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Yeah, yeah. I know. ‘God, is that fat, lazy-ass “writer” gonna ask us for another favor? I’m not reading another one of his crappy short stories.’
Well… yeah. I am going to ask you for another favor, but it’s a fun favor. Honest.
I want to turn you – yes, you – into a comic book character. That’s right! Each and every one of you could be immortalized in a comic book!
Will you be a superhero, flying high above the Earth, defending the innocent from the evil-doers? Or a down-on-his-luck detective who uncovers a seedy plot that leads all of the way up to the presidency? How about a futuristic gladiator who must fight off a horde of robotic lions in order to win his freedom?
Well, um, no.
Basically, you’re comic book character would be… you.
Y’see, I’m currently working on a new script that’s about a concert documentary, of sorts. What I’m looking for are random people – real people – who don’t mind having their names and likenesses used in a comic – to use as minor characters in the book.
No, chances are you won’t be the breakout main character of the story, although, one or two of you might have slightly larger roles than the others. Most of the people I choose will appear once, maybe twice, as a fan interview or something. Don’t expect to be in more than a few panels or a page or two.
If you want to be a comic book character, I will need your name, a photograph of yourself – for the yet-to-be-announced artist – and, lastly, I will need to know what level of involvement you’re comfortable with. Don’t worry. I won’t name a character after you and say something like, “I, Joe Blow, am a complete and total douchebag,” but if you don’t mind being a sarcastic and/or jerky character, that’s something I can work with.
(To be completely honest with you, there’re two reasons I want to put you in this book. The first being, of course, that I like to throw my friends into my work. Makes ‘em feel special, you know? The second is because I’m pretty anal – like, really anal – and, even if I’m only using a character for a few pages or panels, I will write out complete back-stories for them. Having a real person already in mind for that scene saves me that headache.)
So, yeah, if you love concerts and music or have always wanted the fame and adoration that comes with being associated with comics — *cough, cough* — leave me a comment, send me an email, gimme a call, or come over to my house.
(Please don’t come to my house.)
See you in the funny books. Hopefully, pretty soon.
Photos from the Summer of ’09 right here. Check ‘em out. You might even see a picture of yourself up there.
Probably not, though.
You’ve probably noticed lately that I’ve been advertising other people’s work more than my own. (Although, I’m sure some of you are more than OK with me shutting up about Punch-Up for a while.) Don’t worry; I’ll have some exciting Punch-Up news for in a few days and, hopefully, somereally exciting news for you in a few weeks.
Today, I want to tell you about my friend – and former roommate of some three years – Michael Watson.
Michael Watson is a huge nerd. No, seriously. A huge nerd. He has seen every Lord of the Rings, Matrix, and Star Wars movie. 482 times. Each. He owns over 600 action figures, which he proudly poses into vast fight scenes all around his house. Of those figures, he has at least 30 Spider-Men, which he has arranged into an almost stop-motion web-slinging sequence throughout his room. He had to have a stage built for his Lord of the Rings playset. He owns several superhero costumes and plastic lightsabers. He owns more comic books than your average comic book store. Michael Watson is a huge nerd.
(And, yet, somehow he still has a girlfriend. I don’t get it.)
But it’s because of his nerdiness, because of his kid-at-heart-ness, because of his open and unapologetic devotion to the things that he is truly and utterly passionate about that Michael Watson is such an amazing comic book artist.
For as long as I’ve known him, which is bordering on ten years now, Mike has been carefully constructing his comic book opus: Hotshot.
Now Hotshot isn’t just another comic, no. Hotshot is more like Mike’s autobiography. You see, Mike is Hotshot. Shh, don’t tell anyone. Perhaps it was his childhood – and adolescent… and adulthood – dream to be a superhero or the fact that Mike’s just a complete narcissist that made him turn himself into the title character. I don’t know. Personally, I vote narcissist. What I do know is that it makes for some mighty fine reading. Because you’re not just following the exploits of another Superman or Spider-Man, you’re getting a peek into the life of Michael Watson. The book travels from his high school days through his college years and his life as an art school resident advisor, documenting real-life friendships and relationships, triumphs and heartbreaks. But, you know, with superpowers and villains and flying and shit.
