I can’t emphasize how much I love dive bars. Beyond my usual penchant for cheap, well drinks, these are the places where one sees real life happening. It’s extraordinary, really. The regular is a client who the bartender knows, has their special spot and never has to voice their drink order. There’s a variety in the cross-section of the population which belies the superficial analysis of the seemingly downtrodden patrons of these places. I think i’ll start an investigation on the ones around me. You’ll love it. You’ll love me. All will be loved.
I found Jesus today in the bookstore. He was in the romance novel section. I could hear him mumbling over the edge of a particularly racy cover that displayed a lot of chest skin, both female and male, and an atypical alien bucolic scene with two moons.
“Nothing really changes, does it?”, he was saying.
I edged closer, dying to know hear what would come next. He didn’t appear to notice me, so pressed forward with the deceit of a spy and the humility of a sinner. I could see his freshly pedicured toes boldly thrusting from his worn Birkenstocks.
“They get caught up in their passion and forget the true love…I’ll bet these idiots have never even heard of agape.”, he spat, head slightly shaking.
His left index finger had wrapped around the book, and was resting on the front cover, directly covering the male model’s ample chest. There was a disturbing oscillation to the fingertip, as if he were lovingly stroking the attractive little drawn man. Try as I might, I couldn’t look away.
Abruptly, I was staring into these sacred eyes. He had drawn down the book just enough to bore through my eyes to the very back of my mind. I felt overwhelming sexual passion and I started to quiver. My knees went. I fell to the ground and gripped the bookshelf for support, though it did no good.
His voice was in my head, saying,“Is that what you wanted? Good. That’ll keep you going for a while. Gotta tell you, I really don’t see what you like about you’re tawdry little false emotion.”
He raised the book back up and left me on the floor, a shivering, panting mess, drooling into the well-trodden carpet.
I found Jesus today. He was in the magazine section of a QuikyMart on 7th and Main. I immediately recognized him, though no one else seemed to. His hair was shorter than I expected and he seemed to be using product like maybe a gel, but definitely not a mousse.
As I approached him, I overheard him mumbling, “If she’d just asked, I would have enlarged her breasts AND they’d be real. Those things will never decompose.”
I eased my way toward him.
“Look, I’m sure you get this all the time, being the son of God and all “, I said, managing not to spasm the right side of my face (a nervous habit I’ve had since childhood),”But I wonder if I might ask a question?”
He gazed at me, serenely, filling me with tranquility and a sense of well-being. Abruptly, he said, “Happy now? There’s a little piece of the heaven I call hell. You people don’t know what you have here. Now will you leave me alone, I’m trying to get some ME time here.”
I put the magazine down, the bold letters of the cover repeating themselves in a neon flashing visual across the darkness of my mood. I paid for my Ho-Hos and left, a wave of fear and confusion breaking over me.
Many years ago, I wrote something which I later deemed a children’s story. Upon rereading, it strikes me as a touch creepy and I’m now glad I never engaged a career as a children’s book author. It goes like this:
I’ve got a teddy.
He sits in my pocket.
He’s quite happy there.
Sometimes, he hides in my pocket.
It’s dark, but he’s not afraid because he knows I’m near.
Oh, did I forget to tell you his name?
His name is Mr. Gallagher, but he likes to be called Teddy.
One day, I had a lollipop in my pocket next to him.
When I reached into get it, I accidently picked up Teddy.
Now I like to call him lolly.
Now lolly is a very curious little creature.
Some people even think he has magic powers.
I often leave lolly in my drawer at home.
I fear my coworkers will hurt his feelings with their callous taunts.
Lolly is very fond of ballons.
He likes to bounce on them until he falls off.
Lolly knows that things will happen to him
If he comes out in daylight during a full moon.
Naturally, he’s quite careful when he sees the waxing gibbous moon.
Lolly is telepathic and frequently sends messages across great distances.
For example, Colin now understands that he must bring home some cheese.
Today Michael Jackson was acquitted.
“That makes me nervous.”, thinks Lolly,”I don’t think I’ll leave the drawer for a bit.”
Maybe teenage boys are nuts too, but I have two teenage daughters and they have friends, so I can only confirm that the girls are. The following is a dramatized conversation that pretty much applies to all the talks we have where boys are involved.
TBLI = Teenage Boy Love Interest
teenage girl: I don’t understand why TBLI hasn’t called me…
Me: Are you guys dating?
teenage girl: We’re just hanging out.
Me: What does that mean? Are you seeing someone else?
teenage girl: Oh no, we’re in a relationship.
Me: A relationship where TBLI doesn’t call you?
teenage girl: yeah, he’s a jerk.
Me: Have you considered, um, being in a relationship with someone else?
teenage girl: Sure, but I love him so much…
Me: Even though he’s a jerk and doesn’t pay attention to you?
teenage girl: He’s really cute and he’s nice sometimes.
Me: And that’s enough?
teenage girl: Sometimes…well, he talked to me yesterday.
teenage girl: Oh my god, he’s so cute. (pauses) Even though he has monobrow.
I mean, really, you think he could fix that. There are supposed to
be two of them, not just one big one.
Me: You know you’re at least a little unstable, if not outright crazy, right?
teenage girl: Today I am, for sure.
Me: And the other days?
teenage girl: Probably those too…Do you think he’ll call me?
Me: Maybe. But either way, he’ll still be cute…
Teenage girl: I know, right!
Whether you’re having trouble or not, this relationship book WILL help you. You will at least laugh (a lot) and it may even fix your life.
Get it today from your favorite bookseller.
- “It just makes me feel safe.”
- “My boss likes to stroke my head.”
- “It’s a little known cure for Alopecia.”
- “I may need to tackle a bitch.”
- <Anything> (It’s a great conversation starter.)
- <Hum the theme to the Smurfs> (people will tend to avoid you)
- “Why aren’t you? It’s all the rage with the kids.”
- “Ohhh, they didn’t tell you. I’m really sorry…”
- “It’s a long flight to Omega-7. They said to bring head protection.”