Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
The first time my parents came to visit me at Torpor Heights boarding school, my dorm adviser told my parents that I had the sort of personality that adjusted well to change. "Everything that happen. It is like nothing to him. Is just. Day." And, broken English aside, she wasn't wrong.
Wherever I wake up is where I am, and there's nothing that can be done about it. Oh, I can make sure I'm somewhere else in a few minutes, an hour, a day or so. But that's the future. The present is completely beyond your control. It's like the past, but harder to ignore.
In my current present, I'm sitting in front of a fan in the living room of The Yoda Louise Vader Memorial Cafegymtorium, which is the name I've given to the house I've been living in for the last year and a half. Tomorrow,.I work in both the comic book store, and at the bar. Thursday, I interview potential new roommates: a pair of friends from Mission Hill, a poetry reviewer (no shit) who already lives in this neighborhood, a "free-spirited artist", and a 21 year old gay kid on disability for psychological problems. The last one is just like Sora, but with an income.
Any potential roommate has a lot to live up to. My most recently previoused roommates: Don, and Ms. Gibbons were roommates you're just going to have to read about to believe. Not only were all our bills paid on time but we never had any epic battles over dishes or thermostats, and Ms. Gibbons didn't even steal my TV on the way out like that awful Thai tranny drug addict, Divine, that I lived with on Mission Hill.
"Frankly," Bacchus said, as he sprawled across my chest, "I don't know how you can trust trannies anymore."
I wrinkled my eyebrows at him. "It wasn't the trannie part of him that stole my TV. It was the drug addict. Or possibly the Asian part."
It was Bacchus's turn to shoot a funny look. Unfortunately, he was not gifted with the proper genetics for facial grammar. "Then I guess you'd better keep an eye on me when I go home tomorrow."
Bacchus was the man of the moment. It was the summer of 2008. I was living in Somerville, and had spent the winter dating and then not dating and then dating and not dating Sora, among other people. Spring had much the same feel to it. And I spent July preparing for August, where I drove to Madison with Mazarine and did some poetry things, and some insafemodey things. And when I came home, I found an e-mail reply to a hardly used personal ad that sounded promising.
Like all solid relationships, ours began when Bacchus pulled his car into my driveway at 2:30 in the morning. We talked, made out, and tried, unsuccessfully to reproduce. But we had enough fun that we tried it again a couple of times for good measure.
This ritual went on for a couple of weeks. And while we confined our recreational activities to my bedroom, we often cuddled on the couch in the living room, watching American Gladiators with my roommates or just hanging out by ourselves watching the shadows charcoal the wall.
"I like him." The least combative of my roommates, Byrne, said. "He's a refreshing change of pace from Sora."
"How so?" I asked.
"I dunno. I guess it's just nice that you're dating the God Of Wine now, as opposed to the God of Whine."
The following night was the premiere of The Comedy Central Roast Of Bob Saget. The entire household: me, Mike, Byrne, and the other roommate were all going to watch it together. I invited Bacchus to join us, and about ten minutes before the show was about to start, I saw his car pull into the driveway. I tried to hide my goofy grin when the front doorbell rang. "The back door is open." I said. "I don't know why--" and I opened the door to see a Chinese man holding a paper bag. I had been hoping to see a Vietnamese man holding a bottle of vodka. "Huh." I said. "Wrong Asian."
Bacchus was in the kitchen, and he was trying his damnedest to give me a dirty look but his face was refusing to cooperate.
Byrne paid the Chinese guy n the front porch for his bag of fried food, and we all sat down for the comedy stylings of Jeff Ross, Greg Giraldo, John Stamos, Gilbert Gottfreid, and Norm Macdonald. During one of the commercial breaks, Byrne excused himself to go to the bathroom when a series of explosions went off in front of our front door.
"HEEEEEEEEEEY!!!! HEY YOU FUCKEN FUCKERS!!! OPEN THE FUCKEN DOOR!!!!" Then the crash of fists being drunk driven into our front door. "OPEN UP!!!"
The room froze. Bacchus sat up with a face that nearly expressed concern. Byrne appeared in the hallway, staring at the door. Mike let out a "What the fuck?" And I, because the moment was now, and there really wasn't anything else for me to do but be present for it, stood up, and walked over to the door.
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