Maybe you’re just an asshole that couldn’t sweet talk the princess

The phone rings… as phones do.

I set down my beer and answer.

“What.”

“Hey, it’s Galo!”

“Yeah sup.”

“What are you up to?” He asks.

“Doing pushups and reading Dostoevsky.”

The phone is silent.

“You fucker, you’re just watching Discovery Channel and getting drunk by yourself.”

“Am not.” I retort.

“Yes you are, I can totally hear the TV and…”

I mute the TV.

“Am not. Hey let’s hurry this up, what do you need? I’ve got your mom on the other line.”

“Funny. Hey let’s go camping and wine tasting this weekend.”

“Where at? With who?”

“Some friends of mine, this guy I play golf with, they’re going wine tasting then camping up in Napa.”

The phone is silent.

“You want me to go wine tasting and camping with your golf buddies in Napa.

“Yeah.”

“I would man, I really would. But I don’t drink.”

“YES YOU DO! YOU’RE DRINKING RIGHT NOW!”

Shit.

“Hey don’t you start judging me. I’m a working man now, a responsible citizen and taxpayer. I can’t party like I used to. I only drink socially.”

“It’s fucking Wednesday! And you’re by yourself!”

I sigh.

“It’s a special occasion.”

“What occasion is it, Trevor?”

Think. Think.

…….

THINK.

“Shark Week.”

Score. I’m glorious under pressure.

“We’re going camping this weekend.” He says.

Sigh.

“Yeah ok, let’s do it. Somebody starts talking about TPS reports or mortgages or any kind of adult crap that reminds me of my own mortality and I’m starting a fight, though. No minivans, no Rogaine, and no damn golf.

“Ok, ok I promise. We’ll head up on Saturday morning Ok?”

“Ok. I really gotta go, they’re about to show that part where the dumbass gets in the cage and then starts opening ziploc bags full of blood underwater for “Research”.”

I hear scuffling. A TV turns on in the background.

“You lying bastard it’s not even Shark Week. This is that show about making the fucking motorcycle! Christ, Trevor.”

“Shut up. See you on Saturday.”

Looks like I’m going camping.

——————————————————

Things are shaping up for our move to The City.

After a sort of two month perdition, a torpor of discomfort and suck, we have almost certainly landed a place. It is much too expensive. It’s small. It’s got a weird layout. I like it.

We’ve certainly earned it. After putting up with the armies of ruthless, twit realtors and craigslist feebs and perverts that populate the San Francisco rental scene, we deserve a god damn palatial estate, fully furnished with servants and a helipad. But a two bedroom in a Victorian will do.

Our experience was certainly an educational one, in a worldly, disillusioning sort of way. We met lots of characters in our trek, like Todd the limp-handed mutant, a creature so specialized and evolved that not only is his entire life renting apartments, his entire life is renting the same apartment over and over. We met Diane (Diane? was that her name?) the desperate East Coast immigrant with a dog, who longed for affection and roommates and housing with such full tilt neediness that I stopped returning her calls. I thought she might catch Jolene and I, and take us to a three bedroom apartment, then do that thing to our ankles like Cathy Bates did in Misery. Then there was Mary, the 180-proof superbitch, a woman so supremely evil and confrontational and downright vicious that I think my cellphone would actually hang up on her of its own volition, just out of a sense of mercy. Never, never have I met a woman so evil. Let me explain mathematically. Mary = (Gandhi + Mother Teresa + The Tooth Fairy + The Gap Toothed Black Lady From Pinesol Commercials) ^-1. She’s so evil, she’s the inverse of good. You know why you can’t rent your apartment bitch? Cuz you’re god damn crazy.

The experience has toughened me up for city life in a big way. I’m fully prepared now, armed with the kind of callous disregard for common decency that one needs to live in metropolitan America. I’ll have no problem stepping over the bleeding and the hungry in the streets, no trouble cussing people out over a parking spot, no qualms about writing offensive and racist slogans on every rental sign I see, undoubtedly costing countless renters their livelihoods and futures. I can see it now…

Craigslist.com rentals: 1500 2 bedroom 1 ba in Noe Valley, must see to believe. Street parking only. No pets, no smokers, and no coloreds or homos. Call Mary at 415-555-5555. Bet she’ll get some friendly calls on that one.

Be careful who you’re an evil bitch to, realtors.

Cuz some of us can evil right back.

——————————————————

It’ll be an interesting experience, moving to the City. I am, and always will be, a transplant. Despite the glories of City life, despite the pride and elitism and ultraliberal judgmentalism that is every San Franciscan’s God-given right, I’ll always be East Bay through and through. I can’t help it, folks. This end of the bridge is my end. I… I can’t help it.

Oh god, I promised myself I wouldn’t do this

I’m getting all choked up.

Hayward. The stack. Wang’s Donuts and Los Compadres and the A’s and Top Dog on Durant and driving 110 on the frontage road to Pleasanton and sitting in the Cal State parking lot till 2 am and Dry Ice Roller Hockey and Chabot and 510 stickers and platinum rims and the whistle goes woot woot. Oh god. East bay till I die.

Calm down.

It’ll pass.

It always does.

——————————————————

Somebody’s bratty little brother asked me how I could write so much. I told him to screw off, and that my work was not for children. I told him I would drown him in his own toilet if he ever read anything I typed again. Then Couevas hit him with a pillow so hard blood came out his ears and he shrunk three-quarters of an inch.

What I probably should have said was that, for me at least, it’s not like that. It’s not a volume thing.

Regularity, consistency, amount… these aren’t words that apply to writing, these apply to old people in Metamucil commercials talking about their poop. I write a lot when I want to. When I don’t, or can’t, there’s nothing. Don’t think, reader, that I feel any sort of obligation to you. To keep you updated. To be truthful or eloquent or meaningful. I could come on here and just talk about boring shit like appliances, or gardening. I could filibuster with inside jokes and personal references so obscure and arcane that I’d alienate even my closest, most participatory readers. I could draw little ASCII pictures and come up with schemes for revitalizing the health care industry.

Don’t think I won’t.

I simply haven’t. Yet.

Some nights, you don’t care. You’re tired and unmotivated and write because the WOW servers are down or there’s nothing on except A League of Their Own or some VH1 Awards show. You write out of habit, and just hope things work out.

Other times, it’s not like that at all.

It’s late, typically. The later the better. Whatever it is about the noise of the world or life or whatever that causes so much brain interference during the day seems to die down at night. Day time is all bright lights and traffic and smiles and phone calls and so, SO many bills. Daytime is real life.

Thankfully that shit doesn’t last long.

Things quiet down, the stars come out and the lights go off. Everyone goes to bed. Except me.

Then, then a man has room to breathe, room to think. Perspective warps; depth and definition flex and deflect shamelessly. Aspirations and regrets and violences all surface, demanding attention. It’s one part lucidity and one part psychosis. The world changes, at night, without propriety or self-consciousness. After all, who is there to see? Nobody. Nobody but me.

You wait and you listen till you can finally hear that black melody, faint and shifting. You strain and you reach, and sometimes you get ahold of it. Or it gets ahold of you, I’m not sure. Sometimes, sometimes you say fuck this trash and say No when it asks “Would you like to save?”.

And so I revel in the absence, and write about things that make me laugh or hate or pity. Tomorrow will be noisy, and it won’t matter. But tomorrow night… tomorrow night? Who knows.

-T.

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