Monday, July 19, 2010


Taking out my trash requires a long walk.

I only say this so that you will understand that in my sanitation quest to the back end of beyond, I am afforded some me time to think without distraction. My path leads me through a dark parking lot that is completely bereft of billboards, tvs, and IPOD generated white noise. There is usually no one around when I perform this particular chore, as I usually wait until the middle of the night to do so, so there's no risk of idle conversation. There's no internet, no coeds (I think they're scared of big furry guys in the dark), and no little old ladies walking their dogs. It's nice in the same way that even though duct tape is silver, silence is truly golden.

All of this is relevant for the simple reason that I haven’t been writing much lately. You see, this time alone in the middle of a dark and ominous parking lot on an unusually cool evening, managed to do what no amount of directed thought during the heat of the day could ever do. It kick started my cognitive thought process, and as I stood there in the dark and looked at the shattered remains of some discarded shelving, I couldn't help but marvel at how easily my brain continues to be led astray. I tossed in my little white bag of castoffs and leaned up against the dumpster as a new thought tickled my brain in the strangest way.

The writing has been hard coming. It’s not that the ideas have dried up, my creative streak is still as strong as ever, its just that I’ve been distracted. Rather, I’ve been distracting myself, and distraction is really dangerous for me because I’m not all that huge a fan of reality to begin with.

It’s true that I’m a pretty scatterbrained guy most of the time, and that I get lost in my own head far too often and for far too long. I’ve simply cultivated my mind to think in a certain way, and it’s hard to stay rooted sometimes. Now while I could ramble on and on about this subject for days, (and have) no discussion about distraction would be complete without talking about my preferred method of reality bending source material: Women.

I love them. I think about them all the time, and when I’m not thinking about them it’s because I’m dreaming about them. It’s kinda sad really. Here I am, this guy who has so much to say on the subject of the fairer sex, but only because he so rarely ever considers anything else. No, I’m not just talking about sex either. While that’s a big part of it sure, I’m talking about the whole package, the entirety of the feminine condition. The sum total of what makes a woman what she is. That, or some elusive aspect of that, is what I am constantly considering. This is distraction in it's purest form.

Take recent events for example.

I’m sorta kinda having an incredibly hot, yet totally superfluous online affair. I have never met the woman, I am not entirely convinced that it even is a woman, and even if it is I'm not at all convinced that the face on the other end of the keyboard is at all related to the pixelated version on my screen. Hell, for all I know it is quite likely some sort of scam. Even when it gets exciting I keep waiting for the hook. You know, the part where I am asked for my credit card #. I know it's crazy, yet despite all of the ambiguity my chats with her/he/it are some of the most erotic times I’ve had in months. When talking about anything other than sex she is evasive and vague, and when she’s not driving me crazy via instant message I am busy stalking the chat room in hopes of her return. It’s pathetic, and because of the inherent mystery, it comes in at a solid 9 on the distraction meter. Seriously, I’m like a cat with the whole curiosity killing it thing.

As I mentioned before, yet another one of the truly amazing women from my past is getting married soon, and yes I’m still having trouble with my inner whiny bitch voice. Thankfully my inner tweener has moved on from the whole "It could have been me" mode though. Now it’s just grumbling at me about how If I’m gonna keep passing up on fantastic women, I should at least lower my standards so that I can get a little more pep put into my step. She (the soon to be bride) recently contacted me with the message that she’s not allowed to talk with me anymore. She’s been cut off. No calls, no emails, nothing. Apparently she told her fiancĂ© all about yours truly and the subject of Bryan Lee Home Wrecker White is now verboten in their happy little corner of Pleasantville. I feel as though I was just grounded or some other such silly thing. It’s a ridiculously frustrating feeling to have someone cut you off from someone else. It also smacks of someone meddling in my life, manipulating who and what I choose to have affect me. This rises the hackles like few things can, and my urge to break things in a destructively stupid and manly way is riding high at the moment. While I am perfectly capable of stepping back and acting like a big boy, of empathizing and seeing his side of things, I find that I am having trouble doing so. The sheer amount of gall required to forbid contact with someone is... well it's galling! It's true that when I look at both sides I can see why having an ex still muddying the waters of my soon to be marital bliss would make me nervous too, but in the end I always wind up coming back to the indignation of it. I mean really? Are you serious? It feels like we’re all 15 yrs old here. The worst part of it is the fact that every time I see a wedding ring, or a Walgreens (don't ask), the wound gets picked at. Seriously, I feel like I'm some kinda clumsy ADHD kid forced to sit still, picking at some scab I got while skateboarding. BTW, have you ever noticed how many freaking Walgreens there are? They're the geriatric equivalent of Starbucks.

