Man Day

The following is a description of my life over the course of the last two days. At least one person will read all of this, I know this for a fact, and that’s what gives me purpose. That and years from now I’ll read this and I’ll be able to reminisce about the those times which are these right now.

Years ago, my dear ol’ dad bought a two-bike motorcycle trailer. Studio quality. See, he and I would go riding together as a pastime of ours. He and his dad used to take big elaborate motorcycle trips together. He and I have done our fair share, but only to Lake Berryessa or Suisun Valley or Napa and back; nothing too extreme. So, he (must have) thought, “If I buy this motorcycle trailer, I could take my son on big elaborate trips to Tahoe, and Idaho and beyond, take our motorcycles with us and have giddy father son times.” He thought that exactly sans the word giddy.

So he bought it. ‘Twasn’t cheap. He brings it home one day as my mother and I give each other that look of, “We’re never gonna use this ever.” And dad and I maneuver it through the side gate to the backyard. On the way we notice our gas meter is in the way. No worries, let’s pick up the side of the trailer. “I can’t do it dad I need your help.” Music to a father’s ears. He comes over to help me. “Ouch,” we both say as we simultaneously pull muscles in each of our backs. Not really, but we would have if we kept trying. It was impossible to lift … He measured the width of the house … didn’t account for the gas main. Honest mistake.

After giving up I’m back in the house, bewildered about how to handle this new situation that my family has to deal with. This expensive burden on our lives that we didn’t need and will never use. Dad comes in the house shortly after, “Okay it’s in the backyard.” He was sweating, out of breath, and very relieved looking. His confidence had returned.

I don’t know how he got it in there. It was like.. lifting a car kinda heavy. But the embarrassment of the measurement mistake gave him the brute strength to overcome; like when a mother lifts a car off of her child who’s getting crushed underneath my father lifted that heavy trailer over a very sensitive gas main and didn’t fuck anything up, except his muscular system most likely. At the time he was probably 66 and really not in the best of shape, war vet and more.

So to store this giant thing, he used a “come-along”, whatever the hell that is, to hoist it up the side of our hill, and there it stayed, until today:

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Here’s a little more perspective on the steepness of the hill. Really dangerous actually..

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And here’s my dad’s method of hiding this outta sight outta mind all these years:

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It was there for at least 4 years, we’re not sure how long exactly as we’ve been blocking its existence out of our minds, but we never used it once. My dad, now 70, hasn’t been able to ride his bike for a couple years now. Physically he’s a lot older than 70 and, well, it sucks. Blame Vietnam, that accounts for most of it. But he thought if he bought this trailer it would inspire us to use our bikes more and do more fun things together. Pipe dreams in his condition. So sad … That, and, I really don’t wanna deal with a trip like that. Dear god that sounds awful. I’m happy with our short little trips. I gots things to do anyway!

As the years went on, an ongoing joke began to develop in our household. Whenever dad would complain about something I did wrong, or my mother or my sister, and went on about it a little too much, a quick vocal jab of “motorcycle trailer” would always end the conversation. We found value in it after all.

We made a deal with our local moto repair man to take the trailer off our hands and he was to come by this morning with a couple of guys to pick it up. He made this decision with my mother—yesterday. I had plans to write a story for a magazine that was due the previous day that I’d yet to start because writer’s block of course, but that didn’t matter to the parentals. NOpe. My day had now changed—as if I’d have started the story anyway, I choose to think I’d have been very productive, no matter—time to prep the trailer for departure.

I had dad show me the damage: all the shit I had to move (a bunch of metal stakes and a giant metal welding table on rusty wheels), which wasn’t much actually. Then he pointed to a tree we’ve had back there forever and said, “That’s gonna be in our way … We’re gonna cut it down anyway, so, I dunno.” Which was his way of asking me to cut it down. There was suddenly a lot to be done. I convinced him I could handle all of it alone and he went inside for more coffee.

I used a chainsaw, big branch cutters, a rake, did I mention chainsaw? It was nice to do something physical for a change that didn’t require mental angst. I finished everything just in time for nightfall. I cleaned up the whole area and look at all the tools I used!
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So manlike. I actually broke a sweat! And that never happens. Because I am a princess.

I finished just before nightfall and had to put everything away. In doing so, I accidentally knocked over a webster on a long stick that fell behind me onto my mom’s Cadillac. It made a loud noise that instantly made me hate myself. It hit the car right on the hood and I saw a mark that is most likely from what just happened. Wouldn’t come off either, permanent damage. Can’t REALLY notice though, so I haven’t told my mom yet. However, she is the one person I mentioned earlier that I know will read this, and may be reading this right now, in which case hey ma! Love youuuu…. Sorryyyy… don’t blame me blame the motorcycle trailer! This is all dad’s fault!! ………..and in case you know her personally and see her in person, please don’t mention this just in case she hasn’t read this and still doesn’t know. If she doesn’t read this then that’s what she GETS for not supporting her son by reading every single one of his daily novels.

