Tag Archives: sadness

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

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.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Snow is not my enemy. I may have an aversion to the powdery, white precipitation but no real disdain. Ice, however, is my sworn nemesis as it makes the land slick with a Devilish sheen. Its only purpose is to frustrate any plans to leave the house, as my habitual affliction of cabin fever flares up like a match head. I do get lonely, and in such a frigid territory as the fields, Winter only makes it worse. The Christmas season doubly so. With my tongue-possibly-placed-in-my-cheek, there was a suggestion of a bottle of Jack Daniels and circus acrobatics on an overpass Christmas Day.

Much to my dismay, I only drive 300 feet to notice the freezing drizzle making command of my vehicle uncertain. Like a sensible person, I return to the house. I’ve heard two dispatches for emergency vehicles in the last hour. Some aren’t so sensible. Falcor skated in an unannounced Ice Capades of terror and sadness, as I creep home only being out for a mere five minutes. Tonight could have been the night I fell into a hilarious romantic comedy with the person others always say I would find. Frankly, if you know the name and the whereabouts of this woman, I demand you stop holding out on me. This isn’t the Price is Right; I’m not playing Cliffhangers again.

All wasn’t totally lost, as I kept busy with interior maintenance. Most of the day’s activities included the dismantling of the remnants of a finished basement, which had outlived its useful life several decades ago. Some basements were made for fun; mine was not. Utility basements should not be pushed into an awful career choice such as host or entertainer. It can only lead to the metaphorical unemployment line. Stand-up philosopher. Brilliant!

As for my writing, well, this is the first time in a week I’ve tried to put anything down. My blog is fancied a journal of sorts, as I peck away at something constructive, but I do want to write something a little more accessible. From my end, it’s to wonder how I relate to the rest of the world. The best I could ever deduce is to write fiction, as cliche as that sounds. What else does a single guy in the middle of a soulless land have to offer? However, ideas don’t always come to me in the vivid form I enjoy. That is to say they arrive from some ethereal plane in which I often think, “that would be fantastic!” Mood, life, and people often buffet me and consume my thoughts for days on end. That is where nothing gets done. I can definitely see why people enjoy muses.

Forget the dime, anyone spare a thought? Ha!

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Unavoidable Exasperation

Well, good people, the Fields has shuffled its way into confirmation bias again. How often does anecdotal evidence have to occur before I’m not “just seeing what I want to see?” That I ask you in earnest, as the Devil if I’m just imagining it all. I’m not. I’m not going mad. Situations like this happen before, and it takes years for people to fess up. Gaslighting for fun and profit.

Of course it’s a dead night here in Hooterville. They’re all dead nights, filled with people either too insular to be social or too vile to be acceptable. I, with such copious amounts of opportunity, head to an old tavern of which I’ve been a patron for a long time. How long? So long that I know all the bartenders and they know what I drink.

As I fell off the wagon (a-gain), I stepped outside in the 1º C night to smoke a cigarette. Shortly thereafter two women, of whom I thought were attractive, enter the patio area to chat. Say what you will about proper first impressions, but your physical being is the first thing I see. There needs to be slack cut in this department. We exchanged salutations and I let them converse as they intended. Not so much a minute more two “men” stepped out, loud with liquor.

Normally, this scene is mildly irritating. Bothersome drunk men at a bar is a common occurrence, however what happens next always cuts me to the quick. The one male that looks like he hadn’t missed a meal in his life starts speaking loudly about his exploits with another woman. He obviously thought he was a comedian, as he tried to deliver it as a stand-up routine. His act included his jest with roofies and about this unidentified women’s threat to toss her rag in his face. I will not clean it up, as the raw statement evokes such a visceral reaction out of me. The hardest, and most painful, part was these women aside the would-be Bill Hicks were giggly and twittering as if they had been taken for a spa day.

Now, I’ve heard it all before:

“Nate, you don’t know the context of the relationships.”

“Nate, some people won’t change.”

“Nate, they’re simply a bad apple. Don’t let it spoil the bunch.”

“Nate, you wouldn’t want a woman like that anyway.”

Good gravy, how much context does one need?! If I’m not meeting any women around here giving me the time of day, or choosing a disgusting human like that instead of considering me, what do I have left? Not a thing. Not a thing is the correct answer. Go pound sand, Hooterville, you rotten town in denial.

On a brighter note, I relocated to a bar in a different city and had a conversation with an architectural student from Savannah, GA. He was originally from the area, and was there for the Thanksgiving holiday. We talked about how Savannah was like the human body in civic planning terms, which was a welcome change of pace.

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Radio Schmadio

“Eleven past midnight’s a good enough time for anything anymore,” he thought as he raised the garage door. Overhead, the moth-spotted light flushed space with visibility and clumsily tugged at the door. The ’57 Chevy Bel Air glowed with its two-tone Tropical Turquoise tint. Clean and polished, he winced as his mind thought of the fingerprints he just put on the body getting in. “What is work without use?” He politely admonished the senator from Hygiene, and advised him to take his seat.

