Bad choices made, constantly



I Was a Bully, But I Also Got Bullied So It’s Okay

When I was 13 years old or however old you are when you get to seventh grade I started school in my new town of Swampscott, Massachusetts. I was fat, had gross long greasy hair, bad acne and wore concert t-shirts all the time. Ozzy, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, etc. Concert shirts back then were often “baseball style” with those long sleeves. I was also painfully shy and as I am now, socially awkward. Granted if I know the people I am with I am whatever the polar opposite of socially awkward is.

There were a group of 8th graders I could tell were just troublemakers. I mean granted I would be hanging with troublemakers pretty much a week or so later…One particular guy, his name escapes me now…his face though, he looked like a rat. Tiny little eyes, this rat nose and just this demeanor that was sneaky and shifty. Him and his group of friends were like those kids on the Simpsons, when you saw them coming down the hall you knew they were going to do something to you. So one particular day I was walking down the hall in an area where nobody happened to be at the moment and there was the Rat boy and his crew. This particular day I was wearing one of those long sleeved concert shirts and him and his crew grabbed me and proceeded to tie my sleeves to the two doors to the theater, which swung out. I was stuck there for a few minutes until someone, probably a janitor, came to my rescue.

Fast forward to couple of years after high school and I was a much bigger person, was lifting weights quite a bit and was considered “mean looking”. I was working at this small supermarket in this disgusting city called Lynn, Massachusetts. This girl started working there, and while she was a nice enough person, she may have been one of the ugliest girls I’ve ever seen in my life. She literally had a dark mustache and really hairy arms which led me to believe that whatever was happening “in other areas” was probably just as horrible of a situation. At one point she mentioned her husband would be coming in to meet her for lunch. So lunch rolls around and I am in the little lunch area and she comes in to introduce me to her husband and low and behold it is Rat boy!

So now I am much bigger and scarier than him, and he is married to the ugliest woman I have ever seen in my life. He shook my hand and we both kind of did that whole “oh hey yeah we went to school together” thing and subsequent visits to work he was always extra friendly to me.

Nowadays, this thing in the news has been “bullying” like it’s some new thing sweeping the nation. I guess with the onset of social networking bullying is worse than it already was. I don’t think it is, I think it’s less than it was. Aside from that incident tying me to the doors, when I was much younger kids were even meaner and nastier. You’d get pushed over, hit, shit thrown at you, etc. Nowadays kids get called fat on the Internet and they are killing themselves. I think the bigger problem is, parents are raising their kids to be pussies. In the summer parents are shaving the heads of their young men and sending these little shaved pussies out into the world to get taunted and made fun of. Wait, what about shaved pussy?

As a kid I bullied and got bullied quite a bit if I remember. One time, I had a paperback book with me in the bathroom and dipped it in a toilet and wiped shit on this kid Eric who later became a good friend, or maybe we were good friends already and this was some way of me showing my adoration to my friend.

In gym class in eighth grade I was playing basketball and my ball went into the area where another group of kids were playing. A tall fellow named Tom threw it back to me harder than he needed to. We got into a sort of tossing match with the ball, I’m assuming someone called someone a faggot and we agreed to “meet at 2:15” Which basically meant you would meet your new enemy and fight them surrounded by a small or large group of students cheering on whoever they were friends with. I wasn’t really a popular kid nor was Tom so our 2:15 meeting was a small affair with maybe a dozen kids watching.  It was definitely not like the Keith Roberts vs Dave Simpson fight that was such a big deal that it took place on a Saturday. I don’t remember what initially sparked the fight but I remember Dave (a good friend of mine at the time) “training” for it. Dave was a skinny pothead like me. Keith was a football player who pretty much knocked out Dave in less than a minute. My fight was similar. I pretty much won within a couple of minutes and then went on my way to smoke weed and listen to my friend’s dad’s Frank Zappa albums, smoke weed and nurse my light bruises from my fight. Quite the suburban denim clad victory parade I’m sure.

That was the last time I got in a fight. 1983. Years later I would see Tom around, and even as recent as a few weeks ago I saw him. We never acknowledge each other, he has about five or six inches on me now and is in much better shape than I am. I always imagine going up to him and asking him if he wants a rematch.

