Strange and Restless

Moonlight shone in through the window, refracted echoes of a hidden star playing along her naked body like the luminous etchings of some heathen astrologer. She sighed heavily as he traced unknown symbols inside of her with a bored hand, diligently attending to his labors like some tired and disaffected country priest shepherding a lost member of his fold through rites he had long ago lost all faith in.

He had no business being in her room that night, by rights should have been far away on other business, but from her labored whimpers it was clear she didn’t begrudge him his truancy. He ignored his misgivings and refocused, fiddling away inside of her with his trusty right hand (using an early prototype of the fingering form he would one day call ‘the necromancer’), while she wriggled before him with pleasure, oblivious to his internal struggle.

His fingers kept up a constant beat, strumming some mindless top 40 hit into her labia. Or some other body part, he had never paid much attention to female anatomy. She seemed happy though, maybe he was near her g-spot. Or her clitoris, or whatever. Fuck it. He passed the time planning his week, concentration often interrupted by increasingly urgent moans, trying to figure out his next couple days. He was just starting to develop a thesis statement for what was likely to be a particularly obnoxious history paper when she threw her head back towards him, eyes wild with lust. “I want you inside me,” she whispered in her idea of a sexy voice, the words practically hanging in the air like incense, evoking the initiation of some elder rite.

He looked at her naked body splayed out in front of him like the most enticing doormat he had ever seen. God those tits. He met her gaze and nodded slyly, “I just need a minute.” He hopped off her bed, slipped into her robe and walked towards the restroom, every inch of her imprinted in his brain. Let the record show that he was also quite erect, both from the generally sexual nature of the evening and also from the delightful sensation of the fuzzy robe tickling at his genitals.

He stood imperiously before the toilet, totally focused on the task at hand as he undid the robe’s belt and reached down to take a firm grasp and begin the dance. Knowing time was short he found his groove quickly, shuffling mentally through images of all the terrible things he wanted to do to her. He was halfway through a delicate role-playing scene: him wearing nothing but the laurel wreath of victory, standing triumphantly before the sacrificial altar upon which she lay spread-eagled before him, various cheeses artistically arranged about her torso, when he could feel the end approaching. A moment later, with a triumphant yell he spent himself into the porcelain crucible before him, his quest completed.

As always, the denouement of this exertion left him tired and morose, the wasting of his seed forever reminding him of how inadequately he himself put to use the spark of life within him. He settled his mind and returned to the bedroom. She lay there boldly, the very vision of temptation. “How do you want me,” she whispered, ever the brazen rogue.

“I’m sorry, I can’t stay.” He changed quickly into his clothes while she stared ahead, flummoxed. “Another time, Madame,” he told her, as he walked out the door and into the night.

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Fantasy

“I came,” she said, “hoping you could talk me out of a fantasy.” “Cherish it!” cried Hilarious, fiercely. “What else do any of you have? Hold it tightly by it’s little tentacle, don’t let the Freudians coax it away or the pharmacists poison it out of you. Whatever it is, hold it dear, for when you lose it you go over by that much to the others. You begin to cease to be.” (The Crying of Lot 49)

I’ve developed an uneasy relationship with the world. Not in the narcissistic sense that some power was hunting me, nothing that crude. It’s more a deep frustration with the fact that everything has devolved into a sequence of: wake up, do some shit, go to sleep and get paid every other Friday. And the accompanying sadness that rather than snapping out of it, I’m actively perpetuating it. I feel as if I was expelled from Eden, wherever that used to be. Not vengefully, as if I had eaten some sort of psychedelic fruit just to be contrary. More lazily, like a hobbit who has slowly meandered off the path in Mirkwood and been caught ever since in a haze of the secular and the dull.

The worst part is that the bullshit I need to contend with grows exponentially by the year. Pay your credit card bill. Find an apartment. Get a job. Work 60 hours a week. Commute. Pay your cable bill. Get food. You need food to live The Leach and you’re hungry so why don’t you get off your ass and fucking nourish yourself holy shit this is basic human instinct why doesn’t it drive you? Why doesn’t the internet work? The  remote’s broken. What even is a router? How do you turn off the heat? This is awful I’m sweating in the winter, should I call the landlord? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Things haven’t always been this mundane – the world is built upon the backs of its myths and lives are no exception. I may be pretty deep into the map at this point, but if I could find my way far enough back to the beginning, the edge of the scroll… there would be something there. Surely. Faded arrows aimed at lands far out of reach, alongside inscriptions speaking of dragons, wreathed in flame.

I used to believe in fucking magic. And Santa and God, and that there was a better than evens chance I was immortal. Not great odds but a punters chance, you know, like a 1/30 shot. I would have even accepted a fatal flaw of some type… an Achilles elbow or Adams apple. Whatever. I used to believe that my teddy bear – when strategically placed over my neck – would be protection enough against whatever vampires came out of the woodwork at night. In retrospect I don’t think I gave vampires much credit.

