Hey, are you asleep?  Not anymore?  Oh, that’s great.  So I was thinking—I know it’s what I do best.  That’s very thoughtful of you.  Or maybe me.  I’m not so sure.

Anyway.  I was thinking, remember that time in grade school where you did something really  dumb?  I should probably be more specific, because there were so many times, really a lot, but you seem to forget all of them.  Don’t worry, that’s why I’m here.

It was in the 2nd grade.  You were at the library with your class, sitting at the top row of the small, carpeted amphitheater reading section, listening to your teacher read a book.  There was a pause point in her narration, probably because she was turning the book around to show the class all of the pictures.  Everyone was quietly looking at the photo, doing their best to get lost in the story.  Not a sound could be heard.

It was at this point of complete, dead, pervasive silence that you let rip a holy hand grenade of farts.  At these moments, adults usually have to say something like, “It’s perfectly natural for someone to pass gas” because everyone is laughing.  But no one laughed.  No one said anything, instead they turned to look at you as if you had just spoken in tongues.  Your teacher gave you a look that was somewhere between disgust and pity.  She must have known there was nothing natural about the flatulence you had just displayed.  It was the type of noise that was less akin to a natural bowel movement and more closely related to the guttural death rattle of a demon housed in the bowels of your small frame.  The silence hung in the air just long enough for the smell to hit all of their nostrils.  Something had crawled up your ass and died there, there was now no doubt.

Man.  That was embarrassing.  Wasn’t it?  I can’t believe you forgot that.  Jeez.  Oh, you’re going to go back to bed?  I know, you’ve got that important job interview in the morning.  I know, I know.  It’s like, “the best thing that’s ever happened to you.” Or whatever.

Do you wanna know what I think?

That was a rhetoric question, you didn’t have to answer it.  And, quite frankly, using your middle finger is a little childish, don’t you think?

OK… clearly you don’t understand a rhetorical question when you hear one.  Here’s what I was thinking.

This reminded me of that time you totally botched that date, remember?

I do.  Vividly, actually.  It was this girl that you had been interested in for a long time.  And I remember you thinking: “this could be one I end up with, if I play all my cards right.”

God, that’s embarrassing.  You were only 19, who the hell knows that sort of stuff at that age anyway?

Shh, I’m telling a story, and yes that was rhetoric.

So you show up to the date.  You wanted to be early, which to most rational thinking people means about five or ten minutes early.  For you it was twenty-five minutes.  Remember how nervous you were?  Turns out it was a warranted amount of anxiety because all your fears pretty much came true.

By the time she shows up, you’ve already got a table and sucked down eight cups of ice water.  You were so full of cold water, you started to shiver.  Literally shiver.  In the middle of August.

You say hi, and give her the most awkward hug of anyone’s life.  And I really mean that.  It wasn’t an over the top full frontal hug or even a cursory casual embrace, but the weak willed version of something between the two.  You got up from the table, sheepishly smiling, said hello and gave her a side hug.  Only you didn’t even wrap your full arm around her, it was more like touching shoulders and tilting your head in her direction then pulling away right as she went in for a full hug.  Then you felt bad about pulling away, so you go back in for a hug but she’s already pulled away.

At this point, if you remember, it was like two people playing tug of war with an invisible rope.  Finally, she graciously said something along the lines of, “maybe we should just sit down.” And you did.

But there was no recovering.  Perhaps a stronger person could have jumped back from it, but you thought about it the entire date, kinda like you have for the past ten years.  Remember when she offered you her jacket because you wouldn’t stop shivering?  Man…  How embarrassing. I’m surprised you can sleep at night, ya know?

Oh you can’t?  “Because wont shut up…” yeah OK big guy, whatever you say.  Your scowl actually reminds me of another story, its that one wh—Hey…  What do you have there?  No, you know there’s no need for that.

Put that away.  OK I’ll stop talking if you don’t take that sleeping pill, I promise.  I don’t want to go to bed yet.  Why can’t you drink yourself to sleep like a normal human being?  Every time you take those sleeping pills we have the weirdest dreams.  Stuff with zoo’s and weird nightmares about reality TV stars becoming president.  Lemme just tell you one more story, OK?

…Hey, are you there?



Great.  You’re asleep.

Fine.  I get it.  Go ahead and go to sleep.

I’ll see you tomorrow night.  I think I’d like to relive that one time you dropped your motorcycle in the middle of rush hour traffic in the busiest part of the city.

That one is my favorite.