I was lying in a twisted hammock in Denton last Friday. I was trying not to listen to all of my friend’s stories about how he was of low moral character and sold drugs as a child, and how that resulted in terrible violent ends for all that he knew. While I was zoning out and staring up into a tree, I thought about how many bugs and spiders must live amongst the branches. I was practically blinded by the sun, and it felt like the evening breeze was combing my hair. It was a beautiful day outside.
While immersed in bliss, I was bitten by an unidentified spider.
I thought for a little while it might be a problem, but days later, I live. My mother saw the spider bite and immediately freaked out. She said she thought it looked awful, and then confessed that she’d never really seen a spider bite, and had no knowledge of what a bad case would look like.
I hung out with a little girl on Sunday who has the most energy in the whole wide world. Her name is Arianna and she is my niece. She was fueled by one mini-cupcake. Whenever she told a story she had to move around. Like she’d say, “I know my ABCs”, and while she was reciting them she had to run around the house or dance and kick. This kid is happy. I realize that when I was running around in circles after her I was pretty happy, too. I learned so much stuff-about what fairies do and how to play the drums with your eyes closed, and how you can’t have an imaginary tea party without ketchup. I tried to let her know that you didn’t need ketchup for tea, but it’s a little pointless arguing with a three year old. She is not listening, and she’s really only thinking about where she’s going to run to next. You have to run everywhere…. Or you might miss something. Missing something is the worst thing that can happen.
One of the coolest things about this kiddo is that she repeats everything she hears. She started calling her cat “evil cat” because she heard me say it. She also said that you shake salt like you shake a baby. I thought that was totally funny. Of course it isn’t funny, because in reality sodium intake is very important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Oh yeah, and you shouldn’t shake babies.
Whenever she saw someone make a mad face she would call them a grumpy fish. Unfortunately it sounded like she was saying “cuntfish”. See? She learned something from me, and I learned a new derogatory term from her.
Then it hit me. I am living the adult life that I thought I would be living when I was a child. I kind do very little, and I’m surviving. Of course I’m looking for other employment. I just realized though, that no matter what happens, everything is pretty much going to be okay. Worst case scenario- I lose everything. Big deal, I’ll get new stuff.
I am like a three year old when I’m drunk. I try to run everywhere so I don’t miss things, and when I don’t want to hear what someone is saying I just walk away. I announce when I have to go to the bathroom, and at any given time I could start singing for no reason. It’s totally okay. Random bouts of anger and sadness are followed by a quick recovery and I’ll have no recollection of what I was upset about just moments earlier. When drunk, I like to show everyone what I can do, or what I did just moments earlier. I also tell the same joke repeatedly. Instead of coloring with one crayon outside of the lines, I just take lots of pictures with my phone that are out of focus. I am drawn to playgrounds and swimming pools. I talk with my hands and I smile almost constantly. These are all symptoms of being a toddler.
So I’m thinking, why not do more of these things while I’m sober? Like if I don’t like what someone is saying, I can just cover my ears and run away. I’ll tell jokes to people whether they want to hear them or not. I’ll flash my neighbors and ask for beads. All of these things are drunken traditions that could make sober life infinitely more fun.
This is going to be a fantastic summer; I just have to keep taking lessons from a three year old.
Don’t be a cuntfish!
Do you know what happens when everyone fights tirelessly to fit in? Bad stuff. If you don’t believe me–read a history book or something.
Yesterday, I saw a video of someone who used to be a friend of sorts. He was dancing in the middle of a jazz festival. No one else was dancing. It looked to be about the middle of the day, and it appeared that he had a plastic bag of some sort on his head.
They were having fun vicariously through him. It was a ridiculous video, and it made me smile. I can’t really tell you why.
All of the really plain people need unique people for entertainment. It’s a blessing and a curse, I suppose. I like being invited to parties and what not, and I do enjoy the perks that come with being loved. There is a backlash associated with all of that though. People need vivacious people to start the party, but the moment you overshadow them they turn on you.
No longer is the unique person the life of the party- Now they are malicious predators. The masses will buy this lie, and the shining star will teeter on the verge of being beloved and a detriment.
It really just hit me. I started thinking about all of the people that I know that have problems with fitting into certain communities.