There is no single moment of  epiphany. These beliefs aren’t lost so suddenly – the world patiently erodes them over time. That said, not getting the letter from Hogwarts was likely the beginning of the end. Unfortunately at this point most of the fantasies are gone. I could walk up the stairs to my room without looking back for monsters by 10. By 12 I didn’t even need the light. A teddy bear no longer protects my neck, it’s just nestled there out of habit. I don’t fear the dark, and can only fly in my dreams. Those losses always seemed to correspond with some life development due to getting older. Realized you’re probably not a wizard? It’s cool, middle school starts this year. Don’t fear zombies anymore? Great, also people are having sex now, apparently. Go fuck someone to celebrate – odds they try to eat you just dropped significantly. Is God no longer a protective, comforting force in your life? It’s almost ok, you’re 21 now. Here’s a bottle of whiskey. You’re going to need it. The trades have never been fair: blowjobs have nothing on magic, and alcoholism is a poor substitute for faith.

That said, it’s not all gone. I remember being in London and craving Subway at 3am. It was pitch black, and an eerie courtyard and deserted streets lay between me and a mediocre footlong. Ten year old me would never have made that trip – there could have been anything out there in the dark. Twenty year old me made the trip…. But after about 15 minutes of convincing himself that there was nothing there and that ghosts weren’t real and everything would be fine. Even after steeling himself for the occasion, he still sprinted to Subway and back, his sad little eyes darting fearfully from shadow to shadow. It was pathetic, like he thought he could confirm for himself that he was truly alone by zeroing in frantically on everywhere and seeing nothing incriminating, as if not seeing something anywhere truly confirmed that he was alone.

When did I become such a bitch

This is mostly edited for simple things but not the last half. Forgive me, point shit out if I missed typos and whatnot.

I’ve almost always done everything I was told: I have forever been the world’s most contentedly domesticated bitch. During any situation in which there was a clear authority figure dictating rules, I have been all too willing to bow before their demands, metaphorically suckling at the teat of anyone with any sense of personal command or just general gravitas.

From an initial standpoint, it sort of makes sense though, right? My boss is my boss, he tells me to do this, he is the representative of the dude who writes my check, so his word is law. I do what policemen tell me to, I did what my coaches and referees told me to, I generally do what my parents tell me to. That’s just the way the world works to me, there are people in charge in most situations, and I defer to them.

That being said, I subconsciously try to offset feeling like a powerless little boy by finding passive aggressive ways to make myself feel like I have some sort of personal power. For instance I exclusively use random policemen for directions in an attempt to put the servant back into public servant, and no small amount of soccer referees have felt the weight of my sarcastic scorn. The end result is minimal beyond feeling like I’m taking a stand for a moment, but really it ends up just being kind of sad, like some manic hypocrite railing against ‘The man’ and then eating at McDonalds. Case in point, I will flip my mom off behind her back when she tells me to take out the trash, but I still take out the fucking trash.

That’s why it has always been crazy to me when I run into people who don’t follow the rules. It just makes no fucking sense to me… they’re the rules, motherfucker, just follow them and don’t rock the boat. Because of this, I have always considered rule breakers totally foreign, these dickish oddities are as strange to me as any alien or traveling freak show would be. Not doing what you’re told?  That, my friend, is just not how things work on this planet! It blew my mind in kindergarten when the assorted douchebags in my homerooms took it in turns to plunge the world into a state of chaos.

When I was younger, the existence of these miscreants meant that most of the public schools I attended strictly enforced effort-based grading. Showing up was half the battle, not being a cunt was the other half, and if I pulled that off I got an A. not that hard, right folks!? Nope, and correspondingly I crushed grades k-8.

My academic performance aside though, (it was, sadly, all downhill from there) this rule-deviancy mostly confuses me in the context of the work place. As I said earlier, if you’re getting paid to do something, you do it. You show up on time, you wear what they tell you to wear, and you do what they tell you to do. Not fundamentally hard, and if you pull that off you get money! Awesome money! If you don’t, they don’t like you, you don’t get paid, you get fired, and then no one else wants to hire you because you suck at working.

But there’s a light here! You don’t have to suck! All you have to do, at most jobs, is what you’re told. Brilliant! Sign me up, that sounds exactly like the kind of shit I can do. Yet now those same maladjusted kids who broke protocol and dicked around during school are older and looking for jobs themselves, and bringing their underdeveloped appreciation for the rules into the workplace. One of my acquaintances runs logistics for a limo company and he was exasperated by the shit he had to put up with. “this job isn’t fucking hard. You just show up. Sit there. And drive the guy when he’s ready. Some people just can’t fucking do it. They weren’t born with our work ethic man!” The last part made me laugh because I don’t have a work ethic, but you get the idea.

