I’ve tried online dating in the past. I’ve never had any success and I blame that on the fact that I’m a writer…as well as a judgmental bitch. I am fully aware that there are many smart people out there who can’t write a coherent sentence to save their lives. At the same time, as soon as I read an incoherent sentence from a half assed email, I write a dude off entirely.
When the guy can write in full sentences, I head on over to their profile page to seek if it was a fluke. Whenever it’s not, and I read everything their looking for, I shut it down because I know that I’m nothing close to what they are looking for. Let me give you a few tidbits from some of the guy’s who have messaged me;
I’m looking for a girl who’s interested in getting into the outdoors a bit, camping, canoeing, rock climbing
I love anything outdoors, I call it my church.
I love the outdoors. … I don’t want a gym rat but you at least have to like hiking trail riding, some kind of outdoors activities
As an accomplished outdoors-man, I can literally survive in the wild with very few items
You should contact me if you love the outdoors
Yeah, because my idea of fun is traipsing through a Florida swamp in 105 degree weather, praying that the kinds of mosquitoes biting me aren’t the kind that carry malaria. With all these outdoorsy guys out there, I would assume that the Everglades are just plain filled with men living off the land, hiking, fishing, canoeing and participating in hand to hand combat with alligators.
They’re not, by the way. They’re filled with Ukrainian dudes in linen suits dumping bodies in the dead of the night.
I only know a very small group of people who are really into the outdoors. In fact, they’re so fucking outdoorsy, they spend all their time outdoors. They’re called homeless people and I pay rent every month to avoid being like them.
When I go to a man’s profile, and I see 11 paragraphs about how a guy is looking for a girl who loves the great outdoors, hiking, fishing, camping, etc., all I can think is “doesn’t sound to me like you’re looking for a girlfriend. Actually, it sounds to me like you’re looking for a lumberjack.”
I also love the fact that very few of these great outdoors lovers see any irony in the fact that they’re online dating. If they’re so damn outdoorsy, shouldn’t they be outside, living off the land and looking for their ideal mate squatting in a bush after she finishes off a hefty dinner of raw squirrel?
Half the time, I think these outdoorsy profiles are just a smoke screen to throw off gold diggers and high maintenance chicks. Regardless, I’m not answering because I believe in brutal honesty. And when a guy asks me if I enjoy camping, I’m forced to respond that sleeping outside on the ground is my idea of hell.
And I don’t really care if that makes me high maintenance. I guess I just wasn’t the lumberjack they were looking for.
Hey everyone. This week, I’m super busy. I have snowbirds to drop off, laundry to do, beer to drink and naps to take. As such, I’m not able to keep up with my regular posting schedule. Luckily for me, Mr. Tom Nardone was more than happy to take over for the day. He is doing a guest blog so he can provide you with the same cynical amusement I always do, at half the alcohol per volume. So as I trek across the country, getting into fights with gas station cashiers and food truck vendors, I leave you to appreciate the awesomeness that is Tom Nardone.
The Bodily Function Police, Would You Please…Just go Straight to Hell?
By; Tom Nardone, of I am Tom Nardone
People tell me that I sometimes look unhappy or angry about something. They think that I’m not happy. There seems to be no shortage of people in this world that feel the need to alter my mood and/or my actions
I don’t mind if one of my friends say “Hey Tom what’s wrong?”, or “Hey Tom are you alright?” I understand that they love me, and they want to see me happy. What I do mind is when people, friend or otherwise, simply tell me; “Smile!”, “cheer up!”, “it’s not that bad.”, or “how come you never smile?” That is what really gives me the red ass
This girl started at work a while back. She is a complete ditz that has been trading on her looks all her life. All of the guys at work are all (gaga) for her. I, on the other hand, am not. I do not give a shit what she looks like. I have nothing but contempt for such people. For days every time I would walk by her, she would tell me to smile, and for days I just let it go.
She made the mistake of saying, in her ditzy sweet voice, of telling me to smile one time too many. I felt it was time for this bullshit conversation to come to a conclusion.
Officer Ditz; Hey, why don’t you ever smile?”
Tom Nardone; This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I looked out the window, and watched my son, who was waiting for the school bus, pick up a stray puppy by it’s neck and stare into its’ eyes as he squeezed the life from it. So is it OK with you if I don’t smile today?”
Would you like to know what she said? She said the same thing you would say. NOTHING!! That is the only thing anyone says when told a story like that. This was beautiful. She looked at me and nodded her head almost violently, as if she hoped I was finished talking to her. She did not smile herself for the rest of the day.
I was pleased to see that the message got to her. My son did not really do this, but that doesn’t matter. I solved both of our problems. I don’t have to listen to any more of her bullshit, and she will definitely think twice before ever telling me to alter my facial expressions for the rest of our time together. I will be surprised if I ever have to listen to her speak to me again about anything.
I used to have a job where I went in at 4am. One thing that everyone does who gets up that early in the morning is yawn. I don’t know why we yawn. It is just what we do. It is in no way offensive it is not rude. A yawn is one of the few bodily functions that have absolutely no enemies. Everybody loves a good yawn. That is, everyone except this one particular asshole. Just about every damned, morning this redneck, inbred, hillbilly, son of a bitch, would catch me in the act of one of my early morning yawns. He would always say “It’s too early to start that shit”
What the fuck does that even mean? I knew that I would have to help this man too. I was convinced that it was not ever going to end, and I knew that I was unwilling to stop yawning. I felt it was my duty as a caring coworker to help him to stop this douchebaggery that he was hopelessly a prisoner to. This was my solution.
