please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Stagehand's Christmas

Well, last time I was out at that Shoe Manufacturing Concern (or SMC) that I occasionally work for, our first task was so surreal, I wish I'd taken video of it.
Not that I could have taken video of it; those people are as paranoid as they come. Or are they? Perhaps is their legendary intolerance for people looking at, handling or certainly-photographing their product a myth we tell the first-timers, just to get a cheap, around-the-campfire laugh?

Probably not. Their closest rivals, who also have a 'campus' here in town, recently received unreleased details of Next Year's Stuff, which they promptly returned, showing good citizenship.

Well I don't know, and I don't care. All I know is, I recently entered the wonderland of disposable product, and I'm into it.
The room we entered was entirely white: walls, floor, hanging and stationary furniture in a serious mid-20th-century nightmare of Clean, Spare, Economical white. And in the center of the room, on a long series of tables, nothing but candy.
More candy than I've seen in one place in my entire life, even within the boundaries of a candy store. I have heard estimates between twelve-thousand and twenty-five thousand dollars for the cost of all that candy, and we'd been told that we could take as much as we wanted.

So the unsavory prospect of perhaps thirty stage hands chuckling delightedly to themselves while throwing massive amounts of candy into bags now presented itself to me. When we were finally told to knock it off, there was still more candy in that room than I'd ever seen.
We began dismantling the other room elements (i.e. many many modular, translucent, cubic display units that looked like they were from some sort of Ikea Bulk outlet), and almost immediately one of my fellow 'hands knelt down 'pon some broken glass, staining the brand new white marley with her blood.
(Mar-ley [mar-lee], n., origin unknown; possibly manufactor's name taken on popularly-vinyl flooring, generally gray or white in color, used in the performing arts, usually in ballet, you're welcome.)

Later, we were allowed to eat the catered food (we generally aren't supposed to even go near it), which was what it was, in the sense that that term generally is used: no one ever uses that phrase about something desirable.
All the same, it was food, and we were hungry. One of the SMC people walking toward me, as I filled up my plate with so-so pasta, was yelling, "COOL! COOL! VER-Y COOL!"

Then it was my birthday. We shot pistols, my love and I, and didn't do a hell of a lot else, but it was a good day, and exactly what I wanted.

Then, somewhere in here, I got a call from a guy who was on step-whichever-that-one-is of the Twelve Steps toward being sober. This is a guy who I suspended contact with after he threw rocks at me. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned him in the course of this blog, but I don't feel like going and looking for it.
This is the second of these calls I've received in my life, the first being from an ex-girlfriend, several years ago. When she called that evening, the first words out of my mouth weren't 'how nice to hear from you', but "Why are you calling me?"

In the case of both of these people, the best apology they could give me, which I had been enjoying to the utmost, was my not having to interact with them. I often feel that that particular Step might very well be the most selfish of them all, since here again is someone who often is primarily seeking to be the center of attention, and now we have to go through this hollow ritual with them, forgive them, etc.
Dude who threw rocks at me? Sure: forgiven! But the terms remain the same; I don't want anything to do with him. He is a person who was certainly one of the major catalysts that caused me to come out of my shell as an adolescent and truly go live the life I wanted to live, but he also is a man with extensive brain injuries (he seems to attract them), to say nothing of endless years of emotional trauma inflicted by his fucking parents...And that's without the alcohol and drug abuse, okay? So go get a therapist, friend, which I am currently not.

Well, and I also just finished writing a letter to my father that I've been composing for over a month, explaining how if he doesn't take some very particular steps in our relationship, he's pretty much dead to me, and...You know, it occurs to me that under all this domestic bliss and relatively cordial working environment, I might just be a little fucked up about things right now. Hm.

I was listening to a bunch of Egyptian bloggers on NPR yesterday, and on one hand I was overwhelmed by the stories about being imprisoned or killed for blogging, for shit's sake (Imagine if that was here? People who post endlessly about their cats and kids getting hauled off to the pokey? Well, it's not quite the same, but...), but something one guy said stuck with me.
He posited that you shouldn't trust the mainstream media, nor should you trust bloggers: no, you must trust only yourself.
But I thought; well, at any given point-depending on who 'you' are-you might be crazy, drunk, immature, stupid, hormonally imbalanced or a religious zealot, Just For Starters. In short, it's a nice piece of happy-sounding bullshit-"you can only trust yourself"-but it isn't really true.
I mean, of course other people are often wrong and of course have agendae of their own that might not necessarily coincide with your best interests. But you ain't so hot at reasoning either Slim, given what we know about you (see above).
So maybe just maybe you need to remember that you're part of a society here, and listen to as many points of view as possible, thence try to make your own judgment, for whatever that's worth.
(Closest thing to an Xmas message you'll be getting here; savor it.)

Well, that and my eternal piece of advice concerning people: fear the irrationally normal. I used to say this mostly in jest, now I mean it literally. Let's break it down to its simplest application; what do the neighbors always say about the serial killer, as they are dragged away?
And besides, the openly weird are enough of a handful. At least you know where you stand with them, though.

Outside, the latest of the gale force winds have again picked up, I have some shopping to do...And I will go see if I've ever told the whole story of the Rock Throwing Incident within the context of this blog before. I don't think I have, and it's a dooozy.



Blogger George Popham said...

"which was what it was, in the sense that that term generally is used: no one ever uses that phrase about something desirable."


I had a feeling rock thrower would be knocking at your door fairly soon. Both Father O'Sheely and our slick businessman friend from Seattle were both full of news about how well he is doing these days. I knew that couldn't be good news.

Happy Birthday.

4:23 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Yeah. Th' Bear left me a voice mail. I honestly don't know what to do with it.

5:43 PM  
Blogger disco boy said...

i got one of those phone calls not but a coupla weeks ago. i'm famous for not checking my voicemail, and it'd seem that the bear was up in my neck of the woods, and wanted to get together.

see, this is precisely why i don't check voicemails but every coupla weeks.

i can't say that i don't (or didn't) like the guy, it's just that it's been a long time since it's been fun. or rather, not awkward. everything i read here indicates that to get into contact would warrant more of the same.

7:43 AM  

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