I went to my childhood room to finish (and start) that story that was due. Somehow I ended up on my bed and fell asleep. I woke from my procrastination nap at 5 am. Just like college. Got nothing done and went back to sleep.

Morning.

Two guys in their 60’s and a kid in his 20’s show up 45 minutes late to get the trailer. Dad was exiled to the indoors, I was outside callin the shots as I am the reasonable one of the two of us. I told them how it was gonna happen, I warned them about how heavy it was and for all I knew it’ll come rolling down the hill at full speed and kill us all, I braced them all the the worst. I handed them some 2×4’s and some wooden poles to brace the bottom of the trailer as it comes down the hill, while I was going to stay at the top of the hill holding a rope tied to the top of the trailer, weaved between two redwood trees for pulley support. Then one of the guys said “Oh YOU wanna be up there and leave the old guys down here, huh?” He was right. So we switched. I showed him where to sit, brace his feet on the tree and hold the rope. Got the other two guys in position with the poles. I untied the trailer completely AND!!! It didn’t move. It was working! I rushed down to the bottom and grabbed my 2×4 in the middle of the other two guys—the most dangerous place in this whole job. Anyway, ’twas ALL my idea, and it worked beautifully, and my mom was there to watch, and later she said we couldn’t have done it without my ingenuity and I was like “aww thanks mom” and my dad was like “thanks my son” and I was like “thanks dad, and by the way your complaining rights are revoked for life”.

Me and the three guys got the trailer over the gas meter no problem and then it was out of our lives forever, a moment my mother and I thought would never come. I said to my dad, “look at all this space we have out here now” and he responded, “yeah, guess I oughta buy another trailer”…..

The guys that picked it up run a bike shop in town, I hopped in with one of em as my dad’s motorcycle was getting repaired so I had them take me with ‘em so I could drive it back. I rode his bike home and goddamn… if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before it’s like… amazeballs. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Up there with sex and roller coasters. Maybe a combination of the two. It’s a Harley Dyna or something like that. 1600 engine whatever. I dunno. But god it’s powerful. Every time I’d accelerate just a little it takes off and I feel like I’m gonna fly. I roar through Vallejo disrupting everyone’s peace and quiet in exchange for my own personal thrill. I’d start laughing at random points riding home as it’s hysterical how powerful this thing is. I can’t believe they’re legal.

Then I got dinner with two of my closest friends and their newborn baby. We ate sushi and hung out at the restaurant for 3 hours and 19 minutes. It was bliss.

Then I got home and finally finished that story that was due two days ago.

Then relaxed and got lost online for a while.

And now here I am.

And now here you are.

But that was then

THIS… is now.

Now this is now.

Actually all of this is then because it was here before you saw it.

Please forgive me.

i dreamed

I had a dream! Last night. Dreams never happen for me so it’s really exciting when I get them. Can’t you tell how excited I am?!? I rarely express emotion, so this is me ecstatic. Yyyep. Super stoked.

Since I’ve been home I’ve slept in sister’s bed thrice (she’s not here, she lives in Ireland). All three times I’ve dreamt. SO… now I need to buy a Tempur-Pedic bed. IF.. I wanna dream. And I do, so, damn. Hrmm. Meh, probly won’t buy it, might just steal hers. But my car’s too small to transport such a bed, hrmm. Hrmm. Hrmmmmmmm. (Her bed is Tempur-Pedic by the way in case you didn’t get that from this that I wrote thus far.)

First dream I can’t remember. Though I do recall waking up thinking, “I dreamt! OMG!” Second dream I THINK there were zombies, and I remember thinking in the dream “Kathy Bates should be here soon” and then BOOM: Kathy Bates walks right up to me as her squirrel-selling character in Rat Race, my favorite movie ever (Why? Because it’s great. “It’s a race!…. I’m vinning!” And Smash Mouth is in it.)

Last night I dreamt that I was interviewing people to work for me. Not sure on the job, but I needed to hire someone. For some reason it was a group interview and we were in a bus. One girl decided to drive the bus. She was annoying and didn’t take me seriously because I try to make friends with everyone so she saw me as such, rather than a figure of superiority. I’d tell her how wrong she was driving and she’d snap back with some asshole remark.

Other things happened that I can’t remember.

At the end of the day I thought to my dream self, “I should interview these people first before taking them on a field trip so I don’t get stuck with irritating people. Live and learn.” I thought to my dream self while dreaming in my dream. Then the driver girl started talking about the job as if she’s got it already and I had to tell her that she doesn’t listen and is hard to work with then she threw a fit and started overreacting and I was like “SEE?!? THIS is what I’m talking about..” She was upset, couldn’t take the hint, didn’t get the job, and I felt super important.

I need to hire someone now to feel that way in real life.

I’ve had friends work for me at my comedy show, and I paid them just so that I didn’t feel bad for ordering them around.