Officer Hillbilly; It’s too early to start that shit”
Tom Nardone; Hey listen I am sorry about the random yawns every morning. It is obvious that you care about me, and you want to be involved with my bodily functions. I would like to extend you an invitation to join me this afternoon for one that I think you will really enjoy. I really think today is the best day for you to see this one, since I ate at El Sombreros last night and ordered the sampler platter. If you are free after lunch, please meet me in the men’s room I usually prefer stall #4. I think this is something you won’t want to miss.
He wasn’t pleased and he did decline my invitation. He never really spoke much to me after that, which to my mind was a huge win win. I wasn’t quite satisfied though. I would come in early and if I did not feel a yawn coming, then I would fake one. You should have seen the confusion on that dumb son of a bitches face.
I don’t think it is too much to ask that I be allowed to smile when I am happy, or yawn when I am tired. I will not tolerate assholes who wish to fuck with this. Just so we are clear if you tell me to smile, then yes, that alone, makes you an asshole.
You owe these people shit. Don’t waste your time explaining yourself to them. As fun as it might be, you don’t have to give them an elaborate explanation, like I did. There are other ways to help them. Sometimes just a short “Fuck You” is all it takes to get them on the proper path.
My body is my playground. All the toys and their functions are owned and operated by me, and any other person I grant access to. I decide what the rules are and I decide what toys are available to what person. I share them when, and if I feel like it. If you have a problem with this then you can to your playground.
If, while watching Spartacus, or Game of Thrones, there should be a sex scene and I feel the need to pause the show to take care of a sudden need, then I will do so. Only one person votes and that is me. I always win.
When I conclude my bathroom business, and it is time to do the paper work; I and I alone will make the decision to wipe from front to back or from back to front. It is my ass. It is my choice.
If while I am working outside on a hot July Day, and my ass begins to itch, then fell free to turn your head if you don’t want to watch the show, but this itch is going away right now.
I think that is enough examples
It is as if their lives are so empty inside that they must see me smile to fill some void. I am sorry if they have some hidden desire to live vicariously through me. They should go and live an abundant life where all they can seem to do is walk around and smile at every one they see, and when they get that figured out, maybe they will be in a better frame of mind to counsel the rest of the world with our facial expression problems.
These people have a sickness. They have an ailment and I have the cure. It is the only thing that I am aware of that will cures this disease every time it is administered. That is a dose of Tom Nardone. It’s the only thing I carry in my bag.
If I am not smiling, then maybe I am upset. If you are a friend of mine, then I don’t mind you trying to help me or inquire as to what you can do for me. I appreciate that kind of interaction. Sometimes knowing that someone cares is enough. Knowing that you have a friend who is there for you; can make the problem seem like a more fixable circumstance.
No one that gives a shit about you will tell you to be happy. People who do this, are every bit as much an asshole as someone who would fart in a parked car with the windows up.
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.
As you all know, I work from home. I rarely, if ever, leave the house. I don’t like the outside. Aside from my beer runs, my trips away from home are few and far between.
So, obviously, I started wondering why I continued making a $300 monthly car payment.
I’m a practical girl, most of the time. What I know of being a practical girl is that paying the equivalent of $30 to drive to the store a few times a month is an idiotic idea. While I enjoy the freedom of owning a car, it isn’t really the most practical option for me. So I decided to sell my old car, take the equity built in and buy a new one.
The first half started out easy. I took my car to Carmax (after I got the Kelly Blackbook value and ran NADA). They offered me $400 more than the value I got, so I accepted. After they paid off my lien holder, I had 3K in my pocket.
3k to go and find a piece of shit beater designed to drive me less than one mile per week. It didn’t need to be pretty. It didn’t need to be a gas saver. It just needed to be able to get me from point A to point B. So I headed out the door to go used car shopping.
I’m almost sure my first mistake was going shopping without a penis.
I showed up at the lot of ‘Joseph’s Autos’. There, he had at least 5 different vehicles that were still running and all were under my budgeted price. I spotted a Dodge Stratus with minimal cosmetic damage and asked to take it for a test drive. The douche then proceeded to jump start the fucking thing in front of me before handing me the keys.
Look, I know I’m blonde and I know the stereotypes, but let me explain something to you all. I guarantee my IQ is at least 70 points higher than the IQ of an idiot frat boy who ever told a dumb blond joke. Just because I don’t look smarter than you doesn’t mean I’m not a hell of a lot smarter than you.
And I would have to be stone cold retarded to purchase the title to a vehicle that had just been jump started in front of me.
So I moved on. The next car was a Dodge Neon. Don’t even get me started on Dodge Neons. You ever look under the hood of one of those things? It looks like a fucking Tiddlywinks factory. Everything is made of plastic. Against my better judgment, I tried it anyway.
I did what I always do on a test drive. I cranked the air conditioner and stepped on the gas. Let me explain why.
There’s a common little trick you can do that will get the ‘check engine’ light to turn off in almost any vehicle. Flood the engine with oil. This will muddy up the waters enough to make the electrical system think everything is kosher. In decent weather, you can get around 5 hours of perfectly smooth driving.
