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February 11, 2004

He Ain't No Ike Turner.

I made a phone call last week that was very hard for me to do. Well I made two tough phone calls, but we’ll only discuss one of them here.

I called my ex-husband, X.

I left in the summer of 1999 (why didn’t Prince write a song about that? Huh?). I left because of irreconcilable differences. That phrase usually means ‘cop out’ or nothing at all to those who have not been through a divorce. Maybe to those who haven’t been through it, it just means a title of an old Drew Barrymore movie that made most of our mothers cry. But to those who have been through the severance of a marriage it also means everything, a chance of survival, and a key to financial freedom, finding yourself again or even growing up.

I’m not saying that X was some masochistic bastard who beat the livin snot out of me on a regular (or irregular) basis. We just didn’t do right by each other. It is as simple as that. I was not blame free and neither was he.

We were young and stupid. I was looking for a family to take care of and he was looking for someone to take care of him and his family. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I was graduating from college, I was so in love with his daughter, and X and I were best friends… It had to work… right?

That graduation day (the same day as my wedding) would start six years of laughter, tears and ungodly frustration.

We were lazy and we didn’t work on our relationship.

He took me for granted and I took for granted that he wouldn’t care what I did.

I was the disciplinarian for his daughter while he played the good guy.

I swear to you people. I have never been so lonely in my life.

Because of that loneliness I started to chat online at the direction of one of my co-workers. The people in that online chat forum filled up an empty space in my life. I lived to talk to them.

I would come home from working late, fix X’s dinner, get him dressed in his ‘costume’ [he is a night shift police officer - still] and say goodbye to him at 10pm. I never listened to the scanner for fear of hearing him get into some altercation. The town we lived in was a huge transport thoroughfare for drug trafficking an a Deputy Sheriff had lost his life doing a routine drug stop one evening a few years before I graduated. Man, that was scary!

I could only watch so much TV and we lived far enough out of town that it was a waste to go back into town for fun sport and amusement. So… I would sign on, and talk to people that I had never met before. Listen (or read) stories, real stories about these people and their lives. It was interaction. It was my lifeline.

A habit formed. I would get excited to see X pull out of the mud that served as our driveway so I could sign on. I began to bring home a six-pack of Coors Lite longnecks from the Kroger in town. On special occasions I would get a bar of Dove’s milk chocolate to go with my beer.

The six packs and the chocolate became my painkillers and the people on IRC (the chat room) became my therapists.

I was miserable.

I was living in a 1976 Redman doublewide trailer. I lived maybe 1000 feet from my mother and father in law. It took 45 effing minutes to go get gas people. We would get iced in during February and the power would go out. Oh jeebus, the cold!

The trailer was electric with a gas heater (that ran on electricity… HA HA HA!). X would forget to call and have them fill the propane tank, but it didn’t really matter, if the power went out, the heater wouldn’t work anyway. I pledged my allegiance to that Honda generator up in the shed.

I put X through the police academy so we were a one-income family for the better part of a year and a half. Which didn’t really count for much when you had a little girl (me!) with two degrees making $10 an hour. Yep, ten dolla-roonies. Sweet.

I have actually uttered the phrase, “Your daughter and I are hungry, go kill something.” And… I wasn’t kidding. You ain’t got shit on me Skah-lett. I’ll bust a move on your curtain wearin ass.

It didn’t get much better. The summer I left I was making $21,500 a year. A YEAR! We were a 52K a year household, with no mortgage. Living hand to mouth. Where did it go? Not sure. I have heard many a rumor. I have seen evidence. I am just glad to be out of there.

I’m not putting this down on paper to crucify X, his character or his family. What I do want to do is put it all behind me.

The last time I talked to X was almost two years. It was before I even met Mister, my knight in shining Lincoln.

I needed to call X to ask him to sign over some stocks to me that my parents gave to us for our first Christmas. I dreaded that phone call. I’m not sure why. I just didn’t want to call and ask him for a favor. We were best friends, then lovers, then married and then estranged. It ended badly I am sorry to say. I was not mature, and JesusGod neither was he.

The phone call went something like this:

X?

[mumble] Yeah?

It’s Sue.

Heeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeee, how are you?

Fine. Did I wake you up?

Yeah, but hell, I needed to get up anyway. [sound of stretching]

Listen, I hate to call and ask you for a favor, … [uncomfortable pause] did you get my email about the stocks?

Naw, you know that mutha piece of shit innernet, I hardly evah get my email anymore. What’s up?

Well you know those [name of] stocks that my parents gave to you and I for our first Christmas?

Yeah?

I would like to change them to my new name. IjustgotmarriedlastSeptember… [breathe] andIwouldliketochangethename on the stocks tomymarriedname.

No shiiiiiiiieyet?

No shit.

Well, that’s great. Finally find you a good one huh?

Yep… he’s the best. I’m so lucky.

Good…

So, about those stocks, would you sign them over to me?

Awww Hell Suz, you know I don’t give no shiiiyet about that stuff.

Well, I would really appreciate it. I’ll send you a return address envelope and everything.

Shiiiyet, just send it oooownn [on] and I’ll sign ‘em and return ‘em.

Thanks X. So much, really.

So, How're yo' momen-ems?

[Translated loosely to being "I would like to inquire about the health and well being of your mother, your father and the rest of your ilk."]

They’re fine. I’ll let them know you asked about them. I’ll send you those papers, thanks again for signing them.

Naw problem.

20 minutes pass with him doling out gossip quicker than Aunt Maye.

Thanks again X, I really have to run.

Ah-righty, bring that new husband of yours out to meet us.

[I can barely keep from screaming “Hell NO!”] Sure, next time we’re in town. Kiss R [his daughter] for me, Bye bye.

I am an awful hateful person. The whole time he was totally civil. I just could NOT stop thinking. Holy shit, what a redneck. I was married to that???

So much water under the bridge. Really.

My sister asked me one night why I really left X and I told her. I could only wake up one time by my crying friend to hear that she felt guilty about sleeping with X the night before… confronting him with it and him saying, “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you I slept with ___ last night.” No biggie huh? I could only go through one eptopic pregnancy with no support. I could only feed 14 people for so many nights. I could only live with a passive aggressive, matriarchal, misogynistic, holy rollin bitch of a mother in law for so long. I could only deal with the ‘language barrier’ [thanks Stacey!] of East Texas for so many years without cracking and going all postal on those sum’bitches.

I also couldn’t deal with the resentment that was growing inside of me. I was number one head honcho of martyrdom, ladies and gents. It was sickening.

Reb also asked me why I chatted on that ‘Internet thing’ and I told her I had never been so lonely in my life. Out of all the things I told my sister that was the thing that hurt her the most. That I was out there in East Texas all alone with all of these people around me. The loneliness made her cry for my pain.

To me it was all about realizing that I was not loved for who I am or was but yet how much I was willing to tolerate.

July 12, 2004

You got it... bucket of crazy was wife number three.

I have on the ugliest shoes ever invented, made, dreamt up, fabricated, designed and or brought to reality. I found them during the move… and this morning in my rush to leave, I couldn’t find my trusty Enzos so I grabbed these out of the garage (garage, not garbage) and slapped them on my tootsies.

Seriously. You can’t imagine the suckitude.

Check it… navy blue loafers, with a gold detail bar-thingy on the top. Schnnnnnnaaazzy!

Hideous. Truly.

My outfit is thus: Navy blue blouse, tan pants with subtle pattern, my tin-cup necklace, pearl earrings… And the Shoes Of Ass!


Ok. So the gossip.

My ex-sister-in-law… Debra Jean (or Trixie ‘round these parts) was married to Little G. Little G was my ex-husband’s (X) brother. She and I were best girlfriends in college and ended up marrying brothers. Yes, yes, very redneck of us… shut it. It wasn’t planned or anything, really. No. Really.

Anyway. After I left X, Trixie made her escape soon after. I will leave the details of her escape to Houston for her to tell. It was pretty much like my escape to Dallas, just with more stops at McDonald’s for the kids (she has two) and less drinking, smoking and profanity.

Or… one would think!

X married soon after I left, as a matter of fact, the only thing holding him up from replacing me was my court date to see the judge. He actually called me to ask me to hurry the hell up. Yeah, class all the way baby! Nothin’s too good for me!

It actually took Little G a few years to remarry after Trixie left. But remarry he did. A local bucket o’ crazy by the name of… um shit, … No… Shit is not her name, I just can’t remember it. Regardless, he did remarry, like two months ago.

Guess what. Yeah, you could tell this was coming, couldn’t you?

Yeah, they are getting divorced.

My ex-father-in-law, Big G is on his third wife. He was on his third wife before his thirtieth birthday.

X? Yep, wife number three.

And Little G? You got it… bucket of crazy was wife number three.

Between the three of them, they have had nine wives. Nine. Hello. Um, NINE! Trix and I were number six and seven… if you are playing the home game.

They are NOT worried about diluting their gene (Ha!…just for you Trix… ain’t I punny?) pool. Just the opposite, apparently they are out to gather a small harem for their wicked matriarchal bitch of a mother to lord over with her bible-thumping passive aggressive ways.

Bitter much?

So… anyways, Trix and I had a good laugh over that yesterday afternoon. Laughing at her ex-husband’s expense? You bet’cher ass buddy!


Do you guys like my new layout? Isn’t it all somber and serious looking?

Hee!

Like a real newspaper no? No? Really? I think it is quite smashing. Props and a big ol’ shout out to OZ for the new design.


I was reading the latest entry over at Amalah about her make up… and I have to admit, I seriously have a problem.

She’s got this cute little silver box thingy from Sephora that has pull out drawers, and levels, and sprinkles. I want that box. I loave that box. Yes, loave.

Hmmm… That sounded sort of pornish.

If I had that box, would my makeup and potions and lotions and powders be organized? Uh, no. I would still have like eleven products from Clarins sitting on my bathroom counter. I would still have a travel bag with products bursting at the seams. I would still have a spa bag that I insist on taking everywhere with me. A spa bag that has glitter eyeliner and black/gold eye shadow huddled in its’ depths. I would still carry a makeup bag in my purse everyday in case those two other bags get lost and my house burns down.

I have every shade, color, texture and combination of lip gloss and lip stick that is available to a consumer. I have clear, I have deep red and I have everything in between. I have vitamin E sticks hidden in my nightstand, my husband’s nightstand, in my purse and on my bathroom counter. I slather my lips with vitamins every night right after I apply one of my myriads of hand lotions to my hands, elbows and feet.

I want to be soft, supple and smooth.

I want the variances of my green/blue eyes to show with the choice of eyeliner and eye shadow.

I want my lips to scream to Mister… Kiss Me! I am soft and dewy!

I love L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara and my Revlon eyelash curler with something akin to rabid devotion.

Apparently I have a problem.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a manicure appointment to get to.

I bet the women at the salon are gonna laugh at my shoes.

September 9, 2004

So, as the boys took care of that business, corn-fed gimp and I took care of Bessy.

WARNING: This entry has a few pictures at the end of it, and they are graphic. They are not suitable for children, wussies, any leftwing, bleeding, heart liberals from PETA (sorry ya’ll… didn’t mean to lose you immediately), or any barnyard animals… especially any barnyard animals.

Once upon a time I was fully ensconced in redneck regalia. Carhart overalls, Justin boots and a ball cap. And that was my outfit. The family I married into all lived on the same property in the manner of a commune. Whether intentional or not, it was pretty effective. They had enough weaponry and firepower to put David Koresh to shame.

We had our own “game management program”. I put that in quotes because when you lived on that much acreage and you gotcha a little hankering for some back strap, you just went out gotcha some.

If you know what I mean. And I do believe you do.

I wasn’t all that uncomfortable in my little corner of the world either. The stars were absolutely breathtaking. It was quiet, I had a tin roof. I had cable (well, it was a humongous satellite that blew out anytime the wind got over 5 mph), I had beer, I had food (if we killed it ourselves … I kid… sometimes) and I had a dial up connection family. I was set right? Right.

Why I am telling you this? Well, because I am narcissistic and like to talk about myself and revel in the bullshit I came from. And also because I like to let you know that I was fine with being in a very rural area. I liked the country. I liked being able to get loud with my friends on a Friday night (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night for that matter too) and I liked being far enough out that I could run around nude (inside or out) and no one would render themselves blind or call the cops* on the account of my visage… if anyone was around at all… which was sort of rare.

(*Note to Trixie: Haha ha ha ha ha aahaahhahahahaha … wheeeeze ahem… sorry)

But… I was in a place in my life where I was kind of hard. I used humor and a sort of in your face type of worldview to deal with my heart and my situation. Whatever they were and whenever they came up. Please keep this in mind as I tell you this next story.

It is true.

If you listen closely you may hear strains of the Beverly Hillbillies wafting gently on the breeze.

The afternoon had turned off cooler than I thought it was going to, which was a blessing. I was not looking forward to going over to Beau’s that night if it was going to be a scorcher. X and I were supposed to meet up with the gang after I got off work. Joe was going to be playing acoustic guitar and singing a few songs for the customer’s over at Beau’s. X wanted to go before he went in for the night shift and since we just signed off on our bills, we had a few bucks left over, Beau’s seemed like the perfect place to spend the remaining 20 bucks to my name on beer.

See? S-M-R-T.

Beau’s was not all that packed with people so we sat with Trixie and some friends out back listening to Joe do his rendition of “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, Trixie and I chiming in to do the harmony at the right parts, well, Trix chiming in, me… just howling really. Having a blast.

Later… watching my husband, shaking my head, he’s drinking beer before going in to the office. Not any normal 9 to 5 office either. Fucker is a cop.

With. A. Gun.

Yeah, nice.

He has to go in at 10, so he can’t get too shit faced, I guess that’s a blessing. And after all, how cranked can you get on twenty lousy bucks? Not too bad. I told X that I needed to go, he said that he’s gonna go change clothes at the station and that he’ll meet me at the loop when I am headed home.

I gave him grief and asked him for the frillionth time, “So, what are you going to wear tonight?”

Hardee Har Har.

It’s a wonder I’m not buried out somewhere in an unmarked grave in Nacogdoches county for that bullshit alone. Really.

X left and I stayed a bit longer than I planned to. When I finally got out to my truck, a Ford, 4X4 F150, Standard, (yes, that is important… bear with me…) I called X and told him that I was leaving Beau’s. X said that he would meet me at the loop so I drove away from the restaurant/club.

I got to the loop and waited for my husband’s black and white cop car to pull up. He made it a few minutes later. I looked at the clock on the radio and noticed that it is a few minutes after midnight, April 15th 1998.

I talked to X for a few minutes, gave him what was left of the 20 dollars for him to eat dinner with and told him to be careful. We smooched and he patted my butt as I climbed back into the cab of the Ford.

He pulled away before I did, because he got a call on the radio.

I looked up into the sky. There appeared to be no moon. It was so dark.

So I pulled out onto Hwy 7 East, clicked my high beams on, headed towards Center and set the cruise control at 55.

Highway 7 East is a two-lane highway that is frequented by chicken trucks and log trucks at all hours of the day or night in East Texas. You learn to stay out of their way and you watch out for all matter of debris on the road. Come tornado season in East Texas there is an old water tower that just may be across both lanes in the morning after a big storm, not to mention a few felled pine trees.

There are sometimes animals on the roads as well. I have seen packs of wild dogs roaming the steep shoulders foraging for food. I have seen deer, foxes, wild pigs, goats, geese, rabbits, squirrels and even a hooker.

[Not sure what phylum the hooker falls into… holy shit I am such a dork… here I am making species/phylum jokes about a hooker… anyway… ]

I came to the first hill, noted that there was no traffic coming the other way, so I left my high-beams on, the truck’s engine revved going up the hill and just as I crested it I noticed that there was a large dark shape covering the whole eastbound side of the highway. MY side of the highway.

I didn’t have a moment or even a nanosecond to think. All of those years of driving around big rigs with Daddy-O came back to me in a flash.

I shoved my left foot into the clutch, (heard the engine scream because the truck was still trying to crest the hill in cruise) grabbed the gear shift and threw it in neutral, yanked the steering wheel to the left, aimed for the smallest part and hung on.

I hit something… HARD, the truck bounced and fishtailed out behind me. Then it skidded and I was afraid it was going to slide into one of the steep shoulders on the side of the highway. Luckily, I gave it a bit of gas and drove into a cattle gate on the opposite side of the road.

Whatever I hit (I had a good idea by this time) was still on the road, and there was traffic coming. I needed to make them aware of the danger. I got my truck turned around in my hopped up adrenaline state and pointed my remaining headlight at the absolutely gargantuan Angus heifer laying in the middle of Highway 7 East.

I rolled down my windows and turned off my truck and sat there shaking like a leaf, a cracked out leaf that is being electrocuted. That is when I heard it… the tinny warped up sound of a 4-banger engine getting ready to make a run at a big hill.

Oh shit.

I started flashing my one pitiful remaining high beam…. No! No… Go Slowly! And with Much Caution! Up Ahead Lies Dead Carcass That May Be Bigger Than Your Ford Ranger! (Mazda, Mitsubishi, whatever…tiny truck)

I saw him.

Tiny little blue truck. He (his truck) hit her, he (his truck) went airborne, he (his truck) flipped, he (his truck) skidded on his roof and rolled down the steep shoulder on the north side. Narrowly missing; in it’s slide the back of my truck by about six feet.

I was out of my truck and running down the shoulder of that highway so fast… but that big old corn-fed country boy was faster, by the time I was about 10 feet past my truck, he was out of his tiny little smashed in truck, up the embankment, on the shoulder of the highway, running towards me and then he had me in his arms, his bloody arms apparently of no concern. Stroking and soothing me… hugging me like a child, “AreyouokAreyouokAreyouokAreyouokAreyouokAreyouokAreyouokAreyouokAreyouok?”

We watched, me in his arms, as a matching pair of chicken trucks narrowly missed hitting our cow. We decided to get her out of the middle of the road.

The boys in the chicken trucks got stopped, jumped out, yelled, “______ (last name) that you!?… Holy Shit! You ok?”

I replied, “Yes boys, it’s me, please call X, he’s on duty, make sure to tell him I’m ok, just that I’ve had a little … mishap.”

So, as the boys took care of that business, corn-fed gimp and I took care of Bessy.

He grabbed one hoof and I grabbed two. We heaved, and ho’d… and drug that 500+ pound bitch out of the middle of the road.

The EMT’s showed up, the fire trucks showed up, the sheriff’s department showed up, the DPS department showed up. By that time, I was goofy with adrenaline. I wanted them to let me do a trophy pose with my kill. My husband finally showed up and refused.

These are the only pictures I have.

I tell you what.

Being a hard ass wasn’t always a fun thing, and this whiny crybaby bitch stuff ain’t fun either, but at least I used to know how to drive!

February 4, 2005

After the big bucket of crazy, anything seems great?

Things that make you go… hmmmmm

Or an alternative title…The Lion, The Bitch and He Needs A New Wardrobe.

I’m torn, torn like an old sweater, torn about how I should feel about the news I got this afternoon at lunch.

Oh, and Hey, Amy? Thanks for going to lunch… I enjoyed getting to spend some time with you. It was good to see you… that color of sweater (plum) looks great with your skin tone by the way, and I like how you’ve let your hair grow out. Have you guys ever seen someone with a devilish gleam to their eye when they grin? That’s my Amy.

Annnnyway---

Let me lay out the dirt for you. And by dirt, I mean some information on an old boyfriend.

A while ago I started thinking about an ex-boyfriend. Not in an, “Oooohhh, I’m all a-flutter with caramel thoughts and cotton candy dreams about Kim” type of way either. Just sort of a, “Erm, he’s hovering at the edges of my conscience and it’s really becoming quite bothersome, why the hell am I THINKING ABOUT HIM!?… Oh, hi Guilt.” Type of way.

I thought about him for no reason. Then the call came from Co-worker C with news that he called looking for me.

