Monday, December 14, 2009


“How do you feel on windy days?” The lady with the needles stood over me like an amateur tower. She picked a tiny knife from a fistful of plenty and tossed it into my shoulder skin, aiming for tightly bunched freckle patch.
“Depends on the wind speed, air temperature, and cloud scatter patterns,” I answered. This formless response, of course, was rewarded with a spike to the back. She proceeded to grill me with questions of a similar spice, and I continued to respond with answers of a complimentary flavor. I originally scheduled the visit to deal with a numb shoulder, the end harvest to a proudly planted field of means: two dislocations and a handful of throwdowns. She suggested acupuncture and I couldn’t say no to a lady with a wall-sized map of the circulatory system and a head full of sneaky questions.
Her final question for me was the only one that caught me in surprise. “What’s your co-pay?” After answering, the question repeated and reverberated through my braincage until I finally decided to tell Zhang it! about the entire event. I thought getting his opinion on the ancient medical practice would be as quick as getting Chinese takeout. Instead, since then, anytime one or more Carbamas gets detonated, Zhang it! will jump on my back and scream “WHAT’S YOUR CO-PAY?!” It can be quite shocking, but is not nearly as much as when she attached electricity to the needles.

As an act of solidarity to all that is homegrown and familial, I joined my family in Kentucky to watch my sister dominate her last collegiate game on the volleyball court. On the way home, chilled and confused by the beasts of West Virginia after a spectacle at a gas station, I smashed my fist into a window.

I was thinking of nothing but escape. While in the store buying cranberry juice after refueling, I felt the frustration of a passenger on a foreign-facing flight. I had to wait as a family of three, led fearlessly by their matriarch, placed orders for myriad lottery tickets and candy bars. It was clear that either no thoughts on ordering were formed prior to their approaching the counter or that all preemptive planning was erased by an electrosalivic pulse upon smelling chocolate. An exhaustive three minutes later, a dozen candy bars were stacked near the register and a small mountain of lottery tickets was clutched in their leader’s good hand.

The entire transaction was (insert word for the opposite for catalyzed) by the family’s ordering process: either the husband or daughter would ask the mom if what they desired was appropriate, and then the mom would nod and relay the wishes to the store clerk. The clerk could easily hear everything, but would stand at inaction until the mom confirmed the order. Then the father/daughter would reconsider, and take back the order. It was like an underwater scene shot with a radioactive camera directed by a blind waffle.

The scene was replaying in my mind as I rolled up to a toll station on a mountain highway. I had my two dollars in hand and my music player on pause. I was even mentally prepared to smile and say “Good day.” I stopped, turned my head, and noted the beckoning palm and the toothless wonder that wanted my toll. I wanted badly to give her my money and speed away. I wound up and smashed my knuckles straight into the driver’s side window. Her lips tried to capture her surprise, but failed, presumably because her teeth were on strike. My shocked hand slid down the window like an unfastened scoop of expensive window dressing. I elbowed the power window, and handed her the money with my bad hand. I miss the people there. I mean, I missed the people there; I only saw creatures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dreams that Pretend to Come True

I have been very busy: travelling home for the holidays, returning hastily bought items, and doing some authoring activities. I am hoping to come out with a book that binds sometime in 2010. If sales exceed 40 copies, I will celebrate by sacrificing my audacity to hope. You have my word. I came across an old essay from high school, in which I was asked to do causal analysis. The essay in no way met the requirements, is poorly written, and never edited. It is slightly entertaining, and I am not able to put up a new post, so this will buy me at least 24 hours, I'm hoping, to get a real post written.


Two beads of Poseidon's favorite soldiers air dive in a kitchen in Birmingham, Alabama. Hitting the stainless steel with the plooshing sounds we have all come to know and love, they regret little and take back nothing. Friends since the early afternoon, they had chatted about life goals while coalescing on the sink faucet. “Water polo at Hydro Jen's house tomorrow, four or so, bring a friend and a good attitude,” drips drop number one, “there are no rules save for a Ph between six and eight.”

“I’m a liquid asset,” quips the second droplet whilst maintaining a double flop move. The two globules of H2O slide and slip to the edge of the chasm and peer down for only an instant before keeling headlong into the drain.

Paul Simonson, son of Simon, wakes up from his post-lunch napping to the sound of dripping water. The sink has been leaking periodically for the last week, and he makes a mental note to check it as soon as he gets back from the bookstore. He decides that since he has woken up twenty minutes ahead of schedule, he will check his e-mail. Scanning through the latest junk in his Inbox, he spots a message offering him any and all men to his liking. Highlight. Delete. The next message sports an enticing content line promising a chance of maybe being in a drawing for an almost free Nascar lunch box. Clicking the link, (who wouldn't,) Paul is assaulted with images of all of his favorite drivers hauling around snazzy lunch boxes with their names on the sides. At the bottom of the page, he spots some text telling him to call immediately. Paul dials with shaking fingers, Thad Thyroid bailing adrenaline as fast as he can from his boat into Blood Stream. An automated voice at the other end of the line tells him that his prize is waiting for him at the downtown office. Paul tells the voice to let the prize know he is coming.

Half an hour later, lunch box in hand and happy smile on his face, Paul weaves a path down the sidewalk. He pauses to stare at his beautiful new object in the reflection of a store window. Squinting his eyes tightly, he can just make out the sexy figure of Earnhardt II plastered to the side. What a steal! He is so cool now; he just knows he will be able to get that raise at work. Caught up in elation, he fails to notice the black S-Class Mercedes pull up to the curb beside him. The driver's door opens, and all of the people on the other side of the street gasp and shrink as far back into the mid-afternoon shadows as allowable. A blue jay screeches and sails back up to her nest, covering her chicks' beady eyes. Paul is shaken out of his jubilation by the commotion, and turns toward the woman he has dreamed of his entire life, Dale Earnhardt Jr. A quirky southern drawl comes from behind obsidian sunglasses, “Look ya'll, a fan!”

Recovering quickly from his initial shock, Paul extends a shaking hand. In the myopic world of the sweaty-eyed, no race car driver has ever looked so good. Dale pulls a hanky and dabs the sweat from his biggest admirer's eyes.

“I can see how much of an impact I have had on your life. Here, take an autographed pencil,” states Dale, haughty hottie that his is.

“Would you be so kind?” inquires Paul. “You don't know how much of an honor this is to me. First I get your lunch box, now I meet you in person.”

Dale motions Paul closer, slips the pencil out of his pocket and into Paul's palm, and whispers into his ear, “I want to be your manager.” Paul murmurs in acceptance, and Dale adds that it would take too much money to involve other people, and suggests he and Paul do it themselves. Dale buys Paul the one thing every racer must have: a fire-proof jumpsuit.

