Tag Archives: Don

Story of the Day: 3-7-2011


We interrupt this episode of Professor Blowjob to bring you another true-life tale from the life of your host, Jeffrey Dinsmore.

The Potato Bug

I am no stranger to insects. Growing up in Michigan, I encountered my fair share of creepy-crawlers. I can’t say I’ve ever been into insects, but I’ve managed to peacefully coexist with them for much of my life. It helps that Michigan insects are small and unremarkable. The biggest insect I saw growing up was a grasshopper, and who doesn’t love grasshoppers? Earwigs are pretty nasty-looking, but still not enough to make me run screaming.

When I moved to New York, cockroaches became a daily part of my life. We didn’t have cockroaches in Michigan, at least none that I ever saw. The cockroach segment of Creepshow had prepared me to be terrified of cockroaches, but I didn’t have much of a problem with them once they actually became part of my life. They’re disgusting beasts, no question, but at least they’re still relatively small. And they’re polite, too: as soon as you see one, it scurries away and hides.

That’s what I thought, anyway, until the night I first encountered the Palmetto Bug. I remember the night vividly; Don and I were hanging out in the living room of 21-20, watching a movie, when we heard the flap of wings and saw a big, ominous shadow darting across the ceiling. We immediately leapt to our feet in terror. When we finally found the cause of the shadow, we flipped out. A Palmetto Bug, for those of you who have never seen one, is a giant, flying cockroach. They’re about 3 inches long and smarter than kittens and they’re horrible and ugly and pretty much the worst thing God has ever put on the earth. When we first saw it, we assumed it was the result of some kind of industrial accident. Like imagine you’re sitting around watching television and a fish walks through your living room. That’s how strange this thing seemed to us.

Don and I scurried to put our shoes on for fear that the hideous thing graze our bare feet. We each got a weapon – he grabbed a hammer and I grabbed a broomstick – and gathered up our courage to rid our lives of this menace. We knew there was no way we were going to sleep until it was dead. It was us or the bug.

For most of the battle, the bug was firmly in the lead. Palmetto Bugs can fly, but only in short bursts; their preferred method of movement is the speedy run. Seconds after we saw the shadow, the beast dropped behind the television. I stamped my broomstick around behind the TV maniacally while Don waited with his hammer poised. We finally got the creature to abandon its post, but it was too fast for us … it tore ass across the carpet and under the couch.

Neither of us was about to get down on his hands and knees with that thing poised to attack, so we decided to lift the couch and try to flush it out. This was a dangerous business, because the chances of it scurrying out and jumping on one of us were strong. I could only hope it wouldn’t be me, A) because I had no interest in being attacked by a giant cockroach and B) because the beast was so terrifying I have no doubt Don would have smashed my skull in with the hammer and called me collateral damage.

We eventually managed to get the creature out in the open and get a good crack at him. Before we flushed him down the toilet, we took some pictures to send to the cryptozoology magazines. We put him next to a Lando Calrissian figure so you could get the perspective. Like most pictures of mysterious, possibly mythical animals, our picture was quite blurry.

When I learned that Palmetto Bugs were an explained phenomenon and relatively common in New York, I felt no comfort. I still encounter them from time to time in LA, and they continue to be hideous and terrifying. In fact, I would say they were the most hideous and terrifying insects in the world, if I hadn’t encountered something even more hideous and terrifying just two nights ago.

It’s called a Potato Bug, and it looks like this:

The Potato Bug - Actual Size

How horrible is that thing? I stepped out onto my porch to see that awful, murderous beast crawling slowly down the wall, a mere six inches from my head. The only way I can describe the texture of its skin is “gelatinous.” If that information makes you want to vomit, you’re not the only one. I got a pit in my stomach looking at it, as if I was seeing something man was not meant to see. It was like looking into the face of Hell.

I quietly closed the door so as not to alarm it and ran to the Internet. In this case, the Internet did its job, giving me the context I so desperately needed. If I hadn’t been able to track down the Potato Bug, I would have surely gone to bed thinking the Apocalypse was coming. Luckily, a simple search of “hideous giant ant California” led me to pages of information about the Potato Bug. According to potatobugs.com, this is the “most universally feared, hated, and disgusting creatures on the planet.” So at least I’m not alone.

