When I meet you, you’ll be standing there
On a country road, hazel hair and hazel eyes,
And when my horse slips on the ice
And you help me up; eternity will be in our lips,
As you infect me with your seductress serum.
You’ll be an orphan, poor, obscure, plain and little,
But to me you’ll be exquisite,
A lovely nymph, or an Egyptian queen,
And the most beautiful woman in Troy.
And I’ll be a destitute, proud, and mysterious man.
But I’ll be the god of your idolatry.
I’ll take your hands, palm to palm, a holy dreamers’ kiss.
Civil war will rage outside our Georgia plantation house,
Forcing me to send you away to be safe.
And I’ll write you Scarlett letters
Addressed in loopy script, “To My Sweet Dear One,”
And from 10,000 light years away you’ll still be my
Princess Leia or Josephine or Jasmine or Dianna,
Depending on how you do your hair that day.
Then years later,
While you wait in a death sentence prison
To burn for a crime you didn’t commit,
I’ll follow the colors of the wind to get back to you,
But it’ll take me twenty years.
Suitors will come, one hundred and eight of them,
And you’ll turn them all down, waiting for my rescue.
But on the day I burst forth from the enchanted forest
Twelve knights of my round table in tow,
Slaying dragons and breaking spells,
Dodging sirens and never letting go
Of the hope that I can hold you, my Rose, again,
You will let down your hair and I’ll climb
To your secluded tower to find that you
Are torn between two loves, one pale and mysterious,
The other dark and rough,
And I am an afterthought.
And in my grief at your indecision,
I will learn to play the acoustic guitar,
And play such sad songs and sing so mournfully
That the gods will weep with me for centuries.
And when you believe I’ve given up,
You’ll find a happy dagger or a friendly drop
And drink a thousand poisons
To end your sorrow, cutting thy youth in twain,
But I’ll trek all the way down to the underworld
Fighting off Hades himself
To undo the disservice you’ve done the world,
And as we ride off into the sunset on our white horse,
Singing our song,
I’ll turn to you and say, in a voice softer than velvet,
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
When I meet you, you’ll be standing there
So, the other day, my friend got jumped at the Waffle House. I’ve been meaning to tell you this story for awhile, especially since it was all I could talk about for a week and a half after it happened.
We were at the Waffle House, just enjoying ourselves. I’m so famous at the WH that they put my photo on the wall. I always bring different friends, and I tip very well, guilting everyone with me to tip well, too. After two hours of laughing and joking with the waitress (we maybe got a little rowdy, but hey, it’s just Waffle House), we tipped the waitress $30 between the four of us.
We were leaving the restaurant, making our 20-foot walk to the car, when a guy ran out after us, yelling about us leaving a message. Specifically, he yelled,
Hey Fat-ass! How dare you leave a mess on the table for that waitress. She works a minimum wage job, and she doesn’t want to clean up after your fat self.
This guy then jumped up to put his arm around my friend’s neck — my friend is about 2 feet taller than this crackpot — and proceeded to try and punch my friend in the face while hanging off of him in a failed headlock. After a few lame swings, he jumped down, straightened his shirt, spat at our feet, and went back inside.
We called 911. This guy, about 19 years old, has since been arrested for two counts of assault (spitting and cussing) and one of battery (failed head-punches). We’re all going to court — me, my friend, this guy, his girlfriend (who was in the WF with him), the waitress, our two friends who were with us, the two cops, and maybe the pot-heads who stood watching in the parking lot as all this went down.
Oh, I almost forgot the best part. After assaulting my friend and going back inside, Crazy Guy collected his girlfriend, paid his bill, got in his car with her, and drove away. Once the cops found him and took his information, he probably knew he was in deep poop. While we stood in the parking lot filing our report with the officers, Crazy Guy drove up, got out, and asked to apologize.
My friend, less of a fly-off-the-handle type than I am, replied that he had nothing to say to his assailant. As the awkward silence grew, my anger that this dude had violated my sense of safety at my favorite place to eat cheap breakfast food and attempted to hurt my friend for no reason grew. So I blurted out, “ARE YOU ON DRUGS??”
And the guy answered (get ready, this is epic):
Yes. My fiance and I have been doing some stuff to try to lose weight for our wedding. We’ve been on a lemon juice only diet. This is the first solid food we’ve had in three weeks.
To my surprise, they did not arrest him on the spot and drug test him. Apparently there’s this stupid thing in this country called “due process.” So we filed the warrant at the magistrate’s office downtown, and Crazy Guy was arrested later at his on-campus dorm room. I saw his girlfriend today at school.
I wanted to call out, “Hey, aren’t you the Crazy’s bride-to-be? I’ll see you in court, baby!”
