The Fellowship of the Hearth: A Shoutout to My Closest Peeps

Alternately; The Family that Geeks Together…

I hear tell from a lot of friends and acquaintances that they dont “get along” with their families. Don’t understand them. Don’t like them. Dread their presence and spending time with them on holidays and important things…

These poor people.

I thank the gods every day that my family has so much common ground with each other. Gaming, historical reenactments, camping, hiking, movies, anime, music, etc. We could list things for days that we all have a mutual blast with.

I feel bad for the friends I have that dont have fathers who are willing to be a sounding board for massive life decisions. They don’t have mothers who help them make sense of difficult emotional trials. They don’t have older brothers who can make them laugh no matter how upset or mad or depressed they are about their lives with the same Funky Ninja routine that worked when they were 5. They don’have younger siblings who will still have sword fights in the livng room and play The Floor is Made of Lava even though I’m halfway through my 20’s and he’s swiftly approaching adulthood.

We can recite favorite movies in sync with each other, and still never get tired of watching them together. We can argue and yell and scream and cry at each other, and everything turns out okay in the end. I understand if you don’t quite get how you can cry ‘at’ someone but trust me, it’s possible.

My life has been so rich with them all as a part of it.

Familybots, transform!

The Day I Accidentally Started a Very Small Race Riot at Work

Let me start off by saying: No. I am not racist. I actually barely even percieve people in enough detail to acknowledge their skin color, especially at work as I’m often too busy to give someone more than a passing glance. Indifference is a good term for it.

So, I work at a convenience store in a small town. 24 hour. This is pertinent, I promise.

About a week ago, I was on the midnight shift with a newer girl, ad teacing her how to do specific reports for the shift on her register. In the midst of this, I see the door open out of the corner of my eye, and instinctively grab the, “Register Closed,” sign and plop it on the counter in front of the register, as this one cannot be used while running reports.

Suddely, the other girl starts hyperventalating. Politely, I inquire as to what her malfunction is. She just points. At the group of 6 black men that just walked in. All of them staring at me as though i just threatened to curbstomp one or all of them. Having gotten my attention, they begin to complain loudly about my racial intollerance.

Unsurprisingly, I have no idea what they mean.

It escalates.

They are now yelling about being refused service because they are black.

Aha.

“You see, sirs, you misunderstand. This register cannot be used right now, because we’re running reports on it. I’d be happy to check you out on the other register.”

I hadn’t been aware at the time that African Americans were capable of blushing.

Now, on to the real point of this story:

I was walking home from work this evening, and one of them pulled over in his car, apologized again for yelling at me, and asked if I needed a ride as it is much too hot out to walk far. I declined as I only live a few blocks from work, and I enjoy the exercise.

He replied, “Yes’m Miss Ellie, you’n be curful nah, t’aw’ways dangerus fo’ lady to go outta wawkin’ ah nigh; but I be watchin fo’ you, so’s yuh git hum safe.”

Why he exaggerated his speach pattern as such, I can’t figure out; but I know from his smile, it was some sort of joke. I just don’t get it.

Is it a bad thing to be so oblivious?

Anyway, after conversing further, I discovered that he also lives nearby, and has cats. And likes classical music. And he juggles. I saw it. Color me blown away.

How can anyone be racist when EVERYONE is so damn interesting?

Random Fiction: “Purple”

Before I can put my fist to the beaten-up door, it swings open on screaching hinges, a set of pale hands clasping at the edge of the faded, battered hardwood as though for dear life. She’s twitching and breathing heavy as she slips into view, like a bitch in heat. If it weren’t for hanging onto the door, she’d probably have collapsed by now. Damn Junkie.

“Did you bring it? D-did you bring the purple?” Her voice shudders as she speaks, as though someone were holding her upside down and shaking each work out of her, like a bully getting the change out of school kids’ pockets. She takes one hand off of it’s solid oak support to reach for me, but starts sliding down instead, unable to hold herself up without both hands and her head bobs defeated to the door frame, coming to rest at about crotch height.

Right where it ought to be. I love my visits to these places, really. Some of the real hardcore purple adicts are just too amusing. At year 3962, or as we like to call it, 52AP, I’ve been in this business for nearly six years. You meet all kinds in this line of work: the fluffy-bunny users, gateway users, the small-time dealers, and these– the hardcore adicts. This house was full of the last on the list, save for one. Though, every other type seems to make it here eventually. Shit’s a million times stronger than meth, they say, and once you get your first high you just start to crave it. Junkies from day one.