Last night I went out to S4, to be around some of the people that I call my closest friends. For the most part they are all true blue. There are a couple of people who relentlessly mock me. They love that I tell jokes and dance around, but there’s a secret kind of hatred that brews and bubbles over at moments when I feel like we’re all having a good time. We were in the Rose Room, everyone was dancing and enjoying the show, and during what I can only call a brief intermission period a drag queen decided to have a fat girl contest. Two of the people in my group turned around and looked at me and asked me to go up on stage. Now, first of all, I’m not sure why I have to entertain these people by giving them the gift of laughter and then on top of this they insist that I humiliate myself on stage in front of people. Second, I would never tell anyone in a group that I chose to spend my free time with to go on state for a fat dude contest. I usually don’t mention the topic of weight unless I’m drunk and self deprecating. For two people to have the independent thought to say something so unnecessary baffles me. I’d truly be a fool if I continued to hang out with them.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around why they would say such rude things. I don’t really think I have much to be jealous of.
Here’s the realization. When I wake up in the morning, I’m me. I go about my day. I wear the things that I like, laugh when I find something funny. I ruin dates because people think I’m too much. I don’t need to wear the appropriate clothing in order to feel like I have value.
Originally, my feelings were hurt, but now I really just have feelings of pity. Some people will spend their entire lives judging others. They will never experience the world through the eyes of someone creative. They will constantly have to worry about their weight and appearance and Banana Republic tanks in order to feel like they are accepted and loved. They will never understand the friends that need their help the most, because they are so engrossed in selfishness.
I spoke with two truly remarkable individuals last night, the antithesis of the two that I’ve been writing about. These guys are deeply saddened to live in such a shallow world of narcissism. They have so much to give, but what could I tell them. I can only commiserate with them. Tell them that somehow their lives have meaning. When you’re life is about helping others, you have to know that whether you see the results immediately or not, people’s lives are positively moved by beauty and service and kindness.
I love people watching, and I like making lighthearted jokes about people I don’t know. Realize that if you are always tearing down people in your own circle, you will end up alone.
Because plain conformist have such a problem with people who don’t belong, it oozes into their children. What will it be next? First it was division of class, then racism, now homophobia. The real problem is that people will small minds speak, and sometimes the empty wagon rattles so much that an innocent mind listens.
I’m enriched by conversation. I try to see from others’ perspectives. I’m looking from the perspective of a conformist’s bleak future and I understand why you try to tear me down. I don’t have a job and it sucks to be me. I do have people who love me and I do have a unique outlook.
I think I’d rather laugh and dance like an idiot in a crowd, then ever wake up thinking like some of you folks do.
So, I’m watching stand up comedy in my room in the middle of the night.
It’s Saturday night.
I’m not out drinking or fornicating, or dancing or doing any of the things that young people should be doing.
I’m laughing my ass off as jokes that a forty five year old white man is telling. I relate to that humor. Because deep in my soul I’m like a really repressed old person.
It’s 2 in the morning, so it’s pitch dark outside, and over the television I hear someone tapping at my window. I see only two eyes peeking between the curtains.
Now I’m just standing in the living room panicking. My chickens have come home to roost. Some angry ex has come calling to claim my life and take my soul to the other side.
Next, I run to see if my roommate is home.
I knock on his door and yell, “Abel, someone is outside of my window. Come quick!”
He’s not in his room. So, I do the next most sensible thing. I run to the front door to check for cars to see who is at home. Right after I open the front door, I realize that I’ve just opened up the house to who ever was at my window.
I then slam the door, lock it, and run to the living room to panic some more.
The door bell rings. I run to the side of the door and peek through the front window to see who it is.
It’s my roommate Abel. He’d locked himself out. He thought it would be a good idea to knock on the window for me to let him in.
I would have never gotten such a fright had I been fornicating like a normal person in her 20′s.
Now, I have to warn all of my readers: It’s 3AM and I’ve had quite a Friday night. I did not feel like I could sleep one wink without sharing with all about how the coldest woman in the history of ice queens was seduced twice in one week.
For the most part, I am not the type of woman that you would want to chat up in a bar, but I do have a couple of weaknesses. The two that I will expose for the purpose of this story are gingers and men with accents.
It can’t be any accent. It can’t be any man. Earlier this Friday I rode the train downtown, and a friend of mine and I decided to do a little bar hopping. The night was completely uneventful until the strangest older man appeared almost out of no where. He was from New Zealand.
He was wearing a pair of jeans in a black t-shirt, and when he walked up to the two of us I didn’t think he was the type of man to make anyone take notice. He announced to the two of us that he’d be buying drinks for us for the rest of the night. I glanced at him, immediately observing his jittery nature and his short stature and let out a little chuckle. This man was clearly drunk and out of his league.