Peter Parker eat your fucking heart out.
But the road to Hotshot hasn’t been an easy one. Paved with several false starts and more than his fair share of obstacles in his path, it’s taken years for Mike to get to where he is. But that’s OK. All of the anger and frustration of delays and rejection that would make the average person question why they haven’t given up already has only fueled Mike to make his book that much better.
That said, it gives me great pleasure to tell you that Hotshot #1: The Remix is being released today. Mike – along with Hotshot writer, Victor Dandridge, and colorist, Ren McKinzie – will be over at Dave’s Clubhouse, in Reynoldsburg, from noon until eight o’clock tonight selling their book and doing commissions and sketches. There will also be food and drinks. it’s gonna be kind of a thing. Can’t make it out there today? You can also order your copy through his website. Or stop by their table at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo, at the Aladdin Shrine Temple, April 18th and 19th.
I’ll be picking up my copy today. Make sure you get yours.
(Wednesday started much in the same fashion: I had the day off and it was a beautiful, cool morning so I decided to pack a bag full of the puppy’s toys, her water bowl, a few bottles of water and head to Schiller Park.
After the pup and all of her stuff was successfully loaded into the car, we pulled out of the parking lot just in time for a light on my car’s dashboard to light up — singing ding! ding! ding! as it did – signaling that I was dangerously low on fuel. I pulled into a Speedway station a few block from my apartment and filled my tank up halfway. I got back in my car, put the key in the ignition, and turned it, but instead of my car start, I heard RRRrrrRRRrrrRRRrrr.
After failing to start my car two more times, I opened the hood and started to root around in the engine. As far as I could tell, everything was in working order; all of the cables and hoses and whatnot were still attached, the battery was looking good. I had no idea why it wouldn’t start.
A few minutes went by and a man who did not look completely unlike a pudgy Stone Cold Steve Austin approached the pump in front of me, his red plastic gas can in hand.
You broke down?
Yeah, it would appear so.
He looked through my engine and came to the same conclusion I had.
Man, I don’t know why it won’t start.
My van ran out of gas when I pulled into the drive.
Let me fill ‘er back up and we could try to jump yours.
You got cables?
So Stone Cold walked back to his van, filled it up, and drove over to where my car was parked, stopping just before his front bumper hit my own. His van was old and falling apart, the grill was missing and his front bumper looked like it only had a few days left on this world as well. Where it wasn’t completely covered in rust, the vehicle was painted a light tan. There were no windows, with the obvious exception of the driver’s and passenger’s side and the windshield. I imagined a mattress in place of backseats and lengths of rope, duct tape, candy and video games in the trunk.
Stone Cold opened his hood and we connect jumper cables from his battery to mine. After a few failed tries, we decided that the battery didn’t need to be jumped and that there was nothing else we could do to fix it ourselves at the gas station.
Well, I think we’ve done all we could.
Yeah, same here.
I’ll tell you what; I’ll help you push your car into a parking spot if you want.
Thanks. That’d be great.
So I stood outside the driver’s side and steered while he pushed the car from behind. The puppy hopped excitedly from one side of the car to the other, not understanding what was happening. We finally got the car into an empty parking spot — about twenty feet away from where we started — and I thanked Stone Cold for his help, giving him some extra cash to fill up his gas tank.
I appreciate all of your help, man.
Aw, it was the least I could do. Say, do you need a ride anywhere?
Uh… no… I’m good.
Are you sure? I got some gas in my van now.
I could give you a ride back home, if you want.
I actually, uh, don’t live that far from here. I can walk.
Nothin’ doin’. I have plenty of room in my van for you and your little puppy.
