AITAH? (Am I the Ass Hole)

So I went for a drive and ended up in the City of Ill Repute just a few miles from the ocean. Conditions being what ever you want to think they are, I found myself needing to pee.

Reason guiding me, I found a little shop offering fortune telling. Bathrooms are for paying customers only though, so I discovered that an ATM was in my future.

Waiting in line for customer cash at the ATM, I witnessed an interviewer moving along the shady tree line asking for opinions that they can use for attention. Semi interested, I must have been staring because soon a lovely yellow-haired gal stuck a microphone in my face and asked if I was keeping up with current events.

“Kinda” I responded. “What is this about?”

“Can you define what a woman is?” She asked, pushing the audio phallus towards my face. I had seen on youtube an advertisement where an ‘Orange Man Bad’ supporter was asking unsuspecting people these kind of questions and made a show about it. Now, I haven’t seen the actual show but it was instantly clear that I didn’t want to be any part of this so I decided to placate her, get my ATM money, and go pee at the Fortune Teller’s shop. “

“I reckon I can recognize a woman as well as anyone else.” Smiling, I backed away and prepared to act interested in waiting in line when she pressed forward. Sir, she smiled sweetly, can you elaborate on how you can define what a woman is?”

“Well, I winked, If you need me to ‘splain it to you, you are probably a woman.” HAaaaa! I raised my right hand for a high five being sure I had come up with the answer this right wing, hate filled girl was wanting.

She took 2 steps back, balled her fists at her sides, and fire shot out of her eyes. I was still cackling cockily at the joke at the right-winger’s expense. I glanced around quickly, scoping for someone to revel in my genius. Bizarrely, an encompassing quiet moved away from me in a neat circle like a pebble dropped in the lake.

Within seconds word spread psychically and a slow-moving zombie crowd began turning their misguided malice towards me. My interviewer, jaw distended, bellowed out an ear piercing scream and it was at this moment I knew that I had fucked up. She wasn’t MAGA!

“No, no, no, no. It was a joke! It was a Joke.” Dammit, I know better than this. The last time I thought something was funny enough to be witty I was 16 and in doing so I accidentally triggered a race riot. None of my compatriots are capable of recognizing satire so I seldom joke about anything unless I happen to be around someone so uninformed that they are safe to be funny around.

As the cast of Planet of the Apes advanced, waving the Staple signs about ‘hate-having-no-home-here’, ‘love not war’ and ‘coexist’, (signs that I and my friends had made for the event) I desperately scoured the stone-cold faces of the Hive Mind for the group I traveled in with. Even those I have been close friends for years moved blindly towards me in trance-like vacancy.

Seeing two park police, I began to run towards them. The good, loving, ethical group of which I am a dedicated follower of, were slow to follow because at that moment a small band of Proud Boys (3) presented themselves on my behalf so I made it to safety. The cops realized my plight and pretended to arrest me to satisfy the good guys, releasing me a few minutes later. Good thing too since I needed to be present for the firebombing of an Asian convenience store whose owner was suspected of agreeing with those misinformed constitutionalists.

Finally! The shop keeper graciously showed me to the water closet. The Fortune Teller was an old Hindi woman with a no-nonsense manner. She held my hands across the table and went into a Hindu prayer and gave me the most accurate reading of any Voodoo type experience of my life….. Except for one thing. She must have called me an asshole 6 times, shaking her head and scolding me. That part couldn’t have been accurate.

Calling my mom a few months later, I recalled with her how I had been confused as a child, asking to why, when ever I met a truly loving person, they were NEVER a member of our church and how is that possible if the people in our church were the only ones of whom the God of the Love of All Eternity recognizes worthy. She couldn’t answer me then or now. “Mom? Is it possible that I am the asshole?” The phone went silent for about 10 seconds. “Yes.” and then “I’ve gotta go.”

Does This Sound a Bit Obnoxious to You?

It’s not MY fault. It’s the fault of that stupid lady at the bank that is rude. All I did was try to take a selfie in the vault and you’da thought I was planning to kill a endangered bird the way she started yelling. If that’s all the better you train your employees then I’m not going to make my house payment. If enough customers stand up to this bullshit, maybe there’d be a change. Well NOW they’re foreclosing and saying that it’s MY fault for not paying.

Corporate A** H****!

You’ve gotta know when to hold ’em. (know when to fold ’em)

So, it’s a windy Saturday morning and I’m sipping some kind of internet coffee with a half pack of Swiss Miss cocoa that has the little dried marshmallows. I had invited a lady who lives in my neighborhood to go to church with me this morning. She wanted to know what that meant so I asked her what she wanted it to mean. Turns out me driving her to the plant nursery that is closing so that a RV park could be built was her idea of church.

The owner of the place is just an owner. It is an investment for him so he doesn’t have the reverence for plants that my mom had. He is just trying to get rid of stuff so that the tractors can come in and build his next money factory.

I asked him if I could buy a pallet of dandelions and some goat heads (a horrible plant that drops hard, thorny seeds). He laughed and offered me two pallets of each. Since he had a minute to visit, I asked him if he had some of the blood-meal fertilizer that makes the grass grow green and he said no, but he had a different kind that people with indoor plants love and swear by.

