Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
I'm Going Back To Sleep
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.
Elvis Rex (Part 15: UnDead)
There were officers everywhere. Hundreds of them.
Sleep ebbed away.
Maybe not hundreds. In fact, there were only six. Four cars, six officers. Seith was still passed out in the passenger's seat. I opened the door. Slowly.
If one were to take a picture of me at this point, I'd guess that my eyes comprised about 85% of my face. Until this weekend I had never had a run in with a police officer and now...Well, shit.
"Are you ok, son?" Officer #1 asks.
"Yes. Is something wrong?"
"They're trying to sweep the parking lot." Officer #1 points to a street sweeper vehicle. Officers #5 & 6 sigh and go back to their car and drive off. "They said they tried knocking on your windows but that neither of you would wake up. They thought you were dead."
"No. Definitely not dead. Tired. I was driving to the bus station and I started to fall asleep so I pulled in here to rest."
"Ok. Well, as long as you move the car to the side of the lot that they've already swept, you're welcome to go back to sleep."
"I don't think that's going to be possible for a while."
Officer #2 asked "What's wrong with your friend there? He hasn't moved since we got here."
"Seith?" No answer. "Seith." I leaned in to the car and shook him, sneaking in a pinch that I hope the officers didn't see.
"What the fuck? I'm tired!"
"These officers thought we were dead."
"Dead? What" He finally looked up, and around. "God, where are we? Were we in an accident?"
Officers three and four are now gone.
"No." I thank the officers, answer a few more questions, and fill in Seith as they drive away. Then I start the car and drive the rest of the way to the Big City Bus Station.
I don't remember whether or not I stayed until his bus showed up. I don't think I said or did anything captivating as he left. One moment he was in my car. The next I was on my way home.
I was born a child of rape. Never knew my parents, though I had a close encounter involving phone calls from my biological father when I was fourteen. It's not the sort of thing I think about every day of my life, but when it digs its way out of my subconscious and into my life, it colors every thought I have.
I'm balls deep in a boy who has caused me nothing but frustration for weeks. I don't love him. I don't even like him. At this very moment, I hate him more than I hate anyone else in the world. Is this rape?
While we're fucking in a chair, he has the tub running. Noah is in the bathroom putting two of every type of medication in a candy dish ark when I turn the faucet off. I mop up the floor with assorted types of towels and washcloths. Seith never apologizes. Doesn't help. When everything's dry again he gets in the shower. I have loaded the washing machine, and am in my room actively being frustrated. If I'd had any fingernails left, I'd be biting them. Seith starts "singing" something 'NSyncish. I mockingly yell at him to shut up. He starts "singing" louder. I rush into the bathroom and --
Somewhere between my bedroom and the bathroom, roughly ten feet, I have gone from mock angry to actually seething. Everything I let go of last night is back with a "He flooded the bathroom" cherry on top. I remember how good last night felt. I want that feeling back. Seith is the onlyone who can give that feeling back to me. In a few hours I will be literally driving him away from me. It's now or never. Is this rape?
Rape is "No. No. Oh, God, no." or silent tears or violence or someone not active in the sex. Fucking Seith is "Yes. Yes. Oh, God, yes." with bad porn line commands, his body pushing into mine. This is rough bathroom floor, I can't grip his body because he's soaked from the shower, water is beating against the wall of the empty tub, my heart is playing pinball and the ball is trying to bust out of my skull sex. Five minutes into it Seith says "Don't --" Everything freezes. This is where the camera pans around Matrix-style I see this moment from every possible angle and he says "Don't -- Slow down." But is it Don't. Slow down. or is it Don't slow down? "Don't -- Slow down -- I'm going to cum."
Reality is restored we both explode. The bathroom floor is a mess again, but this time I'll only need one towel.
This isn't Waterloo, but I've sent my personal demons to Elba for a while.
Time speeds up. Seith's bus is at ridiculous o'clock in the morning. Rather than leave it to chance that we'll miss it, I decide to drive us there early. It's roughly an hour from my house to the bus station.
