I was going to write a list of things I wanted to see while I was in
The purpose of that list, however, was really just to set up my second list, which is:
Things I didn’t want to see while I was in
- My dad in his underpants.
Now, this is nothing new. For as long as I can remember, Dad has always felt it meet and good to walk around his house of females wearing nothing but his tighty-whities, and that’s fine. Or: Whatever. He has made far worse intrusions on my psyche this trip alone. Really, at this point I suppose I’ve made a bigger thing out of it than it deserves—my point being only: What woman does not want to see her elderly father in his underwear? It’s Chrismassy!
Anyway, while I was back in
At the food bank where my dad volunteers and I help out whenever I’m in town, I had a brief conversation with a Japanese student had come to box cans with his host mother. Now, I’ve been to
“Are you staying with your parents over the holidays?” he asks.
“No, I’m going home to
“Will your parents miss you over Christmas?”
As soon as I asked the question, I realized how stupid I sounded. Ah—another American who thinks The World Out There is exactly like
There was a time in my life, believe it or not, when I thought I would travel all the time. And then the Bush presidency happened. Not to blame my current homebodiness on Bush entirely. Sure, I’m embarrassed to travel abroad as a Bush’s America American, but I’m also poor, and I hate airports, and I miss the thug dogs terribly when I’m gone, and when I’m working I never get enough time off, and when I’m not working—well, I think I mentioned that I’m poor. All of which adds up to not having left the country in about ten years.
And now, apparently, having thusly settled my dumb roots firmly in my nation’s soil, I believe that Japanese families gather under their bonsai trees and wait for Santy Claus every December 25 because I’m culturally stupid.
(But what do they do for Thanksgiving???)
Speaking of culturally stupid, Scene Two:
“Your hair’s so long! Oh man—do people want to touch it all the time?”
I guess about now I should mention that this friend is black, and he wears his hair in dreads, which reach about halfway down his back. It was, actually, a little bit of a surprise to me to see how long his hair had gotten; but really? Really, Aunty? Do people want to touch your black hair all the time? Weren’t we just talking about this? And when we were talking about this, didn’t I keep thinking, “Huh. Well I certainly don’t think about touching black people’s hair”?
So yeah. Different topic—a distinctly American topic, in fact—but same conclusion: I need to get out. Out of my house, out of my country, out of my damn head, you know?
I wish I could explain, at least partially, why it makes any sort of sense that was the first thing that popped out of my mouth when I saw my friend. And, you know, that it made me feel better about it. Like less of an asshole. But what would I say? His hair looked … cool?
Oh, so I’m a moron. I talk without thinking. I need to think more—and talk more, probably.
I need to leave. I need to learn.
I need to be humble, and open, and hungry.
This is the little holiday gift I gave myself this year: A promise. Sometime in the coming year, Rich and I are going abroad, goddamn it. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it.
Without further ado here is my list of the Top Several Things About 2010:
(1) What we were just talking about.
(2) Law school! Maybe. Maybe not. I cannot make up my mind. But the good news is, despite studying not one whit, I got a much better score on my second LSAT, making some much better law schools a possibility and salvaging my battered ego.
(3) Thug dogs! Every year holds thug dogs and thug dog activities, of course, but this year has its own billboard. Or simulated billboard, I mean. Gosh, I’m proud.
Simulated on a computer screen! From a program that won't let you save images to your computer! And that I couldn't figure out how to grab a screen shot from because I'm technologically inept! So it ends up looking much lamer than you might expect things to look in this advanced age of 2010! Enjoy!
(4) Glink Zutonate! Every year Rich and I, having procreated no children together (clink glasses), name the year as if it were a baby. Last year was Specialty Foxx, based on a mishearing of some sort, if I remember correctly, and 2008 (or perhaps 2007?) was Brock Hambley. Not like either of those years worked out so well for me, actually—my children (very much like any babies I would actually bring into this world) were monsters, and I hate them.
This year, though. This year strikes me as my year already. As our year. Mine and Rich’s and yours too, by god. Just think: Last January I was scared out of my wits that I was going to lose my job any day, and had been for months. This year, I’m unemployed, and I’m (relatively) happy. Rather be dead than malingering.
Stillborn, stinking Glink Zutonate, we’ll breathe some life into you yet.