So I’ve been having an interesting couple of weeks. Here’s a few highlights.
I moved. This is both good and bad.
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.
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.