“I love ’em! They take a bit of getting youthed to…”
For the last couple weeks I have sounded like everyone from Patrick Starfish to an inebriated Stephen Hawking with a cleft palate. Getting used to dentures seems more of a challenge than getting dentures, but I’m playing along and following the rules.
My biggest problem has been keeping the goddamned things in my mouth…
“I’m thinking about not smoking any weed today.”
“Why the hell would you do that?”
“Just to see where my brain takes me.”
“Shit. I’m outta here. You’re already crazy. You’re like ‘I can’t get into the shower!’ ‘Fireworks gonna burn the house down!’ and shit. I’m outta here.”
“Weellll… I guess, if it’ll keep you around, I’ll take a few puffs….”
So I made a valiant attempt to NOT smoke weed, but was vetoed. If this is what it takes to keep the girlfriend happy, I guess I can do my part.
Happy Revolutionary Days: June 26-July 5. In honor of Freedom AND Diversity.
I have been accused of flashing a fake smile at work. I no longer have a choice. Like the Nightclub Store, my fake smile is now 24/7.
After months of preparation, cleaning and extracting, the last of my upper teeth were removed and I received dentures. Walton Goggins I ain’t. They got the size right, as well as the shade. (I have a grayish tint to my teeth, the assistant said.) I’m smiling pretty big, but that’s due mostly to drugs. After a brief chat with the dentist, she upped my Vicodin dosage. (“Just take two. The extra-strength pills are out-of-pocket. Insurance covers what you’re taking.”) I was happy about this at first, and grateful by the time we were finished.
I wish Stephen King were here to ghost-write this for me. Horror is his genre, mine is ‘musings of a smartass grocery clerk’. I found Mr King’s horror stories inspirational as a teen and beyond, and loved how he could make me squirm. I hope you channel that feeling as you read this, because there will be squirming.
If by no one other than me, as I remember the tray of sharp objects and the masked women…
My hippie outlaw lifestyle has become obsolete.As of midnight, marijuana became legal in Oregon. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m glad that something so dear to me, that has helped me get through this thing called life, can be viewed without the stigma it had while I was growing up. I usually write something like this on or around December 10. That was my big day in history. Due to all the big things happening in our fair state and city, I’m jumping ahead.
Besides, this upcoming December 10 will be the 40th anniversary of the first time I smoked weed. I’m sure I’ll have something to say about all that when the time comes.
If I’m still smoking…
After visiting Angel, it was time for responsibility. I don’t avoid responsibility. I try to make it work for me. To make it fun. That’s pretty much my life’s mission, to make fun out of misery. So why should visiting a hospital be any different?
Rain had been in the hospital for a couple days. I hadn’t heard from her, but that’s not uncommon when she loses her phone. (Which also isn’t uncommon; she loses an average of two phones a month.) When she called and left a room number, I figured I should investigate. The hospital is in the swanky part of town, it’s a hot gorgeous day, girl-watching should be at a premium.
Plus, I can peek into my girlfriend’s medical chart and see what’s really going on…
Angel: “Sorry, thought I told you. Friday was my last day. I’ve been transferred to Southeast.”
Me: “I knew you were thinking about it. Sigh, guess the only sweet chocolate I taste is this fine blunt here. I’ll hold out as long as I can!”
Angel: “I miss you. We’ll meet up soon.”
I knew it was coming, but I’d hoped she’d procrastinate, be overridden by management, etc… Fact is, after nine years downtown she was tired of the faces and places, and wanted a new view. They moved her to Eastport Plaza, which is not the white trash capital of the world, but not as diverse as our fine downtown.
I would be reminded as I caught the MAX, on my way to say hello…
I have a good rapport with most of the street crazies. (“Hi, Carol!”) They can have their internal conversations (and arguments) while getting a soda, and I don’t judge. If they seem extra agitated I may ask if they’re doing okay, but mostly it’s Live and Let Live. Honestly, there aren’t many places the mentally ill feel safe shopping. My store, with all its lunacy, is home for them.
