Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nurse the Hate: The Viking Incident

As I lay in the crosswalk blinking at the stars in the dark black sky above my head, I realized that walking home would be more difficult than I thought.  The fact I was wearing a loin cloth and a Viking helmet sensibly accented with black Chuck Taylors would probably not win the affections of the local law enforcement community.  Ohio, while somewhat liberal, still frowned on drunken Vikings sprawled out in the crosswalk of four lane roadways.  With all the focus and balance I could muster, I righted myself and managed to make it the rest of the way across the street and towards my home.

The evening had started with much promise.  I was receiving an award for professionalism in Radio, so naturally I wanted to display my respect for this honor by wearing a costume and pretending to have misunderstood the invitation.  “What?  This isn’t a costume party?  Oh, imagine my embarrassment…”  I truly didn’t give a fuck, and thought if I had seen someone else do the same thing, I would be wildly entertained.  Plus, how often do you get to speak to your peers with an exposed nipple if you aren’t in the adult entertainment industry? 

I had a plan to get together with my then girlfriend after the event.  Our relationship was rather turbulent with many young adult dramas playing out on a regular basis.  The fact that I was a completely self involved unpredictable wild card certainly didn’t help matters.  I did not have that crystal clear vision of myself at that time, and instead focused on destructive and self destructive behavior while in search of a good time.  I could be a lot of fun.  Or not.  It sort of depended on what day you got me. 

Today, I made a phone call to Chops McClintock of the Krank Daddies, who may be using the last micro cassette answering machine in the Western Hemisphere.  The reason I mention this is it reminded me of the very same answering machine that my then girlfriend used at the time.  While I waited to leave a message for Chops I heard the familiar “beep-beep-beep” as the machine counted off the previous messages before you would be able to leave yours.  I hadn’t heard that sound in years and the memory all came back to me. 

Let’s go back to the radio event.  I had decided to drink martinis.  This was extremely stupid as I never drank one before, but thought it would look ridiculous drinking a martini in a Viking outfit.  (It did.)  The martinis packed a wallop, and I headed off to a payphone to call my girlfriend to touch base.  I had been insanely jealous of what I perceived to be her having a secret relationship with another guy that “was just a good friend”.  In my experience any man that “is just a good friend” with an attractive woman is “just a good friend” until he can put his wiener in her.  The other option is the woman views this suitor as potential future boyfriend material, and is keeping him in the “friend zone” until she decides to rotate him in.  Either way, this relationship wasn’t good for me.  At all.  Yet I was assured that they were just good friends.  

I now know what it means to be in love.  Real love is rare and precious.  You may only get one shot at it in a lifetime.  While I would swear at the time I was in love with this woman, I can now confidently say I was “sickly obsessed” instead.  There was a real desperate darkness to the whole relationship.  There probably needed to be an intervention.  I still believe to this day that she may have been some sort of demon sent to destroy me.  It’s hard to believe she is probably a good Mom in a subdivision somewhere today as me playing the role of a forgettable bullet she dodged in her twenties.  I have no idea what she saw in me, and that was probably the main issue.  Both of us knew this would be a spectacular flameout with me left in the burning wreckage.  It was just a question of when…  

So there I am, a buzzed up Viking calling her apartment.  When I got her machine it did the strangest thing.  You remember how you used to be able to hit an access code and the machine would play your messages back?  I don’t know if I hit the right code by accident or if the damn thing was just broken.  Regardless, it began to play back a conversation she had earlier with the “good friend”.  In this conversation they discussed how they couldn’t wait to get together and how they were totally keeping me in the dark.  Boy, did that get them laughing.  Ha, ha, ha!   Then there was discussion about some of the things he was going to do to her physically.  She purred into the phone.   

This was rather disappointing.   

Wait.  I may have understated the impact of hearing this. 
I was totally devastated.  Completely and totally devastated.  My whole world had collapsed.  Mr. Funny Guy in the Viking suit had a girlfriend that was right now doing unspeakable things to a theater tech in an apartment no doubt decorated with Chianti bottles with candles in them.  He probably had a Siamese cat and the soundtrack to “Rent”.  He probably took baths instead of showers.  This was a cold slap in the face.  "I guess you aren’t so funny in that Viking outfit now are you Mr. Funny Man?"  I then proceeded to drink, thinking this is what male role models did on TV and movies, so it was what Men did.  This was, of course, a terrible idea.  Getting totally shitfaced like that only makes you go through the phases of grief.   

Denial:  “I must not have heard that right.  I probably dialed the wrong number or something.” (tequila shot)  Anger:  “I’m going to go over there and kick that guy’s ass and fuck up her apartment.  Play me for the fool?  Fuck you!”  (tequila shot) Bargaining:  “I just need to talk to her.  If I can just get her alone, I’ll bet we can work it out.  It’s probably my fault.  I need to go see her!” (tequila shot)  Depression:  “I love her man… and now she’s fucking Mr. Special Friend!  I’ll never find someone like her again…  Give me another shot.  Nothing matters anymore.”  (tequila shot)  Acceptance:  “Fuck her anyway.  She always was a tramp.  Which way is home?” 

I haven’t thought about that in years.  Even now the memory is horrible.  It brings up many questions.  While “What is true love?”,  “Can you ever really trust someone?”, and "Was our relationship always doomed to failure?" come to mind, the real question is this… 
Why does Chops not have voice mail like everyone else?     


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