I need to hire a stranger, that doesn’t know my personality, and will see me as a boss.

THEN I’ll matter.

I’m not crying.

I’ve just been cutting onions!

I’m not crying.

I’m just thinking about.. someone you don’t know… who is dyin’, that’s right dyin’.

Too Many Things

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There’s too much entertainment. Too much! I can’t keep up.. Too many TV shows especially. Movies I haven’t seen I can deal with, but catching up with 7 seasons of Lost and 5 seasons of Mad Men and 3 seasons of Game of Thrones … that’s like a year’s worth of free time right there. I went on a date with a girl once and all she had to talk about were the shows she watched. She literally went home from work and binged on Netflix until she passed out to wake the next day and repeat, unless it’s the weekend in which case more Arrested Development—a series she’d seen all the way through at least three times. All I can remember from that date—YES a Tinder date and stop judging! It’s the new norm. Get with it.—all I remember is her obsession with TV and her oddly pale skin, like she hadn’t seen the sun in 30 pilot seasons or something..

Now….I know there’s some of you out there that can relate to this girl. I’m not judging, BUT… it’s just… so much time! In retrospect I do waste a LOT of time that could be better spent watching something that I can later converse with other human beings about, but my scattered constant procrastination habits allow me to do nonproductive things while still feeling like I’m about to be productive even though I’ve just spent all day playing pool with foreigners via iPhone. I guess you win this round binge watchers.

It’s just too much of a commitment. I know it’d be good for me to watch some of these shows; I’ve had people start conversations with me by saying things like, “Have you seen Downtown Abbey?” and I’ll be like “I think it’s Downton, not town,” and they’ll be like, “Yeah! Downton Abbey, you’ve seen it?” “Nope…” “Oh…” Then silence because the conversation is now over.

….

Someone needs to create a sort of “Cliff Notes for TV Shows” thang where they compile all the main points of a series into a lengthy one-stop movie, or give an episode guide where if you “watch these 12 episodes you’ll at least be able to hold your own in conversation.” I have no intention of making this happen so please, steal the idea and do it for me and others of my kind.

Until then, I’ve seen all of Breaking Bad and Firefly and Lucky Louie. That’s about it. And I’m all caught up with Louie, Shameless, House of Cards and Homeland. So please talk about those shows with me so I can feel more like an insider.

Livin’ For Likes

Love/hate simultaneous relationship with social media I have. I guess that’s the only way to describe it. I mean…. I love likes. LOVE… likes.. like, omg. You see you have a bunch of facebook notifications and you’re like: yesssssss life is goooooood… today… in this very moment… until 5 minutes from now when you have no new likes 😦 Meanwhile I hate that these likes serve as such validation in my life. But it is. I neeed approval. Obviously. I’d like to say I don’t, and don’t care, and fuckit, but that’s a lie, for anyone really. So many hipsters who say “facebook is…” I don’t know what they say exactly, but they’re certainly against giving two shits about social media presence. They’re too busy living freely away from the constant distraction of what and where to post.. assholes, actually enjoying their lives…. the old-fashioned way anyway..

It’s gotten to the point for me where I feel the need to document every goddamn thing I do. I don’t actually do it, but I feel the need. There are some family members that look for things I’m doing on the regular so I use them to justify putting my life out there so much. I hate that I have to justify it but I feel like I do! I feel it’s so dumb to care so much about something so realistically meaningless. But it means something to me, getting support and positive feedback and snarky comments on things that I’m doing.. I dunno.. helps keep me going. Helps me enjoy life on a very interesting level. The iPhone first came out about 8 years ago…. 8 years ago when you had something cool happen to you, or you achieved an exciting accomplishment, nobody had any idea unless they were an eyewitness or you called them to tell them. Now every single goddamn detail gets thrown out to everyone you’ve ever met in your life (even if you only met once or crossed paths or you added them because you think they’re sexy or you’ve never actually met but you like all of their posts because they make your heart beat faster or you have all these mutual friends so why not?) or whatever, where was I….

My iPhone is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Now.. whenever I have a great exchange with a friend, or see something picturesque, or have a silly thought—I must document it. MUST… even if a friend is telling a story, I’m distracted about wanting to post something and faking interest in the conversation because at this point I’m not even listening, just waiting to post a photo on Instagram or make a comment on facebook because…. immediate gratification is addicting. How sad, right?!? I’m workin on it. I consciously keep the phone away now when I’m hanging with other people. But in the back of my mind whenever something even slightly interesting happens in my life I think “Would this make a good Vine? Maybe Insta… OH definitely facebook for this one. I should Tweet this. That conversation was amazing, let me try and transcribe it from memory so I can have the option to put it in a movie script someday.” It’s constant. I guess with all these pipe dreams I have I’ve got no choice but to think this way…

My favorite pastime is reminiscing. That’s probably another part of it. I love looking back on the work I’ve done. I’ve worked at jobs that were a lot of fun at the time, but looking back I have nothing to show for it. So I try and capture as many moments as I can so I can look back on the good times. I guess. I don’t fucking know. But it’s a love/hate/necessary evil sorta thing with social media. Communication like this is still very new. Can’t wait for this phone to be wired into my brain as my neck and thumbs are getting sore from using it.

