I don’t know why. . .

. . .parents let me talk to their children but they do.

I’m at a friends house and his little kid is talking to me. He’s asking me questions, I’m asking him questions and it’s all going well until, let’s be honest here, I became me.

“Do you know how lakes and rivers and oceans get their water?” The kid shakes his head no. Ha! He’s fallen into my trap! Now I have to think of a trap.

“Fish tears.”

The kid looks at me with that patented kid, ‘I’m not sure I’m buying this but he is an adult so must know things.’ so I continue.

“Really. I’m not kidding. They tell you it’s rain and stuff but that’s just so you won’t get scared. Have you ever been in an ocean?” He nods. “Have you ever tasted a tear?” Nods again. “They’re both salty, right?” Now I’ve got him! I’m proving a five year old is no match for my mental prowess.

“Why are they crying?”

“Because they know one day a hook is going to come down and yank them out of the water never to be seen again.” The kids eyes widen. “They see their friends and family get hooked all the time. If you saw that wouldn’t you be scared and cry all the time.”

The kid looks at me for a second. I’m nodding my head yes to show him I’m telling the truth. After a few beats he jumps off the couch and runs out of the room.

“Mommmmmm! Chris said fish tears fill the ocean. He said they cry all the time. Are our fish crying all the time?”

I’m sitting there pleased with myself because I’m a extra giant sized jerk when the kids mother sticks her head around the door. She’s laughing and shaking her head disapprovingly at me.

“Why do you do these things?”

“Because I don’t know the password to your wifi and got bored.”

Nah, I’m a jerk!

PS The kids mother sent me an email. He checks the water level of the aquarium in his house every day to see if his fish are crying too much. See? I help people become concerned about others!

Is it just me. . .

. . .or does every day feel like this?

Every Time

A guy I know asks me when I’m going to get a tattoo every time I see him. It wouldn’t be bad if I only saw him once in a lifetime but I’m not that lucky. I see him often and it’s quite annoying. I’ve told him that as well as other bon motts such as,

“When you have an intelligent thought.”

“When your mother admits you were a mistake.”

“The day you get plastic surgery so you stop looking like Deputy Dawg on a bender.”

But it’s his go to move. I don’t know if he works on commission or has a tattooed dude organization he’s dying for me to join or what. I usually just stare at him until he goes away. But one day I must have been feeling, I don’t know, less like my normal self, so I said,

“I did.”

It took him a second for those two words to sink it. After they did his eyes got wide and he got all excited. He told me he wanted to see it. It was like seeing a kid on his first Christmas home after being kidnapped for eight years. I slowly take my coat off. The anticipation fills his eyes. I slowly roll up the sleeve of my shirt. He’s shaking with excitement. I turn for the reveal, the full force of his anticapition is palpable. He looks. His expression quickly falls into one of utter confusion.

“I don’t see anything.”

“It’s in invisible ink.”

You can see the betrayal in his expression. “Why do I bother?”

“I’ve been asking myself that since the day we met.”

He turns and walks away muttering to himself. I smile putting my coat back on. He leaves me alone for the rest of the day. A week later he sees me. But this time he looks at me and for the first time since I’ve known him he doesn’t approach me.

Ah, if all bothersome twits could be vanquished so easily.

While trying. . .

. . .to maintain my place in polite society while also letting this person know just how much fun I had at their little gathering I said,

“What I’m saying is I’ve had better evenings at the DMV.”

Transplant

A neighbor I rarely see and even more seldom speak with comes up to me and starts yacking. I can’t run away screaming (again) I was told so I stand there. I don’t even bother pretending to give a shit. I feel standing there is enough.

He starts telling me about his medical issues. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Ugh, that’s the worst!’

But you’d be wrong.

After we cover him we move on to the health of a friend of his. If hearing the random medical issues of someone you barely nod to is bad hearing it second hand about someone you’ve never laid eyes on is worse. Much worse.

“It got so bad he had to have a liver transplant.” I give him my ‘oh, that would be interesting to someone else.’ face. “It was a stranger. Imagine that. When he got better he met the donor. He said it was very emotional for everyone. I maintain my previous expression. “I’m on the list for a new heart.” My face is starting to cramp. “And you know, if I’m ever lucky enough to get one I’d like to meet my donor.”

Finally! An expression change. I wait beat to see if he goes to that neighborly ‘Ha! Just pulling your leg, neighbor.’ friendly shit. But he doesn’t. He’s seriously awaiting my response. He’s in a genuine moment here.

I know he’s a father. I know he has a job where a boss has expectations for him. He may even have more than one friend who enjoys his company.

What can you say in response to something there may not be enough beer in the region for me to forget?

“Well, for the sake of humanity I hope you never get the chance.”

Just so everyone is clear on this I am saying I hope he doesn’t get a new heart which will benefit his health and the doctor doing the operation. I’d rather give the next heart to a baboon.

“Oh, it’s not going to get better but I appreciate your kind words.”

Should I tell him my baboon theory or should I just let it go knowing it is possible some people are too dumb to be insulted?

Should I say what I’m thinking? ‘No, I’m not being kind. I’m saying you shouldn’t get one. You broke the first one so I’m sure you’ll fuck up the next one.’?

But it’s true, I don’t want some dead guy who’s last thoughts were ‘At least I’m doing good for someone.’ only to find out in the afterlife that he squandered his healthy heart to a two pizza for lunch moron.

Or should I listen to the other words that are ringing in my head, ‘I swear, if you piss off one more neighbor I’m going to kick you out.’?

I don’t run, I don’t scream but I do walk away quickly. Very, very quickly.

Today’s Saying

I live in a minefield of insanity and I’m an epileptic tap dancer.

Mr. Mysterious

“I’m a mysterious guy.” A porcupine faced man standing next to me says apropos of nothing. He’d been chattering in my right ear for about ten minutes. I wasn’t his only victim. At least three others had died of boredom and been carted away by friends and family. It took that long for him to get to my ear.

“I swap out cars every two weeks.” Because you’re that bad a driver? “I don’t want people to know what I’m doing. Where I’m going.” Who’d want to?” I can go anywhere I want.” Can you go there now? “I go everywhere. You’ll never figure me out.”

“I’m not trying to.”

“Good because you’d just get frustrated. I wouldn’t even try because you’ll never figure me out. I might swap out cars at a moments notice and go to the library. You’d never find me.”

“Unless I gave your picture out to all the librarians in the area and had them call me when you showed up.”

“Why would you do that?” His eyes went from wide to slits in a breath. I looked at him and squinted.

“You’ll never figure me out.”

His eyes got wide once again. Then he laughed. An unconvinvced laugh at best as he says in a half hopeful tone.

“You’re pulling my leg.” I say nothing. I just look at him. The less I say the better. For me. I can see the wheels in his head spin like they’re stuck in Indiana mud. “What bars do you go to?”

“This one.” I answer.

“What others?” I want to get phone books from the three adjoining states and hand the “Bars” pages to him.

“That’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know.”

“Why are you such an asshole?” How come so many of my conversations come to this?

“I’m not an asshole. You just can’t figure me out.”

As I watched him try to blink himself out of his mind muck I noticed he was slowly backing away.

Just what I figured he’d do.