It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday. Well, it’ll be later than that when you read this post. I seem to have ground a little too hard on the last story and find myself in a fog today. Certainly things like the laundry got done, but nothing creative. I feel like a lout when that happens. To be in the flow of writing is such a wonderful experience. It’s direction in an otherwise listless existence. There’s even a writer’s prompt I’m halfway interest in. It seems as though I’ve not the energy to answer it right yet.
I love Saturday night. It’s a night I like to be out of the house. Unfortunately, I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth spending the money to sit at a bar and pay $5.00 plus tip for a Fat Tire. Now before I hear “that’s cheaper than (location)” I’ll remind you they pay us less in the Fields. It’s a wash. I suppose I could hit the $2.00 Bud Light specials… no, I’ll go without before I go Bud Light.
The additional work is still in the searching phase. It seems if I don’t have a Commercial Driver’s License (re: trucking) or manufacturing experience, I’m out of luck right now. There is an ad for an exotic dancer. I’m sure they’re talking about females. Even if they weren’t, I’m not exactly dancing material. I even hate doing the hokey pokey.
One thing that cutting back has helped me with is cooking at home. Granted most people would get tired of baked chicken, but its time delay lets me do other things around the house. Normally, I’m the type to focus on what I’m doing with little distraction but manual work’s always multitasking. Funny how that works.
My mind’s getting to me. Where did I put my car keys?
I don’t like causing too much of a fuss out in public. For one, it’s much quicker to maneuver around low-quality humans than it is wasting time dealing with them. Second of all, this area is small, impressionable and judgmental. You get a reputation, and that’s not always a good thing. All of this is under the assumption you’re not from money. If you’re wealthy, you can do whatever you please. I’m sure many in America know that unspoken rule.
I decided to have a vegetarian burrito at the local Chipotle last night because guacamole is fantastic and I wanted to take a ride to a nearby town for some brainstorming. When I arrived, the line was at least twenty to twenty-five customers deep. It would be roughly a ten-minute wait. Not a problem. I’m patient.
As I approached the counter, the line workers started to run out of ingredients. The making of tacos, burritos and bowls ground to a screeching halt. Cooks were frustrated, the line crew was panic-stricken, and the sharks were starting to circle. By sharks, I mean customers.
As the replacements slowly came in, a person who appeared to be the shift manager said something to the cooks out of my earshot which garnered a tired, irritated response along the lines “I’m doing what I can.” It was at that point a middle-aged soccer mom got on her soap box. She explained how the in-fighting wasn’t helpful, her experience there wasn’t that great, she didn’t want to come back again, everyone was upset about what was going on, and she wanted to see the manager. I tolerated her whining up until the point she dragged me in on it.
Excuse me, lady? Speak for yourself. If I have a beef with these workers, I’ll let them know. I don’t need your help. Thanks, pay for your food and get lost. It would probably be a good thing for everyone involved if you didn’t come back ever again. Heck, I’ll frequent the place more to cover the loss in business. How ’bout them apples?
By the time I got up to the frazzled staff, I was boiling hot. It wasn’t from the workers; it was that spoiled little brat ahead of me. If I was too hungry to be decent in public, then it’s my own fault for not eating sooner. She could have made her own dinner and saved us all the headache of listening to her. These employees have to churn out meals for dozens of people a night. People like her. She needs to get real. Don’t try to catch people coming and going.
I addressed every employee as politely and friendly as I could. If there was an ingredient temporarily out of stock, I’d say “no worries” and find the next best substitute. The irked cook who sparked the woman’s diatribe went so far as to say “I like this guy!” I raised my finger and said “patience is a virtue” without so much as a hint of emotion. It was the truth. It didn’t need to be doctored up. He smiled. The tense atmosphere cleared out and the other customers who were acting like brats shriveled up like Shrinky Dinks. Serves ’em right. I’d also like to believe it got me a tad bit more guacamole than corporate suggests.
We’ve all been in frustrating and stressful situations before. We’re not perfect. We get mad. That’s normal. If you can’t cut people slack for being human, don’t even bother asking for any when you become such. It’s going to happen, too. I guarantee it.
I read Jen Maidenberg’s blog this morning which came off the heels of another reflective moment in my life. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I do recommend paying her a visit. She’s nice. She won’t bite, which should be a delightful change of pace from me who enjoys mouthing you like an Akita. Get your sanitary wipes out; I slobber.
