Monday, December 7, 2009

4.) Chances

Soundtrack Song - Paramore, Ignorance

I don't know what made me ask them over. The blond one, which I identified off the posters as Jordan Staal, was a typical athlete. I had grown up with guys like him; James wasn't that way, but his teammates were. I looked up to James so much because he didn't have a Napoleon complex.

Well, I take that back; I know why I asked them. Because of Tall, Dark, and Handsome. At first, I had assumed he was no different than all the other assholes in the room. When I got hit in the back of the head with that towel, I thought for sure that it was because they were making fun of the "help." But once we locked eyes, I felt something. A magnetic pull to him, like I recognized him as a kindred spirit. There was an aura about him, a certain je ne sais quoi, that was beyond an attraction.

Plus, I wanted him. I'm not gonna lie—he was one gorgeous man. He was tan, his skin the color of golden honey. His hair was wet and falling into eyes, his dark and deep brown eyes. And those muscles and the latent strength they implied. I wanted to know what he was capable of. And that's why I asked them—him—over. Life is too short to wonder "what if," so I always go after what I want.

You only get one chance to live your life. You've got to leap at every opportunity you get, because who knows when or if you'll ever get it again. I guess it's part of my hedonism, but I don't know the meaning of the word "no." That means taking risks and chances, and hoping for the best. Or, at least, it means not expecting the worst. If things work out, then great; if not, oh well. Find a bigger fish to fry.

Some people say that makes me flighty. That I don't stick around to see how things will work out. But the thing is, we don't always get the time to wait to see how life pans out. You can't wait around and twiddle your thumbs, expecting life to happen for you or to you. You have to make it happen yourself. It's not about the hard work, it's about chances and occurrences which are sometimes serendipitous and sometimes unfair and devastating. But that's why I only worry about the now. I'll worry about the future when it finally gets around to becoming the present.

So that's why I extended the invitation. I was disappointed when he shook his head and everyone else agreed. It figures that the only one I wanted there was the only one who didn't want to come. But like I said, oh well. His loss.

The rest of my workday sucked. It's not even like this was a part of my job; I technically work for the arena and do clean-up after events. It works perfectly with my schedule, because I don't have to be there until after the event in question. And I'm a stay-up-all-night, sleep-all-day kinda person. But Bob called and asked, or rather practically demanded, that I come in and find a way to make up all the hours I'd missed by being late. Some bullshit about having to show a sense of responsibility or dedication to prove that I deserved to keep my job. I would have told him to fuck off, except I didn't want to be fired to therefore go through the work of finding a new one. It's a necessary evil, I suppose.

I went home after a while and passed out until eight, when Tubby showed up. "What are you doing, still sleeping?" he asked me after letting himself in with the hidden spare key. "I thought you were throwing a party?"

"I am," I responded, with my face still buried into my pillow. "I'm tired. Believe it or not, I worked today."

"Today? As in, when it was still daylight?"

I tried to nod while face-down on the bed, but it didn't work. Reluctantly, I rolled over onto my side. "Yeah. Oh, and I invited some more people who I met at work."

"Shit, Jo. You know the state store closes at eight. How many extra people?"

"Um," I mumbled, trying to think of how many there were. "Four, I think? But I told them to bring their own drinks. It's cool, Tub."

"Whatever. All I'm saying is I've had a hard week, and I just wanna drink it out. So I'm not making any beer runs or nothing. If your friends drink everything, then you're responsible for figuring it out."

"Chill out, man," I said, sitting up and digging around my stuff for my pipe. "You need a couple hits to calm the fuck down."

Tubby sat down and watched as I started to pack the pipe, digging through the stems and seeds for anything work smoking. My stash was dwindling, and I was going to have to replenish it. I took my first hit, inhaling as deeply as I could and holding it in for as long as possible. I motioned for Tubby to take a turn, but he shook his head. Oh well. His loss.

He moved about the house while I continued to smoke. If I would have known he didn't want to partake in the festivities, I wouldn't have used so much herb. I couldn't let it go to waste, so I smoked the whole bowl myself. It wasn't the best stuff, but smoking enough of it still got me high and feeling good.

If my brain's a room with windows and doors in every wall, then marijuana shuts and locks them all, except one. Distraction melts away, and I can wholly devote my concentration to one specific subject or task. I think it's funny that so many people tout the negative effects of drugs, but what's so bad about weed? I don't do anything harder than that, and I love the way it makes me think. My guess is that all the people who are against weed have never smoked it. I love it.

I made sure to smoke it all, knowing I was going to be drinking. For some reason, I couldn't do both at the same time. I have to smoke and then drink. I can't flip-flop that order, because otherwise I'll puke. It's just the way it is with me. I felt the sense of ease and relaxation set in, and I rolled out of bed and slipped into a comfortable pair of jeans, a white beater, and a hoodie. I shook out my bluish-purplish hair and slipped on a pair of sandals. It may sound like a strange outfit combination, hoodie and sandals, but it made sense at the time.

By the time I made it down to the living room, people were already showing up and drinking. I guessed Tubby let them in, in control of the situation. I went to go find him, to get him to play some good dancing music, when an arm reached out and grabbed me. Looking through my red eyes, I recognized the blond first, and then slowly the rest of them. "Oh. Hey, guys. Um, why don't you put the beer in the kitchen? Make yourselves at home."

