Chapin City Blues

Writing is writing whether done for duty, profit, or fun.

Nothing feels real in these moments. Staring at the face in the mirror, this familiar stranger whose eyes are bagged and drooping. Wisps of gray hair blending into the dark. It’s one of those dissociative moments. At least something in the hypnagogia realm. And my mouth cracks open. The question on my lips is, “Who …

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The End of Phase 2 Pt. 4: Friends, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Human Race (sort of).

May 1, 2015

Last November—during my annual Brovember movie month—I watched 21 Jump Street. I caught the movie in the past on FX, always allotted for time and always censored. I don’t remember much from the movie. It’s not that memorable. Although, it did raise a question I had never thought to ask before: How do adults become friends?

When I met my long-time friend, Meester Binx (obviously not his real name), it was on the playground during our years at Sam Houston. Now Binx will argue with me until he’s blue in the face about that we met in first grade. I know that we met in kindergarten. We were walking in opposing directions and crossed paths. I hopped to my right and he hopped to his left. I moved to my left and he moved to his right. “Cut it out,” one of us said. “Cut what out,” responded the other in classic Dave Coulier fashion. And of course the squeaky, broken voice of typical childhood bashfulness broke the routine we found ourselves in. “Do you wanna be my friend?” This is another thing Binx will argue. In his version of the story, I asked it. In the true version of the story, we both asked it because we were obviously destined to be hetero life mates a la Jay and Silent Bob.

In Junior High (now referred to as Middle School), things changed a bit. The dynamics were the same. Chance introductions led to brief or lifelong camaraderie. And high school dragged those Junior High friends through the mud and I met their girlfriends and reunited with old elementary chums. In summation, I have never been without friends.

Post high school/college, most of my acquaintances were made because of the dire need of having classroom friends in case I missed a day. Those are the ones who “throw away” after the semester is over. If you so happened to share another course together, well, it saved you the trouble of having to make another friend. The friends that I made in college—the real ones—came from being a part of Sigma Tau Delta. And even those are just people have become just faces on social network.

The digital age has altered the term friend viciously. I catch myself several times during conversations. My Internet friend. A friend from Tumblr. This Facebook friend. The word follows or is followed by an adjective, the name of a website where we commune. Some of these people I can say I love. I love Samantha. I love Ashton. I love Jason and all his bearded glory. I love Jenn. I love that bastard Eddie. These are people who I could talk to. Who I’d go out and grab a drink with if I drank. I don’t drink. Don’t invite me out drinking. I’ll only ruin your night. And I’ll probably steal your keys. And your cell phone. Because I love you and I want you safe.

My adult friends are comprised by friends I’ve known all my life. There’s Binx, of course. There’s Monica, and there’s Miranda. There’s Jeanna. There’s Esmer and Jerry, who I met because of Jeanna. Monica and Joe go way back to kindergarten where Miranda came about in high school.

Then there are the work friends. These are the weasels who snaked into my life while I wasn’t watching. I go into every job saying that I won’t make friends. Before I know it, there are new people in my life that I actually enjoy talking to. That I enjoy hanging out with. That I can be a complete idiot around. Who’ll laugh when I need them to laugh at me. Who’ll make a joke to cheer me up. Who’ll invite me to places or force me to attend parties against my will. These are the people I don’t mind talking to, confessing to, confiding in. These are people I’d go out and have a drink with if I drank. I don’t drink. Don’t invite me to go out drinking with you. I’ll only snap embarrassing pictures of you and broadcast them on Tumblr and Instagram and Facebook and my blog (which you’re reading).

Somewhere we stop asking the question. Maybe it’s understood. We don’t need to mimic Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street and sheepishly ask the guy we bullied in high school if he wants to be our friend. We just know. And I love that.

Did you hear the one about the friend, the Internet friend, and the duck?

June 6, 2013

Woke up from the strangest dream this morning. Pulled out of it, more like it. Maybe it stemmed from watching The Time Machine right before going to bed. Or perhaps I’m just losing my mind. Both seem like plausible reasons.

Anyone ever see that show, Flashforward, before it was canceled? The one where the whole world fell asleep for a few minutes and saw the future during the blackout? Their consciousness removed from the present and blasted into the future. That’s sort of what happened within the dream. A few of us – a mix of coworkers and a few friends – wound up at some dull presentation.

We passed out and had a similar dream about a duck. And the duck spoke. In my dream, the duck spoke my name and told me a few things about another dimension where he lives (apparently one where ducks can speak). I got a phone call from Miranda who told me that she learned about something I kept from her all these years. The dream Miranda never told me what that was, but it had to be bad. Luna, a friend I made over at Tumblr phoned me to report how pissed off she was that we slept together and I didn’t stick around.

“Did a duck tell you this?” I asked. “Because we never slept together. At least, not in this dimension.”

“How did you know about the duck?” she asked.

“We all dreamed about the duck,” I replied.

Later, Joe called and asked me if the dimension the duck was from had me driving everywhere. I, as usual, ignored him.

You are the last drink I never should have drunk You are the body hidden in the trunk You are the habit I can’t seem to kick You are my secrets on the front page every week You are the car I never should have bought You are the train I never should have caught …

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“Does this sound like a helicopter?”

May 5, 2013

Oh, I thought you’d still be mine
When I kissed you goodbye
Oh, and you might be with her
But I still had your first.

Why was Cher Lloyd allowed to change her clothing on the way to the police station? Someone explain that to me, please.

After the earworm has wiggled itself into your cerebral cortex, we can continue with this post. The original idea for this post was something entitled “The Swinging Door,” but I’m vacationing from the depressing for today. Well, a half-day anyway.

Yesterday afternoon, near evening, Miranda decided to kidnap me after my hard day at work. Not taking any pain killers, the night wasn’t exactly something I longed for. Still, Miranda insisted and there’s no telling her no. So onward we went and we talked about everything. And after not hanging out with my friends in one setting for a while now, it was nice. Something I needed to get my mind off of everything, even though that’s what we spoke about.

In a matter of hours, we spoke about my failed relationship with Jeanna, the year 2008, her ex-husband, the person who’s pre-occupying my mind, and everything in between. We also discussed the swinging door/the Hank & Karen aspect of my love life. A fun night, in summation.

It’s okay. I won’t keep you any longer. You can play the song again.