It’s Intramural Basketball Season Again

On Thursday mornings I meet with a few tenth graders at Rick’s Bakery; they are always late. Today I slept till 7, the time when we were supposed to arrive. They still weren’t there when I came in. My cousin Gabe was; he and another guy, Nick, always meet at the same time. They get there on time. Or maybe they just get there before I do. I can’t imagine when they get up. Probably like 6:30. Vampires are still awake at 6:30; I stay inside until the sun rises.

The guys I meet with are goofballs – they’re all clever and odd. Two of them today told me they’re playing on Gabe’s intramural basketball team. They’re very excited – they say the team will be banging. I told them that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I backed that up with the fact that I’m in college. When you’re older, you might understand how stupid that phrase is. Or how inflated your preception of my coolness is.
Before Gabe left, he came over to tell me about his game on Saturday. The name of his team is Dangle on ’em. I apologized to my guys and said, Gabe, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m a senior. In the honors college. And I can identify innuendo when I hear it. But he said he didn’t know what the phrase meant. We have a full basketball court in our driveway, with two goals and regulation lines painted in white. Apparently, during the summer, random people would stop in and challenge Gabe to basketball. And one Hindu kid, Rumi, had a sick shot and would shout, “Dangle on ’em!”every time the ball went up. Gabe swore to the truth of this story. He said my mom has a picture of it.
When I was a senior, our team was named Da Grillz. We had a .500 winning precentage. We ran a play I called the Hive, where the four players without the ball would surround the point guard and slowly move forward, making a buzzing noise and, if provoked, stinging the other team by slapping them in the face. There was only one fight.
We had a mix tape for warm ups. We had our own jerseys, but we only wore them during the first game, before the Boys and Girls Club made us take them off. That was okay with me. I was the only one who played high school basketball, but David and Bo had previously ironed “C’s” over the heart, claiming to be team captains. They weren’t captains – at best they were NCO’s. I was the captain – colonel – commander. I invented the Hive. I INVENTED IT.

(In the above picture, it’s David that is on the shoulders of Matt Garrett and Lee Dykes. I’m off to the left without my jersey, and with glasses and big metal braces. I’ve always wanted to be carried off a court. You did this to me, David.)

I told Gabe about the Hive. He said that would work well with their team shirts, which are completely orange with the words “Dangle on ’em” screenprinted in purple; the mass of color would confuse and frighten opponents. I told him I vomited Chef Boyardee onto a life raft and it spelled out “HELP,” but in those same colors. We both agreed it was a coincidence.
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I Know Nothing

On Friday, a few fraternity brothers and I went to a University of Arkansas hockey game at the Jones Center. Marcus, another brother, plays goalie for the club team. We were supposed to play two games against Tulane, but the school canceled, apparently because they’re really bad. But that’s hearsay. Instead, the team hosted a scrimmage.

I know nothing about hockey. In fact, I know nothing about many things. At Camp War Eagle, campers are required to send their parents a postcard in the middle of the week, to say, I miss you and I love camp. The counselors have to screen them in order to make sure the camper doesn’t write, I hate it here, or, my counselor’s a robot (it’s happened to me – twice). Once I had a camper postcard that simply read, “I KNOW NOTHING.”
That’s how I feel about life sometimes.
Marcus is the back-up goalie, though I think he’s much better than the starter. He looks better. His uniform fits perfectly. During the scrimmage, his team won 7-3, a score stuck between a really boring football game and a hockey game with no discipline. It was hard to cheer for Marcus, since he had to stay in one place. We congratulated him everytime his team scored. Way to go, Marcus. You look great in that uniform.
I never lock my car. Most often, I leave my keys in it. The car is a stick shift, and I live in Fayetteville. I haven’t run into many situations where people I don’t know try to steal it. Coming out of the hockey game, though, it appeared that someone had tossed my car. Everything that was in the center console was thrown onto the driver’s seat, and my Sonic giftcard was gone.
Once when I lived in Rome I had my bag stolen. I was riding a night train with two UCLA students, Mack and Maggie, and I fell asleep. Mack woke me up and told me someone had run off with my bag. Thanks, Mack. You are very astute.
I felt sorry for the theif, because there wasn’t much there. I had two Jules Verne books, and a notebook with an awesome outline for a Star Wars comic. There was a camera and a Nalgene. The worst part was the bag had my passport. My plane home was schedule for the coming Monday. I had to postpone, and stand in line at the U.S. Embassy. I would have given him the bag, if I could’ve had my passport. And the notebook. I hope the theif was a Star Wars fan. And could read English.
In the same way, I feel sorry for the Jones Center theif, because he probably spent a lot of time casing my car, and using his stealth skills, and all he got was a Sonic giftcard. Other than that, there were medieval literature books, two candles from Initiation, Pankration shirts, balloon animals, birthday hats, and these two old-timey photographs that I took at the end of the summer with some friends from War Eagle. I forgot they were in my car. I was supposed to scan and print copies for everyone, but I lost my nerve when I found out it was illegal. I hope they’ve forgotten.

