Deja Vu All Over Again

June 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  I may have found a solution to some of my problems.  Certainly not an answer to my prayers…
  I haven’t been praying, and maybe that’s the problem.  If I had prayed, and believed, and had faith, the answer that came to me would have been more awe inspiring and heartfelt.  Or at least not filled with irony and despair.
  Which reminds me of a joke.

  So this guy wanted to win the lottery really badly.  It was all he talked about, all thought about.  All he dreamed about.  Soon, too, it was all he prayed about.  He prayed for it daily, then twice daily.  Eventually he was in a constant state of prayer.  Every waking minute of every hour of every day:  "Lord, please, please let me win the lottery.  Please!"
  After a year or two of this crap, The Lord’s patience wore thin.  He appeared to the guy.  "Alright, already!  Jesus!  Fine, I’ll let you win the lottery.  Just get off my back.  Dickhead."
  Satisfied, the guy ceased his endless prayer and waited.
  But a few days went by, then a week, then two.  Worried, the guy began to pray to God again.  "Please, Lord, please!  Let me win the lottery!  Please!  You said you would!  Please!"
  God appeared before him, in the fullness of his glory, and a little pissed.  "Look, you schmuck.  I said I would let you win the lottery, and I will.  But you have to meet me halfway here.  You have to buy a ticket."

  I haven’t prayed about it for a couple of reasons.  First, I didn’t feel very worthy.  I believe, still, I do.  Secondly, I didn’t feel that this was a big enough issue, a serious enough deal to bother with prayer.  And lastly, I knew the answer.  The answer was, "Solve it your damn self.  That’s what I have given you the skills to do."
  My problem was–and still is–a little bit of a lack of cash.  I have a pretty good job, paid a couple bucks an hour more than I’m worth.  Plus I have my part time gig at Domino’s.  Detroit works as well, and between us, we come several hundred dollars short each month of our goal.  Plus, we just bought a car (I swear, they will sell a car to just about anyone these days).
  Earlier this year, I was working three jobs.  Didn’t have much free time, but I had hella cash.  Bills were not a problem.  First I cut my hours back at Domino’s.  Then, Scooter’s closed.
  I’ve had a month of weekends off, and more time at home.  Of course this is a blessing, especially as I get to spend more time with Detroit–God love her– and get to bask in the glow of her love, or whatever.
  Originally I thought I wanted to Detroit to get a part time job–less strain on me.  But our discussion brought to light several things.  I like to have things done around the house–laundry, dishes, grass cut–but I don’t necessarily like to do them myself.  At present Detroit takes care of those things, and I kind of lay around the house doing nothing.  It’s a–I have reason.  I’m…resting.  Piss off.
  Anywho, I’m working less than I was.  If she works more than she is currently, then *logically* I should take over some of the household chores.
  Well, fuck that.
  I’m all for upholding the status quo.  I would rather pick up some more hours somewhere myself, bring in the money, be the bread-winner, so to speak.  It serves a few purposes:  I don’t use Detroit up by making her work more, and I don’t have to do (much of) anything around the house.  I finally have my weekends free, and I will keep those free.  I can do some evenings during the week, we still have our weekend, and hopefully the money will be good enough to cover us.
  I have a line on a couple of opportunities.  Doing the math….I need two or three nights, not including the night I’m already doing at Domino’s.  I need to keep that, I think.  I can either pick up a couple of more nights delivering, or pick up a couple of nights elsewhere.  I did happen to talk to someone who said they had something that could maybe work out.  Hmmm.  I guess we’ll see what happens…
  That’s called foreshadowing, people.

If It Keeps On Raining–

June 28, 2008 at 3:50 AM | Posted in Personal | 1 Comment
  It never rains, but it pours.