I'm a speeder. I try and keep within ten miles of the speed limit when I think there's cops around, but when I feel safe, and the highway is straight enough, 85 seems like a reasonable speed. That's about how fast I was going when I noticed the flashers. Shit.
"License and registration." While the officer walks back to his car I realize that Seith and seethe are nearly homophonous. Four minutes pass in silence. Seith looks at his nails.
The officer comes back. Laughing.
"Rough night last night?"
I wasn't sure how to respond.
"I think you suffered enough for your sins last night. I'm going to let you off with a little advice: slow down, and get that headlight fixed first thing Monday morning." And he walked away.
Seith looked at me like Jesus had just stopped over the house for some cookies on the way to his second coming. "What was that about?"
"It's a long story."
We drove for about forty-five minutes when I realized I was falling asleep. Seith had been asleep since about five minutes after I was pulled over. I got off on the next exit ramp, pulled into a supermarket parking lot and fell asleep. When I woke up my car was surrounded by police officers.
In the house that I live in now there is a picture above the computer of a naked man resting his hands on a desk. The woman seated behind the desk is coyly checking out his cock (which you can't see due to angle of the painting). I've been told by a few friends that this picture really creeps them out. I've seen that look before. Seith gave it to me on his final evening in the house. I was changing before I left for the play and Seith suggested an intimate warm up exercise. I declined.
The show was a mess that night. It went over really well, but so many odd things were going on backstage that you would have thought we were performing Noises Off and not The Rocky Horror Show.
There's a point in my solo where I have to run out through the audience, down two sets of stairs, through the lobby, through the dressing room, up two more flights of stairs so I can emerge from the stage again. On my way out through the audience, I got the leather jacket I was wearing caught on a railing causing me to flip down both sets of stairs. With no time to worry about my injuries, I ran the rest of the route, emerged from the stage, finished the song, and collapsed back stage in a Coke machine (as is part of the show). I rather fucked up my ankle. Luckily, the rest of the show I was in a wheelchair, anyway.
After the show was over, all I wanted to do was drive home and collapse. Actually, I would have preferred having someone else drive me home so I could collapse, but that wasn't an option. I had to drive Seith out of my life the next night.
Mike and Gina were asleep. Seith was not in his customary couch position, so I assumed correctly that he'd be naked on my bed with that look on his face.
"How'd the show go?"
Seith didn't give a shit about my show. Even before I committed my first Crime Against Seith, he'd made it very apparent that he didn't give a shit about the theatre work I was doing or my job. Both of which were fine by me. I tend to be happier with people who don't moon over what I do. Seith's asking me how my show went meant one thing: he wanted something other than sex. What was it? My car? A kidney? (I'd gladly give him the kidney that had housed the stones in it) The deed to my house? "Can you go get me some smokes?"
Had I not had the previous interior monologue wherein he was asking for a piece of my body, or my material wort, I might have been annoyed by his asking if, after a long day of carting his ass around The Peninsula, and then having to do a show. But a three minute drive didn't seem like an unreasonable request.
So I pulled out of the parking lot, and down to the end of my street. I took a left off my street and saw a cop car flashing its lights. I pulled over and waited for them to pass. They didn't pass.
"License and registration." Check. "Have you been drinking?"
"No. I just got home from work, and I'm going to pick up some groceries."
"At 1:30 AM?"
"Yes. I don't get out of work until 1:00."
"Do you know your left headlight is out?" Oh, right.
"Yes, I have an appointment on Monday to get it fixed."
"And you realize you don't have an inspection sticker."
"Yes, I do. I went to get my car inspected this morning, but because my left headlight was out, they couldn't give me one, so they put the temporary sticker on my car until they can install a new headlight and give me my real sticker."
"Well until then you're driving without an inspection sticker."
"No. I'm driving on a temporary sticker. It's good for 14 days."