Then there’s the ongoing tease of a truly lovely lady that keeps popping in and out of my life. In her defense, it’s not her fault that she’s a tease. While we both have some very powerful chemistry when together, we also share the trait of monumentally bad timing. When she’s single, I’m inevitably dating her roommate or something equally horrid. When I’m single, she’s off backpacking in BFE with some uber hunky sherpa guy. It sucks and it’s making me blue in more ways than one. We see each other quite a bit, and we keep having conversations that devolve into something that reminds me of the force field game. You know the one, the game where you get naked with your favorite play date and try to get as close to the other person as possible without actually touching them? Yeah, It’s a game I love to lose but that’s beside the point. We keep verbally dancing around the fact that we both want the same thing, but for whatever reason can’t scratch the itch. It’s maddening. I feel like the obsessive-compulsive guy who wants desperately to eat a Twinkie but can’t. I mean seriously, just picture the poor bastard sitting there in front of the broken open vending machine weeping. He is starving to death, low blood sugar putting him into a brain fog where his hunger is all consuming, and yet he can’t get the image of fat Panamanian fingers with grime under the nails stuffing that twinkie with creamy goodness in some third world shit box that’s never even heard of things like health codes or cross contamination. He can’t eat it, not even to save his life. That’s what flirting with her is like. The truly sad thing is that there are TWO women like this in my life right now. The particulars may be different, but the end result is much the same.

I recently picked up a number from a woman I met in line at the grocery store. When I called her and commented on the noisy background, she informed me that she was packing for her big move to Farmington of all places. In a week.

I recently met a woman for dinner only to have her insist we go to the store first. I shrugged and went along, thinking nothing of it until we wound up in the feminine products aisle. For all you ladies out there here’s a simple tip. Nothing says “Not interested” quite like asking a man to hold your Kotex on a first date. In retrospect I guess that I shouldn’t call it a date when it so clearly wasn’t, at least not to her. I’m still foggy on what the Hell I was doing there.

As bad as that one was, it's still not as bad asthe time I went to pick up a date only to discover that she was stoned. I shrugged, not really caring about a little trouble with glaucoma, but when asked if she was ready to leave she said no. I inquired a little further and discovered that she was waiting for her dealer to show up. One look around told me that she didn't have much if anything in the way of money, and that was when three things occurred to me all at once. One, she was really hot. Hotter than I rate in fact. Two was the fact that despite our differences on the hot or not scale, I was looking pretty damned good if I do say so myself. I took in my getup and realized that I may in fact have been resembling something akin to a sugar daddy. Number three was the distressing and very imminent arrival of the unknown quantity represented by her dealer. I've known both good dealers and bad, and while I'm not into the scene I'm not an idiot either. I tested some of the theories floating around in my head by flirtation and probing questions disguised as witty banter. She wasn't responsive to the flirting, and the answers she kept giving were vague and incomplete. After a stolen kiss that resembled a dead fish, I came to the conclusion that she either only wanted me to buy her drugs, or that she was setting me up to get rolled. Either way, I wanted nothing to do with it. I faked a cell phone emergency call from a coworker in distress and left with the promise I'd be back. When she protested I took a gamble and told her she could come along. She declined. I followed up with the statement that I needed to stop by an ATM anyway, and I saw relief come flooding back into her previously rigid body language. Relief and something decidedly predatory. I left in a more of a hurry than I'd like to admit too, and out of curiosity I circled the block and parked a few houses away. Three minutes later an SUV pulled up and neatly blocked in the random car that was parked in front of her house. I watched feeling a grim sort of justification as three guys got out and hurried inside. I guess she wasn't content with some guy just buying her drugs after all.

Keep in mind that these are just the dates that went bad. There are a few good ones in there too, but I make it a rule not to talk about them. I figure if the lady wants to talk that’s her business. My business is making the lady happy in the first place and I don’t wish to fuck it up after the fact. Sorry. I should also point out that the good dates are actually WAAAY more distracting than the bad ones. They can throw me off track for weeks at a time, and suddenly it becomes clear as to why I seldom have any idea what day it is.

Plus, reality still sucks. I’m typing in the middle of my 85 degree living room at 3:55 on a Monday morning as I patiently listen to the swamp cooler chug it’s way towards mechanical death. There’s no scantily clad model waiting to snuggle in my bed, and I get to fall asleep thinking about yet another amazing woman who is soon to be walking away from me down an aisle draped in white taffeta. The funny thing is, I would actually be sitting there in the pews smiling for her if I were allowed to. She’s a good girl and deserves every bit of happiness that I was unable to give her. So far, I think the guy sounds like an insecure little douche bag of a man, but I might be a tad biased. She DOES sound genuinely happy, if somewhat nervous, but that describes every bride I ever met. The thought of her happy, even if it’s not with me, makes me grin a little. Is that weird? Is it sad that I still keep checking the empty chat room? Is it healthy to be eating a quesadilla at this hour? Should I go back to the dumpster and steal that couch that only mildly smelled of cats?

