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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gourmet Camping

So I am going camping this weekend. Time to stretch my legs out by the fire, cook raw meat, be cold all night, get rained on, swear, spit, smoke, cuss, grow a beard. You know, the man-dance every guy must do when going camping.

I'm a little leary about the trip this time.

When we camping last, my friends showed up for a photo shoot, and I showed up to camp. Maybe I am just out dated, but camping was suppossed to be roughing it. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the amenities as much as the next guy, but this was getting a bit absurd.

My friend Kate showed up wearing cutesy pigtails and one of those AE print t-shirts. It was dead winter so this was obviously a fashion statement. When we got the fire going, Brian broke out a 'fajita kit'. I have never been more insulted in my life. "Fajitas?" i asked. "What happened to the steaks and onions?"

Tucker brought out his state of the art satellite television, and Brandon constructed a small chateau with his designer tent. I am going banana's at this point so I head off into the woods to rough it.

It rained all night. My free-with-a-10-gallon-fill-up tent leaked and my sleeping bag made from old blankets and wool carpeting retained water like a pregnant woman. My food from the night before turned into a gruel like pulp, and I had apparantly slept on my neck at a 45 degree angle. This wouldn't have been so bad, had the angle not been in the direction of the bed of sand fleas that decided to use my face as a birthing pod. I wake up soaked, itchy, cramped, freezing, and a little drunk to be honest with you (how else did you expect me to sleep in those conditions, really).

I stepped onto the deadened leaves of the forest floor and one shoe is missing. I decided to burn my tent for warmth, and figured I'd throw my makeshift sleeping bag on the burning heap for good measure. I thawed out after a couple of minutes and decided to make my way back to their village-of-the-damned campsite where everything looked like it fell out of an LL Bean catalogue.

The chimney on Brandon's tent had a lazy ribbon of smoke drifting from it. Tucker was sitting in a fold out recliner watching the game on his satellite television. Brian and Kate sat near him eating piping hot bowls of gourmet oatmeal, Belgium waffles, a couple of omlettes, and Starbucks cappuccinos. And there I stood. Hunched over, hair asunder, soaking wet, red dots covering my face, wearing only one shoe.

They looked on me with horror at first, then with a sincere pity, my friends. I was the epitome of misery.

After my hot shower in Josh's Erectabath I sat in Tucker's heated leather fold out recliner and ate what was left of the fajita kit, most of the Belgium waffels and a cup of gourmet oatmeal. I breathed in a lungfull of mountain air, and marveled at how refreshing camping was. I closed my eyes and listened to the birds chirp in the trees, then some college team scored another touchdown and Tucker turned the tv up.

Aaaaah Camping.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Jackass Tea

Preston Hogan is a short bearded fellow several years older than I. After a stint in the Air Force, from which he was honorably discharged pending an overseas installment, he moved to Seattle and started an information protection agency ranging in clients from to smal mom-and-pop companies sprinkled thoughout the west coast. Despite stereotypes, the only thing Irish about him is the feckled red hair that compose his neatly trimmed beard. He has a round face, a sharp tongue, and a deep affinity for pale ales-which his tolerance allows him three before a cab ride is in order.

Aside from being able to finger a computer into doing what he wants, Preston has an unmatched talent for names and faces. A magnetic ability that affords him many friends, and many more opportuntity to collect them.

I met Preston once. It was an unseasonably clear night somewhere in October. We met in passing. "Andrew, I'd like you to meet Preston." "Preston, Andrew." We shook hands and that was it. Months later we happened to be entering the same watering hole and met at the door. "Andrew isn't it? Whachya drinkin?" Inside we laughed loudly, made insufferable remarks toward women, and watched his friend Pete coax the waitress into kissing him on the cheek (where at the last moment Pete turned his head and her efforts ended on his shit grinning lips). Preston and I would later meet for lunch during the business week, and on weekends manage a pick up game of frisbee or walks through the Olympic Sculpture Garden with mutual friends in tow.

In an age where men mistake extensions of friendship as the comings on of the effete and ashamed, Preston seems at ease with the quiet strolls as he does with the yuck-em-up good times requisite of adult males. I would say that my friendship with Preston was akin to worn in house shoes; the easy demeanor of old friends and the verbal jousting matches that ensue.
Friday nights are a bit of a wild card for me socially. There are nights when I'm left with nothing to do by eight o'clock, and there are those when I'm getting off work around midnight. It was around 10:30 and I had been cut early from my bussing shift at Sostanza the Italian trattoria. Lorenzo, head chef and owner, after hitting the Glenlivet since early in the day, told me in the pigeon-english of drunks to "get outta here and go impregnate something".

Making my way through the alley, I gave Preston a call to see if he might be in the neighborhood and would want a round on me before I turned in early. I could hear his phone ringing as the alley opened up into the street where Preston was standing in the open door of a cab, his red face staring blankly at a phone that looked capable of calculating co-tangents.
"Answer your phone Asshole!" I shouted from across the street. In my right ear I heard a delayed hello come over the airways. "Dick." he laughed. "Get in I got a surprise for you." He motioned towards the inside of the cab where Pete was sitting sharing a lude joke with the cabbie who appeared as disintrested as the aforementioned waitress. "I'm still wearing my apron,"I protested, "and Dickies don't meet dress code anywhere you're going." "Just get in. Trust me, you're gonna regret it if you miss out. Look, Pete's going and he's basically a mongoloid. You'll be fine."

After a re-decision on my miner's pants and Pete's mental capacity we stopped at my house where I ran in and changed which cost us only $13 dollars thanks to Seattle cab fares. A quick change of clothes, some eau de cologne, and a sports jacket later we were winding through downtown streets when Pete made a base reference to Dekembe Mutumbo's appearance at the state of the union address not realizing the ethnicity of the cab driver. We were asked to leave the cab and had to walk in the cold for 6 blocks while Preston un-re-decided Pete in fact, was a mongoloid.

We arrived at a place called Trinity. Trinity is a club notorious for it's roster of famous DJ's which attract an even more notorious crowd. It's a hot spot of the best music and the worst stabbings within the Emerald City.

Preston directs Pete and I to the front of the VIP line, which circumvented the lengthy que of meat heads, the thugs of asian persuasion, and black men wearing silk shirts and white women. Thankfully the door and two water buffalo with security printed on their shirts seperated us from the spite and disgust of the aforementioned. A small Asian man in an expensive suit halted us and demanded a large sum of money "fuh E-Eye-Pee". Preston, trying to scream over the crowd and the music, insisted we were on a list, which one of the water buffalo checked with marked disbelief. "What are you doing? There's no way I'm the list, I just met up with you guys." I spoke to the back of Preston's head. "We're making fools of ourselves..." Preston turned his head and giggled like a loosed balloon, "Shhh, I'm buying us time," he screamed, "Don't worry about it, we'll get in."

After arguing with the now pissy Asian man, and the two security lummox, it happened. It was one of those rare moments when, amidst struggle and embarrassment, you are suddenly and accutely aware of what life is like on the other side of the tracks. She was 5'7, brunette with gemstone eyes, razor sharp curves, and the gait and confidence of a duchess. She pointed at us without looking and her words, no, her commands, seem to roll down her perfect nose to the Asian that we were with her. A retinue of colors and breasts and legs swaggered behind her as the Spoiled Beauty Express rolled through the red velvet roping making Preston Pete and I their humble, yet vastly important caboose.