At this point, I was starting to feel a little wary. I realized that I’m not exactly a small person by any means – unless we’re talking height – but I’m not sure what he meant by “plenty of room in my me” and my “little puppy” and I’m not sure I wanted to know.
It’s starting to get hot out. I wouldn’t want you to have to walk all the way back home in this heat.
Really, it’s not that far of a walk.
In fact, if I look really hard, I can probably see my apartment from here.
And both the puppy and I could both probably use the exercise.
Well, I could not, in good conscience, let y’all walk home by yourselves.
Now, come on. I got——-in my van.
An ambulance passed by, deafening the area and cutting off Stone Cold’s sentence for a moment. Even at the time of this writing, I’m still not sure, in the back of my mind, whether I would have liked to have heard him repeat “plenty of room” or venture off into something a bit more risque, like “candy.” Not that he could have gotten me into his van with a promise of video games or candy – A burrito, maybe. A new Blackalicious album, definitely. — I really just wanted to see where his true intentions laid.
I finally convinced Stone Cold that I was fine on my own and didn’t need any man-rape services at that particular moment, when I told him I was just going to call AAA. After all, I told him, if I don’t call them, I’m paying seventy dollars a year for nothing.
You wanna at least wait in the van until the tow truck guy arrives?
I have some kick-ass tunes. You like Dio?
You know, I’ll pass. I wouldn’t want to waste any more of your time.
Aw, yer not wastin’ my time.
I’ll tell you what, I’ll circle back around in half and hour t’check up on ya.
Stone Cold eventually got back into his Rapemobile and drove off in search, I’m sure, of latchkey kids with a sweet tooth. The tow truck guy arrived within about twenty minutes and, as luck would have it, the engine started before he could even check under the hood. Turns out, my car didn’t start due to vapor lock, although, I still had the mechanic at the Monro station across the street test my battery.
The rest of the day consisted of: neighborhood kids knocking on my window trying to communicate with my puppy, who, in turn, became incredibly agitated and howled at them; an unbelievably aggravating phone conversation with my parents; and a reoccurring dream where my teeth continuously fell out.)
So, yeah, Thursday was looking pretty good.
First of all, I work nights on Thursdays, so, even though I was up at the ungodly hour of 5:30AM to let the puppy out, I had nowhere to go further than the couch and nothing to do but nap for the first few hours of the morning.
Second, it was one of my manager’s last day at work and, while that was kind of sad, since she was a great person and great at her job, we were throwing a kick-ass going-away party for her.
It was also the last day that I would have to host the Teen Gaming Program, for about a month. (For those of you who don’t know, the Teen Gaming Program is where, once a week, they lock me in a room with a dozen or so teenagers and give them Wiis and Playstations. It’s kind of like Lord of the Flies, except with more video games and less pig heads on pikes – mind you, I didn’t say no pigs heads on pikes, just less.)
Work ended and I made my way to the Short North, forgetting how difficult finding a parking space can be on High St. at night. I drove around for a few minutes, finally finding a couple walking to their car and, once they pulled out and drove off, I stole their spot. I got out of my car and examined the area; I can be quite cautious about parking on the street. I wasn’t parked next to a hydrant; there was a no parking sign, but it was for the hours between 7:00AM and 6:00PM, and, considering it was around 8:20PM, I thought I was safe; and, after examining half a dozen cars parked around my own, I saw no parking permit stickers or signs.
So I made my way to The Art Exchange, pushing through a mass of people congregated outside of the gallery. I showed my ID to the… bouncer? — I guess — and went inside to find Abby; which wasn’t that hard, since she was at least three feet taller than anyone else in the room.
We talked for a bit, although, it was so loud in there that I could hardly hear what Abby or her friend Jenn said. Hell, I couldn’t even make out which song the DJ was playing. After a few minutes of small talk, I broke away from the two of them to go A) put in my vote for Abby’s quilt, B) snag myself some free beer, and C) look at some of the other “art”.