As I’m sure those who have read my work (even in passing) would simply be shocked to find out I can be cheeky, facetious, and otherwise socially unnerving, I can also be quite kind, considerate, and all-around genuine. Well, last night had me sending an apology to a person of whom I have known for three years. The problem is I tend to think we have some personality traits in common, and for people like us that can rub. I may have been a bit over-the-top with the cheek and irritated the Hell out of her.
How does it relate to Jen? It plays off the idea of secrets. There’s a concern that if we share our secrets with others, then they will shun us or there’s the fear they will shun us. More and more, I feel like the worker that can’t hold the wood in his arms anymore, the guy who blows his nose loudly in a restaurant, or the old man who walks around in his underwear and boots. Some say that’s being “tired of life.” I prefer to call it “etiquette burnout.”
It takes energy to work with everyone around me. Most of it is spent making sure everyone is comfortable by having me as company. As suggested, I think I hit a wall sometime ago. It would have to be in the fashion of Loony Tunes, as that exaggeration describes the feeling well: the crash and slide down as the reel-to-reel grinds to a halt.
So, when I think the opportunity arrives to metaphorically show up in my magenta, polyester sweatpants and flip-flops I take it. Unfortunately, there’s always a limit to being yourself around company. I took too many liberties, and dare say went a Rascal too far. After thinking about it, my mind is now in two camps: the young and the old. The young part of me still wants to cooperate with the rest of the civilized world while the 85 year-old me is taking a nap with the words “as is” written on his forehead.
This doesn’t seem right for a 35 year-old man, yet oddly honest from this side of the fence.
I tried not talking about it, but observed holidays aren’t easy to dodge. Valentine’s Day came and went without much of a to-do. That’s primarily because I fell asleep when I got home from work and didn’t wake up until midnight. How hopeless of a romantic could I be? Very hopeless, I assure you.
Earlier, I wrote out a rather sincere holiday wish on my other social media:
“Today is Valentine’s Day. As such I wish all that are in love, happy, and content a wonderful day regardless of orientation. As long as you’re happy with your arrangement, I’m happy for you.
Tonight, though, I raise a glass to the singles. The independents who refuse to let society tell them what to think or how to think politically, socially, or otherwise. I toast to you for seeking your own way, thick with the fear and hatred of others who think you’re an affront to their way of life. I salute those who know what it means socially to suggest a different viewpoint than what is popular. Your mile is just as important as any special interest.”
Now that may have ruffled a few feathers for one reason or another, but the people that truly know me know I won’t bite unless provoked. I don’t go around with the intention of picking fights, but if I can’t say what’s on my mind it gets ugly. That was also on the heels of some people digging into me for suggesting women are human and are susceptible to bad habits like bossiness. Not all “bossiness” is misinterpreted leadership, people. Cut the crap.
Once I shook off my bonds of slumber, I grabbed a pint down at the bar. There wasn’t much to be had for the likes of me, except a game of darts and a Doris Day movie. I did, however, get my first comment on a book review from the dating site:
“hi, i have a business proposal that will benefit both of us.If you are interested, email me to my personal email [redacted] for more details. Please note that chatting is not allowed, only email communication.”
I’m not sure about you, but I think I was just propositioned like a John. That’s an odd feeling, being thought of as a customer. In fact, I really dislike being thought of as a customer in many situations. After a little fiddling, I was able to remove it. People would start to get the impression it was abandoned. If anything, it needs a whole biographical rewrite. I’ve been known to scrap and start from scratch multiple times.
Also, a woman complimented me on my cologne for the first time, albeit the cashier at fast food restaurant. All together, I thought I handled it rather graciously. It makes for awkward ordering, but what can I say? I’m McIrresistible, ladies. Maybe that should be the new form of speed dating? Dinner and a show.
I know it’s highly irregular of me to post three times on a weekend, but this needs to be done for my reflection. Not in the mirror, mind you, but mental reflection. I’m not that vain. This is much like my earlier post about the dream, which I have a vague idea now what I was troubled over. I think I am concerned over making the wrong move again. The two roommates were a thought over the people that I meet in my life. The two were actually one, and the second was skeptical of showing all of themselves to new people. Guarded, if you will.
