Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Book of Red

I like staying home. John Lennon declared himself a homebody "like most musicians" and so there I do my thing. When I do adventure out, I am sometimes reminded of a little saying that has been a part of this blog for a while:

This is not going well.

On Saturday, this could not have been more true.

Do you ever feel like the universe conspires to fuck with you? That no matter what, things get weird then they get worse? I get this feeling coming on sometimes and, as a much younger man, I would tend towards panic and struggle to rectify the invisible dealings of the cards being dealt. Now, I think the image of someone trying in vain to crawl their way out of a greased well is the best way to describe my emotional state at these times. The more you struggle, the uglier it gets.

My wife and her friend needed to get datebooks and calendars for their professional lives and so, Books-a-Million was chosen. We also have an FB friend who works there and we hoped to see her. Now, BAM is a place that Uncle Bill has blogged about many, many times. These true tales will chill yer bones.

"They are laughing at you."

"What? Who?"

"The people behind us."

I look over and see a woman with dark hair and a young couple. Evidently, when I stood up, they were amused at my outfit or something. I did look like a shit yard sale and my hair was a train wreck. I had been in winter household hibernation mode and thought that a sweater, sweat pants and boots was ok. Good enough for Books-a-Redneck, but evidently, I was sorely mistaken. The Rouge Fashionistas thought it amusing. Fine.

I wanted to go over and say, "I'm glad my outfit tonight has amused you," but let's face it, I'm a coward and I hate conflict. Plus, the rational side of me realizes that it never makes sense to get into arguments with people in public places. Especially those with zero class. The dark haired woman seemed to smile at me when I looked over. I could not tell if it was of the leering variety or the mocking one. The couple she was with started a long and lingering make-out session. And they had the stones to mock me?

Well...as I stated, I was not dressed well. Even ridiculous, pointed out lovingly by my wife. Wives can hammer home a point during times of vulnerability. I insisted that I didn't care, but we all do. We want to fit in, even with strangers. Even with those we wouldn't care to know.

Why doth the heathen rage?

Perhaps I need to ask Uncle Bill this question. I don't know why reds choose to hang out at the Cafe de Joe Muggs. They cannot believe they are among the literati. What do they do? Thumb through copies of Deliverance for that special scene of outdoor love? It's very apparent that Friday and Saturday are Date Night at Wal-Mart, so since BAM is just around the corner, it's like the local malt shop for the camo set.

Bookstores are full of posers (and genuine bibliophiles and caffeine heads). A girl closest to us was trying her damnest to look like a Bohemian sophisticate. It wasn't convincing. Seriously? At South Ridge? She looked around to see if anyone was noticing her while she held conversation with an earnest looking young man. He wasn't posing, but working a line to her.

The redneckish geeks comic book types next to the window were talking about film. One guy said, "It's that Japanese filmmaker....ah.." Kurosowa, maybe, dude?

The place had a vibe that was a bit too much and I was glad to be leaving.

The feeling continued while we "dined" at Arby's. The cashier was a character out of a Kevin Smith movie. An actor would have really work hard to get that much weird mojo working. There was a blank affect to him completely. He kind of reminded me of Barney Fife with tattoos. One of these small guys with a big chip on their shoulders with a little burned-out crazy thrown in.
The girls requested no lettuce or onions on their Italian subs. You might have thought they had just requested a side of placenta from the puzzled looks of the people who worked there. The "cook" peered from an opening in the back and strained to understand. I thought that the request for no veg on a sub was too much for him to bear, but evidently he was trying to hear above the din of a basketball game. Still, he looked pained to understand that a person might want their food a certain way.

Me? This is all adding up to "This is not going well and faster to hell."

Our friend does not talk quietly. I'm trying to be subtle here. She has this loud voice that you can hear across a department store and in the horrid ambiance of Le Arb, it was all I could do not to just slide underneath the table. Of course, a couple sat in the corner eavesdropping for all their worth. And then, of course, a heated discussion began. Private issues were now like public service announcements. I love her like a sister, but I would like a volume knob.
Then the phone rang and it was the local Drama Queen who yet had another crisis. Two of her dogs had gone missing within 48 hours. As distressing as this is to an animal lover such as myself, it was finally becoming funny to me. Loud exclamations of, "Where did you last see her?" "Did you check the animal shelter?" The DQ was quite sure that her boyfriend's other girlfriend (See, I told you?? Trust Uncle Jim. I never exaggerate for humor's sake.) had stolen the dogs to wreak havoc on her. Did I mention how loud our friend talks? The more agitated the DQ got, the more she got. Finally, I decided that there was not a large enough space under all the tables. It was Zen time, baby.

You see, when the universe starts this shit anymore, I try not to struggle. I try to sit back and detach myself and become an observer. As best as I could, I tried to see the humor in the evening.

It didn't work. I calmed down, but I was really ready to head home.
Home - where I can watch what I want, relax and look absolutely horrid in my apparel.
And no smirks.
Well...maybe just a few.

1 comment:

primalscreamx said...

Yeah, Books-a-Million is magic. I had a lot of fun out there.