After being patted down for weapons of mass destruction by a man resembling a cinder block, the now cowering Asian man led us through the surging crowd to a secluded stair case that wound it's way to a balcony over look. At least, this is what I thought the VIP room was. A balcony, nothing more than a better view with better seats and better liquor, and vastly better cocaine. In my dreams, the VIP room was a quiet place where deals were made between men in gingam suits, hits were issued to men with leather faces, and all the while everyone is getting blown under the table by super models with daddy issues. Being VIP meant something according to Hollywood lore, and I was sure that my time had come. From now on, I would be included in this eschelon of the priviledged and avante'gard. While I was trying to decide on what color ascot would say 'tortured artist' more definitively, we reached the top of the staircase and what I beheld there wasn't exactly as I had imagined it, but close.

There were enclaves of leather couches on which sat NFL players of all rank shoruded with beautiful rich snots...cartilidge held together by designer clothes...wealthy foreigners whose style is always slightly off, not in the coming trend kind of way but more in the greasy Eastern Europe kind of way.

The VIP bar was run by two attractive felines; one who wore a glossy smile that seemed genuine and out of place, and the other with inked sleeves midway down her arm. There was some mild dancing, which consisted of slight hip movements and deep conscientiousness. Then there was the central ring of leather couches, roped off with red velvet and another brick-house meat-dick. Inside sat the brunette with her entourage of breasts and legs and jewels. She sat as royalty would. Ambivalent to the ropes and the music and the dance-aleptics. We had lost Pete at this point, and Preston thought it our only window of opportunity to gain entrance and pay homage. A quick word to the brick-house and a solemn nod from the brunette and we were in. I took a seat across from her while Preston did most of the talking. I noticed she was young. Very young. My sister young, and suddenly I felt as though I were the kind of guy that wears jewelry.

"Thanks for getting us in." I spoke into the blank asexual face of raw lust. She stared at me and rolled her eyes. "Don't thank me," was all she said, then crossed her legs and leaned back. Having no where else to look, I glanced down at the table and noticed something I hadn't before. It was a centerfold calendar. The familiar MAXIM logo appeared in bright red letters across the top, and below on a beach of luminescence and waves she lay sprawled before me. Below the picture: Carmela.

"You didn't know" she laughed, seeing my cogs try to turn through the scotch. I shrugged. She laughed and told me to come back at the end of the night. I found Preston talking to one of Carmela's fruit flys. "I'm stepping outside." I screamed. "Meet you at the stairs.

This is where I found Pete. Pete was talking to a jaw dropping blonde who had her own personal body gaurd. "This is ______ ( I can't remeber her name )" Pete said introducing the two of us. She corrected him on her name, then smiled and shook my head. Her body guard glared at me with the kindness one might show a rapist. "She was the Playmate of the year for 2006" Pete announced like a boy discovering his penis for the first time.

"It was 2005." She corrected him sweetly. Preston walks by and looks at me. "Ready?" We start to make our move when the body guard hands her a small stack of papers and she hands one to Preston. It was her cover shot from 2005, signed, and kissed. He looks at it, looks up at her, says, "thanks", then hands it back to her and walks down the stairs. Pete howls.

Outside, "what the @#$% did you do that for?,"Pete launches into Preston. Which is answered by a smile, and "you'll see."

Back in the club, up in the VIP room, we had several more drinks, made untrue proclimations, told lies, and anything else that falls under the banner of bullshitting. When we decided to leave, Miss Playmate 2005 finds Preston out of the crowd and, while handing Pete and I her picture, looks at him and says, "Your not getting one." And I love his response. "That's ok. You remembered me." Then he smiles and walks outside.

Then something occured to me. Our culture, ruled by youth and beauty, saturated into scenes like this one, is as fleeting as youth and beauty itself. Misss 2005 stood there, with decadence, radiating natural beauty, a has-been with a failing sense of self importance. Left with memories soaked in a surreal half light of what will never be again, of hindsight, and the impossibility of going back. And she'll remember Preston. Maybe not Preston, but the prestons. The short funny looking man with slightly thinning hair and a red beard who gave her image back to her. And how those images she will continue to give back to herself. "This is all so inane" I thought.

Outside I felt freedom. I didn't care for any of what I had just witnessed, however fun it was. "I want a hot dog" I kept screaming at Pete with a Harry Carry emphasis on 'hot dog'. The more I said it, the more beligerant I said it, the more Pete laughed. Ahh, our little gloid.

"That's not how we roll." a voice called behind me. Carmela stood, her friends surrounding her like peacock feathers. "Do you know what a hot dog would do to my stomach?" she continued with what sounded like mock disdain.

"Yeah, that's why I want one. It's better than a colonic." My only good line all night. She laughed She funkin' laughed.

Preston stood by one of the peacock feathers and smiled a shit eating grin. A Navigator pulled up and everyone filed in. "Coming?" the feather asked Preston. He turned to me and said, "I told you you wanted to come tonight."

I don't remember the car ride. I don't remember where we went, or how this place existed, but somewhere in Seattle there is an all night, fine dining, Chinese cuisine, restaraunt. Crispy seabass, roast duck, Shrimp tempura, and many other entrees were brought to our table. We each had a tiny cup of amber colored tea, a glass of champagne, and glasses of mineral water seconds within walking through the door. I think at one point we each had our own person geisha girl, but in retelling the story, Preston claims this, in fact, was not true. I still haven't figured out who was massaging my inner thigh. Anyhow. There we sat. Preston, Pete and I, across from Carmella the Maxim girl, Jen a busty blonde with more bite than bark, and some mestizo number named Angela whose natural carribbean tan made me want to drink her skin. The six of us, eating and talking and laughing, and having our wants met by subservient asian men with silk dressings.

I must confess, I was hammered. I was also smart enough to know that when I'm as well oiled as that, it is always in my best interest to remain silent. Being resolute on not speaking, I needed something else to do, and navigating the chopsticks was proving the only worthy task I could find.

All I wanted to do, was take a peice of roast duck and dip it in that sweet and sour sauce sitting in front of Preston. There were no forks, and being drunk, chopsticks were quickly getting the better of me. Soon the others began to watch without me noticing. In trying not to make an ass out of myself, I was making an ass out myself. Carmela, sitting across from me said, "Need some help big boy?" in that mocking tone where you're left unsure whether she's on your side or not. I looked at her and gave a curt look, and went back to chopsticks.

Getting more frustrated I noticed a little cup of sweet and sour closer to me than Preston. It was right in front of Carmela. The duck was covered in this thick gravy that caused it to slip out of the pinch every time I managed to lift it six inches above my plate. Also I'm swaying, which doesn't help. Finally, after much effort and silent cursing, I manage to get ahold of the stupid duck and dip it into Carmela's sweet and sour sauce. As I'm lifting thhe duck back out of the sauce, it slips and splashes amber colored liquid everywhere. At once the table fell silent and everyone just stared. I thought. "Like none of you have dropped YOUR food in the sauce."

