Thursday, May 30, 2013
1. Of course I'm getting a ride to the hotel. Of course it's from my folks. I am 35-years-old.
2. Dad asks me about the wedding, and I tell him the couple's names who are getting married, Bens marrying them. Him: I like her and Ben; they're a cute couple. Me: (actually don't have the heart to tell him): Pa you have the worst gaydar ever, you're a fucking pastor, marrying=officiating. He goes back to weeding. I pour a stiff G&T.
3. Jailbreak! Sis is taking me to the hotel. This is mostly a smoke break for the two of us, but also a moment, for me, to reflect what I'm walking into. The White Stripes are on--this evening shall be caustic.
4. Hotel: nap time!
5. The shower has these three other shower heads coming out the rear end. I don't know if I should be singing "At the Carwash" or "Maniac"
6. No Tommy Boy fans? Seriously?
7. I'm lost. This fucking fuckly fuck is fuckity fucker fucked. Minneapolis is too organized. You need directions by bars. So say we all.
[40 minutes later]
8. I'm here. There is literally nothing except Grumpy's. I reason if nothing emerges: grab a drink at Grumpy's, walk back to the hotel, pick up a bar maid and go to bed. Then there is a stupid sign saying this is the place. Fuck.
9. I'm sweating like a fat man's fart. For my moist handicap I take a respite to the bathroom. I don't know anybody. This was a mistake.
10. This is truly a Wisconsin wedding, flush with beer and healthy looking people who will enjoy a Big Mac and a side of mayo on their way home after polishing off fifteen beers. You can't stop them--just needs let them run their course.
11. Dear friends, this is the land beyond the singles table. I had anticipated this being akin to the music video for Passion Pit's 'Constant Conversation'. I'm playing my part by staring out the window, but it's only a ploy to make myself seem interesting and deep. These sheep herders are all wise to my shallow and derisive ways. When in doubt accoutrement!
12. The same two fucking women who guided me in are still outside! What's worse, Tonic is here as well. I smoke my accoutrement, facing the other way. I favor them by lifting the suit coat jacket to show them the goods.
13. They have left. *sigh* still got it.
14. Plying my alcohol intake towards the nuclear option.
15. Thank God for the gays. Any asshole (ha!) who doesn't love them should rot in hell. Nate rescued me to the fire escape. But drat. "Mmmhm Beer" [We've actually done clinical studies, and it's nothing against her, but this is the way she thinks: beer or mmmhm] is here. At this point beggars should not be choosers as far as who he talks to. The rain dripping off the wall is still far more interesting than her. Must needs grab her a beer.
15 1/2. forgot to tell you about a conversation with two lesbians about the worst three words you could ever say to a woman. They are: "moist", "panties" and I forget the third...
16. So J says hello. I guess that's cool. I remain quite bitter. Eh, who cares. This is the antithesis of the entire party: a simple game of who isn't talking to whom and how to piss off those who actually are talking to whom. [allow four measures to yawn] It's simply exhausting, but maybe a good weight loss program. It's not working for them, but keep trying!
17. Let's do the time warp! I'm chatty, making friends with everybody. A women out on the fire escape drops her purse. She's wearing a skirt, and I'm waiting for a perv to walk out of Grumpy's parking lot and look up. Good life choices.
18. I do the photo booth with groom's dad but think it's the bride's. I tell her as much and she reminds me her dad died a year ago, and couldn't walk her down the aisle. Now I'm the asshole.
19. Dance! Strange partners emerge in front of me. A silver hair rips off my tie, shimmying me to the tune of John Lee Hooker. I'm obviously only doing this for an audience of one.
20. Party is winding down and we jump a shuttle back to the hotel. The bride and groom are fighting. This is usually the measure of a successful wedding.
21. The modern age as explained via text... me: Take care of the bride 533; me: By that I mean I'm in room 533; her: Funny just got back to my room; me: Sounds boring; her: Perhaps. Have a corkscrew? I'm in 814...
22. Smoke 'em if you got 'em! We slam against the wall before the door shuts. She's mouth raping me in what would best be depicted by a scene from the former reality show "When Animals Attack". I play her like a Stradivarius; she's, well, there?
