Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Day that Death Died

The day death died, I stood beside a dirt road. Behind me lay crumpled heaps of metal. Reminders of a technology that no longer served a purpose.

The day that death died, I looked across a field of wheat and saw the animals fall to the ground. Over taken with a sickness that knew no bounds, even the flies would not invade their space.

The day that death died, I prayed to the heavens. I asked for an answer. I sought out safety. I wanted death.

But death had died.

I walked down the dirt road with nothing but memories to keep me company. A shot gun held in my hands, ready to shoot whatever noise or movement that grabbed my attention. I was beyond waiting to see what emerged from behind the tree. What made the bushes shake. Too many times it was nothing more than the dead that death had released from its grip. I'd shoot at anything. I was done with asking questions.

The day that death died, I learned that I could survive anything. As I walked the desolate dirt road with the stench of decay floating in the air, I pushed back the memory of the dead feeding on my family. I removed the sight of my friends running for their lives, only to head into an ambush by the corpses that craved them, from my mind. The tears had long dried by the time the sun fell from the sky. Pain turned to energy which propelled my legs to walk, or run, into the unknown.

The day that death died began like any other day. With me waking to an alarm clock that sounded before I was ready. With me leaving my husband to the demands of two young children as I got ready for work. With me staring into the mirror and studying my reflection as it stared back when I head the screams. The screams signaled the changing of the tides. The screams told me something was wrong with the beginning of my day. The screams froze me in place. They turned my legs into cement as my husband let out a sound that I had never heard him, or any other animal, make. It wasn't until the children's cries of terror subsided that I was able to move. I did not move far. The undead were making their way towards me.

The day that death died saw me climb out a window and run frantically to my car. No keys. So, I ran until I found help. There were four of us. Four of us inside a car. A car that sped out of control until it flipped over onto it's hood, vomiting most of its occupants out into the open. It was not the undead that killed my companions. It was lack of seat belts.
The day that death died, I shoplifted for the very first time. Something came over me as I saw people dying all around. The old. The young. The strong. The weak. Screams seeping through the air. The buildings emitting sounds of terror. The trees wailing in horror. The sun falling and the sky becoming black. I went into the pawn shop on a street corner that no longer resembled a corner; but now had become a war zone. I armed myself with weaponry that I knew nothing about. Shotguns. Handguns. Grenades. Knives. Bullets. I traded the house coat that I was wearing for sensible clothes. Clothes that would see me out here on this dirt road.

The day that death died saw the end of mankind in a matter of hours. Whoever is left have remained indoors. Windows are boarded up. No charity is given. Trespassers are shot on sight. The old murder the young. The weak are shooting the strong.

And I am walking down this dirt road. On the day that death died.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dating: Poker Style

Imagine, if you will, that dating is like a card game. The dealer is fate, and your opponent is the one you are hoping to have a relationship with. Now, the dealer holds all the cards at first. Each card represents either a piece of your past, a long lost love, or one of your “crazies”. Got it? Confused about what the “crazy” is? I’ll get to that in a minute.
So, all three of you are sitting at the card table. The game you are playing mimics Go Fish. The dealer hands each of you seven cards. Yet, instead of asking your opponent if they have a two or a king, you lay one card on the table and say, “Here it is. This is a piece of my past. This is the person who did me wrong. This is my crazy.” So, the other player looks at your card and if they find they can deal with it, they pick it up and match it to one of their own. The object of the game is for both sides to have all matching cards. Easy enough right? Let’s take a look…..

Dealer shuffles the deck and passes out seven cards to each player. Both players nervously look at their hands. Up to this point, they have been casually flirting with the possibility of dating. This card game will determine whether or not they go on to the next round. If either one of the players forfeit the game at any time, the other player walks away with the right to spill all secrets to his or her friends. The stakes are high.

Up first is the woman. She lays down a two. It is a smart move. Going with a low card first lets her test the waters to see if the man is capable of handling anything bigger.

“When I was four, my parents divorced and I was bounced back and forth between the both of them for years.” She states.

The man looks at her and pulls out a two of his own. “My parents divorced when I was five, and I haven’t seen my dad since.” This was a well played round. Both sides were able to match and move on.