He was a persistent little devil though, and he made several quick jokes which persuaded me to take notice; and after a few moments he decided to tell me what type of woman I was.
“You are gregarious in nature, you rarely listen, you control the conversation, and you wonder why things never go your way.”
I think that I listen quite well, but that is the first thought that would come to the mind of a person who rarely listens. He asked if I was upset, and I honestly told him that I wasn’t. I was intrigued. Things never seem to go my way, and perhaps this gentleman held the key to my success.
I inquired more about this gentleman’s opinion, but he would tell me nothing. I quickly realized that though he was probably right about me, this was just part of his game. His accent was winning me over, and moments later I realized that it didn’t matter at all what he was saying because it was all about how he was saying it.
This man was in his late forties, and anyone who had good sense would be able to tell this wasn’t his first time at the rodeo. He had dark brown hair and deep blue eyes, and his appearance and mannerism seriously resembled Tim Roth in the series “Lie to me“.
After a good 20 minutes of flirtation I realized that he had won this game, and I fancied him.
I’m in love with Gordon Ramsey, for the record.
This man ran his hands through my hair, and put his hand on the small of my back and told me that I was melting in his hands. I put my hand on the back of his neck and told him that the ONLY reason I was falling for him was his accent, and that I fully aware that he was entranced by me and would say anything that would grab my attention for another second.
We were at a stalemate. (PS I wasn’t really sure he was entranced, but liquid courage made me feel super confident.)
I am too chicken to sleep with strangers (STDs and pregnancy) so I walked away, but I definitely enjoyed my evening.
When I was younger I wanted to think that I was going to be the female Hemingway. I mean, I definitely have a short temper and I love the booze. I never really wanted to end up blowing my brains out with a shot gun, or having a cantankerous relationship with the love of my life.
I’ve already tried that kind of relationship, and I’ve realized that it’s not for me. I actually want someone to love me through and through. I’m mean enough to myself. I don’t need anyone who is going to pick at me.
I used to think that two writers, or idealistic artists could live very happily together. I wanted to spend my afternoons writing and musing. We could spend Sunday mornings together watching “Meet the press” and write together after brunch. The moments you can spend together without speaking would be the most enriching. Or at least that’s what I thought. Beyond the idea of taking trips to New Orleans, to eat pastries with our espresso and write after fulfilling naps, I realized that one of us would more than likely be more talented than the other. In this idealistic couple, one person would outshine the other. One person would drink themselves to death. One person would put her head in an oven. I decided that even a ginger with pretty eyes, my second weakness, wouldn’t be enough to convince me that it was okay to fall for another writer. I can’t be Hemingway, and I can’t stand to be a Martha.
I’m so full of it.
Everyone knows I love a good disaster. Besides, a bad decision makes a fantastic story.
I didn’t actually say much about the second seduction, but a girl has to have secrets. I’ll save that story for later.
Today I finally got my car out of the shop, and it looks all brand new again. I had to go to the dealership to get permanent plates since the paper ones had expired. The service guy asked me if I wanted plates on the front and the back of my car.
“Well, ma’am, it’s the law to have them on the front and back of your car in Texas, but my boss doesn’t have a front plate on his car.”
What the crap does that mean to me? Does this man not realize I’m driving while black? I don’t need anything to be wrong with my car. I mean what am I supposed to say to the cops? “Oh, officer, the service guy’s boss at the dealership doesn’t have front plates. Please stop beating me.”
Okay, I’ve never gotten beaten by the cops for being black. It’s not funny, and most importantly I’m not a black male. I just would’ve gotten a ticket.
You know, I’ve been thinking about it, and while a criminal might ruin your day when you see them, the chance of a cop ruining your day after pulling you over seems way higher. Are they even really controlling crime? I saw three panhandlers on Oaklawn Avenue the other day. Just sitting there, watching traffic and waiting to take money from innocent people for no reason. Two of them were homeless people and the third one was a cop- hiding and watching and waiting.
What do we even need cops for anyway? I was reading about gun control on facebook, and some very credible sources were talking about how we don’t need laws because criminals don’t follow them and good people don’t need them. So after we get rid of all the laws based on that logic, then we can get rid of the cops. The person who posted this idea online was really credible, I think he’s a PhD in public policy or someone who drinks beer and likes to shoot guns. Same difference.
