a guy named jim used to live across the street from us when i was teenager. jim didn’t have as many fingers as everyone else but that never stopped him from trying to play classic rock songs on the guitar. genial enough fella that would drink beer in his driveway and occasionally set fire to this old mercury cougar he had in the garage. “should be road-ready by fall,” he’d say.
he bought a boat once. it sat in his front yard the whole summer. some days i’d catch him swearing at the boat, but it turned out that cats started living in it. he was swearing at the cats and not the boat, you see. i inquired about the vessel. “you’ve got quite the boat there, jim,” i said. “yeah, i know, except all these goddamn cats are living in it,” he said. some of the cats may’ve been the same ones my mom was feeding from our porch, so i avoided the topic. he continued. “it was 300 bucks, kyle.” “i had no idea you were a sea-faring man,” i replied. he said, “i’m not, but it came with the trailer. you can’t pass up a deal like that.” i said i certainly could. he scoffed and went inside to get his guitar. an awkward serenade of nubbed-out deep purple followed, and i excused myself after one more beer.
and now, for no reason at all, i’m reminded of how i accidentally became a part of a puerto rican parade in chicago last august while driving my father’s pickup truck through humboldt park. there were some streamers, and some excited puerto ricans and I just thought they were all having an above-average ethnic saturday, then all of a sudden there was a band on a flatbed truck driving next to me barrelling through some hot number and i was surrounded by festivity.
i remember thinking “well, i could put on my signal and hope for the best or i can just honk and wave and ride it out.”
i went back and ordered beers number 7 and 8 from the thicker flight attendant who was nice to me earlier. nyc to los angeles is six hours and we were over colorado at this point. the other flight attendant (a dude) in the little annex area asked me “are you driving?” i said, “no, we’re on an airplane” and returned to my seat next to the chubby spaniards trying to copulate in seats 40a and 40b.
once i was at a party where i didn’t know anybody so i drank a bunch of champagne and kept going into the closet and yelling “it sure is dark in this bathroom!” still nobody liked me even though i thought that was a pretty funny thing to do.
then i woke up on the couch in the day time without ever remembering going to sleep. i didn’t know where i was and i thought i had been kidnapped even though the door was open and i didn’t have any duct tape over my mouth or anything. then my friend mike came out of one of the bedrooms and it all made sense and we went and got breakfast burritos.