Questions, questions, questions. That is the life of Bryan right now. Shrug. Of course, I think answers at this point would only serve to further distract me.

PS: (Do you use PS in a blog? Is that right?) Anyway, I inherited a slightly used film camera and have even convinced a beautiful woman to let me take pics of her as I learn how to use the thing. Yeah, I know. More distractions... Still, she has lots of buttons and cool moving parts (The camera) and I am quite sure that I’ll break it within the first ten minutes. Should be fun.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

High Steppin

So I’ve been having an interesting couple of weeks. Here’s a few highlights.

I moved. This is both good and bad.

The good.

I finally have my own place again. I’ve had roommates for years now, and it’s nice to have my own little man cave to retreat to. I can run around naked, and often do. I can cook onions again without fear of reprisals, and I can walk barefoot in the dark without stepping on little doggy land mines. It’s a nice apartment, and it comes complete with really hot coed neighbors that like to giggle at the charming old guy and his antics whenever I talk to them in the mailroom.

The bad.

I miss seeing my brother and his new wife everyday. I love them both dearly and we were all at this weird kinda status quo thing where none of us really needed to talk to each other all that much because we were simply comfy with the way things were. It’s kinda empty without my brother and his wife around. I came to really take comfort in their presence, and even liked the smelly little beasties that loved to ruin any shoes left lying on the floor (their dogs, not my bro and new sis). I miss the fridge too. Neither of my old roomies liked leftovers, and I simply love them. I sometimes go to the fridge in the middle of the night convinced that there is some Dion’s in there somewhere only to find that the only thing I have are condiments and half an onion. I’ll usually shrug and take a bite of the onion anyway, but it’s just not the same.

The unrequited. A woman I was in love with is getting married. Married to someone else. Now I really did/do love her so I’m truly happy for her, but there is that inevitable thought of “It could’ve been me…” in the back of my mind. The voice sounds like a nag and is always speaking up when I’m at my loneliest, weakest, or most selfish. Basically, it’s being a little bitch and I want to hit it with a cactus repeatedly.

It’s also really hot out. Africa hot. The effects this has are many and varied, but the highlights are A: women are not wearing much, and B: I’m too sun baked to enjoy it. I once had heat stroke really bad, so now I have a huge weakness for it. Basically I’m like a trained chimp at anything higher than 95 degrees. When you couple these two things together, you get this weird sort of drooling, glassy eyed lurch thing that grunts a lot and blinks rapidly at every single passing woman as it tries to process what it is that it’s supposed to be doing. Let me just say that it’s made for some interesting conversations so far, and I dread the inevitable slap parade.

And then there is yesterday’s little incident. First a little background. A while back some of you may remember me mentioning that I kinda sorta got hit by a car. For those of you who don’t know, here’s the skinny.

I was walking through the target parking lot after dark. I walked past a lowrider and thought that he saw me. He didn’t, and sure enough he threw his car into reverse and hit the gas. He was yelling at his unruly kids so he was a little heavier on the gas than he could have been, and I was pretty much dead center in the way. I didn’t have time to get out of the crosshairs, so I was either going over or under. I’m a big guy though, so I just sorta hopped up and sat on his trunk lid. I grabbed on and went for a ride as he flew out of the parking spot and rolled backwards for a good twenty feet, pissed at his kids for something I didn’t see. His kids were busy watching me though, and I distinctly remember one mouthing the word “Whoa…” as I stepped off the car and started walking into the store. I figured no harm no foul, and I honestly didn’t think the guy would realize what had happened. I guess the kids told him though, because he jumped out terrified that he had killed me. He looked under the car first thing then up at me and turned pale. He was a little cholo guy, tats, bandana, the works.

“Holy shit holmes, are you okay esse?” (I honestly have no idea how to spell that word. Esse? Essay? Shrug.)

Anyway, here’s this gang banger that looks like he shoots gats and slings drugs, and yet he’s acting like a achoolboy caught smoking behind the bleachers. It was comical, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy he was so scared. I assured him I was fine and told him to have a nice night. I went on about my business and thought nothing of it. Well, it seems that the automotive world wasn’t done with me yet.

