Monthly Archives: March 2016

Standing on the street. . .

. . .a guy was babbling at me. I had to make it stop so, during an opening, I said,

“My tolerance toward you is directionally proportionate to the number of words you’ve said.” He looks askew a moment before saying,

“What does that mean?”

I turned and walked away.

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Night Out

We’re going to a downtown venerated music venue. As always, when the term ‘venerated’ is used, it means run down. But, its a good place to see a show and we probably won’t die when the balcony collapses. We get off the train and walk to a nearby bar. The problem is most of the bars I knew from when I worked in the area are gone or under new management. As always, when the term ‘new management’ is used it means over priced. But we sally forth.

As we’re walking towards one and, although I’d written the date all day long, it didn’t dawn on me until I spurted out with,

“Aw fuck. Its Saint Patrick’s Day.”

That’s a high holy holiday around here. The first five bars we see have lines outside. We turn around and there’s a place I’m sure is still there, still the same, and, because its sort of hidden on a side street, will be crowded but not over run. At least that’s my theory.

And I was right. Right away my girlfriend gets a bar seat and we’re good until show time. Looking around I can tell some of the regulars from offices around the area aren’t thrilled that their usually busy but not overly packed place is in this shape. But I don’t care. I’ve got a beer, there’s a girl across the bar covered with blinking green things and I won’t have to talk to anyone because the music is so loud.

A seat next to my girlfriend opens so now its even better. Some drunken idiots (and if you think I’m making some derogatory judgement about these men, let me correct you. That’s how they introduced themselves to me) stand behind us and start hitting on the girls next to me. I have to say, they were very good sports about it even though one of them kept bumping into the bar rail and apologizing to his own reflection in the mirror.

We finally decide to travel to the venerated venue. Its a few minutes away and, with any luck, we’d have totally missed the opening act. To be honest, I wouldn’t have cared if we missed the headliner either. I know some of their songs from the radio but, what’s that? Twenty minutes of music? I fear what’s going to happen for the next seventy plus minutes of their set.

We hit the beertender, place our order for two beers and he says,

“Twenty-eight dollars.”

Please believe me here when I say, yes, I am dyslexic but that is not a typo.

We get to our seats just as the opening band hits the stage. Yes, I still have show timing. The crowd cheers, the music begins and, well, let’s say the best description of their opening fifteen minutes would be dark. Not in the audience. On stage. We were lit pretty damn brightly. The people we came to see were filtered in a swath of darkness. What a great idea! Don’t let the fans see you and you could have two or three of the same ‘band’ travel the world! No one would know the difference. A genius plan.

I was also disheartened to hear the second and third songs. Because they were two of the three ‘hits’. People went nuts for ten minutes and then we settled down into what could be considered a delightful evening of looking. Even true fans of the band were, at best, swaying. And this is considered a dance band. I always looks at the audience at a show to see if the band is connecting. It didn’t seem like it to me.

And I had eighty more minutes to sit here waiting for three songs I knew. One of which, I was certain, would be the encore which, if I was lucky, I’d be gone for. So that makes it two songs, seventy minutes. Its times like this I pray for an extended drum solos. During every song.

The songs were well executed and catchy but the band was still shrouded in darkness. The best was to describe the entire show would be a light show with people standing in front of it. During the show I counted three times when the lead singer was lit to be recognizable. Other members? Could have been my neighbor. Can’t be sure.

Of course, because my girlfriend won’t leave a show until the stage has been cleared, I got to hear all five songs I knew. So it was a good night for me. I finished my fourteen dollar can of beer and we hit the streets.

It wasn’t until we got to the train station when I said,

“Aw fuck. Its Saint Patrick’s Day.”

Ending the festivities as we got onto the crowded train, was the sight of a woman on the platform, her ass buried as tight as possible against a wall, vomiting onto her shoes.

I walked past. . .

. . .when a neighbor was throwing away a water bed (I hate when people say ‘old’ water bed. What other types are there?).

“I can’t believe I’m finally throwing this away. It was a wedding gift from my grandmother.”

“Wow. What a progressive grandmother.”

“Why do you say that?”

“On your wedding day she said, ‘He’s a water bed. Go fuck.'”

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

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After explaining. . .

. . .a simple concept to someone for some time I finally snapped.

“How stupid are you?” I asked someone most likely unable to answer that question correctly.

“Do you read books on tape?”

Fall In Love

My girlfriend and I went out to eat. Its a normal occurrence in our lives. We’ve been together sixteen years so, honestly, we often go on our own journeys when we’re out. She’ll probably engage people where I will not. Its not that I’m unfriendly, although that’s part of it. And its not that people aren’t interesting, but often they’re not. I’d rather just go on with my day in the manner I prefer.

I’m sitting there watching TV ignoring everything going on around me. All is good. I am truly happy. I like being alone with my own thoughts. I find myself funny, entertaining and I rarely disagree with my opinions. A fine dinner companion.

“Hey you. In the blue coat. What do you think?”

My first thought was, “If you don’t know my name you really shouldn’t engage.” I hold the same truth when talking about pitbulls.

But my girlfriend, who, after all this time, has finally stopped calling me by the names of others, tells me, oh so helpfully, that he’s talking to me.

Why? Why does he need my input? Doesn’t he have enough of a brain trust around him to get to the bottom of whatever pressing need he has? What is it? I’ve seen me. I don’t look smart. I do not appear friendly. But, because my girlfriend has pushed me to the entrance of this conversation, if I don’t want her to tell me in all her ways what an asshole I am for the rest of the evening, I ask what the pressing question of the evening is.

“Do you think you can fall in love later in life?” Asks a sixty-something year old gentleman who, by the looks of it, has spent plenty of time on the love bungee.

I’ve never given the concept a thought. So I open my mouth wondering what I’m going to say.

“No.” I guess that settles that.

“Do you really believe that?” I guess it didn’t.

“Listen, by the time your forty-five if you haven’t experienced every romantic scam and scheme, con and conceit then you are the perfect mark to believe falling in love later in life exists.” Everyone is staring at me so I take that as a sign to continue.

“Falling in love is a facade. Its the perfect you held up in front of the real you to conceal the truly flawed person you are. So if, by forty-five, you’re still holding up your facade figuring this love will be the one then you are a truly deranged person who anyone with a shred of self-worth will scorch the earth in an attempt to flee from. Because you are demented and pose a danger to anyone breathing the same air.” They’re still looking at me. Maybe they need some more. Good thing I’m here, right?

“You may find a relationship but its not predicated on love. That’s impossible because you can’t fall in love at an older age with someone who’s flaws are so pronounced. You’re so set in your ways that the annoying things you could overlook when you were younger just scream out at you now. You can choose to ignore the flaws but you are incapable of falling in love with them. You can enjoy your time with them, be happy around them, but you can’t fall in love with them because the facade of love is gone.” They’re still staring. Have they not understood me yet?

“Think about it. Falling in love means tossing everyone and thing aside. When you’re older you can’t do that. You have jobs and family and friends to answer to. You have commitments that you can’t just drop to be engulfed in love. The bottom line is, when you get older, you don’t have the time or energy for the love experience. The best you’re going to get is, “Yeah, I sort of have something going with him.”

I stop again because I’m pretty much done. I didn’t even know that’s what I thought two minutes ago. And who knows if I really believe that or just wanted to see a bunch of people stare at me unblinking. I do enjoy that, you know. The old love hoping idiot who started all this is staring at me. I know that expression. I’ve seen it many times. Its the expression that says,

“No would have sufficed.”

Then you shouldn’t have prodded me.