Then the pressure starts to build.
Once the car gets the pressure test…i.e. running on an engine overloaded with oil, on a 90 degree day in Orlando, in stop and go traffic…it will overheat. It will start to smoke and the car will turn off entirely. This is exactly what the piece of shit neon did to me.
Luckily, I was smart enough to take my car on a test drive past my apartment complex. So when the piece of shit broke down, it broke down in my parking lot.
We took a cab back to the dealership. I tossed the keys in his face with a helpful “your piece of shit broke down on the test drive. Here’s the address where I left it.”
The douche then proceeded to blame me for overtaxing the engine on his 125k mile + piece of shit Dodge. His exact words were ‘well, I can’t blame you for breaking the engine. You didn’t know what to do when it overheated.”
At that point, I was too angry and sputtering for words. Luckily, I brought my mom. Mama Alroc immediately responded; “so you’re not supposed to roll down the windows, crank the heater, put the car in neutral and take your foot off the gas?”
Before you Google it, that is fucking textbook of what you’re suppose to do when your car overheats. And that is exactly what I did before I left that jimmy rigged piece of shit in a Lake Mary parking lot.
Of course, that wasn’t enough. As I was walking out off the lot, waving a double middle finger goodbye, one of the douche salesmen offered to let me test drive the previously shitty Dodge Stratus again. In his words ‘a spark plug was loose’.
FYI; Once a spark plug comes loose, it never stops being loose. Guarantee, within six months, you will need a new engine.
I told him I didn’t need a car anymore. I’d rather fucking walk. Mama Alroc was just as helpful, informing the salesman that being born women didn’t render us retarded.
Used car salesmen out there, yes, I am a girl. Yes, I am blond. But when I come to your fucking dealership I don’t need you to point me in the direction of ‘the red cars’ or ‘the blue cars’.
I’m smarter than that. I was a car insurance adjuster for ten years. I could tell you what a car is worth just by looking at it. I know what a carburetor is. I know what an engine is supposed to look like. I can spot the difference between frame damage and cosmetic damage from a mile away.
If you’re looking to screw me, then leave your number. If you’re cute enough I might consider. But the only kind of getting screwed I don’t accept is the getting screwed out of money part.
I know you think you’re smarter than me because you spent twelve hours getting your mechanics certification. The fact that you think that makes me laugh my ass off. I’m not giving you 3k on something that is nothing more than $750 worth of scrap metal. I’m not financing a ten year old car at a 20% interest rate and giving you $1000 down.
If you’re lucky, all I’ll give you is a hefty kick in the groin.
Being born pretty didn’t render me retarded. I know what shit is worth. Unfortunately, I can’t get a douche car salesman to take me seriously because of that. As that’s the case, Essa quits driving. To be 100% honest, I never liked driving much to being with
Oh, and Joseph’s Auto on 17-92 in Longwood Florida, welcome to your first SEO hit. In case you didn’t know, search engine optimization is how people who use the internet gain information about your company. You didn’t have a webpage, so I figured I’d help you out. Now, whenever you Google the name of your dealership in my zip code, my review will be the first thing to come up. I’m sorry if that fucked things up for you.
But what would I know? I’m just a dumb blond who doesn’t know shit about technology.
I know a lot of you might be surprised that I have a mother. Many people believe I sprung out of the ground, due to a dangerous mixture of Bruce Lee’s tears and Chuck Norris’ blood following their epic battle in Way of the Dragon.
Believe it or not, the incredibly realistic above picture was not how I came into existence. Instead, it was all because of this lady.
And today, on this special day, I want to tell you a little about my mom, as well as thank her for more than a few motherly tasks. Like giving birth to me when I was a baby and not killing me when I was a teenager.
My mom is a lot like my dog. She’s little, easy to pick up and utterly fascinated by squirrels. When there is a particularly large squirrel outside, she and not my dog, is responsible for altering us to its presence. Usually with a very loud “look at the size of that squirrel!!!’ shrieked out at 900 decibels whenever I am suffering from an early morning hangover.
My mom is a practical joker. One time, when I was very little, she hid under the covers of my bed and grabbed my leg just as I was going to sleep for the night. She once replaced my cousins Vodka with vinegar. She even once faked an asthma attack to make her boyfriend feel guilty for trying to play his own prank.
Ok, so that last one was my idea.
She is an unconventional mother. She is the first one to like posts I write about marijuana use and promiscuous sex. She does not hassle me to to ‘settle down and meet someone nice’ because she knows there is more to life than that. Some parents say they would be proud of their kids even if they worked as street cleaners. When my mom says that, I know its true. When I got fired from my job in insurance, she celebrated right along with me. When I wrote my first book, her response (after being the first one to buy it) was, ‘I think you found what you were always meant to do.’ That sentence meant more to me than any other good review I got.
She’s also very helpful. Her daily efforts are the reason my son and I are not living in a large garbage heap instead of an apartment. One time in high school, when I vomited all over myself after too many Boons Farms, she’s the one that cleaned be up and helped me to bed.
She’s slightly psychic as well. One of her ‘be careful today’ statements is enough to keep me from leaving the house. The last time my brother heard that one, he got hit by a car. The last time I heard it, I got alcohol poisoning.