Right, now for the real point. I set up a profile on a niche dating site. For right now, I won’t specifically identify it but it’s not match.com, OKCupid, or eHarmony. As an aside, the eHarmony starter kit depressed me so much I couldn’t finish it. I read in between the lines way too much, and the “encouraging” lines translated just so to the point I felt like a sorry sack of crap. This place is a tiny website that scares away people who don’t like to read. I’ve given you all the information you need to figure it out on your own.
It has been over three weeks since I started the profile, but the return hasn’t been much of anything. I put everything in its right place, even several short but meaningful reviews of books I’ve read over the years. That’s not to say I was expecting anything, but there it is. The point is there were no corners cut in the effort I put into it. I’ve always thought I haven’t read as much as I should, but looking at other people I’m a little ahead of the game. That’s disappointing, not reading.
Last night, as I finished my flash fiction and laundry, I received a small two-sentence message from another user.
“Biting profile words; I’m hooked. Tell me more, tell me anything.”
As far as I could tell, she wasn’t a spammer. The reviews looked genuine and there weren’t any links to other websites. She was from Oregon, which I later ran the numbers to be approximately 2,500 miles (~4,000 km) away from the Fields. Maybe she mistook the OH for OR?
It was at 6:00pm, and I decided to think about what to say. After all, what do I have to lose from responding with a well-thought out email? By the time I was ready to write, she vanished. It was no more than 17 hours after she said something. I don’t think anything less than 24 is rude, do you? The profile was deleted with no way to respond. I didn’t realize what happened, until I screamed “how the Hell do you respond on this thing?!” That’s when I saw the small-print notification.
What was it that made her bail so quickly I wonder? Was it the time lag or the distance? I can relate to the mileage. All of my “matches,” and that’s in quotes because they’re not seemingly good fits, are on the coasts. That’s a long way, brother. Maybe the whole idea really brought her down?
Whatever it was, I hope she finds what she’s looking for.
Tonight is Super Bowl Sunday, but that was not why I was at a sports bar. That was for dinner, as it was close and I didn’t want to cook. I’d have to do some grocery shopping as well. Over the din of fans and children, I found a spot on the patio. Truth be told it was to smoke a cigarette. It’s a touchy subject, but I cannot lie about it.
Depending on a person’s point of view, I either had the fortune or misfortune of being either entertained or held hostage by a sir of some 50 years of age. He started with commenting on the football game. No one around here appreciates the “handegg” label I’ve applied to it. I thought the suggestion was rather convincing myself. Regardless, he spoke highly of Seattle’s coordination and ability. I merely wanted to smoke my cigarette and wonder if Sancho Panza truly believed he was going to get a parcel of land out of Don Quixote, or if he was playing along for the ride.
Then the conversation took a turn. That is to say, he went straight into politics with little warning. Now, I’m not a huge fan in talking about something I don’t have much control over to start. It’s often the same love or hatred for one politician or another, or the intricacies of a bill/law. He wasn’t talking about that though. No, he was talking about hardcore conspiracy theory. The gentleman was of the impression the entire globe was priming up for the next world war.
What the Devil do you do with that? It’s like being dressed for a cookout and taken to a black-tie event. You instantly don’t want to be there. How do you unroll, with no time for consideration of thought or delivery (ESPECIALLY delivery), while it’s possible conspiracy theorists can be right they can also be very wrong. Conspiracy theorists are convinced no matter what. It’s not even a discussion; it’s being talked at.
I’ve tried to think of several ways to get people of this nature through the whole ordeal without too much fuss, and then I can go about my interests. It’s currently to let them talk at me, and have them go back to their business. That never seems to be enough though. They want agreement. They want validation. That is thought bullying, and I don’t care for it.
He started off with his version of an “intelligence test,” which I don’t think I passed but that’s inconsequential. The disputed quote from Albert Einstein is, “everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” It has some validity. No human can know it all, although many often think otherwise.
After letting him ramble for about 10 minutes, I finally excused myself for dinner. Otherwise, it would have been much longer than that. He wouldn’t finish. It was verbal diarrhea at its best. I’m not going into details, but he’s convinced it will start with the bombing of Israel and roll into global destruction. Again, what is there to discuss? The world has had a history of war and destruction as far as people have kept records. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, which is the way it has been in the past. Am I to quake every night about it? Do I have control over the powers that be to bring about the Age of Aquarius?! No, of course not.