Preston patted me on the back, and said,"Andrew's had a good night. Carmela, would you like some more tea." I was mortified. I don't know whether I was more embarrassed about dipping the duck in her herbal tea, or the fact that it took me damn near 4 minutes for it to register. She stared at me, "Well....?"

"I didn't know what to say, so I went with what I knew. I stuck to the facts. Drinking brings out not only the southern accent in me, but also the southern gentleman as well, and my manner begin to revert to the 19th century, which is embarrassing.

"Carmela," I took her hand,"forgive me for droppin mah meat in yore tea."

She exploded and her friends said they wanted me to talk like that somemore. Preston was shaking his head and Pete was nodding his. I leaned over to Preston after the storm had passed. "Am I a jack-ass?" I whispered with a scared sincerety.

Carmella leaned in, "Yes. But so am I." and then she winked.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you on this one. after re-reading it, I'm not so sure it was all that entertaining. I did, on the other hand have fun writing it. (It took me a week, because I can only use the computer 15 minutes at a time--which explains the lack of continuity in the narrative...whatever). Call you later, or you call me.


Friday, June 30, 2006


They call the minimum-wagers at Subway "sandwhich artists". This, I believe, is to assist in keeping them minimum wage, however a cheap ploy it may be. All I wanted was a club sandwhich and, as most Montgomerians know, expecting a modicum of professionalism in the fast food industy is as ridiculous as thinking Roy Moore will make an honest governor. I chose Subway because it is difficult for even the most apathetic of worker bees to screw up a sandwhich. That, and you get to watch them do it which makes me feel like I'm at one of those fancy Japanese sho-gun style restaurants.

Usually I opt for the least amount of resistance. My personal life is riddled with crisis over unimportant everyday decisions, so the additional options concerning my food preparation is enough to send my confused little peanut brain over the edge. After-all, in most ways I am a worker bee too (no reference to my state of employment please). No need for the extra meltdown. However, today I want a sandwhich, and I want a coke, and I want to get this at a package deal, so Subway it is!

My 'sandwhich artist's' name was, I kid you not, Earlshawna. Earlshawna was going to be my personal assistant for the next thirty seconds so I thought it wise to address her by her Christian name. Earlshawna was probably too busy with her 'art' to acknowledge my cheerful greeting. But she sure gave me a big golden grin while telling me they didn't have the Honey-Wheat bread I'd initially ordered. She was so on top of her game that she didn't even have to look back at the bread warmer while denying every option I suggested from the bread list, save the petrified dust bread she held in her hand (and I still had to request it regardless that it was the only 'flavor' they had).. 'Great', I thought, 'one less decision'.

I must say, that if Earlshawna graduated from 'Sandwhich School', then she got all A's in Club Sandwhiches. She was expert in folding the turkey and ham. A surgeon couldn't have sliced roast beef that thin, and as a bonus Earlshawna chose the peice that reminded me of New England trees in autumn. Her cheese coverage impressed me the most: two isoceles triangles lying opposite each other for maximum meat/cheese ratio. Atta-girl, Earlshawna!

I started to believe that Earlshawna (real name) truley did have the 'sandwhich artists'' Midas touch. This was confirmed when she opened her mouth the second time to inquire of my topping choice and those polished golden nuggets caught in the flourescent lighting. Be still my heart. I requested onions, olives, a proportional amount of lettuce, salt and pepper and some tomatos.

I must admit, there was a small reserve of fear that my sandwhich, which was no longer a blank canvas but a work in progress, might undergo severe defacement. Earlshawna (parents chose this name) placed two tomato wheels, three rings of vidalia, four to five well placed olives, a neat hedgerow of lettuce, and a dash of salt a pepper onto the open face of the shiney meat and sharp cheese. 'Earlshawna Ce'zanne', I thought, 'you truley are a sandwhich artist.'

"Is ther-annuthin elz?" she asked in the glib way only artistically elite are allowed to respond.

My reply came through a dense fog of admiration and respect. "Yes ma'am", I said, "I'd like some mayonaise."

As my words were suspended in between my mouth and her hoop earrings, I glanced down at the true beauty of the sandwhich. Aside from the Crayola the roast beef gave off, the amalgamation of red tomatos, yellow onions, bright green lettuce, contrasting with the zeal colored cheese, and accented by a light glaze of pepper was not only brilliant, but insightful and inspiring.

Earlshawna (honestly) removed her celophane gloves and picked up a white squirt bottle. Her fingernails were magnificant. Instead of attributing their length and color to the low-budget Vietnamese owned nail salon, Nail Diamond, I thought that this is one of those eccentric things only the truley talented can pull off. As she laid her hand down on the counter to brace herself for what was coming next, her pinky finger embedded itself deep into the condiments, meat, and cheese of my sandwhich. Her fingernail actually cut through an onion rings. Hollow words began to form in my throat.

After having braced herself, she primed the white squirt bottle by violently slamming it, head down, against the counter 7 to 12 times. 'Could this be the artistic emotion coming out?' I thought as I prepared for Earlshawna to expertly sign her creation with mayonaise.

Instead of a signature as the perfect compliment to so much precision and care, my sandwhich looked like the final scene of a gang-bang. Puss colored mayonaise covered all the other colors, not to mention their tastes. The petrified dustbread softened into a quagulated mud, and what was once a peice of art soon became the status quo every fast food patron has come to expect.

Earlshawna had begun another sandwhich by the time I looked up. I payed and thanked the lady at the register who failed to give me napkins, a straw, a receipt, and my cup. I got in my car and looked at myself in the rearview mirror. I wanted to know what face I made as Earlshawna turned my club sandwhich into the mayo-swamp, already leaking grease through the wrapping and onto my seats.

As I finished the dry bag of chips, sans drink, I thought about Earlshawna, and how I wasn't mad at her at all for ruining my sandwhich. In fact, I had to choose to be a little enamored. I went to Subway that day for the options, something I usually fear. What I got instead was a lesson in how to create them for others.

Light on the Mustard,


Friday, December 09, 2005

The Lion, the Witch, and the Teenagers

I saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe last night at the midnight view. It was there that God told me that I was not to be involved in any way form or fashion with teenagers. Or spanish teenagers for that matter. What do you do Brian? What do you do when there is a pack of them behind you kicking the chairs, talking, giggling, etc. If you turn around you look uncool and invite more of the same, only this time, it's focused on you. If you sit there you're miserable. Oh and it's part of a youth group, sanz chaperone.

I turned and said, "Would you guys mind holding it down. Thanks." This brought more chair kicking. This brought more talking and giggling, and now, mocking. I turned around and smiled several times. On my way out I stopped by the bathroom. One of the churchy teens was standing at a urinal. I walked up behind him and shoved him forward. It wasn't a hard shove, but it got his pants wet and seemed to hurt is swollen dignity. "Hey Man!" he whined. "Not so funny is it?" I asked in a calm voice. I left the bathroom feeling much better.

I hate teenagers. Which means I'm old. I was cursing "...those teenagers". Keith Moody got a kick out of it. Me pushing obviously makes me as bad as them, but I can buy beer and vote, so, in your face teenagers.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Merry Jihady Christmas

So I opened an account for a Middle Easten man several months ago. He was tall and middle aged, dressed conservatively from a half day at the office. Probably a doctor or engineer of somesort. Well spoken with a hard line accent on consonants. His wife would be coming by in a few days to be added as a signer on the account, so I set the paper work aside and waited.

