They say you can never go Home...

Soldiers of Sparta were allowed to return home after lost battles, only if carried dead upon their shields. I'm convinced this is a more practical and time-saving way to go about it.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Southern Bathrooms

Some people would disagree with me when I insist that Florida is indeed part of The South. I would challenge these nay-sayers to go to a restaurant, drink some sweet tea, and reflect upon the strength of their convictions from the comfort of the establishment's facilities. Nowhere is supporting evidence for annexation of Florida to the South more visible than in Her Bathrooms. Because nothing says The South quite like a piss-riddled toilet.

The Veil Has Fallen (Part 1):

Before I left California, I had my first massage. It was given to me by my coworkers, who were somehow of the distinct conviction that I needed to relax.

I'd had a certain amount of fear concerning massages, which prevented me in the past from going. As I feel I am a fairly tightly-wound and repressed person, I feel I need not trifle with things that have potential to

1) Cause me to burst into tears when some secret pain attached to some back-alley chakra is prodded, thereby making me look a sap
2) Cause me to sport a very public erection, thereby making me look a pervert.

Thusly, I have avoided massages with the kind of intensity reserved for high school reunions and rehashing the past with drunk ex-girlfriends.

Nevertheless, I was presented with this Japanese-style massage, and there was no denying my secret fascination/fear any longer.

So prior to the massage, I was instructed to bathe myself “ritually.” This entailed sitting completely naked on a wooden stool, pouring buckets of water over myself. I tried not to think about how this bench had seen more ass than Rob Lowe in the 80’s and concentrated on rinsing out my chlorine-ravaged hair, as ritually as I could muster. Then, I was to step into a jacuzzi, built into the middle of the room, and ritually soak. Again, buck naked. I sat in there for some thirty minutes, looking into a zen garden, listening to the sound of falling water. Very naked. Very ritual.

After the 104 degree soak, I was somewhat overheated. So, during the beginning of the massage, I was breathing jaggedly, desperate to not sound like some pervert getting off on being touched while wearing nothing but a kimono.

Finally the lady giving the massage (magic fingers) broke the silence. I told her that I was moving home and living with my parents, at least initially, while I figured things out. I mentioned that we’ve had our difficulties getting along, my father and I. She told me that when I go home, my job will be to find a new language to use with my Dad.

It was so ironic and prescient that, as SOON as I had finished my massage and come home to check my voice messages, Dad called and essentially negated the relaxation obtained from the experience. Instantly. And none-too-ritually, I might add.

And that was the first time I started practicing my new language with him. One largely populated with F-words.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Primordial Paradise

Even having lived here some eight-odd years ago, I can recall nothing of the insects of this land, except the red ants, whose homes I would routinely mow over whilst doing the yardwork.

When I announced I’d be leaving for Florida, there were the expected twenty-odd jokes about The Damn Bugs. Cockroaches so big, they defy the phylum to which they’ve been relegated, and due to their heinous proportions have been named, euphemistically, Palmetto bugs, so as not to scare off the would-be settlers of this place. “Palmetto” sounds like some line of rattan furniture at Pier One. We’re talking BUGS that could strap your refrigerator on its back, and run off with it during the night, people.

Everyone is lousy w/ stories about their experiences w/ bugs in FL. A very dear friend of mine sends me photographic evidence of her Kills, grainy polaroids with a ruler or some other ad-hoc reference marker next to the Carcass, to illustrate the dramatic proportions. That’s all very funny and whatnot, but one cannot grasp the gravid nature of the situation, faced even with all this anecdotal evidence.

But clearly, I suffer from short-term memory loss.

This evening, after returning from Harry Potter, I set about calming down the Nervous Beagle while my brother makes a frozen pizza and settles in with Instant Migrane™ (AOL Instant Messenger). Shortly thereafter, I hear him cuss several Shits and an avowal that He Can’t Believe It You Have Got To Be Kidding Me. He calls me into the bathroom, and tells me that there is a spider in there.

I gingerly part the shower curtain, to reveal the offending arachnid.

I encounter the largest spider I have seen outside of a laboratory, to date. It was hairy, it was the size of my fist. I could hear it gnashing its chelicera. You could have put a saddle on this bastard, and ridden it around the Grand Canyon, like a pack animal.

Monday, June 07, 2004

On Running

I like to run, and frequently do so at night. It isn’t only the oppressive, slavish Florida heat, which causes one to sweat, Naked-At-School-in-a-Dream-Style, that makes night-running my preference. Rather, it is a feeling of speed which I imagine I am better able to achieve whilst under the sexy, sheer fabric of a nighttime backdrop. It’s sort-of an enhanced proprioception, which is otherwise totally shot to hell under the harsh light of daytime. The usual orchestras of cicadas and crickets, endlessly warming-up their string sections, do provide some company, and the rhythmic throbbing of the golf course sprinklers serve as a metronome for my dirty old nikes, as they pound the ground (alternating grass and pavement).

Actually, im Wahrheit, the thing that running at night grants me is the ability to keep my pride intact.

There is, firstly, this business of my running cadence, which I imagine to be rather rough and loping, rather like a mental patient running from his next shot of thorazine in the butt cheeks. Secondly, the nighttime cover allows me to wear some pretty heinous t-shirts—-the kinds that I have no business wearing, as I do not meet the Bicep size minimum required to wear them. (And please don’t make fun. They make me run faster. Also, have I mentioned it’s bloody hot here?)

Anyhow, a few nights back, I went running, just before sunset. I started earlier than usual, as I was attempting to replace the Cacophony of fear and self-recrimination of the day (What the hell am I really doing here?), with the White Noise of physical exhaustion. I was just getting to the point where I was hitting a second wind, closer to the river.

As I was approaching the climax of a runner’s high, I promptly aspirated a bug. Rather, it would be more accurate to say that a bug dive-bombed my uvula, kamikaze-style. The damn thing flew directly into my gag zone, and became lodged.

And I did what any person in an ill-fitting muscle tee, with a bug lodged in the throat would do. I very noisily threw up in someone’s bushes.

The punchline here is, I don’t really know what. Except I’ve always had a low-grade fear of large insects flying into my mouth, and now a really significant one has, and it’s okay.

So, I’ve decided that everything will be okay, despite that I’m living at home at 26, but feeling like I’m sixteen. And my mom still closes my shades for me at night.

We will deal with that one tomorrow.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

A Policy Of Truth

I'm not sure exactly why I'm challenging myself to do this.

I grew up believing that seeing the truth of things can set one apart. But then childhood intervened in its usual cruel way and I found that delivering truth to others, in the form of simple observations even, was a surefire way to find oneself in the stew. To this day, I am ashamed to say that have been kissing the ring on the finger of the proverbial Emperor and forcing myself to believe in the wisdom of his fashion statement, as evidenced by his New Clothes.

Except now, I desire to state the inevitable; the obvious. I want to scream it. The emperor is not only bare-assed naked, but he is also morbidly obese, is going bald, and has a remarkably small penis.

Thusly, this is a record of my self discovery. This is the proof of my re-grooming as a human being, and hopefully a better one at that.

And since I’m a sucker for the path of most resistance (and not a little bit narcissistic), I have elected to publish it here, under the garish light of electronic chaperones.

This is the story of me, a man, in a self-alotted one year-long process of figuring out his Place in the World, if there is such a thing. While living in Florida. In his Parents' house. Who are both republicans, and receive 8 X 10 pictures of George W and his wife, thanking them for their contributions.

Thanks for coming.