23. I do not like waking up when it's dark out. The curtains were drawn for modesty, and she's in the bathroom. I can't leave after the last time, so: yay, here I am.
24. Released and now comes the realization that all of my cigarettes were left in her room. Again to the maze of Minneapolis and the fresh new layers of hell this will bring.
25. At Team Liquors (actual place, I took a picture!), admiring the fifths of booze the bums will buy. Now I understand why they have a security guard working the door at 10 am.
Coda: I'm driving, smoking, working the stick shift in the truck while talking to V. I'd been planning on listening to a certain set of songs before she called, but their absence makes this realization more poignant. I describe the night, telling her what happened, but can't describe why I feel so hollow. Inadvertently I text G that I've slain another dragon then delete it-- it wasn't the right statement; it was just Tonic. The stupid search for the girl all the songs are for continues... V. and I always say we only want the people who don't want us. I tell this to G, and he comes back that maybe I do want something better or at least I found worst better.
Time to head back to Saint Paul.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
**UPDATE** From Greg:
Attached is my excel black magic. Please review and respond with any changes that should be made. It should be noted that all scores were positive.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
8:11 still not awake but am fortified with coffee. I have a feeling I will be making friends with deodorant today.
8:50 Systems are sort of coming online. I'm understanding roughly 25% of J and V's conversation--a markable improvement over peak. At best 37-40% of their conversation is advisable. There are a lot of trees here.
9:47 waiting in line to register. There are a lot of ugly people here.
10:57 Good new State Fair rule: first racially diverse person seen equals a point
11:11 I will junk punch the next person in a unitard with the hood masky thingy from Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or get Vic to make out with him. Sigh... wingmanning
11:15 I now have more arm, hair bands than I know what to do with. Stupid friggin' back group that doesn't want to walk at the grueling pace. Sure it kills the oxen in Oregon Trail, but it's sensible.
11:22 this is not sensible
11:42 finishing up the race. What is this odd feeling of sobriety.
12:01 the race is done, there is literally nothing else to report
12:27 having the first beer. It is refreshing. These will be my final words sober. I loved you all.
12:38 there is a white trash kid on a scooter. I am actively willing him to fall on his face
12:49 best exchange from the walk today--
P: So my [school] kids were asking me how old I am, and I told them 37. One of the little shits said that's only a year younger than my dad
V: and then you told him his dad is a whore.
1:07 fortunately the worst dj in the world (seriously, Johnny Cash to Pokerface!) is playing loud enough so the doucher kid on the scooter's parents, directly behind me can't hear.
2:38 yes, mother, I'm fully aware that I'm supposed to be taking a shower. But are you otherwise aware that this bar top is quality marble and feels excellently cool when I put my full face on it?
3:53 at the bar. I'm doing awesome
4:02 smoking alone. Wait, Gin and Ben ha!
4:26 much to the amusement of my fellow bar patrons I have, yet again, failed to find the bathroom. Another victory
4:51 P and I find the liquor store. More interesting people. There may be too much inbreeding in this town.
5:06 showered. It was a solid plan. Unfortunately the nap idea was scrapped in favor of the bar, but... When in New Ulm do as an Old Ulmer
5:42 this has been a day of much waiting. Now we're in line for twenty minutes to register for the pub crawl where i might win a keychain. At least I have beer--please send cigarettes.
5:52 this town friggin' loves it the Blues Traveler. Wonder if they've heard of Home Alone 2. If you hear popping it's their minds exploding its me bringing them Blu-ray players
6:09 Snorts is pleased somewhere. I'm not drinking beer in favor of vodka infused something
6:45 smoking alone. Odd part, conversationed over with the non-smokers, but still have a quarert inch left. Ha, quarter chub. Yes, I'm almost drunky
7:00 Things are progressing well, the St Paul kids are saying I'm hanging out with the MPLS kids too much. There is only one other St Paul kid. Fucking J.
7:12 I text Greg who reminds me I'm supposed to be playing hard to get. The trouble is that the Minneapolis contingent is all smokers. As a friend of smokers this puts me in a further bind.