When Co-worker C called I almost felt validated. Sort of like, oh, so that’s why I was thinking about him… it was because he was looking for me. Or because he was calling my old work and talking to Co-worker C to find out how I am. But then I shook the crazy from my brain and realized that No, Miss Drama Queen, you are NOT clairvoyant. And you do Not have some sort of connection with that man.

And then I felt better.

Mister and I never used that phone number that he gave Co-worker C to pass along to me. I printed out the email that she sent and brought it home to Mister. The paper that his number was printed on lay on the stack of mail next to our home computer(s) for a week or so then got thrown away with some errant Domino’s Pizza mailer or something.

Have you guys ever had a relationship with someone after you dated a big ol’ bucket of crazy, and after the big bucket of crazy, anything seems great?

I dated Kim after I dated Marcus… and let me tell you, Marcus’s cheese, done slid off of his cracker.

But don’t let me sugar coat this for you.

I was divorced. Still bitter as a hunk of chicory soaked in pecan shells and Kim was freshly divorced. Yanno, I don’t even think his divorce was final. So, there we were, two people just looking for someone to validate their feelings… or at least not to screw their best friends or cheat on them with their siblings… whatever.

I was emotionally retarded.

He was a good listener.

I was ambitious.

He was content to let someone else eke out a living for him.

I was resentful.

He was clingy.

It was a match made in hell.

But, we were six hours away from each other, so when we got together, everything was perfect. You guys know how it is. When you visit, it’s a vacation. The outside world doesn’t infringe on your little party. So you start fooling yourself into thinking that it could really be like this forever.

Hi, why don’t you stay for two weeks and let’s see how this goes?

OK.

Hi… end of two weeks? Get the fuck out of my apartment you needy man with your cheap cigarettes and your Cosby sweaters!

Yes, I am an awful, hateful person.

Today at lunch Amy told me that he found her on IRC and got her caught up on how he is doing.

He’s back with his wife, his oldest is 16 (6’8”), youngest is 13 (6’1”… they are a family of Sequoias) and he has his dream job caring for the big cats and the bears in the zoo that he works for… and he is very happy.

I couldn’t be happier for him, really. I know that he and his wife belong together so I am glad that they figured that out. They were together for 14 years before divorcing and they are truly soul mates.

The sweet southern girl part of me is all, “Awww, really? That’s awesome. Working with the cats has been his dream job so that is so cool.” Which is what I said out loud to Amy at lunch. And also, “I’m really happy for him that he and C (his ex-wife) got back together, I’m sure the boys are happy too. I’m so proud of him for getting that job at the zoo! I bet he is so excited!” Which I believe is what I told Mister on the phone shortly after lunch.

And deep in my brain where the mean things go to die, this little nugget is hiding, “I found a 12 page hand written letter in the glove compartment of my car from that man detailing every sordid thing he did to me the first weekend we met. I shredded it but I’m still afraid it will come back to life like some freaky Chucky doll and I will be crowned the p0rn queen of the Big D. Freak.”

April 5, 2005

Heartbreaks over expectations never verbalized.

There are three things I could be doing right now, productive things… work things. But I have this memory buzzing around in my head, actually a whole slew of them.

I made the mistake of listening to The Wolf* this morning while I was getting ready for work. (*you can follow that link and listen live if you so desire)

Mister went down to Houston last night to stay with some friends of ours. He has a job interview today at one o’clock, and another tomorrow back here in Dallas at 5 pm (please pray for him or send him good thoughts), so I was alone in the house this morning and I really cranked the radio while I was showering and putting on my face for the day.

My cat is really one hell of a dancer. Don’t let him tell you any different. He’s just modest.

The reason I said that I made a mistake by listening to the Wolf, not that it is a bad station, it’s really quite good… the reason I said that is because it is purely country music. If you have ever been a fan of country (and western! ha ha ha… bah dum chhh) music, if you have ever given it half a chance (move along gatsby) then you know the kind of hold it can have on your memory. The kind of pull it has on your heart when along comes a certain song on the radio and you are trying to apply your mascara just-so… but you have to stop… with your mouth half open… looking like a carp out of water while your mind races back to 1991…

No no no… I don’t have time for this. I don’t want to think about those steamy summer nights in Beaumont. Or that little saloon built off of county road 698 in Nacogdoches by a guy you could swear was lost in this century, a Wyatt Earp style mustache gracing his upper lip while a bandana encircled his neck. That little saloon where I could drink ice cold Lone Star beer night after night, while dancing on the shiny-but-warped floorboards, my head tucked under the chin of some good smelling cowboy named Tommy.

It’s too late… lost… lost in the words of some Kenny Chesney song about how some sweet, tall drink of water said those words to me and more… pledging time, love, honor and to move the mountain the earth and the stars if only… if only… if only what?

The memory surrounds me …. of being at a bar called Boomers one evening with the rodeo club. A handsome young buck approached me at the bar and asked me if he could have the honor of knowing my name. He removed his hat and bowed slightly to address me and I, within moments was completely smitten by the unassuming charm of a young man with the unlikely moniker of Joe Glenn. He bought me a beer and asked for a dance, I obliged, finding a wonderful and strong leader. When he led me back to my seat and my friends, he placed me in my chair with such care and manners that I stood on tiptoe and placed a small kiss on his cheek. When I turned around, Joe Glenn was laying on the floor with his hat over his heart saying, “I can die a happy man now.”

A song nags at my memory and threatens to open the closet of all of the “Dancing with Jason, D’Wayne, Troy and Chad Memories” and throw them all over the floor. Really, I do not have time for this mental enema right now, thankyouverymuch… ::sigh:: Doug Stone’s In a Different Light… fine… fuckity fuckity FINE.

But you are only getting the short version. I am in no mood for crying at the office. Do you hear me?

So much time is lost thinking about this stuff. But I can not help it…
Have you guys seen that Old Spice deodorant commercial where that chick and her friend are sitting at the kitchen table and in the background their retarded (not literally) boyfriends are jumping around like Mantled howler monkeys on crack about some football game or something. Then one of the girl’s boyfriends runs in and hugs her. She smells him. This triggers all these memories of them on a ferris wheel, eating brie, throwing feces together (what? He’s a howler monkey.) and the tag line is something like, “Scent is the strongest link to memories.” Or something. I call bullshit. I think it is music.

These four men Jason, D’Wayne, Troy and Chad shaped me, shaped the way I dealt with college stressors, the way I dealt with disappointments and victories and the way I felt about my loyalties and loves. They helped me through and were part of budding relationships and relationships that could do nothing but end in disasters. But every time I hear that song I can think of more than one time that I spent in each one of their arms dancing, laughing, crying or talking. One of the most special memories, I will tell you about soon enough.

The first. Gah, Jason. For some reason I fell for this guy so hard, but refused to really tell him what I wanted from him. I would try to act like, “Sure… whatever you wanna do is fine man. Spades tournament? Cool. I’m gonna go dancing at the Garage. You’ll just meet me there for the jitterbug thing? Yeah, that works… whatever.” Ya see, here’s the deal. This guy was the best fucking dancer I had ever danced with in my life, up to that point. I met him the first day we moved into the dorm and since he was rooming next door to one of my buddies from high school (Greg from the previous post… Stacey’s husband… yeah, that story is for another time…) I was like… Bonus. Interesting looking dude from Beaumont. Right on.

I was fresh off of my long time relationship (ended almost a year before) and swearing off men pact and the only crush I had had in a long time was on … get this… Richard Lewis. And here comes this brooding coonass from Beaumont with a grin, incredible rhythm and a cute little ass. Order of one please.

I weighed in at like 115 pounds and Jason could throw me around like a rag doll. One night we busted a move and he forgot to drop his elbow. WHAP! Right in my eye socket. Nice, a black eye right in time for parental visitation week. But when my parents saw us dancing and the level of athleticism, they had no doubts that it was a little risky. It was awesome… I guess I just assumed that the level of athleticism would continue into the bedroom.

Now I realize that I am a grown woman and I should have no shame for what I am about to say because it has nothing to do with me, because at the time Jason and I were in no way in any kind of wanton action but… I’m still mortified by the fact that he fell asleep on me. I was in his room, I snuck into his room to be more precise. He asked me to be there and it took a lot of doing for me to get over there without getting in trouble and the bastard fell asleep on me! I felt so unimportant and unloved and everything was UN! I snuck back out of the boy’s dorm and broke up with him the next day. I’m not even sure if he realized that he was dumped.

Thereby finalizing the education I received through Jason. I would continue to receive heartbreaks over expectations never verbalized though… because that’s the kind of gal I am dammit!

Troy… ah… the hillbilly, and I say that with affection. Troy wanted to play with me like a little doll. He was a big 6’3” bruiser with a mop of unruly blond hair and big blue eyes and this huge grin. I met Troy and his roommate D’Wayne through the rodeo club. Troy was from New Caney and loved to dance… SOLD! Boy can shake it like you can not believe. He can move that big ol body to anything with a fuckin beat! Jitterbug? Hello, Mr. Jason’s replacement… (Troy was my parent’s favorite to watch me dance with) and his waltz?… like buttah. All stiff upper torso with travel underneath. He acted like I was this little girl with the big wounded eyes and the Georgia peach smile wielding the power of rhythm, sweat and suggested sexual prowess all through music and proximity of hip to hip. There was only one problem with Troy’s theory… I’m just a big dork. Myth? BUSTED! (See?... Discovery Channel dork even. Heh.)

D’Wayne. (Sue = tearing up) D’Wayne equals my heart. That is all. Oh, the memory that I talked about earlier… D’Wayne has this voice like… like… Ok, imagine. No, better yet. Do this for me. Go to this link scroll down… click on the song called In a Different Light and then imagine your best friend in the world singing that to you when you have had a bad day. Or in that same sweet soothing voice singing If* by Bread to you when you have such bad dreams that you can’t sleep. Or… ::sniff:: when you get so blasted drunk at the bar (maybe to forget or maybe just so I could sleep) that you can’t even get your own pants off to pee, he helps you pee and then puts you to bed and sits next to you, watching vigil over you until you wake in the morning to make sure you are ok. (big breath) D’Wayne taught himself to dance in the mirror of his dorm room before he stepped a foot on the dance floor and he is one of the smoothest dancers. He can really polka too. And you get the added bonus of listening to him sing while you dance with him.

*you can follow this link the same way to hear the If song too.

Chad… sweet Chad. He calls me Sue Mamma (still). He came to college at seventeen on a scholarship from fishing. He’s smart as a whip and his momma raised him right. He is respectful and has wonderful manners. But shit, if you got the two of us together when we were in the mood to get tore up from the floor up? We would get in So much trouble… (please see the above paragraph about drunken behavior). When I hear Shenandoah’s Next to You, Next to Me I get a big ol grin and think about Chad. Maybe fishin in the dark or doing something retarded together at a bonfire… or his big heart. Dance with Chad ladies… if you are in Dallas… call me. He has this long legged slow moving grace that really travels. He can two-step, three step and waltz. And Chad can fix most anything mechanical. If a friend was in need of something, if their car broke down, Chad would fix their car for them, spend his time and energy to make sure they were taken care of… if they would just get the parts. Poor thing, married a mean ol girl... a local from Nac, just like me. Thank goodness we both got out.

These men were friends and confidants and sometimes lovers, but the music takes me back to them. Damn you 99.5 the Wolf, wasting my day. Not like I had anything to do with wasting my day… no siree bob!

August 23, 2005

The Portfolio

I was surveying my nephew run screaming through my parents’ home on Sunday afternoon carrying a plastic golf club. He would make laser beam and shooting noises and then hurl himself in the opposite direction all the while keeping up a 40 mph conversation with anyone within earshot about Billy Blazes. I got an education on Billy Blazes this weekend, I’ll tell you what. And as he ran through the living room where I had (my constant companion) the television on, my nephew stopped dead still… to watch a commercial and my mother turned to me and said, “He’s definitely related to you.”

I have always loved the television. Everything about it. From the way our old (197?) model used to smell like ozone after being on for more than an hour and a half in the winter to the way you could either entertain yourself or educate yourself in its many facets. My mother would limit me to two hours of TV on the weekends just to get me to go outside and play. I was always watching PBS or cartoons, and the commercials would delight me with their creative ways of trying to manipulate you to buy their materials, services, food items or toys.

When I was in elementary school my mother did some side work for a market research company and ended up getting a commercial for Chef Boyardee Pizza Mix. I can remember my mother calling us from New York, telling us all about the limousine ride and the hotel she was staying in. I thought it was all so glamorous. It was so exciting to see her face on national television during daytime soap operas hawking pizza sauce as if she were Julia Childs.

My sister and I went to college on the royalties from that commercial.

Before she went to New York, the agency sent her to get her head shot done. My father was out of town and was not too keen on his bride being sent to a motel to get her “picture taken by a professional”. If you know what I mean, and I am sure you do. But my mother took a friend with her and it turned out that everything was totally legit. The pictures are still lovely, if not for the 197? over-sweep, suburban housewife hair do my mother was sporting.

So when I showed interest in modeling/acting/dancing (triple treat yanno… I can NOT sing for the life of me) my mother knew all the steps because she continued on her little journey into the forays of being an extra and whatnot. The whatnot includes being on the MRI videotape the doctors show you before you have the test. Glamorous No?

It all started when we moved to Texas.

I was anxious and I could only take so many dance classes, go to church so many times a week or have so many extracurricular activities. I wanted to work. So, my mother helped me and we applied for my labor license. I received it when I was twelve. Hello, over achiever. How you doin? (Don’t worry, that burned hot and fast… then burned out when I was in college.)

My mother and I researched children’s talent agencies in the Dallas area and found one that routinely sent kids on a bunch of auditions, print work jobs and extra jobs. I did not just want one area. I wanted to work in the modeling arena, the print arena, the television-movie-stage arena and apparently filmstrips*.

*Shut up.

My only problem was that I had no clue until I unearthed this little gem this weekend that I was being billed as a 12 to 13 year old Lolita.

Check it.
(Click to make all of these pictures bigger. And really… please click on them… it is so worth it.)

Little Lolita

Make a little list of thirteen year old-isms, gold ball earrings… check… frizzy hair… check… Cosby sweater, NAY, make that a VEST. (What the fuck?) … check… Oddly applied Cover Girl (with Noxemaョ) makeup…. Checkity check check bitches.

Um, who picked this photo? Was it the best one? What did they do? “Ok honey, make like you are going to sneeze… now pull your chin in and… LOOK SEXY!”

I found my portfolio this weekend while I was at my parents’ house. And that little slice of heaven up there isn’t the last of them.

I also found some old scripts and my resume of experience. Experience. At 13-15 that term is laughable. But apparently the photo above, and this one…

The A Side

And alternately this one…

The B Side

They got me a few jobs. It doesn’t say on my resume if any of those jobs were for jumping rope, or being Marianne from Gilligan’s Island or for having the WORST HAIR AND HEAD SHOT THIS SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI… but. ::sigh:: That is what “they” wanted. And ya’ll know I cried when they picked that honky-afro shot for the A-side of my head shot right? RIGHT?

Because … Oh My GAH.

But the jobs I do remember were for stuff like catalogs. Sunday mailer type stuff, and no, we didn’t get to keep the clothes… and we had to bring our own accessories. I was an extra for Dallas and again for the movie Dallas the Early Years. I did the 1950’s scene out by the pool.

And the most glamorous of all jobs… I hoped and I prayed…. And it finally came true.

I was cast to be in a film………….strip.

I weep for my dignity.

I remember it was me and three other morons. We were to shoot a Science Fair Film Strip. As in “*dong* Please turn to the next slide” film strip. We went to this school out in the middle of nowhere. It was summer, so the building was empty, and HOT. We were all supposed to wear fall clothes. Again. HOT.

So, we had me… another girl and two geeky guys.

Lord.

I was handed a cat skeleton was tried to act alluring.

Camera? Easy Peasy…

Hire Me Kodak!

See? Easy.

Cat Skeleton. No. Hot, dead, cat… bad scene. “*Dong!* Please remove this memory from my cerebrum!”

So, if you run across (refers to “experience sheet”) a science fair filmstrip made by Northwestern Telecom, Show Works out of Dallas, TX with a geeky ass chick gingerly handling a cat skeleton. I’d love to see that piece of filming genius.

The last headshot I did was not that awful... Major pun with the denim and pearls, thanks Brooks and Dunn… shut UP.

Neon Moon

I left my little bit of the bright lights behind when I stepped off my high school stage and put up my cat skeleton. It was great practice for interviewing when I got older having already been through about a frillion auditions by the age of sixteen. But I don’t ever think I will give up the little bit of drama that will always lurk inside of me.

I think I will always like to loose myself in movies, and even tiny little commercials.

December 30, 2005

There is No Arizona

I have Herschel strapped to my belt today as most days at work. He is hidden by the sweater of whatever twinset I am currently wearing and I have the earphones (new ones from Mister that sit around my neck as opposed to those little earbuds that came with Herschel and fell out of my ears and the little spongey black covers were forever getting lost in my purse… ::breathe::) on and I am listening to song after song while I complete some paperwork.

The phones are dead here at the office so no worry about answering question from people about stuff I have no clue about.

A song just came on. I stopped mid-reach for a binder.

He promised her a new and better life, out in Arizona

I’ve been what my parents call a smart cookie my whole life. I scored well on most tests, and I normally gave people the benefit of the doubt… a trusting soul, I figured that if someone said they were going to do something, then it was good as done.

I have told you all about my little heartbreaks due to expectations never verbalized and I am sure I have mentioned a time or two a few tumultuous relationships I have had in the past.

Underneath the blue never ending sky, swore that he was gonna

I was never really one to push an issue or a boundary. I wanted to be the cool girl. I wanted people or men to like to be with me because I wasn’t the nag their previous girlfriend/wife/gay lover/mother was. That was a nominal success throughout my teens and into my twenties. Then I got married to the X and ya’ll know what a success that was.

Get things in order, he'd send for her

I know I have mentioned Neal to you, dear reader, at one time or another. Maybe just in passing. Maybe just to throw out that he was a seven foot junkie. Nice shock value no? Well, I don’t think I have ever told you how we met. Yes, dammit, it was on the internet. But that isn’t important.

Well, sort of. But let’s move on, shall we?

What is important is that he was a large reason of why I am the way I am today.

Who whispered ‘bat shit crazy’? I can hear you, you know… I am sitting right Here.

The first night Neal and I met I was a nervous wreck. I was supposed to meet him at Cowboy’s Red River to go dancing. I came in late and before I knew it this huge man (think Dirk Nowitzki) was sweeping me off my feet and onto the dance floor.

He smelled divine and he danced well. He would pick me up and whisper, “Now, twirl pretty” before setting me gently down and twirling me around and around. He requested song after song to the DJ he knew and we danced all night.

When the bar closed down he offered me his arm and we left, hardly looking at anyone but one another.

We dated on and off for a while. It was always 100% or nothing with him, and I was stuck in his web. He was so sweet and gentle and he was always promising me the world.

And then he told me that he was leaving. He was moving to Arizona to work for an old colleague of his, he needed the job and he wanted to be close to his parents.

He would call sometimes in the evenings, drunk and tell me how much he missed me. Ask about every aspect of my life in Dallas and beg me to come to him. But not yet. He wanted everything perfect for when we got married. He wanted to get me the biggest and most beautiful diamond that Bailey Banks & Biddle had to offer.

When he left her behind, it never crossed her mind

I was flattered by his offer and his seemingly sincere wishes.

The next thing I heard from him, he was living on the beach in San Diego. “Just doing the job babe. I just need to get this one more certification for _______ and we are on our way.”

He lived in San Diego for a brief stint, all the while calling me during the day, in the evenings, in the middle of the night to tell me how much he missed me, how much he wanted to be with me. “Could you come spend Valentines Day with me at my parents’ house so you can meet them? I’ll get your ticket this week babe. Come see me?”

Valentine’s Day came and went. No ticket. No call… until 3 am.

There is no Arizona

“Hey babe, you know… I miss you so much!... By the way, what did you do tonight?”

