Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mostly not bathroom humor

Like the desperate meth-addict ex-boyfriend, I've changed. I've changed, I swear. I can respect you now. I can refrain from indulging my impulses, feeding my addiction. I know that stuff is bad for our relationship, and even though it's torture to me, I can resist the temptation to do what I've done before, to do what I know I shouldn't.

Sometime yesterday, a homeless person took a shit next to/on our garage, right in the passageway from the yard to the alley. And for your sake, that's all I'll say about it. I've been having a feeling that the poop talk is getting old, and I understand. So if that's what you want, I can do that for you.

Last night, my brother and I went to the Avenue Alehouse to watch the Cubs game (don't even get me started on the Cubbies - Sweet Lord, they look good). After the baseball was finished (including the cutaway to Lester's no-hitter in Boston), and after the basketball, and after the owner had seen us to the door at closing time, we went home, I grabbed a sandwich and headed for bed.

But you can't just eat in bed without doing anything else, that would just look depressing, and if there's one thing I hate, it's to look depressing when I'm in bed.

Lately, since my laptop's charger has gone to hell, I have nothing left but books. And last night, the nearest book to my groping hand was A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner. It was awesome.

It may just have been because I was drunk - in fact, I'm pretty sure it was mostly because I was drunk - but I loved it. Also, the sandwich was delicious. I smiled quietly as wide as I could for the entire chapter, even going back occasionally to reread a particularly delightful pericope. Something about the phrasing, the simple This-Makes-Sense-ness, reminded me what it was like to be a kid, only without the bed-wetting. Fine, maybe a little bed-wetting.

The other day, my brother and mom were lamenting over their memories of childhood - and not lamenting as in "ah, the good old days," but as in "didn't it suck to be a kid?"

I was horrified, wondering what could have bothered them so profoundly - the limited social circles? Mosquito bites? Getting shampoo in the eyes in the shower? Being told what to do? Homework? Peer pressure? No dating?

It turned out that no, there was no specific grievance. What scarred their memories was more the overwhelming, constant state of confusion: not knowing what to do next, being afraid to ask the teacher to use the bathroom, starting at a new school with no friends and picking a table at lunch in the cafeteria.

Maybe I was just a dull kid, but all this never really bothered me. I was not an emotionally high-strung little dude. I was aware that these situations existed, but it never got through to me that I should feel bad about it. During 7th grade (7th!), I would routinely follow other kids as they walked around the parking lot after school - about fifteen, twenty feet behind them, just walking after them as they talked and threw rocks. And it didn't even seem pathetic to me. I didn't mind at all.

I think if I saw that happen now, I would probably make fun of the kid and then start crying, but my 12-year-old self didn't give a rat's ass. My entire childhood was a series of events, adventures, and not paying attention. The only things that would give me emotional distress would be if my mom said I disappointed her (not that often), or if the Cubs lost (a hell of a lot, back in them days).

Nowadays, I have it much worse. I still have the bewildering feeling of having no idea what I'm supposed to be doing, except now I realize it, and now I'm supposed to know what I'm doing. All of a sudden, I have responsibility for my life, but no more clue than ever what that means. I still have awkward interactions, only now they bug the shit out of me, and I get nervous about making a good impression.

What the hell is this? Just because I'm an adult, everyone thinks I'm going to know what I'm doing? Are you kidding? Screw that! I'm still blundering around through life, taking a dump in the public pool, getting bee stings, playing games, taking showers once a week. Metaphorically, I think. I only take metaphorical showers, because I have sensitive skin.

What about you? Which was your childhood?

A. Happy: Ignorance is bliss.

or

B. Scary: Oh shit, I wet my pants at school, I hope no one notices the giant stain on my crotch and the urine dribbling down the leg of my desk.

7 comments:

Falwless said...

A, all the way. I wanna go back.

A Margarita said...

A. Ignorance was definitely bliss.

I can't quite pinpoint the moment I lost that ignorance.

Everyone else can speak for themselves. The poop stories are appreciated by a select few! That might only be me.

A Lil' Irish Lass said...

For what it's worth (likely nothing), you're the first thing that comes to mind when I am taking a crap. Particularly if it's an impressive one that you would consider blog-worthy. So, ummm, keep the scatology coming.

fort knocks said...

Lil, don't be gross. Everyone knows girls don't poop.

Hollywood Sucker said...

I guess I was B. Although it wasn't so much that I was scared as I was frustrated. I wanted to be older. I like to think it's because I thought I was a genius and couldn't deal with the other idiot kids in my class.

And now that I'm grown up, I still feel that same frustration. Only now I can buy wine and deal with it.

CallMeKP said...

I saw 'The Swell Season' on Monday 5/19-- aka The Magical Night Of Jon Lester-- and Glen Hansard (whom I have an unhealthy love for) said that of all the people he's ever met that it's the really young and the really old that are without a doubt... the coolest. Somewhere in the middle we feel the unwarranted need to figure ourselves out. Ah, rock star philosophy...

Then he sang a song about self- loathing and whiskey. And all was right with the world.

For me, I was a fairly self- aware little tot. I knew what was expected of me. But like a shit, I did the opposite.

Old habits die... never.

Anonymous said...

When you thought that it was over
You could feel it all around
And everybody's out to get you
Don't you let it drag you down

And when you're driving drunk to Jack n' the Box and you get pulled over (you will, trust me), and the cop is too lazy to get out and talk to you, but instead just pulls up next to you to give you you're verbal warning (allowing your bloodshot eyes and stank breath to escape detection)... don't turn around and go home feeling lucky to have escaped a terrible life changing ordeal. Carry on and get your Jack n' the Box. You deserve it.