The Great Bake Sale of Spring ’82

With the prospect of winning free tickets to see any Broadway play of your choice, Winnie made her prize winning (in family circles) cupcakes yet again. Winnie worked night and day to perfect the cupcakes. Making phone calls to unknown relatives who have passed the recipe around for years, Winnie was determined to win yet again. Like the New York Yankees, she took the prize again. Winnie immediately called Harold when she heard the news.

“We’re going to New York again Harold!”

“Wonderful Winnie, I can’t believe it! Well, yes I can, those are some cupcakes”

Harold had been eating the “test” cupcakes for the weeks approaching the bake sale, and one would have thought he had his fill already.

“I’ll see you when you get home Harold”

“I love you honey” Harold answered.

“I love you too”

Winnie hung up the phone and approached Mr. Higgins to collect her prize.

On her short drive home Winnie wondered if that Peggy Roberts deserved the prize instead of her, her cheesecake was delicious. Pulling into the driveway she shrugged, shut the headlights off, and got out of the car glowing.

Nine Short Stories About Being Buried Alive

“Leave Us Alone We are Working on Blueprints”
Try this we are walking into the bar you and I and I turn to you and tell you I am scared to go in I am scared to be in there with them all I am scared to go outside now I don’t want to feel the aggravation and anger like I felt today I listen to this cd and I have to fucking shut it because I don’t give a fuck who broke this guys fucking heart I don’t give a fuck who broke anyone’s heart for that matter.

“John Travolta’s Facial Hair in the Film ‘Swordfish’”
I pissed out what seemed like a gallon and a half of beer, and then got in my car. The drive home was intense and dangerous. Art Bell telling me that people spontaneously go invisible. I took the barrel of the 9mm and pointed it at the woman and her son driving by me in the mini-van and lit another Kool.

“Oh, I Didn’t Realize Your Parents Molested You”
So when we arrived at the apartment of Timmy and Jenni I initially thought we were going to be surrounded by thieves and men with insurance plans; instead, we were surrounded by good drugs, and good jazz music from the late 70’s. One wants to believe that Timmy would not have good music, but for the remainder of the night we discussed how great the tone of Pat Metheney was in this particular year.

“A Visibly Drunk Liza Minneli Being Eaten by a Giant Orange Scorpion with Wings”
The first time one hears the song “the Magic Power” by “the other famous trio from Canada”, Triumph, one is filled with such a feeling of hope, you literally feel like Rik Emmett is going to jump through the speakers and give you a big hug. Hi, my name is Christian, and I am addicted to rock and roll music.

“The Drive Home to Your Wife After You Pay For Sex the First Time”
Oh how I enjoy that crisp wind that blows brown and bright blue air all over the world in the fall here in New England. Right now, the tail end of a winter I didn’t experience and it feels fresh and nice outside. I need to move myself somewhere good. Yeah I said this and did this already. Wait what?

“Adults Who Think Vampire Stuff is Cool”
I love fucking cole slaw, love it, absolutely love it. All of the cold “pre-made” salads are great too. My wife made this wonderful potato salad last week. I ate it all week at work. Her sister makes a great macaroni salad. I once knew a man from Ohio who made some pretty intense bean salad that was just delicious! Fuck I love it all! Fuck!

“The Ticket to the Jethro Tull Concert in Your Wallet While You Get Arrested”
I remember going to this day camp when I was a little kid. One weekend, they had a sleep over. I didn’t want to sleep over. I don’t like sleeping outside to this fucking day. I was supposed to meet a couple of friends in the middle of the night to get in trouble or whatever. The next day when I showed up, this big kid Kevin, his Kiss belt buckle glimmering in the hot summer of 78’ sun says to me “where were you last night?”. He was going to beat me up for not showing up to do whatever we were going to do. One day I fell on the trampoline and hurt my head crying and yelling, I felt paralyzed and freaked out. I think this is why I have problems in general now.

“Last Friday, When We Quit Smoking Cocaine”
Last night I dreamt that I was swimming in the ocean with a German Shepard, I was worried that my wallet was going to get wet so I asked him what to do, he said we couldn’t do anything, and to worry about it later. Great, talking German Shepards in my dreams now. He was cute. I have no idea what we were doing in the ocean, as I steadfastly refuse to swim as soon as someone suggests it.