From that point on they do everything together; they bathe with each other in the ocean, they make pottery, they hopscotch, they knit, and they make fun of those less fortunate. Paul frequents the amateur Nascar circuit and before long is invited to race in the “pros.” He and Dale discuss racing with each other over take-out sushi and each promises to let the other win. This inevitably causes trouble on the racetrack. Their friendship struggles, and before long, breaks apart, the final straw being when each looks accusatorily at the other one night after both fail to remember to bring home Bacon, their borderless collie.

To some extent, we live our lives in expectation that one day our wildest dreams will come true; that we will all be the Queen of England, or the King of the Court. Paul's dream was to be a Nascar driver, but in the end, what did he gain? Because Paul awoke twenty minutes earlier than was fated, his dream came true. At any given moment we are a lucky roll of the dice or drip of a droplet away from our dreams. Just remember that if you have a chance to fulfill yours, take it and don't share the glory with pussies like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sleep lightly, and don’t trust racers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Intuitive Swooping

It isn’t often that you hear quotes as mind-waffling as the following: “The oldest car my family has ever owned is a 2001.” When you do, it is crucial to dive deeper into the psyche of the speaker in order to find out what normally plastic parts of the brain have been replaced with inert Moon Ice.

I thought out all possible responses, discarded a few inappropriate for work, and said to Man U., “If I accept your statement as true, Man U., then you are either from the future or you rented cars prior to 2001. Can I trust you?”

Man U. was not phased. He phrased, “Always trust the Indian kid because he doesn’t have an agenda.”

“Man U., what does that mean?” I'm baffled, nearly buffaloed.

“When is whenever?” He slips a question inside an answer inside a calamitous lifestyle. Some nuts you can’t crack. I left the conversation, about the 1000th that we’ve had about him wanting me to buy a new car, as confused as a preschooler’s essay on what an essay is.

Fully convinced that my nut cracking abilities had “run away” like a feeble and diseased dog that could barely move the day before, I returned to my desk for a snack. Pouring the last of my shelled sunflower nuts into my hand, I heard from the next cubicle “You’re killin’ those nuts, Wes. Always munchin’ on something... usually nuts.”

I flashed back to 9th grade basketball: While the rest of the team was gathered around the coach going over the weekly gameplan, I was shooting three’s like a mathematical heroin addict. The ball caromed behind a stool. Sitting beside the ball, crouched patiently, waiting, an empty wrapper with doughnut crumbs inside. I kicked at it, and the crumbs sang to me. I picked up the package, careful not to shake the crumbs, and inspected the tiny pieces of yellowcake with chocolate frosting. It radiated benevolence. I lifted it higher, crinkling the wrapper, tilting the open end toward me. From the other side of the court, a coach, “What the hell, Wes? Always munchin’ on something…” I threw the offending crumbs down my throat, and then drowned a basket from downtown. Don’t nobody tell an addict when not to shoot.

I told my cube mate that if he ever needed snacks, he knew where to turn, or who's "drawers to inspect". Can I possibly interact with another human with making some awkward sexual reference? Nope.

I’ve been listening to Irish talk shows. I downloaded about two hours worth of Irish commentary to my mp3 player. My goal is to have the sexiest accent of any American born male by January 1st, 2010. I already had a pretty decent Irish accent in my repertoire, but I always aim to be the best. Feel free to request a phone call or a whispered “sweet nothing” if you want me to practice my skills on you. Everything in moderation… except modulation.

Whoa, is that Wes on January 1st, 2010?

6-pack and I went for a long walk last weekend, mostly to poke coals in Chapel Hill that needed poking. We call it swooping. We walk with rhythm and then purpose for an undefined period of time, and then we “swoop” across the street and demand nothing. If a rolling stone gathers no moss, a perfect swoop leaves no trees (or trace). Our goal is to enter and exit before we enter. While we were mid-swoop, we ran into a co-worker’s girlfriend on the street. She invited us out with her friends. I never meant to make her cry.

Toward the end of the night, while the bartender was waging war on the credit card machine (yelling “If I swipe too hard it will SNAP!!!”), I started to give her relationship advice. She talked about how her and our co-worker were “taking a break,” and I told her I was so good at taking breaks that it was on my unofficial resume. I started to give her relationship advice; it ended with tears. Somewhere in the middle, I think I convinced her of love’s existential potential. Even as she wiped away her tears, her friend pulled me aside and said my advice was sound, and exactly what she needed to hear. Potential career change?

Last night, in a pre-sleep moment of mental lucidity, I figured myself out. I have been trying to find a pattern of times in my life when I have performed at my best; impressed even myself (hard to do). I discovered this: I thrive on chaos. The fewer defined variables, the quicker I solve. This is counter-intuitive to my usual thinking, which is to shoot last and ask questions never. I will be putting this discovery to personal scientific and judicial review.

Here is gay Clark Kent:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Botchy Ball

It was an October for damaged control. One pulled hamstring sandwich with a side of stitched ribs proved, as always, that I use all parts of the pig. I even remembered to pull a ripened bottle of swine out of the shadows and pour myself a glass half flu. With my body careening toward cliff’s edge, I made a brief effort to pursue more casual activities.

During one lunch “chat” at work, where all of my workmates instant message about what to do for our midday break, I suggested that we play a bit o’ Bocce Ball. Most scattered like cockroaches at a room lighting clinic, but Wisconsin and 6-pack said they were in. Wisconsin just happened to have a Bocce Ball set in his car, so we made a date to play by the lake.

After carefully noting the way my red set of balls crept over the wet grass and slipped comfortably through the bushes, I was already down a few points to both of my adversaries. I passionately mounted a comeback, carefully braiding my tosses to bounce off the trunks and tresses of the surrounding trees. Finally, after almost an hour of play, I was nearly winning. I won a round, meaning I had control of what we had to aim at next, and I chose to point our game into the parking lot. I went first, rolling my ball across the asphalt and watching it disappear around a curve. We all tossed, both of my opponents commenting on how dumb it was to be playing in the parking lot. As we walked over to see whose ball was closest to the target, we saw that all of the balls were heading for the parking lot drain. We all dove for our balls, but two dropped into the hole and landed in a beam of light on top of an underground apartment complex for rats. The game was over and my reputation as the worst decision-maker of ’09 was solidified. It was around this time that I decided I was going to be a gay Superman for Halloween.

Technically, my plan was to be a gay Clark Kent. I wore pink pants, a suit coat, and a Vermont license plate around my neck. On the license plate was a note that read “My straight friends call me Clark.” The writing was small, but my acting was method, and on the first night of Halloween parties everyone assumed I was some kind of license plate salesman who liked men. I would slink around the room making comments like “Don’t look em-bare-assed ladies, I can see everyone’s underwear and you all look adorable!” Whenever I took a drink, I tried to stick my right pinky out, but as some of you may know I broke it a year ago and didn’t get it fixed, so I just stood there with my little finger struggling to straighten. My shaky pinky was in a state of ambiguous commitment, and that is never a good thing for a straight man trying to stroll a curvaceous tightrope.