A week went by before his wife showed. She was significantly younger and dressed in a dishdash and berka-the proper attire for the devout Muslim wife. Although pleasant, she was soft spoken and had very little to say to me. I signed her on the account, filling out the proper paper work and necessary computer strokes.

Two months go by and today they told me that I failed to get the majority of the information I need to properly dress the account. This means I have to call this man and obtain the information via phone, which I was not enthusiastic about doing as my skills as an interpreter have just recently overcome Ebonics and Hick.

He answered the phone in what must have been an native tongue. The smell of spice and inscence filled my nose as I recalled what he smelled like sitting in my office. I had to explain why I wanted information from him 6 times before he finally divulged his address and birthday. A driver's license number was completely out of the question and his voice grew more metallic and cold each time I asked him to repeat himself. I apologized for the inconvenience of the 5 minute phone call and said that there was nothing more I needed from him.

"Thank you Mr. Abdwash and have a Merry Christmas."

Silence. Then a loud explosion that vaguely sounded like the reciever being slammed into it's rest on the phone.

Merry Christmas Iraq. Merry Jihady Christmas.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Still Smoking

My father bought an old house way out in the country roughly two weeks ago. It's rudimentary architecture and shotgun framing, made it an ideal fixer upper. There was always something to be done. Replace the baseboards, re-wire the electrical outlets, shingles, shingles, shingles, paint, drywall, finish, re-finish, install central air ducts, etc, the list goes on and on. So for the past two weekends, Dad would have me drop him off in the earliest part of the morning. He would work in solitude for hours on end, and around mid-day, after yard sales were over, I would meet him out there with a couple of sandwhiches. We would eat on the back porch, looking out over the natural beauty of a yard studded with oak, pecan, and plum trees. "What an odd mix." he'd later say about those trees. And they were odd. There was no rythym or rhyme to suggest someone took time to plant them, however they are trees that don't normally grow in the same yard.

We would sit there, idley talking, me smoking a cigarette, him smoking out of the same pipe my grandfather used to use, a memento I will one day inherit. Our smoke would catch on the wind and go sailing through the plum trees, around the mighty oaks, and then scatter through the branches of the pretty pecan. After watching this, we would continue to work in a comfortable silence.

It was late one night several months ago, when a friend and I were drunk and making peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches to sober up before turning in. The only light in the house that worked was a dim stove light that made navigating especially difficult. We sat in silence, each of us with a peice of newspaper, and ate and read in complete silence. "You know", I whispered, "we must really be friends if the two of us can sit here and not say a thing and still feel comfortable."
"Shut-up", she hissed back, "I'm trying to read the paper."
Dad and I have reached that plateau where it's not uncomfortable teenage/adult parent silence, but an adult to adult level of understanding. While working, we sometimes sing old church hymns, which sort of makes me feel like a slave, and there is a lot of humming on his part. He hums and mummbles lyrics. It is either this, or full scale acapela concerto. I take my pick. We harmonize well together, and when my brother is in town and the three of us get in a car or sit on the same church pew-people stop and listen. We're good. Real good. Like a barbershop trio or something.

As we work and the sun wanes on the horizon hinting that it's time to go. We climb in the cab of the truck, both light our favored tobacco vices, then make our slow and steady way out of the dirt driveway. When I drive out of there it makes me think of the relationship between fathers and their sons-slow and steady. It's a growing understanding, one that takes years to figure out; to realize that you're just like each other, and how hard it can be to get along with yourself. I hate it that not all men have been able to get there. Not all have these weekends with their fathers.

My mom called me this morning and told me that the rental house burned to the ground last night. Vandals, electrical wiring, no one knows yet. She told me that my dad went out there and before it collapsed he saved our tools and some spare lumber. He glanced at the house one last time and noticed that the back door was open. Then it caved in on itself. Two weeks of work hung in the air around him, then it caught the wind, and went sailing through the plum trees, around the mighty oaks, and then scattered through the branches of the pretty pecan. I can see him standing there in the cloud of dancing smoke, his efforts dashed around him, and then, if I listen real hard, I can can hear my old man begin to hum.

Waiting on the Fire Marshall,

Andrew Greene

The Web We Weave...then run screaming from.

Keith had just left the house, and Mama remarked at how much weight he had lost, although she said it in the way one would remark on the quantity of puss leaking from a ghangrenous wound. This is when dad chimmed in, his words trailing off into a gutteral whisper of disgust, "Yeah, but he's still got that...baaack." He then outlined what he considered to be Moody's back in the air with his hands, as if he was caressing a large fleshy shell.

"It's kinda like Liz Gray" Mama continued, again with the voice inflection reserved for a coroner, "lost all that weight but has that big hulk back" Her face then matched her tone of voice, which somehow prompted Daddy to respond.

Daddy's face looked like he had just seen Schindler's List and was stiffling a chuckle, "I HAAAAATE backs. I just haaaaaaaate them. They're so grosss! I'll bet if Keith Moody and Liz Gray had a kid, it'd just be a baaack." he hissed.

Mind you that this is less than fifteen seconds after Keith crossed the threshold from our house. He had been helping Abbey and I work on Abbey's term paper, which meant he had spent the night writing while Abbey and I bounced around the room, tapping everything with sticks.

I gazed out the window and saw him sauntering towards his car. His thinning waist and the large insultable bulk that swaggered like an old man carrying a bundle of lumber. Dad came and stood behind me and we watched perhaps the nicest guy in the world leave our darkened house. "You know, he's worked really hard to lose all that weight. It's taken him two years." I mentioned casually.
"Huh, ....that's soooome discipline." he said.

As the lumbering figure made it's way through our yard, we reflected a minute on Keith. With each step across the grass we were reminded of his genteel nature, a kindness beyond his means, a heart of gold, and the spider webs that criss-crossed our yard from tree to tree. Dad and I watched as he flailed and slapped himself trying to get free of the webbing matting his hair. Soon Abbey and Mama would join us at the window sill. Keith flounders around the yard for a few more seconds and we can hear him swear as he makes an awkward, ducking wind-sprint to his truck. He glanced back at the trampled webs, then got in his car and sped away.

Later that night, as I was lying in bed, I remembered hearing him swear. His frantic run from yard to car caused him to cuss in front of all of us. Then it occurred to me. Just before he got in his car he looked up. For a split second he looked back at those webs. He gazed with unsure disbelief in his eyes, as if he was trying to look through a cloudy night and into the stars. It was only for a split second but it made me wonder. 'Was he looking back at the spider webs he had just stampeded through, or was he looking at something else?' 'Was he looking past the webs to the house?' 'Or was he looking through the window?' The clarity of his swearing came back to me. Was it the webs that asked him to look back? Or, was it the cackle of four indigent Greenes as they watched their only friend stummble from their home.

The irony of watching others flail,

Your Brother,

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Running One Unit at a Time

So I'm quitting smoking and yesterday was my big run.
My neighbor and I decided last week that this week would be the week we started running together. Richard is a tall sinewy Native American looking man with gaunt cheeks and long inky hair. Veins are visible throughout his forearms, neck, forehead, hands, and legs. His frame, along with his head, is aerodynamic, as this man was built for speed. And apparantly, so was his mouth; Richard talks non-stop.