The Potato Bug, I learned, lives in gardens and dark places and does not come out during the day. Which explains why I have not seen one until now; I don’t often garden at midnight. And now that I know this thing exists, I will likely never garden again. To be honest, the chances of me going outside again, period, are about 50/50.

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Story of the Day: 2-26-11


“Brooklyn” Abdul Harris

My first real job in New York was working for a company called Rysher Entertainment that made and sold unwatchable syndicated television programs. These were the kind of TV shows that air at 2:00 in the morning on local television stations, when they have nothing else to run. Our shows did not have a network affiliation; we sold them market by market. Meaning one of our shows could air on an ABC station in Boston and a CBS station in Newark. In this respect, my department could make or break a show, depending on what kind of stations they convinced to carry it.

I started out as the assistant to the sales department. The guys I worked for were a wacky bunch of old salesmen whose job it was to fly around the country and convince station managers to buy our shows. No one expected huge ratings out of these programs; our primary competition was infomercials. We were going for that audience that was just smart enough to know the difference between a scripted television show and an infomercial, but not quite smart enough to know that their best option was turning off the television.

Which is not to say that the entire field of syndicated entertainment was a wasteland. Some syndicated shows were huge hits; Judge Judy, for example, or Oprah. We’d had some major hits when the company first started — Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and Star Search were both Rysher shows — but by the time I got there we mainly produced bottom-feeder programs that turned a profit by keeping their budgets small and relying on my crack team of salespeople to put them on big stations in big markets.

Part of my job was to read the mail that came into our department. It was mostly boring sales stuff that I passed along to the appropriate salesperson, but from time to time we’d get something interesting. Sometimes we’d get letters from superfans of our programs; I’m not sure how they came across our address, but when they landed on my desk, I always made sure to send them a cordial personal response.

Once, and only once, we received a resume and headshot from an aspiring actor. His name was “Brooklyn Abdul” Harris. Yes, both the “Brooklyn” and the “Abdul” were in quotes. How this gentleman decided that the station sales department was the best place to send his resume, I’ll never know, but I’m glad he did, because it was one of the most accidentally beautiful things I’ve ever encountered. Typos, weird descriptions, bad formatting; this thing was brilliant in its ineptitude. It was the Troll 2 of resumes, and it was wonderful.

After staring at it for a few days, I decided the best thing to do was to send it along to Rob, the head of casting in LA. Rob didn’t know me from Adam, but I thought he might appreciate the absurdity of this resume. Here’s what I wrote to him.

November 4, 1998

Dear Rob:

Enclosed please find “Brooklyn Abdul” Harris’s headshot and resume, which Mr. Abdul was kind enough to send to our offices here in New York. Mr. Harris (any relation to Star Search graduate Sam?) lives in the Bronx, so how he acquired the moniker “Brooklyn Abdul” is anyone’s guess. If you find it easier, you may simply call him “Bro.”

If you’ll take a good, hard look at this young “Sir Larry” Olivier, you’ll see his extensive credits include such memorable roles as “chorus member” from the long-running presentation of The Birds at the recently renovated Dixie’s Gym theater, and the kangaroo in Peter Pan. Other credits include the role of “no one” in a radical dramatic reinterpretation of the British stage smash Noises Off entitled Noise Is Off.

While Mr. Harris is of ordinary stature, he can play 5’11” depending on the height of the floor. Skills include speaking fluent “Forgien,” proper “hand stance,” the ability to play doubles tennis all by himself, conning others into hiring him, convencing, costoming, thinking, and in case you weren’t convinced by his flawless list of credits, some damn good acting.

Although Mr. Harris’s busy schedule takes him all over the world, he is currently between jobs and would be more than happy to fly out to L.A. to show his skills were Rysher to provide the airfare. Here in New York, we’ve all taken quite a shine to this peppy youngster; for the love of Brooklyn, won’t you please give him a chance?

Sincerely,
Jeffrey Dinsmore
Station Sales Assistant

Rob never wrote back, which is maybe poignant … I was his “Brooklyn Abdul” Harris. But it doesn’t really matter. I’m just happy this resume managed to find its way into my life. It’s posted below; please take the time to sit with it and enjoy its brilliance as I have for the last 13 years. The skills are of particular interest, as are the weirdly noncommital age and height declarations. If you know anything about theater, you might appreciate a few of the unintentional jokes in that section. I still have a photocopy of his headshot, but I’ll leave that one up to your imagination. (Double-click the resume to enlarge.)