  I’ve had a rough 24 hours.
  You know, I’ve had to come to terms with a couple of things about myself.  People who know me well know how I am.  Am I lazy?  No.  Well, yeah, kind of.  But it is more like a mental illness, I swear to God.  I have things that I *HAVE* to do, things that *MUST* be done, things that are of vital importance.
  And I can’t do them.  Won’t touch them.  Put it off, put it off, put it off.  Until it’s too late, and then I try to get it done and make up for it?  I think I learned my lesson once and I’ll never do it again, ever.  I promise.  Until next time.
  Often my bill are late.  My credit is a bit….wonky.  Hell, I put off leaving my ex wife for 19 years.
  I feel that if I actually do have ADD–something I’m willing to accept but not necessarily do anything about–then the most prevailing symptom presenting is the~~
  I swear to God I have no idea what I was going to say.
  It seems like I put off living my life, as well.  I hearken back to a time when I made the decision to go for it, and it was the hardest thing I ever did.  But also the best.  On one hand, we have such precious little time left to accomplish anything…
  On the other, a long Sunday afternoon with nothing to do can drag on for an eternity.  Douglas Addams wrote of it:  The long dark teatime of the soul.  So much time that it seems like you can do anything you want, so you don’t do anything until you are out of time, and then there’s no time to get anything done.  It’s pathetic, this life I lead.
  I do some of the stupidest, most insane things…and I can trace the origin of those things back to my parents.  I just bought a golf bag a few weeks ago.  Granted, it only cost a two bucks (church yard sale), but–I don’t play golf.  I don’t have any golf clubs.  I haven’t played in over twenty years.
  My parents were collectors of the finest junk around.  Mom hoarded stuff like a post-apocalyptic pack rat.  As it turns out, so did Dad.  And so do I.  My stuff is all over at my dad’s house, in his garage.  With his stuff, which is now mine.
  And hoarding things is just a way of putting something off.  You’re putting off getting rid of useless crap.  Putting off making a decision about whether or not you really need it.  Putting off…dealing. 
  I’d like to say that now that I have really realized this, come to terms with it, and accepted it, that I will now make a fresh start, a new dawn.  A change. Yessirree, Bob, a brand new me, one that doesn’t put things off any more–
  But I know what I am like, and so if I put anything off it’ll be that whole "change" thing.  Why put off till tomorrow what you can put off until the day after?
  After all, I am the one who puts the "pro" in "procras.."
 
  I’ll finish it later.

Grasshopper

June 23, 2008 at 3:47 PM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
  Detroit doesn’t remember how excited she was, how enthusiastically she responded, when I asked her if she wanted to take Tai Chi.  "Are you sure?"
  "Yes!  Yes!  Ever so yes!"
  And so I signed us both up.
  It’s a Continuing Education Class, which means it’s for old people.  For the summer session, so the time is truncated.  Truncated, hell–cut in half.  Eight weeks instead of sixteen.  And we were going to miss the first class because we were out of town.  I contacted the instructor to make sure it was okay before I even signed us up for the class.
  So we arrive last Tuesday evening for the second class, which was our first.  About a dozen of us?  Or only ten?  Nine?  Don’t remember.  Don’t care.  A bunch of old ladies (including Detroit), me, and a young closeted gay man.  He may not know it yet, but he is.  When he comes out, he’s going to be miffed that it’s not a shock to everyone he knows.
  We await with baited breath the arrival of our instructor, while two of the older [ladies] spew at great length their own personal experience, blah blah blah.  When I get old, I’m going to be an obnoxious know-it-all too.  One woman, I never caught her name, keeps taking the class over and over and over.  And over.  She doesn’t get the idea that once you take it, you’re supposed to do it on your own, retard.  But she is about a hundred and forty seven years old, give or take, so maybe she forgets.
  As she held forth, Detroit and I went to the marker board for a game of Hangman.  After 45 minutes, no instructor.  What the fuck?  Everyone left.  I thought the next day I might call…but I realized the old biddy busy-body would take care of that for us.
  Sure enough, the next week (this week) we got a call on our machine.  New instructor, and a lame excuse for the previous one leaving.  Whatevah.  I have to drag a reluctant and lazy Detroit to the class.  She’s kicking and screaming.  She don’t wanna.  She don’t hafta.  I’m not the boss of her.
  I don’t care, yes she does, and yes I am.  A paddling will do her good.  She quiets down to a whimper.
  The new instructor is there, some chick.  Or rather, a middle aged woman of indeterminant origin and exotic accent.  We do the class.  Again, there are about eight or nine of us there.  The closeted gay white man is gone, or else he’s in drag as a young black girl.  Whatever suits your lifestyle, dude.  Or dudess.
  We do the class.  As we leave, Detroit says, "Well, you’re lucky I like her."  Meaning she’ll go to the class.  Like a belligerent teen that has to be convinced to try something new, and then she acts like it’s her idea.  She is so sweet.