I was checking my mail yesterday dreading Richard pulling into the driveway next to mine. Mail in hand, I quickened my pace towards my apartment, when a loud maroon Blazer whips in flush with the curb. "HowdyAndrew,upforrunningtoday", he said at warp speed, nearly leaping from the car.
"Yeah man, just knock on my door when you're ready."
"I'mgonnaeataturkeysandwichthenchangeclothesandI'llknockonyourdoor," at Mach 3.

I'm not kidding when I say that in less than seven minutes he was at my door. His knock sounded like a machine gun, or the back beat to "Surfin' USA". I invited him up, as I was not not finished changing from work to play. I walked into my bed room and left Richard in my den, and began changing from dress pants to shorts. "Nice Unit," Richard said.
"Nice Unit.......I like the hardwood."

It was only later, after he told me he liked the size, structure, and reach of my unit, did I realize he was talking about my apartment. He talked about how he preferred a wider unit to a longer one and I'm in my room silently screaming.

Richard is more than a novice runner. He ran track in college, and logs about 20 miles a week now that he's 32. He comes from a long line of marathon runners, as I later discovered, and it is apparant by his build and physique that running is in his blood. 'He even talks fast,' I kept saying to myself, 'I can't wait to see him jog.'

So we went out to Vaughn Road Park, and walked a lap which is 0.6 miles. After that, Richard says, "OkAndrewyouready??" And I was ready, I was ready to run. I have smoked for 5 or so years now and haven't moved a muscle in about three. It was time I exerted myself. It was time I grunted and groaned. It was time to sweat and perge and push. I was ready. I was reving my engines, my batteries were charged, I was ready to do this, ready to R-U-N. "Go!" I yelled under my breath, and Richard broke into what I can only describe as not walking.

'What is he doooing?!' I thought to myself. Richard looked like the cross between a wounded ostrich and a pack animal. His trot wasn't so much herky jerky as it was deliberate and measured. At one point we had to run beside the path so that the old black women pushing strollers could walk past us. Children pointed and laughed. It was humiliating, but i noticed that I was actually doing it and keeping up.

About a year ago, I decided to run around the block. I didn't make it a mile. I was wheezing, and coughing and my esophogus felt as though I had swallowed boric acid. Yesterday, however, I made it the whole 1.2 miles. It was tough, don't get me wrong, but with Richard's odd pace I managed to pump my legs and swing my arms and breathe regularly and finish. My goal was to make it one mile today. I made it 1.2.

I sprinted the .2. Richard came up behind me, "CongratulationsAndrew! Youdidit!" and he smiled warmly and handed me a water bottle. For a small moment in time, I felt accomplished, like I was the champ. I had finished something, but moreso, this was the Season of Accomplishment. I had graduated from college and finishing this mile somehow edified me. Reaching this mile mark was confirmation. My legs ached, my head hurt, my lungs were full of tar, and my stomach was on fire, but my heart felt nothing but wonderful pride. And for this one small fleeting moment I was more proud of myself than I had been in years. Then I saw Richard.

I have never seen a man move that fast for that long. His long ink black hair flapped behind him, never once touching his broad shoulders. He was the wind. A fluid, and mechanical wind. He ran like a gazzelle. My moment dissolved into one of awe, and then quickly into humility. I had been running with a former track star, a former marathon winner, and oh yeah, a current iron man competitor.

He finished his laps as I casually walked around the track to catch my breath. I couldn't help but smile everytime he passed me. He was truley something to behold. And here I was, walking with my own head held high for running a mile. I didn't feel any less proud of myself, only now I had a little more perspective on it. I thought how funny it is that as soon as you feel like you've run the 4 minute mile, there comes some one who can do it in 3:55.

It would be easy to look out at the mountains others have climbed from the hill you stand upon now and feel a little inconsequential. A little under-accomplished, but when you consider the scope of your own life, and the turns and dips you've had to personally over come it all still seems worth it. And you don't feel so small anymore, because you know that if you made it up this hill, that one day, you'll make it up the mountains as well. We'll get there in our own time.

Riding back in the car with Richard, he told me he wished he had moved into my apartment years ago, long before I had rented it. He had mentioned before how much he liked it and how the land lords and him were such good friends, etc.. He then continued his story of how he ran the Washington D.C. Marathon in only a few short hours. This story seemed to last longer than it took for him to run it.

'That may be true Richard' I thought as the wind hit my face as I leaned far out the open passenger side window, 'but I've got the bigger unit.'


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cousin Countdown

On a side note, did I ever tell you that the rocking chair I received in my grandmother's will was the focal point of much family controversy? My grandfather made that rocking chair with his own two calloused hands. When Grandmama passed, it was handed with dishpan hands down to me. Yours truly got the rocking chair and two quilts. That is all. My brother got the old grandfather clock and a footstool also made by PawPaw Greene. The rest of the cousins got jewels and money and other assorted treasures. Simon and I were happy just to have a peice of a memory.....a handcrafted memory at that. "Let the dogs have their bones." was our proud and silent mantra.

My brother and I escaped the scrutiny that often follows a patriarch or matriarch's death, buriel, and will and testament. Nearly escaped I should say, for not a week after Grandmama was in the ground, I got a call from one of my first cousins. She was ripe with child when we spoke at the funeral and I couldn't help but think how all of this grief might be bad for the baby. On the phone, she explained to me how her baby was due in a couple of days, and how nice it would be to have a rocking chair to coo the baby to sleep. She then began to say how a 'dorm room' was probably not a good place for a peice of antiquity, especially one with such sentimental value to the whole family.

"So what are saying? That I give the chair to you?"
"Well, I would just hold it for you until you got a place of your own...."
"Ohhh, 'hold it for me'? Yeah right Pre-Pardum, not on your life."
"Look I don't want it damaged if you had one of those...parties or something..."
"Parties? I think you have bigger things to worry about there Baby Factory. I don't have parties, and I don't live in a dorm. How low rent do you think I am?"
"I'm not saying that, all I meant was.."
"I don't care what you meant. You got the cash, you got the jewels, you got the jade turtle collection Grandmama TOLD ME I could have, and now you want MY rocking chair. I can't believe it. Why don't I just hand it ALL over to you. I'll get Simon, and Abbey, and we'll just give you EVERYTHING!!....."
"Andrew, wait, I just meant that since..."
"If you say another word I'm going to personally take a hatchet to that f*#?ing chair! I CANNOT believe it! Grandmama has barely lost her pulse, and your trying to horde everyone's inheritance. How greedy ARE you? Next, you'll want to exhume the body and rip off all the fingers, I'm sure there's some valuable rings going to WASTE on the CORPSE!!"

After several minutes of screaming at each other, I told her that I loved her, and that I hoped her baby came out alright, especially since it had such a greedy mother, to which she slammed the phone down, hanging up in my face.

Later that evening I had some friends over and was telling them what happened. Ironically, as I was in the middle of the story, I spilled a glass of Merlot on the rocking chair. The fabric was simply ruined. We all had a good laugh, then took turns riding the chair as it skiied down the concrete stairs in front of my apartment building. I eventually had to throw the chair out, as I'm pretty sure it had mites.