A quarter turn gave the car power and his displays lit up. Georgia Gibbs welcomed him. Three-fourths of a tank would be fine for a ride. There was plenty of asphalt, if you knew how to plan a circuit. Reversing out into the street, he sleepwalked with Santo and Johnny. Oxford skies cloaked while he drove the roads alone. One traveler without destination or purpose.

Absent from its day job, traffic lights stopped in conversational anticipation but were received with the silent treatment. Miffed at its foiling, a reluctant green light was given for safe passage. Safe passage from the ghosts that haunted these streets. Ghosts of the dead, ghosts of the gone, ghosts of his youth, all spun strings helter-skelter around him. Like Cole Porter, anything goes. He had driven since he was sixteen. He knew almost every inch of road in the city, and that which he didn’t wasn’t of any consequence.

He drove at night to lose himself, maybe run away. Was it mental anguish dripping from his forehead? He wiped. The smooth rub revealed nothing tangible, much like his thoughts. Another ghost. Haunting like it knows how. It hurt, but the injury couldn’t be seen by naked eyes or cleverly dressed imitations.

The ghosts drifted about. Memories of all kinds sprang forth, and most of them lamentable in one way or another. In the day it would be the zombies. He wasn’t sure what was worst. “Probably daytime,” he reconsidered, as the undead had Mass. They would all worship the space he possessed and collide violently over the possession of such.

It all became too much around a side street. His childhood home was present, barricaded by the thoughts of long ago. Spectral walls rose from the world around him and towered with malice. It took but the light October wind to blow them down about his mind and he pulled off in a small park. Disappointment was the last and heaviest brick to land. He thought of what he had done, the alternatives, and most of all he thought of the silence and its contrast to the Five Satins.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t know where you are. I’m sorry I couldn’t find you. See you. Know you.” The leather-wrapped headrest gave a little to the right. Crackles and pops of pebbles underneath the tires competed with the crickets, which would win had they persisted. Moments passed and the noisemakers picked up where they left off. Life moved forward, as it always will. Burning vision pulled itself up from the steering column. It was time to go home, when Double chimed in.

“Oh, shut up!” The radio went silent with a push of the button.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Knowing Nothing Can Be Done

I’ve put in quite a few hours with the house, and several fixtures are installed as a result. My mother asked if she could see the progress thus far, which wasn’t a problem to me. After a few day’s time, she decided today would be perfect to stop by and view it with my father. Being a respectful host and dutiful son, I waited for any sign of them before I started the heavy work on the house… and waited… and waited…

“They probably needed a nap. They like those on a Sunday afternoon,” I rationalized. I know she hadn’t forgotten, as we spoke about this last night. There have been several times in my life where she’s simply forgotten what I was doing, as she was so wrapped up in her own business. Over and over I would be questioned about where was I going or what I was doing simply because she couldn’t remember and wouldn’t write it down. She also asks way too many questions, until her dialog is nothing but question marks. I find that a little much. It’s an inquisition at that point, not a conversation. Why would you ever do that to a person?

Finally, at the six o’clock hour, I called her cell phone with no answer. I’ve stopped leaving messages, as she never listens to them. She simply sees that I’ve called and calls me back to find out what I wanted. It has frequently ended in me regurgitating everything on the voice mail I left. So, I’ve stopped. 

Highly agitated, I went to work. I had house chores to do, as the remodeling had made the place very dirty. I was vacuuming with my gym trunks and no shirt, as I work up a sweat that drenches all my skin touches. After cleaning up the kitchen, laundry room, and part of the dining room, I spin around to see my mother at the back stoop. Startled, I angrily dropped the sweeper attachments and trudged upstairs to put on a shirt. No warning. Nothing. Dammit!

The visit was unpleasant, because I wasn’t happy and she was clueless about how I operate. Voicing any concerns initiates her defensive side, and I will be blamed for being absurd or mean or “on edge” or just plain wrong with what I have to say. In this case, it was simply an asinine request to call a person ahead of time and tell them when you were arriving. How foolish of me to think I would be informed of what time to stick around my house.

This got me thinking. We don’t know how to be a family. We don’t know how to be cohesive, and my family simply doesn’t know how to handle me as an adult. This is infuriating to no end as they tap dance around being a part of my life with no real work. When I say “real work” I mean remembering our interactions, remember my preferences, and otherwise interacting like adults do.

My mother would deny this flat out, but after tonight, she has demonstrated that her life uber alles, and her service to others is to satisfy her martyr complex. My father’s not a martyr, rather self-interested and prefers living in his own world rather than interact with the real world. My personality cannot have a deep, meaningful relationship with them as my desires will always play second fiddle. I need to see eye to eye with people. I have earned that.

I am metaphorically alone, and with them in a state of denial, there’s little that can be done. Acceptance is hard sometimes, but may be necessary in this situation. We can’t always get what we want, I suppose.

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Peanut Brittle Family

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and accordingly, there were several meditative posts on people’s fathers. I had to think long and hard if I wanted to post anything on the subject. On a life’s scale, it could be far worse. He could be absent, unavailable, incapacitated with drink or other drugs, in jail, physically abusive, deceased, but he is not. He can be very hard to handle at times, though. I was concerned yesterday evening would be such a case. My muscles were tight and on stand by for the typical family meltdown, but I put on my best happy face and tried to make the best of it.

