Some friends of mine were robbed the other night, but last night they had tickets to see some show out of town and wanted me to watch their place. I brought beers and showed myself to their liquor cabnet. Houses are easy to watch, but they also have a kid. I think he's 13. To me, that means he should be able to take care of himself, because if he can run the microwave and the tv remote he's gonna take at least as good care of himself as I would be able to, but apparently his gaurdians still think he is too soft and vulnerable to be able to discourage a repeat robbery. If I was in their situation I probably would have just bought him a machete, but whatever. I rented some movies that I thought we both would like and I drank beers and we ate popcorn and so on. At about two in the morning I was pretty much done pretending to be sober, so I told him to brush his teeth, it was bed time. He said he had a question and I said shoot.
"You might think this is a better question for my parents or whatever, but what's the difference between a prostitute and a hooker?"
"Well, um, all hookers are prostitutes, but not all prostitues are necessarily hookers, does that make sense?"
"Kind of. Not really."
"K, well, they both do things for money that not everyone might do, but I think hookers kind of wander the streets more and have to hustle, whereas some prostitutes can be a little more upscale, and may be available by appointment only. I think the literal definition of 'prostitute' might be someone that does something anyone could do for money. That would make me a prostitute because my job takes no skill. Same with a lot of folks. But yeah, the connotation that word has is someone who has sex for money."
He was processing.
"But you shouldn't hang out with either of them!" I threw in, because I might have been a role model and I had to be responsible.
He went to bed and I drank more and watched "Mexican Werewolf in Texas." It had some moments, but overall, it left something to be desired. Turns out, the werewolf was actually a chupacabra all along.
Okay, a week and some hours without drinking, science project complete. I took the walk to the beer store to celebrate. My favorite grocer was stocking chips or something on the way to the beer aisle. He greeted me and we made small talk.
"Yeah, I've got a few days off work, so I'm trying to remember what my hobbies are. I think I used to play guitar or something."
He nodded. "I spend most my days off with the folks. My Dad's got alzheimers, ya know? He's doing pretty well, he still remembers most of the people in his life...It could be worse. He could be writing his name on the walls with his feces or something."
"Yeah." I said. "Could be worse." I said I hadn't drank in a little while and wanted beer. He walked me to the beer aisle and recommended a new seasonal ale that was good but not great. I sat in this chair and I drank and I wrote.
Yesterday at work I lied and said it was my birthday. Girls hugged me. One of them wrote on the whiteboard a bunch of stuff that she thought I'd like to receive as gifts. Today, a girl brought me some dashboard mountable ninja figurines and an air freshener for my car shaped like a cat's face. Lying is pretty sweet, really.
A dear friend got married today. Tom wasn't the best man but he was some other guy in a suit at the main table. He kept it mostly together. For a while. When it came time to toss the bouquet, he was definitely the only person screaming at the top of his lungs, "I want to see blood! Blood! Where's the blood?! You're supposed to fight! Blood!" And then when it was over, "What, that's it?" To which the Bride's Father looked back and said, "It doesn't last long."
Most people other than me were drunk. This is day five of sobriety for me and I've not yet decided whether or not it's bullshit. Anyway, the groom was good and intoxicated and threw his arm around me and apologized to me for running my inner thigh over with his bike almost five years ago, which I had mostly forgotten about.
Tom left first with his girlfriend and I left with JW a short while later. I was designated driver. It was an interesting change of pace. Upon arriving home, Tom's girlfriend was cleaning the toilet, and yeah, I had noticed that it had been molding over the passed weeks but I still thought it was a strange thing to do until I realized that Tom had been getting his puke on. I helped her start a load of laundry for all the contaminated bath mats and towels and noticed that the towel rack had somehow been broken in the whole deal. Whatever. I waited a little while for Tom to pass out so we could put stuff on him and we did. His girlfriend commented on how quickly JW and I operate. I pointed out that we practice a lot and she said it was good to know that Tom passed out that often.
I played guitar very briefly and went to a bar to meet a friend and didn't drink even though people offered to buy me beer. I gave my friend a ride to her home and drove to the store just because I wasn't tired because I was still sober. I didn't really have a plan. I paced for a long time and it was late by then and the few employees were stocking shelves. I bought ground coffee and a blank notebook and bananas that will probably spoil before I eat them and various non-perishable foods that I can rely on next time I have several days off so I don't have to leave the house.