Contest Winner Announced!

Last week I held a contest to gratify my ego, and as it turns out, eight people read this blog. Plus David Cox, who told me in person he refuses to comment. I feel honored. In high school, I only had like three friends, so I’ve tripled in value as a person, and I’m growing as a human being. Seriously – I’m like a half inch taller than I was when I came into college, though I’ve lost ten plus pounds. A few more years of this and I’ll finally be a man.

My thesis is a novel about time travel. My advisor is an actual editor for Amy Tan and a few other memoir focused feminists, so my time travel apocalative is exactly her forte. In December I gave her the first fifty pages. She emailed two days later, saying she couldn’t read it. The grammar was horrible and she hated the narrator. Use Christmas break to find yourself, then give me some haikus written in purple crayon. I can’t read anything else, because your horrible prose blinded me.
I kill off a lot of characters in my novel. That’s real power. I found myself creating characters just so I could shoot them in the back. I had to create a special gun to do it, because machine gun is a very bulky phrase. I named the gun after my high school English teacher. He inspired me to kill.
The contest was for the naming rights of one of the characters who is predestined to die. The goal was to write out the longest number. David Lee won with:
781,999,848,697,363,675,452,846,934,391,129,306,904,482,811
The first number is pronounced, “googoplexian,” which is also what humans will be called when the search engine Google renames the planet. They aim for the stars. Other entries included one, infinity, and David Lee plus one.
For our fraternity’s last date function, I didn’t have any leads, so at the Kappa house where I work, I wrote on the pantry chalkboard, “If you want to go to a BYX function with the houseboy with a beard (since many of them do not know my name), please put your name in the jar below.” After two meals, I had three names. Alex’s roommate’s put hers in. Julianne, the president, was in there eight times; eight different girls, none of them Julianne, submitted her name. The only girl who put her own name in thought she was signing up for a late plate. I picked her.
David is not a really unique name. His middle name, Raleigh, is good, but it’s almost too unfamiliar. I think it might be distracting. If his last name, Lee, was his middle name, and he was referred to in a southern manner as David Lee, as we call my cousins from Kentucky Holly Rae or Billy Joe (no joke – Billy Joe Murphy. He’s 6’7″ and 330 lbs. He plays offensive line for the University of Kentucky. He’s a big boy), it might be okay. So I will kill David Lee in my thesis novel using the gun I named after my AP Literature teacher.

Who Actually Like Crime and Punishment?

The first day of Modern American Literature, we went around the room and introduced ourselves to the professor. She’s an older woman who looks like Professor Trelawney. I honestly cannot remember her name. It’s my senior year. This class isn’t very important.

Modern American Literature is a sophomore level class; freshman can take it if they declare English, so most students are younger than I. Each person had to give their favorite authors. Walt Whitman. John Milton. Albert Camus. Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
You are all liars, and I am extremely embarrassed because you are not wearing pants since you took them off when they caught fire on account of your great deceptions. These are not your favorite authors. These are no one’s favorite authors. Hard human truths and favorite authors have never held hands. And who gives Dostoyevsky’s first name when they talk about Crime and Punishment? It’s like your trying to pretend you knew him; it’s impossible that you would know him, because he would never hang out with anyone who looks like you do. I know him. We play Settlers of Cataan every other Wednesday.
The skinny acne farm who said Albert Camus was his favorite author also said that it was because of the dichotomy which Camus creates between a presumed life and a true life. That’s when you pokes a hole in someone’s throat, right?
Last summer when I was in Galway, I paid 50 euros to attend a “Master Screenwriting Class” hosted by Christopher Hampton, who adapted Atonement and Dangerous Liaisons and such (see clay face, above). A good writer. A terrible class. The advertisement didn’t say this, but it was actually a pump up the jam party for the audience’s egos. Hampton, who said less than nothing that you can’t read in Syd Field’s Screenplay (which is the go to book, if you’re interesting in screenwriting), fielded questions from “students.”
Sample question: “I was a writer on a major motion picture, and the director kept asking me to rewrite this one scene for the big name actor in the major motion picture, and he was never satisfied. What should I have major motion picture?”
That’s not a question; that’s a high five. You might as well give yourself your own nickname. Like Major Motion Picture Lips, or Very Poor Self Esteem Face.
My favorite quotation, besides some really arrogant things Hampton said, came from one student who tossed Hampton an abstract softball that began with the statement, “Film is a very esoteric medium.” That’s where the salt water and the freshwater meet, right?
On the first day of class, the guy who introduced himself right before me said his favorite works were Eastern spiritual tomes and egalitarian love texts. Egalitarian? That’s with horses, right? You’re sick, greasy eighteen year old on my left.
When it came to me, I said currently my favorite author was Richard K. Morgan. What has he written? A trilogy of novels, with this same character Takeshi Kovacs. And what are they about? Five hundred years in the future, this ex-Navy Seal of the Universe who has a really bad attitude solves mysteries. He always gets his man. And he sleeps with a lot of women.