I went along for a few months. I would hear from him sporadically. He would call and sound so sad, tell me he missed me and then one evening in June he called and said, “I’m coming back to Texas Susan. I can’t wait to see you! We are on our way babe. We’ll get bags of money with my new certification and then get married and move to Arizona.”

Whether or not I wanted to marry him did not concern me as much as the bags of money he promised. I told him he couldn’t come unless he was clean. Over the past year or so I had found out he was using drugs and he knew (because I told him over and over) that I did not want any part of that lifestyle. He could not be using and stay in my apartment. At ALL. He said, “I’m clean babe, and I appreciate you letting me stay for a few days until I find my own place.”

He told me he loved me.

While he was on his way I had enlisted the help of a girlfriend to slather me with self tanning cream to get rid of the red stripes I had up and down my legs, back and ass from the tanning bed.

He drove all night and the next day. It took him about 23 hours to get to Dallas. After a brief rest stop… he showed up at my apartment at 7 am.

I was orange.

No Painted Desert, no Sedona

He came inside and hugged me, picked me up and swung me around and then promptly went to my bedroom and fell asleep diagonally across my bed. He slept for the rest of the day and I made him a big dinner. I was so excited to see him, but he seemed so gaunt and cranky. I figured he would relax and be back to his happy Neal self after he recovered from his trip.

He woke up enough to eat and then make a few phone calls and then he went back to sleep.

If there was a Grand Canyon

He woke up the next morning at 6 am and set out to go to work. He would get off work around 4 pm and then go out with the guys and come home drunk, eat dinner and go to bed.

She could fill it up with the lies he's told her

I started planning outings to see friends. And my nephew was only a few months old, so I went to my sister’s house a lot. My parent’s came in one Saturday afternoon and I asked Neal if he would come to meet my folks. He was surly, but agreed. He was nice and my mother took pictures and my father was reserved and they said, “Well, he seems nice dear.”

The gentle lovemaking or vigorous sex life that we experience before his first move was nowhere to be found. One evening while in bed I reached over to stroke his hair and he turned on me, “What?! WHAT???! Is it time for me to perform!??” I drew back, blinking and he left to go sleep on the couch.

I asked him the next evening why he was so angry. He had a place to sleep. Meals to eat. He had not gotten the place he said he was going to after staying with me for a few days, and he did not contribute to the rent. What did he have to be angry about?

He said, “Fuck, Susan… this is the real me. I am cranky and surly.” I asked him about all the times he was sweet and kind and gentle. The words of love he professed, the plans he and I had made. The answer? “That is me when I am high Susan. I am a nice fucking guy when I am high.”

But they don't exist, those dreams he sold her

He worked hard, everyday up by 6 am, home by 4pm and no gentle caresses, no sweet words from him.

She'll wake up and find
There is no Arizona

He left in August. We had had a disagreement the night before. I was tired. Tired of his tirades about how so and so will be sorry if they don’t pay him for the job he did. About how he knows the secrets to the governmental hypocrisy (??? WTF ??? ) and on and on. I started crying. Crying tears of frustration and because I had just realized that I actually thought I was in love with this man.

But the man I thought I was in love with? Was a lie, a falsehood. He was only that way when he was chemically altered by smack.

I was tired and frustrated of this angry and very unstable giant living (and detoxing) in my little one bedroom apartment with NO common courtesy, no affection, no visage of the man I thought he was.

I lost it. He threatened me and I went carnival psycho crazy on him. We started the yelling match in my bedroom and I (barely 5’9”) used my little pointer finger on his sternum and backed that crazy ass seven-foot-tall loony out my bedroom, through the hall, the den and the living room until he stopped with his back against the front door.

The next day, when I got home from work, there was a manifesto. No, I am not kidding. He titled it “my manifesto” on a yellow legal tablet that he left for me on the back of my couch so it would be the first thing I saw when I came home.

In the manifesto he swore things would “change” but he used the fucking delta sign. Lord. He said I was too much man for him, he was going back to Arizona and that… well, blah blah blah.

She got a postcard with no return address, postmarked Tombstone

He called a few weeks later and tried to appeal to my maternal side. “But I thought we were going to have babies!”

It said "I don't know where I'm goin' next but when I do
I'll let you know"
May, June, July, she wonders why
She's still waiting, she'll keep waiting 'cause
There is no Arizona

I stopped taking his phone calls when I realized that there was no Arizona. I was duped. Completely and totally taken for granted. I needed it to wake up. To grow up. But I can’t help thinking about him when I hear the song from Jamie O’Neal.

To hear it for yourself, please go to this link And click on number 2 “There Is No Arizona”.

January 30, 2006

Comfortable

John Mayer comes up frequently on Herschel. Herschel is my iPod for those of you who are new. I don’t know why I am so drawn to his music. Maybe it is that we followed part of the same life trail with both of us being born in Connecticut and then cutting our teeth in Georgia. Maybe it is that he writes about everyday, ‘everyone can relate to this’ stuff. Maybe it is that it is so soothing to hear a quiet guitar rift build into a rhythm that takes a song to a new key. Maybe it is; just like almost every woman in the history of ever; I want that song… just one… to be about me.

Content to be a background sort of girl as I grew up.

I never took on the role of something that I had to carry alone. Something that the success or failure of rested squarely on my shoulders. I guess you could say that I have been chicken. I’ve played the clown, the seductress, the smart girl, the good girl and the cruise director in equal parts but never each for long.

Gopher, please meet me on the lido deck.

Hiding behind being busy or taking on too many projects so that I have an excuse when I become spread thin… I had such great plans, such a fantastic strategy for how I was going to grow up and all of the wonderful things that I was going to accomplish.

Move to New York at 18 and wow them at the School of American Ballet. They would call me George Balanchine’s muse. Regardless of the fact that he died when I was 11. Live in a fabulous loft and live the life of a gorgeous dancer with beautiful feet*. Goal met? Uh, no.

Work up the nerve to try out for the solo in every recital known to our school district. Open mouth during tryouts and sing with an easy high sweet melody that is a bit raspy and breathy like a mix of Bonnie Raitt and Allison Krause. Watch as choir director wipes tears of joy and amazement from eyes and accept flowers from my accompanist. Goal met?
Self: Hi tune… this is a bucket.
Tune: Yo, what’s up bucket?
Self: Tune, please, oh please get in the bucket so that I may carry you.
Tune: I would have to say hell to the no.

Poof, I am sexy in denim mini skirts and little knit halter tops with big hair and attend countless rock concerts with friends. The band always notices me, usually the drummer of course. The drummer flings his sweaty hair back and turns to his camera man; who is filming the show for a video on MTV; “Hey man, see that little girl with the green eyes and a very flat rack?” He points a drum stick in my direction. “I want her in the shot. Make sure you get her shaking that sizable ass.” Goal met? “Mom? Can I go see Journey with my buddies when they come this year?” “Oh Susan, you are too young for concerts. Here, we’ll take you to this McDonald’s benefit to see Barry Manilow.” “shit” “What is that Susan?” “I said ‘thanks’ and can I go next year?” “Of course.” Yeah, um… Journey broke up before next year came. And my mother would let me go see Motley Crue… over her dead and tattered body.

I’ve been comfortable to just float along. Go where I was wanted and do as little to draw attention to myself as I could.

But I always wanted to be the one the musician wrote a song about. I wanted to be that “Roseanna” or that “Mandy” (watch the Manilow digs ya’ll… he’s a saint). I wanted to be that “Brandy” or the Sara in “Sara Smiles”. But alas, my beauty, my charm or my wit were not meant to be immortalized in the strains of anything but, Susan, Susan, Bo Boozan, Banana Fanna Fo Foozan… SOOZAN!


I found this fun little quiz over at Anne’s. And it is a good thing too, I am not sure I could have moved forward without knowing what superhero I am most like. Personally I thought it would be Gambit because of my alluring red eyes, kinetic ability and that most people refer to me as “the white devil”, but alas…

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Spider-Man
75%
Green Lantern
65%
Iron Man
60%
Supergirl
55%
Robin
55%
Batman
45%
Wonder Woman
45%
Catwoman
40%
The Flash
35%
Superman
20%
Hulk
20%
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

These results are funny (well, maybe only to me…) Mister and I were pretending to shoot a web from our hands at lunch today, and Mister actually said, “My Spidey senses were right!”

Update: Mister just took the quiz and he is…. Batman. Heh.

*Dancer’s feet look like someone took a bag of hammers to them.

March 2, 2006

I looked like a monkey humping a football.

Yanno how when you can’t sleep and you are laying there willing your brain to just shut the hell up already with “What made me think of this?” “Oh, maybe it was this sequence of events, orrrrr…. This one?”

No? Just me?

Thanks to some random quote you heard Samantha from Sex and The City say, “You can have sex with someone you don’t like, respect… or even remember.” You find yourself making lists in your head of all the guys you have ever kissed… ok, Ok… I said OKAY… kissed, or slept with (Whore).

Still just me? Fine.

But I can not… just can not for the life of me remember that one guy’s name. Started with an S… Shawn, Stuart, Shane? Uh, almost six foot with brown hair. Thanks, that narrows it down. All I keep remembering was that his dad had this total 1970’s van sort of like a mix between Scooby Doo’s Mystery Van and a total rolling love nest for a hippy and I have to, have to, have to remember this guy’s name or I am a total skank for not remembering all of my lovahs.

Then a memory surfaces.

He said that his dad used to be the drummer for Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Or so Shawn/Stuart/Scott/Shane and his brother; no-name told me and my girlfriends. For bragging sake or to impress us? I am not sure we really cared at that point. We were young and they had motorcycles.

Seriously. What the hell is that kid’s name?

Speed Racer? That starts with an “S”.

Let’s call him Speed Racer. Deal? Oh, stop looking at me like that. I was young… and curious… and apparently a complete trollop.

My girlfriends and I went over to their house one evening. How did we know them? Friends of a friend? Lord, I so need to call Stacey tonight to see if her husband knows who I am talking about. (Stacey, Do NOT show G this page, please for the love of all that is holy… or whore-y. I will die of embarrassment. I just want to drop it into casual conversation, “So, uh… Mark had some buddies that were brothers and uh, they had motorcycles… maybe their dad is Jerry Allison from Buddy Holly and the Crickets?” – Yeah, because I’m smooth like that.)

Anyway, we went over to their house one night for some action… some motorcycle action. And my parents would kill me dead. Twice. Once for going on a motorcycle with a high school boy (college? Lord, the memory…she is gone.) and once for being such a sleazy tramp. “Before Marriage?! SUSAN! We are so disappointed in you.”

Speed Racer asked me if I would like a ride on his bike and I was all, “Sure. Whatever.” When inside I was all, “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So he gave me a helmet and I put it on, fully aware that it was summer and 110 degrees at 9:30 at night and my head would be a sweaty mass of fro hair when we got back from our motorcycle ride.

IF we made it back, Dum DumDUUUUUUUUUUM!

The suspense, she is building, no? What do you mean “no.”!?

So we went on a nice little ride all over the sweet suburb of Dallas we lived in. At stop lights he would turn to me and yell through his helmet to me such gems of poetry like, “Have you ever been on a Ninjaゥ before!?!?!!?” and I would shout back, “NO!” My angelic voice getting lost under the revving of the engine.

Ah, young romance.

We made it back safely and that is where the story ends. Well, not really, but I really don’t want to turn into that kind of journal.

After I went through that story in my mind as I lay there trying to sleep another sort of list formed. A list of stupid things I have done on motorcycles. Now, I am no Harley Momma. I have never owned a motorcycle of my very own. I prefer things with four wheels if they have the added value of having a motor.

During my college years I came home to my parents’ house the first two summers to work and to go to school. A friend of mine from college collected motorcycles. Well, he and his father collected them. They had Harley’s and BMW bikes. David and I had a very relaxing friendship. We could sit for hours out by my pool smoking and making up songs that he would play the music to on his guitar. We would crack ourselves up so completely with the hilarity and the sheer brilliance of our lyrics that we would sooner or later break out the boom box (I’m old. Ok, I admit it, now let’s move on.) and record our masterpieces.

We enjoyed a friendship that was able to sustain comfortable silences so he would ask me to join him on his motorcycle rides into the country. It was so peaceful and I never got tired of feeling the tingle on my skin from the wind whipping my tee-tiny arm hair and the sound of the engine.

My ex-husband’s whole family was born to ride motorcycles. My father in law rode a police issue Harley for funeral details, wedding processions and anything else required of the hog. He was also the first motorcycle cop in San Antonio in the 60’s.

My ex-husband rode (probably just to piss his father off) a Kawasaki Vulcanゥ, which I always pictured having little anthropomorphic ears. I named him Spock, which yes… was terribly clever.

He also had a tiny little Honda 50cc motorcycle that is about the size of a small dog. They bought it for riding around camp grounds and such but when my ex had a child; they thought they would save it for her to ride when she got old enough. I would ride it around the farm and my ex father-in-law said that with my long legs sticking out from the sides of the bike, I looked like a monkey humping a football.

Yes, dreadfully attractive... I know.

The stupidest thing I ever did. And boy howdy, let me assure you, there were many… was riding to the zoo with some friends and my ex-husband.

It was Chasen, Sesil, X and I. Chasen had a Ninjaゥ and he had Sesil riding with him. I was riding with X on the back of Spock. X had a rule that whoever rode with him they MUST wear a helmet. He had lost his first cousin to a drunk driver (his cousin was on a bike and not wearing a helmet) about ten years before. Chasen didn’t have such a rule.

We went to the zoo, had lunch at a restaurant and on the way back the guys decided to switch partners. So Sil rode with X on Spock and I rode with Chasen on his bike. I gave up my helmet to Sil and climbed on the back of Chasen’s Ninjaゥ. We headed home at a nice leisurely pace, doing the speed limit. We went around the loop and the boys decided to take Hwy 21 East to the house. As soon as we passed an invisible marker they started racing. I heard the whine of the engine below me and willed myself to be weightless as not to throw off the balance between Chasen and his bike.

X was on a touring bike, not a street racer like Chasen so I could hear Spock screaming to keep up with the Ninjaゥ.

I was leaning over Chasen with my hands on the gas tank. His little waist was so trim that he had plenty of room to move within the circle of my arms.

Then I made a mistake.

I looked over Chasen’s left shoulder at the speedometer and noticed that we were doing 110 mph and I knew there was a hill and beyond the hill a curve coming up swiftly. I shouted for Chasen to slow down. He laughed. I told him that I would take my hands off of the gas tank and apply uncomfortable pressure to his no no parts if he didn’t slow down. He laughed, made a motion to X and we all slowed down.

I yelled to Sil, “These fuckers had us going 110! And I don’t have a damn helmet on!!!”

It is a wonder that we lived through the nineties. Seriously.

Now, what was that guy’s name?

*Cheese ball table for one? Ya’ll during this whole post I kept having these lyrics cycle over and over in my noggin. Extra credit to whoever can name the song and artist.

I guess I shoulda known
By the way u parked your car sideways
That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person
That believes in makin’ out once
Love ’em and leave ’em fast

Etcetera etcetera ad nauseam.

July 25, 2006

There... Instant Dial Up Access

Last night as Mister and I were eating dinner my cell phone rang. I hopped up to answer it because I thought it may be something important like Ed McMahon calling to give me buckets of money and to tell me that I am pretty. (Question: He’s not dead is he?) But when I got to my phone the number on the display was a 936 area code number.

I froze.

Did ya’ll know that Nacogdoches is a 936 area code? I know precisely two people who would call me from a 936 area code that I would be happy to speak to and they are married. To each other. (Confidential note to Jay and Brenna: I’m talking about ya’ll.) I know approximately eleventy people who would call me from a 936 area code that I would choose not to speak to if I had the choice. But for some reason, I pushed the answer button.

On the other line was a perky young thing that was calling from my Alumni Association and wanted $200.00 from me.

Honestly? I was sort of relieved.

As I hung up the phone (after laughing heartily at the Alumni Association girl for thinking that anyone who graduate from our college would have an extra $200.00 to donate to the collegiate programs) one thought occurred to me.

I am afraid of 936. I used to be afraid of 409 (not the cleaner) as it used to be Nac’s area code as well.

It was so amazing how much I loved the place when I was in school there and how I came to fear it as soon as I got out.

Little side story. I was talking to Stacey yesterday afternoon on the way home. That is the time of day I do my catching up.

If you want me to call you it will most likely be between 5:45 and 6:45 p.m…. Send me your number and we’ll chat.

Anyway, I was talking to Stace and she mentioned that she turned off her Comcast (cable) account and was waiting to get her Verizon account.

The very thing that popped into my head when she said that was a voice saying, “I can get cable in any room in my house, all we gotta do is runna phone line unner the house.”

Let’s go back about oh, ten years shall we? I was living in a 1976 Redman double wide trailer. There was one phone outlet in the house. The phone outlet was in the kitchen above the dishwasher. Handy? Sure. But to get satellite television to the living room an extremely long phone cord was run up the wall, along the ceiling, stapled in several places (and painted white to camouflage it from standing out from the white painted ceiling) and then run down the length of the doorframe into another room… it was then run around the periphery of the room, shoved under the carpet and plugged into the satellite box on top of the television.

When we got dial up access a year or so later I figured that my then husband would do the same trick to get the wire to the “office”.

Nope.

He attached a splitter to the phone cord that was hooked to the cable box and ran the wire out the window. He peeled off two sections of aluminum siding/skirting that went around the trailer and unpacked a 50-foot phone cord. I watched in abject horror and slight amusement as he got his bow and an arrow, tied the phone cord to the arrow and shot under the house in the direction that he was setting up the “office”.

After a few tries and several lost arrows and many uses of the word fuck, he made the shot he was looking for. He went around the house, untied the phone cord, threw it through the “office” window and then slid the window shut.

“There” he said… puffing up with pride…, “Instant dial up access.”

I SO wish I was kidding.

September 14, 2006

I was finishing up college and needed an elective course for one of my semesters.

Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief. I haven’t told you guys what is going on because… well, frankly, I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling. Also, I didn’t want to put this in writing until I knew that she was ok.

Ok, I just wrote then promptly deleted like six paragraphs of stuff. The long and the short of it is; Stacey went into the hospital on Saturday. The doctors were worried that she had either bacterial or viral meningitis. She was put into isolation for three days and just got out yesterday.

The tests (spinal tap (!!! And also… EEEEEE!) ect.) are conclusive, it was viral. She is drained and still in a bit of pain but when I went to into see her either Sunday or Monday* (I think it was on Monday) she was still coherent enough to say, “Hey. Where is Elvira?”

Hee! But also, Awwwww.

*I got to wear a mask and scrub in each time I went. I totally was looking for a hazmat suit, but no one rocks the yellow hazmat and big silver hat thing like Renee Russo in Outbreak.

So yes, I have been praying and calling and calling and praying and Stacey, she is the toughest woman I know. And I love her.

Admit it, ya’ll love her too.


Ok, now, on the lighter side of things (I have 15 minutes to write this and then I have to leave… I am never gonna make it… and? I have to pee.) (Damn. Ten minutes.)

I would like to tell ya’ll a little story about a man. A man whose glasses were so thick he could see the future. A man with tee-tiny little chicken legs and a big fu-manchu mustache. A man… a myth… a legend. Seth.

(Next day… picking up where I left off.)

Seth was a permanent fixture in our college lives. We went dancing almost five nights a week and there he would be. He was always around. I could always see him out of the corner of my eye. He was bowlegged and he hardly ever took his hands out of his pockets. Well, they really weren’t his whole hands, just more of both thumbs hooked into the front pocket of his jeans, as if any moment you would be witness to finger guns or a point and a wink.

Seth was a slight, thin man with a dour expression a massive black felt hat that he wore regardless of the season or occasion and a distinctive heel first walk. Sort of like he was doing the first part of the Cotton-Eyed-Joe dance with every step.

He had a slight lisp and would spit a little when he asked, “Wanna dansh?” The spittle would form in the corners of his mouth or get caught in the hairs of his overgrown porn-stache.