Day three of sobriety. This isn't permanent, mind you, but my stomache and my frame of mind have both given me clues that they could use a little vacation from my favorite form of distraction. So, I haven't really been leaving the house much, mostly just pacing around writing sub-par material and not sleeping much and watching a few movies a night and abusing coffee and ice cream in lieu of liquor. Tonight, however, was a friend's bachelor party, and not wanting to get drunk doesn't really go hand in hand with bachelor parties, but I wanted to pay respects to my friend before he became pussy-whipped in a legally binding way. So, I rode with my roommates to the party. It had potential to be mellow but there was this loud asshole that had a type of voice I can't stand. Similar to Dennis Leary doing stand up. Just this raspy, unrepressed, continuous burst from vocal cords that are overworked from chain smoking and yelling.
He was going on about one thing or another the whole time we were there, and at one point began discussing some things a sailer friend of his saw in a Thai whorehouse. He went on and on and there was this small, intense guy with huge eyes and a ridiculous grin that sat next to him. He kept getting more and more excited and he was wearing shorts and a sweatshirt, which I thought seemed counterproductive. Finally, the guy with the voice like armageddon concluded that particular rant by telling about a cocktail waitress that walked around with a bottle of champaign lodged in her asshole and who could actually pour out of it. The guy with the poor costume design looked like he was about to bust a nut and then he looked at me and yelled "Let's join the Navy!" and yelled sounds of excitement and pumped his fists in the air. I had trouble getting into it. They looked like they thought I was offended by the subject matter, but it was really just the volume and level of animation.
I stood outside for a long time before I got a ride home and I unwound for a bit and now the only thing I can hear is my computer fan and I'm not as angry and it's nice.
Each Summer, my Mom's side of the family rents a pad on the Oregon Coast and gets together for a couple of nights to drink and get reacquainted. Usually I miss it, along with most of the younger people in my family, but this year I had a couple of days off work and a couple of reasons to clear my head. I drove through rural Oregon. I could tell it was rural because my car received no radio stations and I saw this sign:
When I arrived after a long, sweaty car ride with no AC, I found my Mom and her boyfriend reading on the porch. The night passed uneventfully and they retired probably around eleven, leaving me to drink beers and watch "Dog the Bounty Hunter" reruns on cable until the early a.m. At one point, I tried going out to think deep thoughts by the ocean, but I was in one of those moods where the ocean only reminds one of sharks and drowning and all the usual ways to perish unnoticably in the unforgiving depths and promptly returned to the indoors for more Dog and beers.
The next morning, my Aunt and Uncle showed up. We had a late breakfast in Tillamook. I'm hesitant to talk trash because I really do enjoy the dairy products that come from Tillamook, but honestly, the cows that produce the products create enough shit to make a guy driving North on Highway 101 roll his windows up, AC or not.
We then drove along some scenic route, looking at light houses. The main thing I learned that day was that old people apparently really like light houses and I really, really don't. They're simply not fascinating to me at all. Back at the beach house, it was early afternoon and the people that gifted me with my geneology were beginning to drink. I was getting ready to leave and had to turn down my Mother's offering of Tillamook cheese for the road three or four times before finally raising my voice and stating loudly that not only had we just eaten, but having perishable dairy as my co-pilot in extreme heat along a stretch of the highway that reeked of steer anus wouldn't really make my drive home at all more pleasant.
I left and gassed up the car in some town that probably didn't even have a name. I went in the station and bought a sixer. A little down the road, I picked up a banjo playing hitchhiker. He tossed his banjo and his pack in the back seat. A lot of people think it's a bad idea to pick up hitchers, but I have an all purpose escape plan: if I pick up a hitcher that does something sketchy, I'll unbuckle their seatbelt as I simultaneously swerve into a tree or telephone pole. Didn't need to with this guy though. He was a folksy kinda guy and I'm a metal kinda guy, but we cracked beers and shared stories and got along just fine. I took him about halfway across the state before dropping him off when it was time me to head East.
Back home I drank a little at a party and woke up on a loveseat with no cushions next to a girl I barely knew around the time the sun came up. We were in a poorly furnished house between downtown and campus. I put my legs over the girl and cracked my last beer. When it was depleted, I walked the forty blocks to my home and went back to bed.