I was a little surprised to see the dark one hanging out in the back of the group. He showed up. I wondered why, but I didn't care; he was here. That's all that mattered. I was so excited to see him.

The group of guys stayed together throughout the beginning of the night. It was discouraging that I couldn't get him alone. I wanted to talk to him and see what it was about him that held my attention, but I couldn't with them all around. Not the way those guys were, with those attitudes.

I went into the kitchen and opened a bag of Wise chips and began to routinely demolish them. I was so hungry, and they tasted so good. The crunch in my mouth felt awesome. Crunch, crunch, crunch. I could feel the vibrations echo throughout my head as I chewed. Falling into a rhythm, I'd chew three times before adding another chip into my mouth, and I kept that up as I watched the group begin to diminish as one walked up to Tubby to talk, and someone moved off to dance with a friend of mine. Two more joined me in the kitchen. I ignored them as they tried to talk to me. This was my chance to talk to him. Get to know him and find out what it was about him that held my attention like this. And jump his bones, if he'd let me.

He was standing alone by the bookshelf in the living room. I didn't pay attention to what he was doing when I sidled up to him. "Havin' fun?"

"Uh, yeah," he replied, screwing up his face, no doubt at smelling the weed on me. Or my salty chip breath. Or the alcohol. Maybe all three.

"What's your name?" I blurted out.


"Like, Kristopher?"

"Um. Yes."

"Kristopher," I said, pondering the word out loud. "Kris-ta-fa. Kris-ta-fa. Kris-ta-fa-fa." I laughed and then snorted, which made me laugh even harder.

He shook his head and looked away, refocusing on whatever it was that he was staring at before. "Is this your family?" I lost my feel-good buzz as I peered at the object in his line of sight: a picture of happier times. I pursed my lips and didn't respond. "That looks like you," he added, pointing to the sixteen-year-old girl, smiling ear-to-ear amongst the others in the driveway. My brother and I were holding our brand new learner's permits in front of our parents. That was a couple of years ago, but it felt like eons.

"Yeah. It was," I answered, picking up the frame and looking harder.

"Oh," he responded, sounding sad. "Oh. I'm sorry."

I shrugged. "It's not as bad as it sounds, I guess." Kris tilted his head to the side as he examined my face; he was waiting for my explanation. "My brother died, and my mom couldn't take it. She left. My dad turned into an alcoholic, so he's hardly ever here."

"I'm sorry for your loss," he repeated, but something in his voice belied his true feelings of indignation.

"What?" I asked, copping an attitude with him right back. "What's your problem?"

"I just don't get it." He shook his head. "I mean, I'm sorry about your brother. I know what it's like to lose someone. But you see firsthand the effects of alcohol, and yet you drink. You should be learning from their mistakes. I just... don't get it."

"You don't need to get it," I bit out angrily, slamming the picture back on the shelf. "I get to do whatever I want with my life, regardless if it makes sense to you."

"Jo, don't let history repeat itself," he advised.

That's when I lost it, too out of it to know if I was at all justified. "Don't you dare come into my house and pass judgment on me. Just because you know my name doesn't mean you know me."

"I'm not. I'm trying to help you. I—"

"Stop it! I don't need your help. I don't need your help. Keep your fucking opinions to yourself."

"Jo, you don't get second chances—"

"You know what? Just get out of my fucking house." He looked at me with a stunned expression. Overreacting or not, I didn't care. "Round up your friends and get out. You've ruined enough of my night." When he still didn't move, I screamed it at the top of my lungs. "Get out!"

It was loud enough for everyone to hear, and they all stopped and looked at us. Kris didn't need any other prompting; he reached into his pocket for his keys, and the gang he showed up with all seemed to knowingly appear around us. Tubby left his station and quit playing DJ, standing behind me and making sure I was okay, but I could tell he was confused. I glared at Kris as his entourage led him away, out the door, and out of my house.


  1. Jay, Wow the details of this story make it ring so true. The description of Jo feeding her munchies made be laugh.
    "Crunch, crunch, crunch. I could feel the vibrations echo throughout my head as I chewed. Falling into a rhythm, I'd chew three times before adding another chip into my mouth"

    Kris is being pushy with a stranger, it would seem he already has his hands full of people to save from themselves in his teammates.

  2. Kris, watch it, hon, you're playing with fire. You need to learn how not to scare people away with your beliefs!

    Crunch, crunch, crunch.
    That part was great.:)

  3. Jay I absolutely love the parelle you're building between the two. Both lost someone extremely close to them, but one turned self-destructive (if she wasn't already) and one turned self-riteous! (sorry Kris I still love you)

    It's an interesting look into the human psyche.

  4. I agree with all of the comments on here...but really, it's all about the "crunch, crunch, crunch..."

  5. Aw poor Kris! I know he was just trying to help but he has to be careful because his "help" comes out sounding judgemental!

  6. Geez, you almost had me on a legalize marijuana campaign there for a minute. Oh goodness, I should just shutup. hahahaha.

    So I wasn't expecting HER to blow up. I guess I was expecting something coming from him throwing a shit fit. Well I guess he kinda did... in an odd way.

    AHHH I love this!!