This Whole Time, You Were Heath Ledger?

In my fraternity, we divide all members up into cell groups of four to five guys; we do it by big/little relationships, and if someone is old enough not to have a little (like me), they get thrown in, as well. My cell group meets at Common Grounds on Sunday nights, because that’s when D.J. Soulfree weaves patterns to make music. We sit right by the speakers, and have to shout prayer requests at one another. But when Hate It or Love It comes on, its worth it, because we are all reminded of the fellowship that 50 Cent and The Game shared (before the feud). We love it.

Last Sunday, we were talking about our semesters. Scott is planning to take the MCAT. Taylor is going to India. Dylan, who runs track, is swamped. I don’t have much to do anymore. But at this time, another brother, Nick Pavey, came in with his girlfriend and two girls from Potter’s House, where Nick Pavey works. Potter’s House is a ministry for at-risk students. Nick is very faithful with them. We said hello, and they sat next to us, and we all watched DJ Soulfree brush the falling dreadlocks out of her eyes.
Near the end of cell group, I began to notice Nick Pavey’s two girls staring at me. I thought he was encouraging it, but I ignored them. On TV, they say that drives women crazy. Nick said, “Go tell him,” and one girl got up and came over. “You look like Heath Ledger.” Oh. I am him. It’s nice of you to notice. The conversation devolved from there.
When I was a sophomore, I worked as a houseboy for Pi Beta Phi for a semester. It was difficult; the food line is in the kitchen, so when girls get their lunch, they make uninhibited eye contact with the houseboys. Houseboys are like 19th century fieldhands or medieval serfs – girls don’t touch us, probably because we’re marked as hired help, and they still have aspirations of marrying millionaires. Good luck with that. We live in Arkansas.
But I would see these girls everyday, and though I knew their names, we never talked. One nice girl asked me to their winter formal, and I accepted. It was a lot of fun. But when it was over, and as we were waiting for the limousine, one of the seniors approached me. I used to see this girl at breakfast, wearing someone else’s shirt. She was a very cool cucumber, and she would have never talked to me sober. But as she past me exiting the dance, she suddenly stopped and looked at me. She looked like Gonzo. She put a hand on my shoulder and leaned against me, breathing heavily in disbelief.
“Heath Ledger?”
Her date took her other arm and pulled her away, but she walked backwards and continued staring at me, confused and possibly starstruck. It made the houseboy job worth it.
This was before Heath Ledger died, so it is not morbid.
Then, the Pi Phi house mom, Mom B, was losing her mind. I went to Rome the next semester, and when I came back, I asked for my job again. She thought I was another houseboy, and said she gave my job away. Thanks a lot Mom B. Now I work at the Kappa house, where, I am told, the girls call me “Sexy Lumberjack Man.” But if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, is my ego still inflated? Yes, yes it is.
I’ve had a few questions (from the same person) about the contest in the previous post. I’m leaving it open until midnight tonight, and you can post multiple times. Admit it – unless you’re David Lee or Dani Schulke, you’ve never posted on this blog. In exchange for being killed off in my thesis novel, I think it’s worth it. All entries must be attached to the previous blog post.

A Surprise Grab Bag of Notes

With the end of Initiation, I am suddenly free from all fraternal responsibility. For over a year I’ve had to go to all of our events, plan and execute members, and buy pledgeship stuffs out of my own pocket. No more. I am no longer in charge, and this means I can say whatever I want. Coconut, aluminum foil, galvanizing. There – I said it.

