Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Kindness Of Strangers

About a week ago I was sitting at the bus stop around the corner from my house, on the way to my weekly bocce league matchup, when I was drawn out of earbud-sanctioned isolation:

"Hey, hey man! That's a nice cowboy hat you got there."

"Oh yeah, thanks, dude."

"Look, I seen you around in that hat. What size shoe you wear?"

"Um, like a 13D or E."

"Listen, you want a pair of cowboy boots? I got some."

"Ah, hey, that's cool and all, but I ain't got any money. Thanks though."

"Nah, I don't want anything for 'em. You waiting for a bus? I'll be right back. If the bus comes while I'm gone, well, it comes. But if you're still here, you can try on the boots!"

And with that, he took off back into the apartment blocks. A bit unsure of what'd just transpired, I checked my phone to see how much longer the bus would be. Two minutes. It was anyone's guess as to which of them would reach me first. 

Of course, what city bus is ever exactly on time? Sure as shit, the stranger returned with not one, but two pairs of well-worn western boots. 

"Go ahead, man; see if they fit!" 

Fit they did, like a trusty pair of basketball shoes. These vintage Noconas were so worn that the leather was soft and pliable to the touch. The polar opposite of my weeks-old Tony Lamas, which are stiff as a board and far from the "comfortably broken-in" stage. 

"Geez, man...I don't know what to say. Thanks, I'm SBN1."

"Yeah, cool, I'm Dennis. I live right across the way. That's my car over there." He said, pointing out a jet black Monte Carlo almost exactly like the one from the movie, Training Day

"Damn, Dennis! That's a sweet ride."

"Yeah, that's my wife," he said beaming. "Well, looks like your bus is here. Take care."

"Thanks again, Dennis. I really appreciate it."

"Ain't nothin', my man. I did you a kindness, now you just do one for someone else. I'll see you around, and if I don't...I'll see you in heaven." 

I had no reply, but instead let it soak in for a minute. As I boarded the bus, I glanced back to see Dennis walking away. I couldn't help but notice that he wasn't wearing any shoes at all. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Summer of Our Discontent

It's been a day of days, the same old shit coloured with flourishes of what the fuck? Case in point, I pulled a muscle in my back whilst brushing my teeth this morning. Then, on the way to work, I got a case of the shits from some terrible chain restaurant fare from the night before. Funny thing is, it's the second time both of those things have happened to me this summer. I suppose the universe thought it'd be funny to hit me with them once more, but within half an hour of each other. 

Man, you really got me! Fucking asshole. 

Now I'm sitting here in the fading light of the evening catching up on pirated television shows. I should be working out or cleaning up this rat hole of an apartment, doing something productive with my time, but I can't. Comes as no surprise. Hell, I can't even get motivated to finish beating off these days. My dick makes a half-hearted effort then just gives up completely. I mope around, down because I can't pull any chicks but I swear, even if I did I feel as if this little fucker would bail out on me like that moody, emo kid we all had as a friend in high school; "I changed my mind, dudes. Go on without me, I'll catch up with you later."

I constantly remind myself that things could always be worse. That I'm lucky and that other people are going through complete hell. Of course, then I just think, "yeah, but I'm not those people...and I still have to deal with my bullshit." 

At which point I usually go out, get wasted, then come home and try to beat off, yelling at my floppy dick to straighten up.

Puns intended. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

It's All Just Money

I opened the mailbox this evening to find another statement from my health insurance company. I'm having a small procedure done to fix some ongoing numbness in my left arm. Anyhow, I suppose the presurgical tests and consultations are finally starting to come due; numbers with two and three zeroes behind them. I like to think of them as a not-so-pleasant reminder that I don't live in Norway. 

The sad thing is that I actually have health insurance, so things could be significantly worse. Still, I'm dreading when the bill for surgery comes due. So much for that raise I just got and the plans I'd made (hookers, top quality hookers...but that's a story for another time.)

To think, I've been pretty bummed out that this girl I'd been seeing didn't want to date me (well, not exclusively.) In hindsight it's for the best that we went our separate ways, because honestly, dating is fucking expensive. Factor those costs in with my monthly expenses, then toss in these new medical bills...shit, I'd be bankrupt or damn near to it. 

