Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Today is Tuesday, "Girls' Night," which means that Ben, Brock, and I headed out for what has become a kind of unofficial "Guys' Night," a weekly shin-dig that translates basically into playing, watching, or talking about video games until one of us either has to go to bed or do homework. It is a testiment to our acheivements as men and an indictment of our social worth, but like most bitter sweet things, I look forward to it with with a pediatric glee and shameless day dreaming that would make JM Barrie blush. With German class in the morning and Guys' Night at....night, Tuesdays have assumed a slightly narcotic feel, a dreamy confirmation of the glories open to the human race, thanks to the descending of the larynix millions of years old and the birth of language. It's on nights like this that I am thankful to the thousands upon of thousands of my ancient ancestors would died of unimaginable throat ailments as the bones around our touchy throats realigned themselves, finally giving rise to vocal communication, and with it, complex social bonds. It is partially in honor of these bonds that I enter EB Games on the second night of the week to mooch off the free promos and read the backs of game boxes I can neither bring myself to buy, nor give up completely. For to do so would be to dishonor the hard dying and genetic experimentation of a hundred generations before me. They died so that I might hang out with friends as pasty as myself and share bits of my soul over cheap teriyaki chicken and fried rice in a Godless strip-mall in the last days of summer and the sweet breezes that blow through rose bushes and the open windows of ice cream shops. Tuesdays are the peak of evolutionary grace and divine wisdom, the masterwork of biological randomness and that consciousness of boundless love and mercy that gives hot food to frozen hearts and a seat for the ocean at land's end.

You can learn learn a lot on days like this: what it's like to have friends, what it's like to lose them, or, if you're me, what I raging white suburban square you are. I've never denied this last fact, mind you; pretending that my 130 lbs, glasses, swaying limb, and love of folk music add up to anything other than a critically unhip suburban white kid would be like destroying my central nervous system to assert my independence: I could do it, sure, but I'm not going to get too far without it. But as I found out tonight, not denying and knowing are two different things entirely, and finding it out can screw your mind more than your thirteen year old self could ever dare dream. See, it went like this:

After going to Petland and petting the pot-bellied pig and staring at the Puggle mix (Pug + Beagle), Ben, Brock, and I checked out and headed to EB to play games out of our price range, only to find that it was closed. Lesser men might have lost heart at the sight of chubby fingers sliding the store sign from "open" to "closed," but we are no such men, for Barnes and Nobles was still open, and with it, the possiblity to covet those books too expensive to own, but cheap enough to crack open. It's similar to what I imagine the more outgoing men of our generation do on weekends in bars near college campuses, but our version lacks sexual tension and shallow conversations that smell like hot sheets, cold shoulders, and quick Breakfasts. I'm still not sure if it's better this way or not.

The way things were, we ended up, somehow, talking about the Ulster Project, the foreign exchange program designed to promote understanding between Catholics and Protestants during the height of the "Troubles," of which Brock's family had been a part in high school. Apparently, "crack" in Irish slang means "cool," or "fun," so saying "hey, what's crack?" is roughly like asking "what's up?" But because he's so....clever, Ben added: "Crack is a coccaine derivative, and it's cheap and highly addictive." We weren't very quiet about any of this, since, you know, the civil war in Ireland is starting to heal over and urban guerilla warfare hasn't really caught on here as a form of conflict "resolution." It was a cool conversation, and an even better joke, as far as we were concerned, and I have to say that I was pretty damn into it. It was a great little topic of conversation, not one I would ever have thought other people would pay any attention to, but like always, why would my assumptions have anything to do with reality? After a couple seconds of walking across black top, these black guys across the parking lot starting calling over to us. It took a bit to figure out that he was talking to us, because there were still a couple people milling around like we were, mostly young couples out to look at puppies with their hearts in each other's hands. I thought maybe there'd been a mix-up in someone's head somewhere along the way, but he kept calling at us as we walked on. "I want to talk to you," he said.

"OK," Ben said. And we went over and,,,,,talked. At least I think that's what we ended up doing: the language they were using SOUNDED like English, but it seemed to lack those features I had a come to expect from it, the seperation of individual words by breathing, for example, or comprehensible metaphors.

"Where y'all go to school around here?"

Ben: UNCG.

Brock: I don't.

"Shit man, why you hangin' around with them if you ain't in school?


(Something incomprehensible) "You know what I mean?

Ben: No

(Laughter. Translation: "Funny little white kid doesn't know what we're talking about")

"You smoke weed? I bet you get SO high."

Brock: No.

"Man, they go to school."

"Hey, man, you toot?"

"Toot," what the hell is that supposed to mean? At this point, I felt like I was somewhere on the other side of the looking glass, or in this case, the corner of a broken mirror. I was thoroughly out of my league. I would like to say I was part of the conversation, but I can't really claim to have been there at all. I mean, sure my senses said I was, but they've have told me at various points that I was crossing the Rubicon with Julius Caesar, flying over a canyon with pixilated wings, or eating dinner with no pants on, so what the hell do they know?

Plus, they never addressed me, so I just kept my mouth shut.

Brock: "Huh?"

"You tasted the nose candy?"

Oooooooooooh. Nose candy! Gotcha! I think I read about this somewhere: "nose candy" is a slang term for a drug, right? A drug you snort! I get it now! I'm......down.....Is that right?

Brock: No.

"Oh, I just thought....becuase I heard some words, you know. No big deal. Just keep it under the radar, man.

Ben: Oh, OK. Well, have a good night.

"You too, man. Take it easy."

I like to think of myself as someone who has a reasonably good idea about what's going on in the world, but tonight was perfect proof that I don't. At all. I'm a little white suburban square. Period. Slap a date of sale on me, because I'm ready for the shelf, just behind flannel shirts and Marilyn Manson.

On the upside, those drug dealers were really nice.


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9:00 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

Hi, i was looking over your blog and didn't
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7:25 PM  
Blogger Hanna said...

About time you get a real comment!

Gasp, it's been ages since I managed to read your blog.
I was busy with mine (as well as school and other...things).

How are you then? Never managed to talk to you on aim.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Der verwirrte Ausländer said...

Hey! How goes it? I've been really busy with school and all that lately too (no updates until now), but things seem to be going better. They are tonight, at least. Other than that, things are good. I've been buying lots of DVDs lately, but have had no time to watch them. So it goes, I guess. But they're on my self, begging to be played, so maybe one day I'll just sit myself down and watch the old Dracula and Pink Panther movies like I've been promising myself I would.

I was supposed to sit down and watch some old, and therefore bad, Mark Hammel movies this weekend so we can cut them together into a fake, stupid "interview," but that didn't happen. Comics got in the way. And other.....things, as you put it. All in all, I haven't been too constructive with my life, but on the other hand, I haven't had a whole lot of free time. Funny how that works out.

How are things with you? School, life, stuff passable? I haven't read your blog in a while, so I'll head on over and check that out. I'd do it now, but it's late, and I should get some sleep. Good to hear from you again. Talk to you later.

10:40 PM  

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