The subject of the show was Blue Moon Ale, a tasty orange beer. All of the pieces displayed incorporated the beer, the logo, or the drinking of said beer in some way. Sadly, half of the pieces I saw looked rather unintelligible and amateurish the other half looked more like beer commercials rather than art. There were only a few pieces – and I include Abby’s in this statement – that looked like they were actually worth a damn.
And, to my surprise, there was actually a decent spread of food. Most gallery shows will put out cheese and crackers or chips and dip, and, when I heard there was going to be free samples of Blue Moon Ale, I was sure they would be served out of Dixie cups. But, lo! This was not the case. Kegs overflowed with orange ale; tables filled with antipasto skewers, crab cakes, finger sandwiches, and expensive cheese spreads. Half-eaten trays of food were replaced with newer, fuller trays before they had time to sit out for several minutes (reminding me slightly of female newscasters). I only partook in the drinking of a glass of ale, although, I think maybe I should have squeezed a few more orange slices into the beer; Abby liked the antipasto skewers so much she shoved a tray of them under her shirt to take home with her.
I stuck around for about 45 minutes, until the crowd started to get to me and I remembered that I have a puppy at home, in a crate, who will be exploding with urine should I not make it home sometime soon. I said my goodbyes and made my way back to the car, only to find a parking ticket under my windshield wiper. I cursed and examined my surroundings for a reason for the ticket and cursed again. I got in my car and drove to High St and took a right, taking another right onto 5th Ave and yet another onto Summit Rd, eventually turning left onto 670. But before I could even reach the speed limit, I saw flashing police lights in my rear view mirror.
I was getting pulled over.
I stopped my car, turned it off, and waited for the officer – a portly, gray-haired middle-aged man who will hence be known as Officer Dickhead – to approach. He eventually walked up to the driver’s side, taking his time and, even though my window was already rolled down and I was looking directly at him, he knocked on my door anyway.
Evening, son. License and proof of insurance, please.
I produced both and he examined them carefully.
Son, do you know why I pulled you over tonight?
*sigh* No one told me there was going to be a test.
MEHonestly? No, I don’t. I wasn’t speeding and it’s not like I cut someone off or was weaving in and out of lanes. And I just got on the freeway so, no, I honestly have no idea why I got pulled over.
You have a tail light burned out, son.
Oh, thank God!
Nothing. I’m just glad it isn’t anything serious.
Officer Dickhead handed me back my insurance card, but kept my license. Then, he started writing my ticket.
So, um, what are you writing there?
Your tail light is burned out.
Couldn’t you just give me a warning?
I could, but then you wouldn’t learn anything.
But I have learned something. I’ve learned that my tail light has burned out. And, with that knowledge, I can go home and fix the burned out light.
Well, then, consider this extra credit.
Isn’t extra credit usually optional?
Not this extra credit.
MEBut… but that’s… illogical!
That doesn’t make any sense!
What doesn’t make any sense?
This whole thing. It’s… it’s… it’s… illogical!
I was trying very hard not to use the words “fucking stupid” or “re-goddamn-diculous”.
It doesn’t make any sense that you’re giving me a ticket for a burned out tail light. That’s like giving me a ticket because someone’s shoe is untied, or because I missed a button on my shirt or because someone put a “kick me” sign on my back!
My point is that these are things that you’re not going to know about until either you trip over your shoelace, some says “Hey, you misbuttoned your shirt.”, or you start getting kicked!
Where are you going with this?
It’s physically impossible for me to be behind my car, while I’m driving, to see that my tail light has burned out!
Son, please, lower your voice.
I didn’t raise my voice.
And I didn’t. I was talking the the officer with the same even tone that I would use to speak to any of you, although, admittedly, with less cursing. Actually, I was speaking better to the officer that I would to any of you. I was using my white voice; the calm, cool tone of voice and speaking manner that I use when I am at work or talking to mine or anyone else’s parents or family.
Calm down, son.