Yet as obnoxious as this may be, I’ve started to appreciate their viewpoint. The first way to see it is just by examining their lack of work ethic in the context of their life. First up, most of the people who do this shit just have shitty lives in the first place. They’ve got nothing to protect. What do they care if they get fired from McDonalds or some other shitty minimum wage chain, it wasn’t like they were getting paid enough to do more than make ends meet in the first place. And there’s always other shitty jobs out there.

I think a more persuasive way of looking at it is to look at this in the context of my own life though. It’s not that there’s something wrong with them for acting the way that they do, I think there’s something wrong with me. Why am I so content to place myself in roles of servility? What the fuck is wrong with me, that I have become so docile and accepting of the authority of others? I notice is particularly when I’m reading stuff, I just implicitly trust books and newspaper articles, unless they’re obviously fucked up. I’ll bet Karl Marx would have found me eminently persuadable if he had a few minutes to wear down my resolve. I just agree with people. It’s how I roll.

It’s obviously not so cut and dry as that, but I think it’s a very serious problem, and it is indicative of one of the things I hate most about myself, that I am not a proactive person. I never set out and do things. Shit happens to me and I respond to it. Being in a situation where I’m told what to do is great for me, because it means I know exactly what I, personally, as in me, this guy right here with the thumbs, has to do to make things work properly. I don’t have to think about it, make any hard choices, nope. Just sit down, do what I’m told, and everyone will like me for doing what I’m supposed to do.

That’s not a very good way to live, and I’ll bet it’s the number one reason why I was basically unemployed for 10 months. Will I fix this? No idea. but that’s just how the world works: you have to make your luck, and I’m bad at that and it actually scares me a great deal. I’ve been lucky in that a lot of things have sort of fallen into my lap over the years, something that I think eroded to some extent my desire to be super forward and proactive: if good things happen to me when I’m chilling, what’s the point of working my ass of?

I’ll leave by writing down the main theme here, the end of which is a paraphrasal of something from the Road. The world does not wait for people. It does not coddle them, it does not help them. There is no benevolent force looking out for me. The world has no opinion on my existence, It doesn’t even know I’m here.

Francis Meyo Must be Stopped

I am about to attempt to portray the world of Francis Meyo. Usually in the interest of tact and privacy last names are redacted from this sort of thing, however I will make an exception due to the extreme danger Francis poses to all decent and honest members of society. This piece is not for your entertainment. Consider it a public warning; a long needed declaration of his unspoken ambition to destroy the world of men. He is the sort of creature about whom old men refuse to speak after dark, whose name and activities are synonymous with hushed voices and tightened sphincters. He is the sort of man whom, if you can see him, it is already too late. I will soon find a way to document his movements online so that anyone may make the necessary adjustments to avoid him.

I have never blamed another human for my failures or flaws. I take great pride in the fact that when I fuck up I am the agent of my own inadequacy. In keeping with this spirit, I have never pointed a finger at another person after something bad happened to me and leveled an accusation, e.g. “That kid fucked me. If that guy had not done what he did I would be fine.” I’m better than that. The only exception I will make is in the case of Francis, who has screwed me over on so many occasions that I cannot in good faith continue to blame myself when he is a part of any equation.

And I am not alone in this – one friend refers to Francis as “The bus driver,” in tribute to Francis’s penchant for conversationally throwing him under the bus every time they’re in a bar together. See this typical conversation starter: Francis, talking to unattractive female: “This is my friend Robert, he finds you wildly attractive.” Example two: (speaking loudly in direction of unattractive girl) “Wow The Leach. That is disgusting, why would you say you wanted to do that to her? (To girl directly) I am so sorry for my friends rudeness, he assured me he would be better.” That sort of shit is his bread and butter; friends are not so much humans as glorified pawns to be carelessly tossed to the winds at his leisure.

I think one of the main contributing factors to Francis being terrible is his age. By the time he graduated he was up to 8 years older than the youngest students. This disparity meant that no one at school was on the same page as him mentally – he was a man among boys in every sense of the phrase. And what is the natural state of things but for elders to assume positions of authority?  Using this line of thought, he is naturally placed in a position of power by his – I use this term loosely – friends, due to his age and experience, though his formidably calculating intellect and girth surely helped ensure his social domination. He was never truly one of us, rather perpetually some other, foreign and sinister figure who used his pulpit to sow discord and confusion amongst the masses.

Were I given to wagering (not so much since the accident), between the ages of 15-21, your average human probably costs himself (not spends, note – costs himself, as in accidentally outlays more cash than he should or expected to) about $1500-2000. Because I am significantly less respectful of money than your average human, I have cost myself somewhere upward of $4500 over the course of the last 6 years. If we were to turn my monetary follies into a pie chart, the largest single slice would have “Fuck Francis” emblazoned across it in bold.