Anyway, when I came to the mother lottery, I got lucky. I got a mother who would drop anything for her kids, is endlessly supportive, and came without the nagging gene that some mothers seem to have.
I think TuPac said it best;
Even as a crack fiend, mama*
You always was a black queen, mama*
There’s no way I can pay you back
By the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated
Happy Mother’s Day mom.
*Please note that my mother is neither a crack fiend nor black.
Today, I got a message. It was from one of my regular followers and one of my favorite bloggers. He asked me a question, and I’ll admit, it was a completely fair question at the time. He wanted to know why I don’t comment regularly. He wanted to know why I don’t follow other people’s pages. When I read other pages, he wanted to know why I don’t comment.
My short answer was easy. Technical issues. If you work from a proxy like me, then you know what a bitch commenting and liking can be. WordPress needs me to sign in? Ok. WordPress needs me to verify my security questions? What fucking questions? What’s my mother’s middle name? How the fuck should I know? I was drunk when I set this account up. Eh, fuck it. I give up.
Then I got to thinking about it and I got paranoid…and a little annoyed. I came to WordPress to write, not to read. While I admit, I do enjoy the other bloggers anecdotes out there, I rarely comment. I don’t feel like I should be required to. I’d rather just read the stories and laugh quietly to myself. Is it completely necessary that I come up with a comment about their stories? Does my page view only matter when I interact?”
Then paranoia kicked in. Is my page just being followed by a bunch of people who don’t give a shit about what I write? Is anyone even reading this? Or am I just getting comments and likes from people who expect quid pro quo?
Quid pro quo. This for that. I.e. “I’ll read your blog if you read mine”. I.e. “I’ll buy your book if you buy mine”. Really? Is this what my page is? Because, I’ll be honest with you. I worked really hard on this page. All my blogs come out of a genuine place. They come from genuine stories that I lived though. I was hoping to entertain. .
But apparently, I was just playing part in a pyramid scheme.
Guys, I have to tell you, if you are just coming to my page and interacting to get me to come to yours, it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to leave comments on your blogs and half the time, I don’t read your blogs.
Why? Because I’m fucking writing. Let me make this clear. I’m not here to review swap. If you’re a self published author looking for reviews, you’re not getting them from me. If we work in the same genre, then chances are, any review I write is getting deleted anyway. Amazon is cracking down on that shit. If you want to buy and review my books, good for you. If you expect a review in return, you’re fishing in the wrong hole.
I don’t work that way.
My favorite writer in the whole wide world is a man by the name of Maddox the Pirate. You do not understand how much this dude rocks out loud until you read his stuff.
Now guess how many times I interacted on his page. If your response is 0, then you’re in the ballpark.
I don’t go to Maddox’s page to get something from him. I go to his page to be entertained. I don’t go with the expectation that he is going to read my blog and follow me back. I go there because he genuinely makes me laugh my ass off. It doesn’t matter to me if Maddox know I exist. I’m not expecting a kickback or a follow. When I go to his page, I expect one thing.
To laugh. He never disappoints.
I want my page to be like Maddox’s page. I want you to come here to laugh. I want you here to be amused. I want you to say “she says what I was thinking in my head and couldn’t say out loud.”
I do not want you coming here expecting Quid Pro Quo. If you’re just expecting Quid Pro Quo, you’re in the wrong place. That’s not how I roll. Maybe I’ll read your blog post. Maybe I won’t. Regardless, you’ll never be able to tell whether I did at all.
So if you’re expecting some kind of pyramid scheme, where I read your posts and you read mine, then you’re in the wrong place. I was hoping for fans. I was hoping for people who actually enjoyed the way I write.
Maybe I would have been better off peddling Acia Berries.
If you’re a lurker and you’re just here to read, then you’re awesome. I love my lurkers. If you’re a regular commenter who comments because they have something to say, then continue on. If you’re just some random person, claiming to like me, but only trying to see what you can get from me, then go fuck yourself.
You aren’t getting shit. I’m better than that. My writing stands on its own merits. Take your likes and shove them.
I’m here to write. Not to play Quid Pro Quo.
Rich, white people have it so hard.
That’s what I say every time I see my copy of ‘The Great Gatsby’. Actually, that’s what I say every time I see a novel where the main protagonist is a rich white guy. A tortured rich white guy, no less.
I’ve heard this glorified paperweight occasionally referred to as “a great American novel’. I actually think it was just a great excuse for F. Scott Fitzgerald to go to parties at rich people’s houses and pretend to do research.
Let me give you a run down if you’ve never managed to make it through all 218 pages.
A nondescript everyman, Nick, moves to Long Island. He meets Jay Gatsby, who is the 1920’s equivalent of a crackhead who won the lottery. He later learns that Gatsby is in love with Daisy, a bored, and slightly slutty rich housewife. Daisy is married to the pompous douche bag, Tom Buchannan. Tom’s hobbies involve hating on Gatsby, ignoring his wife, and beating up hookers.
Later, we are shocked by an amazing twist. The previously penniless Gatsby, who became rich overnight, is involved in organized crime! Seriously, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Despite how interesting this might have been, it’s never really delved into at all.
Instead, Gatsby and Daisy accidentally run over Tom Buchannan’s hooker. Daisy was driving, but she leaves Gatsby holding the bag. Gatsby gets shot by the hooker’s husband and dies. Then, everyone goes to the funeral.