I started becoming a minimalist without knowing it. For my entire freshman year I would guess I spent about $500 a month, and I didn’t even have any expenses! My parents paid my cell phone, I didn’t drive, and school and books were covered by scholarships. Still, I bought junk food, kitchen toys, DVDs, CDs, movie tickets to just-out films, restaurant meals I didn’t finish, clothes that didn’t fit that I didn’t need, and little knick-knacks that held my attention for as many minutes as the dollars I spent on them.
My second year–savings dwindling–I knew I needed to do something to solve the draining savings account problem. I did odd jobs on Craigslist for money. Raking leaves, cleaning houses, babysitting. The savings-drainage slowed, but continued steadily.
So I started questioning my spending habits. Why did I spend $5 on a new DVD every time I went to Wal-Mart? Why did I pay to download top-40 songs when the radio was on all the time and free? Why did I eat out and cook junk food when I had an on-campus meal plan?
When I couldn’t figure out why I was spending on this junk, I realized I also didn’t know why I was keeping the junk I’d invested in. Decorative items without places to hang them, DVDs I didn’t have time to watch, and clothes I never wore found their way to Goodwill or to new owners via Craigslist. I rooted out all my things.
Even though I was working and was doing well financially, all my junk weighed me down each time I moved (which has been every three months for the last two years). Last summer I did it again, purging my belongings. I started reading minimalist blogs like Zen Habits and Miss Minimalist, and they showed me the power of less.
I was radically inspired by Dave Bruno and his 100-thing challenge. Dave reduced all his stuff to just 100 items. I am still blown away by that radical simplicity. I don’t know yet if I aspire to such rigid not-a-lot-ness, but I would like to work there.
In less than a month, I’m downgrading from my beast of a Ford Expedition to the much smaller, happier, less-environmentally-deadly, fuel-friendlier Toyota Prius. I was once at a point where everything I owned fit in the Expedition. A few tubs of clothes, blankets, books, shoes, and kitchen stuff were all I had.
I wonder if I can reduce my possessions to the back of the Prius. A versatile wardrobe, like Miss Minimalist’s 10-item clothing collection. A single bag (I’ve been a bag lady my whole life, I have dozens) that can be used everywhere — preferably a recycled and unique one, like this. Food in jars, to reduce advertising in my living space. Can I do it? We’ll see.
After the overwhelmingly negative response to post #0036 from my multitudinous throng of demanding readers, I feel that a little justification is in order. As such, this post would be titled (if I was vain enough for titles):
“Why Camping Is Fun.”
Communing with nature is an essential part of understanding God’s creation, discovering the goddess inside yourself, and releasing the Earth Mother spirits from their captivity beneath the ground and within the trees. Not to mention supporting the forest fairies and river elves and all that jazz. It’s a public service.
Cell phones are evil. Their radioactive microwaves that erupt in short bursts through your brain and internal organs every time you utilize a cellular device are slowly killing you. Getting out of range of cell phone towers for even a day or night can add a whole year to your life. Also, your mother cannot call you, which, let’s be honest, increases your quality of life anytime.
You might see a bear. Or be mauled by a deer. Or chased by wolves. Which would give you a really cool story to tell at parties. It’ll make you popular.
It’s a time to bond with friends, away from the distractions of roommates, in-laws, other friends, elephants, television, keeping appointments with people you don’t like enough to go camping with, the internet, Facebook, college professors, internship and employment supervisors, and boyfriends. Unless the boyfriends come too, in which case we like the boyfriends.
You can hike on giant white rocks. Where else can you hang out with the Devil’s Rocks? We will do this and it will be fun.
I can’t think of any more. But you can be sure we’ll go swimming and hiking and learn survival skills so that when the fit hits the shan, and the zombie virus is released, and the nuclear reactors explode and all electricity is eliminated… we’ll be ready.
A friend of mine came up with a marketing idea for a product that has not yet been invented. But if you build it, they will come, right? So let’s outline the marketing plan, and some savvy business-person will decide to run with the production.
The original product, which we’ll call “V 1.0,” is faulty, and does not meet market demands. While it is flexible, stretchable, and self-healing, there are many unappealing aspects to the product. Like its pink color — so last season. Its shape makes no sense, and it really makes the product hideous and hard to understand.
V 1.0 is not aesthetically appealing in any light. It usually leaks, and is notoriously messy, with a very distinct smell. Also, it comes in so many shades and sizes (depending on frequency of usage and reproductive history), that a comprehensive brand experience is almost impossible.
Normal usage of V 1.0 is unavoidably painful to both the purchasing and non-purchasing consumer. The original purpose for which it was invented is in actuality the most difficult way to use V 1.0, and its susceptibility to abuse makes it a risky product for consumers to own.
Having the V 1.0 makes the consumer weak, stupid, subject to discrimination, inexplicably emotional and hormonal, and prissy.
V 1.0′s lack of appeal leads to consumer behavior that does not perpetuate the human race. Unless something changes, we could become extinct as a species.