7:38 this bar is limper than an old man's penis with erectile disfunction who can only piss sitting down
8:01 smoking, in the patio section of course. I'd move here for this bar. Things are progressing well. I'm going to be alone forever. Send cats.
8:04 I've really tried to put this off for as long as I can, and at best it's an inside joke from 10-15 years ago. Greggy had a stupid shirt that asked you if you are wasted...
8:07 finally, yes I am. Thank you for asking, sir!
8:21 I feel myself absorbing more awesome. It's awkward for those around me and I'm sure, after review, it shall be awkward for me as well
8:37 I had dreams of grandeour of setting V up with some nice boy. He'd be cool and I'd hang out with him and we'd all go out for... not breakfast, thats only for assholes, but brunch. He and I would watch movies and be awesome. I mean yeah, but we'd have a standing Tuesday dinner. Dammit New Ulm, you're killing me.
9:05 I've lost everybody I hold dear. I was joking about moving here, now I might be here through assimilation
9:35 with A. She isn't drinking. This is where I always try to be the drunk friend of the sober person. For the love of God somebody please tell me to stop offering her soda or water.
9:38 please, also tell me stop talking about the sober person as a puritanical jackass behind her back
10:33 more emoticons from Molly, but what do they mean?
10:39 fucking V! She just tried to wrestle my phone to start texting Mols. Even a drunk mule knows this is a bad idea
10:59 sweet Caroline. Greggy I wish you were here, make good life choices for me
11:20 shit I'm going to hell
11:49 and no. We keep on making choices bad if not choices. I think we care, but maybe we don't...
12:0somethjng P and I are goingto crash the wedding. This makes sense.
12:alone smoking, feeling awkward about to pass out. It's been a strange day. I feel like shit, I didn't do anything right today and... Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuxk.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Facing southward, toward the oldest park in the city, near a century and a quarter worth of history stand the walls of this library, but ten fold those 123 years is housed in the knowledge within. When the library was first built, the architects felt this southern exposure would offer the learned scholars entering the gentle grace of sunlight. However it is also this same light, lack of temperature and environmental control that mired the books into trouble.
To preserve these tomes, the Newberry erected a ten-story, windowless construct to the north. This building is not to be made accessible, but more in the lines of a wildlife reserve; a place books might dream deep dreams in their ideal environs, awaiting the day they shall be called upon to reveal their contents.
The door to this building is pulled open, and the smell washes out, washes over, drenching the invader. Not in any crude sense, but a beckoning, inviting one as an old friend from some past life who is known instantly upon meeting. Perhaps this is the feeling Odysseus accepted while lashed to the mast of his ship, listening to the song of the sirens. The book’s call is no less powerful. “Just slip open the cover, flip through a few pages.”
The books placement seems haphazard, until it is revealed they are housed with their family. Now in the care of the Newberry, available to all, the spine backs remain in the same collection from the one so generous as to have donated them.
In the quietude, with the spell of the books still lingering, the fourth floor’s special reading room is revealed. Researchers sit behind glass doors, lingering over the paper in front of them. One such researcher holds up a piece of paper, marked in a purposeful hand for the next book he needs, and a curator walks out to retrieve it. A humorous, yet telling sign is left in his wake: “Please limit your book requests. I only have access to 10 million today.”
Exiting to a crisp fall day, with the lightweight of history still resting on the shoulders, it is possible to see the orators gather at Bughouse Square. The mind feels an ease creep over as a last ray of summer strikes through the fire branded leaves in the trees. Feet press on farther down the pavement, inspired by the journey so many others have taken here before.
A special thanks to my guide, John Brady, the Newberry’s Bibliographer of Americana.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
She's been talking for the past two hours, but he's tuned to a different station, believing what he wants to believe.
The publican is listening to the one a.m. lingua franca of a wreck regular. The elixir is poured, and a glass touches bar top, pressed to lips in a nocturnal kiss. The drunk's conversation resumes to the casualty at his elbow, "Listen to what I mean, not what I say."
They once called this pumpkin time--they don't anymore.
"He's not really that bad," the bartender assured. "Just comeback Saturday."
They paid a tab. He walked her home.
She hasn't said anything so he doesn't say anything.
