“Hey buddy, my phone is turned off. Just got your email. I’m broke as a joke today. If you still need some hair love write me back please? I need ten bucks to turn my phone back on.”
A typical note from Rain? Nope.
It was Clairissa. It just so happened that I had the day off, and I had ten bucks. And then some…
How do you make pickle bread?
You start with a dill dough…
I took the train downtown to the Psycho Safeway. I’d asked Clairissa if she wanted a beer? “Nah, bring me a candy bar. You choose.” I found a Cadbury Milk Chocolate bar, stashing it in a black plastic beer bag. I waited for the Union Avenue bus, listening to Steely Dan and reminiscing about all the times I used to invade my barber. There was a time when I would see her every two weeks. There was the summer of my 50th birthday, when we shared truly magical times. I missed my friend, my hair was a mess, and I was having girlfriend issues.
It was time for Hairapy.
“Where you been? It’s been four months. You and Meg should be needing some hair love by now…”
It was the lovely Clairissa, texting a hello. Had it really been four months since she wandered into the Waterfront store, plopped down her duffel-bag and trimmed my ends?
“Can’t speak for Meg, but I’m getting a total case of square-head. Let’s make plans.”
Yesterday plans came to fruition.
It’s Thanksgiving, and I am at work. I am thankful for having the job that is keeping me away from home today.
Today I am the station agent. I’m working at the Waterfront store at a MAX stop. It’s not a busy stop on a normal day. I’ve had three paying customers in two hours.
Looks like I’ll be live-blogging the sound of crickets.
Live-blogging my impending old age is kinda fun. Since I’ve turned fifty, things have changed. One would think the date would make no difference. Maybe I’m just more self-conscious now?
That’s probably not the term. I’m hardly shy about sharing all the gory details. You’ve heard about girl-chasing in the form of my endless pursuit/infatuation/attraction/obsession with Clairissa. I bitch about work when I feel like it. I’ve shared medical stories ad nauseum, with everything from skin tag removal to homegrown dentistry to peeling toenails. The prostate exam is a good example. (First one wasn’t so fun. The second time I wanted to slip her a $20 and ask if she’d do it again.)
So I’m not easily embarrassed, but I recently faced a quandary. As I turned fifty, I realized I may have to do some things I swore I’d never do. (I fear not the colonoscopy. That ain’t it.) I’m not shy about buying tampons, condoms, crab medicine, etc… although I haven’t had to buy crab medicine since 1984. I bought support hose/compression stockings without batting an eye. I rather enjoyed it when the boys at the pharmacy joked, teased and pondered their mortality as I bought a bottle of Old Spice. (The after-shave in the white bottle, not the fancy stink-pretty stuff.)
But there’s at least one thing I’m struggling with. I’ve been meaning to go to the drug store across the street and take care of it, but I just can’t do it.
Thank the gods for the internet. With a couple clicks of a button, I was spared the shame and indignity of having to confront the fresh-faced whippersnappers at the pharmacy. There will be no snickering, no whispering behind the counter. After I leave, they won’t be saying to each other, “I’ll never become *that* guy!”
So I’m watching the mail for a discreet brown package. While I’m not aquiver with anticipation at its arrival, it will take me into the next phase of life.
What are these items that have me so freaked out?
The text read, “Can you bring me something to drink?”
I flipped back, “OE 800? Four Loko? I could hit a liquor store. Vodka?”
I gathered my things into the backpack. Wrapped the pint jar into a black plastic bag. My phone buzzed again.
“No hard stuff! 4 Loko watermelon would be heavenly, if you can find it. I could use the boost!”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her it no longer contained caffeine. “I’ll see what I can do.”
Off to Clairissa’s. It was time to move The Body again.
I’d received the invitation several days earlier, via text message. Clairissa and I communicate in loving 160-count missives. “GF at work all day Saturday. Pick a time and let’s lick it, er, kick it. Bring Prescott Wellington IV?”
“I’m all yours. Me and the frog.”
The fun began on April Fools Day, 2007. Since then I’ve had over 60,000 visitors. (I realize that’s like one day for Bojack, but it sounds like a big number to me.) I’ve shared laughs, purged demons, offered up TMI on several occasions, yet many of you still return. As Bartles and Jaymes are fond of saying, “Thank you for your support!”
I’d like to thank Master P for providing me with such an entertaining job, and indulging me while I prattle on about it. A BIG thank you to Art East, for his technical, artistic and immoral support. We’re like two kids on the playground, seeing who can throw the rock closest to the teacher’s head without actually hitting her. I’m blessed to have such an intelligent co-conspirator.
Thank you, Betsy, for getting me started. I’d never have done it without you.
Thank you, Clairissa, for being my drinking buddy, lust object and confidante. Dr T describes your modeling of the disposable wife-beater as “the best use of a Master P’s plastic grocery bag EVER!” You are a source of constant distraction and inspiration, and I’m proud to share custody of a dead frog with you. Muah!
And, last but not least, thanks to all you goofy motherfuckers who make me smile inwardly, or LOL on the bus. My fellow man is a source of constant amusement, and without you I’d have precious little to make fun of. You done good.
Now that’s more like it.
My recent Saturdays have been as mundane as regular workdays. I always look forward to the weekend, but once it arrives I feel like I’m just killing time until work starts again. That’s no way to spend a weekend, and against my basic core beliefs. I mean, Satyrday is all about “Party party party!” Right?
Yesterday wasn’t a drunken blowout, but it did remind me of old times…