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Story of the Day: 2-18-11


How I Missed the Pixies

If you know anything about me, you know that my favorite band in the entire world is the Pixies. I have loved the Pixies since I was in 8th grade. I was not the first person in the known universe to love the Pixies, but I was definitely the first person at George R. Carter middle school in Clio, Michigan to love the Pixies.

I was part of a tiny contingent of people in my class who really liked music. I mean, I’m sure there were other people who really liked music. But we were the music snobs. It was hard to be a music snob in Clio in 1989. The only radio stations that played interesting music were in far-off cities like Detroit and Ann Arbor. We didn’t have cable so I couldn’t watch MTV. There was a music video show on the local PBS station that I watched rabidly, but it was only 1/2 an hour a week. My friend Rion, another music snob, would sometimes tape 120 Minutes for me, but he also had a tendency to get mad at me for hard-to-understand reasons and show up at school with bags of candy and give candy to all of the rest of our friends and none to me.

I mainly learned what was new and cool by reading Spin and Rolling Spin. That was where I first heard of the Pixies second album, Doolittle. It initially caught my eye because my 5th & 6th grade band teacher was named Mr. Doolittle, and I thought it would be cool to buy it for him as a gift, even though we weren’t particularly close and I hadn’t been his student for two years. That should give you an indication of what kind of student I was. The kind that fantasized about buying gifts for his old teachers.

But before buying it for Mr. Doolittle, I bought it for myself to give it a test run. So I biked to Manufacturers Market Place outlet mall in Birch Run with Brian Fairweather to buy Doolittle on cassette.

The first time I listened to it, I knew this album was something special. I immediately became obsessed and spent the next 10 years of my life seeking out every piece of music the Pixies had ever recorded. Which wasn’t very much; they only released four albums, an EP, and a handful of B sides. Today you could buy those 10 years of my life for about $40 on iTunes.

I only managed to see the Pixies live once before they broke up, on the Trompe le Monde tour. They hated each other and seemed to just be going through the motions. Plus it was in a seated venue and we were kind of far away. After the show, my friends and I waited behind the venue for an hour in the hopes that they’d notice us as they were walking out to their tour bus and say, “you high school kids look pretty cool. Let’s hang out.” We did see them come out of the venue, but when we tried to say hi to Black Francis, he said, “fuck off, man.” It was still pretty cool that he talked to us.

A few years later, when Don and I lived at 21-20, Rion came to stay with us. That was a total disaster for reasons that will be discussed in tomorrow’s story. While he was crashing on our couch, he let slip that he’d gone to see the Pixies on the Doolittle tour, back in 1989 when they were young and they weren’t just playing the role of greatest band in the universe, they actually were the greatest band in the universe.

“What?” I asked. “I am the biggest Pixies fan in the history of Clio. You and I went to shows together constantly when we were growing up, and if I’d known you were going to see the Pixies, I would have gone to see the Pixies. Why was I not at this show?”

“I was mad at you,” he answered. “The week before I asked you to see Sinead with me and you said no.”

“And so you blocked me out of seeing my favorite band of all time when they were touring behind my favorite album of all time?”

“Yeah,” he said. “It was general admission, too. And they were awesome.”

It’s difficult to fathom how upsetting this was. Imagine your favorite album is Sgt. Pepper, and you had the opportunity to see The Beatles playing that album in a small club, but your friend didn’t tell you about it because you had refused to go see the Electric Prunes with him the week before. That is how Rion’s admission felt to me.

Shortly after that, Rion and I stopped speaking. I didn’t see him again until the week before I moved to Los Angeles. It wasn’t the Pixies incident that severed our relationship; it was the incident that occurred at 21-20. But to this day, it remains one of the biggest missed opportunities of my life. I really, really should have gone to that Sinead O’ Connor show.

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Story of the Day: 2-15-11


Hot Dogs

I’ve only lied once to get a job, and it was a total disaster. It was in 1999, and I was in the middle of a long period of unemployment. I was getting desperate for a job, so I started thinking about waiting tables. The only problem was that I didn’t have any table-waiting experience, and in New York, it’s pretty hard to leap right into a waiter job unless you have previous experience. I needed a job quick, though, so I asked Don to tell me everything he knew in the hopes that I could fake my way through an interview and figure out the waitering part on the job.