A light was on in the front of her apartment. Their apartment.
They can't hug, so he is throwing an arm around her shoulders and she is grabbing his lower back. Silhouettes lay in the gutter, staring up at the three stars over Chicago.
Confessions strangled as they lolled on the tongue. Then dropped--all wrong. All wrong.
She left, walking up the steps to the apartment. He waited, watching the light, like a trigger, fire to black, taking all of the history with it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
He parked, and not wanting to face them, not wanting to deal with it, he began walking towards the Fair Ground. His shadow from the street light walked in front of him, mimicking his stumbling steps. He cursed it but continued to follow.
Walking South on Snelling he stopped at the top of the bridge. The space separating Como from the Midway; the space that would now divide the Twin Cities. He looked to his right, towards shiny Minneapolis with its colorful skyscrapers casting illumination and flirtation to the sky, and he knew he hated it. He picked up a stone and threw it at the bright lights, watching it sail out into the night and land on the dying part of St. Paul. Exhausted by the effort he slouched down into the curb. He felt the cigarettes in his pocket and pulled one out.
And suddenly a voice came crystal clear from the back of his memory. A voice from neither a long time ago nor yesterday. A time ago.
"You still there?"
"What are you doing?"
"Same thing since you left two hours ago."
"What are you watching?"
"This weird thing with a bearded lady."
"Me too! You think it's real?"
"It has to be, you saw the way they were yanking on it."
"I still don't get it."
"What's not to get? The hormones could effect even the farthest Y chromosome, I suppose. Besides, you've seen those girls with the light blond hair, imagine if they were a little Mediterranean? Obviously, they'd have to shave to hide it."
"How can she stand to have them pull on it like that?"
"Okay, now I don't think it's real. See the way that it's kind of breaking to the right. No human beard could--Oh, hey Adam. How you doing?"
"Is that Adam? Tell him hi for me."
"Courtney says--oops, he's already gone upstairs. I think he's pissed and wants to use the phone. Either that or else he smells the cigarettes on me."
"You need to hang up?"
There would be a pause.
"I guess I should go, anyway."
"Yeah, me too."
"Wanna come over and have one more cigarette?"
The memory, the voices stopped. He crushed out the cigarette and sat up on the curb, looking out across the bridge, looking east. And as he sat there the sun sparked its first light on the horizon, and he watched it rise over St. Paul.
Friday, September 10, 2010
"I had to go upstairs; the line was really long down here."
"No, Steve said, looking a little shocked. "You look like a train wreck, you okay?"
"Yeah. I'm fine." To hear his voice answer Steve he actually believed he might be fine. "I think I'm just allergic to all this smoke is all."
And Steve laughed because that was a good enough excuse for him, and he moved on to talking about another girl over on the side of the bar.
"I should go, Steve."
"We just got here."
"Two hours ago. I need to drive home before I pass out. You going to stay?"
"No, I guess I should probably be going home too." Steve looked dejected, taking only a sip off of his drink. "What if we stay for one more song?"
One more song turned into three and they ordered a last round of drinks for the road, then waved goodbye. He could still hear Steve laughing back to his car about some girl that was there.
He piled in behind the wheel but couldn't find the right song on the radio. The car went right instead of left on Hennipen and he found himself cruising past First Avenue where the kids were beginning to file out of the late show. He turned the car around and lit a cigarette at a stop light, fishing in his pocket for his phone, trying to comprehend the small numbers. He punched in the speed dial for his wife, a smile tightening the cigarette into his mouth.
She picked up and he said "Hey sweety. I'm drunk."
"Where are you, we've been worried sick."
"I'm okay. I'm just--who's we?"
"Adam's still over." He heard her say, the tin of the cell phone accenting her voice. "He wanted to see you."
He pulled the phone away from his ear, aiming his finger for the button in the middle, hanging up on her. He threw the phone onto the dashboard and poked out another cigarette.
The phone began ringing and vibrating so he turned up the radio louder. He was yelling obscenities out towards Minneapolis, the Grain Belt Bridge, Noreast. The car found the entrance to the highway, and with a scream he gunned the engine and entered traffic.