It’s times like this that I think of Kurt Vonnegut, and his use of the Serenity Prayer. It also brings me to the question: when does one believe people like Nietzche’s madman and when does one throw him out of the church for running amok?
I forgot I wanted to write a post about this article from December. It fills me with an impish joy only the antics of my fellow Ohio residents could supply. There won’t be any disagreement out of me, even if the study is a bit flawed. To do Ohio justice, calling large corporations with several layers of a phone system rarely leads to happiness. Not considering such actions provocation on the part of companies is a bit naïve by the survey team. Also Time Warner, AT&T, and Comcast (so I hear) can go play Frogger on I-80. I’ve just finished my fourth calling session with AT&T in the past 24 hours. Do you really think I’m going to be a cheerful bear after that?
No, I’m not.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear with nine interstates full of out-of-state traffic zipping by me at 80, 85, and 90 MPH?
No, I’m not. It’s hard enough to keep the state’s population policed.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear after hearing the general rage-spit about the 2004 elections, or more recently John Boehner of whom I had no ability to cast a vote against?
No, I’m not.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when the coastal regions act like we’re some kind of step down to their genteel way of life?
No, I’m not.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear, when the industries we worked so hard to maintain are now shipped to China and Mexico with little left to show for it but dilapidated factories and unemployment?
No, I’m not.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when my own country deems my area too unimportant to fix health and safety issues on their body of water?
No, I’m not.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when the four seasons end up to be Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction?
No, I’m not.
Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when the rest of the country thinks this state doesn’t measure up their standards of courtesy?
The fuck I will.
With all that said, yes, Ohioans are fairly edgy overall. I think the economic, environmental, and social stressors are getting to them. It has made people a little crunchy around the edges. There are deep divides in the political, religious, and philosophical canvases of which no one is really interested in closing. What else would you expect from a state that gave you William Tecumseh Sherman and Marilyn Manson? It has led to practice of staunch individualism with mediocre results.
I do get mad about the state of which I’ve lived in for over 30 years. I do make insulting remarks when I see preventable failure withing state lines, but it’s more in the form of wanting improvement out of a developed location. Outsiders simply want to make comments to feel better about their situation and birthplace. That’s why you see a seemingly double-standard when it comes to criticism.
If it weren’t so hacked up and shattered, I think several people would have chosen to stay. People get mad at other people. Other people leave to find better people. People get mad that other people left. It’s a vicious circle, or maybe a little like a downward spiral.
The Tubes are as 80s to me as the fake-animal-print clad David Lee Roth, and provide Hallmark wisdom in a way only the era could deliver. I did tip my hand too much in the previous post about the strip club experience. It’s not easy talking about such personal memories, being that the Internet is so vast, but if I were on my deathbed would I appreciate not saying anything? This post isn’t going to candy-coat anything. If you are the type to either be easily offended or insulted, I strongly advise you to visit another day. I’m not the type of person to tolerate bullshit either, and this won’t be up for debate. This is simply a story of how my life played out on one Saturday afternoon in April of 1997.
I was 18, and it was a few days after my best friend’s 18th birthday. His rambunctious mind could only think of one thing, and one thing alone: strippers. He was always after ideas sexual in nature: Playboys (for the articles, my ass), video pornography, John Valby aka Dr. Dirty et al. They revolved around him in an electron fashion, only drawing closer to the nucleus with each passing moment. There seemed a sort of Christmas excitement that ran across his boyish face when he talked about it, and he spoke of it for weeks. I knew that day was coming, even though I already had deep reservations about it. Most people don’t give me enough credit for my intuitiveness, but it’s definitely there. Maybe it’s for personal use only? Regardless, I was being muscled into his quasi-wingman as we ventured to a larger city for the venue.
There was a feeling in the pit of my stomach the whole way there. It was not something that sounded great in the first place, but like usual, I felt coerced by societal norms (e.g. “this is what you’re supposed to be like: dumb and horny,” or “why not? Are you in the closet?”). We ended up in a strip mall in Toledo, where I handed over a matinée price of $7.00 to a short man with greasy ginger hair kept in a long pony tail. The insides were painted black, lit with black lights. UV light accented all the fluorescent materials present with a thin veil of smoke drifting from the seats to the stage. It wasn’t too long ago that people could smoke indoors.