“Yeah, I brought the purple. Double the original price though. Thy’re realy startin’ to crack down on security these days.” If these loons had any clue what I had to go through to get this shit through customs… If I hadn’t been lukcy and ended up with a crooket cop, I’d have been cavity searched in a heartbeat. And there’s just some places that a guy’s gotta draw the line for business. Get what I’m saying? Not like these guys care anyway. Addicts don’t give a shit how hard it is to sneak their drug of choice into the country.

The only real problem with American government these days is people like this: their basic needs are teken care of or them, and they aren’t really required to do shit to ocntribute to societry. That leaves people like me to work their asses off, and then some, just to get a little something extra under the government’s nose. I’m surprised it took so long to realize we culd make some decent profit on the Purple Ban of 3910 after WWIV.

“F-fine. How much? WHat’s double 2000 credits” She shakes and her hands quiver as she reaches through pockets, looking for the money they’ve collected. This is dirty money– I know they’ve got it doing shit I would cringe at, or selling their bodies to sick fucks with fetishes that make most of us seem like chaste saints.

“6000, miss.” That’s right. I’ll tel lthem lies as often as I can get away with it, even in their condition. It’s not like she’ll ever know the differents, or even miss the money anyway. They hardly sleep, and this one’s mind has melted away enough that she won’t remember this 2 minutes from now.. So what’s the difference?

I step over her and into the room as the rest of the junkies come crawling from the elsewhere in the house, hanging against the walls for support. Peeling wallpaper rustles as they head straight for me like a pack of starved, broken animals. Poor bastards, probably been a long time since any of them have eaten. Their bodies will eventually shut down, and each of them will fall into a heap of flesh and excriment. I’ve seen it. Ain’t pretty, but it’s a living. And a far better living than it used to be.

At first the business was just smuggling purple things. People would sneak in flowers, crayons, paints, any object that they could find small enough to fit into a pocket pretty descreetly. Now though, with all of the advances of science, someone has found out how to extract the essence of the color or some weird distilation shit like that. Much easier to carry a few vials of the liquid version over the borders than a couple hundred various objects. We bring it over as quiet as possible, and they drink it up like water.

Only, the scientists failed to mention that it wasn’t exactly meant for consumption. Turns out, it’s a pretty damn powerful hallucinagen, and incredibly addictive. An ounce of this shit could take out an army for a day. Needless to say, I’ve never tried it myself, and I don’t see it happening any time soon.

The way I hear it, first everything turns different shades of purple. After that, it’s different for everyone. I’ve heard everything from nightmares to bunnies and unicorns and back. We like to think of it as a niche market.

She pulls a wad of credits from somewhere in her baggy clothes, and waves it at me. “Where’s the new one?” I snatch it from her. “I have to supervise administration the first time.”

“H-hannah!” Her voice is raspy, and .she’s breathing harder. “C-come here!”

There’s a table in the corner, other than that no furniture in here. They probably sold it for Purple money. I set down a shot glass, and take a flask out of my pocket. Pour just enough to wet the bottom of the glass, not cover it. Like I said before, this is some strong shit. This ought to knock her on her ass for a day or two– especially if she’s a real first-timer.

I hear some soft footsteps coming up behind me, and as I turn I see this sweet little thing looking up at me with big, blue, bewildered eyes. Those kind of eyes are kryptonite to a guy like me. Always did have a thing for blue eyes…

“Are you sure you want to do this, honey?” Gotta try to look out for this kid, can’t be more than sixteen.

She shrugs petite little shoulders and cocks her head to the side. I can tell she’s trying her best to be coy.

“It’s just one hit, can’t be that bad. Besides, I already paid them.”

“Just one is what they all say.” It never turns out to be ‘just one’. Once this shit gets under your skin, you’re gone. In all the years I been running the market in this town, I never seen anyone take just one hit and be able to move on just like that. On the bright side, for me, if I just mind my own and let her have her way, a few months or a year from now this chick will be sucking me off or better for her next high.

I shake that thought out of my head, just as I see her blink those blue eyes again. She tosses dark jagged bangs from her face with a sharp motion of her head, and hair slides away leaving her left shoulder and neck bare now. I happen to like bare shoulders too, in case it was hard to grasp why I’d be paying attention. Spaghetti-strapped tops like the one she’s wearing now are enough to drive a guy like me nuts –and she’s got this pale milky skin that makes me think of icing sugar. I can feel my mouth begin to water.

