Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30th, 2004

Although the bar I was working didn't serve alcohol and wasn't housed in a pub the clientele was still as potentially volatile. Teens swarmed me from all sides, blocking me into the bar, yelling out for more pop, more pizza, asking how much could they get for free, requesting this song and that from the DJ in the sound booth behind me.

I listened to them all, waited on them with patience and when the wave finally subsided I stepped up to the booth and looked in, folding my head into the crooks of my arms for a moment of rest. I watched my friend who was in charge of the music for the dances the Teen Center held weekly listening on his own personal earphones to something very different than what was playing for the teens on the dance floor. I watched him for a moment and appreciated the peaceful look he always had when he listened to music. As of late he had looked thinner and I knew him to be anxious and a bit morose. His eyes were dark and always mixed with a sense of unsure and incredibly sure of himself. When he finally met my gaze his eyes did shine a bit mischievously as he slid off his headphones and motioned me closer to him, a smile creeping across his sprite like face, a faint uneven mustache growing around the curve of his lips.

"Lemme guess little girl, they want Mo' Money Mo' Problems and Tha Crossroads?" Smiling wider now he gently pawed at my hand for a moment and asked for a water. He smelled of cigarettes, sweat and faintly of something sour. I was sure that it wasn't necessarily natural to worry about someone older than you, but I still was. I gathered he was unhappy, gathered that he was fighting some demons, gathered that he was tired and sad. I always had the feeling I wanted to wrap my arms around him, hold him close, beg him to tell me what was in his head, but I never felt it was my place. I was just a little girl he knew, I told him my problems and not the other way around.

After the dance was over and we cleaned up in silence, listening to a band he suggested to me that met in between of the two styles of music we enjoyed. We both had walked to work that day and had decided to walk around together towards Main St. and talk and smoke. He listened while I complained and cried about my boyfriend, who wasn't really a boyfriend but rather a menace and he said nothing for a very long time. I thought he was annoyed with my blithering girl talk.

He stopped and looked at me, reached out and rubbed my shoulders with his small soft hands. He was a small man but still taller than me and he looked down into my eyes. How could someone's eyes be so wise and yet so clouded with confusion? He was an enigma to me. He brought me into a generous hug, hugs I had loved so much to get from him and without the slightest sexual force he brushed his lips on mine and then hugged me again. In my ear he said very softly,

"There are good people and bad people in the world. (Your boyfriend) is bad and he will always be, you are good and you will always be. You are a light and my little girl."

He let me go and then just walked on. I stood there for a second disbelieving that somebody had spoken such sweet, kind words to me, like something out of a novel, like the way people talked in my dreams. The unexpected whisperer of truths and wisdoms my friend walked on and I hurried to catch up with him. He took my hand in his and we walked a ways and when we were closer to my house than his, we parted and I went home.

I spent time with him on and off during the years to come, our friendship turning into closer friends and then into not as close acquaintances with the passing of time. After I was a mother and busy and changed we ran into each other and I was so incredibly happy to see him it hurt. We went to the local coffee shop and although I had daughters at home with a sitter waiting for me we talked and talked for two hours.

He told me about his wife who I had known from high school and about how she was pregnant with their first child, his second child. He was excited, rounder, clean and healthy looking, almost buoyant. When we parted again it was with promises of keeping in touch and although we didn't I felt that we would see each other again and looked forward to when we did.

But we didn't. My friend Anthony Lewis Snow died 7 months later unexpectedly, eight years ago today, April 30th, 2004. When he died he was the same age I am now. He was an interesting man, a lovely man, a sensitive man, a rough man, a soft man, sweet, caring, brusque, intense and yet easy to get along with. He was a riddle and an open book and I loved him very much.

 I fall asleep in the full and certain hope That my slumber shall not be broken; And that, though I be all-forgetting, Yet shall I not be all-forgotten, But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds of those I have loved. -Samuel Butler

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Talk Shit. Literally.

I am a secret keeper. I might not do that great of a job keeping your secrets but I have so many of my own secrets locked away in my little dark head.

I seem outgoing and friendly but really I'm never totally honest with you. I won't really tell you what I feel, just an abstract version of it. I'm not lying to you, I just don't want you to really know what I'm thinking.

Those kind of sad things being said I decided to in an act of catharsis share something with you, my readers (or any of you that are actually left from The Great Blogging Decline of 2012).

My brother Benjamin is tall, lanky and has an effervescent personality. Sometimes he annoys the hell out of me but I mostly and generally adore him. He also is, despite our nine year age difference, pretty much my only friend. He also is a pretty gassy fellow. His burping and farting is legendary as well as is his prolific pooping. It seems like he's always taking a shit, talking about taking a shit, planning on taking a shit.

He often stops at my house for lunch once or twice a week and then poops, gets the boy child all riled up and then leaves. He did this the other day and I had happened to be up at my parents house later in the evening and low and behold there he was on the shitter again. It then dawned on me that the reason I notice his excreting habits and think of them as strange is because I never poop. I have never once in my life considered myself constipated or even irregular but when I Googled both the terms I found I could be considered as such.

To let it be known I only poop once every two or three days. And before I realized that this was potentially unhealthy I was delighted with my disposal system. How wonderful to only have to deal with pooping twice a week! I have been dealing with the shit of four little people for the last 11 years, 22 if you count since my younger siblings have been born. If I pooped every day it might just throw me over the edge of sanity.

I really didn't want to talk about it with anyone because Ben still makes fun of me for the time I came up with the idea that cheese has cow hormones in it and makes me depressed, which I still think is valid. So I took matters into my own hands and started taking the detox colon cleanse set that Jeremiah bought, took two pills and then stopped using because it gave him incredible stomach cramps. So yes, the pills that were giving my partner horrible stomach cramps just seemed like the absolute best option.

Although I didn't have horrible cramping I shit myself silly for two days straight before I got fed up, my asshole got sore as hell and I had taken fifty thousand hot baths. I stopped taking the pills and haven't pooped since.

I may die young and I may be ten pounds heavier because of my slow acting digestive system but for pete's sake it beats taking the time out of my very busy day to take a dump.

I don't have time for you, poo. You stink.