The worst part about this is that not only does he come by his evil ideas naturally, he also carries them out insidiously. His weapons are not hammers and anvils but softly spoken promises and wheedling solicitations; a transcript of his conversations would reveal choruses of “(insert name) come on! Why won’t you do this?” “Just pick me up, you’re not busy.” And my personal favorite, “It’s fine… No come on… it’s fine don’t worry.” His confidence and ceaseless inveigling strike steady and monotonous, like waves against the shore, eroding what little resistance I have until I am resigned to following out his plans.

I don’t want this thing to carry on forever, so I am going to make one fast diversion and describe Francis’s interactions with people in a soccer setup, because this is sort of indicative of the overbearing way he lives his life. The first time I met Francis was in my first intramural game for The Football Team freshman year. It was outdoors, and he was playing barefoot while everyone else had cleats, because Francis doesn’t give a shit.

Francis plays as if rules are more nebulous suggestions than concrete guidelines written on stamped official documents and recognized as sacrosanct the world over. His ass, which is the most tremendous ass I have seen outside of the Internet, is a weapon of m-ass destruction. He uses it primarily to shove people, and his anal hip-checks have prompted cries of illegality and dismay from players for years. His preferred method of defense is thrusting himself parallel to the earth in front of onrushing dribblers, leaving them to trip over him in confusion. When people round upon him with accusations of ill intent he will then cry, “I slipped! No don’t look at me like that, I swear, I fell!” eyes shifting incredulously back and forth, mouth agape in astonishment, the very picture of an innocent victim. He sucks.

Now that you have more of an understanding of his lack of character, his relationship with alcohol must be discussed. First, Francis can drink more than you. I can say that despite having little idea about this my audience beyond my best friends mother and a couple bored collegians. If any hardened alcoholics are reading this, I would be happy to arrange a drink-off, though only if I am not held accountable for the disposal of your alcohol-poisoned corpse. People who alcoholically engaged with Francis have been found wandering aimlessly, eyes hopelessly glazed over, their vocal chords reduced to spouting strains of gibberish with great conviction, and there are unconfirmed reports of at least two people found fast asleep under bushes in the dead of winter.

Yet the real problem I have with his drinking has nothing to do with his consumption, it is that Francis considered me his personal drinking chauffeur and stooge. No time was too random for him to demand that I bring him to a liquor store, and the words “I’m busy, fuck off” apparently mean absolutely nothing to him. No day is sacred, and the text “Drink?” was sent to me so often it may as well be my cell’s background. On more than one occasion Francis called me at noon, demanding an immediate ride off campus to pick up lunch and liquor. He would then follow me back to my house, where he would drink on the couch until passing out, though not before commanding me to “wake him up at 2:30,” in order to drive him back to work on campus.

The day after Founders Day the rest of campus spent in the library, nursing their collective hangover and doing… something, I’m going to assume. I have no idea. I would have loved to be doing whatever it was they were doing, but I did not get to, because my wants are subservient to those of my African God. He made me drink all afternoon, while shuffling between a variety of highly exposed locations so bystanders could watch in awe. It was the most disgusting day I have ever spent, our drinking interrupted only by a trip to the local bar to eat piggy mac, a massive bed of pulled pork asleep beneath the warmly blanketing covers of piping hot macaroni and cheese.

As a final note, Francis was a part of a majority of the bad things that happened to me in college. The reason I had no gas in my car all semester? Francis made me drive him everywhere. The reason I got kicked out of the 3v3 soccer tournament in May? Francis let the administrator who ejected me play on his team for no reason. The reason why I was hospitalized for alcohol consumption freshman year? Francis convinced me earlier that day that taking 12 shots in 30 minutes would be just what the doctor ordered. The night I broke my fucking laptop by drunkenly spilling a glass full of brandy on it? Francis demanded I get drunk with him that afternoon, and I had pretty much blacked out at dinner after two hours of shots and Two and a Half Men. The night I blew $100 on drinks at Billy Bobs? Francis. Was. There.

I’m trying to think of a good way I can end this. I’ve said most of what I meant to say when I started, and am too lazy to go back over it and make it a little better. I could honestly go on and on. I could write about how ludicrously strong he is, and that time he was so retarded drunk he tried to lift a car. His constant stroking of my legs when we’re in the car together, the way that his idea of singing along to music is really just to unleash a shrill, ululating scream and drown out the song. The way that he tells people that it’s ok when it’s not ok, or how he tells everyone a different story about the scar on his eye – lion?  No one knows. I’m not even sure what he’s doing right now, although if he is not somehow controlling whatever form of government Kenya has it is purely due to laziness, as he would likely have little trouble. He is a devil in flesh, a creature whose very presence portends ill fortunes as surely as any broken mirror. I live in fear of the thought that an ocean and half a continent cannot keep me from his grasp.