Corn Pudding,

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Executive Assistant Application

I might graduate this semester. If i have a party, you and Susan can come. But only if we dance.
Thinking about how busy i typically am on any given work day, I have concluded that I need a personal assistant, so I sent out a mass email to all the genetically superior women in the offices here. Most responded with embitterment, but a few actually said they'd like a 'position' of that nature.
Here it is: If any of your hot single friends are looking for internships, this one would be great.
Here are a list of job descriptions for your role as my Secretary, or more formerly titled, Executive Assistant:
1. Above all the ability to tell a convincing lie is a top priority. My boss comes in and asks where I am. You know I am taking a three hour lunch with an old college buddy, but you tell him something like, "He JUST stepped out. He mentioned something about finishing a report early and having to double check it with corporate." You let him know I haven't been gone long, reinforcing it by attributing my abscence to a work related cause. This will make him think I am responsible, which will propel me to a more sophisticated sounding, higher paying non-job, leaving you to take my position.
2. Know that we are a team. You don't want me to get in trouble for slacking, so I will need help pretending to be busy at work. Great care goes into this practice of avoiding work. Soon I will be on the way to the top, and a higher pay grade-and I will need somebody to help me along the way. You won't receive more pay, however, you will get an impressive new title, "Assitant Executive". Sounds good huh?
3. Math. I hate it, so you will have to do it. This includes balancing my checkbook, watching my travel per diem, stealing from petty cash, and making sure my paycheck is accurate. Math required in company paper work you can delegate to other people's assistance. Just make them believe thay are doing a small part of a very large project. It'll make them feel important, like we trust them with 'big responsibilities'. I will outline how to shirk the work in another chapter. Math, do it.
4. Good personal taste. There is way too much Minesweeper to play to remember birthdays and anniversaries. You will have to depend on your own good taste in buying successful gifts for those I pretend are important to me. It will be your job to shop, as I will be way to busy writing my screenplay. You're getting to shop. That's great.
5. Making the call. There will be nights when I would rather go drinking with the boys or blow my paycheck at the track, whatever the case, it will be you're job to let my wife/girlfriend/date know that I am 'working late' (note the case tense in these words, as the Upper Case are reserved for quality number 7). There will be ample opportunities where an excuse will be needed. Creativity is appreciated, but believability is cherished.
6. Looking the part. Looking the part not only means looking professionally cool and collected in every scenario, but looking busy as well. You are to act like you are on task while in the office. Walk with purpose, carry several official looking papers in your hand, and above all, avoid anyone who looks as though they might have something for you to do. If you get something to do, then it usually means it will fall on my desk later, in which I will have to give it back to you to give to someone else. During that time we could have each played Solitaire until we got the fireworks, or taken an extra 20 minutes to 'check this with acounts payable'-translated-taking a nap in the backseat of our cars.
7. 'Working Late'. The word "secretary" begins with 'secret'. Enough said.
Any questions regarding your position please address your Assistant's Manual ie-Post Christmas Party activities, weekend business trips, emergency 2 am board meetings, etc.
Personal interviews only.
Join Team Andrew today!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Spanish Gypsy

I once had a Spanish girl whose name she kept secret from me. She followed me around the streets of Madrid, and upon reaching my hotel, asked, in broken English, if she could have her picture made with me. I think she thought I was famous. And I looked the part. I had my hair slicked up and out, my Italian leather jacket, with a designer shirt, and a five o'clock shadow to boot. We smiled nervously at each other while her freind snapped photos of us. Suddenly her friend began calling out an instruction in Spanish that my English ears could not understand. She paused as she searched for the word....."Kiss" she shouted triumphantly.
I thought I would get a peck on the cheek or maybe the lips if i was lucky. I turned to face her, and before I got my proper kiss footing, was mauled. It was a mellay, of lips and limbs and hair. I was overtaken, and soon afterward found that I was missing a pocket watch, a packet of train peanuts, and my lucky coin which turned out to prove otherwise.
I don't know why I tell you this except that somewhere I know that you understand the common blunder of mistaking beautiful Spanish women for filthy bearded gypsies.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Friday Night Phillip

        It was a pretty day with an unseasonable cool on the air due to our recent bouts with Hurricanes Ivan, Jean, and Karl.  I crept passed my friends from Mobile sleeping soundly on the couch, away from 80mph winds and destroyed apartment complexes; taking  refuge in my one bedroom apartment located on the brink of a downtown, tired from torrential rains and weather sirens.  It was about 5:30, and after brewing some coffee and having a cigarette, I put on a flannel shirt and went for a walk with my hands stuffed deep into my pockets.  The way a man burdened with thought staggers toward conclusion. 
        A 350 lbs homeless man named Phillip asked me for a quarter, and when I told him I didn't have any change, said, "How 'bout a five?"  Philip comes by and God-blesses me for the five spot I gave him that following Monday, and has become regular fixture on my front steps.  He cleans the street in front of my house, picks the cigarette butts out of my flower garden, and he's washed my car a few times.  Each task earning a five dollar bill, cigarette, and a ride to the Salvation Army, or his "mamma's house" as he likes to lie about.  A neighbor of mine, a local evangelist, also employs the man power of homeless Philip, promising to pay him on Sunday AFTER he attends church service.  Philip would rather have the immediate five spot, but can be seen making his way, sweaty and out of breath, to the preach's porch around 8:30 every Sunday morning. 
        I sometimes have visions of Philip turning and killing me, coming at me with a lead pipe or breaking through my flimsy door and tossing me from my roost on the balcony with no rails, huffing away with my clock radio and some Creedance tapes-the only thing of mine with any real value.  I am not as concerned with it as I probably should be, leaving the door open when I go inside to get the cash or the glass of water, testing his patience, his limits, his rehabilitation.  Yet there he is, sitting idly on the porch, the beginnings of his large a$$ facing me as he stares off into the trees, thoughts of cheap bourbon and possibly, hopefully the Holy Spirit, wandering in the heat.  He takes the glass of water and God-blesses me as though I've sneezed, as I drop him off in a field near my house.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Finally Came in Handy...

Tucker peeked his head in my room around 8:04 this morning. Apparently my alarm had been going off since around 6:30. I have no idea why or how I was still in bed, but there I lay, naked, and half covered.
"Duuuuuuuude", was Tucker's word for this.
My eyes are barely open, swollen from the ridiculously short amount of time they had been closed, and I'm trying to fill in the "Do I call in?" equation.
"Is there anyway to make it there on time? How much vacation time do I have left? Have I ironed anything anyway? Do i NEED a shower? Did I shave yesterday or the day before? Have I screwed up too much this week for this to be ok with managers? Is Narcoleprosy a believable disease?"
It all hinged on my hair.

There was absolutely no time for a shave, and definitely not a shower as I had to be at work 4 minutes ago. I considered the option of rolling out of bed directly into some dress pants and a tie, yet before any of this, I had to see if it had appeared I had been sleeping. I gave myself a look in the mirror and there before me was the same looking guy I had seen the morning earlier-post shower that is. Aside from the fossil marks on my face left by the orthopedic pillow, I looked like a million bucks. My hair was perfectly unkempt and needed no further attention. No water, no shampoo, no wax/gel/mousse/snot whatever. I instantly dressed and shot out the door, hitting the Interstate less than four minutes later.