"There are no temporary stickers. You either pass your inspection or you fail." At this point, his partner gets out of the car and walke over to the passenger's side. "So you're driving around without an inspection sticker."
Partner: "What are you talking about? He's got a temporary sticker right here." Thank you Good Cop, please get Bad Cop back in the car.
Bad Cop: "There's no such thing as a temporary sticker."
Good Cop: "Sure there is. If you fail your inspection you get fourteen days to fix the problem and get reinspected."
Bad Cop: "How long has it been since you got that sticker?"
"About fourteen hours. I told you, I have an appointment on Monday."
Bad Cop: "I'm going to have to write you a warning." Good Cop shakes his head and walks back to the car.
I toss the warning in my glove compartment and drive very legally down another road and take a right. About a quarter of a mile down the road I see more flashers. I live right around the corner from a police station, so I figure they're on their way to an emergency and I pull over. Wrong again.
"License and registration." Check. I also hand him the warning I received thirty-five seconds previously. He trudges back to his car. Calls in my info, and comes back. "Until you get this fixed, you're going to continue to be pulled over."
"Well, it's Saturday at 1:45 in the morning, I can't get anything done until Monday morning."
He lets me go.
I make it to the 7-11, and notice the cop car in the parking lot. *sigh* I go in, buy the Parliament Lights and some Cherry Coke, and get back in my car. As soon as I turn the key in the ignition, the cop car hits the flashers.
"License and registration." Lather. Rinse. Repeat. He lets me go.
I keep my brights on the whole way home, as the bright portion of my left headlight works fine. Just as I'm pulling back on my street, I see flashers again. It's Fucken Bad Cop again.
"License and registration."
"Again? You just pulled me over ten minutes ago."
"Oh. You. What are you doing back here?"
"I live here. I'm trying to get off the road and go to bed."
Sometimes I wear headphones to block the world out of my head. Other times I wear them to keep the good daydreams in. On the morning of Seith's penultimate day in my life, I was listening to a mix of Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind songs. I was directing better videos for them in my head when Seith knocked on the door. I feigned sleep. He went away.
About a half an hour later, Mike knocked on my door. He and Gina were headed out for some more sightseeing. They couldn't stand listening to Seith whine downstairs.
"What is he whining about?"
"Apparently his Mom wants to send him enough money for a bus ticket home, but Seith wants to fly."
"Tragic. I can't wait to see my phone bill."
It wasn't too long after they left that Seith knocked again. This time he would not be fased by my fake coma. "Hey." I did my best statue impersonation. "Hey, insafemode." I rolled over. "I knowwwwwww yer awayik. Wayk uhhhhhhup." I smacked my lips together as if still asleep. This is when the tickling started. I have never been ticklish. I get the tingling sensation that I assume makes other people laugh, but to me it's just a bit of a nuisance. Like a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Seith knew this. After about a minute of failed tickle warfare I felt a rather warm wet sensation near my leg. No, he wasn't peeing on me.
Due to Mike and Gina being in the house, and my playing the part of Asshole Who Won't Give Me Money in "The Sad, Tragic Life of Somebody Hayes," we hadn't had sex in days. I think Seith thought that this was a major factor in why I wouldn't give him money. He was a great lay, and all, but he wasn't that good. The licking of my leg ended up turning into a rather incredible blowjob. My dick, though, was the only part of me that I allowed to flinch. After five minutes or so, the licking stopped. I felt a hand wrap around my cock like a joystick. I made a mental note that if he squeezed even a little too hard, I was going to lift up my leg and slam him right in the nuts. He didn't squeeze. He decided to ride me. I decided this would be a good time to open my eyes and enjoy what I mistakenly figured would be the last time we fucked.
It was an amazingly intense way to spend an hour in the morning. It was the first time I'd ever been with a guy who came without either of us touching his cock. And he came gallons. I'd heard the couch creaking downstairs the past few nights. Just because we hadn't been having sex didn't mean he hadn't been having an intimate affair with his hands.