Also, there was a professional golfer, who might have been a professional golfing cheater, named Jordan. She was a throwaway character who did nothing to enhance the story. My guess would be F. Scott Fitzgerald was trying to impress a chick by putting her into his novel.
That’s it, in a nutshell. Am I saying the book is terrible? No. Am I saying it’s anything special? Again, no. Much like ‘Catcher in the Rye’, I’ve never gotten peoples obsession with this book.
And now their making another fucking movie about it. So now, I’m going to be forced to listen to people, who have never even cracked the spine on the novel, talk about the symbolism. They’ll talk about how it represented the US during the prohibition. They’ll take about how it displayed the dangers of excess and I’ll roll my eyes.
You want to read a good story about rich people being crazy, get yourself a copy of “Valley of the Dolls”. If you want to read a 1920’s version of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with characters you don’t give a shit about, then pick up a copy of The Great Gatsby.
Me, I’m going to wait until the movie comes out on video and then fast forward through the entire thing, hoping to at least get some full frontal nudity from Leonardo DiCaprio.
My phone bleats out a few bars from ‘Sexual Healing’, and I check the display.
It’s a local call from the 407 area code so I answer it even though I don’t recognize the number. I take a chance on answering it, just in case it’s an emergency, like my dealer calling me to let me know he got his hands on some red, white and blue…the most patriotic of all marijuana strains.
“Hey Essa, it’s Nelson?”
“Who?” I’m lost. The only Nelson I can think of is the one on The Simpsons. I doubt it’s him calling me, on account of him being a cartoon and all.
“Nelson Lastnameredacted? Kristen’s friend?”
Still lost, even though I do know a Kristen. “I think you have the wrong number.”
“But this is Essa, right?”
“Fine, you have the wrong Essa.” I am quickly tiring of this conversation and am preparing to hang up the phone.
The mysterious Nelson is starting to sound a little annoyed. “I’m pretty sure I have the right one. How many Essa’s are there?”
It’s a decent question so I give it some thought. “Um, there’s me and there’s an Essa University in England. Maybe you’re thinking of that one.” My finger hovers over the disconnect button.
“I doubt that’s the case, considering I never dated an Essa University.”
Damn this fucker is persistent. I start to think back, my mind going through many blurry faces. “Sorry Nelson, you’re not ringing a bell.”
A frustrated sigh, followed by an uncomfortable throat clearing. “You sure? We did sleep together.”
I roll my eyes. “Yeah, that’ll narrow it down.” I run though many still blurry faces in my head, when suddenly a thought occurs to me. “Wait, you’re not calling to tell me you have Chlamydia or something, right?”
Nelson sputters, “What? No, I was calling you to ask if you want to go out on my boat this weekend.”
I screwed a dude with a boat? Nice. I give myself a mental high-five. “Depends, describe yourself.”
“You really don’t remember me?”
“What can I say, I’m incredibly promiscuous. Don’t act like you didn’t know, that’s probably half the reason you’re calling me.”
He says nothing, so I know I’m right.
“Still waiting on that description.”
“Um, yeah.” He clears his throat again and I realize I’m making him uncomfortable. I can’t say I care. I mean, apparently I slept with this dude and he never called me. Now he wants to pop back out of the woodwork and he has the balls to be annoyed with me for not remembering him? “I’m 5’9”, brown hair, brown eyes. Thin.”
“You’ve just described ever dude I’ve ever dated.” I decide to go Law and Order style. “Any distinguishing characteristics.”
“Moles, tattoos, birthmarks. Anything that I could use to pick you out in a line up?”
“Oh,” he pauses, “I have a tattoo. It’s an American flag.”
“On my lower back.”
“Fuck,” I blurt out, “tell me I didn’t know about that when I slept with you!” I mentally take back the high five I just gave to myself. ‘Dude with tramp stamp’ immediately cancels out ‘dude with boat’. Any girl knows that.
“No, but you did make fun of it for most of the next day.” He’s sounding annoyed again and I decide to shut it down.
“As well I should have.” I sigh, “Listen, chances are, if I’m having this much of a hard time remembering you, we didn’t click or you were terrible in bed. Either way, it’s been at least 6 months since I last had sex. That tells me that you waited a minimum of 6 months to call me. My guess would be much, much longer, because if I screwed a dude with a tattoo on his lower back six months ago, I would still be making fun of him today.”
“Wow,” Nelson sounds less annoyed and instead a little chagrined by my outburst. “Listen, I meant to call. I’ve been busy…”
The fact that he’s giving me some half-assed apology like I’m a pathetic clingy ex sets me off. “Yeah, I know what its like to be busy. I plan to be very busy for the foreseeable future, including this weekend.”
“Busy doing what?” He is annoyed again. Jesus, this guy is moody.
“Sinking a boat down at the marina.”
I hang up the phone, shaking my head and wondering what’s wrong with some guys. My phone rings again and I let it go to voicemail.
I’ve noticed something in my 33 years on this planet. It’s probably going to seem like a bit of a stereotype, but I can’t help it if sometimes stereotypes hold true.
The more weight I gain, the darker the average skin color of the man who hits on me gets. After getting a wink from a midnight black Haitian man at the mailbox, it occurred to me that it was time to start hitting the gym again.
