Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks, in no particular order, for...

-ICarly-it'sfunny, with (or without) the kids
-Chicago with Elizabeth, Ricky Gervais, and Louis CK, and hotel sex (with Elizabeth, not Ricky Gervais and/or Louis CK
-The sound of Michael's car pulling up in front of the house
-Harper Blynn's cover of Beyonce's "Halo"
-Courier Font
-The Jesus of prostitutes
-Judy, the waitress with the crooked back that works at the T n' A diner and serves up great pie
-Hannah's kick-ass attitude (most days)
-Solomon's mischief
-Caleb's confidence
-Dark Chocolate
-Jared, for wandering in and out of my dreams once again
-The BBC (1, 2, 3, 4...)
-Alien Beings
-Calm without an impending storm
-Weird, honest, friendly, good, and real people
-Books, Words, Language, Expression
-Feeling good
-My newly open mind
-A man named Zap Rowsdower
-Fried turkey and nobody to share it with but the wife and kids
-The 4th of July Rodeo
-Headphones-so many applications for them it astounds me
-Snaps on my shirts
-Planet Fitness
-Great clients
-The Ability and Will to change

Monday, November 15, 2010

Black Op

It was a beautiful day for killing. The sun was warm and the air still. Mark and I started out early that morning, riding motorcycles up the mountain. We each carried both a rifle and a pistol, and two bricks of 22 caliber ammo between us. The ammo would last for half the day if we took our time and shot patiently.

We set up our shooting stand atop the massive rock formation in the center of our favorite meadow. I had always imagined the long, flat rock to be a sacrificial alter placed at the center of the grassy meadow by an ancient tribe of deadly warriors. Thousands of years before Mark and I showed up it had been bathed in the blood of captured enemies, ugly women, and small children.

We loaded our guns and began to shoot at anything that chirped, tweeted, or flew. Our first several shots were disappointing, but we soon dialed in our sights and our nerves. Before long we were hitting just about everything we aimed at. The rifles worked best, but we used the pistols for celebratory shots directed skyward. In between volleys and reloads we would sip soda, munch snacks, and wait for the birds spooked by our gunfire to return.

We were patient. The ammo lasted for hours.

Long after the cracks of our final shots faded, Mark and I sat and listened for sounds of life in the meadow. We heard nothing but grasshoppers twitching in the grass. Bloodlust coursing through our veins, we walked out into the grass and inspected some of our kills. 

I have shot many guns since that day, but not one of them has been aimed at a bird.

Don't ask me about chipmunks, rats, or squirrels.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Hose, Some Hose, My Kingdom For Some Hose!

I don't recall the first time I noticed them, maybe the nurse that carried me fresh from the womb and over to the heat lamp was wearing a pair (white in color would be my guess). The swish of her nylon-sheathed thighs might have brought on my first smile, or my first gasp for breath.

Most of what I remember about my first grade teacher was the soft sound her legs would make as she walked past me, sitting on the floor of her classroom with a book in my lap. In memories she is nothing more than a pair of light brown legs that I want to reach out and touch. It was in first grade that I first made accomplices of dropped pencils, loosely tied laces, and insects. They all made excellent excuses for dropping to the ground. Down there I could sneak a better look at all the lovely nylon columns swishing past me.

In third grade, my dreams were weird. I remember the most common, in which all of the female teachers would line up in the main hall of our school. They were always wearing nothing but tight fitting body suits made out of panty hose. These suits were something I imagined as fantastic but impossible.  I did not know a thing about lingerie in those days, and so I had no idea that such outfits did in fact exist. Had I known, my Christmas wish lists might have shocked my parents. Since I wasn't all that familiar with the female anatomy, the women in this dream were, but for their most obvious curves, androgynous. I would walk along their ranks like a drill sergeant and pick out my favorites. These favorites would then climb onto a long waterbed in a long locked room. Once they were settled into a comfortable row of floating panty hose and soft curves, I would disrobe and roll over the top of them. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, I continued to roll, enjoying the silky layer of nylon bobbing up and down beneath me. Though I loved the sensation, the dream always ended in a hollow feeling, as if something more was supposed to have occurred. Nothing ever did, and so I would wake up to a frustration that I did not understand. The only thing I knew with certainty was that I was a sick little boy that would never spend any amount of time in heaven.