Good Night, Sweet Prince

June 21, 2008 at 4:32 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  …Ah….sigh….the end of an era…
  I really don’t know if I can do it again.  I can’t do that, I can’t get attached like that.  It just hurts too much.  It wasn’t something I was expecting to deal with–
  What are the stages of grief?  Denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, and then financing?
  My buddy Nigel is gone.  It had to be done, sooner or later.  Nothing last forever, especially a 17 year old car with over 200 thousand miles.  Shit.  I feel like…I feel like I had to put my dog down.
  Memories…
  When I first drove him, he was loud and small and cramped.  But quick and sporty, and gripped the road with love, like when you grab a lover’s ass and smack it as you ride, Sally, ride.  I didn’t think twice, I just bought him.
  When my ex first saw him, she was pissed.  Typical, and it made me like him even more.
  We enjoyed spending time together, until our brief falling out.  It happens.  I was stranded on the side of the road when the wheel came off.  I blame myself.  After that, it took six months before I could get him going again.  What a joyful reunion that was.
  It was always a chore to mount and dismount.  Especially funny when I started delivering in him.  But oh, the joy of the drive!  Sharp curves and winding roads were like tossing a frisbee to him.  Driving in the cool, clear evening with the windows down and the sunroof open, stereo on–
  It was bliss.
  Detroit was smitten with him as well, and lamented how seldom she got to take him out to play.  But he was mine.  I’ve had some work done on him, for him.  Things you do for a friend.  Last fall, during his prime, we drove him to Michigan and back.
  That might have been his undoing.  Not the trip, but the weight in the car.  His alignment was never the same after that.  He rode with a limp.  This year, the noise came back–was it yet another bearing?  I had changed 3 of them.  One of them I changed twice.  Maybe–but he was getting loud in the exhaust.  I had to turn the radio up louder and louder.
  I had always gotten looks, and I didn’t care.  I would just say, "Thirty-six miles to the gallon, bitches!" and drive off.  But it was becoming clear that Nige was going through some dementia.  Not as quick as he was, not as responsive.  The noise was a symptom, but there were other problems as well.  The sunroof opened, but not very well.  The seatbelt no longer worked–dangerous in a tiny car.  There was oil in the floor of the backseat of unknown origin.  The trunk wouldn’t open.  When it did, it wouldn’t close.  Water filled the indention for the spare tire.  The tired engine was beginning to show signs of wear, and enter a realm from which there was no turning back.
  He tried.  Lord knows he tried.

  *"As we walk down a country lane
   "I’m singing a song, hear me callin your name–"*
  Nigel.

  As I said before, a few years ago…when the time comes, you have to be willing to shoot your own dog.
("Bron-y-aur Stomp.  Led Zeppelin, off III.  Listen to the words, it’s about a boy and his dog.)