Luckily, my apartment complex comes with one. I pack my water bottle, iPod and gym key for the trip. It’s only as short walk from my apartment.
The gym is oddly packed this morning. It’s filled with slightly zaftig blond women and I wonder exactly how many women that Haitian man hit on the day before.
Wow, exercise equipment sure has changed since the last time I went to the gym…in the late 90’s. I look around desperately for a Stairmaster. It is the only piece of equipment that I am 100% certain how to use. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. I heave out a sigh and head over to the elliptical trainer instead. There are three and two are in use. It looks simple enough and the ladies on them already don’t seem that athletic. I can do it!
I jump on and am immediately confused. I shove my right foot down and feel like I am running backwards. My left knee jerks up at an almost painful angle. I bounce around on the machine for another uncomfortable three seconds before I decide I would need to be an octopus to work this thing right.
I look around trying to decide which hostile, medieval torture device to use next. My gaze lands on the treadmill. Usually, I don’t use treadmills simply out of principal. I mean, I just friggen walked to the gym. It seems kind of stupid to walk to the gym so I can walk on a treadmill. But right now, the treadmill is the most non-threatening.
There’s an older man next to me. He had his treadmill set to a 15% incline and is walking at a speed of about 7 out of 14. No way am I getting beaten by a dude twice my age. I crank that thing up to a 40% incline and set the speed for fourteen.
I start to run. This isn’t so bad. In fact, I could do this all day. Suddenly, the treadmill shoots up until it is almost completely vertical and the belt starts moving at approximately 7000 MPH. I’m gasping to keep up and my goal is no longer fitness. It is to hit the emergency stop on the fucking machine before it flings me across the room.
I’m too late. One minute I’m stumbling on a demon possessed treadmill. The next, I’m flying through the air and landing on my back next to a yoga ball. I lay on my back, staring at the ceiling for awhile. I check my watch and realize I’ve been at the gym for about 10 minutes.
In my opinion, that’s ten minutes too fucking long. I sit up and gather my water bottle, iPod and gym key.
Hopefully, I can still find fen phen on the internet.
In April of 2001, I tried to kill myself.
Did you just shit yourself over that sentence? I know it shocked you, because I wrote it and deleted it 5 times before I just decided to roll with it.
To be entirely honest, I’ve written and deleted this post about 500 times over the past year. But today, on my blogs one year anniversary, I have finally decided I can do it. I can find a way to make my first and only suicide attempt funny.
I was 20. It doesn’t entirely surprise me that this incident occurred several months before my 21st birthday. If I’d had alcohol available to me, I probably would have just gone on a ‘coping mechanism’ bender and moved on.
But I didn’t, so I decided to kill myself instead.
My early twenties weren’t an easy time for me. During this particular period, I was seeing a real shit head of a man. For continuity purposes, we’ll call him Shithead. I also might have been clinically depressed. I wouldn’t know because I was never diagnosed. All I remember was waking up one day and realizing that everything was terrible, nothing was going to get better, the world was going to shit and it was pointless to try to fix it because I was going to die anyway. So I decided, after a few weeks of feeling that way, to speed up the process by offing myself.
Of course, I had to consider a method and I was ridiculously practical about it. My first idea was to slit my wrists. I, like any other girl who’s seen “The Craft”, knew how to do it right.
Seriously, what the fuck were the producers of that movie thinking, giving a bunch of angst filled teenage girls that kind of information? It’s amazing that any girl made it out of my generation alive.
Anyway, the thing that stopped me from using the razor was the rug. I was living in military barracks at the time and was fully convinced that if I got blood on the rug during my suicide, my barracks captain would send my parents a bill for the damage. It just seemed wrong to make my parents suffer from both my death, and from my failure to maintain a tidy living quarters as well. So the razor was out.
I also considered hanging. You know what stopped me from that? George Carlin. He had a stand up routine about suicide and one of the things he mentioned was that hanging was for weirdoes. I didn’t want people to think I was weird. So that was out.
I finally decided on pills. However, I didn’t really have a lot of pill options available to me. Like I said, I was in the military at the time. If you can believe it, military doctors can be kind of stingy when it comes to handing out anything stronger than a Tylenol.
So I went to Google instead. After extensive research, I decided that there was only one over the counter medication that could get the job done. Niacin. I’d known the dangers of Niacin overdose before and I knew for a fact they included death.
See, Niacin is rumored to remove THC from your system so you can pass a drug test. FYI anyone looking for info on passing a drug test with Niacin; it doesn’t do a fucking thing (but stay tuned for a future blog where I teach you how to really pass a drug test). At the time, I was always looking for ways around drug tests so I knew that about Niacin. I also knew that in certain doses, Niacin could be lethal.
But I was about to learn a hell of a lot more.
I decided to say fuck convention and commit suicide on a Friday afternoon after work. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of Niacin tablets. I took both while I listened to the song “Riding with the King’ by Eric Clapton and BB King.
If I was going out, I was doing it while listening to a decent song. There would be no ‘N Sync or Christina Aguilera singing the soundtrack to my death. I wanted the kind of soul only a true musician could provide. So I went with Clapton and King. For that, I regret nothing.
I remember counting the pills as I took them. It was a process. One red tablet, one little sip from a black label bottle.
If I was going out, I was going out drinking black label. King and Clapton should always be paired with black label. Always.
