Seattle was a a compromise
27 December 2009 § 2 Comments
I would walk to the paint department from appliance sales floor when I was bored and this popular bald guy with a thick, dark beard and the black plastic frame glasses made famous by emo bands and Andy Warhol would read me complicated poetry that rarely made sense. He was one of those people you thought might be really intelligent until you saw how many spelling mistakes they made. Maybe it was just me. I love discovering mistakes in printed books. If it’s an author I’ve heard of, I’m all the more proud for it. People who point out the mistakes in films irritate me. I know the cigarette, I know the clock. Yes, the cab. Shut up.
I think he was from Seattle. He had a dysfunctional band that played gigs sometimes but on the whole. none of the other members understood him. He was John and Paul and Kurt and Elliot, and no one seemed to be able to take it for long. Maybe his genius was understated. I once showed him how to use my favorite music creation program and within days he was producing music from it I could only dream of making. He was a better guitarist than I, too – better at everything, really. I don’t think I was ever jealous though – I was editing the spelling in his poetry.
He acted as if we were friends, and I was okay with that, at least, because I didn’t have many of those, even if I had to duck my head in every doorway of his house and pretend like he wasn’t slinging more green than I’d known anyone to since I’d lived in Alaska. He was paranoid about that, constantly. But he was short enough to not have to worry about his doorways, calling me tall as if it was an insult. I wasn’t offended by it, not really. I’m more than an inch or two over six feet, and I’m used to walking down crowded sidewalks and being a skyscraper. If I was looking for another tall person, we would be able to spot one another easily. But this guy was not tall – he was ambitious; the kind of drug dealer that wishes people wanted more from him than what he had in a zip-loc bag in that hiding place of his. His charisma gained him customers and acquaintances but caused trouble keeping him friends.
Maybe it was his birthday, or a going away party for a co-worker. We were at his house, drinking copious amounts of alcohol. I drove home that night. I shouldn’t have. I should have been pulled over and arrested for stupidity. I should have slept in my car in his driveway – but my car was in the way of other cars whose owners also should not have been driving, but insisted. He let them, assuring that it would be on them if anything happened.
Nothing happened that night, but something should have.