The man takes his turn. He pulls out a five. “I had my first beer when I was 10. My uncle gave it to me and it made me sick. To this day, I can’t stand beer.” This makes the woman laugh. She pulls out a five of her own and states she hates the taste of beer as well. Again, good round.

This time the woman reveals a nine. “I lost my virginity when I was 13. I did it because I was bored and there was nothing on television.” This play seems to have shocked the man for a moment. The woman holds her breath with anticipation. Did she reveal too much too soon? The man begins to chuckle and responds, “I got my first bj when I was 12 by my sister’s best friend. I lost the big one when I was 15.” This was a risky play by the woman, but it showed she could be adventurous when she wanted to be.

Up next the man hesitantly pulls out a ten. “I smoked weed and did a couple of lines of cocaine when I was in college.” The dealer pauses to inspect both players. The game has taken a serious turn with the cards getting higher. How will the woman respond?

“I smoked weed and was drinking all throughout high school. I have dropped acid a few times.” The man and the woman eye each other. The man grins and takes the cards. So far so good.

Up next is the woman. With a ten already in play, all she has left are the face cards. This is where the crazy comes out.

A person’s crazy is not so much their deep dark secrets. It’s beyond that. It’s what makes them tick. It’s what makes them angry and how they deal with that anger. Crazy is what keeps you awake at night. It is your silliest fears and bad habits. Crazy is what will usually drive a person away.

With a heavy sigh, the woman lays down a jack. This is considered a low crazy. She may reveal anything from not being able to stand hearing a person chew to how many people she has slept with. Revealing anything sexual when displaying a jack is considered low-high crazy. A person’s sexual nature is not exactly the worst of the crazies, but it can rank high up there.

“I have no idea how many people I have slept with.” She bluntly states. The man looks at her and blinks. Looking down at his hand, he sees he holds three jacks of his own.

First jack is played. “I have slept with thirteen women.” He lays the card down.

Second jack. “I once slept with a girl at a night club in the men’s bathroom.”

Third jack. “I only like to have sex on the bottom.” There, the man has laid all his cards out. Not a bad hand at all. He has very little crazy, and there isn’t much in the way of his past. Now let us take a look at the woman’s hand.

The woman sits in her seat trembling. She only has three cards left. These are high face cards she is holding. It is a king and two aces. In this moment, the dealer looks at her and realizes there are not enough cards in her hand to represent the crazy she has to let out. What will be the woman’s strategy? She could fold and walk away. By default, the man would have all rights to whatever secrets she has already revealed and will be able to tell his friends. Or, she could combine all her crazy into the three cards. This a very risky move. The man could easily get overwhelmed and the dealer may end up having to call an ambulance to carry him out of the room. Sensory overload is a common side effect of these games.

Unfortunately, the woman decides to go with the latter move.
The king is laid on the table. The woman sighs and with one breath, she lays out her crazy associated with the king. “I liked to be choked during sex. I like violence, it excites me. I once got a concussion during a romp in the bedroom and that was the best night of my life. I have had threesomes, foursomes, and other -somes that I can not explain. I like men and women. I don’t equate sex with love, so I don’t care who I have sex with. I’ve had sex in the downtown library, in a club, and in a movie theater. I like to have sex when I’m horny, when I’m mad, and when I have nothing else to do.”

Bam! She lays down the first ace. “I have been in the mental hospital four times. I tried to commit suicide three of those times. I have bad mood swings. I can go for days without sleeping. When I do manage to sleep, I have terrible nightmares about zombies and vampiric dogs. I don’t cry in front of people and when I think I am going to, I yell at them until they go away. I will throw something at you, if you make me angry. I once threw a fully cooked pork chop at someone because they wouldn’t tell me what they wanted as a side dish. I cuss like a sailor.”

The dealer looks at the man. He is starting to swoon. The woman’s risky hand has backfired and the man begins to experience sensory overload. However, the woman is not done. She has one last ace to play. What will she reveal? What has she not spoken of?

Bam! Out comes the last ace. “I am eight weeks pregnant by a foursome I was previously in. I’m not sure which guy is the father.”

Down goes the man. The dealer calls 911.

Dating Exhaustion: The Googley-Eyed Guy

Please gather around and lend me a shoulder to rest my weary head. I am tired and I do not know how much longer I can walk this road of singledom. You see, I have been out on a couple of dates and I am exhausted. I am debilitated, weakened, and plain out pooped from my foray into the dating realm. What I thought I wanted has finally arrived.