I arrive and no one seems to notice, partly because of the bank scam going on over the phone with one of our managers giving the go ahead to call the cops, but mostly because my hair looked soooo good.

It finally came in handy. Years of having church people noogie me and say, "Fergit your comb?" Ages of scrutiny from bosses, telling me it's "stylish, but un-professional". Eons of black women remarking "Yo hair look gooooood. How you git it to do dat?". It all finally paid off. Right when I needed it to, it came through. This is, of course, a landmark day for me and my hair. Usually it's position on things is complete rebuke and rebellion. Picture day in high school met with sudden cowlicks. Job interviews met with the one dangling bang that refuses to stand. First dates met with white flakes, dangling bangs and sudden cowlicks-all despite me.

I'd like to send Athena a Thank You card. Athena is the Greek woman who is responsible for the original cut. She was a goddess in more ways than one.

From the rat's nest


Thursday, July 15, 2004

An Angry Wake


The lake was fun. I am burned to a chrisp. We hung around the rock for a while but mostly swam around our place and threw each other off the jet ski. A little tubing, a little boating, you know. I slept on the dock for a long time, which might be the reason I'm baked on the front side. It was a long and restful nap, and I felt as though I had lapsed into a coma. I woke up to someone pouring beer on my head.

My friend's hot sister came. She just graduated law school and is about to move to California, so she made for good conversation, and ended up being a lot of fun. Another one of his friends came from Atlanta, and another from Florida. Everyone was finishing a masters program or had graduated years ago. It was pretty funny being stuck in the boat of education. Everyone is smart and successful, and then me, the village idiot, napping soundly on the dock with beer on my head.

I did see a boat full of lesbians however. Either that or the German National Softball Team. No kidding. And short hair, the thick necks, the cigarette, the dock short bathing suit, the whole bit. Then there were some real athletic types on there with the bull dikes. They were somewhat feminine, but with an Amazonian quality to them. Smoking, drinking, swearing, hating men, seething from a bitterness regular lobos can't understand. They floated around the rock for a while, but it was so obvious that it was a lesbian boat, that eventually people began to stare for uncomfortable periods of time, while others snapped pictures, and mothers began telling their children to get back in the boat. The lesbian love boat left just as they had come, with a loud engine, and an angry wake.



Everyday Lesbian

My Thursday routine usually consists of getting Thai food to go, eating and smoking cigarettes on the balcony and watching the crazy Asians in my apartment complex attempt to fly fish in the drainage ditch. I would tell them that there are no fish in the drainage ditch, but they get so excited when they're lines get snagged on a stick I would feel too bad popping their small bubble of hope. They cuckle and caw in their native tongue and splash around, then, after reeling in the stick, one of them usually says a swear word really loud and pitches the stick back into water. The process repeats itself and I light another. Much like popcorn during a movie.

Then I write a few letters, smoke, do some ironing, make some long distance phone calls, and drink until I pass out in the recliner out on the balcony.

I bet being a lesbian for a day is a lot more glamorous. Maybe I'll take up a hobby, like fishing.

Everyday Lesbian


On the Road Again

I was going to the beach. The Hughes' annual beach trip is this week, and I was supposed to go down this afternoon (Friday) and stay until Sunday. The weekend would probably consist of hearing myself get fatter, as the Hughes like to indulge the senses while on holiday. I like to indulge the senses around 6:30 every morning, but that's beside the point. Anyway, turns out, the parking garage I use along with the valet service had a profoundly negative affect on my car. Apparently they left the headlights on and after a couple of hours Jaun Honda breathed her last. (I know Jaun is a male name, but all cars are women--temperamental, cost a lot of money, and can look incredibly sexy yet never put out)

I do have a good story,

I was working in Slapout, Alabama last week. I was on my lunch break smoking a cigarette and reading the paper after my lunch at the local diner. I'm a sucker for diners. Good food, ugly people, and sweet tea with the sugar content to make a diabetic implode. So I'm sitting on this bench out side the local apothecary down the street from Dusty's Diner and Movie rental. Now picture a 23 year old man with killer good looks dressed to the nines in my starched whit shirt and deep blue Talbot tie, reading the Advertiser and smoking a cigarette. I stood out like a boner in church. This old blue pickup pulls up right in front of me and out steps one of the most hideous women I've ever encountered in real life. She wasn't skinny, she was skeletal. Her leathery skin was wrapped tightly around her gaunt face which fronted a peanut sized head topped with long wispy red hair that looked as if it had been fried in motor oil. God couldn't make an uglier creature. She looked the way Simon's breath used to smell. I instantly fell in love. She approached me and I glanced up from my paper.

"Weeeeelllllll Shiiiiiiiiiyyyyyt! Yer bout the best looking Jee-hova's Wittnessed I ever seen! I jist wanna come sit in yore lap and........." Something in Hick I couldn't understand. I took a long pull from the cigarette and told her I'd like to show her some pamphlets but I left them on my bike back at the diner. She thought that was the funniest thing she'd ever heard, and slapped herself in the hip to prove it.

The Friday previous, I had bought gas from her at the Petro station. We talked about the rise in tobacco tax, and how much cheaper things are outside of Montgomery. So she remembered me and on her way out made some remark about having a "sweet @ss."

Back at work, hours later, I cashing check after check and sort of in a rush to clear the lobby when I look up and there in front of me is Lesha, her red wispy hair pulled back into a ponytail revealing age lines that made her face look like a road map of Iowa. She began, "I swore you was a Jee-hova's Wittnessed outside. Yer dressed jist like one. You know, if I wudn't in-volved, I'd eatchoo right up. But mah dawter, she's sangle."

"Oh really," I say, "how old is she?" I really don't know why I was entertaining the idea of meeting this woman's daughter, actually I think I was more or less trying to get her to say something I could make a note of later. Then it happened. Follow closely.

"Sheez 21, but she aint here."

"Well where is she?"

"Oh she gone down to that DAVE con-sert. She loves Dave, he11, we all love DAVE......"

"Who's he playing with?"

This is the part where I first noticed something strange about her, besides everything written above.
She looked around, as if checking to see who was listening, leaned way in to where I could smell her putrid vomitous cat-@ss breath. "Willie Nelson." she hissed.

"Oh yeah, I love Willie Nelson, The Highway Man, the Rambler, I listen to him all the time," I gushed. "Probably one of my all time favorites, boy, that would be an awesome concert to go to. Is she a fan of Willie too?

She leans in, and whispered, "Willie's my deddy."

"Fcuk and alas!" I thought.
"Let me see some ID", I instantly retorted. Part of me, a big part of me wanted to believe her. I wanted her to be Willie Nelson's daughter more than anything.

She pulled out her id and as I gazed down on it and read the name 'Lesha Nelson Hardover', she said, "Don't believe me do ya?"
"I don't know, I...."
"Look at me", she said, "You think i want to claim that ugly b@st@rd."
I gazed long and hard into that boney mug. It was him. I swear by the day I was born it was him. The gaunt, skeletal face, those big doe eyes mounted deep into that peanut head, the long wispy red hair that look as though it had been deep fried, it was him without the y chromosome.
"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain?" I squeaked. And with this statement she tipped the rim of her aviator sunglasses down to reveal eyes bluer than that a Roman bath. "That sunuva b1tch NEVER paid child support."