After the Initiation ceremony, a few of the new members and I went to IHoP and had unlimited pancakes. What a deal! For five dollars, they brought me eggs and ham and hashbrowns and yes, unlimited pancakes. It would have been perfect if I wasn’t so sleepy. Also that night, I told the pledges at my table the story of when I was a fairy dancer in the University’s production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. They had never heard it before, which was surprising. I spent two months in intensive dance training before falling off the stage in our last performance and receiving an eight stitch scar. But I think the real punch line is fairy dancer. But it was a scary fairy. I’ll tell you about it sometime.
Now, with all my free time, I’m quite at a loss. I’m looking for things to do. I want to implement a yes man policy: if ever a brother wants to go to dinner, go to Kansas, have a sleepover, watch a concert, needs a wingman, builds an ark, I’ll say yes. No matter what. But I’m still waiting to be asked.
So instead I’m working on my thesis. I’m a Creative Writing major, and my thesis is a time travel novel. All the names are real, though the events have been changed to protect the entertainment value. Three characters are actually fraternity brothers. They all die. Two are shot by a man named Mitchell. One has a brain aneurism. Hazards of time travel.
Often I get curious about who reads my blogs, outside of the authorities. I’ve narrowed it down to a 18 to 22 male demographic. But for this post, I think I’ll hold a contest. Whichever person posts the longest number, spelled out in words, in the comments section, I’ll blog a complete lie about you and make you famous. Or, I’ll kill you in my novel. You specify.

An Action Star Dream

It’s Initiation Week, and as such, my sleeping pattern is way out of whack – its now one of those patterns you stare at, that looks like a tessellation of dolphins but in fact is two spaceships in a low earth orbit giving high fives. Did that make sense? If not, it’s because I haven’t slept much.

I sleep for probably four hours a night, wake up for a ceremony or hazing (many times we combine the two out of a desire of expediency), and then sleep for another two hours before class starts. It was in this morning’s two hour supplement that I had a wonderful dream.
One of my pledges, Jon Reene, was kidnapped. He’s a skinny goofball, and in the dream he was wearing these terribly large glasses with no lenses. He didn’t need them. That may have been why the local drug lords took him away. They despise posers, or so the dream seemed to say.
His fraternity big brother, Jordan Hurst, and I, along with a few faceless redshirts, came after them out of a sense of brotherhood. The drug lords had established a base of operations in the old Washington Regional Medical Center, which is now the Center for Sleep Related Disorders. Coincidence? Probably. I just found that out, researching this blog post.
We entered through the front doors after getting a parking ticket for leaving our car in a restricted lot, and found that the first floor of the Center had been turned into a shopping center. Dr. Muntz, the professor of my History of Alexander the Great class, greeted us, and directed us downstairs, where we would find many bargins on weaponry. I thanked him, and told him I thought his puns were hilarious. That’s when I knew it was a dream. He has terrible puns.
And also he’s liar, because downstairs there wasn’t any weaponry, but a bunch of dads watching their sons play in this magnificent water park; I have to say, even now in retrospect, I’m not angry at Dr. Muntz for his misdirection, because that water park was so cool. There wasn’t any land base – the structure rose out of the water on stilts like a tropical supervillianous lair. It was contained in a glass sphere, so that children who floated at the edge of the water bumped into an invisible barrier and swam back to the slides. But the dads were about to watch Avatar, and I had already seen it, so we kicked the drug lords’ door down.
I killed like three people; I’m not really clear on where the gun came from. It was in my waistband when I reached for it. At any rate, I’m really glad it was there, because if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be here typing. I would be dead, because if you die in my dreams, you die in real life. That’s what happened to my last dog.
Jordan killed someone with a throwing knife, and he’s supposed to be our chaplain. The knife hit the man right between the pectorals; I feel that spot now and it seems like there’s some serious bone there, so he must have thrown the knife really hard. I always believed if it came to it, Jordan would kill. Now I know.
We found Jon tied up with silly string and wearing those stupid glasses. And then, in a sudden twist, Jordan stabbed Jon in the hand and killed him (my subconscious doesn’t really understand anatomy). I’m not really clear on the rest; the dreamed jumped from there to a scene where Will Smith and Special Agent Brand from the X-Men comics I’ve been reading were collaborating on an investigation. But I think Jordan was working for Dr. Muntz the whole time.
R.I.P. Jon Reene, who was stabbed in the hand and died in my dream, for the cause of greed and other things which I can’t really identify, because there isn’t much logic in a dream.