He and Lee (Lee, also known as Tatanka) started giving free dance lessons to whoever would show up to the bar at on Wednesdays at 6pm. The dance class lasted an hour and they would give instructions on how to do the electric slide, the hustle (hi, these are basically the same thing… GET MORE MATERIAL) or (heh) the Cotton Eye’d Joe. Sometimes they would break out of the line dance symposium and try to teach some of the people to waltz or polka.

Most of the time, no one showed up so Lee and Seth would end up dancing in an empty bar with Brooks and Dunn’s “Neon Moon” playing in the background. The music would echo slightly because the place was deserted.

Seth had rhythm. I am not sure if he had music or could ask for anything more… but he did have rhythm, and once in a while he would run through the ranks of all the women in the bar trying to get one of them to dance to his favorite jam.

I would dance with Seth when he started to look frightened that the song would end and no body, not even Lee would dance with him.

Sorta sad.

Anyway, I was finishing up college and needed an elective course for one of my semesters. I picked welding.

Ok, I’ll stop right here for a minute to let the laughter die down.

Let’s ease you into this sorta slow. I. Took. A. Welding. Class.

Can you guess who the teacher’s assistant was? You guessed it in one (stop screaming at your monitor Trix.). That’s right. Seth. He of the glorious flannel/plaid shirts and a woven belt that he could tuck into the left pocket of his jeans. Yes, Seth. He was so skinny that the belt just about wrapped around his waist twice. He was to be my personal assistant during this time of learning about… uh… welding.

I learned a bunch in that class. It wasn’t at all like Jennifer Beals depicted it in Flashdance. That whore. It was mig, tig, arc, stick and learning to lay a nice bead when the weld site was above my head. Ya’ll. There was math involved.

There was also an Oxy-Acetylene torch that I made my bitch. I was the best cutter in the class. Including Seth.

Seth started calling me at home asking if I wanted to study.

Like I needed to study. Well, yeah, ok… I needed to study. That is not the point. Yes, math is hard. What? Yes, I failed my final. Shut up. MATH.

So around this time Trixie (Debra Jean) started leaving me messages on my home phone, “He, it’s Debra. Are ya’ll coming over for dinner tonight? Oh, and… you love Seth.” So I would call her back, “Yeah, we’re coming. Need anything, Seth Lover?” So this went on for a few months and then she let it drop… but me? Now, would I let something like that go? No, nooooo. Have any dead horses I can beat? I’m your gal. As long as it doesn’t include math.

I would stealth call her house or send her a text message via ICQ, Yahoo or whatever. “You love Seth!” “Seth and Debra sitting in a tree… K-I-S-S-I-N-G.” Yes. Very mature. I would also leave her notes around her house, her car and in her purse. She wouldn’t find them for weeks and sometimes months at a time so I took to dating the little notes, “6/8/94 – Oh, and did I mention?... You love Seth.”

So the next time you see or talk to her, remember to tell her, “You love Seth!”

Up next? Buffalos!

September 18, 2006

It was his world, I was just living in it.

Speaking of buffalo, I have a little story. What? We weren't talking about buffalo? Yessss (yeth?) we were. Weren't we?

Either way. Do ya'll remember me telling you the story of dating that very charismatic man-child in college? Let's go back a little shall we? (I can actually hear the Kerr Krew rolling their eyes. Stop it ya'll. These people want to be entertained.)

This man-child's name was Mike Gibson. Oh hells to the yes, I am going to use his real name.

I met him through a friend of a friend. Mike and his family had just moved to Texas from California and you could just tell, he wanted to be a cowboy in the worst way. He wore boots and jeans and was very handsome. But no matter how he tried... he just didn't fit the cowboy role. He had a horse, but still... no dice. How he carried himself and his cadence of speech fairly screamed cityboy.

He sauntered over to me one Wednesday night (while I was telling dirty jokes... at the bar.. in between dances... with my friends (mainly guys)) and asked me out. I nodded and asked him when. He said, "Saturday night." And walked off smiling.

By the time Saturday had rolled around Mike had called me and backed out on our date. I gave him a verbal shrug with the patented, "Whatever." the first time, so the second time he called I started getting pissed. "Look, Mike, if you want to go out, fine, that is totally cool, but if you don't... that is okay too. Your loss, but just do us both a favor and make up your mind so I can make other plans if you are going to back out." He countered with, "Well, I really want to take you out... it's just that I don't date women who are already taken."

"Pardon me?" I could not believe my ears. Already taken, my ass. "And just who am I supposedly taken by?" I asked him. "Troy. He told me you two were an item." "Well shit."

I called Troy and gave him a verbal lashing and asked him to go clear things up. Now that drama was part of the mix, I was intrigued.

Mike picked me up Saturday night in his black Ford F-150 extended cab (see? Poor thing wanted to be a cowboy) and took me to dinner. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and the dinner seemed to take all of 45 seconds when in all actuality it was over two and a half hours. We talked and laughed and joked and on the way to drop me off he asked if I would like to go to the park. I said sure. As soon as we pulled up to Pecan Park (FYI... They have Awesome swings there.) it started to drizzle.

I asked if he minded if I smoked. He said no, so I cracked the window. He told me, "Sue, you really shouldn't smoke you know. It is bad for you and sort of looks trashy." Little did I know, this would be the first of many "you shouldn'ts" to come from Mike. We sat in the cab of the truck for a little while; him talking and me smoking (purely out of spite) and then he got serious.

"So," I asked, "what brings you and your family to Texas... and how in the world did you find Stephen F. Austin?"

"Well," he started, "I was going to school at Loyola Marymount. I had a full ride for voice when my parents decided to move to Texas. My brother still goes to school there, he was the one who got me the audition for the scholarship... but when my parents said that they were going to move to Houston, I wanted to come along. Our family is very close."

"Wait. What?"

"Our family is very close."

"No, no... got that part.. the other. You were at Loyola with a full ride... on a voice scholarship... and you dumped it to come to SFA?" I am sure I blinked several times. As this is how I show my disbelief. It is endearing. Shut up. It is.

"Yes, I had a scholarship to Loyola Marymount for voice. Opera."

"Uh..."

"Here, I'll show you. I'm going to roll down the windows because it might get a little loud. Is that okay?"

And ya'll? The man rolled down the windows as I flicked my smoke onto the blacktop of the parking lot and turned towards him. He opened his mouth and the purest angelic loudest most nipple hardening baritone belted forth with Ave Maria*. A Capella.

*scroll down and play the Andrea Bocelli one.

When he was done, I whispered, "No. Fucking. Shit." It was my way of eloquently saying "Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude."

We started dating from that day forward. We had the "exclusivity talk" only days past our first date and then it was on.


The happy couple.


I was loud, crass, fun, a dancing fanatic, a smoker, taller than him and had curly hair. Mike's perfect woman was everything that I was not. Small, blonde, quiet, polite (What? I was fucking polite.), was to be seen and not heard, prim, proper and had straight hair. So, I see ya'll asking yourselves, "Why in the hell were ya'll dating then?" And I? Honestly do not have an answer for you.


Although, he was hot and looked like a young Al Pacino. Oh, and I loved his dog.. Mousse. She was a chocolate lab.

Mike was not the best dancer, and ya'll know how much that meant to me. He was charismatic and could talk me into almost anything. Yes. Anything. He wanted to ride bulls or broncs (see also: time he was mad at me for riding better than he did) and would use my fear for his safety as a bargaining chip to get me to quit smoking. He would ask me to tone down my humor and my voice when talking with our friends.

Lord.

And. He had a tendency to throw chairs.

Mike's mother was 100% Italian and his father was 100% Irish and.. let's just say that he had a bit of a temper.

He had me so trained that I was even embarrassed of my own family. MY FAMILY. Of course they didn't take it seriously. I can remember the evening that his folks were coming over to my parents' house for drinks and to talk about our futures. (Pardon me for a moment while I guffaw heartily.) Our futures, Puh-Leeze.

Anyway, we were all over across the street at the neighbor's house having dinner and waiting for the Gibson's to show up. Mrs. D was (and still is) a fantastic cook and a great decorator, and that evening we were having bar-b-que so Mrs. D rolled up some bandannas for us to use as napkins. As the drinks flowed and the dinner wound down the time for the Gibsons' to show was coming closer and I was watching out the window like some cocker spaniel waiting for her master to come home.

My mother, my father, my sister and the rest of the D family all decided that they were going to use their napkin/bandanna as doo-rags to meet the Gibsons. I was mortified. "Ya'll, please take those off. And for the love of all that is holy, stop throwing gang symbols. We live in SUBURBIA!... Gah! I am so embarrassed, I may throw up."

I can not even tell you how the rest of that evening went. I may have passed out from fright. I am not sure.

Back at school I was never seen by my girlfriends. "Where's Sue?" "With Mike." "Gah." "I hate that guy." "Me too." "Well, if she's happy..."

I wasn't happy ya'll. I was miserable. I was quiet for almost a YEAR. Me. Quiet. I stopped smoking, I never joked with my friends, I wasn't allowed to hang out with my guy friends unless Mike was there. I was a Stepford girlfriend.

We went out with our "couple friends". One night my friends Lisa and Cully asked us over to their apartment to have dinner and drinks. I had known Cully since he was practically a baby and Lisa for a year or two before I even met Mike.

We had dinner and were hanging out at their apartment. The tv was on and we were talking and drinking and the movie Dances with Wolves came on. Mike sat transfixed on the television screen with the intensity of a thousand fiery burning suns. Personally, I thought it was rude since we were there to visit and hang out with our friends, not to watch a movie and shush people when the dialogue was a little low.

Seriously, he shushed the host and hostess. Come ON.

I finally had enough and asked him if we could get going. He looked up at me like I was insane. He said, "I am watching this movie, Susan." He totally spoke in italics like that all the time. He had a total flair for the theatrical.

I politely pointed out that he could watch the movie later as our hosts were ready to go to bed as Cully had to get up at five in the morning. He didn't even flinch, just kept on watching the movie. So Cully, Lisa and I started talking again, he asked us to please be quiet. I said, "Mike, it is just a movie..." And he yelled back, "But it's my HERITAGE, SUE!" I blinked and then pointed out, "Mike, sweetie, you are Irish and Italian. This is about American Indians." And then I walked out the door.

I think that was the beginning of the end. He seemed like such a caricature of a person to me. Not even real. But he knew how to push my buttons. He had this whole entire thing about fighting for our relationship down pat. And we would fight, Lord, would we ever fight. I cried more then than years later when I was going through my divorce. He had this hold on me and it didn't break until one morning.

By then I was living in an apartment off campus. Lisa (of the Lisa and Cully fame) was my roommate and Mike, and his roommate Steve, lived in the same complex, just down at the south side of the building.

I woke up one morning and felt this hole where my heart should be. I felt hollow, used up and very tired. I kept saying to myself, "What am I missing?" I felt heavy and weak. "What am I missing.. why don't I feel whole?" And then it dawned on me. It was already 11 a.m. and I hadn't cried yet. I was missing that burning feeling that I would get in the back of my throat when I was trying to fight the tears.

I broke up with him that day.

I had lost myself and I knew that I had to get back to the person I once was. Happy, joking, laughing, dancing, carefree Susan. Not this jittery, nonsmoking, miserable shell of a person who hung her whole self worth on some guy... And a fucking SHORT guy at that.

The feud was bitter and long even months after we broke up. He started rumors and would drive by my apartment every time he left his just to see what I was doing, he would beg alliance from my friends to turn against me. They would look down at him and say, "Mike, please, we knew Susan first, and we like her better than we like you." It was an ugly battle, but it was worth it.

Mike kept one friend, a person that he met after we broke up. That person introduced Mike to his cousin. Her name was Fern. She was quiet, shy, timid, blonde and was normally seen and not heard. Mike talked Fern into selling all of her worldly belongings, including her grandmother's antiques, and moving out to California with him to get married. She went. I often think about Fern and wonder how she is.

August 21, 2007

Reeboks

I told this story to my husband for the first time* the other night after telling him about getting in touch with John and Mike (old friends who moved back to Georgia during high school – in Mike’s case – or shortly after high school – in John’s).

*I probably told Mister this story before as I have a habit of repeating myself and as a bonus he has a habit of not remembering shit.

I was young. Like 6th - 7th grade young and I had this habit, nay... compulsion to sneak out of my house. I was up anyway (read: please note the frillion times I have mentioned that I currently drug myself into a stupor to get to sleep, insomniac, any sentence that begins with 3 am... ect.) so why not be productive. Right? I couldn’t watch TV as my mother was a light sleeper, same with reading all night. I would turn a page and hear my mother getting out of bed to check on me.

I slept (ha.) with a fan on 365 nights a year to act as white noise. It would help mask the sound of a cat slinking past my window outside, my sister yelling at whomever she was mad at (at that moment) in her sleep. “NO!” “mumble mumble” “I WILL NOT!” Traffic three streets over. My father turning over in his sleep. So the fan masked noise for me, but I still had to be careful because it didn’t mask other noise around the house and my mother was as light as a sleeper as I was.

I don’t think she slept through the night from 1970 to at least 1990.

Twenty years, no sleep. No wonder she took (and still takes) cat naps for like 5 minutes; in car rides or in her chair at the house; and awakes fully refreshed and happy, eyes blinking with maybe a small stretch thrown in. Those five minutes naps were probably all the sleep she could get with my sister and I in the house.

So for some reason I decided that it would be a smart move to start sneaking out of the house.

For the first year or so I would just lift my floor length window (that was on the front of the house), quietly pop out the screen, lay the screen up against the house for easy retrieval when I got home, crawl out, close the window and be on my merry way.

No biggie right? I was going for a walk, or to meet friends under the bridge on the bike path, or whatever. Who knows why I decided to just leave in the middle of the night. I wasn’t up to any kind of trouble, other than the whole being outside walking the streets of my neighborhood during the witching hours at like twelve years old. (Seriously, install an alarm.)

There was another insomniac in the neighborhood and she lived right across the street. One night I came home and my parents were up waiting for me. The neighbor had called my mom. I can just hear that phone conversation. “Yeah, I just saw her sneak out of her window about 5 minutes ago.” The next day my father planted a holly bush right outside my window.

Pointy.

I was long limbed, but not long limbed enough to clear a big ass holly bush and be stealthy quiet, and not get caught by Miss Neighborhood Crime Watch lady. So, my little outings stopped for a bit.

Not long though.

I was normally grounded for most of the school year for “Not Meeting My Potential” and or just slacking off on homework. I would ace tests, but if the homework wasn’t done, I wouldn’t pass that portion. I kept up a passable (sometimes even good) average that way, but the teachers were concerned with my general “don’t give a shit” attitude. I was always polite, that is what they didn’t understand. I was always truthful, I... just didn’t care.

teacher: Susan, I don’t understand. You’re test was impeccable, but you have yet to turn in this week’s homework. You know that the homework counts as ___ percentage of your grade, right?
me: Yes ma’am. I apologize, I know that my grades to reflect the homework that is missing. I will be sure to complete the work that is assigned next week.
teacher: Please do.
me: Yes ma’am.

And because my mother was in the school system as a sub-teacher almost daily** she knew of my occasional*** slip ups. And then this conversation would happen.

**My mother was more popular than I was.
***Totally not occasional, more like incessant.

momma: Susan, I spoke with Mrs. History Teacher today, she said that you failed to turn in your homework.
me: Yes ma’am.
teacher: Do you have a good reason for not doing the work that you were assigned.
me: No ma’am.
teacher: What is wrong with you? You have SO MUCH POTENTIAL... and yet you are letting it all just pass you by just because you are lazy.
me: Yes ma’am.

Sadly, this is where I would most likely be nodding in the correct places and making “I completely understand your disappointment in me” noises but I was really planning on what eye shadow would go with my outfit the next day.

When I wasn’t grounded for my grades or procrastination or not applying myself I would be grounded for sneaking out.

So, therefore I was grounded for about six years out of my high school education.

The no privacy rule, no closing the door rule, no lock on your door rule, and you are taking WAY too long in the shower rule, you are grounded and not allowed to watch TV, talk on the phone, go out with your friends and anything that has to do with contact with another human unless it is at church probably drove me batshit insane with desire to just fucking talk to someone without being under the thumb of one parent or another. And Yes... I do realize that I brought most of this on myself with the whole not doing my home work and my sneaking out in the first place but come ON.

Vicious cycle. I know. Whatever.

I stopped sneaking out of my bedroom window and started checking on the windows throughout the rest of the house. Couldn’t go out any doors. There were three. The front door and the back door (to the porch area) that both made this sucking noise like you were pulling a vacuum cleaner hose off of a cat, and the other door was to the garage. I couldn’t go out any doors. So... I was like a freaking mime trying to open the invisible window that wouldn’t make any sound.

I struck gold one afternoon. There was this window that was in the den. It led to the patio. The patio was surrounded by windows. The whole house was surrounded with windows, but my folks slept with their door open to their bedroom and could probably see me with the eyes in the backs of their heads.

OMG, remind me to tell you about the WaterGate phone my mother had in her bedroom. (THE RAGE!)

Back to the window: this was a quiet window. The only downside was that it was on the patio. The patio had patio furniture. Do you see where I am going with this? The patio furniture consisted of a glass table with 4 chairs, a chair with a poofy cushion that was waterproof and a matching couch. The furniture; four table chairs, the table, poofy chair and the couch all had iron frames. The iron framed poofy couch was pushed up against the quiet window.

Can you hear the screams inside my head from like twenty-two years ago?

I was bound and determined to make it work. At least one more time.

It was the summer, I was 13. I was dating my first serious boyfriend. His name was Michael. He had black parachute pants and liked Stryper. I was in lurve. We went to the same church and the same school and he was a bad boy. He was hard rock (Heh... Stryper) and looked a little like Stephen Pearcy from RATT. All tight jeans and dark hair with these piercing green eyes and eyelashes that made you want to punch him in the neck. I think he even wore black eyeliner once... and he pulled it off.

Our parents were scared shitless when we were together.

They should have been.

For some reason... well, let’s just go on the record and say that Mike was experienced. How you get an experienced thirteen year old boy, I am not sure, but unless he was totally faking it, and I bought it... he was experienced.

Lord, I am on page four and I haven’t even gotten to the part where we snuck out.

So, it was summer, the whole church group was going to Six Flags the next day as a fun thing for the kids. Most of us had season’s passes and were at the park several times a month. Michael called me and asked me to meet him behind the school at like midnight or something.

Also? The bike paths were a dream if you were a kid who needed to get somewhere and you had your bike, your feet or a skateboard. As our mom’s drove, Michael and I lived about three miles from each other. As the crow flew, and as the bike trails permitted, we lived about 1 and 3/4 miles away.

So I decided to use the window to the patio. I was reluctant to go out an not because I was tired or needed to get rest for the big day at Six Flags the next day or because I thought it would be stupid to go. I was hesitant because I knew that there was a chance of rain. That afternoon after I got out of the pool I went and took a shower, shaved (my legs pervs), went the whole nines on my hair so it would be ready for Six Flags the next day. But then Michael called. I was worried that if I went out and it actually did rain that I would be busted like a dingo in a daycare facility.

What does naturally curly hair do when faced with humidity? Or God forbid rain? Fro! I would get fro hair. I knew it would be a dead give away because there would be NO way to talk my way out of that one. “Susan, didn’t you go to bed with your hair done? It looks like you let it dry naturally. Or you are trying to imitate Dianna Ross. Did it rain in your ROOM SUSAN!!?!???!!!” Gah.

So, yeah, I wasn’t all on board with this plan for sneaking out. But what the hell, I decided to go. I waited until the house was quiet. I put on sweat pants and a t-shirt or something, some socks and some grey and pink shoes (I Know.) that I could hide if they got muddy or something, (Why sweats in summer? Not sure. Again, thought I could hide my “fat” under baggy clothes.) and headed for the quiet window.

