Saturday, April 30, 2011


Last night ended oddly.
I was on my way home from a concert at The Rave.  I turned onto a rural street and eventually noticed I was going fifteen over the speed limit.  As I slowed down, I saw someone coming up behind me going extremely fast, so fast that I didn’t have time to react.  All I could to was brace myself for what seemed to be an inevitable totaling of my car.  Luckily, he slammed on the brakes and avoided the awful sound of crunching metal.  What happened next was the last thing I would’ve expected.  He passed me on the left, cut in front, and slowed me down to a halt, in the middle of a three lane road.  Both doors opened.
I would imagine that at this point, most people would put the shifter all the way over, all the way back, hit the gas and quickly reverse out of the altercation.  I on the other hand, flashed back to the scene in The Godfather where Sonny was boxed in at the turnpike and was assassinated by seven men sporting fedoras and Tommy Guns.   A thought popped in my head.
Dammit, now I’ll never be the head of the Corleone Family.
A middle aged man wearing a suit worth more than his mode of transportation exited the car, stage left.  Stage right… his drunk girlfriend.  The sauced spouse ran up to my window and a civil conversation started:
“You want me to fucking kill you???” she inquired.
“You're the one who’s gonna get killed, you're standing in the middle of the road,” I replied in a ‘matter of fact’ tone.
Enter the over-dressed man.
“You know who the fuck I am???” the apparently famous man asked me.
“Nope.  I do not,” I said to the celebrity.
The next thirty to sixty seconds became a verbal pissing contest.  I calmly tried to explain that they weren’t on the Milwaukee Mile racetrack, but in fact they were on Greenfield Avenue at midnight.   They opted to act like an episode of the Jerry Springer show, taking out all of their rage beside my car.  Once knowing I couldn't reason with these blithering idiots, I decided to apologize over and over until they left.  Mr. Youknowwhothefuckiam became satisfied and walked back to his car, beckoning his lush of a counterpart to follow.  She didn’t.  She had to make one final point.
“You know something?? I'm a nurse and I see people die in shit like th…”
“You're a nurse that threatens to kill people?”
“FUCK YOU!!!”  She said as she stumbled back to their car.  She got in, and they sped off before she closed the door.
I lit a cigarette and went on my merry way.  When I was back up to the speed limit, I realized two things.  One, you can’t reason with someone when they're pissed/drunk/stupid.  Secondly, I felt a sigh of relief, finally knowing that I’m one of those people that can remain calm and collected in a potentially explosive situation.
I don’t think I was always that type of person though.  When I was a teenager, I’m pretty sure I would’ve fled the scene, going as fast as possible, hoping they didn’t get my license plate number.  The difference between then and now is the fact that I've been through so many situations that span the entire realm of the term ‘unorthodox’, the Greenfield Avenue Incident not as out of the ordinary for me.  I knew where his breaking point was, and I knew how to avoid reaching it while still getting him to move the fuck out of my way.   Once he was ready to leave, I knew that he was going to tell his drunk girlfriend to come with, just as long as I didn’t call her something like ‘bitch’ or ‘cunt’.  She was drunk, he was sober and had his fill of everything because I apologized, even if I did nothing wrong.
Being able to read people like an open book is another talent I've learned through the trial and error of my vast array of unorthodox experiences that the average person doesn’t encounter. 
Here are a few examples to entertain you, which are all completely true:
-Getting into a stare-down contest with a person that everyone around me thought was armed.
-Coming back from Vegas, $1500 light and one stripper-stalker heavy.
-Engaging in a four month long ‘Man vs. Machine’ battle with an automatic toilet.
-Knocking a man over in a gas station because he called a soldier ‘someone who kills people for oil’.
-Unintentionally playing chicken with a cop.
-Having a middle-aged female boss who constantly tried to sleep with me.
-Catching a man who I thought was full-throttle gay making out with his female coworker.
-Getting over a fear of heights via bungee jumping.
-Showing 30 people, via Power Point presentation, that one of my employees shit his pants.
Now, I started this essay with a question in mind, “Why does all of this goofy shit keep happening to me?”  However, after I wrote out the list above, I realized that question doesn’t really hold water.  With the exception of a few of those examples, I played a large role in making the result take place.  I'm not a victim of circumstance, but in fact a facilitator of strange scenes.  The others I had no part in, I attribute to my tendency to be hyper-aware of my surroundings.
Paying close attention to my environment has always been both a help and a hinder for me.  It’s a benefit because I usually notice important and hilarious things that others fail to.  On the flip side of that coin, it’s hard for me to have a conversation when someone twenty feet away has mismatched socks.  Unfortunately this is something I cannot turn off, I'm just wired that way.   I'm forever doomed to know when something is amiss.
I don’t know if the word ‘doomed’ is how I would correctly describe it, though.  Over time, I've come to enjoy seeing the world for its beautifully-strange self.   I'm a bit of a weird guy, and I love when interesting shit happens.  I tried to join the ‘normal’ bandwagon a while back.  I talked about normal subjects, acted in a normal manner and avoided stepping away from normal situations.  I hated every second of it.   I found it to be painfully boring and in a way, I felt like I was selling out.
The person writing this now enjoys being weird and being in weird situations.  He enjoys vocalizing his weird thoughts.  He has no problem shaking the world of the normal people around him.   If the opportunity arises to be involved in something interesting, he’ll take it.  To this man, living a normal life is pointless, he may as well be a ghost.  A translucent wraith floating on the sidelines of life, that doesn’t want to live in a way that he feels he should.
He has been normal, and he’s never going back.

Now that you know more about me, learn about the things around me:
Rusted Bolt
Voice of Others