Zhang it! made things interested by going median surfing on our way home. As we rolled up to a stop light, he escaped and we had to speed away because of the line of cars honking behind us. When we returned to pick him up, he had his arms wrapped around a lumberjack and his head wrapped around the clouds.

The second night, on Halloween, I upgraded my costume with a blue “scrub” undershirt, a kryptonite glow stick, and a pink Superman logo. The fact that I cut the logo out of cardboard and sewed a yellow napkin and pink ribbon onto it only helped to aid my aura. Zhang it! was a gargoyle for Halloween, Wisconsin was “Pumpkin,” and 6-pack was a Human Canvas. Wearing a white painter’s jumpsuit that said “Paint me” on it and armed with myriad colored sharpies, 6-pack and the rest of us felt well prepared to tackle the infamous Halloween party on Franklin street. We never made it.

Wisconsin/”Pumpkin” crawled down a dark gravel driveway and rooted into the rocky terrain. He was carried home by Zhang it! and Mr. Super (my flamboyant persona.)

After failing to locate any women to write on his canvas and buying 8 random guys shots of Jack Daniel’s with an expired credit card, 6-pack disappeared from the first bar we went into. He sprinted home and kicked down our front door even though there was a key under the mat and human canvases are not known for random acts of violence. This quickly became known as going “Hot damn on the door jamb” and is patent pending.

We bowed out of the weekend with a viewing of Paranormal Activity. Fun, charming, uplifting, bubbly, and deep deliciousness of the ventral pallidum were all used to describe some other movie in some other theater. The movie we saw: riveting and “Oh-my-gah did she just… Hold me. Hold me close”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Peerless Pirouetting

If life is a storeroom of mixed nuts, then I am a cache you want to crack. If life is theory, impartially attributable to a Bang of virgin particles, then I am in charge of the Concept Ion. Any way you slice it, I come out on top.

Enough with the custom puns and homespun cussing - let’s talk about sects. Last Friday night, I found myself part of a collection of “high society” individuals about to partake in the age-old tradition of getting the hell up out of your seat and making a scene at an upscale Japanese hibachi grill. The event was Chris Lethal’s birthday. 6-pack and I arrived late, having struggled to find the place; it being hidden in the basement of a sprawling mall in Raleigh. Within minutes of being seated, I had puddled my seat. The gentle giant seated next to me had already bear-hugged me, told me he was a fireman who owned two construction companies, and told the waiter to order saki-bombs for the whole restaurant. The waiter pulled the clueless card, Big Bear pulled a fat wad of cash from his wallet, and I pulled my hamstring.

Here’s how: after the manager of the restaurant finally convinced Big Bear not to finance a small liquor war, the entire staff came out of the kitchen with balloons and did a little clappy-dance around Chris Lethal. The “high society” crew started getting high off helium, and before long a bouncy little orange balloon flirted around my shoulders and floated into the kitchen, which was right behind me. I dashed heavy, like a bad chef, and slipped on the floor with my no-sole arch-crushing clown shoes. The floor was soaked, probably with the failed remnants of broken saki promises, and my feet shot in separate directions. I had pulled my hamstring playing flag football the Sunday before, and my shaky-maky-matrix moves on the kitchen floor weren’t helping the situation. I snagged the balloon an instant before it hit the floor, and limped by a waiter holding a knife to his chest, him scared of the crazy American in clown shoes.

We spent the rest of the night behind the velvet ropes of a VIP section of a club in downtown Raleigh. Once, Chris Lethal’s brother got kicked out for trying to help a drunken beast escape the cave, but he impressively snuck back in through a window in the kitchen. My only interaction with the group all night was when someone asked Big Bear what time his girlfriend got off. I immediately said “She gets off when he gets home.” Everyone who heard snapped their head in my direction, but only one person understood. He did a slow, lethargic drunken blink, and said “You’re funny. You’re really funny.” This was the same man who had to be escorted out by Chris’ brother.

6-pack and I shared a bed that night at the Lethal household. Sometime during the night, we lost our comforter to Chris’ girlfriend, Gabby, who stole it during a sleep stroll.

A director visited my team at work this week from San Jose, and since I don’t really have a role on the team yet, I watched as everyone else impressed him with presentations. That morning, I had decided to wear a nice but stuffy workshirt, and the temperature was twenty degrees warmer than I predicted by 11 AM. When I got up from taking calls, I realized that the back of my shirt was soaked. I whistled out to my Dodge Caravan, the baby-making caravan, and changed my shirt. Unbeknownst to me, as I was standing in the parking lot shirtless and picking from the fine selection of shirts I keep in my trunk, the director rolled up and walked toward our building. When we finally met with him, after lunch, I was greeted by him as “the guy I saw changing in the parking lot.” If that isn’t hot, or sweaty, I don’t know what is. Sometimes I bite my right wrist when I’m nervous. During the presentations, I’m pretty sure he saw me biting my wrist. As soon as the last slide was finished, I sprinted down the hall and left work. Oh, how I continue to impress the higher-ups.

A lady called in to work and told me her computer had a virus; possibly, a terrorist virus. This was exciting news to me and I thought I might get some exposure to homeland security, possibly land a side job in terrorist virus research. I asked the lady what kind of terrorist sent her the file. She said “I got the file from a co-worker from India. They told me it was a video clip of some Disney movie. It says ‘Wall-E’ on it, but I’m sure it is a terrorist file.” I started to get very animated. It was genius – a massive computer virus crouched inside the shadow of pre-teen storytelling. She finally divulged that the main reason she was afraid of the video was that it was a .wmd file. Curious, I had her send it to me. Turned out to be a video clip of Wall-E, in .wmv (windows media video) format. I thoroughly enjoyed the clip. Or, rather, I emptied the clip, and nothing was killed but a few minutes of my time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Boom. You're Done.

Faced with the chilly temperament of the big city after a heated workweek, I spent my Friday night playing volleyball with a group of 80’s ladies and embattled weakened warriors. I joined the Recreational Sand Volleyball league on, and they invited me out for a Friday sandstorm. After impressing 100% of the people there with my skills in the first few minutes, I spent the next two hours demonstrating to them that their faith in me was misplaced. My court flailing and failing dusted their eyes with sandy irritants, and my clumsiness left one lady with a bruised everything after I pinned her and her boyfriend under me in a midcourt display of stinky instincts.

I was able to repurchase some rapport, if not some credibility, when I opined that “the net just pinched my nipples.” Someone asked if I meant that my chest had hit the tape; if my nipples had brushed against the net. I replied with “Whatever you want to call it. Brushed, pinched, tweaked… The net just action-verbed my nipples.” By personifying the net and making it out to be a spindly beast with careless hands and a deviant sex drive, I was able to take the focus of my inadequacies. I like to think that my court name is IED (Improvised Explosive Device), but I know a few people would be delighted to swap “device” with “douche bag.”