So, now what?

I met a guy a couple of weeks ago. I did not meet him on an online dating website; nor did I pick him out of a police lineup. There was no casually pumping into each other in the grocery store, or waiting patiently for him to move out of the way so I could grab the newest Stephen King book at the bookstore. I met him the old fashioned way. The way my mom met my dad. The way millions of men have been meeting millions of women for centuries.

I met him in a bar.

I first noticed him not noticing me on a Saturday night. I looked into his beautiful blue eyes and I smiled the best smile I could muster. He did a polite head nod and turned back to his companion. Undaunted, I spent the rest of the evening trying my best to give him the kind of googly eyes that I thought would at least land me a "hello".  Still nothing.

So, I retreated back here to my home to lick my wounds and start looking for the cats that I'm hell bent on collecting.

The following weekend I went back out with my girlfriends. We sat at a restaurant on their patio. There, one of my fellow cohorts saw Mr. Googly-Eye walk by. She began having seizures.

"Look! Look! Wes! Oooh! Oooh! There he is. The googly guy!" She exclaimed.

I nodded and tried to look casual as he strolled by. I knew that I would eventually run into him in the bar.... (which I did.)

OK. So, let's cut to the chase. I am too tired to even paint a clear picture of the whole night's events for you. So, I am going to sum up the bar scene. After trying my best to stare my intent and interest into the back of his head, one of my bff's took it upon herself to drag his amused behind over to our table. She introduced us.

I proceeded to make an ass out of myself. As usual.

"You know I was trying my hardest to give you googly-eyes last weekend?" I demanded. "You just walked right on by!"

My friends proceeded to fall apart. One crawled under the table. One walked away. And one just sat there with her mouth gaped open staring at me. I'm not sure if she's managed to close it yet.

But, he just smiled and sat down beside me. We proceeded to talk the rest of the night. As the bar closed and the drunks did the zombie walk back to their vehicles, he was kind enough to walk me to mine.

We stopped at the museum that's downtown. Beside the building is a beautiful tree. The branches are jetted out, stretching into the road. The leaves are full. This is a tree that begs to be climbed. It spoke to me as I stood beside the Googly-Eyed Guy. It said, "Come. Climb my branches. Sit in my trunk and feel the breeze."

So, I did.

With the help of my new found companion, I hiked up my already-short-to-there jean skirt and climbed the massive branches. He then followed suit. There, in the tree away from any one's view, we talked and laughed. That tree went from being beautiful to magnificent as it held the promise of something new.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later and that something new has turned into........crickets chirping.

Now to give him credit, he took me out on a couple of fabulous dates. He is great to talk to. Smile is as charismatic up front as it is across a bar. Clear eyes. Easy going manner. Shyness that is just this side of charming.

Hell, he even bought me a book. (Which I am reading and it's quite good.)

Granted, I DID throw him into the deep end. I brought him to dinner at a local restaurant to meet part of the tribe. The tribe (or my family) is very loud and sarcastic. We also have a brutal wit about us. We're not for everyone. After the tribal gathering, I took him to my bff's house to meet The Round Table. (A group of girls I hang out with.) Now there are seven of us in The Round Table. Seven of us with at least two kids each. Out of the seven, two have husbands. (which were there).


I believe I threw him into the deep end. But, my theory behind having him meet everyone at once is the same theory that people have used when they are trying to teach their children how to swim. Throw them in the deep end and they'll either paddle their way to safety or drown trying.

I guess he began to drown.

So, now I'm exhausted from beginning the whole process of getting-to-know-you-and-letting-you-see-my-crazy. I'm wiped out from worrying about what I am going to wear and how I am going to sit. I'm plumb tuckered out from forcing the eye contact and trying to keep my A.D.D laidened squirrel sequestered.

I'm not sure if I want to go out and meet someone knew and do a whole two weeks worth of the getting-to-know-you-and-you-see-my-crazy only for it to go ka-plooey once again. I mean, I can only worry about such stuff as hair and clothes and whether or not he's going to kiss me or do I reach in and kiss him first or is he bored and wants to drop me off at my car or is the smile genuine before I go completely bonkers. I don't like it. I can't do it. I give up.

Besides, my squirrel is ready to run free.