“Take A Risk” #49

Posted on April 30, 2011


Before I begin, I would like to address the questions posed to me by Kim, the funny, wise, and compassionate writer from FAST APPROACHING MIDDLE AGE http://fastapproachingmiddleage.wordpress.com/.  In response to my last post, she turned all of my interview questions on me.  So here are the answers:

-At 8 years old I was very shy.  Unless it was after midnight at a slumber party, in which case, I was the life of the party, cracking silly jokes and trying to make everyone laugh.

-My first concert was Pat Benetar, 1985.  I finally threw out the t-shirt last year.

-My first boyfriend was Steve W. from Northport, Long Island.  I was 16.  I found out several months after we broke up that he was a major pot dealer in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

-Favorite movie: “The Party” with Peter Sellars.  What is possibly funnier than that I ask you?

-What makes me the happiest: Dancing like a gothic princess in the middle of an anonymous dance floor and not caring who’s watching.  Kissing someone I really like.  And, last but not least, cupcakes.

And now, for some more up-to-date dysfunction known as my life…

The day after my birthday, I walk into writing class and sit right next to Josh.  Because that’s how I roll, I decide.  He’s wearing some vintage t-shirt with something like “Yoohoo Chocolate Milk” on the front.  I’m waiting for the right moment to ask him a question.  It’s got to be the right moment, and it’s got to be the right question.  I could be serious, like “What did you think of the assignment?” or I could be funny, like “Are you currently using hair product to achieve volume?”  The possibilities are infinite.

Marvin the Mullet writing teacher sits down and starts talking about he’d like to talk about the rhythm and melody of words, when he realizes he’s forgotten something and steps out quickly.  I realize that with all the acid he’s probably dropped in his life, he probably forgets things a lot.  At that point, Josh asks me for a pen.  I say, “Of course, for a small fee.”  He laughs, and then I quickly say, “My birthday was yesterday.”

“Oh, happy birthday,” he says.

“Thanks,” I smile.  Oh my God.  Does he want me?  Is this the beginning of something special?  What do I say next?  Do I ask him if we can be friends on Facebook?

Lizette slips in (as much as a two-ton hippo can slip into a crowded swamp) and sits next to me, which I’m grateful for, because she’s easy to talk to.  I like her.  Plus it shows Josh that I’m friends with other people and not just obsessed with him.  In case that’s what he thought.

Marvin the Mullet is on to something good, for once, I think.  Words are like music.  I become almost meditative, thinking about the beauty that’s out there in all things, good or bad, when Lisa Lipstick cuts my reverie with her ever-present voice.  Always asking stupid questions.  Why can’t people just go with the flow?  Why do some people always have to make their presence known?  When Marvin is addressing her stupid question with seriousness, I’m thinking I would have said, “Now did you really need to ask that question – or did you need people to notice that your lips are high shine today?  Have you ever considered just shutting up and not being noticed?”

And then Corduroy says something about rhythm in literature that’s equally stupid and incongruent, but he’s Japanese, so I let it slide.

Before you know it, it’s the end of class and we’re all filing out of the library at our own pace.  I know I need to stick to my plan and take risks to connect to people.  I don’t want to look like I like Josh, but at the same time, I’ve got to do something.  So I take a breath and walk right beside him and say, “My pen is high maintenance, I’m not sure if you want to make that commitment.”  He laughs, and says, “Oh sorry, I forgot.”

“That’s okay, I was just joking,” I try to sound casual.  Guys like that – casual.

We’re both walking out towards the parking lot, and I’m caught in the moment of walking and talking next to Josh, that I almost forget – for a split second – that soon waiting before me – on display – will be the two disfangled muppets known as my parents.  And who KNOWS how they’ll embarrass me next.

I spot the black sedan, parked in the handicapped spot, of course, with my parents looking at me.  I wave goodbye to Josh, hoping to God he doesn’t follow my trajectory towards the black sedan with the two creatures in the front seat.  I walk really really slow…..and I barely catch, in the periphery of my eyes the sight of Josh stepping into the backseat of a brown sedan…with two creatures in the front seat.  His parents????

The way he quickly gets in so no one will notice and slinks into the backseat tells my anthropological senses that…could it be…he is living with his parents, too?

This is all too much for me.  I don’t know what to make of it.  I’m trying to recall the figures in the front seat of that car.  But my Sherlock Holmes/Nancy Drew detailing skills could only make out that they were somewhat older and yes, shlubby.  Wow.

I turn to the aisles of Costco where the whole family is shopping to soothe my boggling mind.  Life is just so interesting – something new around every corner – just like these aisles of capitalist consumerism.  One moment, two-for-one Tide detergent.  The next, a man projectile sneezing with his right hand onto the floor.  A complete and utter adventure no matter which direction you choose.

Posted in: Humor, Life