So, I had a bad dream the other day and woke up crying like I peed the bed or something. Luckily, instead of being in the privacy of my room, I was on my living room couch weeping as my mom was adjusting the blinds. Awesome. It’s a funny thing about crying around your parents. Though I’m not exactly the Juggernaut, there are only a handful of people on planet Earth that I would cry around and the Lasties are two of them.
This is probably also true because they also have the distinction of being some of the handful of people that can enrage me to tears. It’s not to say I cry any time I mix it up with them (I mean, I ain’t no bitch) but the fact that, in a moment of extreme stress, I would be more likely to shed a few while breaking my own knuckles out of frustration rather than hold up a liquor store or knit a sweater is a testament to there Jedi mastery.
See, when you’re dealing with your parents, crying only brings about two things: they either take you extremely seriously or not seriously at all. In my case, a white rock and roll chick made me cry and, upon seeing this, my mother sprang into action. I mean, it’d been at least ten solid years since I cried around Ma Duke, but she hasn’t lost a step in that department. If anything, she took it overly seriously. The way she was acted, you’d think I was the second gunmen at the grassy knoll.
Even better, I couldn’t get her to believe I was OK. because I couldn’t spit it out. In order to saywhat was wrong, I had to think about what was making me upset, and in doing so I got a bad case of the ‘chest heave coupled with the lower lip suck-in’ (visualize then proceed) and that of course only makes you look more hysterical which only makes the witness more hysterical. Blubbering: tis a slippery slope indeed. Still, she produced a damp wash cloth with the quickness (I swear she had it in her back pocket) and was just there, wiping my snots. I guess that whole birth connection warranty is good for at least twenty-one years.
On the other hand, crying in front of your parents can make you look like you need a Snack Pack and a nap. It’s really hard to assert your independence and adultness while you get your Fried Green Tomatoes on at the kitchen table. Again, I understand that the folks bring it out of you, but the dynamic is fubar (word to my Easy Company duns) after that. You look like a bitch, you know you look like a bitch and even worse, your parents know you look like a bitch.
I mean, you already don’t pay the light bill, what bargaining chip do you have after crying? And don’t think the sympathy vote is a lock. Maybe it’ll work once, but don’t be fooled. When you start eye-pissin’, and your parents get that concerned look on theirface and do the “I see where your coming from” nod (replete with the slightly poked out mouth to really emphasize the nod/understanding), what they’re really saying is, “Gosh, it was just yesterday I was bouncing you on my knee and now you’re all grown up, crying like a little biotch on my formica.” In these instances, crying usually just tables the discussion, thus resulting in a tie. Except in this ballpark, tie goes to those who buy groceries. Cry softly and carry a big face cloth. Peace to Stevie Nicks.
Penultimate Thought: Dirty fingernails are not tight.
Final Thought: If white people borrow something from you, they not only return it, they’ll probably return it in a bag.
So, anyone that knows me knows I like to throw back a plate of cheese fries every now and again. And if you and me have ever shared a beer or if I’ve ever given you back your underwear, you know exercise is something I don’t care for much these days. It’s not that I like growing breasts, it’s just that it seems a lot more pointless than it used to.
There was a time (says the old timer as he adjusts his bifocals) when grueling workouts were rewarded with battles on the gridiron and tailgates with rich people. At this time, you could wear a t-shirt that was cut short at the bottom without incident. Now, you walk into the gym and it’s a stunt show. I’m surprised I don’t see Funk Flex or Wyclef there trying to act relevant. Even better, you spend most of your time waiting for some guy from the forestry school to finish perfecting his treehugging technique on the chest flye machine. It is sweaty, tube socked chaos in there. And not the porn ‘leave your tube socks on’ sweaty chaos, but the other kind.
Let’s be honest: working out is not terribly gnarly and the only reason it was worthwhile because it fell within the realm of sport. Now, there are some fringe benefits of physical exertion, like the bandying about Spring Fling shirtless, but if it’s attention you crave (let’s be honest, Spring Fling wasn’t all that warm), then do as I did and wear short jean shorts. All kinds of hens will talk to you and even some roosters too, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you like your chicken.
Gone are the days when I really liked working out. In fact, when I think about it, I never liked working out all that much. It was just something I had to do, like going number two (you ladies are just gonna have to trust me on this number two thing). Scratch that, I like pooping. It’s productive, relieving, refreshing (Sidebar 1: Why do people assume that only babies need baby wipes? I’d argue doo doo gets worse with age, like wine but the opposite. You wanna little confidence boost before a night out? Give it the once-over with a Freshmate. Ladies, you can wipe your front bum).
To be accurate, working out is more like dropping trou in the home of someone you don’t know well. This of course does not translate to having movements in a girl’s room/house because that is just not allowed. No, this is like duking at the house of the kid your parents made you hang out with or the room of that kid you get the lecture notes from. You don’t do it if you can avoid it, but sometimes you gotta make executive decisions. Same thing with working out. You don’t want to, but that whole cellulite/blood pressure/ bleeding intestine thing can be rather convincing. But not nearly as convincing as human vanity.
