Last Thursday night, my friends and I went to a gig. I've never said that before, and I feel unbelievably cool in referring to it as a gig. It makes me feel worldly and artistically cultured. The lead singer in the band was another realtor in my office. Granted, 99% of the people in my office are well on their way to knitting, birdwatching, and geezerville, but this man was the sprightly young age of thirty-eight. I bribed some friends to come on promises of booze and interaction with AARP members.
Think Sebastopol (northern California). Warehouse + vintage clothing store + indoor stage + bar + restaurant + outdoor patio with large naked women = the Aubergine. If I'd previously known about the large naked women, I would have used that as leverage.
Instead of behaving myself and sipping on beer, I chugged coke and rums and threw back shots like a college student. I dirty danced with our receptionist and kissed my mom on the mouth. At one point I dumped an entire coke and rum on a forty-year career realtor in our office.
When we got back to our place, I was drunk, tired, and wanted nothing more than to get into bed, pass out, and snore my way into oblivion.
Instead, my friend Traitor insisted we continue the irresponsible debauchery of our lives and go to a bar.
"Absolutely not," I replied.
Traitor: "Let's go to Belve!"
Pakistan: "Absolutely not."
We went to Belve.
The next morning, I woke up at 9:30am, stumbled to the bathroom, and vomited. I could hear Pakistan puking in the other bathroom.
A few months prior, my mom had called and told me that she had a surprise waiting for me at my house. I hoped that it would be a car. It was a breathalyzer. I breathalyzed myself and blew a .16.
I straggled into the office at 10:30am, puked twice, and looked at myself in the mirror. I had put on a shirt thinking it was a dress and looked like a hungover hooker. I glanced at the time and ran out of the office, puked, and went to show a house.
When I breathalyzed myself (while driving) at 2pm, I blew a .1. I was slightly concerned, but texted the feat to Traitor and Pakistan.
By 3pm, I was feeling faint from not having consumed anything by alcoholic calories in the last twenty hours, and bought a vanilla milkshake. It was fantastic going down and fantastic coming up.
I felt mentally handicapped all day. At 5:30pm, when I went to go home, I realized I had locked my keys in the car.
When I was little, I liked shiny things.
My mom would take me, my brother and sister to the mall, and we would run around like the little terrors we were. My mom would attempt to take us winter shopping, and we'd be playing hide-and-seek among the clothing racks. She'd want me to try on a pair of jeans, and I'd be laying amongst dirt and dead skin on the floor underneath a shirt rack.
We would inevitably scream that we were hungry, and my saint of a mother would take us to the food court to feed us. When I was six years old, we were standing in line to order when I saw something incredibly round, shiny, and silver. I touched it. My hand lay on the silver circle for ten seconds before I felt a burning sensation. My reflexes weren't fantastic, and it took another minute before I realized that I had burnt the shit out of my hand.
The reasonable thing would have been to cry at my mom and expect her to fix my hurts. She continues to be one of the most loving, caring, understanding women in the world. Instead, I didn't tell her that my hand felt like it had been crippled in a fire. I had recently learned the child definition of retarded and thought she would be mad at me for being so retardedly stupid. Instead, I tried not to cry. Because that's logical. When she asked what I wanted to eat for lunch, I screamed, "Water!"
"Okay, okay," my mom replied.
When two seconds passed and I wasn't immediately given a glass of water, I screamed at her that I wanted water NOW.
"Calm down hunny," she said.
A full two minutes passed by before she bestowed me with a glass of water. I didn't even thank her, I just plunged my hand directly into it.
"What are you doing?" she asked, eyeing my hand inside a plastic foam cup.
"Just trying to get out an ice cube," I responded.
When we sat down, my mom's focus was on my little sister throwing food and my brother poking her. I cradled an ice cube in my hand like it was a diamond. I liked diamonds a lot - they were shiny too.
After lunch, we were in store #3 looking at cowboy boots when my mom noticed that I was shaking my right hand back and forth violently. I had thought that shaking my hand would get some air into it and make the burning stop. Because that makes sense.