The first stripper was a petite blond with cropped hair to match. Her gaunt figure danced upon the pole to a three-set of Beatles songs. “Sexy Sadie” was her stage name, and the bits of metal from her piercings held tightly to her b-cup breasts, glinting every now and then when she’d spin. After “Helter Skelter” was over, she bounded right up to us. Being that my friend was the cause of all this, I let him buy her the brink which turned out to be apple juice. Even though we weren’t of legal drinking age, there wasn’t any alcohol on the premises. I suppose I could see why. Drunk men and naked women could present a problem. My friend and I were also required to have a drink in front of us at all times, and we chose fountain beverages for the free refills. I still remember vividly how bright and pink my plastic daiquiri glass was. It was cheap, exactly like how I felt.
After a few minutes of light discussion, we were hit up for some additional dancing at the booths across the stage. Fortunately, my friend could not turn the offer down and went promptly over there with her. I was left to watch the other two women perform their sets. I began to fidget, trying to keep a calm exterior about myself and pretend I was enjoying it. There were a few other men around, smiling at me. They were having a good time. I wasn’t, not in the slightest. I felt like I was being used, not only by the dancers but by my friend. He didn’t want to go alone, but I didn’t have that many friends. I didn’t want to cause a rift because I would feel awful in a strip club.
The air felt thicker and denser as time inched along. I felt snake-like coils move around my face and head, whispering offers of faux-affection for $40 a turn. I was even startled when an African-American dancer slid her green-tipped fingers down my shoulders. She approached me from behind. So, I never knew she was there until I was jumping an inch out of my chair. I know they meant no real harm, though. They were just trying to earn a paycheck.
So often had I pined for female ardor, it made for many a lonely night. This sadness brought to me by my peers was heightened with whispers of high school girls not quite out of earshot, providing quite the venue of criticism from weight to attractiveness to creepiness. Everyone did it though. There were several males who would make themselves feel better at my expense, but it always stung worse to hear it from the girls. I could be jumped or clotheslined or socked right in the face, but it was their words that would ring in my ears for years. Admittedly, that day in April was the first time being in the presence of naked women. It wasn’t real though. None of it was real. All of it was a delicately-wrapped lie for a price, a group of women trying to sweet talk me only for what I had in my wallet. I didn’t have a whole lot of it to start. It hurt; it hurt like the Devil. I felt ashamed, and tried to overcome a burning face at the notion of having to buy my affection. What the Hell did I ever do to require buying love?
Were they whores? Were they sluts? Only if you include the audience and me. Whether it was for money, lust, or my desperate need for belonging, we all sold ourselves at some price. My area of interest just happened to be the size of a planet, instead of a Marlboro-tainted skin shop. Those buyers and suppliers were not on my list, as I had other business to attend to. After my friend got his inaugural lap dances, we folded tent and left. Rarely have I ever felt relieved as I did that day, with the slight wind at my face and a drive through the fields of Ohio.
After eating two pieces of leftover deep dish and a spoonful of peanut butter while washing it all down with a highball, I’ve concluded I’d be a horrible father. That’s not to say eating pizza and peanut butter in the morning is indicative of poor parenting, but it certainly doesn’t help the case. Does it? No. For those of you falling asleep during the test, the answer is no.
Drinking, on the other hand, is completely understandable. I watch parents with little children and are surprised more of them don’t. I’d be mortified that my theoretical wife lay up in sheer agony for hours merely to give birth to a velociraptor. It would totally be from her side of the family though.
I’ll just be honest about it. I can be a terrible person. I laugh like a jackass when people slip and fall. I laugh when I slip and fall. I have a callous disregard for large-scale injustice (unless it benefits me directly, of course), and I make inappropriate jokes when people kick the bucket. I laugh when a Democrat is elected into office. I laugh even harder when a Republican is elected. I laugh until I cry and say “you get what you deserve, America.” This is not the paragon of fatherhood generally accepted in this country.
Situations between me and my fictitious offspring unfold like scenes from a sitcom gone awry:
Child: *sobbing* “Mommy! Mommy! I dislocated my shoulder!”