I… I am calm. I’m just saying, it’s a burned out tail light. Does that really warrant a ticket? I mean, it’s not like I was speeding or ran someone over or was drinking and driving.
OK, that last one may not have exactly been the truth…
You know what? My other tail light burned out, like, a year ago! When I changed it, I bought a two-pack of bulbs! I have a spare bulb in the glove compartment!
Keep your hands where I can see them.
But I have an extra bulb. I can change it, like, right now and then we can pretend that this whole thing didn’t happen! I’ll have two working tail lights and you won’t have to write me that ticket!
I’ve already started writing the ticket.
Well, then, you’ll be able to stop writing the ticket.
Once I start writing a ticket, I cannot stop. By law.
But… but that’s… illogical!
Son, I have asked you to calm down and lower your voice. Am I going to have to ask you to step out of your vehicle as well?
No… But… you also don’t have to write me a ticket…
Son, please step out of your vehicle.
I got out of my car.
Step around to the back of your vehicle.
You’re not going ask me to spread ‘em, are you?
You’re not going to give me a reason to, are you?
I just want you to take a look at your car and see that your tail light is burned out.
OK, first of all, I never disbelieved you. I completely believe you when you say that my tail light is burned out. I do. Secondly, my car has been turned off, so even if it is burned out, I won’t be able to see which one was burned out and which one is just turned off.
See? This whole thing has been pointless!
Son, I have asked you plenty of times before to calm down and lower your voice. Do we have to discuss this downtown?
No… But you also don’t have to write me a ticket.
Son… *sigh* Son, just get back in your vehicle…
I got back in my car, Officer Dickhead served me my ticket and made sure to tell me to “have a nice night.” I drove off adding my ticket amounts together and coming to the conclusion that $48 is way too much to pay for one glass of beer, even if it is a tasty orange brew.
I continued down 670 East, eventually turning onto 270 South, exiting onto East main St; the dancing lights of the Hooters electric palm tree telling me that I was almost home.
I dropped my messenger bag onto the dining room table, when I walked in the door, placed my Blue Moon Ale glass in the sink and grabbed the puppy’s leash from the kitchen drawer. We went for a quick walk and then it was dinner time, for both of us.
I poured water and a cup of kibble into her food bowls and then took out some kick-ass leftover chicken salad that I made the day before. I scooped some of it out onto some crusty home-baked bread and carved a thick slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top.
I ate and eventually I slept, hoping Friday would be a better day, my puppy licking my orange-flavored fingers.
Even though I was completely awake, I began to dread the inevitable call of my alarm as the seven o’clock hour quickly approached. And, surely enough, when seven o’clock came, my alarm woke up, stretched and yawned, and the proceeded to lick the left half of my face.
Months ago, I traded relying on my bedside clock for the internal one of my puppy.
I tried to convince her that it was OK to sleep in every now and then, especially on your day off, but she saw sunlight creeping in through the window blinds and that was all the proof she needed that it was time to wake up and start the day.
I surrendered to her demands, stretched and yawned, and got out of bed myself.
I chased the pup around the living room, finally tackling her into submission and fastened her collar around her neck, then took her outside. She crunched through the thin layer of ice atop the snow, digging and sniffing the fresh powder underneath. She did her business and then we returned to the house.
Inside, she ate her breakfast, while I showered and changed, and then tried to attack my cereal bowl with her face while I tried to eat mine; which I think is rather unfair, seeing as how I never try to steal her meals.
I watched the morning news for a bit, before opening up my laptop and logging on. I decided that now was as good a time as any to start writing again but, after staring at a blank Open Office word document for a few moments, I decided that a quick game of solitaire was called for.
Solitaire has become, over the past month or so, the deciding factor in almost all of my decisions. If I wanted to watch a movie, read a book, go out or even eat dinner, I play a game of solitaire first: if I win, I can go do what I need to do. If I lose, I keep playing until I win or I don’t sketch or listen to my favorite new album. It’s not a point of pride — “Oh, I should at least try to win a game.” — no, I need to win. I need to. It’s the only way I seem to be able to make decisions lately.