We later discovered that the fast food place had been technologically advanced in the early nineties and had circular coffee warmers placed into their countertop. I had third degree burns because of a shiny coffee pot warmer.
When I returned from Australia this past December, I didn't know what I'd be doing. My life plan had as much direction and ambition as a blind sloth. When my mom insisted that I get a phone so I could live like a real human being, I considered it. When she offered to pay for it, I deliberated my options.
After three minutes of Internet research, I was flustered and perplexed. I hadn't searched for anything online in months and the myriad of pop-ups I encountered distracted me to no end. Within thirty seconds, I had accidentally clicked a pop-up and was reading about Viagra. Upon reading that Viagra doesn't cause an erection when there is no sexual desire, I realized what I was reading, screamed "for the love of God!" and settled on the first phone that appeared on my screen: a Prepaid cell phone through AT&T. When it arrived in the mail, I tore open the package giddy to join the twenty-first century again. The phone was large, blue and silver, and elliptical. It looked like it belonged on a space shuttle in the 1970's.
After two weeks, I became disenchanted with my space shuttle phone. It didn't look anything like a real phone, and I became a subject of mockery for all of the technologically advanced six-year-olds running around with iPhones. My primary frustration, however, was that my space shuttle phone didn't work. I was living in Santa Rosa, in northern California, and I barely got service. I would sit in my office discussing the economy and the number of distressed properties with a potential client and my phone would cut out.
When I called AT&T to politely inquire why my phone calls disconnected thirty-eight times a day (I was a Realtor, I talked on the phone a lot, okay), they reviewed the coverage area.
"If you're within one and a half miles of the 101 freeway, you should have good coverage. The rest of the area doesn't look so good," I was told.
"I'm looking at the goddamn freeway out my window right now!" I insisted. "It's probably a fifth of a mile away, and I'm talking to you on the office phone because my cell phone won't make calls." I knew it wasn't the representative's fault that AT&T had shitty coverage. "Just reposition the goddamn satellites or something!" I said passionately. I didn't scream. She still hung up on me.
By April, my mom had had it with AT&T. We disconnected her AT&T iPhone and my AT&T space shuttle phone, and my mom bought us both Verizon iPhones. I was ecstatic over my iPhone. It didn't drop calls and it even took pictures (space shuttle phone didn't). My mom was not so enthused. Somehow her new Verizon iPhone magically uploaded her contact list from five years before. When she tried to rectify the situation, her AT&T iPhone erased her current address book contents and uploaded her contacts from five years before. She owned two iPhones with outdated address books. This was not ideal for a Realtor. After hours on the phone with Verizon, and directing profanity at her new phone on a daily basis for two weeks, it was too much for her. She couldn't take it. My mom went to Bora Bora and Tahiti on vacation for three weeks. For reasons that are beyond me, she left her new Verizon iPhone in a bathroom drawer and took her inactive AT&T iPhone with her. Two hours later, I received a frantic voicemail from an unknown number. It was my mom calling from the airport to say that she'd left her phone on the bus. I sighed and a few days later I picked up the phone from the bus station office and placed it in her car's glove compartment.
My mom returned three weeks later, arriving the day before Mother's Day. It was the first Mother's Day in three years that I had been in the same country as my mom. It was also the first Mother's Day in eight years that I wasn't hung over and feeling like death.
She called me on Mother's Day from my sister's phone to tell me that her phone didn't have service.
"Call Verizon," I told her.
"I don't want to go through this again, where I don't have contacts or text messages or my voicemails or notes," she cried.
My mom, brother and sister were supposed to pick me up at 11:30am. By 1:30pm, Mom was still on the phone with Verizon and Apple. I was still at the place I rented. I decided to drive to her house anyway. When I walked in, mom had her head in her hands and was staring at the kitchen counter, dejected and beyond comfort.
"Look, someone tried to break into the iPhone case," she told me wearily, pointing at the case.
"That doesn't make any sense. Why would someone break into the case? It takes two seconds to remove it," I replied and looked at the phone.
"Wait, Mom, that's your old phone. That's why the case is all scratched up. That's your AT&T phone. It's not going to have service because we cancelled that service last month."