Around tablet 25, I started to get dizzy. For reasons I will never fully understand, I decided to lock myself in my closet while I waited for the pills to do their work. I lay down on that incredibly uncomfortable, nappy blue rug. It was the very rug I was previously so worried about damaging. I waited.
Then the pain started.
I wasn’t expecting pain. I was expecting to fall asleep and never wake up. Unfortunately, there are certain things that Google didn’t tell me about Niacin overdose. Like the burning. It felt like every single fucking sunburn I’d ever had, times four hundred, and it lasted for hours. I was shaking and burning and itching. But I was afraid to scratch my skin. I was certain if I scratched myself, the skin would just melt off in my hand in a pile of fleshy goo and blood.
Then I would stain the rug.
So I laid there and I clenched my teeth to keep from vomiting. I shook and I sweated. My temperature was approximately 400 thousand degrees and I was certain that Niacin was going to kill me by burning me from the outside in.
And while I was burning, my only thought was that I was going to die without ever seeing a volcano up close. Ever since I saw “Joe Versus the Volcano”, I’d always wanted to see the inside of a volcano from the top of one. But as I laid there burning on that nappy blue rug, I realized that I was never going to do that.
I got really mad at Tom Hanks. Then, I got mad at myself for not being brave like Tom Hanks and finding a more honorable way to die. (See Joe Versus the Volcano on IMDB if you have no idea what I’m talking about). After that, I think I had a seizure and passed out. When I woke up again, I wasn’t burning anymore.
Instead, I was blind.
At first, I thought it was just because I was locked in the closet and there were no lights. I fumbled and I found my lighter in my back pocket. I flicked it a few times before I realized that if I was really blind, I would have no way of knowing if it was working. I pushed myself up to a halfway squat and reached around for the string that attached to my light. After what felt like hours, I finally found it and I pulled the cord.
You ever have the light on but have your eyes closed? All you can see is that reddish color, light trying to pass through the black, but not quite making it? That’s what I saw, but my eyes were open. Then, another thought occurred to me as I squatted there with my wrist wrapped around the cord. I thought about how much easier my life would be if I wasn’t so obsessed with aesthetics. If I was blind, I could listen to the man I was dating, rather than be distracted by his looks. If I was blind, I could listen to things for what they were, rather than see them for what I wanted them to be.
Right before I passed out again, it occurred to me that’s what I should have been doing all along.
When I woke up again, sunlight was peeking under the crack in my door and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. My closet smelled like vomit and even the shine on my shoes made me a little dizzy and nauseas. But the nausea and the vomit didn’t bother me because they meant I was alive. I wanted to be alive again.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I reached up, I pulled open the closet door and I stumbled out. It was 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, nearly 48 hours after I’d locked myself in. I heard a knock on my door.
My roommate was going to drop off her dry cleaning and she wanted to know if I had anything I wanted her to drop off for me. For some reason, that offer was the most beautiful, selfless offer in the world to me. It bumped my faith in humanity up a little bit, which was exactly what I needed.
I gave her a garbage bag full of vomit covered battle dress uniforms. She smiled and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with her and her boyfriend that afternoon. I said yes, even though I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat a bite. I knew it was time to start living again.
Until today, no one ever knew what I tried to do to myself that weekend. My Niacin soaked suicide attempt was something that I’ve kept concealed. It was something that I was planning on taking to the grave. I was ashamed of it.
But I learned something in that closet that weekend. I learned that I wanted to live. I learned that there were still things left I needed to do. I learned that I was responsible for my own happiness.
That Monday, I ditched Mr. Shithead via text message. He deserved no better.
That Wednesday, I picked my roommate and I’s dry-cleaning and I gladly covered the tab without asking her for reimbursement. .
That Friday, I received another bill for $60 from my barracks captain for rug cleaning. To be fair, there was a significant amount of vomit.
And that spring, I saw a volcano up close. I checked it off and I added a new goal to the list. FYI: it was just as cool as it sounded.
I don’t regret what I did, because I lived through it. I was lucky that weekend. I made it through to the other side and I realized that life isn’t about the end. It’s about what you do while you’re waiting for the end. This realm is the boot camp. You struggle, you strive. You learn sometimes that you suck at things. You learn sometimes that you need to adapt and accept the way things are. You learn sometimes that the dreams you thought you wanted weren’t the dreams that were meant for you.
That weekend, while I laid on that nappy blue rug, I realized something. Maybe I would never get married. Maybe I would never fall in love. Maybe, I would never meet that Harlequin based man of my dreams.
But maybe, just maybe, that wasn’t all there was to life.
Maybe my life was just about living. Not living for someone else. Not waiting for some man to accept me or love me. Nope, it was just about living and I would need to learn to accept that. Because life wasn’t about me becoming part of a couple, as much as I thought it should have been. It was about me living. It was about me doing stupid things. It was about me adapting to the world around me.
It was about getting into a slap fight with a Native American during Burning Man because we argued about kite proportions.
It was about dancing on top of a float dedicated to the history of dildos during the love parade in Berlin.
It was popping a champagne cork in Times Square.
It was confetti raining down on me outside the Eiffel Tower on New Years, when I elbowed that dude in the chest because he wouldn’t stop pushing me.
It was dressing up in drag in Turkey and pretending to be a boy, just to see if I could get away with it.