Like a sandy little frog, or camel toad, I hopped to Wisconsin’s apartment to shower before heading to downtown Raleigh to meet Zhang it! and Joe (the Taxidermist). Zhang it!, who had sworn off Carbamas the weekend before, was doing a Carbama when I walked in. Joe had taken a cab to Raleigh (30 miles and $85) and was put in handcuffs twice in two different taxis. Joe’s pitbull was drinking vodka, water, and lemon slices.

We got dropped off and made a pretty straight line toward a bar called the Ugly Monkey. At the door, they tried to charge us $1 to become members, but I said I didn’t have any money, and Zhang it! told the bouncer that I was a member and that he was my guest for the evening. So we ended up inside, and I ended up with a membership and a sharpie I stole from the bouncer. I would call him incompetent, but it was the same guy that wouldn’t let me in with my work badge back when I forgot my license. Once inside, I began to mark Zhang it! up and down with marker, telling him that the cap was on. I marked every poison ivy spot that I could find, which added up to a lot, which resulted in a Zhang it! with a zillion tiny black X’s. We began to spread the rumor that he had Sherpes, a sharper, more permanent, STD.

Sitting on the sidewalk at the end of the night, listening to Zhang it! talk to someone irrelevant on the phone, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a near shoot out. Joe had managed to press roughly on a passing taxi driver’s buttons, apparently by jostling his crotch in the taxi’s direction. The driver started screaming at Joe, Joe was saying something New Yorkish (actually, it was “Boom, you’re done” over and over), and Zhang it! was giggling like a Hello Kitten stuck in a blending machine.

On the walk back, we came across a group of empty husks rustling with their tops off. About eight guys were gathered, gesticulating and threatening to hand out beatings to each other. I snatched a nice shirt off the ground, and we kept walking.

When we got back to Joe’s simple complex, Joe grabbed a mini-gargoyle from in front of a neighbor’s place and put it down next to a door a bit further down the hallway. Zhang it! was trailing a bit behind, probably still kicking it like a cicada into his cell, when he noticed Joe setting down the ‘goyle. I can only assume Zhang it! thought it was Styrofoam, because at that instant he sprinted unabashedly toward the squatting gremlin, and booted it as hard as he could. It moved about two inches, and Zhang it! went sprawling and howling first into a wall, then to the dusty expanse of unkempt flooring. Then, like a outcropped cherry hiding in a forgotten drawer, he rolled into a ball and waited for a night light or a dark spark. I typed out the following text and forwarded it to ten people: “Zhang just kicked a gargoyle.” I woke up trapped under a flood of concerned responses. Zhang woke up to Joe’s pitbull peeing on his bloody sock.

Last week Chris Lethal, my housemate, asked if he could use my red lunchbox. I said “sure” in the kind of way that most people say “no.” After an awkward moment, he told me that the lunchbox was his. It was suddenly clear to me why he had taken it from my room several times and set it on the kitchen counter. I had thought, “Hmm, curious,” and chalked it up to excessively polite behavior. As it turns out, he was taking it back for himself, but I was packing it and stealing it before he could get to it in the mornings. When my Grandma was alive she used to tell me that the early bird gets the worm, which was an excuse for us to go to BINGO before dinner and stay until after my bedtime. Back then, I had ink all over my hands from marking her B-19’s, and now I have ink stains from a night out spreading Sherpes. Early birds may get the multi-hearted dirt snakes, but the lovable, clueless sasshole gets the zippered red lunchbox.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Painting the Town Red

I was getting ready to be a threat; I was getting ready to consider my next plan of attack. While visiting Clemson, SC for my sister’s volleyball tournament, I took a break from life, allowing my dad to decision make like a cattle prod. The man creates his own reality, pushing into the fabric of space/time and slipping through the rips into a dimension where he is King and all that matters is family matters. He got us into a private club where he embarrassed me at pool and darts in front of the members. We slept in a van in a field full of cars in a town full of unencumbered disillusionists. I felt… feelings. You know.

Speaking of feelings, I speak of them to no one. But you may have noticed a few weeks of slippage in my blogging life, and this was due in no small part to my inability to write when I have something on my mind that I cannot/will not talk about. It just so happens that the date of my birthday closely coincides with the date of my first truly exceptional and acceptable relationship. That is all I will type on the subject.

My dad drove the two of us back to Chapel Hill from Clemson, and the partay started. As we were watching college football and sipping starter drinks, my dad looked around and noticed a severe shortage of birthday treats. Before he left for the store, he asked if anybody needed anything; Zhang it! ordered Everything bagels. An hour later, my dad walked through the door with a gallon of ice cream, a four-part cake, and about 10 bags of bagels. Either Zhang it! was speaking Engrish or my dad had never heard of everything bagels. I’m going to bet on the latter; he couldn’t decide what an Everything bagel was, so he bought everything.

Needless to say, in less than half an hour, we were required to inhale three shots of tequila, one FULL bowl of ice cream, and a hefty slice of cake. We stumbled down the street trying not to paint the bushes with vanilla ice cream and medium rare cake.

I spent the walk downtown convincing Man U. that it was OK for him to drink in front of an elder. As soon as he had stepped in the door, he pulled me into a corner and said that I should have told him my dad was going to be there. I asked if that would have changed his coming, he said no, but that he would have gone through a mental preparation session. He ended up sleeping on our kitchen table.

At Top of the Hill, I spent the first half hour yelling my computer password into the phone at my dad. “THAT’S D like DHARMA INITIATIVE!” I disappeared with Chris Lethal to a different bar, where he was going to try to find some Chapel Hill people to introduce me to. When Laura called (Candlewick’s Laura) and asked me where I was, she says I said “iiiii am not the person to be asking… if you want accurate informationnnnnnn.” I snuck out of the bar in an attempt to be the first one to get back to my house, but after hopping three fences, I was actually the last to return. I helped guide a couple of people through a shortcut to my neighborhood, and as I was verbally narrating my voyage, rolled down a hill, and painted the bushes red with embarrassment and pain.

The next morning we played football and Zhang it! painted the bushes yellow with bananas and water (note a severe lack of bagel remains.)

My dad had to leave and I started making my own decisions again. Not as exciting as it sounds…

I am writing a book (or, the book is writing me). I am going to a concert in Chapel Hill tomorrow for my favorite musician:

Andrew Bird

I am interested in life and it is mildy attracted to me. We’ll see what happens.

A little love for my current city

Next time: Zhang it! breaks his foot kicking a gargoyle. And a new friend, Joe, earns the nickname The Taxidermist.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lawn Darts and Land Rants

For my visit to Ann Arbor, I drew up an entire maize and blueprint of plans. Like a childless aviary activist, I wanted to take a generation beneath my wing and leave my imprint, all but guaranteeing their ejection from family circles and membership into my exclusive club. All my plans were vacuumed into an alternate reality, where vacuum bags are full of unmet potential, when we instead ended up “floating” down a pile of rocks - rocks with only the faintest trace of water flowing over them. These few droplets of moisture were enough, however, to convince someone adept at being incompetent to label the bastardized gash in the earth a “river.”