“The Guy Doug Your Wife Fucked When She Was Nineteen”
The other night at dinner a friend asked if I was going to get a cat when I moved into my new place. I replied, “I can’t because I don’t want to deal with the inevitable death of the pet, the same reason I don’t want to get another girlfriend. I don’t feel like dealing with the eventual end of a relationship” I guess it’s part self-deprecation “humor” and partly true. I barely get attached to anything, people, places, opinions. This kind of rampant unsettling train of thought happening 27 hours a day. I guess everyone is like this right?

Adventures in Online Dating (kinda) Pt. 3

We caught up on Facebook one night in the dead of summer. The second to last time I saw her I was in a bar and the second she walked in I pulled my hat down over my eyes and let my friend know I had to leave. I didn’t want to see her. The last time I saw her it didn’t end well. We briefly dated years ago, stopped and then tried again a few years after that and now here it was about ten years later. We had a few things in common, some similar music tastes and ummm, I guess that’s it. She was beyond the partying type. Well actually, that’s all she really was. There was never really any way she could be your girlfriend as every time you saw her you ended up listening to her talk about getting fucked up, watched her getting fucked up or got fucked up yourself to avoid the fact that you were with her.

I have a lot of friends from different backgrounds. People I know from punk rock music, people I know from going to hippie shows, people I worked with, people I dated or my friends dated and people I know from the vast network of suburban marijuana dealers. These types were usually the type of people who you would never really want to spend much time with but often you found yourself sitting in some room surrounded by empty Mountain Dew bottles listening to a group of people half your age talking about deep things like “dude, mirrors are fucked up, like why does shit have to be backwards in them?”  This is how I knew Jessica. She was one of these people. Fun enough to spend some time with here and there, but not someone you want to take on a road trip (well, I would never take anyone on a road trip). We met because of marijuana and alcohol.

Jessica found me on Facebook years after we dated and we started talking and as it turns out things got a little…sexy. If you aren’t aware, a good amount of people on Facebook and social networking sites are chatting with old friends and old lover and sparks are flying. It doesn’t matter if they are currently married, were married or are about to be married, everyone does it. Your husband probably does it or did, as I’m sure your wife has. No big deal, they’re still going to make it home tonight and be with you. At the time Jessica and I were talking I was not working. It was the dead of summer we had been talking about a week and graduated from Facebook chats to text messages. We planned on meeting and hanging out on a Tuesday.

Tuesday rolled around and it was one of those disgusting hot-as-piss humid days we get here in New England. She was currently living in an apartment in Lynn, Massachusetts. The area of Lynn, Massachusetts was the area “down by 7-11”. If you know where that is, you know that you’re not seeing many Volvos parked around there if you catch my drift. If you do ever see a Volvo parked “down by 7-11” in Lynn, Massachusetts you should probably call the police as the car is probably stolen.

I arrive at Jessica’s house at about 1:00 PM and of course lock my car. Her apartment is in a two family house. These types of ugly complexes are everywhere in New England. They are truly gross looking buildings and hers was no slouch. Jessica greets me at the door and she is right, she lost a lot of weight. She is wearing a sleeveless t-shirt that is ripped way too low exposing her braless breasts. The back of the shirt has a series of holes ripped all the way from the bottom to the top, like gills. I imagine one would see this type of shirt at a 38 Special concert, biker bar or in a stripper’s closet. She also has a nice pair of jeans on.

Her apartment, which she shares with a 19-year old co-worker from the restaurant she works at, is a typical sad affair. Two mismatched couches, a reasonably sized HD flat screen. A shelf with all the Harry Potter books, all the Twilight books, a bunch of those books you see in bookstores that I assume goth chicks or chicks that shop in Hot Topic would read…and one Henry Miller book (binding intact). There’s a long wide hallway that leads to more rooms and a kitchen. The rug is filthy. There are no fans anywhere in the apartment. It is about 98 degrees here. We smoke some of my pot I brought over. She mentioned the night before we would “match, which basically means “you smoke yours and then we’ll smoke some of mine” She of course had none.