We took about ten minutes to recover our words, which had been so intimidated by our fucking, they had rushed out the door, eventually catching up to Gina and Mike on their sightseeing adventures.
Mike: "These vintage cars are amazing"
Gina: "Yea, I've never seen a Model A before."
Mike: "It says in this pamphlet that people used to believe that if you drove faster than 35 MPH you'd oh god, I think I'm gonna--"
Gina: "That's fascinating. I've always wondered what cars would look like if please, yes, right there, right--"
Mike "Probably like the Delorean in Back to the Future 3. I have to say you're better than my brother!"
When the words came back to us, they were tired. So was I, but I had a busy Friday ahead of me. It was the last day of August. The last day before the inspection sticker on my car expired. I had an appointment at the gas station at 11 AM. It was 10:30. "Shit. Seith, I've got to shower and take the car down to get a new inspection sticker."
"Ok. How long are you gonna be gone?"
"Ok. We've got to get to a bank at some point. Mom's wiring me money."
My vehicle passed the new emissions test with flying colors. In fact, everything on the car was flawless except the left headlight. I hadn't even noticed that it had gone out. Since they didn't have the type of light I needed in stock (this was the last time I didn't go to my mechanic for an inspection), they told me to come back on Monday. In the meantime, they put a special sticker on my car that was valid for 14 days.
I drove back to the house, picked up Seith, and began MoneyQuest 98. Seith had given his mother the name of the bank where I had my checking account, and, according to him, they were going to issue a bank check to him for the amount his mother wired him.
The people at the bank had no idea what he was talking about. They simply didn't do things like that. Back to the house we went, he called his mother. She was surprised that it hadn't gone through, called the bank, called us back and told us she'd try sending the money to another bank company. Unfortunately, their nearest branch was 45 minutes away. Back in the car, drive drive drive. We get to the bank and are informed that while their particular bank can't do that transaction, the branch down the street a couple of miles can, so we hop in the car and start to drive down the street. There's construction just outside the bank parking lot where a cop is directing traffic. As we drive by him, he motions for me to pull over. I do.
"Where's your inspection sticker?"
"Right there on the windshield."
"It doesn't look like an inspection sticker to me. It says 'temporary sticker good for 14 days.'"
"Fourteen days from when." He asked without a question mark.
There was no date on the sticker. "I just got it done about two hours ago."
"Sure you did. You must have some pretty bad luck then." This was true, but I assumed it was a rhetorical question and didn't answer. "Do you have your insurance, license, and registration?"
I did. I gave them to him. Everything checked out. "I'd advised you to fix whatever is wrong with your car today. If I see you again with that sticker on your car, I'm going to write you a ticket."
We pulled into the parking lot, Seith got out and went into the bank. Ten minutes passed. I got out and went into the bank. Seith was filling out forms, talking to the branch manager. It seemed like an awful lot of work. I interrupted their conversation to ask why it was so complicated just to wire money. He stopped and looked at me. "Wire money? He said he needed a bank check."
"Well, his Mom is wiring him some money. Shouldn't he just have to show his ID or just sign something or --" He had been lying again. There was going to be no money here. He made up some story about a bank check and --
"What's your mother's name?"
"Mother (I forgot her name) Hayes."
Click. Click. Click. Tapping of fingers. "OK, I'll just need you to sign right here, and I can give you the money."
"We could have done that at any bank in the country, couldn't we?"
"Well, any branch of our bank, yes."
I watched Elvis sign his signature. Elvis B. Hayes. My future as a registered sex offender trying to defend myself on Oprah faded into oblivion.
To his credit, he apologized about making me drive all over Cranberry Lake and the rest of Cape Cod. A very forgivable offense. I, too, have misunderstood some very simple directions.
I pulled out of the parking lot, and the cop motioned for me to stop and roll down my window.
"I told you if I saw you without that sticker again, I was going to have to write you a ticket."
"But, I had to go into the bank, I didn't even--"
Stupid deadpan motherfucken police officers.