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.

I’m waiting. . .

. . .for a friend and can overhear the conversation of the couple next to me.

“Do you think he’s gay?” The girl asks.

“I don’t know.” The disinterested guy responds.

“I think he is. What do you think?” She must play this game all the time because I can see he has no patience for it.

“I don’t know,” he says standing up. “But I’ll find out.” The guy walks over the the possibly gay dude, leans in and says something. In a flash the dude pulls back his fist and punches him in the face.

People quickly start to intercede but they’re waved off by the guy.

“No problem. No problem. Buy him a drink on me.” The guy turns back to his girl and says, “Nope, not gay.”

Man, that’s some commitment to get out of being asked a stupid question.

Things I say. . .

. . .often get me in trouble with someone. This last person was someone who should know better but they still act enraged (thinking about it it may not be an act) when I say something that’s pretty much like me. The short conversation went exactly like this,

“It was okay but then Scott came late.”

“That’s because he was the last one at the gang bang.”

Dagger filled stare.

What? It coulda happened.