I opened the window, popped out the screen, left it laying between the outdoor couch and the wall and then looked at the approximately 6 inch gap left to squeeze through between the top of the couch (that was squishy – except for that pesky iron bar that made up the frame of said couch) and the top of where the window opened.

I turned to the right in a crouch and braced myself against an end table and the window sill. I stuck my left foot, then my left leg though the small space. I pushed off with my right leg and got my ass and torso through and like some sort of contortionist I pushed myself the rest of the way between the 6 some odd inches left from the top of the iron couch and the bottom of the window... quietly. That is the operative word... quietly.

When I was through the gap, I leaned over the back of the couch and closed the window. QUIETLY. I froze, crouched on the couch, and tried to slow my heart rate so I could listen to see if I had awoken the slumbering parental units in their room.

All was clear.

I tip toed around the perimeter of the pool, back to the where the pool equipment was and scaled the fence. Once I was in the alley I broke into an easy trot to make it to the school and behind it in a few minutes. I met Mike there and we crossed the pipe, talking quietly the whole way. We were on our way across a field when the first sprinkles of rain fell. Not a lot, just enough to make it really humid and BAD for me.

me: Shit.
Michael: What’s wrong?
me: Rain, curly hair... totally busted.
Michael: Can’t you just take a shower and fix your hair when you get back?
me: A quiet shower... with a quiet blow dryer.... ?
Michael: Sorry. Yeah, you’re screwed.
me: [::heavy sigh::]
Michael: Well, since you’re already busted, want a smoke?

He pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and bent over a lighter to light one. He offered it to me after making sure it was fully lit.

me: [::shrug::] Sure, now... what do I do here?
Michael: Well, when you put it to your lips, suck in a little bit, not too much, then when you take it away from your lips, breathe in a little. That’s called inhaling.

I did as I was told. I brought the smoke to my mouth, placed it against my lips, took a small drag and breathed in as I handed the smoke back to him. I blew the smoke out as he was taking a drag and watching me closely.

Michael: You didn’t cough.
me: No. Am I supposed to?
Michael: Maybe you didn’t inhale. Here, try again.
me: Alright.

So I went through the same motions, this time taking a bigger drag and letting the smoke out slowly. Again, no cough.

Michael: Hmmm, maybe you were just born to smoke or something.
me: Whatever.

We walked along in companionable silence for some way, just walking and smoking as we worked out way into a neighborhood. There were new houses being built almost as fast as people could buy them and our suburb was growing rapidly. Michael had come by an open house earlier in the day, just before he called me, and unlocked a window on the side of the house. He thought we could use the house as a hang out for the evening.

We walked around to the side of the house and he slid the window open. The house next to us was completely dark but a yippy dog was going ape shit so I asked him to hurry so the dog wouldn’t wake the family. We used the air conditioning unit to boost ourselves over into the window ledge and left our shoes outside on the A/C unit so we wouldn’t get the house and its’ new carpet muddy.

We slid the window shut and he said, “In here.” And led me into a small bathroom. We sat on the floor and just talked for a while. Then he kissed me and told me that he wanted this to be a special night. He reached into his pocket and brought out a condom.

Hi. I was thirteen. The thought of losing my virginity, even though I was completely in LURVE with this bad boy was enough to make me so nervous that I seriously thought I was going to hurl. He tried to calm me down but just as I was about to seriously throw up (How cool was I?... SO very cool. I know. You’re jealous.) I looked up into the small window that was set up high above the tub/shower combo and saw the blue and red flashing lights of a police car bouncing off the neighbors’ house and the one we were in.

me: Mike, we gotta get out of here... Now.
Michael: Everything will be fine if we just go slow.
me: Let it go man, it’s not going to happen... and we are just about to get busted by the cops.
Michael: WHAT!?
me: Look up at the window. Either the neighbors and their yippy dog called the cops or we tripped an alarm.
Michael: Shit.
me: No doubt. We don’t have time to go out that window. I’m going out the back door.
Michael: But what about my shoes!? They are my new Reeboks!
me: To hell with your shoes. I’m out of here.
Michael: You’re right... right behind you. See you tomorrow.

We bolted out the back door and into a muddy back yard that thankfully hadn’t been fenced in yet. He ran to the left and I hauled ass to the right. I ran in my socks over streets and fields and into alleys and across drain pipes. I got back to my house and I was covered in sweat, I smelled like a cigarette, my socks were destroyed, I had blisters on my feet from running on concrete in wet socks and my hair was HUGE. But, my virginity was in tact, I was home and I didn’t get busted for breaking and entering... even if there was no breaking or damage involved. We snuck into a home that we were not supposed to be in, it could have been worse.

I took off my socks and hid them under my sister’s window, slipped over the fence and tip toed around to the patio window. I froze, thinking something was wrong but I couldn’t hear anything. The house was still dark, the screen was where I left it and the window was still unlocked. I lifted the window, slid back inside between the teeny gap, slowly put the screen back on the window with a teeny “snick”, lowered the window and locked it. I was just standing up to let my eyes get adjusted to the dark of the house when my mother said from a corner chair, “Have fun?” I jumped (because she scared the shit out of me) and I answered truthfully, “Not really.”

momma: We’ll talk about this in the morning. Of course you are grounded and are not going to Six Flags, and I am sure Michael’s parents won’t let him either.
me: Michael?
momma: The two of you were together weren’t you?
me: ...
momma: [his mother] called me. He walked out the front door.
me: ...

And I will go ahead and give you two guesses on who got to go to Six Flags the next day. That is right, Michael. And the last time I saw him, in GA in like 1988 or 1990, he was still razzing me about his freaking Reeboks. “Those were eighty dollar (or whatever) shoes!” “I wasn’t the dumbass that wore new shoes to sneak out in when it was clearly muddy as hell... EVERYWHERE!”

Since it’s been like 17 years, and we are back in touch, he is married with twins we are having a blast getting caught up on everything that we’ve missed. But we made each other a deal, I won’t sing him any Journey songs and he won’t even allude to those freaking Reeboks or he is dead to me. But... I never promised that I wouldn’t out him and the story of the freaking Reeboks on the internet.


February 12, 2008

It was like poking a snake with a stick.

A few jobs (about four, and over ten years) ago I was working for this man named Steve. He was the fatherly (drunk) type who was extremely protective of me. He owned a manufactured housing lot.

Yes, I worked for a man who sold trailers to couples named Ricky Don and Billy Lauren.

Shut it.

No really. This is a good story, you just have to get past the fact that I worked there.

A college degree and $10 an hour. Working at a mobile home lot.

Breathe in.... breathe out.... and let it go. In through the nose.... and whoooosh, out through the mouth. There you go. It’s okay baby. I know. I know.

So, there I was working for Steve and his partner. Let me Google the partner, because, if the baby Jesus loves me there will be video to back this up.

Denied.

This really doesn’t have too much to do with the story but I have to paint a visual for you guys. Seriously.

The partner’s name was Hank. Hank Dunkerson. I just Googled him and found some guy in Knob Lick, Kentucky... and I am not even kidding. I also found his name mentioned on MySpace and somewhere selling real estate in Indiana. But when I knew the Hank I am talking about, he was an evangelical preacher... between jobs.

Somehow Steve worked a handshake deal with Hank to be partners at the dealership, which was named, (I am so ashamed) Mobile Home Junction. Just like Petty Coat Junction but without the classy element of the three dames and a mutt swimming in the town water supply. But with, WITH the classy element of an evangelical preacher and his beer belly, the straining buttons and the non t-shirt wearing under the cheap WalMart button down shirts. So on a blistering day or when he had one too many hot dogs and he had been out walking the lot trying to make a sale he would come back in and be purple. His armpits wet with sweat, his face red with exertion and those poor buttons over his belly just a straining to contain that extra subway foot long he had for lunch and not succeeding so you would be treated to the sight of his sweaty belly hair.

Gah.

He couldn’t be counted on to show up on time or to stay his full shift so his wife and their eleventy kids were always running all over the place. And oh, OH... his wife.

Let me sum this up as quickly as possible because I do want to get off this tangent. It’s making me a little uncomfortable.

He met his wife when he was officiating her wedding. At the time he was dating her mother. And just like that, true love.

You can’t make this shit up people.

So, Steve was awesome and Hank made my teeth itch.

I was their office manager.

Steve would bark orders to the sales guys from his closed office door on one hand and then on the other make customers feel at home, welcome and at ease when they were signing the dotted line on the largest purchase they had ever made. And Hank? Was a preening peacock with all the winning characteristics of a pedophile/used car salesman.

Behind the “office” was a warehouse where we kept the furniture to stage the homes to make them look less like a metal box on axels. I was so uncomfortable in the “real office” (Hank wanted to talk religion and then discuss the merits of something sexual... sweet.) that I asked Steve if I could office in the warehouse. He installed a window A/C unit in there for me and I could smoke, get my work done and have a barn cat sit on my desk and no one to bother me. It was awesome.

The guys would call me or come out to my office when they needed someone to close a deal, do paperwork, make some service requests, order supplies, whatever... and so they could get away from Hank. Steve would come out to my office and pull up a chair under the A/C unit and take a nap while I was clackity clacking on my little Brother Word Processor, filling out sales slips, running people’s credit and researching titles and whatnot.

The business was booming and Steve and Hank decided to hire a few people. They had their finance guy who was like buttah with the banks, they had their office manager (me), they had their “talent” – Hank – to do the commercials, (Lord. Seriously. Someone has to have seen them. They were SO bad.) and they had Steve as the fatherly “everything is going to be fine” guy to do that laid back sell thing.

One of the first sales guys didn’t last so long. It was a purely commission job and he wasn’t charismatic enough. Nor did he have the requisite sweaty belly hair that Hank sported.

This young kid came along. Named Mike. Mike (I could just go ahead and tell you his last name as Google cannot find him. Linton.) came to the office and made a sale or two in his first few days. He was a nice enough guy but had... I don’t know, a dark side. His wife would come to the sales lot and bring her kids. Mike was her second husband and younger than she was. Sometimes she would just be looking for him, sometimes she was looking to get away from him. One time he left her at the lot and I ended up taking her home. Forty-five minutes away.

No clue what that was all about but he wasn’t all there. He was... odd. And for some reason I taunted him. It was like poking a snake with a stick, but he just wouldn’t leave well enough alone sometimes so I would give him a rash of shit. He normally would lay into me when other people were around.

Mike: Hey Susan?
me: Yes, Mike?
Mike: You’d go out with me right??
me: ::blink::
Mike: I mean, you think I’m the man... right?
me: Hey Mike?
Mike: Yes, Susan?
me: You aren’t my type.
Mike: It’s because you’re married, right?
me: Sure. If that’s what you want to hear.
Mike: Bitch.
me: No need for that. You asked. I told you the truth.
Mike: What, so... like... would Gary Wayne be your type?
me: Sure... if I wasn’t married.

Steve used to say that we had a pretty strange little family unit there at Mobile Home Junction. A preacher (Hank), a drunk (Steve himself), a midget (finance guy), an alien (Mike’s ears stuck out like he was Spock), a cowboy (Gary Wayne) and me.

This has nothing to do with anything but Gary Wayne (and yes, the name is redneck, move along) was hot. HOTTTTTTTT. Sizzle. He would come out in the evening (on Steve’s command) and bring me a cold beer*. If he was feeling froggy he’d turn up my radio and ask me to dance right there in the warehouse. Most times I would. Nothing like winding up a long ass day with a nice waltz.

*If I ever see another Key Stone Light, it will be too soon.

Hank had it out for Gary Wayne from the get go. He was intimidated by him and his sales record. He was pissed off that some cowboy could sell more than he could. The lot was getting to be too small for all of those egos and business was booming so Steve decided to open up a lot about 20 miles southwest of our location on the loop in Lufkin. That lot was called Deluxe Homes.

Steve took the finance guy, another sales guy (Roger) and pulled a friend of his named Lee out of retirement and opened up the new lot. Their business was slamming the competition. I would have to drive over there several times a week to do a closing on a house. Steve was kind to me; he would pay me a bonus on each contract that I closed because there was so much paperwork involved.

Mobile Home Junction was floundering except for Gary Wayne. Hank decided that he wanted to do a land/home venture with a friend of his so he opened up a third “lot” between the two existing ones and made Mike the manager of Mobile Home Junction.

Steve told me, “No matter what, you don’t have to report to anyone but me. I hired you. They didn’t. So if they give you shit, you just call me. I don’t know what Hank is up to with this land/home thing, but I have a feeling it is going to go south.”

“Please take me with you!” I begged. “I don’t want to be left up here with.... them!”

“You’re closer to home up here, no worries, everything is going to be fine.”

Hank decided to move me back into the main office. He put my desk in the same room as his so he could, “keep an eye on me.” So every day I would go in, start on my work and somewhere around 10 he would roll in and then talk loudly on the phone or in the kitchen or his family would show up or something. Some poor person would come onto the lot, the sales guys would get the short end of the stick if Hank wanted to show off and Mike was left holding nothing.

Mike started to get pretty squirrelly. His sales were going south and he had no control.

One night I was closing a deal for Gary Wayne and I had my notary stampy thing and my record books in his office along with the sales contracts and whatnot. That evening when I left, I accidentally left my notary stamp and the record book in Gary’s office.

Mike jumped all over me the next morning. He waited until Hank got there so he could hear him say, “I found your stuff in Gary Wayne’s office.” His voice dripped with venom. He shook the book and the stamp at me and I took them, smiling brightly, “Oh, thanks!” Hank came storming out of his office, “What stuff?” Like I had left some porn, a blow up doll, a sheep, a rubber mat, a ball gag and a sex swing in there. I held up the record book and my stamp, “This stuff.” Hank replied, and I am so not kidding, “Don’t let that happen again.”

Hank and Mike went behind closed doors and whispered and talked for a good hour as I answered the phone, worked and Gary fielded the sales.

Later on that day Hank asked me into his (our) office and closed the door. He proceeded to counseled me about the sanctity of marriage and how if I was going to go screwing around on company time then I could just leave.

And then he belched, left the office and drove away.

I called Steve and told him what was happening. He told me to pack up my stuff and show up at the Lufkin lot in the morning. I did as I was told and the next morning all hell broke loose. Hank and Steve had a massive argument because Hank had no idea how to do anything except point at various things in the homes and say, “The crown molding makes it have that special homey touch. Can you see yourself living in this beautiful home? We can make it happen.” Hank had no idea how to field service calls, talk to the manufacturer, deal with inventory, do a proper title search or print up the paperwork to sell a home. All of the finance went through the Lufkin lot so he was shit outta luck there too.

All the new kids that Hank and Mike had hired started fleeing the lot like rats from a sinking ship.

Mike wanted to come to Lufkin, Steve said he was full up so Mike stayed where he was. Gary Wayne went to another dealer and was very profitable. I would travel up to the original lot to do contracts and that is where it got ugly.

Mike would come on to me, he would tell me horrible stories about his marriage, his step kids... anything to stay in the same office space I was in when I was marking up the sales contracts and getting ready for a closing. It was very uncomfortable. I told him that I didn’t want to have any interaction with him as he made me uneasy.

He grew a wispy mustache, “How about now?”

It was awful and I had quit taunting him a LONG time before any of this happened. My husband at the time said that Mike was pissed off that I turned him down in front of people. My argument was that he came onto me in front of people and to save face in a lot full of men I had to turn him down at the exact moment that he was inappropriate.

When things got sketchy I got the sense that if I even came back at one of his remarks with something close to ego bruising or anything other than, “oh, yes... you are the man.” (which I would rather be chewed on by a wild badger than say) that he would snap, so I just did my work in silence and would greet the new home owners warmly and then leave as soon as I got their signatures, set up their delivery and explained their warranty. It was dreadful.

If I was at the lot I asked that someone else be there as not to be alone with Mike after I found him staring at me one afternoon while I was typing up a contract. I looked over into the kitchen and I swear, if he could have killed me with that look, then I would be dead.

Y’all have to understand. I was a young, Southern, polite, hardworking girl that needed that job. I was miserable, but I was polite. I never led the man on, nor was I friendly with him. I treated him civilly when customers were around but other than that, I ignored him. I was furious with him for trying to get Hank to fire me for “having relations with Gary Wayne” (ps.... SO did not happen) and when he tried to pull rank ...

Oh! I didn’t tell y’all about this one.

One night I was in Steve’s old office doing some work and Mike came in and told me that everyone had gone for the day. I started to pack up my stuff to leave and asked him to close the gate on his way out. He suggested having a little fun since we were there alone. I tried to laugh off his advances and he got pissed. He told me that if I wasn’t stupid and wanted to keep my job that I would get with the program. Or something just as lame. I said, “Goodnight Mike.” And walked out the door. He yelled something out after me but I was running for my truck.

It turned out that I had good reason to be frightened of old Mikey boy.

He was a jealous man and did not approve of his wife’s ex-husband being involved in the kid’s lives. They were his kids, not Mike’s. It was a very strained relationship.

One morning I was due to go to the original lot before I drove down to the Lufkin lot. A couple wanted to close on a home they had picked out the night before and schedule the delivery. I showed up, unlocked the gate, unlocked the office and turned on the air conditioning. I made sure my papers were in order and then the couple came in. I took them back to Steve’s old office and kept an ear trained on the front door. I heard Hank pull up and one of the other sales guys. I heard the phone ring and Hank basically shouting (he was a loud talker  understatement of the year) into the phone. I closed the deal with the couple, got them scheduled for delivery, explained their warranties to them and then went to walk them out the door.

Hank asked if he could speak to me when I was finished.

I watched the couple drive away, excited about their new home and then I turned to go back inside. Hank was red and sweating although it wasn’t that hot. He asked me if I had talked to Steve yet that morning. I said, “No sir.” And then he said...

Hank: There’s been an accident.... I think.
me: Pardon?
Hank: Well, it seems that Mike shot his wife and her ex-husband last night.
me: Wait, what?
Hank: Mike shot Veta (sp?) and then her ex-husband last night, then he turned the gun on himself.
me: Is Veta okay? Where are the kids?
Hank: I’m not sure of all of the details, but no... Veta is not okay. He shot her in the head and she died.
me: And her ex?
Hank: He’s going to make it.
me: And Mike?
Hank: He shot himself in the chest, but they think he’s going to make it too.

I sat down hard, stared off into space for a few minutes and then got up slowly and walked to the door. I got into my truck and went to the Lufkin lot. Steve was very worried as I didn’t answer the phone at Mobile Home Junction and Hank did. He tried to tell me about what he had heard on Mike’s story, but I didn’t want to hear it. I just kept thinking, “I taunted that man. Sure, he was an asshole, but he killed his wife. His wife. I was in close quarters with a murderer almost every day for over a year.”

He was in jail when they buried Veta. I went the funeral. Open casket*.

*The fuck?

A few months later before Mike’s trial he was out on bail. I was sitting on the porch of the Lufkin lot office having a smoke with Roger when Steve came out of the office, took my smoke, threw it in the butt can, grabbed me by my upper arms and shoved me inside. He said, “Get in my office and don’t come out.” He looked startled for a second, scanning the parking lot. He asked me, “Where is your truck?” “Parked behind the office.” I replied, a little off balance. “Good” he said, “Now go, I’ll explain later.”

I went into Steve’s office and curled up in his chair and turned towards his office window. He could see everything from that office and you always knew there was an eye on you when you were out on the lot. He was one of the greatest bosses I ever had. He let me be me, expected the impossible from me and I delivered. He taught me so much.

I sat there curled up in his chair, peeking out of the corner of the blinds, smelling the familiar scent of Steve’s cologne, beer and the old battered wooden desk he insisted on using. I was just about to let my mind wander when a familiar truck pulled into the lot. It was Mike Linton. He hopped out with a smile on his face and greeted the very uncomfortable welcoming party that stood on the porch.