Ike (previously referred to as Kent) convinced us that during Spring term he took a lazy float down the Huron River, and that the float was relaxing and life-altering. With this simple story he convinced nine others to join him, myself included. After ten minutes of seeking bright lights at the end of dark tunnels, I had no skin on my hands, and Ben had been nearly impaled by an underwater logknife. Forty minutes later, no less relaxed, we emerged from the sludge and ordered an ambulance home. Forty-two minutes later, whether from the myriad moss injections or the garish stress and cold our bodies were subjected to, we all had The Sickness.

While in the Acceptance stage of recovery, I had a brilliant plan to get all of my sicknesses out of the way at once, so I posted the following on Craigslist:

Wanted: Swine Flu - Let's get this out of the way (for $3)

I figure that everyone is going to have to deal with this eventually. As I consider myself a go-getter, a Casanova of initiative, I would like to be an "early adopter" of the latest virus that Piglet technology has to offer. Pigs have had such a misunderstood image since Animal Farm, and I feel like things are finally turning around for them. I tote an "I support Porcine" reusable grocery bag, and this has garnered me the support of many in the community. If you even have to ask "what community?" then I'm not interested in further communication with you.

Now the logistics: I have been sleeping poorly and not drinking sufficient fluids for weeks in an attempt to lower the effectiveness of my immuno defenses, but to no avail. I am seeking someone who definitely has H1N1, but I don't really care if you have been “officially” diagnosed. I have always been told that the Proof is in the Pudding, so to start things off with forensick foreplay, I would like you to eat half a bowl of pudding. I will then take your spoon and finish the bowl. We don't need to kiss, probably shouldn't actually, so I will settle for a hug-and-sneeze combo. To finish, I will ask you to take a few drinks out of my water bottle. I should be able to take it from there.

Serious responses will receive serious consideration. Feel free to attach photos depicting various levels of your physical disarray.


Location: Chapel Hill

The post was deleted after twenty minutes. This highlights all that is right with America: you have a higher chance of contracting an unwanted STD from a 17-year-old online than a consensually downloaded illness. I was simply practicing my viral marketing skills.

To make up for my failed attempt at drinking piggy “cough syrup,” and for the group’s mishap with the Huron River, we bought pink floaties at a gas station and went to a lake deep in the Washtenaw County woods.

Conversation (while performing a real float):

Snack Snake: “Pyramid schemes are the lawn darts of our generation.”

Myself: “Who gave you the right to speak for our generation?”

Snack Snake: “I am the generation. I am the voice of our generation.”

Myself: “I don’t want you as my spokesperson. I’d rather have this floatie speak for me.”

Ike: “If Snack Snake is our voice, if he is right, then we are all drowned.”

Myself: “But if we drown the Snack Snake, we’re alright.”

At this point the Snack Snake thrashed around in such fear and was performing such advanced avoidance maneuvers that he almost drowned himself. Whether it is driving snakes at him through waist-high weeds, or driving fear into him in waist-high water, there is no better entertainment than a cornered Snack Snake.

When I returned home to the Triangle – wearing my Burmuda shorts and a plaid skirt as a shirt – my dad was waiting for me. He was here for my birthday, or at least this was his cover story. Really, he was here to help my murder the Intrepid. I went to work as normal, barely suppressing a smile, knowing what my dad and I were planning. The plan was flawless; not only were going to get away with murder, the endeavor was to act as a catalyst for father-son bonding.

Our molecular bond began its rift when a third element entered the equation: such is the physics of mechanics. In order to officially declare the car dead, we needed to get it checked out by a grease monkey. Grease monkeys cost money. I wanted to hire a patsy… some pansy who would look the other way while I pulled out the vehicle’s Roveries, rendering it sterile. Instead, my dad wanted to take it to a licensed mechanic who was actually going to look under the hood. I said no. My dad said nothing. I should have looked him in the eyes. People say when you are lying, your eyes point a certain way. I’ve never understood this; when I lie, it is always on my back. My eyes always point at the ceiling. So does my nose, mouth, and sense of entitlement.

So while I was at work, smirking like a bondsman, my dad was out trading fiat for false securities; he was bankrupting our mutual fun and breaking my heart. After all the hard work I put in to poisoning the car – neglecting its maintenance, never locking it, telling it it was adopted – my dad was going to fix it so I could keep it. He called me in the early afternoon and said, “Pick me up at the shop. I’m just down the road.” I got in his car, a minivan, and drove to him, almost in tears. I had never wanted to see the Intrepid again.

When I pulled into the address he had given me, I was surprised at the amount of cars the mechanic had endeavored to work on. An entire field full of shifty excuses. Impressive. I pulled up to my dad, noticing as I put the van in park that he was holding a knife. I left the van on and motioned that he get in without ever meeting his gaze. I wanted him to feel my blazing scorn. I wanted his conscience to burn like discount popcorn.

Still standing, holding out the knife, he assumed nothing and thusly pushed all my buttons. I flung open the door, telling him he could drive. He turned the blade inward, presenting me the handle, and said “Do the honors.” It suddenly all made sense. The field of broken dreams. The knife. The forklift operator dragging cars into a huge pile and in turn dragging an entire pack of cigarettes into her. I was at a junkyard. I made my bed, and now I was to lie in it. I couldn’t bring myself to stab the beast; I wouldn’t do that to an old friend. I had no problem, however, leaving that same old friend at the mercy of the forklift driver, and treating the only father this kid’s got to a pork chop and pasta dinner.

Next time: my dad forces ice cream down everyone’s throat between tequila shots, and I try to play guide dog, but instead end up spraining my sarcasm on a misplaced and dangling modifier.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Deep Posits in Diver City

Reclyning, a recycled orphan stuck in “washed up” cycle, giving double the blood at triple the pleasure. Plasma, endemic to my veinity, drains into a machine from my left arm, while with my right I scroll through my phone looking at Oddly Enough, a news feed with strange stories from around the world. I’m still giggling (see My Experience Last Time), because giving blood puts me in a drugged state. I see a great story, it tickles me, so I call out to Zhang it!, “They discovered a new species of dinosaur in Croatia!” He responds, wondering if they called it a Zhangitasaurus. “Of course not,” I replied, with just the right tone of irk, “it’s a CarbamaRaptor!” Still giddy, but now all the nurses know. They eye me with a suspicion usually reserved for vegetarians selling lien pork; it’s like borrowing against the piggy bank…

I call Zhang it! the CarbamaRaptor because he is absolutely addicted to Irish Car Bombs, a type of alcoholic beverage. He drinks little else, even uses it with cereal. I am four hours from getting on a plane and ice is tiptoeing through my body; my blood is swirling and being dissected of red cells in a procedure known as Double Platelet donation. My head is still spinning and I am recovering from Decompression Sickness. It has been a rough day in Diver City:

I was on call, charting the chat lines with glossy confidence. Suddenly, my entire team is up and marching, shrinking into the distance. Over a shadowy shoulder, as an afterthought, I hear “Wes, meeting in building 5, ten minutes.” What what what what what can a man do, when on a call he can’t drop with a talker he can’t stop? I feel like a bucket with no mop, sliding up a mountain with no top. I become brusque with the custom here - not hearing the customer - and I am off the phone in just under ten minutes. I race to the right place, forgetting my laptop, rapturing their meeting in like a postscript apocalypse. Not only is there no seat for me, but the man who hired me, the man who decided to bring a Finance major to an IT company, is sitting in the corner with his daughter. Apparently it’s bring-your-precious to work day, and all I’m holding is the doorknob.