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I WILL BE THE DRAKE

I went to Vegas for New Years. That was 22 days ago…the motivation to write about it has certainly passed, BUT.. I planned to do it so here goes.

I got an invitation to stay with a friend. She said, “Come to Vegas for New Years, you can stay at my place.” It is just wrong to say no to that.

So I went with a buddy who joined me last minute and it couldn’t have worked out better. We drove from Sherman Oaks on the 31st and get to Vegas by about 6 pm. We arrive at my friend Lisa’s place and our first errand is to take her daughter to a friend’s house. It’s about an hour and a half round trip to do this, booze run included. We get back to this glorious house in Vegas, to which I now have a key, and it’s just me and my buddy Kaido (he got the nickname on the trip and will be referred to as such). Got the whole place to ourselves as Lisa is out for the evening.

We got all snazzed up and ready to hit the strip. We were about a 25-minute cab ride away. Just before we took our first pre-party shot of Jager I thought, “Let’s call the cab first, make sure they’re on their way before I render myself undriveworthy.” It was 9:30 pm, New Years Eve, in Vegas. Called a cab company—busy. Called another—busy. Panic sets in. Keep calling to no avail. Maybe Lyft or Uber? NOPE. They don’t exist in Vegas. Of course. More panic. FINALLY, Kaido gets ahold of someone. They said they’ll be here whenever. “Can you give us a time estimate?” “Nope.” Click.

I didn’t trust ‘em, nor did Kaido. Expecting the worst I said, “If they don’t call by 10 I’ll just drive us as close as we can get and figure it out from there.” They closed the strip off to cars for New Years and the thought of walking any great distance in 20 degree weather was worrisome, but goddamnit we’ve gotta be there when the ball drops. The night was looking very bleak at this point.. More stress, more phone calls, I start getting ready to drive, coming to terms with the fate of the night, and his phone rings. 9:58. “Hey, I’m outside.” said the driver. 20 minutes for a cab on New Years Eve. Lucky we were and we knew it. We scurry to get dressed, chug several shots, grab the flask and we’re on our way. Life was good again.

Make it to the strip. Lots of people. I drank in public in front of police officers. Kissed a random girl at midnight. We were out all night and didn’t get back until sunrise, as any decent Vegas New Years celebration should end.

We sneak quietly back into the house and make way for this beautiful L-shaped couch that perfectly fits my tall self and Kaido’s shorter self, only to find there’s someone sleeping in it (WITH MY PILLOW…Breath…breathe…) I gently took the pillow out from under the motionless stranger. He stayed motionless. Yeah, that’s right he did. … Kaido heads upstairs to the backup bedroom that was also reserved for us—also currently inhabited. We share a moment of “wtf” and reluctantly make our bed on the floor and fall asleep promptly at 7 a.m.

Are you bored? You can stop reading, this is really just me forcing creativity. I have a cold, I’ve been putting this story of for 20 days, meh.. Still here? OKay, let’s see, what else..

I did share a bed with two models I’d just met, so that was exciting to other people I’ve told that don’t know the full story.

My roommate is a model and got flown to Vegas to be pretty at certain clubs and pool parties and such. She and three of her friends were all working together so Kaido and I met up with them each night in Vegas at 3:30am when their shifts were over. The second night we were in their room just hangin for what turned into hours. It was 6 a.m. and they offered us to stay with them. I sure didn’t wanna deal with a cab ride home, so I said “Ohhh allright.” I ended up sleeping in between two sisters. By sleeping I mean I laid there motionless, wide awake thinking one of two things: “I really feel like I’m intruding here, how did I get stuck in the middle?!? Not that I’m complaining, but between two sisters whom I just met the day before… I can’t help feeling like I’m in the way…” Second thing: “Why doesn’t our society cater to platonic cuddling?! I feel so stupid lying here trying not to touch anyone. I could ask them, I mean, we just met, but what’s the big deal? However if they say no then I’ll feel super awkward and would start sweating and farting or something. I laid there, slept a little, made it through.

Earlier that night we were going to meet them at a nightclub they were working at. It was Tao in the Venetian. Super fancy. Kaido and I took our time getting there, gambled a bit (I won $120 on blackjack! then lost $40, then won $20 again!) and we got sushi at a karaoke bar in the Palazzo or someplace. I sang Kiss From A Rose, apologized to the crowd for a few of the notes, sat back down and this older guy with an accent and a trophy girlfriend starts talking to me. He said he lives in Burbank so I figured he was important in some way, definitely rich, why not try and make friends? He made very crass sexual jokes in front of his lady, Kaido hated him and I don’t blame him. I’m pretty good with letting people’s poor qualities slide in order to make new friends, but this guy was a real asshole despite his liking to me.