My first and only interview was at the Fashion Cafe in Times Square. The Fashion Cafe was a short-lived restaurant chain owned by Elle MacPherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell. The tables in the restaurant were centered around a runway, down which models would walk while around them the restaurant’s patrons scarfed down chicken wings and hamburgers. It’s not hard to see the folly behind this business plan; if you are deciding what to eat while surrounded by skinny, gorgeous women, you are probably not going to order the porterhouse.

As soon as I walked into the Fashion Cafe, I knew my chances of getting a job were close to nil. The restaurant’s modeling theme apparently extended to the waitstaff. Waiters and waitresses in Manhattan are almost always attractive, but this waitstaff was culled from the master race. I didn’t stand a chance.

Before my interview, I had to fill out a 12 page application/questionnaire, filled with super intense questions about the intricacies of table-waiting. Things about what kind of wine goes with what kind of meat and how to slice a breadstick properly. I bluffed my way through the pop quiz as best I could and rose to leave. Before I could sneak out, though, the manager came over and sat down with me.

“Okay,” he said, “I see here that you’ve waited tables before.”

“Oh yes,” I said. “Two-tops and upselling and what not.”

“Right,” he said, giving me the hairy eyeball. “What is your best experience waiting tables?”

I’d prepared some fake answers to common questions ahead of time, but that one caught me completely off-guard. The only thing I could think to tell him was a story that had been told to me by one of my punk roommates in Ann Arbor.

“I was working at the Gandy Dancer in Ann Arbor,” I lied, “and a woman and two of her friends came in with their young kids. One of the woman’s friends pulled me aside at the beginning of the meal and told me that her friend had just gotten her divorce finalized and was feeling a little down, but if I showed her a little extra attention, they’d make sure to give me a big tip. So I laid on the charm, complimenting the woman at every turn.

“When it came time to order I asked the table if they had any questions. One of the kids, he was about six, asked me, ‘how big are your hot dogs?’ I said, ‘Oh, normal size, I guess … eight inches, maybe?’ So then the woman who I’d been flirting with turned to me and said, ‘No, really … how big is your hot dog?'”

A cold sweat trickled down my back as the last few words came out of my mouth. I had been so intent on remembering a story, any story, that I completely forgot this one had a highly inappropriate ending. The manager glanced around nervously, making sure he wasn’t alone should I have to be restrained. And I hadn’t even gotten to the punchline yet.

“And … um,” I continued, helplessly, “And I said, ‘well, I suppose it’s bun length.'”

The manager let out a deep sigh of disapproval.

“And what did you like about this experience?” he asked.

“Um …” I answered, “it made me feel important?”

“We’ll call you,” he said.

They never called.

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Story of the Day: 2-12-11


Be Here Yesterday

In the post from two days ago (which was really written this morning because I’m massively behind), I said that there were only two things I remembered about Don’s ex-girlfriend, Erin. That is not true. There are actually three things I remember about her. And the third thing is another of my favorite all-time stories, because it is a perfect encapsulation of the difference between men and women. This is a short one, but it is profound.

Erin’s family was from Connecticut, not far from the city, so she went home fairly often. One week, when she was home for an extended visit, Don was supposed to drive to her parents’ place on Thursday for a long weekend. He called that day to tell her he had to work and he wouldn’t be able to come out until Saturday. She got pissed off, they got in a huge fight, and she ended up hanging up on him and ignoring his calls for the rest of the day.

The next day, she finally picked up the phone. Once again, they got into a huge fight. No matter what solution Don offered, Erin kept batting it down. Finally, at the end of his rope, he said, “Let’s just stop for a minute. I want to make this better. Whatever it takes, I will do it. Just tell me what I can do to make this better.”

Her brilliant response: “Be here yesterday.”

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Story of the Day: 2-11-11


The Legend of Scary Gary: Part 12

Epilogue

Not long after the haircut incident, Don’s crazy roommate moved out and his girlfriend Erin moved in. We all knew this was a terrible idea, but Don really needed help paying the rent. A few weeks after she moved in, Don landed a spot in the national tour of Tommy that sent him on the road for four months. Erin had not proven to be the most loyal girlfriend in the past, and Don had become accustomed to being the only straight man on a stage full of women. So we can see where this is going.

