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December 24, 2008 / Brittany Hendrick

A Mid-Night-Morning’s Scheme: an error-prone production

Before I continue my comedy of errors, I should clarify some things.  As I re-read what I’ve written thus far, I see that I may come off as… negative, needy, complaintful and unassured… to those who don’t know me.  I can anticipate that malevolent reaction, which is fine… even though those people would be wrong.  I feel that writing in this “self-deprecating” yet honest fashion proves quite the opposite of any perceived negative attributes.  If I felt that badly about myself, I wouldn’t put it out there.  I’d hide that shit, yo.  If I needed a guy to define my life and happiness, I would’ve taken care of that a LONG time ago, easily– through marriage, serial relationships or promiscuity.

Furthermore, my admissions that DO occur throughout the story are clear.  For example: yes, I’m a bumblefool and say stupid things.  But the SUBTEXT is:
1) I’m OK with that
2) it’s funny to look back upon
3) I’m not changing for anyone, and I wouldn’t want to
4) we ALL say stupid things

Writers just stick out for recognizing The Stupid because we bravely (or stupidly?) address it in an inescapable, fixed medium.  Most regular people neither revisit nor make light of their own Stupid unless it involves a confession booth… or alcohol.  It so happened, in a recent Gwinnett Daily Post, columnist Rob Jenkins penned a piece that fortifies my argument exactly.  The editorial is entitled “It’s time for stupid things I’ve said– the 2008 edition.”  Quote:

…if you’re wondering why you haven’t seen this feature for a couple of years, it’s because I didn’t say anything stupid during that time.
Yeah, right.  That could happen only if I stopped writing altogether.  Truth is, I didn’t publish a ‘Stupid Things’ column last year because I’d said so many stupid things, I couldn’t fit them all into one column.  In 2008, however… I managed to reduce my verbal gaffes to calculable levels.

I love you, Rob Jenkins.

I like making fun of myself and creating hilarious re-tellings of actual events.  By the time I’ve written them here, I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate, make metaphorical connections, and put everything into terms that I enjoy writing and that other people may enjoy reading.  The events are literal, but some of my thought processes that I describe are not literal but rather retrospective and exaggerated for humorous purposes.  I mean, I don’t really “keep score” on matters in my life.  I don’t really think I’m a “fucking dolt,” (refer to ‘Daft, not deft’ post), and that did not really go through my head at the time.
I am sorry if I just spoiled the magic for anyone.

Anyway, speaking of magic…

I drove J back to the bus.  I fully expected a “had a nice time, see you next tour” sort of departure.  I would’ve been OK with that.  I’d have sighed great, big sighs all the way home, but it would’ve been OK.  Life returns back to normal the next day.

We chatted for a couple more minutes… gosh, I don’t know how we even got onto new subjects.  I was delirious with sleepiness by this point.  I asked if the band named the tour bus and its back room…  I said I like to poke fun at my friends like guys do with each other, but I can’t be that way with some of my friends, etc.  I’d gone into a very ill-worded description of my sense of humor and what drives it.  And somewhere, somehow, in describing all of that, the word “cynical” dropped out of my mouth.

Ah, fuck.  I’ve done it now.

Guest: 8
Home: 10

“Couldn’t you try to be more positive?”  J asked inquisitively.

Uh.

Uh.

Uh.

This is coming from the guy who said life is downhill after you turn 30 years old.  The same guy who made sarcastic (self-referential) comments about other people throughout the night.  I make one flippant remark and he’s telling me… to be more… positive?  Really?

Guest: 9
Home: 10

As much as I would’ve LOVED to argue with him on these fine points, I just couldn’t do it at 5:30 a.m.  Instead, my brain-dead response was a combination of, “Well, uh, that’s not, no, I meant, it’s not that I’m, uck, um, it’s just…”  I sounded like a quasi-Boolean string typed into a Google searchbar.  I wasn’t prepared to explain what influences my sense of humor versus my general attitude in life.  I didn’t think I’d HAVE to!

 

So then J asked me if I’d ever been to [Europe].  I said no, but I’ve always wanted to go.  He said, “You should!  You should!”  Yeah, I know, someday…

“You should give me your email address,” he said.

Yes, that’s a great idea!  First, I had to find a piece of paper.  Which seemed to be in short supply for some reason.

“Paper… ahhh… oh…”

I searched my console, armrest, purse, jacket– finally!  In my door’s pocket.  I tore off a corner.

“What is… oh, this is just my credit report, it’s not important, so… I can use… yeah, eh, it’s just my credit report, we’ll use this.”

Holy shit, Brittany, are you tearing up a piece of paper from your credit report?  ‘Cause J might not have gotten that the first fifteen times you said it.  Or CARE for that matter.  I hate you, Jimmy Two-Times!  “Not important”?!  WHAT!

Guest: 9
Home: 11

I used the last page of the credit report, which had no personal information on it.  So that particular piece of paper wasn’t important.  I just sounded dumb while trying to convey that to J.  The next challenge: a pen.  Of course.

“Pen… oh… somewhere… surely I have… where… ”

Another search through my onsole, armrest, purse, jacket, door pocket– NO PEN.

NO!

Even J was looking around his seat and his own jacket.  NO PEN.  Could the situation get any more ridiculous?!  It was like two teenagers searching for a condom.  OK, not really, but it was just as funny.  J had to get a pen from the bus.

 

He scrawled his email address for me.  I gave him my work and AOL email addresses.  I prefer to use my work email because it’s more reliable than AOL and I’m less likely to accidentally delete something as spam.  I provided my AOL email, too, in case I’m suddenly laid off from my job.  Not unusual in my industry.  I was covering all my bases.

“Two email addresses?”  J said, as if I were adding confusion or bogginess to his life.

Oh God, must he be critical about that?  Are two email addresses too confusing?  I don’t think so, according to my reasoning.  Rather than explaining it all, I just replied, “Well, I never know when I’ll get laid off…”

Guest: 10
Home: 11

“Cool nickname,” J commented, referring to the ‘Gumby’ part of my email address.

Awww, aren’t you just the cutest thing!

Heh.  I never thought of my nickname as “cool” or “uncool.”  Just something given to me when I played first base in softball.  Kind of an unnecessary compliment.  I think J was nervous.

Guest: 11
Home: 11

 

Finally, we said goodbye to each other.  Overall, I felt pretty good about how things ended up.  I’d acted stupid and weird in parts, but I guess it didn’t bother J, as [his] didn’t bother me.  There were some flustered moments, but that was because of my analyzation and nothing J did; I still felt comfortable in his presence.  Not a lot of self-editing went on, obviously.

On the other hand, I didn’t think J would actually email me.  A touring musician isn’t able to dedicate the time.  I know this because I lived on a bus for many months once, and I was not responsible with my email.  I didn’t even email back my own family members.  Terrible, I know!  But it’s… it’s a different environment: I wasn’t in the mood, didn’t have the energy or time– half the time we didn’t even have internet access!  Email is just too hard to keep up with while on the road.  J probably gets tons of it anyway.

Also, a lot of musicians have a tendency to talk a load of shit.  I’ve known that since Jesus was a baby.  Their transient lifestyle allows the shit to flow without consequences.  I think that’s… well… a shitty way to go about life and treat people.  It’s possible that J was blowing smoke up my ass.

With those things in mind, I wasn’t afraid to at least try, give J the benefit of doubt, and see what could happen.  I planned to email him next day– nothing elaborate, just a “thank you”– without the expectation of a response.  Then again, if he really wants to email me like he demonstrated, he’d make the time.  If he didn’t email me back, I wasn’t going to cry about it.  The less assholes in my life, the better.

To be continued…

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