He and his lady were also going to Tao so they joined us on the walk over. We get there and there’s HUGE crowds to get in. BUT, we have friends on the inside. Easy peasy. Walk to bouncer number one, he says go talk to bouncer number two. Number two asks for a name, I text my roomie for a name, she gives me one—“Not on the list.” She gives me another—“Nope.” Nope. Not gettin in. All of a sudden that guy we met at the karaoke bar gets in. They ask how many in his party, he says “Just two.” And they’re gone forever. Duly noted asshole guy with an accent, duly noted.

So now we’re with all the other losers outside of the club not allowed in. I felt very belittled and reminded myself why I hate Vegas and nightlife in general. Roomie texted that Drake was inside. Then I thought to myself: Next time I’m in Vegas…I WILL BE THE DRAKE. I am Jewish so I’m halfway there.

The night was great until now. I felt like such an idiot standing outside so desperate to get in. But then—I saw a stereotypically beautiful girl, all dolled up in a sexy dress, amazing looking body parts, and SHE couldn’t get in. I looked at her, she must have spent hours getting ready, looked amazing and still couldn’t get in. SHE should be embarrassed…me? I’m just some dude. I felt better after that.

Those are the highlights I can remember. I usually write these things in the energy of the moment. Had I written this 20 days ago I think it would have been much more interesting. I can hardly recollect the moments anymore. They say the first book on Jesus was written 50 years after his death—20 days and I’m already hazy and generally unenthused by the experience. I’ve moved on! I feel like this post is just as boring as the Bible, but probably much more accurate in regard to truthful events. Thanks for reading, don’t give up on me just yet.. Next time: I will be the Drake. YOU’LL SEE! .. You’ll all see…

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She touched my body and stood on my back…

Now that I have your attention…

I was treated to a professional Thai-style massage in San Francisco yesterday by my sister and mum, sister’s two friends joined us and we all got massages (separately).

Filling out the info before we went in I had to circle the areas of my body I’d like them to focus on, as you can see below, and I then prepared for the best damn Thai massage of my life:

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Unfortunately I was then partnered with … A MAN. Just kidding. And no I did not give them that perversely circled sheet of paper. But I did waste the paper just to take that photo. When I ripped it out the masseuse almost took it from me, after which who knows of the possibilities! ..

Thing about massages for me … I’ve had maybe 3 professional massages in my life. I’ve lucked out every time in that the person touching me was one that I was physically attracted to (because I see the beauty in everyone. (HA! Just kidding….just kidding actually, I kind of do) But I don’t know… I just enjoy it more when it’s a stereotypically sexy lady doing it. Because I’m disgusting. But seriously, it makes a difference. I’ve never been massaged by a man though so perhaps I’m missing out. Aaaand thus far I’m okay with that.

Once a girl I met in life, who told me she was a professional masseuse, gave me a massage. I asked for one thinking it’d be a great excuse to get together, because I’m an idiot. She gave me a discount, I was expecting to hang out after, but then she left. She WAS interested, even after seeing me topless, but now I was a “client” and she has a rule against that. Talk about a backfire… haven’t seen her since.

Back to the spa place.. My sister got partnered up with some guy who looked like Mowgli from the Jungle Book, I got… a very sexy lady!! WOOHOO! I felt like the luckiest boy in the …room…

For strength of the massage I circled “4” on a scale of 1-5. Haven’t had a massage in a while and I wanted to get my money’s worth! er…my mom’s money’s worth..

Sexy massage lady walked me into a cubicle of sheets and instructed me to change my clothes. She left me alone, I got ready. She came back, told me to lie on my stomach and she immediately got to work.

First thing I noticed walking into the stall were two pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling. She used those to balance her body as she began violently jamming her heels into the top of my shoulders. The pillow that was supposed to be under my chest was too far down and the face pillow I was using was a bit off center. With her full weight on my trapezius area I felt my head and torso begin to bow, awkwardly, and yeah it hurt, a lot, i even made very faint moaning sounds like a baby sheep. This is when I thought to myself: “I SHOULD HAVE CIRCLED 3…. next time… definitely 3.” And I know I could have said “Hey sexy lady, ease up, I’m a weakling,” but I wouldn’t dare admit defeat, especially in front of a girl. Because I’m a stubborn man with a false sense of pride. Or something. I don’t know. Thanks for reading.

She stopped finally and I adjusted, it was okay after that. Though about 18 times I thought “3!!! DAMN ME!!! AHHH.. maybe 2 next time..”