So, at the end of the day I'll remain lonely, but I'll be solvent. Though, if I'm gonna be alone, perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to fix this numb arm. I mean, I can do "The Stranger" without any sort of preparation. Blessings in disguise, I suppose...

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

There Will Always Be A Part Of You In Pain

A funny thing has happened to me in middle age, and that is the introduction of random aches and pains. Take for instance this past Monday morning, when I woke up with a sore left hip and knee that would last for much of the day. Now, you'll ask whether I might've done something the day before to cause said soreness. 


Unless sitting on a bar stool or walking to the bus stop now qualifies as high impact exercise, I was on cruise control for much of the day. Let's be honest; it's too damn hot and humid in the DC area to be going all out these days. 

Fortunately, the sore knee and hip vanished by nightfall. So, I went to bed in good spirits. How I woke up, on the other hand, was an entirely diffent story. While my hip and knee soreness had subsided, it'd since been replaced by an awful knotting in my upper back. I thought about seeing a masseuse yesterday, but got distracted by the USMNT match vs Belgium.  

Like so many times before, I simply decided to drink until I didn't hurt anymore...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Things Fall Apart

...or you smash them in your sleep. 

Woke up this morning to find that I'd destroyed a floor lamp that sits next to my bed. It wasn't an expensive lamp, and I managed to salvage its fluorescent bulb, but it still kinda sucked seeing as how, you know, the damn thing was working just fine. 

I don't know what's going on in my head that my mind feels the need to lash out in my sleep (which I don't get much of these days!) but it needs to calm the fuck down STAT. Hell, I'm trying to hold things together here, and flukey shit like this is the last thing I need.  

I swear to God, if I wake up one morning and my laptop is trashed, I will kick my own ass. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Don't Ever Let Them Win

Today found me better than yesterday. I mean, I was still pretty fucking miserable, but it wasn't as heavy. I fell asleep in a chair almost immediately after I got home from work. Fortunately, I managed to get myself out of the fog long enough to take care of some things around the house. 

Small things, small steps, I know. But it's something. Right about now, that's exactly what I need to keep the nothingness from creeping in and taking hold. 

In other news, for the third time in as many days, a woman tried to tell me what to do with my beard. Why do they suddenly care whether I get laid or not? They sure as hell didn't care before. If it's such a big deal, then I say stop talking and ante up. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Can't Start A Fire Without A Spark

Told you guys, it was it was only a matter of time before you'd find me back here. 

I'll tell you what though, the weight of being a sad bastard is really starting to drag me down. I suppose it's just like everything else; you just can't bounce back like you did when you were younger. Hell, when we started this shit, I could've wrapped myself in a heavy cloak of misery and quiet disappointments. I'd laugh, pound my chest, and tell you, "this is what I do!"

Not anymore. 

There are no defiant, youthful sneers. No laughing. No chest-pounding. Nowadays it's constant weariness, and a hollow feeling that seems to wash over everything. I mean, strip away all of the hopeful parts from Springsteen's, "Dancing In The Dark" and that's basically what I've got going on:

I get up in the evening, 
and I ain't got nothing to say.
I come home in the morning,
I go to bed feeling the same way...

I shit you not, but that one stanza encapsulates the whole of my existence these days. I'm completely done at work. Every single day is merely an exercise in "running out the clock." I suppose spending nearly a decade toiling in what was only meant to be a stop-gap measure has a way of doing that to a fella. 

I cringe whenever I get emails from my well-intentioned parents with information on classes I can take to "bolster my resumé", or networking events I can attend to "put feelers out for better opportunities." I swear to God, it's getting harder and harder not to reply with, "I'd sooner put a gun in my mouth than do anything that would find me further entrenched in this field." 

The way things are going, I suppose I'd better come up with a gentler way of putting that. 

Man, I ain't getting nowhere,
I'm just living in a dump like this. 
There's something happening somewhere,
Baby, I just know that there is...

If this weren't so goddamned spot-on, it might be hilarious. But the fact of the matter is that I'm typing this in the hot, miserable, darkness of my woefully-outdated and shockingly-cluttered condo; it wouldn't be a much of a leap to call this place, "a dump." And yes, I know for a fact that there is something happening somewhere, hell, it's the reason why I'm never home. 

On the plus side, the sun has finally gone down on this day. So now I can go jerk off in the shower and then call it a night. Who knows? Perhaps tomorrow I'll find the spark that gets this fire started.