I’ve always been of the belief that as long as I stay tall and am not visibly paunchy, I’m straight. I also used to be of the belief that Teddy was an original name for the noble bear that slept beside me since Christmas of 1984. Though short people still don’t matter, and though my jersey sways in the rafters as we speak, it may be time to reassess my exercise embargo. Looking good enough isn’t quite cutting it anymore. I wish I could say I definitely know I have the resolve to re-sculpt myself, but we shall see if I’ll actually go and publicly embarrass myself on the bench press. I get frustrated with exercise easily, especially when I ponder the days of yore and the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards that pull-ups kept from my grasp. Even worse, I consider the present; remembering I’m still tall and still better than most people.
However, three things have pushed me into the Valley of the Physical:
1. I was sitting at a god-awful play the other day (Sidebar 2: Instead of crowing about the wack state of rap music, someone needs to gather the theatre community and let them know that much current repertory is terrible. Whether said community gets slapped before or after the communique is relayed is up to whomever administers said slaps), and as I’m sitting, I look down to smooth out a bunching that took place at the bottom of my shirt. Apparently I should have run around the block a few times first because the bunching was my belly.
2. I may have found a concrete reason to press the weights. Stay tuned.
3. Because I don’t get to hear enough real-live black women bitch about Black men et al, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up Terry McMillan’s “Waiting To Exhale”. Before I get to the point, let me not for a moment. I think a lot of the nation’s Black women would rest much easier if someone finally told them that some of them just aren’t tight in any regard. Since I’m a demigod, I will. Black women: not all of you guys are worth bonding or perpetuating the species with; yes I could say the same for Black dudes, but since I can say the same about anyone, it’s a moot point. Not all of you can make the argument about whatever the fuck it is you talk about. I mean you kind of can, but it’s a misrepresentation of the issue. That’s like me going up to Mick Jagger and saying, “We slay chicks son.” I mean, it’s true, but not true in relation to the company. Some of you just plain struggle. Why do you struggle? Because well, someone has to to keep the balance of the universe. We don’t talk to white girls because we don’t like Black women. We do it because white girl rhymes with money and the ability to shout without reprisal. Black women, when you all make the bandwagon argument, you make the decent ones look bad and considering the unfortunate state of the world, they don’t need your help. Just thought that you should know. (Sidebar 3: I was gonna put a “nullus” on even picking up the book to begin with, but if I know Ter-Ter, she puts a nullus on anything she is associated with. Except marriage.)
At any rate, there was an excerpt about one character, Robin, and her sexual escapade with a co-worker. By escapade I mean commenting on his 38B’s, jolly stomach and his waist finger (think about it).
Now, one of these you can’t do anything about, but the others you can. And to be honest, it’s not the fact that he’s pudgy (oh, and he’s light-skinned by the by), it’s that the reader gets to see her thought process. She describes feeling him up, prodding his softness, then trying to think of someone else while getting the waistfinger. This was all very alarming because it could happen to me if I’m not careful. It’s even more dangerous since I can’t rap, although my skills may improve with weight gain since all fat black dudes have flow. Those that don’t have huge caskets and don’t see 40. Peace to my heart rate.
Penultimate Thought: You should always talk peopleout of bad tattoo ideas.
Final Thought: ‘The Bluest Eye’ is worth everyone’s time.
So, it appear that I haven’t had anything of note to wrote since the Taft administration for the simple fact that I’ve temporarily lost the narrative touch aka I ain’t get doo doo to say. Due to this literary constipation, I leave you with something I pondered earlier today: If the woman a man has an affair with is called a mistress does that mean the man a woman has an affair with is a mister? Peace to Billy Paul.
Penultimate Thought: Messaging on the facebook is the foreplay to the intercourse of friending.
Final Thought: Just about 370 days.
So, having foregone a week of debauchery and possible lynching due to disagreements with George Washington, I decided that an equally good time could be enjoyed at the amphibious den of ill-repute. Better yet, I made this decision completely sober and entered the premises in the exact same condition. For about eight straight seasons, I have publicly exclaimed that people of the caucusoid persuasion are utterly incapable of surprising me and for four of those same seasons, I was absolutely correct. Then, in season five, Toad’s Place happened to me. I didn’t know it then, but my life would never be the same after that first encounter. It is the one place that sunders my argument. It casts my theories to the rocks like Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son except less white child star and more Black man theories.
I just don’t get it. The whole atmosphere is mind-boggling. Outside of Toad’s, I’ve seen white folks dance. Outside of Toad’s, I’ve seen white folks drink. Outside of Toad’s, I’ve even seen a combination of the two (although, to be fair, this is a given since, for white people, the latter causes the former). I’ve witnessed these events and generally thought nothing; only being slightly puzzled at my white brethren’s affinity for hops and disdain for rhythm. These occurrences were not peculiar to me; they fell into my ‘things that don’t surprise me’ wheelhouse very nicely. Yet, upon entering this alternate universe, I find myself reeling, trying desperately to understand this fourth dimension, which is only slightly easier than trying to comprehend that the universe is boundless. Even worse, instead of accepting this as a realm beyond my understanding, I go and try to wrap my mind around it (read: I, more often than not, go completely sober).