There are exceptions. My biggest problems are with those who have self-inflicted retardation. Whether through drugs, drinking or stupidity, they are deficient enough to pass for crazy, and they abuse it. Which leads us to tonight’s cautionary tale…
DIY is big in Portland. That’s why I decided to pull my own tooth.
Full disclosure: The dentist did offer to pull it a couple weeks ago, when I had several back teeth removed. (More on THAT later.) But I didn’t want a Goober-gap in front, and it didn’t hurt too bad. I wanted to do the manly thing.
I shoulda listened.
It was a full moon, but we have those every month. It was the third day of the month, goofy check payday. Again, we have one every month. But it’s Rose Festival, and it’s the beginning of Summer. Stir it all together and whatdaya get?
I won’t share all the stupid shit that led to the first moment of my work day, but I was sorta-suffering from pulling my own tooth on the MAX the day before. (More on that later.) I had drank the last of my medicated vitamin water and popped a couple of Vicodin right before walking into work. I had Natasha as a co-worker until 6 PM, and Southie was getting ready to leave for the day. He was rattling off his laundry list of duties to be performed over the course of the evening.
I was organizing my cash register area when he walked in. Long gray hair pulled straight back into a ponytail, long Santa beard, maybe three front teeth, looked like he belonged on a bottle of vintage Mountain Dew. He carried a black garbage bag, talking and singing to himself.
I’d had problems with this guy numerous times. One night as I’d returned from lunch he fell in behind me and began cussing, talking shit. It was a rainy night, and as he diatribed, he hit a slick piece of sidewalk and landed with a crash. I turned and with a straight face said, “That’ll learn ya!” and kept walking. He hopped up in a hissing, spitting rage and cussed me all the way to the corner. Finally fed up, I locked eyes with him and began walking straight for him, like Jason does. He stopped talking and started walking. Cool. I took a right, and walked a block. Two blocks further, we crossed paths again. He startled, cussed me some more and began running. All the while cussing about Sarah Ferguson. I assumed he meant the royal one.
That was a couple years ago. I see him around, but we don’t hang in the same neighborhoods much. When he came into the store, I could have kicked him out, but I deferred to Southie. It probably won’t take this guy long to start acting up…
Hill-Billy addressed some nonsense toward Southie, who was giving instructions to Natasha. “He’s the clerk on duty,” Southie said, pointing at me. Goody. Southie went back to Natasha. Hill-Billy said something else nonsensical to Southie. Southie replied, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.”
“You ‘saw my penis glistening?’WHAT KIND OF DISRESPECTFUL COCKSUCKER ARE YOU?” Hill-Billy was in a stomping rage.
“You need to leave,” said Natasha.
“SHUT UP, PUSSY!” said Hill-Billy.
“Clean up your act, asshole,” said Natasha, and threw a cup of water at him.
“Time to go,” I said, and began moving around the counter. Normally Southie would have taken the guy by the lapels and expelled him into the street, especially with a lady present. I guess he wanted to see me bounce the guy. Okay. I was visualizing Southie admiring Hill-Billy’s glistening golden penis and trying not to lawl. Straight face, straight face…
I saw why Southie didn’t want to touch him. A greenish white glob of snot covered most of his lower lip, and he was projecting spit three feet with every ‘p’. He stomped and ranted and raved, entering and leaving three times. “And another thing…” He got far enough outside that I pulled the door closed and locked him outside.
“Bye…” I said. Waved my fingers at him and pulled out my phone. He flipped me off and walked away. Then jaywalked across the street to the block’s other convenience store.
“Well done,” said Southie. Natasha was giddy at the chance to help a homeless guy take a bath.
It was the beginning of a long and irritating day, but I was no longer irritated by a loose tooth. That was yesterday. Yesterday’s medications were what was keeping everyone alive today…
I should do that more often.
I’d planned for months to make my birthday a celebratory one. Not a party, just a day for me. I don’t seem to get those like I used to.
I love my responsibilities. I’ve never been one to suffer in a situation that wouldn’t work for me. I try to surround myself with friends that don’t irritate, steal or otherwise make my life more complicated than I do. And love them like I do, I must step away once in a while and have Just Me time.
Fortunately, my peoples don’t bug me, so my celebration was like another day at the office…