Fuck Autocorrect

I can be a very crude person. Not in a tactless way, I’m not abrasive and violently opinionated in that trashy teenage girl way, where they just say gratuitously rude shit to people they don’t know to prove to their classless friends that they’re fucking REAL and don’t give a shit about what other people think. Those people lamentable. That was totally off point but I ran into a couple kids like that this week and I could have done without their existence and wanted to mention it.

Where am I going with this? Not sure I know I had a really good segue when I was thinking of this bit but I forgot it at some point between dinner and the third episode of Party Down I watched tonight. So anyways, I’m a crude person, and I like to say bad words a lot when I’m writing or chatting with friends. This is partly because I’m crass but it also helps lend weight to things. Did you do something, or did you FUCKING do it, man? Fuck is the ultimate modifier, basically.

Also sometimes, certain bad words are the best way to describe things, and as someone who worships at the altar of efficiency, I always prefer to use the best word possible. For instance, without the word cunt, it would be almost impossible to really describe Ann Coulter.

However, and this is the part that pisses me off, cunt is not a word, according to Microsoft word. Nor is it a word according to facebook chat – it is always autocorrected to count… As if facebook is telling me “surely you meant to say counts!” and to facebook I say, “no… facebook. I meant to say cunt, because that person is a cunt, and I am describing them.” As a corollary, if you don’t capitalize the f when you type facebook on facebook chat it autocorrects it so that the f is capitalized, which I find very annoying. Get off your own dick facebook.

Now on the one hand, this bothers me because I hate having to spend the extra second having to fix it so that cunt is written properly, and I have a similar aversion to seeing that obnoxious fucking red squiggle beneath words Microsoft Word thinks I messed up, particularly when I know that that word is actually a word and Microsoft is in the wrong. Fuck machines that think they know how to think, and as an extension if Microsoft Word green underline squiggles one more fucking reflexive pronoun because it just can’t handle the word themselves I’m going to flip (and dear sweet baby jesus, perfectly on cue it just green underline squiggled that word). That minor annoyance aside, there’s something far more sinister at play, an issue mostly of censorship.

Words that are words are words. They are in the dictionary, they have accepted definitions. They are real, they are tangible, they exist. I should be able to expect that when I use a real word on a real word processing unit, that word processing unit will not tell me that word is not actually a word. I can understand why it put red squiggly lines under cuntily, and cuntish, (something the ‘add’ button was able to correct…) because those aren’t in Merriam Webster. But cunt is in Shakespeare.

What I’m trying to get at though is that it is not their duty to play moral arbiter on bad words. My word processing units/chat mediums should not come replete with their own moral sensibilities. They are tools, and it is not their place to tell me that something is not a thing because their creator is a prude. Fuck you, fuck the horse you rode in on, and next time give me a product that doesn’t think “oh you must surely be mistaken!” when I use a word it thinks is inappropriate.

I am the coyote

Over the last several years, just about every Thursday night that I’ve been at home I’ve played indoor soccer from 9:30pm to 10:30pm with a bunch of Mexican gentlemen. I was introduced to this weekly game by one of my best friends from High School, henceforth known as Brown Bear – we used to be really into scrubs, and him being Brown helped us really get into the JD/Turk, vanilla Bear/Brown Bear mantra. BB is Guatemalan, and he was an illegal alien when he came into this country until he was about 10, when his family became naturalized citizens.

Apparently that whole process is harrowing, as basically you show up with your whole family at some very official government building, and once there, you either get the opportunity to become a US citizen and continue to live your life in peace and quiet or they deport the fuck out of you. How they make that assessment is beyond my ken, though I think having 5 kids in the family may have helped.

To make a long story short,  his mom is one of 13 children, and every year or two one of her brothers will find their way in from Guatemala (there’s four here now, and I gather they take trucks, as air travel requires a level of legality beyond their means), live in their house for a couple months until they can find work and some roommates, and then go on their merry way. Their English isn’t particularly good so they find jobs at Mexican restaurants, where they make friends with the Mexican guys who work there and love soccer, and it is in this roundabout way that I know they play soccer on Thursdays and get to play with them.

It felt a bit awkward at first for me, since I’m the only white American guy who plays with them on Thursday nights. Of the 15-22 guys that show up every week, only perhaps four speak English well enough to say anything other than hello or pass, and despite playing with these guys for years the only interaction the majority of us have is the traditional good game fist bump. In keeping with this, despite playing with them for years, I know almost none of their names. I know one guy, Kris, partly because he’s the one everyone gives the game fee too, but mostly because he’s the only one who speaks English well enough to complain properly when I trip him. There’s Wilmer, Brown Bear’s cousin, but everyone calls him Cabanas, with the n having that squiggly thing that changes the way you pronounce it. And Raphael, who is about my age but always brings this 4-5 year old girl, which makes me think he’s either a really helpful uncle or made a horrific mistake.