I was then instructed to lie on my back. At which time I noticed the door curtain was halfway open—I felt so exposed! I said nothing. She kept touching my body. It was good. I recommend it. She kept wrapping her body around me and stretching muscles I never knew I had. It made me think of inventing a new sorta thing called a “cuddle massage” or something.. where the person is cuddling you as they massage you. She was kinda doing that, then I started to get.. excited, and now I’m getting a massage while thinking about baseball and cold showers and then Austin Powers and then the fembots… not helping…

She propped me up into a sitting position. I was trying to sit cross-legged but my body has never been able to do that, so she said I could stretch my legs forward…through the half-opened curtain…awkwardly… I now felt especially exposed. Especially when another masseuse had to step over my bare feet and legs. Fortunately there were no bystanders or public viewing windows like those people who do Crossfit for the whole world to see—I can’t imagine working out to an audience of passers-by… “Hey everyone! See me at my worst…”

The massage was over and she whispered, “Thank you for coming.” and left. No hug?

Nope.

Then it was over and nothing funny happened after that.

(The photo below is merely for advertising purposes. In conjunction with the title I think it’ll help get more views.)

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(I searched for “sexy lady” and that was the first image that came up …. then something else came up .. then something came… just kidding! Just kidding……. just kidding *angel emoji*)

Baby. Dr Pepper. Biblioteca.

Today began with sleeping in until 1. I was up until 4, for no reason in particular. Went car shopping at local dealership. My childhood friend since 4th grade’s dad is my car salesman which is a cool thing. He took me up to say hi to the owner of the dealership whom I also know fairly well because I’m so fancy here in my hometown. Got free coffee and fawned over a Camaro I really shouldn’t get but might NO!… it’s too impractical. Trading in my lease this week, how exciting.

Got gas. Got lunch. How exciting.

Got home just in time to leave again. My loving dad says, “Where ya goin’?” *door closes* I respond, hurrying out the door to meet some old improv buddies in Martinez to work on film stuff. We read through scripts and filmed some things. How productive.

Filming ends. A few of us stay behind and jam on guitars and bass. Haven’t done that in years and boy do my fingers hurt. How recreational.

On the way home I get a text from a dear close friend of mine: “Are you ready to be an uncle?” He’s having his first baby and they’re in the hospital. How omg.

I get home and whatever for a while. My sister is home from Ireland (she lives there as of three months ago) so it was good seeing her. She and I went upstairs and saw my dad together. He was lying on his bed. She hugged him, I held his hand. We hung out for a few moments like that. How cherish-this-momenty.

Sister comments on how much I need a haircut. I’m getting one tomorrow. I have an appointment with someone special in San Francisco … twas a Christmas gift from my sister … I tell my sister how much I like my longer hair and how I think it’s great, and pose several arguments for why I should keep it. She disagrees with all of them. I go into the bathroom and go a little crazy with the hairspray. She’s in dad’s room keeping him company. I hear them talking from outside the door, something they’ve missed doing for oh so long, a moment I probably shouldn’t ruin…. can’t help myself, I knock and let myself in. I hover over her pointing to my hair and said, “What if it’s punk rock like this?” “STOP!!” she responds. “C’mon now!…” says my dad. “I love you.” I responded, and quietly closed the door as I left … I annoyed them. Being away from home now, and with my sister living over seas, annoying them for the first time in so long was a pretty awesome moment. I smiled about it as I drove myself to the hospital to visit my soon-to-be-a-dad friend.

He asked if I could bring him Taco Bell. It was about midnight when he sent the text—I’d already told him I could come by if he needs bro time, and he knows I’m the nightliest of owls—This first draft is being written the night of all you’ve read so far, and it’s currently 3:20 AM. And he JUST texted me… no news thus far. It’s now 3:21 AM. Moving on. Wait! News: They’re going to start pushing at 4 AM. Hella cray. This is my first CLOSE friend who’s having a baby. Do I feel old? Nope. I feel lucky AF to be single and alone and able to eat Chipotle whenever I want—In response to the 4 AM push time, I just sent him this photo and said, “She’s coming!!!”

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Taco Bell. On my way to Taco Bell I grinned with pleasure at how happy I was at the fact I annoyed my dad and sister. Ahhh.. just like old times. So I’m heading to Taco Bell at midnight to get pre-fatherhood treats for my dear friend in the hospital who’s counting the minutes until he becomes a father after just losing his own father two weeks ago after getting married last year after getting diagnosed with stage 4 c-word just before that. Sure man, Taco Bell? Glad to help.

I pull up to the speaker at Taco Bell and the guy said, “Hello, allright, how we doin’ tonight?” Awesome, he’s got personality. “I’m doin pretty coo, how bout you?” I said because it rhymed. “I’m excellent my man. Ex-cell-ent.” “Oooh yeah I hear ya there,” I said. Then silence. He didn’t ask me what I wanted to order so I didn’t wanna be rude and start barking demands at him now that we’re friends. He finally said, slowly, “Ready when you are…” I was ready. Ordered, said some things, he laughed out loud, I drove over to pay and whatnot. He handed me my Dr. Pepper and said, “Here you’re prune juice.”

“Oh? Is that what you think of it?” I laughed.

