, as I don't make it a habit to record my house guests' potty habits. "Do you know why?" I did not.
"Well, you have all these cool comic book stuf in your house. The trades, the Munnys, and everything. And, so I was looking around, and I saw your Darth Vader action figure." I do not have a Darth Vader action figure. "And, I thought, that looks cool. And so I went to pick it up, and it was not a Darth Vader action figure."
My mind races. What on Earth do I have in my house that looks like, but is not, a Darth Vader action figure?
"It was a dildo." It was not.
"I don't have a dildo in my house. Darth Vader-like, or otherwise."
"You don't? It was by your bed, in one of the cubby holes. And it was covered in...something gross."
Something...? "Oh! It's a bottle of lube."
"What do you mean, ew?"
"I mean, I touched something that you stick in a guy's ass."
What? "No you didn't. You don't stick a bottle of lube in a guy's ass. though, I suppose you could. You flip the top, dispense the lube on your fingers, and then stick your fingers in the guy's ass. The bottle never gets any play."
"Oh. Well, that's not how I've been telling the story."
Which is why, at two in the morning, at IHoP, I tell an assortment of friends, including Ben, that Jim has still not touched anything I've ever inserted into a man's ass, except my hand, which I wave in his face. But I'd washed it plenty of times between those two events.
On my way home from work, I saw two dozen or so people sitting in the bleachers around an empty baseball field. The lights were on, but the dugout was empty, and the field was bare. I thought of you. Waiting for some sorted adventure, some ridiculous snatch of conversation. Any sign of entertaining life.
I went outside, a few minutes later, and there were a few people playing underhand softball.
Does there really have to be metaphor everywhere I look?
See the game is going on, whether people are watching or not. And people are always watching, whether or not they can see the game. And existentialist metaphor is so dated and boring. Would you like another cookie for your cache?
I've been not seeing Sora, and Zach, and an assortment of other supposedly interested parties (I'm not calling Sora or Zach supposedlies...but the rest of them) for months now. The kind of people that obsessively call or IM or e-mail saying how much they want to see you, but none of them have any interest in actually hanging out, they just want you to pay attention to them.
Attention and interest are such dissimilar similar words. Interest accrues, attention wanes. The crowd shows up expecting some sort of show or game, but they're easily distracted by other passing shinies.
I am tired of games, of faked interest, and attention seekers. This is why I've been macheteing people out of my life. Weed friends.
A good way to fall out of friendship with me: e-mail me a link to your suicide note. Don't explain why you are depressed, just mention chasms and blackness and voids and pain. Forget the fact that my first ex actually killed himself, whereas you are just an attention seeking bottom feeder who will call the next day as though nothing was wrong.
Threatening suicide is like posting an ad for gay sex on Craigslist. You can't chalk it up to a phase, or drunken experimentation. It's something you either really want, or you're an asshole for doing it.
Typing of assholes, this morning I repeatedly woke up on the right side of the bed. It's what was going on around the bed that was wrong.
I was having a terrible reaction to a fairly mundane dream, the first time. I woke up to the sound of my landlady's voice outside my window. She wasn't yelling, but she wasn't having a pleasant conversation, either. By the time I got my clothes on, and headed out to the driveway, both she and the upstairs neighbor she was talking with were gone.
I was asleep for another two hours when I had another frustrating return to consciousness, and I heard someone pounding on the front storm door (it didn't occur to me until just now that we have no storm door to our apartment, the upstairs apartment has one). I heard her voice again, and waited for her to come in without calling me, so I could take my bad mood out on her. But she didn't come in. As she walked through the driveway I heard her say "I usually hate coming here, but this time, I feel pretty good." And she did her obnoxious twitter laugh. Was she coming to FINALLY fix the washer that broke down in February? Perhaps, install the dishwasher she promised would be set up by Labor Day 2007?
Of course not.
She was gone when I was calm enough to walk outside, where a police officer told me he and an electrician were cutting off power. As you can probably guess by this post, it wasn't the power to our apartment. "Do you live in Apartment A?" He asked.
"It's not your unlucky day, then." And he smiled. "Cruella Deville over there," and he pointed to where the landlady's car had been "doesn't like you, though. She thought we were here to cut the downstairs power."
I'm really glad I don't understand what goes on in her head. What sort of game she's watching behind those eyes.
I am right now experiencing the feeling of shame that only comes from bad mouthing someone for a trivial slight, and having them make a special trip to see you and give you a cookie.
Of course, if the cookie is poisoned, I'll have been right all along.
Update: The cookie was disgusting, which is much worse than being poisoned. I no longer feel as bad.