Jessica suggested we got for a drive and she would drive her car. This was good news as I was pretty much out of gas. We drove to her old town where she grew up and walked the beach. It was far too hot and she was still wearing that horrible shirt. We must have looked like some sort of fucked up biker/pimp and hooker duo walking the beach. She then mentioned her dad recently had the house done and we should drive by it. I was a little reluctant. Why would I care about your dad’s house? I hate houses. Fuck houses. We drive by and low and behold his car is there so she wants to stop in and visit him. She wants to go visit her dad while dressed in that shirt with a dude that looks like a biker. Great. I’m still pretty high from earlier and I look like the “creepy guy that’s gonna have sex with your daughter later cause she’s wearing that shirt and, well of course” I also grew up in the town we were in. I have family there who are pretty prominent around town so I decide to play that card with him. He is a pretty normal looking dad, looks like he just got in from playing golf. He offers me a beer but I take some lemonade. I mention my family and he of course knows them and I somehow make it known that Jessica and I are just friends with a lot of “yeah isn’t she crazy?” type comments. I somehow make it out of there unharmed.

I hadn’t really been smoking that much at the time, and with the addition of the weather I felt pretty gross. We went back to her place. Her roommate soon came home with a nice young lady and Jessica mentioned we were “looking for some weed” I had no idea we were. I had twenty bucks on me. It was now dinnertime so Jessica cooked us some “ziti with meat sauce” that was basically ground turkey sautéed with some jar tomato sauce. If I hadn’t been starving and high I probably would have judged it more than I did. I had two bowls.

If you’ve ever hung out with someone who works in a restaurant listening to him or her talk about working in a restaurant can be amusing and informative. You get inside tips, generally the same anecdotal stories from anyone in the business. If you’ve ever hung out with two people who work in the same restaurant it can be one of the most painful things you can endure. They’ll spend hours talking about what this one did and that one did. The remainder of my “date” was spent hanging around this apartment with Jessica, her roommate, his “date” while they talked about work and made various phone calls trying to find weed. I felt like I was seventeen again!  The whole scene was depressing and made me resent “fucked up” people more than I generally do. Sitting around a living room getting high and talking about different times when you were high and future times when you will get high is not for me I guess. I left Jessica’s place around midnight and have not seen her since.

Although this wasn’t necessarily an “online date” we did meet up again online. Jessica reminded me of the first date I wrote about in this blog, just a bit younger. A sad mess of a girl who still had the same tired “drive” in her that she had ten years previous, to get fucked up as many nights a week as possible. I can’t live this kind of lifestyle at this point, and I find it actually makes me a bit angry when people are like this. Life is awesome and should be experienced in full clarity in my opinion. Every time I’ve dated for long periods of time I have spent most of the time sober as I always tell women “I want to remember these moments with you” Why would I want anything less?

While I haven’t had any crazy dates to write about like my first two I wrote about, I do have a number of old ones like this I have looked back on and without embarrassing myself too much I guess I can talk about on here. I love meeting people, even if I have nothing in common with them and nothing is ever going to become of a friendship or relationship. I find the less I have in common with someone the more interesting the experience. I write just about every day so memories are always a bit easier to access, and well, I have made some pretty poor decisions when it comes to dating and women in general. The only thing I can do now is look back and laugh.

Pray For Me, Really?

There’s this place I hang at, this national coffee place. I guess I come in here almost every day. There are a couple of colleges nearby. One of them is a big Christian college; most of the people hanging out in here on a daily basis are students from there. At this point I just assume everyone in here is a Jesus person. Whatever the opposite of one of these people is, I guess I am the opposite. I don’t believe in anything I can’t see or that hasn’t been proven by science. Generally though, I just don’t even think about this stuff at all, and the fact that people study it seriously is beyond me. Perhaps someday something will click with me and I will get it. Regardless, there are thousands of books written about all of this stuff by people far more intelligent than I am so maybe there is something about it. It just doesn’t really interest me, especially as long as baseball and information about the Rolling Stones exists for me to study.