After that though, I’ve got nothing. They call this one guy something that sounds like Weedle, which I hope is actually his name because I love nothing more than people who don’t know their names are also Pokemon. The fat kid I thought was named Albert they always shout “Chivas” at, so I’m going to assume that’s his name but will continue to call him Albert in my head. One of Brown Bears other uncles is called taco, make of that what you will.

Despite this utter lack of common language, communication problems aren’t that big a deal, and Spanish is starting to slowly creep into my lexicon. I never shout time anymore, it’s “tiempo” and faster has become “rapido.” I will refrain from a cheap “pass is passo, get it, because Spanish words end in o” joke because no one has ever made one that’s actually good.

Outside the language problems, there’s also a fun clash of playing style. They play exactly like I always sort of thought Mexicans would play. First, they all love to dribble. I used to watch the Argentine professional league and even the defenders there play as if they aren’t allowed to pass until they had dribbled past an opponent first, and the same rule seems to apply. That’s partly because we’re just messing around and beating people is fun, but it also just seems ingrained that they like to hold onto the ball perhaps a couple seconds longer than they should. It’s actually a refreshing change from the sterilized, serious soccer you see at club level, where it’s all first touch passing and movement and dribbling is frowned upon, but it can be annoying when you’re hanging out wide open in front of the net and they resolutely tell you to fuck off by trying to finagle their way through a packed defense all alone.

They’re also sneaky fast, and incredibly shifty. Everyone seems to have this preternatural, innate ability to turn on a fucking dime in the middle of a full sprint. They’re also great about shielding opponents from the ball and turning themselves every which way until they’ve shaken them off – they’re tricky people!

But you don’t give a shit about soccer so I’m going to get to the part that amuses me about the games, and that is that every single guy I play with is in America illegally. BB and I had been joking about it for years, every Thursday he’ll ask if I’m down for some illegal soccer action, something silly like that. All in good fun! Then one day two years ago, “gato” stopped coming. After about a month I thought it was a little weird, and BB confirmed that there had been a police raid on Acapulco’s, the restaurant Gato worked at, and he had been deported. WOW! I thought. Shit got real! Gustavo, the Brazilian kid who used to play with us had self-deported after his Visa ran out when we were in high school, but this was the first actual non-intentional country eviction I had been privy to.

Surely this was an isolated incident I thought, and didn’t bother thinking about any of the other guys’ residence status. Over the next couple years none of them disappeared that I could remember, but I was in school a lot so didn’t play for months at a time and couldn’t be totally sure, and never really paid it much attention – as I’ve stated before, being oblivious is a talent of mine.

Then, last month, Gato came back. He wasn’t as good as he had been but it looked like the same kid, and everyone certainly seemed to be calling him Gato. While the odds there were two similar looking Mexicans nicknamed cat in my area were probably pretty high, I was still confident I had found a match, and I mentioned it to BB. What follows is a pretty accurate transcript of what we said, as close as I can get wearing a wire when I wander around. “Hey is that Gato? It looks like him. He’s not very good anymore though, I don’t think prison agreed with him.”

Winnie agreed with me that Gato had indeed come back and was shittier, and I followed up with, “Hey so how many of these guys are actually here illegally? Like how did Gato come back?”

Winnie gave me the look he always gives me when he re-remembers that while I’m his friend, I’m also a hopelessly clueless and naïve member of the white establishment. “Vanilla Bear. You’re a retard. they’re all here illegally. Gato came in a truck.”

“Wait all of them? I always thought a couple of them were and we were just kidding.”

“I mean we are kidding because it’s funny but none of them are here legally.  Like, Wilmer got deported last year. They threw him in jail for a month and sent him back to Guatemala and then a couple months later he hitched a ride back up here.”

“Wow! Holy shit!” this was some serious fucking news to me. “They actually put him in jail? I was just kidding earlier. Jesus that’s rough. And he just came back in a couple months?”

“Yeah they all do. It’s not that hard.” This was absolutely blowing my mind.

“Even though they might go to jail? That would be awful I would definitely do very poorly in jail.” As I thought about it, the wheels started turning in my head, because I’m always one for entertaining fictive hypothetical’s. “So Winnie, is there like a reward for turning in immigrants? Like if I called the police here one day would they give me a million bucks?”

“They might give you a sticker or a certificate or something. Definitely no money. Oh and we would all beat the shit out of you.”

“Wait you would join them?”

“Well I’m not going to help you fend off two dozen pissed off Mexicans. Especially if you’re going to pull that kind of a dick move, you would deserve it.