Like Two-Face and his scarred coin.
After a seven or eight games, I finally win a match and then sprawl out on the couch with Austin Grossman’s debut novel, Soon I Will Be Invincible — about a super-villain who recently escapes a maximum-security prison and the heroes trying to thwart his latest take-over-the-world scheme — but stopped after only a chapter or two, finding it way to difficult to concentrate.
Seventeen minutes of solitaire wasted on twenty-eight pages.
I turned the television back on but, by this time, there was nothing of interest on; just early morning talk shows, court cases and Dr. Phil. I left the TV on, but turned the volume down low, just audible enough for background noise; the plaintiff yells at the defendant in an angry, muted whisper.
Eventually, the afternoon news comes on, so I turn the volume back up. The news anchor informs the viewing audience of the body count from the past twenty-four hours.
Murderers and Freak Accidents: 17. Innocent Victims: 0. And now on to sports.
We break for station identification and a commercial comes on. A dog sits in a kennel, tongue hanging out of its mouth, panting happily. A pair of legs approach and the dog perks up. The legs walk past and the dog follows them with its eyes, disappointed. The narrator states that not every dog gets adopted and that, should you buy a specific brand of dog food, their company with donate money to make sure that homeless dogs are taken care of.
It isn’t until the commercial ends and the next begins that I realize I’m crying; salty rivers streaking down my cheeks. I close my eyes, little white dots explode like fireworks underneath my eyelids. The puppy jumps on the couch and climbs on top of me, licking away any evidence of my slight emotional breakdown.
I decide that I’ll go stir crazy if I stay at home by myself all day.
I grab a long stick of pup-peroni from the puppy’s treat bag and break off a small piece, offering it to her. Instantaneously, she knows that I am planning on putting her in her crate and leaving her, so she slowly backs up, quietly howling at my attempts to trick and trap her. She is eventually cornered in the bathroom, scooped up and placed in her crate. I turn on a light and leave the TV on, so the puppy doesn’t feel completely alone.
I pack up my laptop and put on my hoodie. Keys in hand, I leave.
I get in my car, back out of my parking space and then turn onto Brice Road, heading north. I stop at a red light and the lead singer of Black Kids tells me that I’m too much sugar for his sweet tooth, which is flattering, I suppose. I cut down a side street and then take a left onto Rosehill, making my way north again towards Broad Street.
I pull into a Panera parking lot, sling my laptop case over my should, as I get out of the car, and head inside.
Without much of an appetite, I order hot chocolate and a small apple pastry, figuring that should cover the cost of an hour or two of nibbling on the deli’s free wi-fi.
I find a small table in the corner and unpack in my computer. I log onto the Internet as I place my headphones over my ears. I don’t play any music, but I have discovered that people with leave you alone if you have your headphones on. That or they’ll at you louder; which is OK, too, since they’ll just end up embarrassing themselves.
I try to write again, but end up downloading some music and some episodes of The Boondocks instead.
At the table next to mine, two girls and their token gay best friend — all roughly in the late twenties/early thirties — sit down; salads, sandwiches and complicated coffee drinks in hand.
It was around the time when they started discussing the validity of Jennifer Lopez’s marriage to Marc Anthony – and how she could have been happy with Ben Affleck had she “just stuck it out a little longer” – that I decided to open my iTunes; the sweet sound of Kate Nash’s Made of Bricks filling my ears. I picture her, in my mind, to be the British bastard lovechild of Lily Allen and Regina Spektor – sweet but acidic – and I fall in love with her all over again.
Four tracks roll past and she calls me a dickhead, but I don’t hold it against her.
I start writing a letter to Logan, when a cute girl sits down a few tables away from my own, reading David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day, one of my personal favorites. I flirt with the idea of asking if I could purchase her a cup of coffee, but quickly put the notion out of my mind; I’m sure she’d rather just sit in peace and read her book without being bothered by a fugly fat kid with obvious self-esteem issues.