Steve stood with his back to the door of the office, clearly blocking it. Did I mention he was 6’6”? They all said hello to Mike and I saw Mike look around. I could hear muffled voices coming from the conversation and it sounded like Mike asking what everyone was doing outside. Steve replied something about enjoying the weather and trying to drum up business and then Mike asked if he still had a spot on the sales team. Steve told him that it really depended on his trial and the outcome of his situation. Not wanting to piss Mike off, but trying to set a boundary, Steve stepped to the porch steps to block them as well.

I saw Mike’s eyes flicker to the window to Steve’s office. I had no idea how long I had been holding my breath but I didn’t draw in a shuddering lungful of air until his glance slid away. Mike asked Roger (the jovial one of the bunch), “So, where’s Susan? Up at the other lot?” Roger said, “Not sure man, she’s probably out getting lunch, running errands or doing some work.” Mike asked, “So, does she still work for you Steve?” All Steve said was, “Leave her alone Mike.” Mike looked down, then looked back at where I was peeking out of the blinds in Steve’s office and then grinned and walked to his truck. He was all, “Great to see you guys.” And then he drove away.

When he was gone, they all came into Steve’s office to tell me what was said. Steve asked me to stay at the other lot for a while as it was further from Mike’s home. Mike was under surveillance and one of Steve’s cop buddies had called to warn him that Mike was coming our way.

I totally attract the crazy.

I don’t remember what happened to Mike after that. I think he went to jail, prison, was on parole, whatever. I just don’t remember. I tried Googling him and I even called the Lufkin Daily News, their archives online don’t go back that far so I was out of luck. I didn’t work for Steve for very much longer. I didn’t like the long drive, dealing with oily Hank and his schemes and the way he treated Steve mad me madder than a wet hen.

It was all Steve’s money that built the lots, Hank was just a salesman who got a good bargain when Steve gave him the original lot so he wouldn’t have to deal with him ever again.

Yes, Hank was that bad.

I didn’t have health insurance, dental or a 401K. I was working at a mobile home lot with a killer asking around about me. I knew it was time to move on when I had the tubal pregnancy and didn’t have the insurance to take care of me in the hospital. I left Steve and his gang in June of 1997 but kept doing his contract work after hours for a little extra cash until 1999, when I left Nacogdoches.

I think I’ll leave it at that. 8 pages all from a little note I left myself that said, “Write about Mike Linton.”

April 1, 2008

Clickety Clickety and Pictures. Also? Be nice.

I am bound and determined (is that the right phrase?) by law of siblinghood (even if we’re not “technically” brother and sister... what? Shut up.) to give to you this link of a video that Brian shot for Adrenaline Factor in Austin a few weeks ago.

(timpani)

Click here to watch and listen to Adrenaline Factor’s video for what Brian calls “my song”... appropriately named Boozin’ Susan. According to Brian, his favorite line is, "She's got a half-crazed bloodshot eye on you!" Thank you dear brother.
All credits for video and sound go to Brian and his partner, Mark at Blitzkrieg Media and Promotion.

Two more things.

Thing numero uno: I have a date with my loving husband tonight and he is picking me up at the office in 45 minutes. A date. On a Tuesday. How lovingly random. ::smile::

Thing numero dos: LuLu called me the other night after reading about Jay and the trip to Austin. Apparently I had a few tense and phrase slips and it was completely obvious that I was not telling a story of fiction. [gasp!] “What!? I don’t believe it!” Well, it is true. She nailed me on it and was all... “Which Jay is this guy?” Like I was the whore of Babylon (Shoooosh!!) who had too many partners for her to keep up with. I answered her, “Do you know my favorite picture of us hugging in your parent’s living room?” She answered, “Yep.” Well, Jay and his friend Jason were there that night.” “At MY house?”she asked me. “Yep.” “I wanna see the other pictures then.” She demanded. And I obliged.

I don’t know how long I will leave this picture up, but here you go. And if you know any of these people and they are not me... please, PLEASE do not direct them to this site. Or at least give me a heads up first.

Deal?

jay-sue-lulu-jason%201993%20small.jpg
Jay, Sue, LuLu and Jason


Oh, and one for the road.


trouble%20times%203%201993%20small.jpg

Trouble X 3

Thingy numero tres: Here is another picture I found. See that chick on the left? She is the esteemed Kelly that gave Jay and I the 4th of July suggestion in the first place and almost broke her vagina in this charming tale.

Editor’s note: Please make sure you click on the link at the bottom of said post.... and also, pay no attention to the fucked up formatting. Haven’t gotten that far yet.

Leave Comments, tell us we are pretty.

April 14, 2008

Circus Story


I believe that I was completely off about the whole “barely being 20” thing in the story of Sue and Jay Go To Austin (go back a few entries). I had to have been “barely 21” that May. You know how I know this*? Well, dear reader, it is because that very November I started dating this charming redneck... after all, Jay and I had not had the “we’re exclusive” talk. Right? Right. Hush and leave me to my rationalization. It totally works.

I ended up marrying that redneck about a year later when I was 22 (aside to Notify Lister’s... I know... I KNOW... I mean, what the fuck was I thinking?) and said redneck took great pride in thinking he stole me away from Jay.

But not before I took Jay on one last trip.

Let me back up. I’m going to drop all of the Sue said this... Jay said this shit and just tell you about our little whirlwind courtship.

After our little trip to Austin we would see each other around, go out every once in a while, call one another to come over, which was code for “my roommates are out for the night, we have privacy... hurry.” or do what we did best... take little road trips.

I can remember several. Here is one of my favorites.

One evening Jay called and asked me if I had plans for the weekend, I said that I didn’t (except for the normal drunken debauchery with my friends) and he asked me if I would go to Houston with him. I agreed and as a little inside joke asked him if I should pack anything special. He said no, but then said something along the lines of, “We have plans for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. Actually, would you bring a dress? I want to take you to one of my favorite restaurants in Houston.” I agreed and actually packed the brown sundress. (Am Smart.)

We left and drove down Friday afternoon. When I asked where we were going he said it was a surprise. I followed his directions and ended up somewhere just outside of downtown Houston in a parking lot. We parked and then walked around the side of a building to see this massive expanse of cars and... Oooh! A Big Top was planted right in the middle of everything. THE Big Top actually. The circus was the surprise, Awwww!

I lurve circuses, I love animals, balloons, popcorn and cotton candy, the excitement of the trapeze acts and the chaos of it all.

Except for the whole clown thing, circuses are 2nd in line only to my love for amusement parks and roller coasters.

Clowns... eeeesh.

So we walked up and Jay produced two tickets that he had purchased in advance and we went into the circus. We had cotton candy and popcorn and enjoyed the show. It was one of the sweetest gestures because I had just mentioned that I loved the circus in passing and this man brought me to Houston for the circus!

Jay also had another surprise (among many).

Saturday morning he asked me if I would mind stopping by his parents’ house for before we did anything else. What was I going to say, “NO! I Hate people. Especially parents... gah.” When in fact I love parents and for some reason I always make a fantastic impression.

Side Note: Mister’s parents’ excluded because his mom; within twenty minutes of meeting me; was all, “Susan? Will you join me in the cafeteria of the hospital?” Then in the cafeteria, “So, Susan... tell me about your testimony.” “...Um. ...!?” Then I faked a seizure.

So... I said sure to Jay, and we got ready and headed to his parents’ house.

We drove into a very nice neighborhood and pulled up to a pretty house that looked similar to the home that I grew up in. We got out of the car and went to the door. Jay walked in and held the door for me and then his parents came out of the kitchen to greet us. They were very sweet and his mother and I talked easily while his father told Jay that his brother was in town. They offered us lunch but Jay said that we had other plans and that we’d come back in a few weeks and go to lunch with them if that was alright. They agreed and we all said our goodbyes.

Back in the car Jay said, “They like you.” “Why wouldn’t they?” If that were now, I would have added...”I’m awesome.” But I hadn’t yet refined confident sarcasm at that point.

This is where it gets fuzzy, and let me tell you why. There were multiple trips to Houston. On one trip I think I was staying with LuLu and her family and somewhere during the weekend Jay and Jason (his buddy) came to get us to go dancing. And another time (or the same time?... I just don’t know!) we all ended up going to Galveston and swimming in the gulf, then sleeping in my car and in the morning I bathed in a handicap sink at the Burger King bathroom in Texas City. Am polished and very ladylike.

That evening after meeting Jay’s parents we went back downtown to the Hilton (Holiday Inn?) in which we were staying. I took a shower first and while Jay was taking his shower I dressed in my little brown sundress and put minimal make up on. I was excited about a little surprise I had planned. I slid some thigh high nude stockings on and fastened them to a garter belt I had from my years working at Victoria’s Secret... and that is all I put on under my pretty sundress. I slid on the croc pumps, put my license, some cash and some lip gloss in the small brown purse I brought for the occasion and was ready by the time Jay got done with his shower.

He stepped out of the bathroom and began to dress. He was very complimentary about my outfit. I thought I was so sneaky and felt incredibly sexy with my little secret so when we went downstairs and walked out the front door, down a block, turned a corner and then entered into the restaurant that Jay had said was one of his favorites I was very relaxed and looking forward to a nice meal.

It was an Italian place and the maître d' and sommelier knew Jay by name. The maître d' sat us next to the window in this beautiful area and before he left us to the waiter he mentioned that Jay’s brother and a group were there as well. Jay excused himself and said he needed to go say hello to his brother. I sat and took in the surroundings. It was beautiful, very ultra modern and sleek. I looked over the menu and decided to let Jay order for me. He returned with an apology and a sweet kiss on my temple.

He ordered a bottle of water for me and a glass of red wine for himself. When I told him that I would like him to order for me his face lit up and he said, “I have the perfect thing!” When the waiter came around he ordered the house salad and the seafood linguine for both of us and asked the waiter to surprise us with dessert. Then he sat back and sipped his wine with a small smile on his face.

I always felt so grown up around Jay. We may have played, joked and kidded around, but he wasn’t like the other boys that I had dated before, nor was he like anyone in the small town where we lived. He had professed that he had a crush on me for many months and we spent as much time together when we could but I really appreciated that he didn’t try to take over all of my time. He was busy, I was busy. We saw each other when we could but there were no restrictions.

To be perfectly honest, I loved it and hated it at the same time.

When our dinner came I looked down at the seafood linguine and was surprised to see teeny little octopi with their little tentacles all curled up in the red sauce. I asked Jay what about this dish was his favorite part and he speared one off of his plate and fed it to me saying, “This part.” When he put the little octopus in my mouth and I started chewing it I was both pleased and very surprised by the taste and texture of it. The food was delicious. Absolutely amazing. The bread was fresh, the salads were crisp, the entrees were incredible and the crème brûlée was perfect.

After we finished our meal Jay ordered another glass of wine for himself and a beer for me. We sat there talking for a while and I couldn’t contain my secret any longer. I had my legs crossed and we had been sitting hip to hip, I turned my knees towards him and took his hand under the table. I led his fingers in unbuttoning the croc buttons that ran up my left leg of the sundress. He unbuttoned four of the buttons and then lightly pushed the linen of the dress to either side and then ran his finger under the top of my stocking. His eyes twinkled and he moved his hand over the top of my thigh finding the garter belt fastener, grinning he asked what else did I have on under the sundress. I motioned for him to lean closer so I could whisper something in his ear. When he did and I said, “Nothing.” And bit his earlobe gently.

He buttoned the slit in my dress and called for the check.

After he paid, he took my hand to help me from the table and then we walked over to say goodbye to his brother. His brother asked us to stay and Jay just said, “No thank you.” And with his hand at the small of my back he guided me to the door.

We walked back to the hotel and when we got back up to the room he unzipped the sundress and pulled it over my head while I stood in the middle of the room. I didn’t feel self conscience or fat when Jay looked at me, so... when he said that he just wanted to take me in for a moment I didn’t cover my breasts or my little belly, I stood there in heels, thigh high stockings, a black garter belt and pearl earrings and let him look.

MISSING REEL

I can’t really tell you guys all of that evening, it’s mine. But, in homage to Jay’s prowess I will just admit that I broke a headboard off of the wall in the hotel room that night. Oh, and one word. Oral.

Since there were no restrictions on our relationship and we had never had the “we’re exclusive” talk we just spent time with one another when we could.

One time in a very sweet move Jay and Jason drove me to a rendezvous point to meet up with my sister and her boyfriend (now husband) so he (the boyfriend, now brother in law) could drive my sister and I to Georgia when our grandfather passed.

There was a man that I was sort of seeing (redneck mentioned in second paragraph above) and he and Jay both knew of one another. I wasn’t sleeping with anyone but Jay but I had a wedding to go to. Redneck offered to let me use his truck for the trip to Sherman, TX. I had a car and never asked to use the truck, so him offering was totally out of the blue. I asked him if he was absolutely sure. He said, “Absofuckinglutely.” I think he was expecting me to ask him to accompany me to the wedding. He said that he was just being a nice guy. So I took the offer, and took Jay to the wedding... in redneck’s truck.

Heh.

Redneck stepped up his game and actually sent me a dozen peach colored roses while he was away hunting in South Texas. Sending a chick flowers while you are hunting? Learn the lesson of the jedi youngsters. I don’t know about y’all... but damn, that got my attention.

I always say that everyone has a “what if’ person. I never have admitted to anyone, including myself (seriously, like just now... right this very second) that Jay may have been my “what if” person. What if redneck hadn’t sent the flowers? What if Jay had asked me to be exclusive? What if I had never married the redneck?

Le sigh... after all of this stuff I went through about 4 phone calls to find out how to spell Jay’s last name. I found out that he didn’t graduate until a few years after I did. He was older than I was and definitely more mature. I got my first job offer guess where? In Houston. They offered me over 40K in salary. In 1994 that was big money to me. But you all know what I did... right? I turned down the job and married the redneck on the same day I graduated. And when I left.... five or six years later? I was making 21.5K. Boy howdy. Them’s some big bucks.

::eyeroll::

In looking for Jay online I found this collection of pictures that make me want to cry. I got to the part of the slideshow with Christmas 2007 and that tree lit up like it had Spanish moss in icicle lights and had to close the window. Damn.

So... “what if” huh? I know I wouldn’t have learned the lessons that I did... nor would I be the person I am today. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am or have the fucking material to write this bullshit. And the biggest thing is that I probably wouldn’t have met Mister and that in itself would be a tragedy.

*Also, hi... had my first big O when I was 21**. Totally with Jay, that night. You’d think I’d remember how old I was.
**21? Sad right? Yeah. Oh and hey... Mike Gibson? I totally faked it.

April 29, 2008

Etsy Bitsy Coincidence... Or Lord, The World Is SMALL.

I have the most random story to tell you people but I am waiting. Mister said it wouldn’t be smart to spew forth with my randomness all over the Internets for Google reaches far and wide. Kinda like the government. And string cheese. And my sister in her infinite wisdom doesn’t think anyone would give a shit to even Google said randomness.

Instead, let’s talk about Bob Segar. Lord, y’all... that man makes me swoon in the old fashioned style of a little bit of perspiration, back of the hand to the forehead, a little fanning with a church bulletin and an exclamation of “Oh my.” I don’t care who you are, what sex, age, race, creed, religion and or planetary obligation... but damn. Anything from “Hollywood Nights”, “Still The Same”, ”Turn The Page”... and Dear Miss Ethel [dabbing my forehead with a hanky]... “Come To Papa” is hot. HoTT. His music makes my blood a wee bit boil-y.

In the same music vein...

Mister, my sister, my brother in law and I went to a CF benefit concert on Saturday down in Deep Ellum. It was so pretty outside and there were so many bands playing. They put together a compilation CD with all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis and the door gave all the money to the cause and they did silk screen shirts and pictures. Lovie, El Gato and a frillion other bands contributed to make the night awesome.

I cried.

Once.

What? One of the dudes (singing type dude) from El Gato is in Polyphonic Spree now and the song they started off with was just beautiful. My sister was all, “There’s no crying in Club Dada!”

Have I waited long enough to tell y’all the randomness?

You all are aware that I am a bucket of crazy right? Yes? Yes. Okay. Just keep that in mind, deal?

Friday morning I came into the office and my boss asked me if she could talk to me about something, she hastened to add, “Totally unrelated to work.” I answered her, “But of course.” So she said something along the lines of, “I don’t know anything about jewelry and I want to buy my daughter and her teammates some earrings with a little letter on them because they made it to state.” So I went searching for silver stamped earrings.

Have I ever told you guys that I have a problem? I have a substance abuse problem. The substances are shoes, products, jewelry and makeup. Have I ever told y’all that certain sites are like porn to me? Sephora... Etsy... Mighty Goods... Zappos... Saks Fifth Avenue... Neiman Marcus... ah, the list, she is long.

Anyway, I have been rooting around on etsy for a while now and when this opportunity came up to find 5 pairs of silver stamped earrings (basically a custom order) for my boss I went ahead and signed up for an account. Bad mistake. I found so many things that I would love to have as my very own. Beautiful jewelry, art, pictures, accessories. Y’all? I need to stand up and say this, “Hello, my name is Susan and I am an addict... to Etsy*.”

*Please visit my main page and see the pretty little etsy favorites list I have going. Tell me about yours too. I’d love to see the pretty things you all love.

So, there I was, searching for the earrings and I was in contact with several jewelers. They were all so nice, available and had the prettiest things. One lady in particular was kind enough to do a little mock up of what she had in mind for the specs that I gave her. She nailed it spot on. My boss loved the idea and the mock up and the order was placed yesterday.

During my conversations with this nice lady (she was so professional and kind) I had a little light go on in my noggin. Let’s say her name is... Lisa. It’s totally not. But for this purpose it is. Let’s also say that she is married to a dude named Larry. So in my noggin I am all, “Lisa... Lisa... hmmm... Lisa Gibson. Lisa... Gibson, I totally know that name.” I clicked on her profile to see where she was. She’s on the west coast. The Lisa Gibson I know is on the west coast. Well, one of the Lisa Gibson’s I know... but that is beside the point.

So I decided to search for her husband, Larry... Larry Gibson. Again, NOT his real name. I find Larry’s website and there’s a picture. Yup, it’s Larry... and on his links site there is a link back to her site at Etsy. It says something like, “Lovely designs by a Beautiful Woman.” Yep. Lisa and Larry Gibson. Totally married. And I? Went to their wedding.

Okay. Back up.

Do you all remember This Guy?

Notice how his name is Mike Gibson?

Yeah?... Yeah.

So... Lisa is Mike’s sister in law. I just ordered jewelry from her. During our conversations, when I realized that I knew who I was talking to (after Googling her husband and seeing the links and pictures and Dear Lord, my brain about exploded), I actually put a PS in one of the conversations. It was this, “PS... I think I attended your wedding.”

Why?

BECAUSE I am a complete asshole... And AND I forgot that I was using suzannd as my Etsy sign in name AND my email link is suzanna.danna@gmail.com AND AND AND I forgot that in my last entry as I was talking about orgasms, as I am want to do... I admitted (see the bottom of the page) that I totally faked it with Mike.

She never mentioned a word about my comment on attending her wedding. So, who knows if she knows who I am. It totally doesn’t matter this many years later. But how random is that shit?

Lord.

But she has really pretty jewelry. Totally NOT linking to her though.

September 5, 2008

I was...

Natalie and I were up at the Youth Agriculture barn for the County FFA show. I teased up a steer’s tail and mounded it around; spraying the sticky “hairspray” to make the requisite tail ball for a buddy’s animal until I moved onto the next one. I took a break and went to find a place to smoke that wouldn’t bother the animals nor get me into trouble with the Ag teachers.

Even though I was a year into college I still respected and feared the gruff men that taught the Ag classes at my old school. I was there at their request, helping with grooming and to try and calm the nervous students. Natalie was there because she liked cowboys.

When I crossed behind the horse barn to hide behind a trailer Natalie spotted me and yelled for me to join her.

She was standing with two young men and their horses. I recognized one of the guys vaguely, but dismissed the three of them with a little nod and a, “Be right back.” I headed to the parking lot to find a trailer to hide behind while I enjoyed my little bad habit in private. I sat on the wheel well of an empty trailer and dug the smokes out of my pocket and lit one up.