After we resolved the issue of the plates at the dealership, another very nice man asked me how I was enjoying my car. I told him that I thought there might be a need for the gas pedal to be re-calibrated. He asked why, and I told him that there was a lack of response time between when I pushed the pedal and when the car went. I told him that I wasn’t trying to take the car from zero to sixty or anything, but that I wondered why even at stop lights it lulled, while other 4 cylinder Jettas that I’ve driven don’t have that problem.
He asked me what kind of gas I was using. I wrinkled my nose and told him what kind of gas I used, and let him know that I’d experience said issue since I took it off of the lot.
So then he told me that it just didn’t have get up and go because it was a 4 cylinder car.
He didn’t listen to me at all. I wanted to ask him if we were dating and I didn’t know it. I looked around, there was no food or whiskey, so we definitely weren’t on a date. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t listening.
Since my questions were answered with complete satisfaction, I left the dealership to go to Lowe’s. I saw a pair of lesbians holding hands and kissing. I hang out with gay guys all the time but it was nice to see lesbians in their natural environment. They were in love, and they were collecting materials to erect a barn or some shelves in honor of their love.
I’ve been thinking about supporting my friends lately. I mean, changing my facebook picture doesn’t direct public policy, but I was hoping it would be a way to let people know that I support the cause. Buying flowers and birthday presents don’t equate to love, but it’s a good way to let people know you care. If you don’t care about people, that’s cool, too. It’s totally your prerogative. Bobby Brown and Britney Spears said so. Also, the bill of rights might mention something about that. You can do whatever you want. I’m secretly hoping that by supporting forward thinking it might be possible for some of these newly lovely married people to stop clutching their wallets when black people walk by, or stop thinking every Hispanic person they see needs to be deported. We might realize that ugliness is ugly, and that you shouldn’t support one cause without at least examining some of the others. Poor people matter, too. Old people. People who smell funny. I’m probably just being overzealous.
When I was in my early twenties, I used to love to talk all the time. I could talk about anything, run myself into a logic circle, and then learn from it. It was okay to be wrong. It was okay to be loud. It was a great time to be alive and it was a time of innocence actually. I really thought that all the guys that I was dating thought I was interesting and they wanted to hear what I had to say and help me develop.
The men that I chose to spend my time around were definitely not interested in my development, and to be honest I was rarely interested in theirs. We were young, and we were just waiting for our turns to talk. I was just a little more strategic in my ability to listen, so inevitably I would end up knowing a great many details about them then they knew about me.
Now that eager chatty young version of myself only comes out to play around close friends. Usually when I’m really drunk or sleep deprived. It’s an unadulterated version of myself- I speak without fear. I find that innocence so golden in others, that I allow them to talk to the point of annoyance, because I rarely get to experience such freedom anymore.
Now when I’m dating someone, I’m usually very quiet. I’m listening. Watching for gestures and non verbal points of communication. I want to take in information and establish patterns so that I can see if people are being honest. The younger version of me thought that people wouldn’t bother to talk unless they were being honest, and I learned the hard way that this just wasn’t the case.
When I do decide to speak, I usually take long pauses and wrinkle my forehead a bit before I say that simplest of things. I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of several influences, but like everyone else I think it’s best to blame it on my childhood.
“Apryl, don’t say that it’s stupid.”
“Apryl, you have book smarts but you lack common sense. You need to think about what you are saying before you say it.”
“Please stop making noise, I have a headache.” ”What the fuck does that even mean! That’s so stupid”
I’m super lucky and fortunate, that after I left the people who would say things like that to me as a child, I would manage to find friends and significant others that would pick up the slack.”
So after years of all of these comments, now I hear people asking me to “Say something! How am I supposed to know how you feel if you won’t tell me anything?”
I don’t want to be the type of person that wants to keep walls that I know are keeping me away from people in tact, but some of these walls took so long to build, and we pay such a brutal price for honesty.
The end result is a person who can entertain crowd of people with funny stories, but finds it hard to seriously communicate with others one on one unless there is a prior existing intimate relationship. Someone who spends most car rides in silence gazing out the window and analyzing your chatter. I’m afraid to tell people how I really feel because I don’t want to be seen as weak, silly, or petty. I’m afraid that misspoken words will derail entire arguments. I’m a big picture person who is afraid of condemning details, because I’ve picked people who are so busy agonizing over the small bits that they never move forward.
How funny is it that in youth I would develop ways to free myself, and now that I’m older and I know the truth about things I could be so covered with fear.