As I pull in a pilfered chair from a nearby cubicle, I notice that the man leading the meeting isn’t my manager; it’s his boss. The meeting picked up steam while I lost credibility, and soon the leader stood up, snapped shut his laptop, and was off. I started to stand up, but no one else moved. It was time for the Diver City townhall. Dr. Powerline, my “hiring manager,” takes over as the diving instructor. Keep in mind that at this point, I still have no idea what the meeting is about, and I am confused as to whether we are actually adjourned. Dr. P is quick to shock, “Wes, since you were late, why don’t you give us your definition of Inclusion and Diversity?”

No. I can’t do this. I shun situations like this. There is a reason that I always stand with my back to the wall; I can’t be stabbed in the back and I can’t be snuck up on. I wasn’t sure which this was, but I knew it was one of the two. My mind, my greatest curse, whispers to me, Tell him you’ve always thought Diversity is the city where divers are born. I will absolutely not do that. I am not dumb, neither dim nor uneducated, but whatever I am has shrunk into a conch shell and conked out for the afternoon. Say it. Say Diver City is a great place to be a kid. Diver City is where Greg Lugayness was born. Instead, I say the following, verbatim: “I think inclusion is being part of a team. Like, knowing you are on a team and that everyone has your back. Or, you have their back. Knowing you can count on someone else… And diversity – well, for example, I went to school at Michigan. We have 13% Chinese people.” I should have said Diver City.

Dr. Powerline visibly regretted hiring me, then went on to give an awesome presentation about diversity at our company and how to foster ideas from dissimilar cultures and backgrounds to make a difference in the marketplace. I went on to fish a knife out of my pocket, and continually jammed it into the nearest socket in an attempt to destroy what my parents should have never created, me.

So, it was with great relief that I reclined on an uncomfortable cot with a needle hovering over my left side like a shard of some tasty spacechip. I watched it slip into something more comfortable - my arm -and laughed at the nurse. A concerned look only made me laugh harder, and she asked if I was on laughing gas. “I’m a diver,” I said. She asked no more questions.

Zhang it! had to leave early, because they missed his vein, hitting ivory. This caused quite the commotion; no one likes an angry CarbamaRaptor. The nurses escorted him out with oatmeal raisin reasons. Wisconsin and I sat the table, content in our colossal loss of blood, eating Oreos and sipping apple juice. We discussed death and cars, and the death of cars. I had only just taken my car into the shop, the judgment being that it had weak bones; the frame was about to snap. Afterward, I took a shot of milk to commemorate its loss, and to care for my own brittleness. The repairman asked what I was going to do with the beast. It took me less that a second to reply, “I think I am going to take it out to the woods and shoot it.” He thought this quite intriguing – the personification (and slaughter) of transportation – and walked back into his shop, howling about it with his mateys.

Wisconsin and I then jetted to the airport, walked the plank to our departure, and were off to visit Michigan: home to millions of people and the birthplace of Gracelessness. But I heard she had a French father and a British mother; you can’t help where someone is born.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'll take a B.J. (Brake Job)

I realize the last post was terrifying, and had an abrupt ending, but I wanted you to know what it feels like to be dragged into a dark corner with the bright lights at the end of the tunnel flashing before your eyes. Like red-eyed rats holding pitchforks over the gravel graveyards we call alleyways, I hold dearly the cubic space around my fleshy frame. I advise you to practice positioning yourself as far away from Cougars as the great taxidermist in the sky will allow you. We are so much stuffing; hackers raised to raise our own hackles.

In lighter news, my friend Summertime Susan killed a kitten. It is buried in the bushes behind an apartment complex in Raleigh. The kitty’s world collapsed in the following manner: One (1) freshman, origin of species uncertain, began to talk about how he loved and lived in Chapel Hill. I began to think about formulating a response, when I realized that he was as young as my brother, and I should not be socializing regularly with people who share a birth year with my brother. I stepped outside, and took one (1) brisk walk about the building to clear my head. On said walk, I discovered the remnants of an ancient pine’s seed; a cone of coprolitic proportions. I marched it back inside with me, and began to assault Zhang it! on the shoulder while he played Beer Pong. It is a well known fact that I refuse to take drinking games seriously, so my conic probings went largely ignored.

Summertime Serious, however, jokingly threatened to crash the pinecone’s adventures by claiming she was going to take the seed outside and toss it into the bushes. Finally, after several attempts, she was able to wrest the cone from my grasp and bound through the door and into the night. I followed, but too late. I arrived at the hedge just in time to hear a loiterer say “What did you just throw into the bush?” Before Summertime could open her guilty mouth, I informed the crowd that my former friend had just blasted the delicate body of one (1) baby kitten into a dark lake of leaves. The inky-skinned and small-brained group was nearly moved, in unison, to tears. Summertime went back inside, scared of an uprising. I knelt over the bush, prying at it with my digits and holding back tears. I asked the crowd to leave, using something like “Get out of here, loitering is just littering with your bodies.” They obliged, not because my comment made sense but because you aren’t allowed to take pleasure when a man can’t find his pussy.

Fudge left for South Korea, and to celebrate I set up a “Fudge and Chicken” event at a local park. Our volleyball team (3-2 on the season) held an extended match, and by the time we finished handing the other team brochures for PTSD, the Fudge had melted and the chicken was cold. In recompense, we went to Chili’s, where over a basket of unlimited chips, I found out what Man U. really thought of me. During a discussion over how big my ears are, Man U. chipped in with the following compliment, “I’ve never actually noticed his big ears… How can you, with THAT CHIN!” When this wasn’t taken as an insult by me - I’ve got a quick and quirky chin – Man U. attacked the fact that I refuse to get a new car. I told him that I would rather pay child support than make a car payment, because at least my kids would appreciate in value, even while deflating my bank account. Seeing as our arguments were caste in different lighting, we agreed to disengage. Fudge was happy to have lobes to poke fun at, and I think her last night in America was a good one.