That and we’re sitting in a coffeehouse; I’m guessing she already has a cup.
I was thinking about why I was thinking about buying that girl a cup of coffee – I haven’t really dated in years and have become quite OK with it – when my Trillian instant messaging application pops up.
It’s David, and we talk briefly about the television show LOST. I had given him the first season the weekend before and he had just come off a fifteen-hour LOST bender and asked me for the second and third seasons. He told me that he was going to be coming up to Columbus this evening and would be staying with our friends, Steph and Abby. We agrees to meet up there later that night to hang out and watch movies; David was going to make gumbo.
After I faked drinking from my empty hot chocolate cup for another hour, I packed up my computer, slung the shoulder strap over my shoulder, and left Panera.
On my way out, I walked past a Giant Eagle and decided that my empty refrigerator could probably use a little food. I made a quick mental list of what I needed to buy I snagged a cart, and then entered the store.
I made my way up and down each isle, eying random items and throwing a few of them in my cart. I was halfway throw the store when I decided that I didn’t really want anything that I saw and ended up putting six of the ten items in my cart back.
That old Clash song, Lost In The Supermarket, popped into my head:
I’m all lost in the supermarket
I left the store with a gallon of milk, a twelve-pack of Sprite, and two frozen meal-in-a-bags; the grocery list of choice for someone who’s going to die alone.
I left the cart in the store and carried my bags to the car, unloading them in the backseat along with my laptop case. I backed out of my parking space, turned left onto Rosehill, cut across a side street to Brice Road, and headed south back towards my apartment.
Along the way, the lead singer of Black Kids made it explicitly clear that he was not, in fact, going to teach my boyfriend how to dance with me, which I thought was fair.
I arrived home, put my groceries away and took my puppy – who was very excited at the opportunity to not only get out of her crate, but get outside for a while as well – out for a quick walk. She happily romped and frolicked through the snow, until she was so cold she shivered.
We went back inside, put my computer back together, and played a game of solitaire to see if I should make myself some dinner and watch The Simpsons. Succeeding, I place turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes between two slices of wheat bread and sat down just in time for the opening theme.
The Simpson family plan some sort of outing; Homer gets drunk and screws it up; Bart makes a sarcastic remark about Homer’s bumbling ways and Homer strangles Bart until the boy’s eye almost pop out of their sockets; Marge yells at Homer, not so much for the attempted murder of their son, but for some lesser misdeed, such as making a scene in a public place; Homer gets drunk and wallows in self-pity until he comes up with a solution to his problem; Home makes everything right and, in the end, Marge takes him back and everyone is happy again.
I wonder, between the time that the episode ends and the next begins, why Marge hasn’t divorced Homer yet and taken the children far away from Springfield. Homer obviously has anger issues and an addiction to alcohol, he beats their child, and oftentimes explodes into a fit of rage at his neighbors and fellow townspeople.
Of course, I’ve known a few girls who stayed with men who beat and abused them, whether it was out of fear or a dependency on the familiar.
Some women are just attracted to assholes, I suppose.
I turn the television off after the second episode, which was amazing similar in plot to the first, and sprawled out on the couch once more with Soon I Will Be Invincible.
I read about a hundred and fifty pages before Dave calls me again and tells me that he’ll be at Steph and Abby’s sometime around nine o’clock.
Sometime around a quarter until nine, I scoop up the sleeping puppy, without giving her any warning, and put her in her crate, along with her blanket and her chew toys. I put on my shoes and hoodie and collect my computer. I turn on the television and a lamp for the puppy and head out the door.
Outside, everything is covered in a fresh layer of snow and ice.
I put my laptop on the passenger’s seat, turn on the car and the front and rear defrosters, and get to work digging out my car. By the time I brush off all of the snow and scrap ice off of my windows, another coat of snow has been put on. I get in the car, turn on the windshield wipers, and back out of my parking space.