“Nah I wouldn’t do that, I was just wondering. What would happen though if the police just randomly cased this joint while we were playing?”

“Oh they would all get deported. You’d probably go to jail though, they would think that you were the coyote.” The coyote? Now there is a sweet term for a criminal, I feel like someone could do a lot worse than to be called the coyote. I was learning things left and right! “The coyote is the guy who leads everyone in to the country. They don’t come in blind, they need to have someone pointing them out where to go and what to avoid, all that. And as the resident white person, you would be the coyote.”

So there you have it kids. If I ever disappear for no explicable reason, odds are that haven’t been kidnapped – who would want me? – or run away, because I’m a creature of comfort, and where would I go? No, you would do well to check my local jail, because I am the coyote.

Does everyone else see this shit?

Interacting with other people can be an uncomfortable experience for me, and I’m unsure if this is because I am the reigning Lord of all things self-conscious or because everyone else is just particularly good at hiding their own social neuroses and questions of awkwardness. I think part of it might have something to do with the fact that I must have missed a lot of social awareness classes growing up, because I seemed to come late to the information party on a lot of kind of important things. Things that other kids just seemed to know I was blissfully ignorant of: For instance I had no idea what a ‘boner’ was until some kid at summer camp explained it to me when I was 9.

This is because I lived under a massive fucking rock up until I was 10 or so, and one partly of my own devising, because I don’t ask questions. You’d think if a very sensitive part of your body occasionally became even more sensitive and, like, I guess the proper term is erect, you’d ask someone a fucking question. Nope. Not me. Questioning things is not how I operate. Whether this is because I am very comfortable within whatever cocoon of knowledge I have constructed for myself and see no need in expanding it or because I am just a hopelessly unaware person is up for debate.

I’d put it down to the latter, with an asterisk, because there are always asterisks when I am involved. The reason I say asterisk here is that I am not totally unaware – I am just a very selective noticer of things. I have a great head for facts and figures and random information. I could, without consulting a wiki of any type, probably give you more information about the Game of Thrones universe (and to be fair to academic me, I could do the same for classical Greek and Roman history and a few other things that actually exist) than just about everyone not named George Martin.. I want to know who did what and why, it interests me, so I read on and find out. When it comes down to things that actually affect me, I’m sadly all too willing to just chalk it off as something that just happens and I can’t do anything but accept it. When a little voice in my head goes “Gee, why is my penis all funny right now? Sure is hard to piss like this,” another little voice replies, “Hey no biggie The Leach, that just happens sometimes, nothing you can do. It’ll go away in a few minutes if you don’t think about it or anything. Go read a book.” And that will be that – nothing to see here folks, move along.

Whether this has anything to do with how self conscious I am remains to be seen, but there’s a sense that if you get burned a few times for lacking basic information about your body/missing social cues, you’ll overcorrect to spare yourself future shame. However true that may or may not be, I have a really heightened sense of paranoia around seeing other people doing things that I wouldn’t do and not seeming to notice.

This is not the same as saying that they make me feel uncomfortable. That’s looking at something that you don’t like and having an opinion by being all “Ew, I don’t like that thing!” I am almost impossible to creep out in that fashion. Rather this is about seeing something that seems a little off, and not being sure if I’m supposed to have an opinion about it, and thinking I must have missed something if and when everyone else has, by their acknowledgement or non-acknowledgement of that difference, tacitly revealed that they have an opinion about it (not noticing something can itself be an opinion, i.e. that thing is not worthy of notice), and I’m just sitting alone unsure of what to think.

Let’s say that for some inexplicable reason a bunch of naked dudes are milling around in a place they aren’t supposed to be and acting all nonchalant about it, like in a museum or library or courtroom, just a place where naked people generally are not to be found. Also, this isn’t a naked run, this is just dudes hanging out naked reading the newspaper. Instead of walking into the library and thinking “well that’s disgusting,” I’ll start to question whether I’m doing something wrong. “Those dudes are naked. Ok. Fact. Definitely naked. All of them, naked, hanging out. And they look like it’s normal, and no one is yelling at them. Is this a party? Naked Tuesday thing? Fuck, there aren’t any signs or directional’s, how was I supposed to know. Am I supposed to be naked too? Wait am I the weird one now? What the fuck. If I’m supposed to be naked where do I put my clothes? I can’t see where they put theirs; did they just show up naked? Should I walk to my car or something and get naked and come back in?” That’s what it’s like, every fucking time I see a bunch of people doing something that isn’t quite the way I had always assumed things were supposed to be. I start wondering if everyone is crazy or if I’m just hyper sensitive, although in this case which was sort of dramatized for effect I think being sensitive to the issue might not be a crazy reaction.