I had dinner with Rachel Peachpit, her boyfriend, and several of his Duke Theology allies. God blessed them with a purpose, the ocean with a porpoise (apropos), and me with an undoubtedly idealistic view of life as a limited opportunity to make discontented people feel otherwise. As I was on my way home from the lovely meal, I slid up squeaky style at a red light behind a car that I’d assumed was going to go though and violate law but not protocol. When the car’s inhabitant heard my Intrepid’s shrill pleas(e) to get new brake pads, the door swung open and a face assaulted my vision with its appalling grace. A human growl, a metal moan, as the car’s frame shifted; “Did you hit me?” both asked, in different languages. I answered in the negatory. The question was repeated, I remained upright and seated, and my answer didn’t change. The light changed outfits, and directives. The car’s frame cried again, the door was sucked inward as if some inner obsidian gargoyle had suddenly sprung to life. The door then flew fully open, the bowling ball rolled out into the passing lane, and my mind climbed out of the gutter and into a bubble, waiting for something or someone to burst.

Thundering like my worst atmos-fear of liquid nitrogen, she performed one of the well-known but naught respected “Let me pull up my pants before I bend over” move. She inspected her bumper, and my teasing grin, then flipped me off and melded into her driver’s seat. The beast rode away with its burden.

Later in the weekend, I went running with Zhang it!, and he showed me how badly it hurts to run a 6.5 minute mile. Chris Candlewick dealt me a quadriceps contusion during basketball, and I was so hobbled that over the next two days in the office, I fell over twice while standing and working on my model poses. I had an older co-worker come up to me in the break room and say, “Saw you get up from your chair and walk away. You looked like I do when it’s about to rain.” He has a metal hip and a grin that rivals Creed’s.

A couple great compliments were paid me during calls over the last few weeks. First, a man named J.J. said he would name his first boy after me, after I helped him recover an important presentation that he had deleted from his computer. A few calls later, I was presented with a situation in which a lady was not showing up anywhere in the company’s system. She wasn’t able to do anything productive and I decided to help, even though I didn’t have the resources or permission to help her. I contacted a friend on the backend (did you just touch my ass?), and he was able to get some dirty laundry ironed out. The next day, her manager called me during an online meeting she was holding, and told the whole meeting that I had done a great job and deserved their praise. Half the people thanked me by name - though I had never met them and they all lived in California - and the manager gave them all my e-mail address and told them to call me with their issues. She said that if she came out to North Carolina on any business trips, she would take me out to lunch. That is the third person since I’ve started that has propositioned to buy me a meal over the phone.

Next time: blood drips from the CarbamaRaptor, a car dies in the forest and no one hears a sound, and I buy a Michigan football ticket with a dirty quarter…

P.S.: this post will be published to, in the Humor section, so by referencing it here, I might break the internet. It's like looking into a maze of mirrors, or Google searching "Google search."

Friday, August 28, 2009

All the Pretty Cougars

Subchapter: No Couture for Young Men
by: Cormac Mccarthy

A staunch heat rises off the blacktop as a group of adults, young by current standards, cross a busy street 182 miles inland from the Eastern Seaboard. A man, gauche by current standards, scans the area for sign of human trafficking but all he can see are metal cars and lazy stars and lemmings sprinting toward an inevitable decease. The August night is devoid of possibility, full of inevitability, fated to unfold like rewound origami. Branches relax over the cracks in the sidewalk and the aforementioned group ducks the foliage, quacking to each other the destination, as if the destination was chosen instead of prescribed. The decision tree: an eco-systemic dichotomy - the Porch or the Bassment.

The Porch features all that is required of it by law and land: flashing lights, a short line, air conditioning, a liquor license. The Bassment features a guarded door a thumping dance floor and is a covered picnic basket of mystery, to forever be filed away as a question mark because the ducks choose the Porch. Forget millionaires, forget billionaires, the Porch is a playground for Legionnaires, in two respects: those infected with the “ubiquitous aquatic bacteria” and those that are members of the American Legion. At the door, the bouncers bothered not with checking ID’s as the average age of the club’s proprietors syncs perfectly with the average temperature of coastal water near Los Angeles in December.

Before the group entered, patrons (not Patrón) had been scattered about the room, clumping together in pathetic cliques. The scene was full of paper cliché; so much so that it made an anorexic model wanting to try a new flavor of abusive French boyfriend look ingenious and cutting edge. Cutting-edge like the blade that parses cocaine and the razor that teases the wrist, like an LCD picture of Ockham and Maugham holding hands and writing bikes as Somersets.

Looking past the false teeth and the vacuous moans of the gathered cattle the man with the broken finger and the borrowed shirt steps to the twilit dance pasture. A few snapping fingers, and the beat is found, the pulse is cornered. A few cattle rattle their bells and turn toward the newcomer. The few that can read notice that his shirt is scribed with the following: “Kiss my Blarney Stone.” He falls back into the dark arms of his comrades, a cockroach falling from a sudden and unwelcome intruder. A shade slips forward, dancing between pink green and yellow ribbons of light, seeking out the fresh-faced wonder whose cheeks are beginning to take on ribbons of a color called “get me the hell out of here.”

The shade is strong, perhaps made so by years of rigorous pursuit of invitations never conceived, let alone received. The young man is pulled back into a DISCOrdant rainbow only to discover a severe lack of Trix up his sleeve; similarly, he wonders where all the pots o’ gold have sifted off to.

Exit Cormac: at this point, I have a 60-year-old dragon slurring fire down my neck and pulling me back toward its den. I made like a blade and planted roots as soon as I realized what was happening. It turned back toward me, failing in several attempts at articulation, and then pointed at one of her co-conspirators – a toad like creature decorated with a thoughtful pink bow. I gathered that this was the treasure which awaited my arrival. I backed up a step before it was on me, grabbing the Blarney Stone portion of my chest. I could hear gears forming words: out of respect for all that is elder, I paused to listen. I heard 5 key phrases/words that made my life want to end:

  1. Bachelorette
  2. Menopause
  3. Suck face
  4. I’ll be the best kisser you’ll ever meet
  5. You look like you’re my daughter’s age

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August Snowballs

We in the first-world are blessed with a world full of outlets; places where we can sit down, plug-in, and recharge our batteries. With so many outlets and opportunities to refresh it seems amazing that we can hold secrets so well. We have death bed secrets, sexy secrets, dawn and dusk secrets, corporate secrets, and seasonal secrets; egging someone is falls into all those categories save dawn and corporate.

On a slippery night in early August, with summer twisting its heating coils like an author his friction, we walked. Like brave handmaidens, we lock and unlocked our leg joints in an effort to complete the task at foot. Laughter floats to us through a thin layer of cheap foliage; three men are drinking cards and playing malt liquor at a rusty tin table. In the distance, a cat barks. We three, one of us a King, reach the main causeway and turn right; one of us executes a more precise turn, for he is wearing Velcro.

Minutes pass, cars float by, then minutes come back for seconds and for an instant, time stands still. Ahead, a fork in the road. I pick it up, examine it, stick it in my drawers, and then we knife to the left. We search for the mythical Qdoba, short on stature but thick in all the right places. Jake, ever the Snack Snake, insists we find Qdoba. The King, like a gentleman, walks on the inside, protecting the children from a world of exhaustion and Tom Cruise control.