I turn off the CD player as I drive; virgin snow drifts silently against the darkened night sky towards the earth and I think, for a moment, that I would like to listen to that for a while.
I turn down the alleyway behind Steph and Abby’s house and park my car about nine-thirty. I collect my things and start to make my way around to the front of the house. Steph calls to me from the back door and tells me that I don’t have to walk all the way to the front door, to come in through the back.
Inside, Abby, Steph, her sister, and Beta – Steph’s dog – greet me; Beta with his usual bark and growl. We smalltalk for a bit in the kitchen before making our way to the living room.
There, I make fun of Abby for owning the first season of Dark Angel, and the first two of Baywatch, on DVD. She tries to justify her purchases with retorts about how relevant the early episodes were, but I think I won with the argument that she actually owns the first season of Dark Angel and the first two of Baywatch on DVD.
David calls me and tells me that he’ll be at Steph and Abby’s momentarily and that I should meet him over there sometime soon. He goes on to say how much he’s looking forward to receiving the second and third seasons of LOST from me. He compares himself to a crack addict and myself to his pusher. I tell him that the first taste is free and he tells me that he doesn’t have any money. I assure him that I accept other methods of payment as well and he tells me that he is wise in the ways of fellatio before we hang up.
David arrives a few moments later and laughs when he sees me sitting on the couch, realizing that I was already there when he called. He gives me his external hard-drive and I begin loading it up with the second season of LOST, then the second, and then about a gig of music.
We settle in and watch The Soup followed by Snoop Doggs’ reality show, as David starts to prepare his gumbo, and watch celebrities do and say stupid things.
Abby hands me a small stack of DVDs and, at eleven o’clock, we watch 3:10 To Yuma, in which an old west version of Batman must escort the old west version of the fugitive gladiator, Maximus, to the train station in Yuma, in order to collect the reward that would save his family farm. Ben Foster stalks them and violence ensues.
When Yuma ends, we pop in Everything Is Illuminated, which is based off of one of my favorite books, about a young Jewish man who travels to the Ukraine — and shown the country by a American culture-obsessed, broken English-speaking local tour guide; the guide’s near-blind, cantankerous grandfather; and the grandfather’s seeing-eye bitch, Sammy Davis, Jr. Jr. — to meet the woman who saved his grandfather’s life in World War II. Despite its holocaust background, hilarity ensues.
My eyelids grow heavy during the second half of the film and I catch myself closing them for a few moments here and there.
Three-thirty comes and goes, so I pack up my gear, say my goodbyes and head out the back door to my car.
As I pull out onto the road, I realize that I never got my blow job from David. I turn my CD player back on and the lead singer of Black Kids cries because it’s Friday night and he ain’t got nobody. Some nights, I know how he feels.
But not tonight.
I arrive home within about twenty minutes; the snow and ice don’t really slow me down much.
I pull into the parking lot, sling my laptop case over my shoulder and trek back indoors. The puppy, while overwhelmed with joy to finally get out of her crate, decides that she is angry with me for leaving her in there all night and, after a brief dance filled with jumping up and down on her hind legs and whining happily, she turns her back on me and heads toward the bedroom.
I leave my laptop in it’s case and on the kitchen table and take off my shoes and hoodie. I double check the front door, to make sure it’s locked, then turn the thermostat down a little, and head to the bedroom myself.
I strip out of my clothes, pull on my pajamas, and slid into bed, next to the puppy, who is already quietly woofing in her sleep. I look at the clock and it is only a few moments before four o’clock as I drift almost immediately to sleep.
I try to soak up as much restful hours as I can, remembering that I have to work in the morning.
(Morning comes and I’m still asleep, but the puppy — who is still feeling resentful and petty for being locked in her crate for seven hours the night before — decides to wake up at six-fifteen and, hence, decides that I must be punished for my occasional social life and proceeds to jump on my stomach, attacking my face with tongue.