I heard voices and the clip clop of slowly moving horses coming my way, I turned to look through the slats of the horse trailer and saw Natalie with her two friends and their horses coming towards me anyway. I rolled my eyes to myself about to stub out my smoke and make small talk until I could politely excuse myself to get back to work when the older guy waved off my attempt at putting out my smoke as he lit one standing next to his animal.

I remained where I was and finished my smoke as Natalie introduced me to the younger darker one, Kelly (her voice practically swooned as she said his name) and his friend Glen. I shook both of their hands and asked after their horses. They gave me the basics and then Natalie said that they were from a smaller town south of Fort Worth and that Kelly was up her for a special event with his horse.

I made a little small talk then excused myself to go help some of my old classmates and their animals. Natalie stuck with Kelly, Glen and their animals.

The judging started and the students were nervous, making sure that their steers were perfectly groomed, that the pigs were behaving and the lambs were brushed to a snowy white. I was out behind the arena with the group when a student’s steer bolted from the grooming chute. It kicked a friend of mine square in his junk, he went down like a sack of sand and luckily one of the Ag teachers grabbed the errant steer by the halter and calmed it down. The teacher asked me to see if I could calm the steer’s owner down so I went into the arena to find her.

I found Angel and calmed her down, taking her back to her (crazy ass) steer and convincing her that she could control him if she could control herself. She put her hands on the steer, gave him a treat and all was well.

I went back into the arena to see how the rest of the class was doing. I loved being there and I was glad when I was called over that Easter break to come and help with the show. I was a little irritated at Natalie and her boy craziness but she was sweet and just happy to be along.

Standing between the bleachers watching the action in the judging ring I heard Natalie whisper to me, “Hey, would you mind exercising Kelly’s horse while he gets ready for his event?” I had two thoughts. The first was, “Fuckin A. You’re damn right I will. Any excuse to get on a horse, regardless if I am familiar with them or not.” And the second was, “He doesn’t even know me. Why would he trust this animal to me? ME?” But when I turned around what I said to Natalie was a nonchalant, “Sure, why not.”

Natalie gave Kelly the thumbs up and he grinned like she was the most awesome thing since sliced bread.

I walked over and Glen was standing there with Kelly’s mount. Kelly and Natalie were walking off laughing and talking. I asked Glen if he had any preference for the exercise. Did he want me to longe the horse or to just walk/trot him? He walked to the left side of the horse and cupped his hands to give me a knee up. I raised my eyebrows at him and mounted the horse inside the building.

I neck reigned him to the left and settled my butt in for a little ride. My first order was to get him out into the parking lot or onto the roping arena to get his muscles warmed up. Before I was completely clear of the building I put my legs down and as a student of both English and Western riding I clicked my tongue and touched the horse with my left heel just a bit behind the girth belt.

The horse exploded.

Not in a gory zombie getting hit by a truck type of exploding but in more of an, “I am going at least ninety miles an hour on this horse and I am STILL INSIDE THE BUILDING!” PS, “Holy Shit.”

People were doing that waving their arms to try and herd the animal or maybe to calm him down but they were not helping. Not Helping, Stop with the Waving and Whistling random people, because if I survive this, I will keeeel you.

I pulled the animal into a tight circle and kept his head almost at my knee so if he wanted to go fast, then he was going to go fast, but also get dizzy for the love of God. I quickly searched the crowd for Glen’s smug ass face and when I found it I was all, “What the fuck… over?” He yelled over the crowd, “Cutting horse, don’t touch his belly.” I dropped my feet slack and using my thighs and the reigns got the horse out of the building and calmed down. I trotting him then went to a slow walk around the parking lot.

Glen came walking out of the building shading his eyes even though his hat was doing that for him and he was smiling.

I dismounted and walked the now calm animal up to Glen and thrust the reigns into his hands. Before he could burst out in laughter Kelly and Natalie walked up smiling, “What was all the commotion about?” I glared at Glenn and then with my jaw clenched I said, “Kelly, your friend here forgot to mention that your horse is a cutting horse when I asked how he wanted the animal exercised. I have been schooled in English and Classic Western riding…. you figure out what the commotion was.”

Realization bloomed in Kelly’s eyes and his face was red as he turned to Glen, “Coach, why didn’t you tell her?” "Coach! COACH!?” I yelled back into Glen’s face. "You are this kid’s Coach and you gave me a leg up onto an animal without giving me any instruction on temperament or anything!? God.” And I stomped away.

As I walked angrily back across the dirt parking lot I heard Glen tell Kelly and Natalie, “She clicked and nudged him a bit on the belly and he went ape shit. She handled it nicely though. Kinda impressed actually, she got him out of the building without running anyone over.”

I (maturely) raised my hand above my head and flipped him off as I walked away.

On top of everything, my adrenaline rush was calming down and I started to get embarrassed. I should have known better. I should have never gotten on a stranger’s horse without a walk around, checking the hooves, asking if the animal preferred a soft hand, neck reigning or anything else. I knew better.

Even as I rationalized… it was still all Glen’s fault.

I was looking forward to seeing the students get massive amounts of blue ribbons so that they wouldn’t feel bad that their animals didn’t sell at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. I wanted to go dancing or downtown to a comedy club that night but when I spotted Natalie she was floating on air. Clearly smitten I was not the least surprised when she came up and said that Kelly and Glen had invited us to Paluxy the next day to hang out and she wanted me to go too. “Pleeeeeeeeeeease?” she wheedled.

I gave in because I am a sucker. She got directions because I said that I wouldn’t drive all the way over there just so she could see her newest love. I expected her to yell out, “Isn’t he dreamy!?” at any moment. She was forever falling in love with guy after guy, it got a little tiresome.

Little did I know that the next day would change my life.

We were invited for an early lunch so we left our town a bit after 10 am. She picked me up and even offered to stop and buy breakfast for us. I was floored, she had it bad for this guy. She prattled away as I drank my Dr. Pepper and blew smoke out the crack I the window. She told me all about the things they had talked about the day before. I resigned myself to be hopeful enough to get another chance at riding one of their horses. We were headed to a ranch and the agenda consisted of lunch, touring the ranch and hanging out. Sounded like a peach of a day but I put on my happy face and tucked my bitch face into my purse.

The boys met us at a convenience store a few miles from the ranch and led us in. The place was beautiful. The grass was greening up nicely and there were interesting trees and a perfect little spot where the road went over a limestone spillway and fell into a pretty lagoon. There were horses everywhere and I rolled down the window to let the wind run through my hair and breathe the fresh air.

We got to the main house and the boys had packed up a picnic. Not bad, I thought to myself, but I just nodded and tried to smile. With the picnic and a cooler of beer in tow we hopped in Glen’s big black truck and tooled around the property. Kelly and Natalie sat in the back and whispered and made out while Glen drove and I sat up front. He pointed out various points of interest and offered me a smoke or two. We settled on a hill under a tree and had lunch.

After lunch the boys decided that it was too hot and that a nice dip in the little creek would be just what the doctor ordered. We went back to the main house so we could get more beer and so the boys could get their swim suits. They had conveniently forgotten to mention that we should bring our suits so they let us borrow boxers and t-shirts.

Natalie and I giggled at ourselves as we changed in the bathroom. I had on men’s striped boxers and a bright yellow t-shirt with red lettering and my boots. She had on basically the same outfit and we went out to the truck, vogue-ing as we went to the hoots and hollers of Glen and Kelly. We all looked ridiculous. But with as much sun and beer as we had in our systems, how we looked wasn’t of the highest priority.

Glen drove back to the lagoon and I climbed out of the truck, peeled my boots off and stood in the run over and let the water cool my toes. The “road” was a concrete dam that let the river flow over into a limestone surrounded pool below us. Kelly and Natalie scaled the little limestone outcropping, Kelly took off his shirt and they were soon in the water, splashing, laughing and making out.

Glen and I each took a handle of the cooler and brought it to the point on the limestone outcropping. He removed his shirt and I sat down to let me feet dangle in the water. I smoked one and he smoked one then he jumped up, let out a whoop and did a cannonball, soaking me completely.

I figured I might as well go on in as my hair and makeup were ruined, I was a little tipsy, wearing an insane outfit (especially for someone as insecure as I was) and my only security person, Natalie, was passionately making out with Kelly against the far bank about 30 yards away. It looked like they may be having sex so I quickly looked away and tried to engage Glen in conversation so he wouldn’t notice.

I slipped into the water and asked him about the ranch, his horse, who he was riding and for whom, how he met up with Kelly, how he liked Paluxy, talked about the day before and my near death experience on top of Kelly’s horse and what type of music did he like?

He brightened up at the mention of music. By this time we had been in the water a good 20 to 30 minutes and there was no talking or looking at Natalie or Kelly from either of us. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of directing the attention away from something that was pretty embarrassing to me.

Glen hopped out onto the outcropping and rolled the windows down in his truck, he put on some music and came back into the water; he brought me another beer and yelled something obscene to Kelly and Natalie. They both waded back over and the four of us had another beer and then they swam away again but not before throwing their clothes onto the outcropping.

Glen added his swimming trunks to the pile of clothes and not to be a prude I threw the boxers that were already floating somewhere near my knees up onto the bank as well. The river was murky and you couldn’t see anything, so being a pretty immodest person to begin with, nudity was not that big of a deal. Getting rid of the boxers made treading water easier so I just slipped lower into the water, removed the hideous (and already transparent) t-shirt and threw it up onto the bank as well.

I kept a pretty good distance from Glen as we talked. I wasn’t attracted to him, he was still on my shit list for the stunt from the day before and I didn’t want to get involved with some guy when I was going to be leaving after the Easter Break. My disinterest did not discourage him from asking if he could kiss me. I looked over at Kelly and Natalie, they were even further away… no help there. I said, “No, thank you.” And he looked a little peeved. I decided to try and lighten the mood by telling him that he got me good with that cutting horse thing the day before, hoping that he would go off on how hysterical I looked twirling that horse in a circle and …. Oh… ut oh, he was coming closer.

Glen said, “So that’s how you are huh? Come out here all flirting, drinking our beer, getting naked in front of me and now you won’t even kiss me!? Your friend over there seems to have the right idea.” I was stunned at the venom with which his little speech was made. Apparently the man thought I was leading him on.

I tried to move around him saying that I needed a smoke but really wanting to put the boxers and the t-shirt back on… boots too for that matter. He blocked my way. I backed up. I yelled for Natalie and Kelly and they didn’t answer. Glen had triumph in his eyes. I swam out into the lagoon a bit and treaded water for a few minutes. I was glad that I am a strong swimmer, but the nerves that had kicked up were making my breaths come short and shallow.

He called out, “You can’t do that forever you know.”

I swam closer and went under relying on the murky water to hide my position. I popped up just behind him and he dove for me grabbing me by the ankles. He flipped me over and pulled me to him with a lot of force. Once my momentum was carrying me towards him he let go and grabbed my knees quicker than I thought possible. He pulled again and spread my legs as he grabbed my hips and shoved himself into me. I looked at his face and that was the worst mistake. His eyes were vibrating to the right and to the left as he lost focus.

I pushed at his chest, hit him and screamed as the combination of nerves, adrenaline, not being even slightly turned on and the water were all causing me to rip. I felt the sting and knew that the only way to get away from him was to put my feet on his hips and push off of him like a platform, but to get my feet onto his hips I would have to spread my legs even wider around his hips.

I grabbed his neck, pulled my feet up and planted them on his hips, it was like fighting with marble. I pushed off and took a good portion of skin from his neck under my nails. I climbed, weak kneed, up onto the limestone outcropping and put on the t-shirt, the boxers and my boots. I yelled at the top of my lungs for Natalie and told her I needed to go home RIGHT NOW.

She and Kelly swam over and nuzzled each other and made out as I kept the truck between Glen and me. When everyone was ready to go I jumped in the back of the truck for the ride back to the house and when we got there I went and took a scalding hot shower. I felt so sick. Natalie was completely unaware… and drunk. While I was in the shower she even got talked into asking me to stay with her over night at the ranch.

I dressed quickly and went for her car. I already had the keys and I told her I’d meet her outside. She came over all, “I love you man” drunk and asked if I would call my folks to ask if I could stay the night. I glared at Glen and said, “No.” She wheedled again, “Pleeeeeease!? For me?! Your parents love me, they’ll let you stay.” I was pretty sure that my parents wouldn’t let me do any such thing, so I agreed to call them.

“Momma? Hi, yeah, it’s very pretty here, Natalie was wondering if we could stay the night.” I heard my mother say, “Honey, it’s Susan, she sounds strange. Okay, here’s the phone. Honey, your dad wants to talk to you.” “Oh, alright…” I replied, “Hi Pop. Yes sir, Natalie wants to know if we could stay the night out here.” He immediately said, “Are you alright?” “Sure Dad, fine.” He answered with, “No, you may not stay, come home immediately.” “Thanks Daddy.” And I hung up.

I literally carried Natalie to the car because she was so drunk. I drive home and somewhere around south Dallas (about two hours later) she woke up. I asked her if she was alright to drive herself home once we got to my house. It was just a few miles and she said she was feeling very good. She seemed happy and wistful, I asked her if she knew what happened to me that day, she said, “No, why?” I told her and her face never registered surprise.

She never mentioned it again and neither did I.

September 8, 2008

Redneck Engineering.

I’ve been told that I am in the dark place and I need to climb my janked (pronounced jank, like yank… ED) ass out. So, in light of watching… and I’m not kidding… You Don't Mess with the Zohan over the weekend and seeing this character…

Rob%20Schnider%20-%20You%20Dont%20Mess%20With%20Zohan.jpg
Picture courtesy of IMDB.com

I would like to make fun of my ex-husband.

A little brevity and a few tales of some of the most redneck behavior should bring me back around to some giggle-snorts.

Not to mention that I just realized that my ex-husband looks like a brown-eyed (contacts) Rob Schneider playing a Pakistani. This information is awesome, and a little disturbing.

For those of you playing the home game (On the Notify List) you have already seen a picture of the ex. For those of you not. I have a present for you, and not because you are good boys and girls (you should totally be spanked) but because I give, I am a giver. That is what I do.

just%20the%20one.jpg
Picture courtesy of me. And the wee little leprechaun redneck in the shot.

Yep. That’s X.

Do not judge me.

I cut his brother out of the shot because I don’t think the world at large is ready for that much assholery. (Is SO a word.)

Side note: Where in the blue blazes are all of these bruises coming from? My knee, my right hand, my ankle, my hip and both forearms. It’s like I’ve been training for a pillow fight with Janice Dickenson. Not really, she could probably kill me with one clench of her buttocks.

Okay, let the sniggering begin.

When I married my X he was living in a 1976 doublewide Redman trailer. His (not ours, his) “home” was at the bottom of a hill and the “driveway” was often washed out and covered with red clay. Slippery shit. So we (I) would hook the box blade up to the John Deere and get to scraping. We’d (I’d) move dirt (clay) out of the way and try to re-grade the driveway to some respectable and usable capacity.

We also raised emus.

I’ll stop there and let that sink in.

Emus.

Big fucking chickens.

Just to the south of the “house” was a dog pen, hurricane fenced with a nice little gate. To the west of the “house” was one of those sheds that you can buy at Home Depot with the little corrugated steel siding and the tin roof. It had a linoleum floor and was stacked from the floor to the non-insulated ceiling with shit.

Some of the shit had been nice before. There were antique roll top desks and china cabinets, bed frames and boxes of paper, artwork and farm tools. When humidity had taken over the door warped shut and nobody ever went in there anymore.

X decided he needed a new building in that exact spot for it would be between the soon to be built chick runs for the emu babies and a small incubation room/food storage shop.

So, the shed had to be moved.

How to move a shed that had been sitting there for about ten years?

X had the idea to jack the little shed up on some logs and roll that motherfucker across the dangerously sloped yard using momentum and gravity to their advantages. “Like the fucking Egyptians built the pyramids, for God’s sake! Gah!” he said. I pointed out a small issue. “Darling sweetheart, that is an excellent arrangement seeing as how we have the man power and the cylindrical wooden poles that you require for this master plan.” He gloated. “Oh wait,” I continued, “We only have those square railroad ties behind the house. Drat.”

He cursed up a blue streak and then started thinking.

His personal motto was, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” And I wondered why I had problems with him being faithful. Golly, I just don’t know how I couldn’t have seen that one coming!

He decided to make a sled of sorts out of some tin. He would lift the shed gently onto the tin using the bucket of the tractor and then slide it across the yard and safely to the north side of the “house”. He went to the barn and brought back a rusted piece of steel, which he then placed gently in front of the shed. He was almost there; I could see a look of triumph in his eyes. He maneuvered the tractor around to the shed and without ties around the bottom of the shed for support he just gently pushed against the roof of the shed to lift it.

The roof made a screeching noise of tortured metal and bent at an odd angle then pulled free from the sides of the rest of the structure.

I went inside, got a beer, my smokes and a phone. I was not going to be selfish and not share this great moment in stupidity with the world. I came back out to the porch, settled on the swing and called my father in law.

Pa*: Y’eeeello.
self: Pa’, it’s Sue… you have to come see this.
Pa: Ut oh, what now.
self: X is moving [the sound of metal screaming cuts me off… then a fit of giggles muffle my words]
Pa: What the hell was that?
self: Seriously, get down here. It’s awesome.
Pa: What is that dumbass doing with my tractor?
self: You looking out the window?
Pa: Yeah.
self: He’s trying to move the shed.

*Seriously…. Pa. As in Ma and Pa… Kettle.

After X ripped part of the roof off he forgot to figure out a way to actually lift the shed onto his home made sled. Or how to attach the sled to the tractor for that matter.

It was starting to drizzle and my ex-husband was sitting in the seat of the tractor cursing with the speed of an auctioneer. The many adjectives and phrases using whore, lazy ass and piece of shit were astounding in number and variety. I cannot tell you how many times he basically made a guttural scream at his frustration before pounding the steering column of the tractor.

When his father pulled into the driveway and got out of his truck, smiling amiably at his son and then headed to sit on the porch swing with me. X pointed an accusatory finger at me and yelled out, “She called you didn’t she!?” Pa got my back on that one, “No son, the whole county can hear what sounds like you tearing a water tower apart.”

Pa bummed a smoke and whispered, “How long has he been at this?” “Oh, about an hour or so” I replied. We sat and watched in silence as the tension mounted.

X yelled a triumphant “Ah HA!” and bounded out of the tractor seat. He went to his truck and pulled out several long canvas tie downs. Then he raided his daddy’s truck box for the same thing. He got enough material to create a sling to loop around the bottom rear of the shed and then tie to the tractor. He did so and then let out the clutch of the tractor and took the slack up with his tie downs.

The shed had been made with several 4x6’s attached horizontally to the bottom of the structure so if it was sitting on the ground it would have some protection from moisture. It was around the corners of the shed and these struts that X had looped his sling. He took up more slack and the shed started forward an inch at a time. X was ecstatic. He was pulling it so slowly that a small mound of red clay built up in front of the struts. For about two feet the clay parted and went under the shed but after the successful two feet a small snap and then a much louder cracking sound was heard. We yelled for him to stop but he was focused.

He must have hit a root, some gravel or just a small jerk from the tractor because something caused the strap to slip all the way off the struts and just pull the very bottom edge of the shed. X had enough force going that the cracking sound continued to get louder. All the sudden, SNAP! The shed was pulled completely off of the struts. It pulled forward about five feet then tipped about six inches and buried its’ front edge into the soft clay soil.

I was laughing so hard that it was that silent, wheezy Muttley laugh that completely incapacitates you and makes you cry and do that “No more, no more!” hand gesture that is completely futile.

(Muttley laugh here: Download file)

The shed, an 8’x10' structure, was now hanging off of the struts and buried in a shallow groove of earth.

X turned the tractor around and rolled around behind the shed. He backed up to it and put the box blade against the side (back) of the shed and pushed on the shed about two feet below the window. The shed shuddered and then pushed all the way off the struts and made a nice burrow into the spongy ground.