We made it off a rocky week. My father thinks acting like an ass to upset me is wildly amusing. Maybe private-time me would only be irritated, but to be difficult during business hours is unacceptable. Dragging feet or pretending to drag feet and being obstinate is out of the question. Saying afterwards, “I’m only joking,” is not enough. In fact, I’ve never found apologies meaningful. It’s true they may be sincere and valuable to the speaker, but I don’t find meaning in them. If you would like to apologize, help me out.

Sunday I made it out with only having my meal ruined, and when compared to other times in my life, I’ll take what I can get. My family set out for Port Columbus Int’l (CMH) to pick up my sister. She’s 38, but takes to driving in larger cities like cats do to baths. Something I take pride in is being able to drive, fly, or otherwise commute on my own. Independence has been my bride for years, and I have loved her as tenderly as I ever could love a woman. It makes me grouchy when I get whiffs of fecklessness in my peers. In turn, I get very sore with myself if I find it in me.

Being the considerate, I drove most of the trip. Being it Father’s Day, we decided to have dinner at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. As a gift, I paid for the four of us. I thought it better than a stupid gift card to a home improvement store. Maybe I was mistaken?

After the arrival at CMH, spirits were rather high. While we waited for the Frontier gorillas to mash the luggage a bit more, I was entertaining myself by riding up and down the escalators like a simpleton. My sister had her little escapade in Pennsylvania, and was being pleasant. My parents seemed happy. We tried to take our luck to the restaurant and ride the fumes out through the night.

Here’s where it started to unravel. With my mother a might peckish, she became irritable. The 45 minute wait was not well received by her, but I was firmly against going to something like Bucca Di Beppo.  We patiently waited, and I decided to anesthetize myself with a 22 oz. beer. Not only did it do the trick, it made me louder. I was told to keep it down more than once by my mother.

After seated, we headed for the dinner buffet. I generally dislike buffets for the clientele it attracts, but will always make an exception for this place. Filling a couple of plates with delightful food, such as bratwurst and German potato salad, I overhear the light squawking of my mother about two pans being empty. Tuning out the first-world problem I went to the red cabbage.

By the time I reached my table, I witnessed the tail end of a “discussion” between my mother and the server. It wasn’t an amiable discussion either. From what I gather, my mother said something about food not being available and assume the server said  it wasn’t her problem in a round about way. In truth, it wasn’t. Those trays are the problem of the line cooks in back. They are the ones to be nagged. She was less than impressed and entered her icy, withdrawn, silent treatment mode with the waitress. Things got ugly after the server left. When we were alone, she turned to me and said, “don’t you dare tip her.”

She couldn’t have struck me harder if she used a monkey wrench. What balls she had telling the person buying her dinner how to pay for a meal. I am her son, yes, but this damn near broke my heart. My willingness to eschew the small irritations of having a good meal for the family went disregarded. My parents are the type of people to stiff the help, if they got a bug up their ass. I am not. I am firmly not. My father chimed in with, “she’s not getting any money from me.” Does anyone truly pay attention in my family? I was… uh… I was picking up the tab for this, Dad.

We made more small talk. All the while, I began to plot. I plotted on how to get them out of the building in order to pay for the meal. The more I thought, the less I tasted my dinner. What a waste. I finally settled on trying to pay at the cash register. A few minutes passed, and I thought we were out in the clear.

My sister, in the stupidest move of the night, unexpectedly cut in with “I wonder at what point she realized she was screwed.” In a very, very hurt fury by now I kicked the leg of her chair and barked, “eat your food!” The usual heavy blanket of silence fell upon the table. A fuse was lit, and I waited for the explosion. My father started in with his usual old man bitching with, “this wasn’t a good idea.” Fuck youFuck all of you miserable assholes. My insides were torn apart. I wanted to be anywhere but there at that point.

Looking at my phone, I found out how much time had passed between our seating and our departure: 30 minutes. 30 minutes. That’s how much time I was given for a family dinner, on my dime, and with nothing but pissy attitudes with it. Everyone was so cross, I couldn’t finish my second beer. It had to be left behind to get these assholes on the road. Fortunately for me, I was feeling some of the beer and it didn’t hurt as much.

I got everyone out of the building to the best of my ability and found the server. With my speech a little on heavy side, I explained to the young waitress I didn’t care what was said, but it really pissed my mother off. It was also stated there was a healthy tip with my payment, because I don’t believe in stiffing people. Ever. Not being able to process English, the girl tried to tell me her side of the story. I ignored her. What part of “I don’t care what happened” do you not understand? Take the fucking grace, dipshit.

On the way home, I kept everything to myself. That’s my only recourse. Do not add fuel. Be courteous. Be brief. I wanted to escape in the worst way. Reflecting in a bar that night, the problem came to light. I’m not an adult in their eyes. I’m nothing but the small boy with the He-Man figures. I’m their little boy… to control, dismiss, and scold. I may never have an adult dinner with my parents for as long as they live, and that’s painful.

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