Which is exactly where it went. A mere two months into the tour, Don gave me a frantic call from the road.

“Duuuude,” he said. “I need a big favor.”

It was indeed a big favor. It was probably the biggest favor I’ve ever done for anyone. It’s the kind of favor you only do for family or people who are holding your children hostage.

What happened was this: Don fell in love with a woman in the show with him and broke up with Erin. It did not take Erin long to realize that living upstairs from Gary sucked. She told Don that she was moving out immediately. In that respect, she was probably the smartest of all of us.

“I know I’ve said this before, dude,” he said. “But this time it’s serious.” I assumed Don had succumbed to what is known in the theater world as “showmance.” He was great at falling in love with his costars. Staying in love, not so much. Which is true of all of us … as Dan Savage says, every relationship fails until the one that doesn’t. But it was just a little bit more true when it came to Don. This time he was right about it being serious … the woman in question is now his wife and the mother of his lovely daughter. At the time, however, it just seemed like a giant mess that probably could have been avoided with some patience and the skillful use of deception.

With no one in the apartment, and not enough money to pay rent on his own, Don’s only option was to move out. “How could he do that if he was on tour?” you ask. Good question! And the answer: he could not! That was the favor. For me to move him out of his apartment.

“I don’t know,” I said, “that sounds like a lot of work.”

“I know, man,” he said. “I’m really, really sorry. But I’ll buy you dinner.”

Well, I did like dinner. And Don was like a brother to me. And I still felt kinda guilty moving out and sticking him with crazy roommates. And I recognized that he really had no other options. So I agreed, with the caveat that he stick that check for dinner in the mail immediately.

A few days later, I showed up at his apartment with my girlfriend Bethann, our friend Molly, and a roll of garbage bags. It was a good thing we brought the garbage bags. Erin lived like a hobo. The apartment was littered with, um, litter. Take-out containers, beer bottles, crusty old plates with food items still on them, torn-up paper, magazines, grody old soiled clothes … you know, litter. And cockroaches. They didn’t even bother hiding anymore. It was their place now.

We spent the day cleaning the apartment as best we could and packing up all of Don’s stuff. He had been kind enough to hire movers, so we wouldn’t have to actually carry anything. I still had to show up the next day, ride to the storage unit with the movers, watch them move everything in, and then walk a mile to the subway. So it wasn’t exactly hassle-free. But at least I didn’t have to carry anything, which is by far the worst thing about moving.

As I locked the apartment up for the second-to-last time, I ran into Gary in the hallway.

“Hey, meh,” he said. “You moving out?”

“I already moved out,” I said. “I’ve been gone for over a year.”

He laughed. “Yeah, you moved out,” he gave me a look that seemed to suggest I hadn’t really moved out.

“Is Don going too?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said, “I’m moving his stuff.”

“Why doesn’t he move his stuff, meh?”

“He’s gone.”

“Tell him I need a haircut, meh,” he said, then walked into his apartment.

And that’s the last I ever saw of Scary Gary.

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Story of the Day: 2-7-11


The Legend of Scary Gary Part 8

The Day of the Dude

I went through some rough times in that apartment. I lived there a little over three years. During that time, Don’s acting career started taking off. Every few months he’d bag a national tour or a regional production and leave the city. The first time he left he sublet his bedroom to Jill, which worked out way better than I expected. (Sublet is the past tense of sublet, BTW. There is no such word as subletted. English!) I hadn’t developed much of a relationship with Jill before Don left; they had an on-again, off-again sort of relationship and I was sort of on the onskirts of it all. Gary was as confused as I was.

“Is that his girlfriend, meh?” he’d ask me when Don wasn’t around.

“Not really,” I’d say.

“Phhh,” he’d say. “Not really. I know, meh. I know.” And he’d give me a look that told me he knew.

“Really, I think they’re just friends.”

“Friends!” he’d roar, shaking his head in wonder at my naivete. “Just friends! Come on, meh. Just friends.” I was a little hurt that he didn’t ever ask if Jill was my girlfriend. He seemed to have no problem believing I would just be friends with a girl. But with Don, he was suspicious.

Once Don was gone, Jill and I got along famously. Most nights we’d get stoned and make craft projects. We turned a bunch of boxes into Robot Don and set him in the chair next to the window in tribute to our absent friend. We drew pictures and wrote songs and listened to music and watched movies and had a hell of a time. She took me to her office Christmas party, a black tie affair. We got super drunk on free alcohol and had a purposely awful picture taken that was printed out and inserted into a souvenir snow globe.