**************New Text Document*************
  Because I don’t have a name for it, and I’m still not sure if, at this point, I want to name it.
  I bought a car.  I traded in my old one, my trusted old friend Nigel.  Part of me is thinking, "How can I do this, how can I betray my good friend?"  The other part of me is thinking, "How in the flying fuck did I buy a Mercedes?"
  It happened so quickly.  We had been looking at cars and SUVs, and I knew that this summer I would buy a car.  I had come to accept that I would have to trade Nigel in–17 in dog years is 119.
  I stopped by a used car dealer on a whim.  I wanted to see what they had, because we had been looking at new cars.  And I wanted to see how well I fit in a car, because I had been looking at SUVs and the like.  Could I easily get in and out of a car?  I had become so used to climbing in and out of Nigel that I associated that hassle with all cars.
  So, one thing leads to another, and suddenly I’m test driving a Mercedes.  How can I afford this?  Well, it is ten years old.  Eighty thousand miles–that’s about 8000 per year.  Hell, I can do 8k in a matter of a few months.  Power everything, accessories and gadgets that I never would have dreamed of, and a solid, well-heeled feel.  Seductress.  What do you call a seductress in my price range?  A tramp.
  I tell Detroit about it, and she wants to see it.  First I do the smart thing, and research the vessel online.  It’s a Mercedes, for chrissakes.  Dependable, reliable, solid, sporty, luxury, blah, blah, blah.  We drive it again.  Before I know it, I’m signing papers and cleaning out my old car.  I sense that Nigel feels betrayed.  But he can take comfort in the fact that it took a Mercedes to replace him.  Nothing else would do.  Maybe a Porsche.
  But still, I have no idea what the hell I’m doing driving a Mercedes-Benz.  I feel like someone is going to stop me and make me get out.  I don’t belong
here.
  Maybe I will name it, but I maintain that, unlike ships, it is unlucky to give a car a woman’s name.  Something will happen to it…every 28 days.  But, this is a Merc, and reliability is just one of the things that come with it.  Some of the other things that come with it are a specialty diet of certain oils, fluids, and fuels.  I guess I can buy the need for premium unleaded.  The fact that gas is so high makes it easier, not harder.  When gas was 99 cents, premium was 1.25–you want me to pay what for high-grade?  Fuck that.  But now regular is 4 bones, and premo is a buck 4.20.  Not much difference.
  But special MB wiper fluid?  Get the fuck out.  There are Mercedes-Benz clubs out there, but I’m looking for the support group.
  Of course, I’m still working at Domino’s.  Not going to drive the Bender at Domino’s.  But I’ve got the truck.  Probably a good idea to get back in touch with my…..truckulinity.  He (Fred) needs a tune up and an oil change.  Plus, I’m sure we need to spend some time together, re-bond, especially since Nigel is gone.

  The Bender?  Hmmm…..

Flying in Planes With Pizza

June 7, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  I just
checked out my GF’s blog entry concerning our trip, and I have a
correction to make.  She says I am afraid to fly.  I’m not afraid to
fly.  I’m not.
  But I am scared shitless of hitting the ground.

 
This is our vacation, our trip together.  My first real vacation in so
many years I can’t count, but only guess….so let’s say about ten
years.  I’ve had time off, but never much more than a few days at a
time.  My last "vacations" were time off for funerals.  So we’re going
up to Michigan again.  Ha, that rhymes.  People from Michigan are
called "Michiganders," but I think "Michiganians" has a better flow. 
It makes sense.  "Canadians" are what you call people from Canadia,
right?
  We’ve driven to Michigan several times in the past, for
reasons of expense or because we needed a truck and trailer to haul
Detroit’s furniture, belongings, and miscellaneous crapola.  This time
there was no need to make the twelve hour drive:  we could fly.  No
problem.  I’ve flown before, back in 1987.  The difference between this
time and last time was that then, I was a 22-year old fearless punk,
with a fiance who had a serious anxiety problem.  Her exaggerated fear
made it easy for me to be the brave one.
  Maybe this time around, I had more to live for.
 
