faults & traits & madness

I remember when my cousin came to stay for a week, and on Saturday night we were watching “The Littlest Hobo”.  I had been reading in the StarWeek tv guide magazine that very day that there were several dogs used as the Hobo on any given episode.  When C said “boy, that’s a smart dog”, I told him about the article.

He shrugged and said “still a pretty smart dog” and we continued watching.  No biggie to him.

While my cousin is younger than me, he was still closer in age than I am to the next sibling up from me, and the kind of stuff I told him was exactly the same thing that they told me.  When he went to the bathroom, I got blasted by my siblings how you don’t tell little kids things like that, and it was like telling them there was no Santa Claus.

I knew where that browbeating came from.  Our family hadn’t been raised to believe in Santa.  As far as I was aware, everyone knew there was no Santa, except for my friend, Derek, who I told on the bus when we were in Grade 4, and he had complete crying jag all the way to school, and I was the asshole, because all the older kids were worried that the younger kids had heard me say it as well.

Huge biggie.

I remember the bus driver, Ellen, looking up in the rearview, alternately amused at first, and then saddened.  It hurt worse than what what some of the older kids were whispering at me.  After Derek was let off, and the the attention of the older kids went from trying to console Derek to berating me, she finally stated coldly, that Santa wasn’t the only one seeing if people were being naughty or nice.

I still have those “thoughtlessly being helpful” moments of crushing someone’s idea with unsolicited information…as opposed to purposefully crushing someone’s idea with unsolicited information; or inadvertently crushing someone’s idea with solicited information.  It’s still one of those faults about myself I really don’t like, causing countless ohno seconds… that moment after the thought is already partway out the mouth, and I’m thinking “oh no…how do I turn this about?”

Because of a need to try and keep up with my siblings, over the years I’ve developed a drive for learning a little bit about everything, enough to keep up with the conversation.  Mind you, I think part of it also came from my father, who read the encyclopedia for entertainment, and loved documentaries.  He liked to learned, and still does…as do I.

It’s a common trait that we both have:  learning something new – mostly outside of the realm of necessary, as opposed to need to learn for work (though not always) – is enjoyable.  Facts are interesting.  They are also the arsenal of the introvert unable to engage in social chit-chat, yet wanting interaction…whip out a relevant fact, and you are still contributing to conversation patterns.

The other side of the opening stories is that childhood feeling of needing to be more grown-up than I was.  Coupled with that was the unspoken (sometimes whispered about) directive “pretend everything is just fine and keep a smile on your face or else”.  The final ingredient?  I have always been aware since I was very little that I was different but didn’t really comprehend what that difference was until the ripe old age of 7, when one of the kids at school called me a faggot.  Someone giggle, shocked, and explained he thought I was a “homo”.

With part of a word, I could look it up, until I figured it out.  The encyclopedia in the house was still using the “abnormal psychology” type of definition for ‘homosexual’.  And I knew from my staunch upbringing that it was an abomination, and they all went to hell, no matter what.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you have been completed fucked over by life at age 7, with no hope of redemption in the afterlife.  AWESOME.  I know some of my sibling felt that I was a goody-two shoes growing up, but how else are you supposed to redeem your worth as a kid?  And the more you tried to hide that you are different, and the more you try and pretend everything is all good, the more the vultures circled on the playground, innately sensing different and using it cruelly as only children can do.

In spite of all that I promised myself long ago:  I’m going to move to the city, and escape these country ass-wipes; I’m going to meet people like me (i.e. gay); and I’m going to start living my life.  And I can be that mad, quirky, crazy, weird, fun-loving, strange – add your adjective, if you’ve met me – person, because gosh darnit, there are some really nice people I like that rather like that aspect of me!

So I’ve moved to the city, I’ve met people like me, but I haven’t started living my life.  Only for a short time, when I jumped down the rabbit hole to follow my love, and things got curiouser and curiouser…but then that stopped.

Now I’m trying to get it things restarted, by checking the map of where I’ve been, so I can try and remember where I was going…or pick a new direction to take.

(Note:  I’m not nailing myself to the cross by showing the world what a martyr I was, nor revealing secrets for the sake of entertainment.  There are people in my social circle who have had far, far worse lives – but those aren’t my stories to tell – and there are some things in my life I will truly never take pen to paper over.  My twisted logic is, if I take all the dark and horrible secrets that I’ve been keeping locked up and let them out, then they simply become facts.  Facts are simple, neutral things.  Secrets hold dark power, and destroy lives.  I will not be destroyed.)

 

Fruits of the devil

ImageThough there were always dogs on the farm when I grew up, the 1.1 lbs dustbunny was really my first dog.  I had a beautiful black german shepherd for all of one week, but the rest of my housemates proved to be allergic, including my at that time, other half, whose dog it really was.  As there was another dog in that house, no one suspected allergies just a bad bug going through which no one else seemed to be acquiring, and got better throughout the day, so that one was gone before I had a chance to get attached.  

