Anonymous said: 15. 24. 38.
15: Talk about the time you were most content in life.
Content is a good word, because “happy” is a loaded emotion and is almost always fleeting. I’m much like Alvy Singer in the way that “if one person is starving someplace, it puts a crimp in my evening.” So I’ll settle for content.
The easy answer would be any time I visited Rutgers during college. I never felt more at ease than with the Rutgers crew, but being that those visits were only 12 to 24 hours, so those feelings of elation were short lived. I have a terrible memory, but the last time I vividly remember a prolonged sense of content would be February 2006 through January 2007 during which I had a whirlwind romance with a girl named Krista.
Our relationship was short lived and intense, but damn was it fun. To explain how gloriously weird we were together would probably make the average person furrow their brow and slowly back away, so I won’t get into any of that. But what I can say is that we were never bored, she could (and still can) drink anyone under the table, her family was fun as hell, she introduced me to the people who would end up being my future roommates and closest college friends, and she truly gave a shit about me. She had a habit of making excellent funny/disturbing pictures for me throughout the months, and eventually put them all into a handmade book which she gave to me for Christmas.It was a grand testament to our time together.
24: Talk about something someone told you that meant a lot.
Krista and I broke up right after winter break in 2007. See, one thing that became ominously clear in the last six weeks we were together was that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life, and I was very much a directionless shmuck. Whenever she asked what I planned to do after college, my de facto answer was that I wanted to “write”, which was bullshit answer and she saw right through it. I was suffering from a life goal deficiency. In some ways I still am, so she definitely dodged a bullet there.
She told me she wanted some time to be single after being in a string of long term relationships, and who the hell was I to tell her she couldn’t? I was sad, but this is how it had to be. So you could only imagine my surprise when two weeks later she started dating someone else. This guy and his friends liked to get fucked up on Robitussin. He had stupid glasses. She had him over all the time. I did not like him.
So my era of content plummeted into feelings of indignation pretty damn quick. I thought, being a young man of great wit, I would write her a letter outlining this injustice, this breach of trust! I submitted to her a one page, double sided diatribe and I can say at the time that I was quite content with what I thought was an airtight explanation about how she was in the wrong. Two days passed and I didn’t hear anything. One afternoon, I believe it was February, she came to my door and handed me her rebuttal and walked away.
I will tell you this, Anonymous, never in my life had I been torn a new asshole as hard as Krista did in her letter. Her four page letter. Apparently she had initially let me down easy, and I would have been smarter to have kept my mouth shut and moved on. But I was such a self righteous bastard that it took four fucking pages, back to back, to explain how I sowed the seeds of our break up. And the kicker was that she was not wrong about anything. I mean she really had me dead to rights. And I learned a lot about myself that I was either not aware of, or was forced to accept. From that day until the end of the semester was without a doubt the most miserable period of my life, for now I knew that I had committed the cardinal sin of taking an amazing person for granted.
Usually when someone tells you something that “means a lot”, you’d sooner assume that it’s some uplifting and encouraging words. But Krista told me what I so desperately needed to hear, and I haven’t been the same since. Her letter forced me out of my comfort zone and made me realize that there were many things I needed to change about myself. How to change was, and still is, up in the air. Though I’ve certainly been far from a saint, whenever I screw up I always think back to that letter to try and get myself back on track. If anyone was going to call me out, I’m glad it was her. Looking back, it probably would not have worked out anyway. She was into creative, artsy types, while all I had going for me back then was being from New Jersey.
Incidentally, a few years ago she did apologize for the way things ended between us. We had been on good terms for a while, so it was an apology she certainly didn’t need to make. But damn did it feel good to hear it anyway, especially when she said the Robotrip guy ended up being the “biggest douchebag she’s ever dated”. So those words meant a lot to me too.
I have the privilege of calling her my friend to this day, and I was elated when she recently informed me that she’ll be marrying her long time boyfriend, who I’ve met on numerous occasions. He plays guitar in a metal band. He’s perfect.
38: Talk about songs that remind you of certain people.
Oh my God, really? We could be here all day with this.
I can be terrible about articulating my feelings to people, which is a pitiful attribute for someone in possession of an English degree. But every Best of compilation that I hand out each year isn’t just what I think are the best songs of the year, but songs that relate to things that happened or my mood during said year. And that’s just scratching the surface. Everyone has a song attached to them. And I’m still under the impression that every song by Pissed Jeans is attached to me. In fact, I’m still unconvinced that their catalog isn’t about my life. But since I’ve spoken at great length about Krista, I’m going to have to go with songs that reminds me of her. And that songs were found exclusively on Straight Outta Compton by NWA.
Imagine a small college town in Amish country. Imagine a singular main street that runs through town with an audacious number of traffic lights (three!!!). Now imagine it’s a beautiful spring day, and there is a car with its windows and sunroof open making its way down the hill. And in that car there are two young people reciting/screaming lyrics about retaliation for being racially profiled. I don’t know why we had such an obsession was with Straight Outta Compton, but it was our shit.
Now I know what you’re thinking, but I can assure you that the irony of two white kids from the suburbs outwardly loving NWA was not lost on us, because we both knew we’d never have to experience anything being depicted in the songs. So yeah, we were ripe for a privilege check. But objectively speaking those songs are so fucking good and are at times unparalleled. I did the Ice Cube parts, she took the Eazy E lines. MC Ren’s bars were up for grabs. However, she made Dr. Dre’s only song on the album, ”Express Yourself”, her own at our dorm’s talent show and ended winning the whole damn thing.