“That’s what it is,” he asserted. Not smiling. Very serious. “That’s why they changed the name back in the day.”

“So.. this is prune soda?”

“Yep.”

I took a sip. Oh my god … Dr. Pepper’s taste is quite reminiscent of prune taste! Especially when thinking about prunes while drinking Dr. Pepper. Mind blown indeed ….. Okay just looked it up. That story is total fable and folklore. Though “Does it contain prune juice” is a frequently asked question on Dr Pepper’s website (notice I didn’t “.” the “Dr”? That’s because I know now that Dr Pepper doesn’t use the “.” How interesting. AAAnd they have their recipe divided into two parts in two separate Texas banks so that no one person can ever have the entire recipe at one time. How intuitive). Dr Pepper states on their website, “Does not contain prune juice.” Just like Sunkist does not contain orange. Interesting. Prune-flavored soda. Who knew? Many people it seems, actually..

I continue to the hospital. Park at the ER, walk in looking around aimlessly. The security guard abruptly asks, “Can I help you?” I turn to her with two hands full of Taco Bell food, and a drink. “Labor and Delivery?” She looks at me judgmentally and says, “Down the hall, turn to the elevator, second floor.” I start walking down a LONG hallway. Keep looking for elevators but none yet, more walking. Finally find them, there’s a stairway to the left, I take the stairs instead. Only one floor.. I look for signs that read “Labor and Delivery” and saw this:

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Nope.

I pause, look back and forth a few times, spin around in a circle. I go downstairs and look around. Nothin. The guard did say to take the elevator… so.. I take the elevator to the second floor instead. Right back to where I was before. I knew that would happen, but ya know, just in case. Harry Potter IS a thing now.. I go to my phone to read a text that someone will be meeting me at the ER entrance. Great. I walk ALL the way back. I meet the person and she takes me right back AGAIN to where I was, and then past it. Guard gave awful directions and I’ll resent her forever. After leaving that night I ended up walking this hallway four times, three of which with Taco Bell in hand:

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Finally I see my friend and we hug sensuously. After consulting with the wife he takes me in and I see her lying on the hospital bed with a blank stare right at me as I hear this loud heartbeat of the baby echoing throughout the speakers in the room. I walk up to her and take her hand as my hug for the evening. She doesn’t say anything, I don’t say anything, nobody fucking says anything and oh my god it’s intense. That heartbeat.. so loud.. and strong. And her blank hazy post-epidural gaze. And the mood of medicine and health and baby and fast-approaching pain oh man, that was intense. I took her husband with me to eat Taco Bell, leaving her and her sister in the room, alone; I felt like such a great influence.

We sit in the waiting room together and eat crap food. He said, “I’m gonna get through this pregnancy then I’m gonna get over this cancer and then I’m gonna live for 50 years,” he said as he dove head first into a cheesy gordita crunch. I acknowledged that and we laughed. “Okay 45 years,” he corrected. Hahaha.. twas a good moment.

Right before we finished eating his side of the family arrived. I hugged them all hello, I’ve only met them at his wedding, his Relay For Life event and then again at his dad’s memorial, and now for the birth of his baby. When his mother walked in I had my face buried deep in a quesarrito (I don’t care how they spell it (by “they” I mean, ya know.. THEM..)). The look on her face was perceived by me to be something like “Oh no not him again. Why is he here?” Hahahah.. My hair is all long and shaggy, I have loads of Taco Bell in front of me, I was just a tad stoned, SUCH a great influence I obviously am.

So his mother uncle and cousin (I think) all sit next to us as we finish eating. They all start talking in Spanish. I finish eating. They continue talking in Spanish. I sit there not knowing Spanish, consciously controlling my urges not to get out my cell phone. I felt like this was more of a family venture at this point. Time to find my window to leave. We chat for a bit, my friend acknowledges my monoliguisticness, he makes me say “biblioteca” to his mom then I leave.

Are you still reading this? ReallY?!? Even if you hated this story, the fact that you’re reading these very words is the greatest compliment you could give me. If you made it this far please let me know. The time is now 4:04 AM.

Michael & The Lock

There was a knock at the door today. At my parents house we rarely get visitors and when we do they’re always expected. Protective in nature as I am I immediately made way for the door as I whimsically said to my dad, “Get the gun.” Before I opened the door I realized I was wearing sweatpants, slippers, a grey A-shirt (aka wife beater…….aka gr-A shirt) and an old Lake Tahoe zip-up hoodie that was unzipped…and I hadn’t showered in several days (hectic weekend, fine, judge, smell ya later.. er.. me…I smelled okay though according to me). I hurriedly zipped up my sweatshirt to give the illusion that I’m civilized for whoever was on the other side of the door. As I zipped I was instantly reminded of the broken zipper, leaving me with an open zip-up hoodie connected in the middle by a zipperhead. “GAHHH!” I thought to myself. The knocking persisted and sounded rather troubled so I jerked open the door despite my appearance to find a young man leaning against the stucco wall looking right at me. We made eye contact and there was a moment of silence. (And yeah I called him a young man because I’m in my 30s now and my back hurts sometimes.)