It was playing spades with the people I met in quarantine just outside of Eddigan and losing every damn time.
It was life and it was beautiful.
It was beautiful in the way that sunlight peaked under that door on an ordinary Sunday morning. It was beautiful in the way my roommate was beautiful when she asked if I needed her to drop off my dry cleaning. It was just plain beautiful and there was no way I was walking away from that.
Since the day I tried to die, ever second of my life has been precious to me. From the mundane to the extraordinary, I have never turned off my internal camera. The memories are what matter.
I didn’t mean for my one year anniversary post to be so heavy, but in a way, its not. Because it’s not about if you were important. It’s not about whether anyone ever loved you. When you go to the grave, you go the alone and the only thing that you have to comfort you is your memories.
Tonight, I end you off with a quote that’s not mine, but feels like it should be mine, because it truly has made all the difference.
|I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.|
I know poetry isn’t usually my bag, but on this one year anniversary, I decided to be different. I saw the volcano and for a second, I reached my hand inside. That’s all I need to go happy. Thank you, Mr. Frost. Thank you, world, Thank you, life. Thank you for making me too inept and too bumbly to pull off a suicide.
Because that made all the difference. Happy Anniversary, my follower friends. I promise to be around for many, many more.
But I can’t guarantee I’ll pay for any damage I do to the rug.
I arrive at my favorite gas station, a place called “Gas Station” and square my shoulders bravely before I walk in. Generally, a trip to Gas Station isn’t something that requires bravery. But this time is different.
This time is different because I am incredibly stoned.
Earlier this evening, I made the mistake of turning on the old vaporizer prior to checking my cigarette supply. Then, just as I was getting an incredibly nice buzz going, I realized that I was running low on cigarettes.
In addition, I knew that there was no way that I could operate a motor vehicle. Not because I was afraid of getting into an accident. No, I was more worried about how long it would take to get to the store as I drove there at 8 miles per hour, left turn signal and parking brake on the entire way. I was forced to walk.
Even less good.
I stand here now and somehow I made it alive. Much of the journey is a blur, but I may have stumbled into a swamp. I am also clutching a handful of slightly damp duck feathers for reasons I don’t even want to consider. I can only pray that I didn’t get a massive, blackout case of the munchies and ate a live duck as I wandered through a Central Florida swamp.
I square my shoulders, march up to the door. I shove them open like one of those villains in an old west movie. I step into the room, imaginary spurs jangling.
Holy shit, this place is bright! This is the brightest fucking store on the planet! My retinas feel like they are being dipped in acid. It’s actually so bright, I can feel myself getting a sunburn and radiation poisoning at the same time.
I realize that everyone in the store is staring at me and that I may have said that entire last paragraph out loud.
I resolve to be more discreet, but I am having a slight problem at the moment. I don’t remember why I came to the store. “What the fuck did I need?”
“Excuse me?” An older Hispanic man is watching me with concern.
“What?” I focus blood shot eyes on him and it only takes me a second to realize. He knows. He knows I’m stoned. Shit! My heart starts to pound. What if he’s a cop? What if he knows the cops? He’s going to call them, I can tell. “Look man, just be cool.”
“Umm…” he takes a step back.
“I’m not hurting anyone, alright? I personally think that marijuana is an excellent alternative to alcohol and I don’t need to be judged by someone who doesn’t even know me!” My voice is getting louder. God damn it, I’m smart! “In fact, alcoholics in marijuana replacement programs have an 80% success rate. What other rehab program can do that?”
I’m on a roll! “Marijuana is viewed in many states as a perfectly reasonable recreational substance. Just because Florida is behind the times doesn’t mean that’s not true. What I choose to do in the privacy of my own home is my choice!”
The Hispanic man finally shuts me down. “Look lady, I don’t care what you do at home, but I’d like to get to mine. Can you move? You’re blocking the exit.”
“Oh,” I step out of the way, slightly chagrined, and move closer to the coolers to get back to my original issue. “Why the hell am I here?” My eyes focus on a Gatorade cooler. Was it Gatorade? I am really thirsty. And for some reason, all I can taste is feathers. Yes, it was Gatorade. I am certain. I nod to myself and march to the cooler.
I am immediately overwhelmed by the choices. “Wow, Gatorade comes in invisible now?” I pull a bottle out of the cooler. It’s not really invisible. It looks more like a cloud in a bottle. And it’s so beautiful, I know I must have it. But now I need one to drink. I reach inside to get an orange one.
Then, I realize it’s sitting next to another orange one, but the other orange one is just a little bit lighter. Is that another flavor or is one expired? I pick them up so I can compare them in the light. I am now juggling three Gatorades.
I trip and accidentally launch all three at the man behind the counter. He ducks to avoid them and picks them up off the floor. He isn’t angry. Mr. Gas Station is used to my shenanigans.
“That all?” I nod. “That will be 9.61.”
I’m clutching something. It must be money. I hand it to him.
“These are duck feathers.”
“Oh yeah,” I shove them in my purse and pull out my wallet. Mr. Gas Station gets a handful of money shoved towards him and counts it out on my behalf. He knows I am long past being able to count.
I manage to make it out of the store and I stand on the sidewalk, mentally preparing myself for the walk home. I open my Gatorade and take a sip.
I could really use a cigarette…