Bent Words

Bent Words

August 10, 2010

Found out we're getting a new parts "manager." He's 25.

Which is great considering my disdain for kids with authority.

I have a hard time taking directives from anyone with less time in the field, especially when they're not full-grown. Plus I have a feeling that I'll be training him more than he'll be training me. Sure, he's probably more technical when it comes to parts but it appears that this doesn't make him smart considering last Monday was supposed to be his first day but he apparently got beat up so badly after hitting on another kid's girl two night's before while out with friends that he could not make it in. Awesome.

Super awesome.

Perhaps I'm asking for it by saying this but, in my opinion, it's usually the douche bag with an enlarged shoulder chip that gets beat up first.

Whatever. Bring it, punk. It's just a stupid job anyway.


Went out for darts Friday night. Ran into a couple of customers/friends of mine at the Hill Top, Michelle and Tim. I've seen Tim a handful of times in the last few years but not Michelle so that was something of a trip. She's quite the character. Used to hang out with them back in the day -- at the old shop, with Shane. We all used to go out every now and then.

Somehow we got onto a story about New York and 9/11. I was thinking about my own 9/11 experience, not really listening to Michelle (as we were gathered with several other people), when I heard her say that she was actually IN New York when it happened. However, she wasn't telling us about her experience on 9/11, she was telling us about her experience the night before.

Apparently she was at a strip joint. One of the dancers was MIA. And so Michelle was offered some cash to get up on stage and dance in this other girl's place.

"They offered me $500. And I said no. So they offered me more. And I still said no. (blah blah blah) But the price got up to $2200! And yet I still said no.... (blah blah blah)."

Okay, Michelle. Number one, no one offered you that much money to take off your clothes. No way. Unless it was Brown Paper Bag night. It's New York. I'm sure the owner of a strip joint in such a well-populated city has experienced girls calling in sick or coked up before. If they did proposition you with cash, it was just a joke to see if you'd do it. And, number two, you were more than willing to pull your pants down, on stage, to show the world your non-panty-wearing ass the last time we went out FOR FREE. Don't try to tell me you passed up two g's for a little bit of T and A showcasing because apparently you're not altogether very shy.

Nice story, though.

And you did manage to make eight strangers roll their eyes in perfect unison. So that was pretty cool.

I suddenly remembered, upon the conclusion of this yarn, why we had not been in contact with each other for the last four or five years.

It didn't even kinda seem like she was telling the truth. So now I don't know how to feel about what she said next...

Apparently Shane used to visit her when she worked at the Hill Top herself. I didn't know she had worked there and I certainly never knew Shane went to visit her (and even help her close down).

I must have given her a queer glance because all of a sudden, there she was, as fast you could snap your fingers, or mock her ever-rolling eyes, rapidly assuring me that nothing ever happened between her Shane although it came close several times. (What?!) We both considered it, she said, we both got so close, she said, it even drove Tim mad with jealousy, she said. You were right to feel threatened, she said. There was even one time when we hung out all night and then -- she said -- in the morning we went out to breakfast (HUH?!) and mulled over it for like an hour. We decided against it.

I had completely forgotten about our little 'falling out' over Shane. It was years ago. I had a feeling then something was up but none of this was present in my mind when we ran into each other. I hadn't thought about it in years.

And, somehow, I let her words wash over me with a shrug and a smile. Because it's the past. Because it's nothing I have any control over now. Because it's almost irrelevant.

Like horseshoes and hand grenades.

But when I walked off to use the bathroom (by this time we were at the old Sharkey's, now Master Z's), with a little time to think, I realized that I was shaking. My hands were balled up into fists. I barely knew where I was. My brow, when I looked in the mirror as I was washing my hands, was condensed. And when I rejoined the crew outdoors for a smoke, I could barely stomach the sight of her pug-nosed, exultant face.

It was time to go.

It wasn't just because of what she had to say but more of how she said it. Standing there, leaning back, with her arms folded over her chest, blinking excessively, whispering as though it were still a sensitive subject to Tim, detailing how Shane SOMEHOW managed to control himself despite his desire as though she were Miss Erotica. Whatever, Honey. You knew then and you know now how much of a fool I've been over this guy and yet your brain still allows you to form into words that which needs not be said, whether it's kind of true or not. There's no fathomable reason for it.

You were too big of a bitch back then to bother apologizing to me when you knew how uncomfortable I felt after you two got close. In fact, you thought I was crazy for thinking anything was up. Yet now you're more than willing to confirm and relate the details which compromised the entirety of my sneaking suspicions as though it were just a reminiscent little joke? You're trying now to convince me that nothing happened when obviously something did. Something drove me to jealousy. Something drove me to conjecture. Something instilled a haze of uncertainty upon my path. And it was you with your pathetic abjection -- always wanting more attention, more sympathy, more hands reaching down to help you up when you fall.

And maybe it shouldn't be that way -- that it got to me -- but it was. It did. Because in the end, he said he couldn't believe whatever it was *I* had to say. I know -- that's my fault. In some weird off-center way, I wanted it that way. I was trying (not with such a malicious intention but still I was) to be as mysterious as he was. I just wanted him to feel what I felt. The uncertainty. The questions. The new and swirling pangs of jealousy. I wanted him to see what I saw, to feel what I felt, to hear the stories I heard whispered. I wanted him to wonder about me as I wondered about him. To feel like at any moment I could be whisked away as I always felt he could be (with his ex, with Michelle, with a high school sweetheart) and was.

It was no way to feel then and it's certainly no way to feel now. It should not be that way -- an eye for an eye.

I guess some things you have to learn the hard way, though.

So thanks, Michelle, for painting the picture a bit more horrendously than I previously viewed it.

As though it needed more of that color.

Written at 4:27 p.m.