Wife: “Oh my God! What did you do?!”
Child: “Daddy said, ‘if I jumped off the roof, I could fly!'”
Me: “That’s a lie! I said if you jumped off the roof and flew, I’d take you to the circus. By take you to the circus, I mean put you in it. You’d make a fine meal ticket.”
*cue laugh track*
Granted, I can be a decent person at times. I give to charity when I can. I’ve thrown away other people’s litter. I’ve notified cashiers their bathroom’s out of toilet paper. I will say, however, that I’m no storybook hero. I’m human. I have flaws, and some of them get in the way. You should also read that as you have flaws, too, and some of them will get in the way. The upshot of that is I’ve not met anyone worth a damn in this world who wasn’t flawed. It’s all part and parcel of being Homo sapiens.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch my imaginary kids learn about the dangers of electricity when they stick their fingers into electrical sockets.
Up-down-up-down-up-down. An urge to vomit grabbed Sig’s stomach as he stared at the water. Sea sickness was calling to him. “Oh, bucket… buck-ET… BUCK-ET!” Wildly twisting to Captain Fryer, he mimed for some sort of medical assistance.
“Off the stern, boy.” Fryer said without removing the nautical pipe from his mouth. Dots lined up on the bridge like birds on a telephone line. He heard a screech, and the Barracuda darted back to Old Town. That must have been the cause of all this commotion. He’ll make a note of it on his report.
*Herf* “Oh!” *hurbrle* “Oh, God!” *hooooool* “Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick!” Sig rested on the railing with his chest. This was worse than being hung over. “I need to get off this boat, Cap’n.” Closing his rheumy eyes, he tightened his face in vain to shake off the nausea and immediately recalled the time he made a mess on the Tilt-A-Whirl at the county fair. Fumbling for his badge, Sig offered it to Fryer with a sour composure. He felt like a soaked shopping bag in the middle of a grocery store parking lot.
“City police, eh? Well, we’ll get you to your station. Before that happens, we’ll need to get your story on all this excitement. You mind?” Fryer’s face didn’t move from its original position since they first met.
“Eh, mind if I send it to you later? I can get back on my own all right. I need to do a few other things first.” No! No paperwork right now. He’d rather make a harmonica out of a cheese grater.
“I suppose,” Fryer said, “but don’t make me wait. Last time I played ball with you boys, it took two weeks to get a profile. I’m not a man to be kept waiting.”
“Yes! Yes. Oh, absolutely! You’ve got it, Cap’n.” Sig’s sickness eased with the glee of a temporary reprieve. The boat moored on the safer side of the Nagawatachumi, and Sig clambered out on to the docks. He was never very graceful, and often felt like the slow clown in a pie fight.
Sig stood in a lonely puddle, with the rest of the riders clumped conspicuously to the left of him. He might as well be wet; there were storm clouds over him. Pantsed again, and it wasn’t even gym class! Damn gawkers. He plugged another cigarette in his mouth but instantly realized they were soaked, too. “Bah!” He launched the pack at the trash can and made a few of the other riders jump.
The silver box on wheels rolled up and opened its doors with an exasperated sigh. Banners of slick law firms and exotic vacations clung loosely to the sides like the hopes of their financiers. A squeaky slosh was heard ascending the stairs and Ralph Kramden was given his fare, and maybe some algae, for his service. Although this time Ralph was Bunny Washington and he was just as suspicious as anyone else on the bus. “Damn,” Bunny shook his head and muttered, “just when I thought I’ve seen it all. Some honkey has to come and test me.”
With a sluggish gait, Sig sat right beside a little old lady who recoiled from the moisture. As the bus resumed its course, he looked over to her and gave a Jack Nicholson smile. “There’s nothing like a good swim to make someone few brand new. Wouldn’t you say?” It wasn’t his best impression, but it was good enough for jazz.
It wasn’t luxurious, but it was home. The wet clothes quickly made a pile near the door, and he lumbered to the fridge. “Great! My car’s gone, and now my beer, too.” He slammed the door shut to antagonize his forgetfulness. Exhausted. Moments later, he was sprawled over his single bed. Before he passed out, he figured he’d go out and buy Star Trek bed sheets. If he were to be single like this, he might as well enjoy some of the small things in life.