Tuesday, April 28, 2015

{ 32 } The Truth Is Never Pretty

Hey there, Super Fans!

I've got a new find for you. I guess it's really not a "find" since I never lost it, but I have had it tucked away for a decade. It's another one of my "This Happened to Me" pieces, like "Billy."

A few distinct key differences: where "Billy" was raw and real and my soul laid bare, this piece is slightly more... embellished. For example, the main "me" character is way more shallow than I have ever been.

Next, "Billy" has an ending, a very concrete ending. This story ends with an adverb: "then." Why, you ask? Not entirely sure. Maybe it was due to laziness, maybe that I was all I had to say, or maybe because it's a story that doesn't end. Maybe it's still being written.

Also, in "Billy," the antagonist is dead and had been for awhile when I wrote it. In this piece, the antagonist is very much still alive. And that's why I waited to publish this piece. I wanted him to read it before I let all of you, because it's not exactly flattering. So, it only took a decade (original creation date is September 2005!), but he finally read it and I got the green light.

A quick bit of backstory: when I wrote this piece, I was surfacing back from one of the biggest meltdowns of my life. If you've ever seen me meltdown, you know that's saying a lot. There was so much hurt and anger and sadness and confusion going on, none of which was made better by the free-flowing alcohol and severe lack of responsibility. It took years and years for some of the hurt to heal. But it finally did, like it always does. I'm just glad (most) of us lived through it.

Enough of that. On with the show.



Enter, page one, our first character: Sam Dumpy Mousekiwitz. From henceforth he shall be referred to as “Sam,” “Dumpy,” “Dumpy Mousekiwitz,” or “Mr. Mousekiwitz,” but never again as the name in full. Here is the last time you will see it in print in its entirety, so take in its full magnitude and remember it well: Sam Dumpy Mousekiwitz.

Of course, this was not the same Sam I had fallen in love with a year before. No, that was Sam the REAL ROCK STAR, self proclaimed. Never mind the fact that he could barely play guitar and sung no better than a sty full of sow. He did, however, possess that certain je ne sas quoi that only rock stars have, including the abilities to do copious amounts of drugs, drink like a fish, and throw temper-tantrums at the mere thought of not getting what they want.

I had initially fallen in love with him, as stated a year before, as a way to give in to my rebellious urges. Sam was the king of Robert Smith hair, a self-perpetuating alcoholic, and hotter than the ever-blazing fires of Hell. I wanted him bad, but alas, I was spoken for and he was only nineteen.
Regardless, he eventually aged and I eventually singled and, after a painful lust year, I finally acquired my prize.

In the beginning it seemed ideal: me, a punk rock princes with my gorgeous trophy rock star on my arm; him, a slobbering drunken mess with a fabulous older woman there to clean up after him. It was a match made in Hell and I relished every hardcore minute of it.

We spent the vast majority of our time together drunk and on his couch, surrounded by a never ending parade of other drunks. Sam still wasn't old enough to patronize the local bars, but I was more than happy to float through the days on our blurry oasis. The closeness of our persons and the constant state of intoxication, however, were beginning to cloud my judgment and make me overlook certain unavoidable, damaging traits that Sam was beginning to acquire.

For example, the sexy army pants he most commonly wore had been replaced by a heinous pair of orange (orange!) slacks from J. Crew (J. Crew!). What was happening?

Sam also had a black leather punk jacket, meticulously adorned with pins, paint, and patches. The delicious leather jacket was one of the things that helped define Sam as a rock star. Every shiny bit of metal that graced its surface was actually a medal, a badge proving he was worthy of stomping around town, throwing up on sidewalks, and screaming his particular brand of “music” into microphones. The jacket may have been a typical and traditional uniform, but it was also one of the very reasons I had initially been attracted to him, as ridiculous and petty as it may seem in hindsight. What can I say: I like shiny things.

However, more and more recently, the jacket was shoved to the back of the closet in favor of a disgusting red and black striped knit sweater, frayed at all edges from the constant picking, twisting, and tearing that Sam's busy hands would subject it to. It was hideous.

The change in clothing was nothing compared to the physical changes Sam was going through. His passion for drugs had waned and every night without an illicit substance coursing through his body became another inch around his waist. I didn't know it at the time, even though it is abundantly clear now, that this sickening, fat, terribly dressed thing I was dating was no longer Sam, but Dumpy Mousekiwitz.

Dumpy was Sam's alter ego. Or perhaps Dumpy was the dominate one. No matter: I did not like what I was seeing, and it was completely unacceptable for a woman of superior quality, me, to be dating this repulsive creature.

I had learned early on that the best way to improve my own social status was to date the best of the best: the ceaselessly attractive, the hardest partier, the most well-known. I am a social creature and defined by the societies I am surrounded by. It was a dog-eat-dog world and if I couldn't be the top of the food chain then I had no business eating. This was why Dumpy was so damaging to my reputation. I simply could not be seen with a sloppily dressed blob masquerading as a human.

Let's zoom back to page one for a moment, when you, the reader, first met Dumpy Mousekiwitz. Let me set up the scenario for you: I was sitting on the trashy couch in the trashy house Dumpy called home. The room was always in a perpetual state of disarray because of the copious amount of liquored-up children that were always crammed in between the walls. This is not a complaint, because I was a constant fixture in the room also. This was the place to come to see people and to be seen.

When Dumpy entered the room, everyone gave him an affectionate smile. I say affectionate, but I really knew they were more pity smiles. The others saw that the change had happened, too.

I hadn't seen Dumpy for a quarter of an hour or so. I figured he had probably been off telling the latest round of revolving-door roommates how happy he was to have them living on his couch. He stood in front of me and declared that we needed to take a shower because he was “all dried out”.
Dried out? He looked like he was retaining enough water to put out a forest fire, if squeezed the proper way. Plus, the very last thing I wanted to do was leave the party to, of all thing, take a shower.