While my friends were fantasizing about being astronauts, doctors, rock stars, or Teen Wolf, I was harboring dreams of my own. I wanted to be a firetruck. Not one of those ladder-climbing masochist firemen. I didn’t want to spend my time hooking up hoses to hydrants or putting on those unfashionable helmets, I wanted to be shiny red with flashing lights and blaring sirens.
When I realized that I was never going to transform, no matter how many Optimus Primes I bought, I settled on a new dream: writing my dirtiest secrets for the entertainment of a few close friends and hundreds of complete strangers. I’d like to thank LiveJournal for making that dream come true.
Apart from the occasional pulling to the side of the road, and a few high school fire drills, I haven’t had a close relationship to fire trucks in years. Police cars on the other hand were becoming routine. So were red trucks.
During a trip from Boston to Burlington with Zuzu, we got into a very minor fender bender. Even the fender escaped unscathed. In the fantasy story that the pseudo-Abe Simpson who’d crashed into us when he wasn’t paying attention told his insurance company, he was driving along minding his own business when a fleet of red trucks swerved around him causing him to crash into him. The insurance company was positively shocked to learn this wasn’t true. Apparently Not-So-Honest Abe had used The Red Truck Defense in previous accidents.
Between that story, and the deja-vu truck, I was developing quite the case of fucuvehicuphobia (fear of red trucks). So the police car at the end of the street was somewhat of a relief. Of course, being having studied myself into oblivion (stupid Anthropology!), there was also an air of foreboding. I made eye contact with the officer in the car, nodded, and walked up a road between the mall and the parking garage. Neither the truck nor the cop car followed.
“You’ve really got to relax a little.” Ryan said. “The world isn’t out to get to you.”
“Shouldn’t you be busy decomposing somewhere.” I muttered.
“That got boring real quick. Serving as your subconscious is much more fun.”
I scanned the road for signs of life. “Go away. It’s not Christmas yet, Jacob Marley.”
“And I’m not indigestion, asshole. You’re so baked you--”
I started singing U2’s “40” until I was safely at the building that passed as home for most of the year that I lived in Burlington. By then, Ryan was buried in the same portion of my brain as Ted’s talking cat.
“Hey Ads,” one of the many people who didn’t live in our house, but was nevertheless always there, said. “Want a hit?”
Hell, yes, I wanted a hit. I wanted a hit like A-Rod during his first month with the Yankees, like J*Lo’s A&R man, like a masochist in the ring with Mike Tyson, like a guy with two deucesplaying blackjack, like a hurricane on unprepared land, I wanted a hit like a paranoid kid coming home high from a party and running into a red pickup truck a cop car and the ghost of his dead boyfriend. God fucken damnit I wanted a hit.
“Do you want a hit?” Zach asked.
Wasn’t he listening to the narrative going on in my head? Yes, I wanted a fucken hit. “Uhhh. Sure.” I sat down at the dining room table, and waited for him to hand me the bubbler.
Again with the questions, what was he, Barbara fucken Walters? “Yea. There was this kind of....intense party at Ted’s...shrooms...pot...a talking cat...an action figure in a an electric chair...and then this truck was following me...and there was a cop car...but the brownies were pretty good.”
Zach was inhaling during the entire seven hours it took me to finish my soliloquy. Actually, it might have only been a second and half. I wasn’t sure whether I was talking ridiculously slow, or insanely fast. All I knew for sure was that my pupils were spinning around my eyes. I was seconds away from “TILT”.
I took another really long drag, sputtered out a “Thanks, I needed that” and retired to my room. But just like Ozzy Osbourne retiring from touring, I was up again five minutes later, taking another hit on the way to the bathroom, and then another on the way back.
I locked the door behind me (mostly to keep things like this from happening), took off my clothes and tried to find a comfortable way to sleep on my god-awful futon frame. After approximately fifteen seconds, I flung the futon on the floor, turned up the Gomez on my CD player and commenced an intense self-loveathon.
I think the reason the masturbation fest lasted so long wasn’t that the various drugs had numbed me, it was that I couldn’t decide who I was fantasizing about. I have a strict no masturbating about people I could theoretically fuck policy. That way, if I ever end up fucking said person, I won’t have ridiculously high standards. There’s little worse than spending months fantasizing about drilling a hole in the tight, toned ass of a screaming in ecstasy coworker only to discover that their nearly non-existent ass can’t even muster a proper moan when you insert your thermometer of love in their rectum. The prospect of another four years of Bush? Worse. The fact that they green lighted a spin-off of Friends? Worse. Mushroom clouds over North Korea? Worse. That’s about it, though.
I flipped through the appropriate celebrities of the moment, then the most attractive of the guys I’d fucked during whore month, then the most attractive guys I wished I’d fucked during high school and college, I had just about settled on Saint when “What about me?” Ryan asked.
“I’m not even” And he wasn’t. I went back through my catalog, and settled on Victor. I don’t mean I settled for Victor like I’ll settle for macaroni and cheese when I’m all out of steak, I mean I settled for Victor like Puritans settled on the North American continent. Actually, there was nothing Puritanical about the way I was settling on Victor, but I was using him as refuge from the tyranny of the First Church of Ryan.
