Tuesday, June 18, 2013

An Odd Thing Happened On My Way Out of Town

Note: There are seven eight f-bombs in this post. I'll write something happy soon to make up for it.*
I really should sue Dos Equis. To be fair, they created a likeness that obviously depicts an older gentleman than me, but in essence let's be fair: he is not the most interesting man in the world. Sure, he has a pet owl, a problem I will one day alleviate for myself, but in all reality the shit he does is rather boring.

Now me, I am incredibly interesting. The mundane things I do turn into conflagrations that cannot be extinguished. I kiss a girl, a lynch mob forms The abnormal things become commonplace almost to the point where they no longer shock people. I walk into a bar, every time I get a drink bought for me.

My life has always been about me taking easy paths. This may involve me failing a class just so I can sleep in.  Or perhaps not applying for jobs or asking women on dates. In 27 years, I didn't ruffle any feathers (outside of debt collectors). My life was dull, constant, and involved a repetition of drinking and listening to the world's troubles until the melancholy overcame me. I used to really give a damn, used to have close friends supposedly. Then, I fucked up.

No, not a small fuck-up. I've been evicted, broken up relationships, forgot to pay bills, wrecked vehicles; these are minor things. No, I tried to help, and after so much booze you can only help so much. The result was the severance of essentially every adult relationship I had at the time. I apologized, perhaps never in the right tone, but that wasn't something to be fixed anyways.

At the time, it was devastating. I became a hermit, in fact I didn't talk to anyone I knew save my parents for a good 45 days. The first person I did talk to incidentally picked me up on the side of the road, and I remember I could hardly speak for I hadn't done so in so long. I couldn't find another solid job. In December, I went home for Christmas, with the thought in the back of my head that I may stay for good. I had no intention of returning and my parents needed me far more than any of my friends ever did. Yet as I left St. Louis, I applied for more jobs that I thought would better suit me.

Only one responded, and I thought at the time that it was a positive move. A new Italian restaurant down in the city. I could learn another style of cuisine and get some money in my pockets, and stop have my parents float me through life. To be fair, I was completely wrong in my initial choice. I found it was a fast food concept and I would be making $5 less an hour than I had before. Then, I was down the depth chart of cooks, and was only getting 10-12 hours a week. I didn't quit because I don't quit unless extreme circumstances present themselves, but I was miserable.

If you've worked with me, you know what happens next. I moved up the depth chart. I was either the number one or two guy by February and even went out and got another job to supplement my income. Not that I made any money as I had to cab home more often than not due to working late and being lazy. When I didn't take cabs, I was walking one to five miles a night to my apartment, since my bus quit far too early in the night. In March, I was casually offered a promotion to management.

Now, this obviously did not work out. I am too young and inexperienced to do such things I suppose, but then again I am me. I'm always the best candidate because I'm smart, flexible, and inherently even keeled. As they worked me into management, I always contemplated leaving as I wasn't too responsible in the first place and certainly more flighty than before. I even considered going home again and writing even as home as I knew it ceased to be. I still dreamed of other things that no one ever believed I could do, and so one day while working on said dreams I walked into my old work in Ferguson.

Let's start by stating that I have no intentions. There is nothing in my life that is planned or plotted, nor do I care much anymore how anything I do affects the world. I don't facilitate criminal actions or moral turpitude, but I don't care much if my actions grant anyone pleasure or pain. At this point in the story, there were people who cared for me, and they all share my blood or name. This is important, because I have been accused of hurting a friend and in this case I must insist that while many people are my friends I can think of two people who have called or texted me first in the last six months: Lacey Ahlmeyer and Josh Blair, you are the winners.

I walked out of the bar empty handed, a little drunk and a little further along in my dreamworks and into the next bar. There is an indifference to Marley's that I love, the ways the people greet you like an old friend despite your flaws. It's one of the few places where nothing's changed in a world where everything is different. I find things there I don't look for: a fight sometimes, a woman on occasion, a good conversation with a stranger. Hell, the other night I was there in the candlelight during a blackout taking pictures with some girl from Overland Park, KS because I knew where that was. Sometimes I sober drive strangers to there next destination. What happened next isn't exactly clear, though I'm sure it has been accrued to my malice by this point. I left with a girl, and it wasn't a sexual thing as anyone who has ever met me would know. I'm notoriously slow with women, because I'm extremely cautious about the repercussions of my actions...irony notwithstanding here.

My life to this point has been about bad luck. It's not been a bad life, but it's always seemed that good things happen to people around me and I don't necessarily get the same shots. That is due in part to my own shortcomings as a man and a member of society. I didn't do anything in regards to this for a while, because like I said it was complicated, but then I went home one night tired from overworking and fell asleep as she read a story of mine. I had the worst dream, that she had gone and left me there all lonely in my typical state. I woke up and realized it wasn't a dream; I passed out, she left. It was the first bad dream I'd had in years, and I knew I was so fucked now. I don't have many rules regarding women, because I'm not the most handsome man who could make such demands. There were red flags here, but that fucking dream killed them quicker than I imagined. I went to settle the matter for better or worse, and found a cold shoulder from a "friend", so instead of smooth sailing, I tipped the boat.

Since then nothing has gone against me, the worst days have been beautiful. When I quit my second job to work more, they never gave me those hours. That was fine. My lease was up and I had nowhere to go. That was fine. I lived in a hotel for a week, that lost its roof in a tornado/high winds. That was hilarious. Every person I knew either hates me or is scheming against me to make people hate me. Again, hilarious. A girl who apparently forgot that I was the only motherfucker from that hellhole to celebrate her birthday yelled at me. I could care less. My new house is on a block where there were multiple shootings last week. Easy to understand.

No, in the last month, I have gotten a promotion to a salaried job, even getting paid more than I thought I deserved/merited. I moved to a beautiful home in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of a beautiful neighborhood where I pay a ridiculously low rent for the city. I have ridiculously oddball landlords/roommates that cannot be any cooler. I've been to baseball games, museums, restaurants, and bars I've never been to before. I've got a lovely (or acceptable, as I like to say) woman who actually knows how fucked up I am, and is perfectly fine with that. I still get free drinks from strangers for being awesome. Hell, I walk so much that I eat pizza and pasta all the time and lose weight. (Might be a sign that I'm dying.)

People want apologies from me, some want answers, and others just want to see it all burn. Here's my fucking apology: I am sorry that I finally decided to take my happiness into my own hands. I'm sorry I don't care anymore for the complaints of the distant. I'm sorry that lives intersect. I'm sorry that I'm so awesome at the moment. I'm sorry that I had to explain this.

*By f-bombs, I mean fuck.


Melissa said...

So ... I think that I want to say ... congratulations? This is a story with a happy ending, right? It seemed like it to me. But there was some angry ranting there too, I think. For the record, I called you first as well in the last six months, but I guess since I'm your sister and I was calling about parental issues that doesn't really count. And are you saying you have a girlfriend? Yay! Keep posting. I do love your writing. Even with the f-bombs. And by f, I mean flip. :)

Ron Landis said...

Yea, I'm your dad and I have to love your writing. Still I am also an old English teacher which makes me appreciate it even more. Sorry to say that it makes me proud. Righing the ship is very hard, but you seem to have landed on your feet.