It’s very possible that I picked up the attribute that I hated most from most of my exes: cowardice.
There should be no reason why I can’t find a balance of listening and speaking. Speaking not just to seem clever, but speaking with content. I find no qualm with telling people how talentless I think Adele is, so why should I have trouble with saying other things when they matter.
It’s still okay to be wrong, to challenge others, to be hurt, to cry, to feel overwhelmed. Are all of these things not human?
It’s also okay to re-evaluate, recalibrate, and redirect.
Just when you thought I couldn’t get any more forceful…
So last year about the same time, at the very beginning of spring I was helping my ex move of of his house. It was about the same time I realized that we weren’t in love, and that if I continued to play this game with him I would be doomed to watch him diddle his life a way in a gutter of sad, scared self pity and piss.
I realized that he hated me a little bit- and that was because I was also wallowing in self pity. My self pity was totally wrapped around my job. I hated waiting tables. I was seriously hateful. My hate was oozing everywhere- spreading like herpes in a new age group.
I set our terrible relationship on fire with my hate, and he pissed on the flames with his recycled whiskey. Somewhere in this realization, I decided that I didn’t want to bring people food anymore, and I didn’t want to date someone who didn’t like me-but I didn’t want to do anything about it.
I didn’t want to fix my relationship, so I just didn’t do anything when he stopped talking to me. I went to a couple of parties to see him make an ass of himself so that I could stop adoring him. I have pictures of him drinking out of a dog bowl. When I looked at the picture, I imagined all of the dirty and bad smells that surrounded him and I was able to let go.
I also didn’t want to proactively find a better job. So I just let things get out of control until I got fired.
Getting fired was way more magical then letting my mess of a relationship dry up. I felt overwhelmingly free and empowered. I was ready to take on the world and stop waiting tables. My ex told me that I would be waiting tables at another restaurant in a month. He probably doesn’t remember that he said that, but it totally sealed my fate.
After a good month of searching, I found an office job. I loved it. I did not find another relationship. Instead I found bbq made possible by my friends in Denton. I loved bbq so much that I endured the nonsensical ramblings of the racist neighbor that always made his way over to the lawn. When the summer was over, the food went away and I started to get serious about my next step. A promotion.
I’d been working at this new company for less than six months, but I was a top producer.
I got promoted, but everything wasn’t as great as I’d hoped. I picked the department that was having the most trouble. AGAIN, instead of proactively searching for a new job, I just waiting until everything got out of control. My position was eliminated. Now I have no job.
It’s awesome. I’m thinking clearly for the first time in a few months. And this time I don’t have any love rubbish to cloud my judgement.
I realized that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. My new plan is drunken net working. I’ve gotten at least three job leads just from hanging out with people and drinking. What you have to remember about drunken net working is that you have to go places where people have to have jobs in order to afford the drinks. That means Denton is out of the question. Denton is a college town- college kids don’t have money, so they can’t get slammed and tell you who is hiring.
So this networking may be the key, but I’m really diligently looking for alternate employment. In the meanwhile, I’m going to try my best to write as much as possible and work out.
So, I met some of the smartest men from the Dallas Rugby Club last Saturday. (I might have a little writer’s ADHD. Do you like kittens? Of course you do, because ice cream is delicious.) So they all showed up about ten minutes til close at the quarter bar. They were all really tall and had amazing foreign accents. So I was standing at the bar, after playing a mind boggling game of Connect Four (don’t hate), and they just started passing my shots. After the third one, I felt a little guilty. I decided to actually chat them up. This is where the real disappointment hit me. These dudes were butter faces. Or I guess “buthis” faces. I decided that it was nice to be polite since they were contributing to my inebriation, and it became instantly clear that they thought that I was just as ugly as I thought they were. One man from Australia looked like he’s rather vomit than talk to me…and accent aside the feeling was pretty much mutual. He passed me off to this guy who only spoke french. The french guy probably didn’t know what was going on, but magically he was the most polite and best looking. He was the best looking of the group- like being the prettiest waitress at waffle house, or the freshest milk at Wal-Mart. We (my two friends from the connect four battle) left the bar a few moments later, and I remember that I almost had my feelings hurt until my mind was consumed with the need for a cigarette.
What was the point of this story? Oh yeah, I’m going to make an attempt to look better so that butter faces don’t have a chance at chipping away at my self esteem.
So I’m working on my new career, my improved self–and what about love?
What about it? I can make my own recycled whiskey. And look good while doing it.