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”