Dinner Plans

Crime of Life, February 22, 2010 at 10h02

An hour before we were to entertain our guests, she told me she was ill. The symptoms were showing up all day, really; very little sleep, stubbornness, general crankiness. She said it would pass by dinner, so I began to prepare it. I checked in on her when I could, but by myself the cooking was not going well. With so many dishes to make, I ended up being late for an undercooked dinner, and when I told her it was ready, she said she was much too ill to eat.

There was no such illness. If a nurse had examined her, there would be no fever. No infection, no upset stomach, nothing. The illness was a relationship that she couldn’t get used to. She was so accustomed to being alone that trusting anyone left her uneasy. The feeling of falling, the feeling of one day being hurt; these were her fears, and by what they were, she suffered them only because she wanted something that she didn’t know she didn’t want at all.


The Elaborate Scramble

Crime of Life, February 20, 2010 at 11h50

I lived as a teenage boy over-protected from anything of questionable morality. My mother at times would remove posters from my room if she thought there was too much skin showing, so I had to be clever. When we first got our computer — long before we’d ever gotten Internet access — I had a program called Rainbow Paint, a predecessor to MS Paint. Using its limited tools, I drew a picture of the Black Cat from an issue of Amazing Spider-Man that I had. It was great work, I remember, but her costume showed much more skin than my mother would ever allow. But rather than cover it up, I chopped it up. In big blocks of pixels, I moved it around like a puzzle, scrambling it. Any time I wanted to look at it afterward, it would take a few minutes to move it back to how it was. This is among the lengths I went to as a child to conceal my curiousity.

Not sure why I never just kept it on a floppy disk.


A Moment in Another Self

Crime of Life, February 19, 2010 at 01h58

Who knows what I was thinking on that roof, drunk, obviously out of my usual self. It was remarkably easy to get up there. People walked by on the streets, but it was so dark and I crept catlike past the windows. Every room was empty, some had lights on, and I was so tempted to peek. I didn’t resist.

After I jumped back down, we hurried through the alley and onto a side street. We came to a place without lights, maybe a park or a field, somewhere we couldn’t see. All we could hear was the humming of my jacket. We were lost.

We walked towards the nearest light that wasn’t the way we had come. There was no trail that we could see but we walked through the bush anyway. Eventually we made it to our room, and eventually I made it to sleep; but in the morning we still didn’t know what had happened. And still today I wonder how I could have been so completely not myself that night.


The Comedian

Crime of Life, January 30, 2010 at 05h47

I’ve been on dates with women who found me funny, but none were so awkward as my date with the Comedian. I hesitate for to call her that because it was not her profession, but perhaps it’s more fitting than the other, the one with the badge.

When I was funny, she told me. Everything was dissected and analyzed. Over and over, she would tell me that I should do stand-up, but always emphasized amateur nights. She did not do amateur nights any more. She’d done her time as an amateur, she said.

I wasn’t trying to be funny, I didn’t care if she found me funny or not. Maybe she was being defensive, maybe not, but to the Comedian, one way or another, the date was serious. To me, it was just something funny that happened.


A Basketful

Crime of Life, January 23, 2010 at 01h40

Among my little-known talents is my knack for certain discretions in public places. One particular evening found me visiting friends in the city, out at a school fundraiser concert. Too much cheap draft beer in too little time, and soon enough I was a wee bit wobbly.

As an aside, this was back in 2000, and the band playing was Nickelback. This was before their surprising commercial success, and I hate to admit that I remember thinking they were really good. Also, I could hardly stand.

After the party, our group of eight went to Boston Pizza for last call. We ordered lots of beer and pizza bread, and though I was already over my limit, I drank more. Then it all hit me. Right there at the table.

I casually pulled a pizza bread basket towards me, moved its contents to another basket, and quietly relieved my nausea into it.

Completely unnoticed, I sat there for a moment afterwards, not sure what to do next. I might’ve even sat there forever had it not been for a friend helping himself to my full pizza bread basket. Instead, seven guys leapt to their feet, paid their bills, and got the hell out of there. I hope I tipped enough.


Welcome to the Family

Crime of Life, January 21, 2010 at 01h25

For the ceremony, I was asked to give the welcome to the family speech. Thing was, I didn’t particularly want to welcome him to the family. I didn’t know him that well, and to be honest, time alone with him was usually awkward. I got the impression that he was always trying to fill a role and that his performance wasn’t genuine. How could I welcome this?

I tried writing my speech for months. I had lots of ideas and drafts, but none of them seemed right. None of it was what I could ever really say. Instead of being a speech for him, it was simply him, it wasn’t honest.

The final version was. Sort of. I talked about his efficiency in helping me move, but not how things were broken in the process. I talked about how he helped me fix my car, but not how he’d forgotten to connect a hose. What I joked about was truthful, though it wasn’t quite exact. And he was by my words welcomed into our family, but only so long as he could fill the role.


The Banker

Crime of Life, January 6, 2010 at 04h20

With online dating, I’ve found the frequency of misunderstanding to pervade the relationship. Take, for example, my brief relationship with the Banker. She was the last woman I met when I was actively looking for my One and Only. I fell for her the moment I saw her profile picture. And really, I’m not a shallow person by nature, but the tendency with dating sites is to fall for their selective imagery first, their selective biography second, and then make up a personality for them, one that suits the qualities you want. And in her, I gave her all the qualities I wanted.

The Banker and I chatted through the site, then through instant messaging, and finally e-mail. It was there that the relationship would end, but not before we met in person one evening. Continued…


Odd Ends Through Elementary

Crime of Life, December 31, 2009 at 07h06

Herein are various odds and ends of my childhood still sitting in memory.

In the first grade, we had Mad Minute quizzes once a week. Twenty math questions and one minute to do them. During that entire school year, I always came in second, always behind Dayla. Secretly, I often hoped she was sick on these days so that I could come in first.

In the the second grade, my teacher was Madame Bougie. For whatever reason that might come from psychoanalysis of the child I was, I remember once accidentally calling her mom instead of madame. A few classmates laughed at me for this. Continued…


Bad Apple

Crime of Life, December 25, 2009 at 08h00
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There was a Christmas when I was 15 where I spent the entire day writing an mIRC script. I stopped only to eat, and then immediately afterwards, while my family ate in the dining room, I sat in the corner — paper sprawled out — by myself. Understand that this script was a glorious thing. It would bypass the school’s firewall and allow students to enter a private chat room. This was all against administration policies, of course, but my script worked perfectly. Its only flaw was that I couldn’t figure out how to not get it traced back to me. See, I learned that lesson months earlier, and I’d even been banned ¬†from the computer lab. But hey, that’s a story for another time. Now that I’m older (and some might say more mature) I understand that the holidays are being with the people you love.


Partnership

Crime of Life, December 20, 2009 at 07h07
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I’ve always had a strong inclination to creativity. It never satisfied me enough to enjoy the products of someone else’s creativity; I wanted to create things myself.

In one particular grade, I asked my music teacher if at some point during the year we would be allowed to write compositions that might be performed by the entire class. She said yes, and it wasn’t until the end of the school year that I realized we wouldn’t be doing anything of the sort. To me, playing music was all well and good, but I wanted to do more. Continued…