One of the biggest instances of this (Which I have since solved but confused me so much at the time) revolves around thighs. First, I used to feel really uncomfortable around public transportation when I would sit and another person would sit down next to me and our thighs would be touching while we sat there, being shuttled along to our separate destinations. I always assumed that thighs were personal space, like the castle doors to my penis, and I kept being rudely disabused of that (admittedly) idiotic notion every time a stranger sat their ass down next to me and our thighs would touch. This happened so often that I slowly realized that thighs were not personal space and that it’s ok if yours touch the persons next to you.

However I still do think that while a stranger may have their thigh space and I have my space (and our thighs touch because that’s socially OK, obviously, because people keep doing it) that doesn’t mean that you get to dominate the available thigh-space such that my thighs are squeezed into a corner so that you can sit there and gloat with your genitals the point of origin of the asshole 90-degree angle your thighs are forming. I’ve had enough of dickheads doing their best to use their thighs like the battering rams of an expansionary Ottoman horde against my tired 15th century Eastern European defenses. Would that my own thighs – sad, fightless protuberances that they are – had the resolve of Vlad the Impaler and actually fought back. Fuck you and sit properly in your seat, the limits of which your thighs may expand towards, but no further.

That seems covered, and so we have thigh related issue number one assessed. The second issue, something of a corollary, concerns how much thigh it is acceptable to show. As a soccer player this question gains prominence as I have developed not only slightly larger thighs than your average human, but I play a sport in whose very rulebook it is decreed that my thighs must be displayed, like some bizarre athletic meat market. That isn’t a joke, I am a referee and shorts must be worn, as per the rulebook I am checking on the Internet at my shitty temp job right now.

The issue of thigh showing is similarly relevant to me because different demographics seem to have very different ideas of what constitutes acceptable thigh showing. For instance it seems like from the 60’s to the 80’s, shorts were pretty much mid-thigh length, judging by what movies featuring summertime joggers and old basketball games (the only two historical records I have access to) seem to indicate. However most recently shorts have been much longer, judging by the ever-reliable trend indications of basketball games, and I guess by the slightly less reliable clothing choices of people I see in public.

However despite this kneeward expansion of general short sizes, soccer shorts sizes have been stagnant, with no foreseeable size increase in the future. So where’s the social issue? Well I’ve got all these soccer shorts, and I’m wearing them in public around people wearing shorts down to their knees, and so I’m the only non-female figure with their thighs out, and I feel fucking weird about it, like everyone else had a meeting where acceptable public shorts sizes was hashed out but I wasn’t invited and now I’m the idiot who never got the memo and showed up to school on an off day.

This problem burned at me through my prime self-conscious years (13-17), until I got to college, where I learned that thigh showing was totally acceptable, particularly in any athletic context. Why is this? No idea, but I saw so many thighs – serious kudos to rugby players on this account, y’all got mad thigh confidence – that I became totally unconscious to all things thigh related. I can’t tell if I just became slowly inoculated against the presence of so many thighs to the point where I stopped noticing, in the way that people used to build up immunities to various poisons (you are probably thinking of Wesley with his iocane powder here, though I prefer to think of myself as a slightly retarded version of Mithridates). It was either that or I just one day realized who gives a shit about thighs.

These social confusions aside, I’m still coming to grips with the latest issue, namely, how much (penis related) bulge is acceptably visible in the crotch region? This isn’t a “how big is a normal penis supposed to be” question – trust me I’ve done all of that relevant research. Rather, regardless of how big one’s penis is, how much of its accompanying bulge is acceptably visible in public?

I ask because I was out playing indoor soccer last week and one kid had, to my eye, far more bulge displayed than should be allowed. I’m not sure if that’s some sort of weird clothing malfunction or if he just had a monstercock, but I felt like something was wrong. I’m not sure what he could have done; like I don’t think people should be walking around hunched over or anything to spare me a bulge sighting but I feel a smart person could figure out how to help all parties here.

Which then brings up the first question, do other people even notice those things in the first place? I’m not saying I walk around with my eyes permanently at hip level trying to check out how prominently the men around me are displaying their dicks but it’s something that I do occasionally notice, and I feel like it’s one of those things that most people would notice. And if you do notice those things do you bring it to the relevant parties attention? Like, ‘hey dude, great cock but can you keep it out of the limelight?’ That question was superfluous actually; I doubt anyone has ever considered alerting the offending party.

But then, once we’re off the question on whether or not this is a notice-worthy issue, arises the other question, namely, even if you do notice it, is this an issue or not? Is it just something that one notices, like different skillsets, e.g. when I’m watching a sport and notice someone is a particularly good shooter or passer or whatever, or that guys tall, and the issue of someone having a noticeable dick-bulge in their pants is just on that level, something that you notice because it distinguishes them from the rest, but nothing more? I don’t know and consider the jury is still out on this issue. Not that I’m not going to keep losing sleep about it, and a thousand other weird things that I notice.