Suddenly, it’s Christmas. A snowball fight has commenced, and we have been chosen as worthless opponents. The first snowball strikes the top of my dome, glances off my glasses, and misses Jake by mere inches. I pause, admiring the determination it must have taken to pack a snowball from the one inch of snow North Carolina receives per year, place it in the freezer, save it for early August, and choose a King as a target for the incubated and crystallized ice-comet. One is required to bow at such craftsmanship, so I did examining the aftermath. By the time I reached up and discovered the snowball had peed on my head, the car had sped around the corner. Through some alchemic transformation, the snowball turned egg, the King became Konfused, and the moment turned golden. Or, at least, yellow.

Inside Qdoba, like Jonas preening himself in the lung of the whale, I wiped the egg from my face and hair. Looking into the mirror, I smiled, remembering that some people crack eggs in their hair when they want to treat it right. But when you treat something right on your own, what is left? Nothing, you have an empty carton of eggs and a hot mess in your hair. I, on the other hand, was blessed with a free egg; my carton at home still sported a dozen. It isn’t every night that you get salon-quality hair treatment, a burrito full of chicken, and get hit with an “August Snowball.” I may have started a trend or started a war, but either way, I am the origin.

Monday, August 17, 2009

...I was on my bike

A little illumination on alumni’s: they are intensely serious about how important it is that you recognize the superiority you share with them over all others, acknowledge that superiority publicly, and wholeheartedly accept that this alone is the only prerequisite for friendship in the adult business world. Last week, I made the mistake of walking into a restaurant with my Ross School of Business shirt on. Before I had even found my seat, an excited “agent” vaulted from his booth and shook one of my hands with both of his. “I went there ten years ago,” is how the conversation started, and “If you ever need anything, anything…” is how it ended. The man was so cleancut and obviously in charge of his faculty(ies) that I was almost tempted to say “No” when if he asked if I had a State Farm insurance agent. The truth is that, yes, I do have an agent, and I can’t believe I almost cheated on Doug Heins, CLU CEF CFA CAT (and many other three letter C-words.)

Jake and Kent left in what amounted to be the perfect storm. After stirring up controversy by convincing one of the other New Hire’s managers that they were interns (while playing volleyball), they rode a torpedo of my shame out of town. The only proof of their presence: two empty glasses in the sink and a snack pit that Jake left… I had to eat my way out.

The weekend snuck up like a charred turtle from a black canyon, totally not taking me by surprise. My friend Rachel got a job in Raleigh, and this so shocked me into a smile that I forgot to allude to it with an alliteration. Or did I?

On Friday night, Zhang it! and I went over to bid adieu to Luke, one of the One-years that has officially reset his job clock to zero by moving back to Wisconsin. Throw in one more since then, Andy, and that makes three gone in the last month. Zhang it! got attacked by a praying mantis, I made fast friends with another small dog. Before we headed home, we both grabbed some delicious baked goods that Luke was given by a baker that crashed into his car. Apparent reparations for damage and the tastiest from of blackmail.

Saturday, my soon-to-be housemate Chris Lethal invited me to test out my new mountain bike with him. This did not mean that I was to drag my bike up to his bed and wait for him to fetch the chain lube from the garage. The actual activities to be attempted were much more Rated X. Xtreme mountain biking, I found out, involves very tight helmets that may or may not allow you to draw breath, depending on the scale of crime you are about to commit, and serious altitude adjustments. For several hours, I watered the earth with the first derivative of my respiratory system, using my body’s largest organ as a fire hose. Chris and I talked the entire time, covering topics from the aspirations of our best friends to the apparent disconnect between the privatization of health care and the ideals of the voting (non-voting) minority (minorities). By this, I mean we shared back stories and tried, as most do, to place ourselves within that idealized version of our pasts. It always sounds much better when you are allowed to be the editor of not only your history but those of everyone who has ever been in your life.

After a late afternoon of Halo with Karrrl, Ben, and S.S. Kimu, I got ready to host some guests. Luke and Andy came up with a few of their friends to explore Chapel Hill. While everyone else ordered and consequently consumed late-night burritos, I sat in the booth and judged, quite heavily. I was not hungry, but I was tired from the bike ride, so I was not completely aware of my saying out loud “What is that girl wearing? Are those polyester pants? Uggggggly…” I was embarrassed naught, but it was the second time that night that my wide-mouth ass had spoken itself into a corner.

Michigan Mike (hence forth referred to as 6-pack), Zhang it!, And-I were seeking sustenance. While at a stop light, waiting for the Go light, I realized we were in an area of Chapel Hill where I had recently witnessed a very gross approximation of a misdemeanor. “I saw an old lady take relief by that tree yesterday,” I said with conviction, pointing left to the spot where said event took place. Zhang it!, ever the antagonist, noticed that not only had a car of girls just pulled up next to us, but they had heard what I said, or at least he assumed they had, and screamed “Wes, I can’t believe you just said that in front of those girls!”

The driver of the car turned on me – who was fidgeting in the passenger seat of Andy’s vehicle - like a hinge turns on a doorjamb, trapping me in the aforementioned corner. “What did you say?” The question was posed in such a way as to reveal her incredulousness, my disgracefulness, and our momentary sharing of a space in which an offal crime had recently taken place. This is me talking: “I said, ‘I saw a lady take a shit by that tree yesterday’.” As her jaw dropped, revealing nothing but the shadows of words I would never hear, I added, as if it would make a difference, “I was on my bike.”

Over dinner, we discussed the improbability that I will ever assimilate into the human race, and I promised that the night would turn out wonderfully. No one took my word for it. Not even me.

I convinced Wisconsin to come back to Michigan with me. While that statement may sound impossible, remember that a state is only a governmentally derived concept, and it isn’t impossible for one concept to insert itself inside another (see conception). We will be flying into Detroit on Wednesday, September 2nd, and will be driving back with 6-pack on Labor Day. My lack of transportation and the fact that it is Welcome Week means I will probably be in Ann Arbor for that weekend. Might make it over to East Lansing. Speaking of MSU, I have convinced a family member who will be attending this fall to write a guest blogpost about the closing weeks of summer, and how the impending doom known as higher education surely taints the sunset of a season. It will be Wisconsin’s first time in Ann Arbor, so I am hoping to show him all of the nice parts, and none of what lies hidden in every city – proof of entropy: of both the universe and the human verse.

I will put off talking about the egging for one more post. Next time I will also cover Man U. and his stance on shiny cars and how this relates to my wanting badly to pay child support. I will leave you with a few awkward moments from the phone calls I have been taking.


Myself: let me know if you have any more issues relating to this

Client: will do. thanks much for the really quick action!

Myself: umm …?


I finished helping a lady connect to the corporate network from home. Right before she hung up, I blurted, “Good luck with all your connection today. See ya… I mean… talk to you soon?” Click.


Client: “What keys do I put my fingers on to type?”