Thursday, April 22, 2010

Self Depreciating Childhood Nostalgia pt. 6


My parents separated the summer I was thirteen years old. I knew that something wasn't right on the home front, but I didn't really see it coming. I don't imagine kids ever do.

Anyway, backslash familial drama - I was about to start high school. Leaving the apartment we shared as a family, my dad and I moved everything we owned about 200 feet to a modest split level house on the back of the property, which we rented from the same people. We settled into a new life there, two guys with the same name and a dog who had taken to chronically pissing the carpet in protest of my mom's absence (ancillary to this story but worth mentioning). It used to be that during every waking moment of my time at home, a parent was there to influence my behavior. Mornings before school, I'd get ready and leave with my dad. Arriving home later, my mom would be there crocheting or getting ready for dinner. I was kind of good by default - what kind of shit can you get into with your mom in the other room?

That all kind of went out the window, and quickly. My dad had to travel for business fairly often in the late 90s, and there were more than a few nights when I had nothing to do but hang out with my friends and facilitate buttloads of underage drinking. I wasn't throwing balls-to-the-wall parties or anything, just a rotating cast of characters from the same core group who knew my situation.

Well one night I just wasn't into it. I'd had a shitty day, I wasn't feeling well and didn't care that I had no parental supervision - all I wanted was my bed. I took a mega-dose of NyQuil, got into my birthday suit (as a man who sleeps alone is apt to do) and hit the lights. This was probably sometime around 9:30PM.

Time passes. I'm dead to the world...but something is trying to wake me up. It's a sound, a knocking. There's someone knocking. Someone is knocking on the door (this is the perfect stream of consciousness description of my thought process, you're welcome).

I'm half awake, naked as a jaybird. I spring out of bed because what if there's a fire? Or maybe I've won the Ed McMahon lottery finally, right? These are all possibilities. I'm in the foyer, about to answer the door. Shit - still naked. What's available...?

My dad has left a blazer hanging from a dining room chair, after deciding against taking it on his trip. Perfect. I'm going to put this blazer on and answer the door for people to see me. This is a great idea.

If you can conjure up how much of a person a blazer is designed to conceal, you can quickly calculate how much of my chubby body remained unaccounted for in the scheme. NyQuil doesn't like being toyed with. It expects you to stay the fuck asleep when you take it, and if you rebel against this arrangement, NyQuil will make you pay.

The price I paid was this: I open the door. My friends Pam and Lewis are standing there, a little drunk. I am in love with Pam at this point in my life. I am also very nearly naked at this point in my life.

Pam: ...what are you doing?
Me: (something awesome)
Pam: ...Are you naked?

I waited half a second and closed the door without saying another word. In the morning, I laid in bed, convincing myself it was a dream. Because of course it was a dream! Nobody really ends up naked and disheveled in front of the girl they have a crush on, right? That's some stupid nightmare shit that never really happens to anyone! Haha!

WELP - time to walk the dog (tying it all together here, see?). Get my stuff, grab the leash, open the door. Affixed to the door with chewing gum was a handwritten note:

We came by to see if you wanted to hang out, but I guess you were already fucked up. Nice suit!

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