She had been on the phone on Mother's Day for four hours trying to get Verizon service on an AT&T phone.
I was four pounds when I was born, and as childhood progressed, I clearly saw the opportunity to expand my girth and my dominance over smaller children. My dad worked, my two younger siblings occupied my mom, and I constantly snuck food from the kitchen. By the time I was ten, I was medically obese, and part of my daily afternoon snack comprised dessert and an American cheese, Pringles, and mayonnaise sandwich. I couldn't see my toes over my stomach, and I tyrannized little kids. All I had to do was sit on them. It was the easiest and most profitable exertion of my life. I lounged on children until they would give me their chocolate or get me their string cheese.
When my family got a puppy, Mom saw and seized a fantastic opportunity. The dog ran away, she made me run after it. My mom would yell that the dog escaped, I would sigh, shove four more brownies into my mouth, and lumber out the front door. The dog conveniently escaped four times a week, the suggested days of weekly exercise for morbidly obese children. What began as shuffling pursuits around the hill progressed to fast walking, to jogging and feeling like death, and eventually to actual running.
By junior high school, I could run. Once I realized I could run, I found that I liked winning. I ran junior high cross-country, played basketball, and competed on a club soccer team. It was kind of a big deal to do all at the same time, whatever.
One of the cross-country coaches nicknamed me Dimtrip. That's how cool I was. He had a thick blond mustache and beard, which was the universal sign of awesomeness.
In eighth grade, a restaurant called Clo's Ice Creamery sponsored a county-wide cross-country meet. A photo was to be taken of the first three finishers from each grade, blown up, framed, and hung on the wall of the restaurant. The race was two and a half miles long, and, warming up, I felt good. I jogged in a circle and told myself I was going to win. A few minutes later, I stretched and realized that I had to pee. Desperately. One of the coaches said there was no time. If I went to the bathroom, I'd miss the race. An announcement blasted over the field to get on the line. I nodded and approached the starting line, telling my bladder to be good.
A month before, my dad had made me steak and eggs for breakfast on the morning of a meet. He said it was warrior food. Halfway through the race I felt like death and decided that warrior food was not runner food. Since then, I had composed an intricate menu for race days: eat almost nothing. I had had a bowl of cereal and three french fries.
The starting gun went off, and we ran. I had three reasons for running the race as fast as possible:
1: The faster I finished the race, the sooner I'd get to eat.
2: The faster I finished the race, the sooner I'd get to pee.
3: If I won, I could hug everyone, including the boy I had a crush on.
(Side note: the last time I had talked to The Boy had been at lunch the day before. I was giddy that we were actually having a conversation, just the two of us. He was in the middle of a story when a bird shit on my head and I ran screaming for the bathroom.)
We ran through the hills, the paths, and the sidewalks that made up the race. I kept telling myself that my dad had a sandwich waiting for me, there was a bathroom near the finish line, and if I won I'd impress The Boy.
The finish line was ahead, and another girl from my team was running a few feet in front of me. I sprinted right past her and finished first. I cleared the finish line, and bent over to catch my breath, my hands on my knees. I smiled so hard I almost forgot to breathe. I looked up to see The Boy walking over with a congratulatory smile on his face. I stood upright. The Boy's presence had diverted my attention away from holding my vagina shut. When I saw him, I forgot that my bladder wanted to explode, and instead thought about how impressed he must be that I won. I thought how amazing I must seem to him. And then I peed my pants. As he approached, urine gushed through my underwear, flowed into the light grey sweatpant knee-lenth shorts issued by the school, down my leg, and puddled onto my right sock and shoe. I looked down, and The Boy looked down. I screamed, turned around, and ran away. The shorts were light grey, and urine was everywhere. My dad gave me his black leather jacket to tie around my waist. As if that would hide the pee. It did make the piss on my ass less obvious, but it didn't do much to cover my urine-soaked vagina and shorts.
Clo's Ice Creamery took their photo, they blew it up and hung it up on the wall of the restaurant. That picture hung in the restaurant until it closed down nine years later. To this day, it is the only picture of me that has hung in a restaurant, and it was blatantly obvious that I had pissed my pants.