After lunch yesterday I went to the Sears at Coronado Mall to pay an old bill. I was walking along the sidewalk, headed straight for the front door, when I decided that Barnes and Noble might be a good idea. I’d just finished talking to a friend of mine thru the frustration machine known as a chat room, and was feeling right as rain. After the short drive in my oven known as the Maxima, I thought the air conditioning might be a nice bit of frivolous luxury, and the good looking woman I saw through the window was just further proof that a detour was in order. Anyway, I veered off and stepped inside the chilly aired little slice of Heaven. The angel inside smiled as I passed the door, and I walked along between the window and the magazine rack. As I neared the sci fi section a commotion outside the glass drew my eye. I turned just in time to see an newish Pontiac Grand Am looking thing catch air over the little grassy knoll that separated the parking lot from the driveway running along outside the North side of the store. The car landed in the middle of the street with a crunch as it’s plastic bumper shattered, sending little Styrofoam chunks bouncing everywhere. I saw all of this, because it didn’t occur to me to run like a ninny. The car bounced towards me like an incensed bull, and in my lack of self-preserving frenzy I noted that the old lady behind the wheel looked kinda glassy eyed. It hit the curb directly in front of me, and right about then some small part of me decided that I should move. Someone up there was smiling on me though, because the front tie rods snapped on impact with the concrete, and the car turned ninety degrees on a dime, sending it running down the sidewalk parallel to the building. I stood there and watched stupidly as it coasted to a halt, and wondered at the fact that I still didn’t have the sense to feel flustered. A noise turned me around and I saw that there was a store full of people looking from me to the car and back again. That’s when it dawned on me that had I taken the straight route down the sidewalk to Sears, I’d be sandwiched between a Styrofoam bumper and the street. Gulp. I was forgotten in the rush outside to check on the old lady, and the angel that had earlier drawn my eye came up and repeated the whole incident verbatim in a weird sort of play by play. I looked at her funny until I realized that this was how she was dealing with seeing me almost killed to death. I nodded at her, absently noting that I should try and get her number while she was rattled, but the thought of actually saying aloud the lines my inner perv were feeding me were enough to make me hit the old brain reset button and go find a seat instead. I eventually sat down with a cup of blended coffee flavored diabetes accelerant and waited. I don’t know what I was waiting for, but I knew it was important.

That’s when she walked in. She being a woman I know vaguely who is dating a guy I know a little less vaguely. Now, as many of you know, I have the tendency to fixate on beauty, and this woman is no exception. The one flaw I can find in her is that she’s in love with someone else. I’m used to that though, so no tears on my behalf. I intended to say “Hi.” And do all of the required conversational crap that you’re supposed to dance through upon seeing an acquaintance, but what with the near death and the heat addled brain and all, I sorta gave a half hearted wave and grunt thing. Imagine the old black and white Frankenstein trying to do the Macarena and you’d get the appropriate visual. Anyway, she had breezed past me and was on her way up the escalators before I even knew what had happened. I stood up and even went to follow her, but somewhere between my coffee and the value section I lost my drive as I realized I wouldn’t be able to talk to her in my state anyway.

So I paced back and forth in the no mans land between the up and down escalators like that duck that keeps getting shot with the bb gun at the funhouse, changing directions every time a new thought or emotion hit me, plagued in my attempts to reassert some sort of control over myself.

I eventually looked up and realized that she was directly overhead talking to her mother, and I’m pretty sure she saw my whole duck hunt antics. She was busy being tactfully unaware of course, trying not to embarrass me further, but there’s nothing quite like that new crazy feeling you get when someone sees the inner turmoil for the first time. I shrugged, laughed aloud at myself, and went to Sears.

I didn’t even look at the wreck as I walked across the pavement not thirty feet away, fully content with my own wreck just moments before. No rubbernecking for me thank you, all full up on mayhem here in Bryantown.

I don’t know what all this near death shit is about, I don’t like it, and I don’t want to look at it too closely. What I do know is that after being slapped repeatedly in the face with the fleeting, quicksilver nature of any particular moment, I now feel a near overpowering need to go out and get drunk, crazy, laid, etc.. Truth to tell, I’m not all that sure as to what to do about it. I know what the responsible Bryan wants to do; the one who always does what’s best for everyone involved and damn the boredom. He would say to ride out the storm, lay low and avoid interesting situations like the plague. That if I absolutely had to scratch the itch that I should go on a blind date (GASP!) or see an action flick. Yeah, he's a putz.

What about crazy Bryan though? What does he have to say at a time like this? Well, let’s just say that he’s not interested in anything to do with moderation at the moment. Or cars. Yeah, screw cars.