Saturday, March 23, 2013

On the Bus Blues

Today we had a not-so-unusual early spring snow.  It came down in inches, accumulated, and pretty much ruined everyone's Saturday, including mine as I had to commute in this shit.

Of course, I took the bus-bus-train, another two hour jaunt thanks to a late bus, and will live to drive another day.

But man...

I almost had to go World Star on a couple of clowns at the bus stop.  This is what happened:  My first bus was late, making me miss the second bus, which meant I had to wait around for a half hour. But then the second bus was late, too, making that half hour more like 50 minutes.  Fuck it, it was an hour.  I sat at the bus stop for a fucking hour.

If I had a job where I can call in sick, I would have walked my happy ass back home.  But alas....I do not have that job.

But if you sit at a bus stop for an hour and that bus stop is on Colfax, you will be asked by some low-life (or two) for spare change.  If you are seen smoking a cigarette, you will be asked by some low-life for one.

The first time it happened today, I gave the guy a cigarette.   No, I don't want your only nickel.  In payment for this cigarette, I want you to go away and never talk to me again.  Yeah, I know.  I'm an asshole.  This is not a revelation.  I am at the beginning of a two hour journey to a job I'm not really in love with, not only so that I can afford to buy my own cigarettes, but so that I can buy other things.  You, I don't know what you do, but you walk around in a snowstorm with a nickel in your pocket, asking for cigarettes.

But yes, we can all agree:  I'm the asshole.

The second time, I told the guy I had nothing, even though I had a bag of laundry quarters in my pocket.  I mean, I sympathize.  This guy left the house with no money and no plan.  Me, I'm wearing three shirts, two jackets, gloves.  I brought my iPod, Kindle, and a bag of my laundry quarters just in case. I can see why he's asking me for things.  I was obviously better equipped for this little thing we call life.

A third dude later came up asking for money.  I yanked out my ear bud to hear his plaintive request.  My answer:  "No.  I'm trying to catch a bus, man, not trying to be hit up for shit."  He didn't know he was the third mooch to have offended my hour long bus stop wait, but he recoiled.  "Okay, man, I'm just asking.  You don't have to be a dick."

Well, apparently I do because I can't just sit here on this bench, headphones on, hood closed up around my face, and NOT be bothered by the sad sacks of Denver.  Oh, you thought the sign said "Come ask me for shit?"

No, it says "Don't ask me for shit."

I can't wait till they finish building the train, man.  The bus is a joke.

Updated:  It took me a little over two hours to get home.  I opted to go the long way, since the Colfax bus is the most reliable route in town.  It was a choice between the lesser of two evils:  take a chance on missing the 105, which runs hourly on the weekends, or just ride into downtown and take the 15, which runs every fifteen minutes twenty four hours a day.  I figured I already sat at a bus stop for an hour today, so the 15 it is...

During the ride I had time to think about how much I love my life.  It took about ten seconds and can be measured in the space between your forefinger and thumb when they're touching.

I thought about my misspent youth, misspent because it's gone and now I'm an old man with a mortgage and bills and a job he can barely tolerate.  My trash bill was waiting in my mailbox when I got home.

I thought about the guy with the nickel this morning, thought about how he sensed that he bugged me and later tried to make up for it by offering me room in the bus shelter.  This morning, that was just one more annoyance, but tonight -I dunno- I kind of appreciated it.

Truth is, I wasn't in the bus shelter because I was avoiding all the people in there.  I didn't want to talk to anyone, didn't want to look at anyone, didn't want to acknowledge that other people existed.  I wanted to pretend I was the only person in the world, enduring the miseries of life in solitude. 

This cigarette moocher with the nickel had no idea that he was talking to a guy who is very confused, a guy who doesn't understand that other people can be comforting.  That's what this guy was trying to do, give me a little comfort.  He saw me sitting on the bench with my two coats, my headphones, my gloves, my knee shaking (not from the cold), my hood pulled down on my face.  He knew I was having a bad day.  But in the bus shelter, everyone was talking, enduring the misery together.  I couldn't hear what they were saying, my iPod cranked, but the body language said, "Where's the bus?"  Or "That groundhog lied, man."

 And there's me, the asshole, sitting on the bench far away from anyone.  Even invited, I just sit there.  This guy says lighten up and I say fuck off.

Something's wrong with me, man.

Friday, March 22, 2013

World Star

I ain't gonna lie.  Watching these World Star fight comps have made me want to get in a fight soooo bad.  Some of these guys don't know what they're doing.  Half the time you can tell who's going to get knocked out just by how they fight.  They lean way back and throw these wild punches looking over the tips of their noses.  They don't want to get hit.

But you're in a fight, dude.  You're going to get hit.

In most of the fights, someone in the background will yell out, "World Star!"  They might throw their fingers up in a little W.

After the girl fights, the ground is strewn with torn wigs and battered weaves.

Sometimes, you watch these fights and know that lives were changed.  You see them twitching on the ground and you know they just lost about 20 IQ points and ten years off their lives.

Ten Years Later

It's been ten years since we went to war in Iraq.  It was the dumbest thing in a long list of dumb things we've done as a country in the last ten years.

I opposed the war from the beginning.  I don't say that to be proud of it.  I say that because there's been an accounting on this score in the blogosphere lately, and while I have hardly any readership, this does qualify as a blog.

And I don't have to account for shit.

Andrew Sullivan does, though, and he whines his way through it:

I had spent much of the 1990s at war with the gay left, and I think it had embittered me. That those battles were over my campaign for marriage equality and military service as the two biggest priorities of the gay rights movement makes for a strange irony today. Nonetheless, when you have been smeared, physically threatened, picketed and despised by the gay left, you dig in and begin to see nothing but bad in that political faction. And earlier that same year, I had been publicly humiliated by parts of the gay left for being HIV-positive, and trying to find other HIV-positive men online for sex and love. That made my embitterment deeper. When I really examine my emotional state that year, I can see better now why my anger at the left in general came out so forcefully in the wake of such a massacre. It was a foolish extrapolation from a handful of haters to an entire political tradition. Again, this is not an excuse. But if I am to understand my own personal anger at the anti-war left, it is part of the story.
 Alright, it's not an excuse.  It's also not a very good reason to have been wrong about the Iraq War.  "The gay left was mean to me." 

You kind of aligned yourself with a movement that would deny them basic human dignities.  What'd you expect, a big warm embrace?  Politics is a nasty game.  Of course, the tree-hugging communist pussies are going to call the knuckle-dragging ignorant fascists a bag of dicks.  People are assholes, man, and when they get angry, they say angry things.  You can beat the war drums as some kind of response, or you can --in the words of Don Corleone-- act like a man.

Whatsa matta wit you?

He seems to have learned his lesson though, and that's a good thing.  So it goes.

The gay left made me do it...  What a joke.