I’ve only listened to the album a few times since I graduated college, but without anyone riding shotgun and singing about being ”tired of the motherfucking jacket,” it doesn’t have the same allure.
notnadia said: 2, 10, 22
2: Talk about your first kiss.
When was 2nd grade, 1991/1992? Her name was Colleen, one of two girl friends that I had. She was really pale, had long brown hair that was almost always French braided, and if I remember correctly she was also one of the tallest kids in the class. I think she had a good three inches on me. She was into Ninja Turtles so she passed the friendship test. It was a Saturday or Sunday in late fall (I remember we were both outfitted in heavy jackets) and we had been dragged to our respective siblings soccer games. Not content with watching 4-year-olds fall down for 90 minutes, we wandered off and spent much of the time shooting the shit about favorite crayon colors and the feasibility of a Real Ghostbusters/My Little Pony crossover… I assume.
ANYWAY, I don’t know why I felt compelled to do so, but I asked her if she would kiss me. Just figured I’d throw caution to the wind and see what would happen. And I’ll be damned if she didn’t give me a peck on the cheek. Thinking back, I’m not sure what made her compelled to humor me with my request. Maybe she was into short, chubby Jewish boys with bowl haircuts? I don’t know. But when she kissed me, though innocuous in all respects, it brought about a feeling I’d never had before. I was either in love or I was having an aneurysm.
But she moved away after the school year ended and I never saw her again. But that kiss remained significant for a long time because I would not be kissed again until I was 15, when girls really had no reason to do so.
10: Talk about the biggest fight you’ve ever had.
Ah yes, the “Rumble in the Basement”. The one round, Friedman vs. Friedman grudge match of the decade. Never had two siblings fought so viciously since my uncle shunned my dad for not being a “real Jew” or whatever that meant.
So when you share a room with someone for ten years, tempers tend to flare up from time to time. My brother had battled illness after illness for much of his childhood, but even after his health improved the psychological effects lingered for many years thereafter. Basically, he became an insufferable cunt. It was scary at times when he didn’t get his way, and he threatened physical violence against family members numerous times but never acted upon it. Still, having to sleep in the same room as this kid was sometimes unnerving. I tried to stay out of his cross hairs for as long as I could, but then one night I just pushed him too far.
It was 2002, so that would make me a junior and he a freshman. I had the height advantage, but he definitely had the weight and muscle (I ran cross country, he threw shot put). After enduring another evening of him berating my mother about god-knows-what, I tore into him and denounced his antics. And by that I mean I unleashed a 15 minute tirade about how he was a worthless piece of shit that didn’t deserve to live and to stop torturing the family because he felt entitled to get whatever he wants. No, I was not very tactful nor was I constructive with my words. My strategy with dealing with him was basically fighting fire with napalm. But he sat there and took it.
Now my biggest mistake was doing this in the basement, and from where he was sitting he was blocking the only exit so, you know, I’d have to walk past him to get out. Well my rant had pushed his last button and as I went to walk by he stood up and gave me a look that most people have on their face before they murder someone out of pure hatred. Being a long distance runner, I knew I was at a disadvantage because I had no arm muscles to speak of and had nowhere to run. Regardless, I got a few shots in after he lunged at me. I worked his gut with a few uppercuts while he went straight for my head. I don’t think we actually wanted to really hurt each other, but he got one really good punch to my face which ended the fight. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt all that much. I had a good laugh as I walked upstairs, because I knew that he was about to be in more trouble than he’d ever been in his life and he knew this as well.
Long story short, my parents took him to family therapy and I had a lovely shiner for a few weeks. To this day I will concede that he won the fight fair and square. And while my parents were clearly shaken and upset that my brother actually resorted to physical violence against a family member, they rightly chastised me for my grossly acidic choice of words and the fact that I felt compelled to say them. But hey, now we share an apartment together and we’re OK. That was the biggest (and last) fight I’ve ever been in. I believe I may be overdue for an ass kicking.
22: Talk about your worst fear.
Well it isn’t death, I can tell you that much. Life is so much more terrifying.
Dying alone is another popular one… though incidentally I’m beginning to come to peace with this idea. But then again, doesn’t everyone want to feel like they’re worth something to someone?
Honestly though, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that as the years have passed, more people are now laughing at me than with me. Those who know me could attest to the fact that I can at times be a ridiculous jackass. I’m sure friends and family and acquaintances (and exes) have been worn down by my antics over the years, especially as they all get their lives in some kind of order while I’m still sitting around trying to work up the balls to apply to a job that might actually make me happy. I’ll put it this way: you know how everyone has “that one friend”, and if you don’t, then you are “that friend”? I have found myself in so many weird or crazy scenarios that I gave up on trying to make any sense of my life a long time ago.
I would propose that depending on who you ask, they’d tell you that I’m either endearingly incorrigible or hopelessly irredeemable. Though either way everyone will have a good story about me long after my soul has been jettisoned into oblivion. Is everyone else like this, but better at hiding it? Or am I blowing this out of proportion?
Oh yeah, and any spider bigger than the circumference of a nickel. Ugh.
YES x 1000
ASU! ASU! ASU!