We at McGillicutty Marketing want to make V 1.0 into a new product: V 2.0, the improved, appealing version of the world’s oldest commodity.
V 2.0 will appeal to all generations younger than the Baby Boomers (who, according to consumer research, seem to prefer the disgusting V 1.0, for reasons too blatantly sexist to explain here).
V 2.0, instead of weakening and wussifying users like its predecessor, will empower them. Forget the age-old glass ceiling — V 2.0 will give its users a titanium rocket to blast to the top of the business world.
The purpose for which V 2.0 was originally created will be infinitely improved upon, increasing development speed and enhancing delivery to last less than 30 seconds and causing no pain to users.
V 2.0 will be infinitely elastic. It will be tear-resistant, water- and fire-repellent, unaffected by lunar or emotional cycles, and it will help its user float when tossed in open water.
V 2.0 will be an asset to everyone who has one, not a liability. Consumers unfamiliar with V 2.0 will gravitate toward users and owners of V 2.0 in hopes of being admitted to the new movement. V 2.0 will be the greatest thing to happen to mankind since the invention of chocolate.
V 2.0 will solve social ills. Abuse of V 2.0, its owners, and their offspring will be abolished by the inherent empowering aspects of V 2.0′s design. Debates and political or moral conflicts about lifelong commitments will be eliminated, as V 2.0 will attract consumers with such strength that their previous pursuits will become lost to memory.
Market Penetration (no pun intended)
V 2.0 will sweep the nation, beginning as a grassroots movement marketed from multiple corners of consumers’ everyday lives. We will introduce V 2.0 in New York City, as the latest fashion accessory for top models and designers.
We will install V 2.0 for celebrities cost-free, not even asking for endorsement (since this will come naturally with usage).
V 2.0 will quickly become a must-have for athletes, as its equalizing properties will give teams and individuals alike a unique edge over non-users of V 2.0.
Politicians will want V 2.0, and after using it will soon lobby to criminalize non-usage.
V 2.0 will bring about world peace, cure cancer and AIDS, and make unicorns real.
Get yours now.
So my fish did not die. He is alive and well. I got him a filter and made some more room in his tank, and he is now a happy camper. In case you were wondering.
In other news, I’ve decided to plan a really big camping trip. I’m dying to just dig my toes in the earth and build a fire with my own two hands… and some matches and lighter fluid. I need to commune with nature… from my sleeping bag in the back of my Expedition. Is it still too cold to go camping? It’s never too early to start planning.
I’ll need a sleeping bag, first of all. Or maybe I’ll just pile some blankets in the back of the truck.
Bug repellant. Hot dogs and marshmallows. Firewood. Flashlights. A rape whistle (you never know about those Virginia forest hippies). And a couple good friends. A GPS? Nah. We’ll follow the stars. Or the road signs on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Internet has really changed life on earth. It used to be when you had a decision to make — a big purchase to make or a relationship to choose a path for — you’d ask your parents, closest friends, the old guy in the rocking chair at Cracker Barrel. And if you really didn’t have anybody, you’d ask your dog or goldfish or composition-notebook diary.
Now tons of poor-grammared advice is at your fingertips. Everyone has something to say, and you can listen to as much of their advice or as little as you want. And never even know who they are.
This morning I woke up and my goldfish was having a bad day. I fed him and he came to the top for food, and then sank to the bottom, his belly resting on the tank gravel. I turned on the bubble-blower tube, which usually excites him because it makes a current he can swim against, but the bubbles made him tumble and knock against the side of the glass, like a rag doll.
I changed his water, to no avail. Still settling on the bottom, staring at me unblinkingly. Do fish get depressed? Could he be constipated, and his backed-up poop is weighing him down? Maybe he’s just tired of swimming. People sit down after walking a long ways. Maybe fish want to relax sometimes, too?
I did a Google search. Turns out fish do get depressed, but not usually because of some crisis of their existence. They tend to understand that they exist to eat fish food and be stared at daily. And swim. They get depressed from losing a loved one. But my fish is a determined bachelor; he’s never loved and lost.
Fish also get constipated. Feeding them peeled peas helps loosen them up.
Fish do get tired, but not from working out too much. They get tired after fighting infection or fighting to breathe in stale water. So maybe my fish is sick. Sad day.
I’m going to Petsmart after work for some advice, and maybe new fish toys or a filter. And someone said a gravel vacuum, for sucking fish poo out of the rocks at the bottom of the tank. Maybe a heater for the water? Maybe I’ll get him a happy orange, finned companion. Maybe they’ll fall in love and hold fins. Do fish have sex?
Google search: Turns out they don’t. When it’s time to make babies, everyone sprays their reproductive products into the water, and some of the products match up and make fertilized eggs. Man, fish have sad lives.