When I woke up, it was either still dark outside or dark again. I checked the answering machine for messages. Took a hit of the bubbler while I listened to my roommate’s psycho bitchgirlfriend’s thirty-seven messages asking him where he was. Then I called Ted and made plans to hang out downtown so I wouldn’t spend any more time in the house getting high and/or jerking off. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things.
I was on my way out the door when Zach, James, and an assortment of people I’d never met before in my life bounded in through the back door, prattling on about an upcoming Ween show. :...and if I go as a geisha girl, they’re bound to remember me. Oh hey, Adam, heard you had a little run in on The Loop last night.”
“Huh?” I was new to this whole drug thing. I’d smoked a little pot here and there in Cranberry Lake, but I’d never been up on the lingo. “The loop?”
I said goodbye to no one when I finally moved out of Cranberry Lake. I put in my two weeks notice at Kookaburra Canyon. Told my boss from the fudge store that I needed some extended time off. Then I put all of my non-essential items in storage, and moved to Boston to become a full-time poet and writer.
I moved in with a woman named Zuzu who I’d met at a poetry reading in Cranberry Lake. I’d been slowly moving into her house since we’d met. First spending weekends there, staying up late and making fun of fellow performers that we knew. Eventually, I was there so often that moving there just made sense. In lieu of paying rent, I gave her my grand piano, which her husband used to teach their ten year old son, Lot, how to play.
I stayed there about four months, living the dream, before I nearly came to fisticuffs with the man organizing the Boston poetry scene. I was mentioning this to a poet in Vermont that I’dbefriended, when she suggested I move up to Burlington.
I had no money saved up, no tentative place to live, no job prospects. Moving up to Burlington would be incredibly impulsive and stupid. I moved up the next day. Again, without any goodbyes.
I’d been up there and unemployed for nearly a month when I reached the stage of poor where I was salivating at the prospect of Ramen noodles. Even the mention of the word cheeseburger gave me an erection. After a month of living off popcorn, rice, and charity dinners, I knew I needed a change. More than change, I needed some paper money fast.
My friend got me a job packing fudge. This time there were no costumes, thous, or lesbian looking gay boys involved.
It was during a shift of fudge packing that Ted tap danced into my life. “You’re pretty good at that.” I said.
“Nah.” he said “It’s just real easy to fake on this floor.”
I pretended not to stare too intently at Ted, as he and my female coworker flirted. Cut fudge, wrap in tissue, center in box, fold corner flaps, wrap in bow. Cut fudge, wrap in tissue, center in “You can come, too if you like.” he said.
“Sorry, I was in Chocolate Walnut Land. Come where?”
“My house. I’m having a little shindig. Do you....study?”
One of the uberhippies in Burlington goes by the name of Jesse. Jesse is connected to one of the larger, more successful organic drug dealers this side of Canada...and the other side of Canada (that being, Canada). We’ll call him The Guru. The Guru’s legit job was as a book salesman. Therefore, people like Jesse called Guru at work and ordered textbooks instead of drugs. I don’t remember which subjects corresponded with which drugs, but it was something to the effect of mushrooms being Biology, LSD being Calculus, Ecstasy being Anatomy, and cocaine being “look shithead, I don’t deal cocaine, it’s time for you to get counseling.”
For this particular party, we’d be studying Anthropology. I brought my bubbler.
Do to the vast amount of studying I did at said party, I don’t remember very much of it. Iremember eating some sort of veganesque sandwich. About halfway through, I became incredibly full. Not just full to my stomach, but I could feel my brain pressing against my skull. Memories oozed out my ears. My two month backlog of sperm shot out covering the room with a-- you get the idea.
“I should go.” I told Ted’s cat. “I’m really tired, and I have to work tomorrow.”
“Don’t you think you should crash here, and call in high?” The cat asked.
“No. My boss doesn’t mind me coming in high.” This was true. During my interview, my boss asked me whether I smoked. After a six hour pause where I looked quizzically at my shoes, he said “Don’t worry. I just want to know if I should invite you over to my house for a few weekenders.”
“Suit yourself.” said the cat.
“Bye Ted’s cat.”
I staggered down the stairs of the apartment and out into the freezing fucken cold streets of Burlington. Having only been in town for a few months, and never having been to the section of town where Ted and his cat lived, I was somewhat unsure what was the most expedient way home. I knew the direction, but there was an assortment of annoying buildings and sculptures in my way. Plus a mall. Fucken malls.
I was a bit southeast of the mall when I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of deja vu. Once I had ascertained that there was no gun rack or “I hunt red heads for sport” bumper sticker, I returned to my paranoid about everything but the pickup truck state and walked toward the mall.
About two minutes later, I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of deja vu. Once I had ascertained that there was no gun ruck or “Honk if you love Homocide” bumper stickers, Ireturned to my paranoid about everything but the pickup truck state and walked toward the mall.
I was about fifty yards from the mall when I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of What the Fuck I Know I've Seen This Pickup Truck At Least Three Times Now, and broke into a run. That’s when I spotted the police car.