Worst Christmas Ever

During lunch at the Kappa house, everyone went around the table and told what they got for Christmas. A nice camera was the most common gift – all girls think they are great photographers. Don’t tell them I said that.

One girl was a little bitter. She said she had a list of five things she wanted, and she only got two, along with several other gifts she did not want. I can sympathize. My mom’s family all live on farms, and every year I am given a pocket knife by someone. The knives are all very swell, with real bone handles carved by the area hermit. There’s only two hundred of those, I am told. Great. That will really increase the resell value.

I don’t carry a knife. I’ve found that anything I would use a knife for, like opening packages or arteries, I can use a pen instead. And a pen has other uses. Some models, if clicked three times, explode a person’s shirt. There was a James Bond marathon on Spike over New Year’s Day.

The worst Christmas present I’ve ever been given was for Christmas my senior year of high school. I had just finished with my last game of football, and was undecided whether or not I would play in college. I asked for a box set of the works of C.S. Lewis. Instead, I got all of C.S. Lewis’ works in one volume (how am I supposed to read a book that I can’t hold up? It’s like thumbing through an atlas) and a gift wrapped CD.

A CD? Maybe it’s a good one. If not, I can always return it. And anyway, a Christmas gift never hurt anyone, except when Uncle John gave Pa Will a Remington. Pa Will had a cat infestation in his cattle barn that Christmas. He cleaned it out. It was horrible. My mom still refers to it as the Kitty Kat Massacre.

(Years later, only one cat survives from that event, and Pa Will has taken it in as a pet. My mom calls it Beyonce, because it’s a survivor.)

I unwrapped the CD, and found that it wasn’t a CD at all, but a picture inside of a clear plastic CD case. It was a picture of Jessica, the personal trainer at the Fayetteville Athletic Club. That night, I had a dream she was under my bed.

Jessica is the only woman to have ever thrown shot put and discus in the same Olympics. She lifted more weight than I did in any activity we practiced, and once she stood over me laughing as I vomited Mike and Ikes into a trash can.

I mentioned her before: I hated working with her so much that my sleep schedule derailed, and I would wake up at odd hours, get dressed, and drive to FAC, not bothering to check the time because I was too busy regretting my Christmas present.

But that’s my family. When I was in eighth grade, I found out my dad bought me a weight vest for Christmas – the type of thing used for endurance training by collegiate athletes. When I made fun of it, he took it back and gave it to one of my friends who he thought would use it. I never regretted making fun of it.

Bones, Back to Back to Back to Back

My parents live in the guest house. The main house, along with the guest house, was built in the 1950’s by my grandfather, who I like to imagine was one of the Mad Men. He was an investment banker, and the firm he worked for still has this wonderful oil painting of him in suspenders and a beard; he looks surprised, as if no one told him he was being painted. It must have taken great concentration to hold that look that long.

The upstairs of the main house is empty. My grandmother lived up there. Now, I’m the only one who goes upstairs, because 1) that’s where my clothes are, and 2) the only ice machine in both the big and little house is there. My mom called me yesterday and asked me to come home from the library because she needed ice.
In the downstairs of the big house is the Cave, which has four beds, a couch, and no windows. The XBOX is also in there. And a miniature refrigerator. My skin grows three shades paler in the winter. But the past few nights, my brother’s friends have slept in there because school was canceled on account of the cold. Last night, five of them performed a snow dance in the driveway, which continued until one took a misstep on a patch of black ice. They took that as an answer.
So instead of playing XBOX, which was one of the goals I created after finals ended in my five year vacation plan, I’m sleeping on the couch next to the wall which is completely glass and offers no insulation. I can see the Christmas lights on the little house as I fall asleep. When I open my eyes in the middle of the night, they look like a belt of dying stars. Millions of red and green stars. Stapled to wood paneling. At that time of night, I can’t separate what’s romantic and what’s trite.
On weeknights, TNT runs four episode of the crime drama Bones back to backstab. Since I spend the day working on my thesis and reading comic books (I spent my total of 75 dollars of Barnes and Noble gift cards on Joss Whedon’s 24 issue run of Astonishing X-Men; best money I’ve spent since I paid one of the groomsmen at Miller William’s wedding three dollars to recant and admit that I actually caught the garter), the time I spend watching Bones with my parents counts as maybe the last consistent family bonding I’ll share with my parents for many cycles. I graduate in May, and then I’ll leave. But Bones is quite good. It’s about an uptight forensic scientist working with a mellow and handsome FBI agent. Everyone on the show can be described as snarky. Some of the murders seem a little too complex – I guess the writers just get carried away with themselves – and I’ll never see the two leads get together, but that’s just two rules for long running detective shows. I don’t make the rules; I just need glasses to see them.
About this time two years ago, I left my parents to live in Rome for four months. We were separated, and so my thoughts of them were based on whatever happened that Christmas. It was nothing loud or spectacular; we spent some nice, quiet times together. The night before I left, we watched The Empire Strikes Back on VHS, because all the DVD’s are Special Edition, which doesn’t make artistic sense; let the deleted scenes bury the deleted scenes. But that was how I chose to spend my last moments with my parents. In fact, if a meteor was about to hit earth, I’d send a mass text message to all the girls I know, then I’d watch the Star Wars trilogy on VHS with my parents, and probably my brother’s friends, because they would be sleeping over.
Tonight we watched Bones for the last time, because tomorrow TNT starts its weekend line up of movies. In the third episode, Booth and Bones came this close to declaring love, but they pulled away at the last minute, because it was suggested that their feelings only spun out of Booth’s previous coma and hallucinations of Bones’ fictional pregnancy. It sounds complicated now, but in made sense in context. They had just uncovered both a mass grave and a convoluted Ponzi scheme, so there was a lot going on, emotionally. But my parents agreed with me that the two belonged together. I probably won’t watch Bones any this spring.