In fifth grade I spent so much time picking up pencils in front of my favorite teacher's desk that one day she actually asked me how the view was from "down there." In an instant I was flash frozen to the floor by my shame. She would tell my parents. I would be exposed to the world for the creepy kid that I already knew myself to be. My family would be humiliated. Dad would lecture and Mom would cry. I would be punished by my parents, shunned at church, and expelled from school. No longer welcome at home, I'd have to run away and live in the woods near the cemetery. My brothers would divide up my Star Wars toys, and I would soon be forgotten. These were my thoughts as I slowly climbed to my feet. Standing before my teacher, a red mask of guilt covering my face, I expected her to hiss, screech, and curse my name. Instead, she smiled at me. After a very long moment I retreated to my desk, confused, worried, and embarrassed. I had been caught on all fours, staring at my teacher's legs; why wasn't I on my way to the principal's office, or being pushed into the back of a police car? Every day for the rest of the school year was an experience in awkward agony, putting a damper on my panty hose habit for a long spell.

Easter, the celebration of the resurrection, and another reason for me to hang my head in absolute shame. Little plastic eggs hidden around the house by a magical rabbit. They should have held no real significance for me in relation to my eternal well being, but they did. Those little plastic eggs would mock me every year, reminding me of my nylon hunger. They were just miniature versions of those I saw in panty hose ads on television, and on display in great big bins at department stores.

By the eighth grade, I knew a heck of a lot more about the female anatomy than I had in third grade. This was due in part to the many pencils dropped more conspicuously in grades four through seven, as well as many magazines stolen from under the mattress of my friend's older brother. The distractions that this new knowledge about girls brought on forced a great portion of my nylon fantasies into remission. This did nothing for my salvation, nor did it erase any of my guilt, however, because my focus had only been redirected to what was behind the nylons.

As a twelve year old I tended to drift in and out of attention during church meetings. I wanted to be anywhere else, except for school of course. Church was (and still is) boring, monotonous, and spiritually tedious, especially for the guilty. I already knew that I was going to hell, and that my life would produce nothing of great value. Why did I have to be reminded of that every week by some creepy old man with a greasy grey comb over and a vacuum-like sense of humor that sucked all the fun out of the room?

To further compound my confusion over religion, one Sunday morning the old face informed us that we had to produce a video for the upcoming church film festival. He presented his idea, which was based on the "less filling, tastes great" tag-line argument of a popular beer commercial. Our commercial would be for panty hose. We would split into two factions, arguing over whether it was the fact that the nylons were "laced great" or that they were "less chilling" that made them the best brand of panty hose to wear. The hilarity of the video would be that a group of twelve year old boys were dressed up as women. We would all, of course, have to wear nylons for the video.

I remember sliding into them on the day of the shoot. I sat on my bed and collected one side of the panty hose up into my fingers like the women in so many commercials I had watched over the years. My toes pointed, I slid them over my foot and up along my leg, smoothing them out as I did. They were so soft and cool against my skin! It was wonderful. Years before, my mother had made me wear tights to school in the winter. I hated them. I had sworn to never don them again, and that I would never force my future sons into such a humiliating position. But this was somehow different. While I felt silly for wearing something made exclusively for women, I felt as if I were being let in on a secret that only women knew. Soon both legs were covered in a thin, silky membrane. I closed my eyes and rubbed my hands over them, imagining Kate Varnseck's legs instead of mine.

Soon I was dressed as a woman. Complete with makeup, hat, shoes, and a purse, I walked through the neighborhood without a thought to being embarrassed. There was no way anyone would recognize me all made up and dressed like a woman, and I really didn't care anyway. The video shoot went well. I hammed it up, slapping a hand on my thigh, stomping my heels, and heaving a big sigh as I argued my case for why the panty hose were so great to wear. I don't recall if I was assigned the "less chilling" or the "laced great" side of the argument, but I do remember the sensation of the cool air on my legs as I crossed them in mock disgust during the debate.

While I enjoyed my brush with panty hose, it didn't stick. That video shoot brought an end to my obsession. I was like a boy whose father makes him smoke a whole cigar in order to kill his curiosity. I gave it a shot, and it didn't play out. I had never wanted to be a woman. While I still loved the soft, silky texture of panty hose, I found it easy to avoid wearing them. I do admit, however, to reaching out for a touch now and again, especially when offered the chance openly by a girl.

Years later, after lusting after many brunettes, I found myself enthralled, enraptured, and engaged to a feisty blonde. She was beautiful. I wanted to impress her. Shakespeare seemed a safe bet. I read to her from Romeo and Juliet by candlelight.

Wanting to look the part, I wore nylons.