By dotropolis on Monday, January 27th, 2014
…and the bathtub.
I was at a mexican restaurant last month paying for my food at the register. It’s a small place with brick interior walls and tiny wooden tables. There’s only one cook, a man, and two waitresses, two women. All three of them rotate with working the register and they speak english just good enough for you to understand them. I gave one of the women my debit card, which has my full name on it including the “II” after my last name. She said, “Ohhh you’re a second? That’s so nice. Are you going to name your son the third?” “Yeah probably.” I laughed a little bit because she seemed like one of those people that love kids. I’m not one of those people. I like kids and kids love me but I don’t like the idea of having my own. Not yet.
Two of my male cousins are having babies. One is having twins, a boy and a girl, and the other is having a boy. The boy’s name will be Blake Daniel Sanders. Blake is expected to be born this week and I honestly won’t believe that he exists until I hold him for the first time. It’s the first baby in our family that I’ll consider my nephew because me and his father have been around each other so much. You know that cousin that you’re forced to take a bath with when you’re a baby? And some jackass ends up taking a picture of you two and showing them to you your whole life to remind you of it? Yeah, he’s that cousin. I’m low key more freaked out than anybody. I keep picturing that random call I’ll get while I’m work that the mother is in labor. The lobby where they make you wait and how much pain she’ll be in. Looking at him for the first time and experiencing his hand gripping one of my fingers. And how much he’ll probably look like my cousin in that picture of us in that bathtub. The older you get, the more you see your friends and family members around your age have babies and get married and secure better jobs and progress and grow and evolve. There are people that actually take steps back the older they get but you never notice them really. You want to keep up with the ones you consider successful. Or at least have something going on. So some days you’ll feel like you’re in a rut. Other days are little different.
You’ll just be happy to not have any children.
The Water Bottle…
By dotropolis on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
…and the strangers.
Kaytranada performed in Chicago at The Mid, a medium sized club downtown, and I found a nice spot in the crowd where I could see him and enjoy my beer. It was close to the VIP section but close enough to the bar in case I needed a refill. Midway through the second song, a mentally handicapped man wearing blue jeans and a leather jacket walked up to me and shook my hand. Three white kids were standing a little to my left and I noticed them laughing. Almost cheering him on, I thought. I mouthed the words, “Are y’all together?” Because they were laughing as if this man was their friend. But as they got closer, I realized they were laughing at him. “Dude, that guy has been fucking with people since we got here! Dancing and grabbing on our clothes and shit.” The man wasn’t bothering me and I ain’t with laughing at handicapped people so I kinda eased my way away from them.
Soon after, an Israeli man, who looked around my age, stood next to me and said, “Hey man, who is this performing?” "It’s Kaytranada." We somehow started talking about neighborhoods in north Chicago and how expensive it is to live downtown. The conversation wasn’t long though because his whole point of talking to me was to sell me molly. But before I could even answer, an asian girl that was dancing by herself in front of us, spun around, leaped into the air, and landed on his foot. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Your foot is important!” There’s a video on my phone of Kaytranada’s set and you can hear this whole exchange. How she’s apologetic but drunk. He’s nonchalant and flirtacious. She starts giggling and flirts back. That awkward moment when they run out of things to say for a quick second and they try to decide if they want to take things further. You can’t see them but the microphone recorded everything loud and clear. He switched his focus to her and left me alone. A few minutes later, as I’m trying to send this video to my friend, I noticed a girl with big, curly light brown hair stand next to me. She looked like a college freshman if I had to guess. Everybody that stood next to me that night said something. This girl didn’t. In fact, she waited for about 60 seconds and because I didn’t jump down her throat with pickup lines, she went into the crowd and found somebody to dance with. I finished my beers and left after he was done spinning but I made the mistake of not going to the bathroom first. Not even halfway home, I’m stomping on the floor of my car and bouncing my leg up and down uncontrollably. I’m also on the phone as I’m driving. My friend says, “Pull over and piss on the side of the road.” But I didn’t want to get harassed by police that night if they happened to drive by. “Do you have a water bottle? Use that.” So I pulled over on the expressway and found an empty water bottle in my backseat. I decided sometime last year that if I write a book, it wouldn’t be a memoir or a non-fiction novel. It would be a collection of short stories, similar to how I run this blog. If I ever write that book, I’ll explain what happened exactly. But anyway, there’s a quote floating around that says you don’t really know how intoxicated you are until you try to urinate.
I couldn’t agree more.
By dotropolis on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
…and second chances.
The last full weekend I spent with her wasn’t that great. Something was telling me I should’ve been elsewhere but I forced myself to see her anyway and spend the weekend downtown. When I saw her in a black and white dress the first night, I gave her a halfway hug and I didn’t want the hug to last too long. It wasn’t her. It was me. But I didn’t know why the urge to be away from her was so strong when we’ve been on the same page since we met. A lot of my interactions with her felt forced. I promise, it wasn’t her. Maybe my mind was on work or my mother being sick still or music or the future or how much money I could’ve saved if we didn’t spend it on a hotel or stressing about if she was truly interested in me or not. I don’t know.
A month later she kissed somebody else. The night she did it I was making her a personal Christmas present. This happened the week of Thanksgiving, two days after I stood in the Black Friday line, twice, for the PS4. I wanted to end whatever we had going on between us. I didn’t need to think about it. But my cousin reminded me of how happy I was when I first met her and how much we complimented each other. She said she never heard me be excited about anybody like that and she deserved a second chance. My other friend echoed the same thing. “You know…she could’ve just lied about it and not told you at all.” She didn’t cheat because we wasn’t together. It was still the same feeling though. Like somebody stabbed me in the stomach with a knife and dragged it further and further down the more I thought about it and the more she described what happened. A sharp, twisting pain that I can’t stand and that I feel anytime we talk about it. Before this, we was thinking about possibly planning a future together. But all I’m trying to do now is forgive her. It’s hard because she’s a free spirit. Free spirits are attractive and they’re attracted to moments. And I have a fear I guess of being a moment. So that makes me a little detached on one hand. On the other hand, another part of me wants to cling on to her. Not to drag down her spirit but almost, with my actions, say, “Our spirits work well together. Fly next to mines for a while. I know I sound like an idiot and I know you like being spontaneous but believe in me. You won’t regret it. Trust me.” However, I can’t tell her to trust me when I can’t even trust her, right? I told her on the phone last night that I need to double check and triple check that I want to move forward with her. She didn’t say anything. Just the occasional loud sigh into my ear. Then today I asked her a question regarding our future and she said “If I didn’t think about the future, I wouldn’t be here.” Free spirits don’t think about the future, do they? Maybe I was wrong about her. Maybe I don’t even know her.
That could be our problem.