 
You know, I always wanted to be an astronaut.  Go in space, see other
planets.  Luckily for me, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  I
honestly can’t explain the fear, and I’m not going to analyze it.  But
I will punch you in the face.  I guess what it is related to is that
since I turned 40, I have a deep fear of dying in a car wreck.  At
least it’s realistic fear–it’s not like I’m scared of the number 13,
or yellow.  (Yes, yes, I know.  Yellow kills.)
  And then Detroit
(my GF’s interweb nickname), God love her, is making light of it. 
Talking about how this is the best place to sit if we crash.  No, I
believe a bar in the airport is a better place to be if the fucking
plane crashes…as long as it doesn’t crash into the airport, for
crying out loud.  And then she’s talking about the seat being a
flotation device, which is useless because we are flying over land.
  Like a dear, she senses my anxiety….
  And eggs me on.
 
Have you ever been stabbed in the face?  Hertz, donut?  Well, it’s bad
enough being on the plane, about to take off (like being stabbed in the
face), but then the one doing the stabbing is laughing at you,
gleefully explaining to you the joy they derive from doing the
stabbing.  And can you turn your head towards me, so I can reach the
other side better?  Goddammit!
  It’s a smaller plane we are in–a
puddle-jumper (reassuring?  No.)–and so every bit of turbulence, I
feel.  How can the plane feel like we are skidding across a gravel road
when we are a million miles above the ground?  Not only that, but the
plane….she goes up, she goes down.  She swings from side to side.  I
feel every drop.  Every rise.  Every turn.  My hands have gripped the
armrest, my teeth are clenched, and my ass has a firm grip on the seat.
 
Everyone else is fine.  Some assholes are even sleeping.  What if I
scream?  Would they wake up then?  Fuckers.  The flight attendants wait
until the plane is rocking like we are white-river-rafting to casually
bring down the cart with beverages.  My gay Asian flight attendant asks
me if I’d care for something.
  "Can I get a rosary and a Valium?"
 
Not available, I guess.  Everyone in first class must have taken them. 
That’s what I get for being in row 20 behind the wing.  I settle for
orange juice and a panic attack.
  I’m reading on the plane to keep
my mind off of it, and to keep from looking out the window.  I picked
up a book by one of my favorite authors, F Paul Wilson.  Midnight
Mass–one scary book about vampires.  It kept my mind off the flight.

 
And so we land, we go do our thing, we have several days of fun and
excitement visiting the bucolic splendor of the Detroit Metropolitan
area.  Then it’s time to go back.  Oh, shit–we have to get on a plane
again.

  The flight back was worse.  I was sitting by myself,
across the aisle from Detroit and her son.  They slept peacefully, the
bastards, while I thrashed and moaned, and stiffened at every slight
move the plane made.  We are flying on unpaved air.  I’m going to die
alone in my seat.  I happen to catch a sideways look out the window
(curse my peripheral vision), and I see the ground.  I whimper
slightly, and turn back to my book.  A different book this time.  Carl
Hiaasen, writing comically about political corruption in Florida.
  Another place I’m going to end up flying to, if I don’t die here.
 
I then discovered a new level of fear.  I could see out the window, and
see the ground.  Yeah, scary.  But the plane banks to the right because
the pilot wants to fuck with me and make me shit myself.  A sideways
glance out the window–
  I can’t see the ground.
  The blonde
and buxom flight attendant has no sympathy for me.  Oh, she feigned it,
but if she really cared, she would have opened her shirt for me. 
"Anything," I pleaded, "anything to take my mind off of it."  Maybe
she’s heard that line before.
  We begin our descent.  By the way,
that’s technical talk for "Falling out of the sky."  Detroit tries to
comfort me–she came to sit by me, but it doesn’t really help because I
know she can’t cushion me if we crash.  I need a fatter girl friend. 
She’s holding my hand, and I have everything clenched tight.  I know I
am going to scream.  I need something to bite down on, but she won’t
let me use her arm, which I thought was a bit selfish.  Finally, I take
the book and place it my mouth, and bite down on it like a bullet.
  I didn’t release the book until the plane stopped rolling.

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