I cracked up. I laffed so hard that everyone started to stare. Brian, it was her. It was Willie Nelson's b@stard womanchild. And she works at a Petro station in Slapout. Isn't that perfect?

I'll be there at Jubilee tonight, sweating away with all the white trash hicks and hayseeds of the earth. But somewhere, somewhere, there she'll be. Probably drinking a lot more than she should, chain smoking and humpdancing with some guy two generations younger than her. God Bless America.

Can you believe it?

Your humble correspondent to the south,

Andrew Greene

Monday, July 12, 2004

So Much Polish Game

This weekend I had so much game.

I was swimming at my apartment complex's pool, when low and behold, this absolute goddess is swimming near me. She was wearing a white bikini which complimented her sun soaked almond skin and cherry wood hair. Other guys had tried to talk to her earlier, clumsily dangling their feet in the water, searching for words that wouldn't come, and performing feats of bravado off the diving board. In response, she would casually turn her head, looking skyward, a thousand miles away.

Eventually most of the guys gave up. That is, except for moi'.

I took my shirt off, porno style, and made my way to the pool. As i jumped in, I gave a girlish squeal, as the water was a little colder than i had assumed. Strike one.

Strike two came as my roommate threw a tennis ball at me, and when i jumped up to catch it my bathing suit stayed in the water, as my young taut butt shot skyward.

Strike three followed immediatly after strike two. Instead of reaching for the tennis ball, I reached for my bathing suit waistline. The tennis ball sailed through my defeating hands, smashing into the girls cheek

Tucker (the thrower) immediatley screams-half warning-half laughing, like the "Caaw" of a crow, then runs behind the corner.

So here I am. The only one to be angry with. I waddle over to her and take her head in my hands and lean it back as if I'm looking up her nose. At first she tried to wrench herself away from me, but after a brief tussle, she relaxed, and i brought her back up for air. She wasn't bleeding, but the scuff of the tennis ball had definately seared into her face.

I apologized and she started to smile, then stopped has a lense from her sunglasses surfaced between us.

She huffed around for a minute, fishing the rest of her face from the pool, before she said anything to me.
Turns out she's from Poland, which explains the expletives I didn't understand, and her father is a fighter pilot in the Polish Air Gaurd. I guess he's attending the War College at Maxwell.

"Weren't you guys the ones to defend yourself against Germany with swords and horses?"

I was obviously not the first to say that to her, and she responded with a very mechanical and robotic repsonse. After that, she asked me my name. I was a little flattered that the hot girl wanted to know MY name, ME, MY name. But then i realized by the tone in her voice, that she was asking so she could later report me.

I told her I would be out at the pool next Saturday around the same time. She said something in Polish I couldn't understand, but I'll bet it was something about wanting to see and talk to me again, and about how hot I looked without a shirt on.

Maybe I'll bring an extra pair of sunglasses.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Maid in Montgomery

So I have my three month evaluation this morning. I'm sure I'll be gotten on to for my long lunches, frequent bathroom trips, and extensive email use. But Brian, this is what makes me Andrew Greene. They should have known this going in. I've told you about my hair right? They wanted me to comb it down, so i told them where they could put the comb.

I need to be around creatives. This brain of mine is starting to feel like congeal salad.

So I'm house sitting this week. The people who own the house have a pool with nothing but an adolescent hedgrow growing around it. No fence, no privacy, just stubby hedge. I wake at 5 am, and decide I'm going to start my day with a swim. The pool is covered in Crape Myrtle buddlings, fallen from a thunderstorm the night before. White and pink and purple little petals spread like an afghan across the glassy surface, and so i dove right in. I felt as though I were part of a second rate trashy romance novel. At this point i decided to go in the buff. It was early, and the early morning so and so could act as a rudder, i thought, and no one would have to know. I'm back stroking, the white, pink, and purple petals sticking to my wet skin, my anatomical sundial telling me it was 5:45. I do a couple of laps, then put on my aviator sunglasses and lay on a float and smoke a cigarette. I'm drifting in and out of consciousness, when i hear the gate open, and look up to see the maid coming down the walk.

This in and of itself is funny, but what kills me is how queer I must have looked. I could have been the cover model for Naked Man Page Magazine. I'm laying on a kid float, half mast, covered in white, pink, and purple crape myrtle buds, wearing only aviator sunglasses, smoking a cigarette.

There is little you can do when your stark naked. You can try to hide yourself, but you just end up looking more retarded and somehow, more naked. If you just sit there, in all your glory, it places responsibility on the other person. They've walked into a naked atmosphere, trying to hide makes the atmosphere clothed and puts the naked person in fault. Had Adam and Eve pretended nothing was wrong, we could be seeing some great rack right now. I decided to change the atmosphere.

Hidelga, or whatever her name was, saw me and immediatly averted her eyes, "Oohhh,.....Sorry." she remarked as her pace quickened towards the back door.

"Your check's on the table." I called after her.

I then did something which has made me laff all day. I have no idea why i did this, but it seemed right at the moment. LIke I was giving Hidelga the finger or something. Scolding yet taunting her at the very same time

I rolled off the float like a bloated walrus, the aviators and cigarette still attached to my face. I stayed under water for a while, waiting, thinking. I knew what Hidelga needed, what she deserved, what she was begging for.

I planted my feet firmly on the bottom of the pool and pushed myself towards the surface with all my might, the cigarette flecking apart, going from half mast, to full salute. As i surfaced, I thought of the picture that was to be burned into Hidelga's mind for all eternity. It would probably race across her mind during those idle moments of dusting an amoir or lowboy, or perhaps she would think about it while removing soap scum from a tile wall. I burst from the water and did one of those hump-back whale dives, where your a$$ is left sticking out of the water, hanging in the air. Every guy who has ever been naked in a pool has done this. And I did it for Hidelga.

I wrote the above this morning and was cracking up, now that it's noon, I'm not so sure that it's funny any more.


Monday, June 07, 2004


Morning Klint

Do teeth really matter. I met a gal today who had a great face, and even greater rack, and her personality wasn't bad either. Should it matter that her teeth look as though they were mangled in a train accident.

I was peeing behind the dumpster at Brewsters icecream yesterday. It was raining and so i had my NorthFace Jacket on with the hood pulled over my head, and my hoo-haah flaggling out of my pants like a loose fire hose with the water turned full blast. I heard a noise and instictively turned to see. As we all know and understand, when wearing a hood the whole body has to turn in order to obtain full vision. There is no peripheral vision with a hood on your head. The first thing I see is this look of shock and disgust, then as she glances down, a slight blush and hungry grin. This is typical, except that the reaction usually doesn't come from a 16 year old teenybopper. I didn't know quite how to feel. I was sort of proud, then sort of sick. No matter, I finished micturating and she finished taking the trash out. It was a little weird when i ordered a double scoop of pistacio nut from her 3 minutes later. The rest of relationship was a quiet understanding.

I think Tube likes me. She comes around and waves an awful lot. Poor Tube.

Have a good weekend?

Spurning forward,

Silt slitter