And while I absolutely adored HRP La Principessa Roxie, there was never any question that she was my hunny’s baby.  I was definitely useful for my opposable thumbs, and for a comfy lap while napping, but that is the function of a dog’s staff!

No, little AnW – AttentioN Whore – was happy (still is) to get some belly rubs and climb all over anyone who said the magic phrase “OMG she’s cute”.  Still does.  Nevertheless, there was no saying whose puppeh she was, especially if she decided to crap in some obnoxious, hard to access area, which in a house full of tchotchkes was everywhere.

“Yer dawg…” was the common refrain I would get coming home, rather than those words of yesteryear ‘hi hunny, how was your day’.  “Yer dawg chewed/pooped/peed/barfed/ate/drooled/snotted/bit” etc. whilst the Principessa maintained innocence from her pillow, and fuzz muffin nipped my ankle.

Selectively forgetting that Principessa had been notoriously hard to housebreak initially as well, hunny did what any stressed spouse would do:  saved it up until I got home, only to read my beads.  ‘Yes, dear’, was the mantra response of choice.  ‘As you wish’, a la Princess Bride – which used to cause swooning – only got me The Eye.

Strangely, the puppeh seemed to denote that HerFather always seemed to get the short end of the stick from YesDear.  And though YesDear treated her very well throughout the course of day, bribing her with noms, belly rubs, cuddles’n’kizzez, like any addictions involved sex trade worker came running when her crack daddy came in.  No longer could I sneak quietly in the front door: puppeh was (still is) a very chatty little thing, burbling and warbling like Blue’s Clues’ Blue on meth laced helium. 

“Brr? Brrrrr?  Merf. Merf!”

“Oh, god,” my hunny would say to his clients, “HerFather’s coming.  You thought she was something before, wait for it, you wait until he opens that door and she will. Not. Shut. Up.”  In a stage whisper, he’d add “It’s the damn cutest thing”.

As the door opened, I carefully watched for the projectile ball of fluff shoot out from strange location, i.e. under the couch as above, or between the pages of book or some other crazy crevice, going into a higher trilling register, “BRR?  BRRRR? Brr-brr-brr!  BRR-BRR-BRR!”  Lumbering around the apartment, I was sure to nearly crush her 3-4’s a night, as she was usually happily at my ankle.  Several times, she would sit on my foot, and I simply wouldn’t notice until I went to walk and shot her across the room.

Of all her bad habits, of which there are many, the one command that I have managed to make work is “No Voice!”  The last thing I ever wanted was a yappy little mutt.  Chatty doesn’t bug me, but you those other dogs…the cheewho-ah, who-ahs, for example: “BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKbreatheBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK”.  Can’t stand them.  Even today, she can have point second of a loud voice to bring my attention, but if she doesn’t subside to a grumble after me saying “I hear you, Zyll”, then gets the command “No voice!”

However, like some people never forget their baby’s first word, I cannot help but still chortle thinking of Zylly’s first bark.

HerFather just arriving home, and YesDear already done for the day, and already launching into a tirade as HerFather walked tiredly in the door.

“Yer dawg…”

“Brr-brr-brr!”

“Yer dawg pooped…”

“BRR-BRR-BRR!’

“Yes, dear,” I automatically replied, which was a bad decision, as the chastisement had not yet been fully voiced, thus rendering any acknowledgement moot.

Hunny gathered up a lungfull, in order to properly castigate me, an effort but still manageable in those first days of his diagnosis.  “I was SAY-ing…”

Dustbunneh puppeh, my living satellite ceased her orbit around me to run between my feet and plant her teeny self between HerFather and YesDear, opened her Gund teddy muzzle and let out a mighty…”arf”.  Then promptly having scared herself with this tremendous sound sat on her haunches and looked upwards and adoringly at me, little tongue lolling, before throwing another menacing ‘arf’ at YesDear.

In the time it takes diarrhea to hit toilet water, he was in tears laughing at the absurdity.  “THAT has got to be the GAYEST thing I’ve heard.”  This statement was coming from a hairdresser prone to wearing silver lame shirts to do laundry.

“Bitch, don’t make me set my dark fluffy minion of e-vile upon you!  She will devour you like a pestilent tumour, like fruits of the devil!!!”

By this point he was clutching his gut, and had nearly stopped breathing from laughing.  “If that was my tumour, it wouldn’t be a problem…I’d just need to point the hairdryer at it!  OK, stop it hurts.”

Instantly I stopped and stepped towards him on the couch, but lurched short, “Oh crap!”

He stopped laughing as well, “What?”

“What I just stepped in.  Fruit of the devil…puppeh crap.”

It was a good night.