I come in here during the week and write and umm, “work”. I have gotten to know all the people who work here, some of them are also students from that college. Recently a couple of people have started talking to me and ask what I do while in here. Seems a little odd to ask someone what they are doing. What if I worked for the government? What if I was writing poems to my wife who died on September 11th? What if I was some kind of a fucking asshole who didn’t look like I liked being talked to? Actually, I kind of look like that, so it always surprises me when this does happen. I am a mean looking person. Usually when I am by myself I tend to put on some sort of “mean” face so I don’t get strangers talking to me. I especially do this when I am traveling alone. (“THINK YOU’RE GOING TO MOLEST ME AT THIS EMPTY REST AREA? WELL GUESS WHAT I HAVE TATTOOS AND A SCOWL ON. JUST TRY IT!”) But if I am a regular somewhere, I sometimes don’t want to make regular friends with anyone beyond a “hey” You run the risk of conversation starters that are uninteresting or some sort of running joke. I really hate when you have some sort of un-funny running joke with a casual friend or someone in a store you frequent. “HEY THERE HE IS: MR TRIP ON THE SIDEWALK COMING IN THAT ONE TIME! HOW YOU DOING BUDDY? WALK MUCH?! REMEMBER THAT DAY?!”)

A few weeks ago a young man came up to me. I always see him in here with a group of friends, male and female studying. A friendly looking kid, good looking, outgoing and generally someone you would want in the kind of situation where I don’t know…if you just got shot in the neck, this might be the kind of dude you want cradling you on the ground telling you everything will be okay. Also the type of kid you’d want helping to rake leaves in your grandmother’s yard. So I told him I “write…and am also looking for a job” The latter part of this is true to an extent, but I hardly do that while I am in here. Well, sometimes. I asked him what he does and he mentioned he is a student and is studying, etc. Exactly as I imagined. Nice enough guy, and now every time I see him he asks me how the job hunt is going and I ask him how school is going and that’s that. Sometimes he’ll talk about hanging with the guys on the weekend and I wonder what that entails. Presumably not dudes regaling each other with stories about all the pussy they ate the previous weekend around a big pile of coke.

I love heavy metal music. Selected stuff though…I think if I was to label myself as something it would be a metal/punk rock guy which obviously could mean hundreds of things. As much as I love metal and wear heavy metal shirts all the time I don’t listen to it as much as I used to. One thing newer bands have been doing is doing spinoffs of other logos or fonts and adapting their band’s name to them. I’ve now seen two bands use the Boston first album cover. Torche are one of my favorite bands, and although they get thrown into the metal realm I think of them as something beyond metal. I can’t explain it. Last year they were selling t-shirts that were a tribute to of the one of the bands responsible for inventing death metal, the Bay Area band Possessed.

I of course had to have one of these. Aside from loving both bands, the thought of having a shirt with an upside down cross on it seemed like an awesome idea at the time. I even wore this shirt when I drove across country a while back. I literally stopped before I got to the Texas border and put it on. My original plan to wear an Eyehategod shirt the entire time in Texas but it didn’t work out as I couldn’t find it, so this was the next best thing. (Now that I remember that stop, I stopped for three things: to change a windshield wiper because of the amount of bugs I encountered in that first 1500 miles or so of driving, to put that shirt on, and get high on medical marijuana I had taken back from California. In the fifteen or so minutes I was there I literally saw a tumbleweed, a guy in a cowboy hat and a cactus. I was for real in Texas, even if it was just that little piece at the top. The following picture is from that very stop

I got all my shit together and drove on)

I stopped by this coffee place the other night, not to stay though, just a quick stop. I was wearing this upside down cross shirt under my jacket, but you can still kind of tell what is going on. I saw my buddy in here, and waved to him as he was across the place. He got up and came over and started talking to me. Asking about my job hunt, I asked him about Halloween and then briefly wondered to myself if these students even celebrated Halloween, or is it not allowed? Apparently it is allowed. At the end of the conversation as he was walking away he told me he would pray for me for an upcoming job interview and then winked at me. During that whole conversation which was all of maybe seven minutes I kept trying to keep my jacket closed. In a way I can’t imagine anyone would care. I guess if I was a Satanist I wouldn’t be talking to this young man in the first place. I did feel slightly guilty though when he mentioned he would pray for me. I also felt uncomfortable because he winked at me. Winking is one of those things that should only be done under a few circumstances: If you are a creepy dude in 1982 trying to pick up a woman, if you are a grandfather and you just gave your grandson a new baseball mitt or if you are a chick.

As it turned out I got the job, and although I am pretty certain I got the job because my friend recommended me to the owner, I’ll thank my new Jesus friend the next time I see him for “the help” Hopefully I’ll be wearing something nicer.

Oh, here I am with the shirt on

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