Custom Tailoring, Now With Custom Diagnosis

I asked for a suit for Christmas, among other things. Much better than a Christmas present, my dad gave me an old suit, without ceremony. And I’m being serious here. My uncle Ellis used to run a men’s clothing store called Trumbo’s. There was even a Trumbo building, right next to Blockbuster. That’s prime real estate. Anyway, the suit my dad gave me has the Trumbo’s label on the left inside pocket. Very cool.

I had to get it tailored; my dad is a few inches taller than me, and his suits are like big balloons. When I wear them, I feel like I’m working in an investment firm thirty years ago. But before I left for Custom Tailoring this morning, my mom caught my arm and said, “Be aware – the two women who run the tailor shop are not very nice.” Are you afraid I’m going to fight them? “No, I just don’t want your feeling to get hurt.” Mom, I’m twenty one. I’ve been able to see PG-13 movies now for like four years. Girls can’t hurt me – not since she left.
The two tailors are not quite grandmothers, but their waiting; they’re the kind of women whose children have grown up and moved away, and they sew because it keeps them busy. One went to school with my relatives – there’s an entire generation in Fayetteville who graduated high school with a Trumbo. My dad had four brothers, and they were all under a year apart. That is how I define hell.
The one who put the needles in my sleeve, Martha, worked without small talk. Our conversation was mostly about how comfortable I was, and her guessing at physical deformities. “Let me guess – one arm is shorter than the other. Am I right?” No. “You broke this leg as a kid. Right?” No. “This birthmark – you’re royalty!” She was right about that one. I paid her to keep her quiet.
The only digression we had was when I described the fit I wanted – tight and modern. The woman at the desk, Sheryl, who was older, showed recognition and said that was how all the young men wanted it. What can I say – I follow. It all started with that one young man, she said. You know, the singer. He wears his suits very tight. All the boys want to be like him. Since I wouldn’t see these women anywhere outside the shop, I decided to humor her and guess. I named a few celebrities who I thought dressed well, and she said no. He’s hispanic, and very handsome. He sings that song, about the crazy life.
Ricky Martin? Yes. All the boys want to be like him.
Later, when I was getting dressed, Martha was running over my contact information and, on a whim, asked my major. “English,” I said – never Creative Writing. Too many questions, too much incredulity – “and…Classical Studies?” No one ever knows this last one.
“Of course! So you’ve had Dr. Levine.” He’s my thesis advisor; I’ve taken several of his classes. “I had such a crush on Dr. Levine twenty years ago. I even changed my major for a month.”
I made an appointment to get my other suit tailored next week. It doesn’t need tailoring – I just want to hang out. Anyone who used to crush on Dr. Levine is okay in my book.
On my way out, I picked up my receipt (which spelled my name Kss, with no vowels, like I was an acronym and not a person) and Martha told me I had scoliosis. Nothing serious – a mild form, really – but I’d probably had it since childhood. That’s the reason I walked funny. I left quite self conscious.