“Look, I’m not just telling you this as some bullshit crap to try to protect you or anything. It’s your life, and you make your own damn choices. You just need to know that this one hit will not be the last hit. It never is. You’re gonna end up just like Boney-Ass over there,” I point to the sack of shit still making her way over to the table. “If you understand that, and you’re still fine with it, then go right ahead.”

I slid the shot glass over to her. Hannah, pretty name too.

She looks at it, her hand trailing trimmed nails along the very edge of the table; but she doesn’t grab it. Don’t pick it up, kid. She looks back to me with those eyes. They’re wide now, scared.

“Get me out of here.”

I don’t need to be told twice.

Well, hello there.

I woke up this morning feeling that something exciting is going to happen. Like that moment where you just made a wrong turn, when you’re trying to get back to the interstate, right before you spot a figurative oasis just as your stomach starts growling at you. Yes. Awesome things on the horizon.

My roommates (family, yes, but roommates is the situation of it) are all amicable and things are going smoothly. Work? Doing pretty damn good if you ignore thale people who don’t do their jobs and the wonky scheduling. Men? Well, maybe.

Options everywhere, like browsing the produce section. But you’re hungry for something in particular; you just dont know what it is, yet. Then something catches your eye. Oranges, in this case, I think. You know that citrus smell is intoxicating, but you’re not fooled. If you pick  one too sour, it just won’t be satisfying.

So, you’ve picked one, and purcased, and sit in your car with the grocery bag open on your lap to catch the rind and pith. And you hope, briefly, that you didn’t waste 49¢; then dig your thumbnail into the thick outer layer.

Blogging Challenge, Courtesy of OM. “Her Smile”

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Here, I’m doing part of a challenge from OM’s blog. You can find it here, if you’d like to give it a go: http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/06/19/blogging-challenge/ Also, feel free to read the rest of his blog, as it’s pretty damn good. You won’t be disappointed, though you might possibly be offended at some point. Suck it up.

” 1. Write a love poem and stop in the middle. Change the mood of the poem and see how it ends.

He reaches
toward those young, wild cheeks
gasping for breath
beneath storm clouds;
toward full lips and eyes
that look into some other place-
some place darker, brighter, more alive.

He reaches toward her-
her hand quivers in the wind, limp
nearly severed by mangled steel.

He reaches toward her soul
through the shredded cage;
shards imbedded in the frame.
She smiles,
endorphins and sirens sing
angry lullabies and she knows.

Soon, child.

Animal crackers

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Today is one of those difficult but good days that tests the mind and the temper, and the body.

The sort of day when you recognise one of those flaws in yourself, in this case, my inner control freak who wants to throw a fit when a project doesn’t go just so. When another party doesn’t seem to be listening to directions. Also, recognising that in this case, on this particular project, the way I planned it doesn’t matter. At all. When something is meant to be fun, it ought to be fun whether it goes as planned or not. So, to hell with the plan. We’re just slapping hand prints anywhere the wall looks lonely. And it will look amazing because we are having a fucking blast with this!

Letting go of these preconceived notions of ‘the way things ought to be done’ is so much more fun.

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Let the Shenanigans Commence!

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Everyone has that one best friend that they can 100% be themselves with, no matter how goofy, bitchy, reserved, outgoing, and such. They are the other half, and together you two become one of those ultimate duos. Mine is coming to kidnap me shortly. There will be a metric shit-ton of fun. There may or may not be pictures and stories when I return. Anyway, in honor of my deep affection and endearment towards the best friend I’ve ever had, and possibly will ever have in this world (she’s set the bar rather high), this is a poem to Sara, pictured above. I have the best friend in the world. You ain’t got no friend like mine.

Let the Shenanigans Commence!

Macaroni to my cheese,
Silent Bob to my Jay,
glad you’ve been by my side
even when you’re hours away.

We’ve always stuck together
through the laughs and the tears
and ridiculous shenanigans
year after year.

Remember all those times
we cried on each others’ shoulders,
whether the problems were just pebbles
or giant-ass boulders?

Remember drawing hats
On handicapped-sign men?
Sober,
but still; look how far we’ve come since then.

Remember the tumbles and faceplants,
soaking in creekbeds
and arguing over stupid shit
when we both had asses for heads.

I’ll cherish these memories, and many more
until I die.
Because friends light up the loneliest moments;
friends like you and I.
______

Tell me about your best friend.