Saturday, January 2, 2010

Coming up short

I'm still getting everything together from New Year's Eve and New Year's Day aftermath. I caught some really great movies on TV yesterday including the legendarily terrible (read: amazing) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie starring the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, George Burns, Steve Martin, Alice Cooper and Billy Preston. I may just write a synopsis of it up here just to prove how hilarious it is.

Just want to post today to give a shout out to a blog that some friends of mine run. These guys are all alumni of Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I met them when I was living with a friend of mine down there who went to school at Mary Washington. These are some of the best guys I know and I was lucky to spend part of New Year's Eve with one of them. The blog is: Grave Digger Never Dies.

It has also been added to my links sidebar, which I hope you all check out because it has links to some very good art and music that people I know are putting out. It would really benefit you to look at these sites, buy things from these people, tell them how great they are, tell me how great I am. You know, normal human decency stuff - that is was 2010 is going to be all about: people giving me and my friends money. Oh, you thought I meant that human decency part? Sorry.

Now, the next installment of From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt:


It’s great to see all these familiar faces. When you first come back from school you’re a little tentative about it, but now that I’ve gotten older I welcome it. We have a good social life in D.C. – sure – but this is something different. I mean this is coming home. I have a reputation here, a reputation that isn’t based off my work status and my office career. That’s the thing about getting older isn’t it? You start to lose the romance that you once had about yourself. There is nothing sexy about working with numbers or about doing taxes, paying insurance, wanting to get a good night’s sleep. When I used to see a girl like Arielle, I’d think of nothing but the possibilities. I’d think about how I could be the best man for her, how I could cook her dinner or make her laugh. I’d try to invent scenes in my head – about as creative as I got.

She lays across my lap. Her dark hair draped down my thighs to the faded denim of the couch. I’ve never been in this house before. There are white french doors that open up to a dripping deck and back yard.

“I could cook ya big Chinese dinners,” I say.

We touch fingertips.

“I bet you could.”

“When are your parents coming home?”

“I don’t have parents.”

The girls in my dreams always had small eyes so its strange that I would eventually fall in love with Eve. Can something inside of you see it coming? There’s something to that. And that’s the thing about being young too. You’re looking for answers to questions like that and you can fathom being a philosopher. I could ask myself questions about love for a living. That seems feasible then and you’re all the more romantic for it. Because you’re full of potential then and can wonder about those things, time doesn’t pass and bring on routines and threats of gingivitis from forgetting to brush at night and drinking too much coffee. Then again, the real girls I romanticized turned out to be sluts for older guys - like Arielle out there.

I flush the toliet. The handle is slimy. There is a flyer for Reckoning who are playing an acoustic set the next Friday – Grateful Dead covers are perfect for the nook of liberals curled away in this fair town. I look at myself in the mirror. I widen my eyes and the pores on my nose look dirty. The faucet handle is slimy too and the hot water handle only gives off cold. I should’ve remembered that. The nights I’d have here. The Thanksgiving breaks. Faces on faces who I’d known, forgotten and some who I was still slightly in love with. But all of that was before Eve. I splash my face with water and run my hands through my hair, wetting and pushing it back a little. She’s out there and she needs her gin and tonic! I never got it for her! I rub my forehead feeling my hand’s clam.

“What does yours say?”

“It looks like a pink line. Yes, one pink line. What does that mean?”

Eve sat on the sink counter in the bathroom. She pushed open boxes out of the way. All of those brand names. Answer, First Response, Rite Aid Brand, E.P.T and E.P.T Ordinary. The pictures of women on the pink laminated cardboard, always looking so gentle and soft like a photographed Virgin Mary. Some were already holding babies – greedy bitches. And there were the women peeking over the pharmacy counter at me while I looked at them, unshaven. I wrapped my arm around a handful of those clean, neat boxes and smiled at them. That was something that felt good.

She picked up the white thin paper instructions and spread them out.

“Not pregnant,” Eve grunted. She groaned. She never made noises like that until we started testing. Her hair was pulled up and a few strands hung down in bangs. I should tell her to wear them like that more often, I always like it when she does that – when she’s being messy.

“Are you sure you missed it?”

“Yes. I’m sure. I’m very familiar with it by now.”

Strange to hear her voice snippy. But I should’ve known, it always came towards the end of the month. Her usually even keel rocked a little by the waves within her, the waves I’d never undersand. It felt good to know her that well, it made me feel like a man. The last thing I’d ever think would make me feel like a man was knowing a girl’s cycle.

“OK, well here’s this one. It’s supposed to make a smiley face if you’re pregnant.”

She picked up the box and held it gingerly, only on her fingertips. A slight glare came off the blue box. She dropped it and it bounced off the tile and fell on the peach bath rug. Eve sat on the toilet, pregnancy tests littered the floor – pick up sticks in shades of white and tan. I looked down for a moment. One of them simply read, “Not Pregnant.”

“I don’t want to make you sit outside while I pee and only have a frowny face to show for it.”

She leaned forward - head towards thighs, bangs floating out – and covered her face. I knelt down on the rug and slid over to her, letting the peach fur bunch and roll. I put my hand on her neck and stroked it. When she first spent the night, I rubbed her neck and in a moment of glee, pure silliness, she screamed, “I’m not a cat, I’m a woman!”

“I won’t care if it’s a frowny face.”

She looked up puffy.

“You know what I mean.”

I pulled her close against my chest and held her head tight with one hand. With my other I grazed against the sticks. One caught my eye. It had a blue plus sign and something about that seemed wrong to me. I coughed. She looked again, puffed.

“We can see a doctor if you want.”

“I’ll think about it. Maybe. Yes.”

Then, later. I was in the downstairs bathroom. It was a Rite Aid One Step. I read the box. Blue + | means pregnant. I looked back at the stick. Blue + | . She missed it. Was she too impatient? It had to be right. How did she miss it?

I looked at the box. It was one of the women smiling with a baby next to her cheek. How could she be so uncaring? I watched my pale face in the mirror. Then I washed it. The phone rang. I heard Eve get up and thump. She was crying.

“What’s wrong?”

“Your mother’s dead.”

My crotch itches me and I turn the water on again just to feel the heat from the tap. I look once more in the mirror. I can hear “Ruben and Cherise” on the jukebox. I’ll step back out now. People know me here and I’m not ready.

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