“Some people actually pet their plants. I know, it sounds weird, but they actually do.” He shared while shaking his head. “I get it.” I nodded, adding that “I’ve known people who had strange relationships with their horses.” (That got weird fast.)

“It happens though, I’m not particularly proud of my relationship with coffee but we all have something going on.” He laughed and agreed holding his coffee high and taking a sip. (Whew! Nice save!)

My church-marm emerged from the greenery and asked if there was anything that I wanted, or thought would look attractive. I spaced off for a few seconds wondering what my options might be. Since she was buying, I selected a red-flowering plant that had red buttons as blooms.

Dragging the plant-wagon, a Radio Flyer red wagon that they used like a grocery cart for weeds, to the register, she sang out “I’m going to need you to pay since I didn’t bring my purse.” Luckily, I donate plasma, so I had my debit card loaded with ‘blood money’.

She smelled nice so I took my time helping her load her plants into the trunk of the car. Traffic was light so I got the lane I wanted, crossed the tracks, and eased up to the red traffic light. “Thank you.” She cooed. “I know you wanted to pay for me getting my hair and nails done so I’ll let you pay for this instead.” She patted my leg and smiled at me.

Hmm.. I held steady. If I play my cards right, this could become a new religion. I can see taking her to church every week. It’s my Christen duty after all.

We pulled up and unloaded the greenery. I suggested she might want to change clothes before planting, maybe a white bikini. She asserted that she was fine in the clothes she had on and maybe I should get on my way as she had work to do.

Well, so much for playing my cards right. I wonder what’s happening on the internet.

He Done it to His Self

I landed in an old run-down shack, a relic from the days when an old sugar beet factory kept company housing for the workers that was located in the desert of Southeast Colorado the year I turned 16. I was a runaway and found lodging with four other folks, two younger and two older in conditions not much better than my own.

None of that would mean shit if Tom hadn’t come into my life. The moment our consciousness collided, much like the scratchy sounds of an old country song on a record player, my life changed forever.

I hung on every word I ever heard come out of Tom’s mouth. A lot can be said in 3 1/2 minutes and what still marvels me today is that I could repeat the experience of what I heard every time.

Tom was 35 years older than me, and he seemed to understand the inner workings of the life around him, human and animal.

In the casual way that a pool player in a small-town dive holds a cigarette between his lips, talks smack, and sinks the 8 ball, Tom would spin tales of politics, social unrest, racism, and good old fashioned hard luck.

Without a doubt, many days have gone by where I did not think of the words of Tom, but I don’t remember any. If God himself insisted that I thought of Tom every day, I wouldn’t call him a liar.

From that fateful day in October when I was 16 years old until the day that I am writing this, every happiness, hardship, new hope, and old-world boredom has the philosophy, poetry, and Tom’s country styled wisdom blended through it.

There’s no way to even guess what my life might have been had Tom not been a part of my life. It’s doubtful I would have lived this long if I hadn’t had his voice offering me guidance.

Saturday morning two weeks ago I was preparing myself for some newfangled time wasting on the Innerweb when I stumbled across an obituary for Tom. That rude son-of-a-bitch didn’t even have the decency to tell me himself.

I looked into it a little deeper and it turns out that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

I’ve known a lot of people over the years and some of them have been my friends. Thank God for guns or those poor sons-of-bitches might have lived forever. Of all the friends in all of all my lifetimes, Tom was the last one.

Being self-absorbed as I am, I think it would be better to join my friends then to make new ones. But, on the other hand, if I make more friends, I can write more obituaries. There’s always that.

A few words from the movie Stargirl:

Who cares about strangers’ birthdays? Or stories about other people? Who would take the time for someone they don’t even know and the time to learn and grow when they realize they did something wrong?

The woman I’d slept with the night before asked me what happened? How did he die?

He done it to his self.

And to the Grim Reaper, (You grinning fool):

Thank you kind sir for taking him. The only thing worse than dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound……. is surviving it.

Like never before, Tom


Missed Call, Wrong Number

It’s just one habit. It’s not like the other ones. I’ve been at it a long time and now it is going away.

The thing is though, it represents the best thing in life, well, one of the best anyways. I know what you told me and I know all the bullshit but this is different and you wouldn’t understand anyways.

It changed over the years. Or maybe just my experience is different anyways. Things just aren’t what they are supposed to be. It was so great, but this was great too plus I was doing it this way first but now nothing works like it used to and I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be like. I just know it seems so meaningless now.

Who says it’s better without it? What do they know if they aren’t doing it?

The problem is that I think this is what has kept me from moving forward although I’ve gotten this far what’s to say I won’t be just fine.

What do you do when you don’t want to do it anyways? I remember back then and it was all so great and now it is real and I don’t even like real if it is like this. I don’t think I like it; I haven’t given it a chance.

Even all the things that seem so awesome if I can’t do it are only awesome when I think about not doing it and if I’m really not doing it all the awesome things suck.

Anyways, Amanda is sick and we can’t find Daryl so I gotta go and you can fuck off you self-righteous ass.