After a mildly judgmental stare he announced, “Okay so.. I hit your parents car.” Wtf? I thought to myself.. “I’ve gotta get to work but you guys already have my license and insurance information..” “Sorry what?” I interjected. “I hit your parents’ car,” he repeated. “I have to go to work,” he repeated. He was a little shaken up it seemed. I asked him to show me what he did … as we walk through the front walkway toward the driveway I think to myself how my car is the only one out there resulting in two simultaneous thoughts: “Figures he hits my car the day before I plan to trade it in for a new one sonofabitchhhhhhhh” and two: “Why’s he think it’s my parents car? What a dickhead 20-something he is!! I’M 30 and nearly independent from mumsy and pop pop!!! I CAN AFFORD A CAR I’M BIG!” Asshole.

We get into the driveway and it looks… totally fine. My car is in the driveway, I see no other car around. And I ask him, “Which car?” He points to a house across the street, two houses up. “That Altima in the driveway over there…” ………Oh… he’s crazy………”Why would you knock on this door when the car you hit is in another driveway you psycho?” I asked him in my mind. “Please don’t kill me you frickin’ weirdo,” I then thought to myself. Wow…. this was really happening. Awkwardness. Judgment. Fear.

He said it was parked in front of my house on the street earlier today when the accident occurred, and that he spoke with them already, and I guess just figured we lived here and then parked it in a neighbors driveway because who knows he’s crazy. He had a small piece of skin missing on the corner of his lower lip, sort of shining with insides but not bleeding necessarily. I asked if he was alright as he did seem a bit shaken, “Yeah… I mean no…” he showed me his arm that had a few marks on it, nothing major. Anyway I told him we didn’t know the neighbors because my family is rather reclusive and that he should go talk to them and leave me and my life alone forever. He took it well and hovered, like he wanted a hug or something. I said “good luck,” and shook his hand. Asked his name, “Michael.” He said, not returning the question. “Salvator,” I responded. He walked off and I went inside, keeping my right hand with his crazy germs on it away from my body, opening the door with my left hand and going straight to the bathroom to rid myself of any remnants of his weirdness.

Time passes. I think about writing this story. And then…

My dad is outside closing our side gate from the front yard to the back. He comes in to say “Someone stole our lock.” Both he and my mother start panicking immediately with a flurry of “oh my god, maybe it was the gardeners •••calls gardeners••• nope not them, this is scary, our neighbors have been broken into last year, someone was definitely here” worry has officially set in. I put my shoes on to help dad find a new lock. I find one and he says “NO! That’s not the right one..” It was a silver Master lock, standard, with a key and everything. “It has to be BRASS!!!” He said, sternly. Goddamn…. can’t even pick the correct lock. Therein lies the reasoning for my constant self-doubt. I hesitated and asked, “Why brass good?” “Because it doesn’t RUST!” he responded. (Let it be known, he’s not “yelling” at me. And not mad, yet. He just speaks very directly and loudly as any 70-year-old disabled war vet would be.)

He hands me a brass lock with a metal chain bolted onto it along with some wire-cutters. “Here, take this off!!!!,” he asks nicely. I cut off the chain part right under the latch/bolt thing attaching it to the lock. Thought I did a great job. Showed him, “like this?” “NO GODDAMNIT!” now mad. He grabs it from me and goes at it himself to take the bolt part off as well—mind you, there was not reason to take this off… would have worked just fine if we left it on.. and turns out he wanted me to take the little bolt part off as well as the chain even though at first glance I didn’t think I even could take it off.. i don’t know.. i can’t do anything right when he’s around. Even if I’m doing something simple like backing out of the driveway and he’s watching I’ll do something different because I can feel him watching and fuck something up to further prove I still have a lot to learn from him and then he tells me lengthy stories about how to properly wash the dishes and I tune him out and think of happier more interesting things as I do said dishes and then come back to the conversation when he says “And that was the craziest day in Vietnam I think we every had… I don’t ever wanna think about that again.” AHHHH… missed it. His fault.

I take the chain-free lock out to the side gate to replace the stolen one. Meanwhile looking everywhere for Michael as he’s the top suspect for someone sneaking into our backyard. No sign of Michael, found some dog shit though. Didn’t pick it up, didn’t feel like it, though I’m never really in an I-wanna-pick-up-dog-shit kinda mood…. I go to the gate and take out my phone which is with me at all times except in the shower. Turn on the flashlight, look around, found the lock on the ground. Hooorayyyyy we can sleep peacefully.

I deliver the good news to mom and dad. “FUCK YEAH!” They exclaim in my direct translation of them actually saying “Oh, good.” But they’re still worried because we’re Jewish. “How did it fall though? I didn’t leave it that way….” So tonight we sleep in fear, as all Americans should.

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