Now you kids don’t know me to be Mr. Belvedere and I’m generally not the type to encourage drinking unless I bought the booze and want you to ingest said libations, but a jaunt into this joint requires drunkenness (Sidebar 1: When I drink, I tend to do it at odd hours. Personally, I enjoy a good bottle of Andre for breakfast while watching Ray, at 10:30 in the morning no less, or before bed on a weekday. And the answer is no. I was not celebrating anything in particular. They have a name for this, but it escapes me at the moment). Being tipsy simply won’t due. Though Black and white people here generally don’t interact, if they ever did, they would agree that if you’re not three sheets to it, the sight of the place may put a permanent hiccup in your brain. When you are drunk, Toad’s, like your parents friends who you don’t like, is O.K. Unfortunately, rather than nice graduation presents, Toad’s gives you a lovely clay-like sludge about the boots and trousers for your troubles.
What is it about Toad’s that makes my dick softer? Is it the dancing? Yes. The sight of unrhythmic sweatiness causes my intestines to bleed a little (Sidebar 2: I literally left tonight not interested in taking anyone home. It’s Saturday. You’re supposed to at least want to take someone home on Saturday). Is it the music? Yes. The fact of the matter is that you have to be on drugs to like techno. I’m not saying you have to be a drug user to like techno, I’m saying at the time techno is being played, you must be under the influence of a controlled subtance, generally of a narcotic nature, to fully appreciate its techno-ness. I’m convinced techno is the musical brainchild of the people they did the first clinical tests of LSD and ecstasy on. Lucky for me, I’ll get to enjoy it for four weeks this summer while among the musky peoples of the Iberian Peninsula. I, like many of the Negroid persuasion, am at a loss when techno is played. It seems, unlike any other musical genre, including the ones not even invented yet, rhythm is a liability. At 120 beats per minute, how many pelvic thrusts and fist pumps can I execute before I dislocate something?
Still, I don’t know why I find Toad’s so generally disagreeable. Yeah, the sober/non-rhythm/techno thing is a doozy, but I think the real clincher is my undercover social awkwardness. The fact that I’m tall and cooler than most people in the hemisphere aside, the setting makes me uncomfortable. Being surrounded by more people I don’t known than do, it’s like being transported back to first grade, except now I have a dirty mustache and can hold my liquor better (Sidebar 3: My first day of first grade, I got to class and realized, unlike Mount Hope Day Care, I was the only Black person in the room. Upon making this discovery, I started crying and my dad had to come pick me up and take me home). Though I cry less when surrounded by white people, I think I’m incapable of shaking my social awkwardness. And to be perfectly honest, it’s not a racial issue. If the room was full of Black people I didn’t know, I’d feel that same way, although my shyness would take a backseat to my curiosity as to who would first threaten to go to their trunk (keep it real black folks: in social settings, some of y’all don’t know how to act). I just get nervous; though height generally makes you better than people, it sometimes can make you feel creepy and imposing. Asking girls you don’t know to dance is the worst. It’s even worse at Toad’s because, if you get turned down, you probably got turned down by a girl who can’t dance, which is special. Since I know this and also know I don’t have enough money to make girls forgetful, I’m pretty much stuck. I know I could solve these problems by drinking heavily, but sometimes I just wanna do my dance.
Even better than dance floor rebuffing, I sometimes get caught in that no man’s land where I’m not in close proximity to any friends and catch myself searching the crowd frantically like I just lost my kid at the mall. Sometimes, I just grab the most familiar person; usually, it’s that person who I actually only know one thing about or only talk about one thing with, and proceed to talk about that one thing until I find someone more suitable to assuage my feelings of awkwardness. In this situations, I usually prolong my greetings, so that my rescue has ample time to come into my line of sight. I’ve come to the realization that, outside of the booze/rhythm/non-techno element, I enjoy throwing parties because it allows me to control the dynamic. The fried chicken is also key, but I probably do parties because its my way of combating my social deficiency.
Really, it doesn’t combat it in the sense that party-throwing gives me a greater sense of confidence in social settings outside of my control, but it does create the right delusion of grandeur. The way I see it, Yalie or not, you have to respect me at my own party because I was nice enough to bless you with asocial interaction that may or may not include chicken. If I’m serving drinks and you (XX chromosome you) feel the need to kiss my face and tell me the different ways you would do the grown-up with me, I appreciate the respect. If you’re a peppermint patty-type nigga that enjoys almost getting thumped at my party, I don’t appreciate the disrespect (Sidebar 4: I would be the last person to rail against niggerishness; it’s a catharsis enjoyed by the masses. However, fighting at parties is stupid, vibe-killing type stuff. If you really want to fight someone, find them during the school week. I’m sure they’ll want to fight then). Basically I’m that kid from high school who, though liked well enough, tries to do things for other people in the hopes they won’t notice his wackness and like him more. Thankfully, I’m tall and me. Peace to the Justice League.
Penultimate Thought: The amount gay men slay makes me look like a virgin.
Final Thought: 20…06 (plus one)!