By this time Pa was so red in the face that I was afraid he would have an aneurysm. Tears streamed down his stubbly cheeks and his hair was in disarray. If my ex husband looks like a Pakistani version of Rob Schneider then his father is a dead ringer for Walter Matthau. He was mad that his son was tearing up their property, but the absurdity of it was just too much not to be funny.

X pulled away from the carnage and lowered the bucket. He pushed the struts out of the way with the bucket then turned the tractor around again and pushed on the lowest part of the shed with the box blade. Slowly it began to move, he gave it a little too much gas and it jackknifed to the left. He got around behind it and slowly backed it in a circle and then pushed it across the yard leaving at least an eight foot swatch of destruction behind him.

He missed the propane tank by mere inches but got the little shed secured squarely to the north of the “house” up against the fence. The frame was warped, the roof was pulled halfway off and some of the linoleum was still stuck to the struts so there were holes in the floor, but he got that shed where he wanted it.

And that was some of the funniest shit I have ever seen.

Someday I will tell you about how he and his brother blew up a lake.


November 2, 2009

October 16th Part Two.

AKA “The Day I Dropped Mah Basket.”

For the first part of this entry, clickety, clickety HERE. Or scroll down, or click over on the right hand side of the page … whatever.

I went into the living room to try and zone out on some mindless television program. I was trying to recover from my bout of anxiety induced vomiting. I needed to calm the fuck down.

While I was scrolling through the menu I happened upon the movie “Say Anything” with John Cusak. If you have to IMDB search to find out about this movie and you are not familiar with which I speak. GAH. You may be too young for this movie to mean anything to you. If so… then this post won’t either. UNLESS YOU AREN’T HUMAN*.

*Or you know, female. And very emotionally fragile.

I thought to myself, “Huh, I haven’t seen this movie in ages. It’ll be nice to see something that is familiar.” This… right here was my first mistake. And I settled in to watch it from the beginning.

Let’s tie in a little personal info that makes this movie extremely relatable to me.

Number one: I dated this guy when I was young, his name is Terry and we dated for about two years. He was a big influence on my life and we were very close for a very long time. Yes, I have written about him here before. Use the searching thing up there on the right. I don’t feel like linking to everything. Suffice it to say one of the reasons I feel like I totally KNOW John Cusak; and therefore totally love him as an actor; is because he and Terry share a similarity in looks and in personality.

Terry is tall, lanky and looks sort of like the love child of John Cusak and Tommy Lee.

Exhibit A:

Valentine%27s%20Dance%20182%20BC%20cropped.JPG

Picture courtesy of Mike. (scroll to bottom)

From left to right; me, Terry, Mike and that girl whose name I don’t remember. This is from a Valentine’s dance. We are all precious. And I believe Terry and I lost our virginity the evening that this picture was taken.

Number Two: I adored Terry, I thought that he hung the moon, stars and the blanket of sky that they lay within. He was smart, funny, not overly gregarious, ambitious at a young age and very independent. We had our futures planned out in very vague details. Yes, we were going to get married. Yes, we were going to have children. Twins, I believe, with androgynous names. He was going to be a lawyer and I… a something. Very important stuff. Also, very fuzzy.

My parents did not like him from the first moment that they laid their eyes upon him. At the time I thought it was insanely unfair (“KAAHHHHHHHNNN!” [fist in air]) and I rallied against their wish that I not see him anymore. They thought that his quiet nature and how crazy I was about him were a dangerous mix. I believe they saw the quiet (around adults) thing as a reason to distrust him. And, in hindsight, they probably knew that we were both pretty smart kids and anything we wanted to do (re: see evidence of “evening we lost our virginity” above) we would figure out a way to do it, regardless if we had anyone’s blessing or not.

Terry was only welcome in our home when both parents were there (most likely in the same room), we had to sit in the living room, NO SLOUCHING OR LEANING!, and every word that we said to each other was to be in normal talking. No whispering. I could go to his house if my mother cleared it first with Daddy and they talked to Terry’s parents. It was like being on house arrest. With no phone privileges… and I couldn’t close my door… OR (God Forbid) have a boy in my room.

Yes, we did things like sneaking out, he came over once when my parents weren’t home (OH MY GOD! We were heathens. We made out. Ring for the jailor!), the neighbors ratted us out, and he knocked on my bedroom window once when my grandmother was visiting and… therefore sleeping in my room. (Heh.) So it was spread throughout the adult kingdom that Terry and his friends were not welcome around me or my friends.

Exhibit B:

Quick%20Get%20Away%201986.JPG

Picture courtesy of Steph.

This is Terry and Mike jumping the fence of Stephanie’s house because her dad had just come home and they were not allowed at the pool party she was hosting. Also… HAAAAA. Or also known as, “Crap, the freaking gate is locked.”

So there I was, watching “Say Anything”, curled up on the couch trying to forget about the phone call from IT. I was already totally into the movie when this scene comes on that I had totally blocked from my memory.

Apparently.

Diane and Lloyd (Ione Skye and John Cusak) are in his car, they are parked somewhere (Lord.) and they are having sex.

This conversation takes place:
Diane Court: Are you shaking?
Lloyd Dobler: No.
Diane Court: You're shaking.
Lloyd Dobler: I don't think so.
Diane Court: You're cold.
Lloyd Dobler: I don't think I am.
Diane Court: Then why are you shaking?
Lloyd Dobler: I don't know. I think I'm happy.

The scene is sweet, it is heart breaking it is perfect. My mind went into overdrive and I remembered a similar conversation that Terry and I had.

Things started unraveling inside my head, memories resurfacing, heartbreaking recollections and a tidal wave of emotion threatened to flatten me.

I hit pause on the remote control.

Exhibit C:

Say%20Anything.JPG

I promptly dropped my basket, lost my shit, started sobbing hysterically and tried to reason with my crazy ass self about why I was so freaking upset.

It went somewhere along the lines of (and really, don’t try to make sense of this, just kind of read it and cast it aside, or your brain will break) “He looks so much like Terry.” “He was that sweet.” “I wonder how he is.” “I lost my virginity to him.” “Why did Satan have to lose all of my personal folders?” “Terry was so kind to me, why did … why did… ?” “It is so sad that things turned out like they did.” “I don’t have a uterus anymore.” There were thousands of wordless images and thoughts swirling around my noggin. Annnnnd commence bawling.

Number three: In these hallowed halls I have mentioned Terry a few times (here’s one) because he was such a major part of my developmental stage as a young woman. Did I also tell y’all that Terry and my best buddy Dre were best friends in high school? No? Maybe? Well, since the wonderfulness that is having Dre back, we’ve both scoured FaceBook for Terry. Internet stalking? Surely not.

Okay. Yes.

We found him a few months ago. He friended us both (and Mike too) and he sent me the sweetest email telling me that “your parents were right about me” and that he is doing well, never married, never had kids, is now a chef. And then a few weeks ago he finally posted a picture of himself.

Fucker (she said sweetly) hasn’t aged a DAY in twenty years.

Exhibit D:

Current%20Pic%20TM%202009.JPG

Number four:
He still looks like John Cusak. And if you will direct your attention to the screen shot I made of the movie you will notice that there is a timer.

Scroll up and look.

Yes, it took me over FOURTY-SEVEN plus minutes to regain composure.

I hopped onto Google Talk and hit up my old buddy Dre.

I told him that I had lost my damn mind and he talked me off the ledge and away from the “all cards on the table” approach of failure. One instance in where I was fully committed to sending Terry an email to tell him about my breakdown.

(pause for laughter)

Yes, I am insane.

Let’s all take a moment to find Dre and tongue-kiss him with gratitude. Thank you kind sir. You have yet again kept me from making a complete ass out of myself. (rounds of applause and standing O’(faces)s) - He loves innuendo. Leave a comment for him, and make it dirty.

I did not message, call, text, send a homing pigeon or a CandyGram to Terry. I have yet to do so. And hopefully will retain full use of my mild sanity to keep from doing such.

When I got my shit together I called Mister and warned him of my fragile emotional state and why. He gave me the appropriate, “Oh baby!” and didn’t try to fix my problem (YAY!), he just listened and brought home dinner.

I’m SO glad that I didn’t send Terry (poor man… if he only knew) a massive email detailing things that happened back then and why I was crying now. It would have been worse than drunk dialing. WAY worse.

So, thanks guys. I love having a place to put my crazy.

MWAH.

Ps. Satan never did replace those files.

Pps. I have the song “Sweet Transvestite” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show in my head on continuous loop. Awesome.

April 13, 2010

Entry Number 400.... I am so proud. (Also... dry humping.)

To break up the monotony of typing up comments left from attendees that include charming ones like the following, “Speaker seemed very knowledgeable but ‘uhms’ (120) drove me to distraction… and yes, I counted” (complete with 120 little hash marks next to the speaker’s name), I have decided to tell y’all about a very uncomfortable sexual encounter I had when I was young.

FINE, now… I have your attention? You cheeky little whores.

In high school I didn’t really date much. Either I was sandwiched between two large guys (my best friends) that were on the offensive guard of the football team or I was in relationships with dudes for long periods of time. So I really didn’t “date”. There wasn’t a lot of awkward, “Hey, both of y’all are single, why don’t you make out?” [forcefully shoving me into the chest of a guy I knew nothing about] things going on. I went on a lot of dates, but only because I clean up pretty good for a white girl, I knew most of the guys and their parents (fabulous impression/manners, *ahem*), they needed dates to proms, homecomings, football banquets, soccer banquets and the like, I can dance and I’m all about helping a brother out. But I never really had the dating dating experience that most girls got in high school.

I didn’t have my first “I carried a watermelon” moment until well into college.

In high school there was this tall handsome guy who smiled quickly, was pretty crass, but in a COOL way (pe-shaw) and showed signs of being interested. One evening after the Senior High football game, this guy and I walked across the soccer fields to the McDonald’s where the rest of our school was hanging out. I don’t know how we got paired up, I have no idea where everyone else was, I just know that on the way over somehow… seriously, I do not remember the sequence of events to save my life… we ended up on the grass making out like our lives depended on it while he furiously dry humped me until I was bruised.

I remember being astounded at two things. Number one. How did I get onto the ground without falling, is he seriously that smooth? And Number two. At what part does this go from being totally hot into the more gray area of, “How am I going to explain these grass stains?”

And no, that isn’t the uncomfortable part.

Fast forward to a few weeks (months?) and my best girlfriend is dating the dry humper. Apparently he and I had the same idea. “Sure, that was fun, but um… tell no one, really. It’s cool. Whatever.” They were a new couple and I am sure that I mentioned the sneaky make out session on the soccer fields to said best friend BEFORE they started dating. I am hoping I did.

We were at a party in our neighborhood. All the cheerleaders were there, all the jocks were there, some of the stoners… your standard party. (No,YOURs! I said, defensively.) And somehow I literally got thrown into dry humper’s best friend’s lap. Yay. “Hey, both of you guys are single…” [I could feel my internal organs shriveling] “Why don’t you two go for a walk or something?” I looked up into DHB/F’s face, he smiled and helped me out of his lap and to stand. “How about it?” He asked. “Sure.” I mumbled, and even managed to force a wee smile. On the way out the door, I looked at dry humper. He smiled then winked at me. OH MAH GAWD. His best friend must have known about the soccer field make out session. Dirty rat (bastard).

Okay, so, to set the mood, I was already pissed. I had made out with DH and now, DHB/F wants the same treatment or something. I was incensed. My virtue (heh) was at stake! What did these boys think of me? That I was something to be passed around, made out with and dry humped until black and blue*?

*Yeah, try to explain THAT.

But on the other hand, hopefully DHB/F had no idea, he was just a nice guy, taking me for a nice fall stroll in the crisp air, around the block… and… into… the… alley… behind the house of the party. My left eyebrow was basically IN my hairline. I was curious to see where this was going. What, EXACTLY, did this jackass want from me? And how could I turn the situation around?

DHB/F lit a smoke and passed it to me, I took it and we sat down on a retaining wall on the side of the alley. He lit his own and started a friendly conversation. Since he came from a different middle school we had a lot of mutual friends, but didn’t know about each other. He seemed confident and relaxed. Slowly, I relaxed too, until it was just another dude I was talking too. We passed the time for a bit and smoked another cigarette. After the smokes were done, I thought we’d just walk back around to the front of the house and reengage (Make it so, Number One.) in the party.

But um, No.

DHB/F threw a fast one at me, “Susan, may I kiss you?” He asked. He almost said please. And hell, it was just a kiss, I said, “Sure?” He leaned in and kissed me. It was quite pleasant. I was kind of shocked. After the kiss, I stood up and offered DHB/F a hand. He took it and I pulled him to his feet. He said thanks, brushed off his jeans, I did the same… then he said, “Can I kiss you again?” I smiled and said, “Yes.”

He came at me like a spider monkey.

He was all fumbling and frantic. He shoved his hand down the front of my white (suck it Trebec) jeans and forced a finger inside me. I froze. “Doesn’t that feel good?” he breathed on me. “No.” I said, standing rigid with shock and anger. He froze too. “No?” “No, definitely, NO.” He decided to get belligerent with me. “No, really, and what would YOU know about it?” “Remove your finger from my vagina and your hand from my pants, NOW.”

What I said, “Dick.” And then I turned around and walked back around the corner and into the house where the party was. Same plan, “Sure, that was NOT FUN, but um… tell no one, really. It’s cool. Whatever.”

What I wished I had said, “Listen to me you little shit, ‘what do I know about it?’ WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT IT? it happens to be MY VAGINA. And I am pretty sure that I would know if something felt good or not, so take your hands off and out of me before I charge you with assault or worse, sick my friends on you… OR MY FATHER, you’d wish you’d never been born.”

He never touched me or talked to me again. I didn’t have him killed, it was just an embarrassing encounter that in today’s society knowing now what I didn’t know then, would have been a hell of a lot more serious. Thank God I don’t have children.

I talked to Dre’s wife the other afternoon, she surprised me by saying, “I got you a present, it will take 5-7 days to get here, and your mother will approve!” I guessed, “My mother would approve? What is it? A bible? A chastity belt? A burke?” She agreed, “Yes, it is a burke.”

If I had teenage daughters I would totally make them wear burkes and they wouldn’t be able to go to parties or OUTSIDE until they were thirty.

August 25, 2010

Surrealism At Its Finest

Hi babies. You doin alright? How are you holding up in this heat? Yeah, you heard right, it was 107 in the DFW Metroplex yesterday (um, Monday), uh huh… yeah, I am a small puddle on the floor typing to you right now.

So last week, wait… let me back up.

A few Friday’s ago… I believe it was the 13th, our high school had a “pre-reunion party” at a place called Fox Sport’s Grill up in Plano. It was our 20th reunion and people came in from all OVER the place. I was tapped on the shoulder to turn around into the face of one of my best girlfriends through those last two years in high school. Her ass has been in Miami (FOREVER) and I grabbed her in a monster hug and immediately burst into tears. Hi… I’m classy.

I’m even classier when the drinks had been flowing for over 6 hours and 1 am rolled around to what I will now refer to the “Time of the Licking”. Yeah, I don’t know. FaceBook, I’m sorry baby. I never meant to lick all those people. But a good time was had by all. (PS.. Shut Up Joey.) Also, that’s not me… it’s Gene Simmons but sweatier and with curlier hair… and female… and looks a lot like me. (Poor Dre’, had to drive my silent ass home. You know it’s not good when I go into stealth mode.)

So that was Friday, Saturday I was fragile and stupid and got the oil changed in my car, signed up for laser hair removal* and tried to eat a single chicken sandwich in 12 hours. Sunday I left for a six days with two worky (Houston and San Antonio) things back to back and got back in town Friday evening.

*Oh you KNOW you want to ask.

Saturday was mainly laundry and grocery shopping (won’t be leaving town again for a while, WOOOO!) and trying to stay cool and comfortable. I played a LOT of Rock Band, ate a sandwich (it’s true, I totally did) and that morning I set up a “Catch Up” time for Sunday morning with an old friend.

So TERRY (follow the link, I’ll wait) left me a message on FB early Sat morning that said, “I just left you a voicemail.” So I listened to the VM and it is the most intriguing thing. He sounds almost the same, but with this West Texas accent. I was freaked out, didn’t know if I wanted to text, phone, run away, go back to bed, whatever… but I had promised that if I picked a day, he’d pick a place and we’d catch up over coffee.

I finally bundled up the nerve and called him. He was so freaking casual. I, however, was not. I blurted out, “Ok, how in the world did you acquire a southern accent?” He was like, “Want the truth?” “Yep.” “Alright… Several years in a West Texas (facility [sic]).” You could have shot me and I wouldn’t have noticed. I am sure my nervous grin was snapped on so wide my head almost fell into two pieces.

We agreed to time… “Eight am?” I almost blurted out, “Are you high?!” thought better of it and said, “How about a little after nine?” “Pete’s Coffee at Market Street, 9:30, SW corner of blah street and blah street [sic].” (Nervous smile about to split my skull in two.) “OKAY!” I shouted.

I am so fucking smooth.

So the next morning, I fixed my hair (like it would matter in this heat), put on minimal make up and then fretted over what to wear. Coffee house, coffee house… what the hell do you wear to meet up with some man you haven’t seen in 22 years? Whatever, denim capris and black t-shirt, flip flops… and that nervous grin. There… PERFECT. Make up… um… will I cry? Who knows… Slap on a little waterproof mascara, lip gloss… Good to go. Maybe… who knows… no one will see past the hideous, rictus grin!

I drove to the meeting spot and walked in a few minutes before 9:30 am. He was sitting on the little couch with an ankle crossed over a knee. One long lanky arm across the back of the couch and he stood when I walked in, gave me a warm hug and said hello. I may have blacked out. I’m not sure. Somehow (his manners probably) I ended up with a latte, seated with a stack of napkins in front of me because I was immediately sweating like a horse and I kind of turned to him and said, “Okay, the last twenty two years… Go.”

He laughed good-naturedly then laid out the background of what I had missed since the last time I saw him. I thought it had been at Burger King (use searchy thing), but apparently I saw him after that near his parents’ place off Lawndale. I was riding in the car with Craig (seriously, this was all news to me) and when Craig flagged Terry down, we all spoke for a bit, he asked me for a kiss on the cheek and when I went to oblige, he turned his head so I kissed him on the mouth. In his words, “Just to be a shit.”

We got through that part and then he went on to after he dropped out of school, the following years, the trouble with his family and habits. What had driven him from one year or one consequence to the next and how it snowballed. Each story more horrible than the last. I wanted to comfort him, hold him, to tell him I was sorry. I still don’t know if that would have been welcome or scoffed at.

Then he told me about getting sick, being in the hospital close to death for a number of weeks and the young girl that used to look at him with such trusting eyes broke. I tried to stifle it y’all. I’m just not that strong. I cried for him. Then I cried for me. It was exhausting and we spent four hours talking. There may have been a little closure; there may have been some rehashing of old events and discussing our various feelings over them. He told me that when he saw the pictures of me and Mister-X (I so need to re-do my “About Me” page) he thought I had finally married Ryan, a man who wrote me poetry in the 8th grade. I told him I still wanted to punch Karen in the neck for (in my opinion, even though he and I had broken up) stealing him away from me. We were honest, we were long winded and when I told him I wasn’t that hard girl with a wall around my heart anymore that I cried at the drop of a hat he said, “Maybe that’s a good thing.”

His face is still so familiar to me and it was amazingly surreal to see him and hear him tell stories after half of our lives had gone by.

The day after we talked he called me. Just to say, “Hi.” It was a very unexpected pleasure, and I hope that we continue with our getting to know one another again. I admitted that I didn’t quite know how to feel about our getting together for coffee and the subsequent four hour discussion. He, always one with eloquent words, simply replied, “Do you really need to feel a certain way about it?”

No. I guess I don’t.

About Past

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Suzanna Danna in the Past category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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