Don soon returned and Jill went off to live with her future husband and everything was status quo for another year or so. I got a great job working at a company that made and sold awful syndicated TV shows. Truly abysmal shows like The Highlander and Special Ops Force starring Dennis Rodman. Special Ops Force was funny because it aired for an entire season under the name Soldier of Fortune. It got dismal ratings even though it was Jerry Bruckheimer’s first foray into television, and he is now the most successful human in the television universe. He could pee into a box and some network would put it on as a mid-season replacement. The soldiers of fortune did not quite smile on him on the first go round, though, so the producers stuck Dennis Rodman in it and renamed it Special Ops Force for the second season. And the funny thing about this is that the creators were convinced the SOF was working; they just needed to change what the letters stood for.

Also during this time, I started dating the girl that I’d secretly been pining for since she was in high school and I was in college and I knew it was not kosher for me to like her as much as I did. She was in school at Michigan State at the time. I was making good money at work, so I’d fly back to Michigan or fly her out to New York at least once a month. It was the kind of ridiculous relationship one gets embroiled in when one is young and making more money than a young person should and thinking that’s just how the world works, that it is just that easy to make money.

Things were going great for awhile, but I soon learned a valuable lesson about life: it sucks and if you have any faith that things are going to work out, you’re a dick. In quick succession, my girlfriend dumped me, my company folded, and Don went away on another tour. He couldn’t find anyone to sublet the apartment this time around, so I spent the next three months unemployed and hanging out by myself in a lonely apartment above a man who beat his dog and (allegedly) his mother and had regularly threatened to shoot a machine gun into the ceiling, just for kicks. I had two friends in the world and I almost never saw them, because I was too busy slinking around in my apartment by myself, feeling depressed.

The most Dude-like moment of my life occurred during these months, when I got into an argument on the telephone with an unhelpful employee at the unemployment office who made me so angry I hung up and threw the telephone through a glass table. I watched the table shatter all over the living room and gingerly stepped over the glass and loaded up a bong and sat on the couch in my bathrobe and unshaven face and watched Leave It to Beaver for 6 hours straight before looking for a dustpan.

When I finally cleaned the glass up and took it down to the garbage can, Gary was standing on the stoop waiting for me like a fat snake coiled to flop.

“Hey meh,” he said, “what was that noise I heard?”

“What noise?” I asked, impatiently.

“That noise! In your apartment!”

“I don’t know,” I said, “I broke a glass table.”

“You put it in there?” he asked, pointing to the garbage bag.

“Yes.”

“Phhh,” he said, “you don’t put it in the garbage, meh! That goes in recycling!” Gary sometimes took over recycling watch when his mom wasn’t around. I don’t think he gave a shit about saving the planet; he just loved finding new ways to be an asshole.

“I don’t care,” I said, defiantly. “I’m throwing it away.”

“No!” he bellowed. “We’re gonna get a ticket, meh! Take it out and put it in the recycling!”

I was a man on the edge. For a brief, shining moment, I didn’t give a shit if he shot me with his machine guns or sicced his snakes on me or ordered his dog to snack on my neck. I just couldn’t fucking take it anymore. “Goddammit, Gary!” I shouted. “I don’t give a shit about the recycling right now, okay? If you want to pick the shards of glass out of my garbage and move it to the right can, you can do it. If not, then shut the fuck up and leave me alone.” I slammed the lid down on the garbage can defiantly.

To my shock, the look in Gary’s eyes was not one of anger, but one of hurt. I realized then that I’m a terrible bully. For years, Gary had screamed at us, mocked us, cajoled us into doing his bidding, and gotten under our skin in myriad unique and indescribable ways. Yet the minute he displayed the faintest sign of anguish, I felt nothing but guilt, like I’d just punched a baby in the face.

“Hey, Gary, man …” I began.

“Don’t worry about it, meh,” he said.

“No, you know, I just …”

“Don’t worry about it!” he shouted.

I nodded.

“All right, well, I’m just gonna go …”

“Go, meh,” he said quietly. “Go.”

By the next day, he was back to his old tricks. I will say this: after I exploded on him, he never disrespected me again. If it were anyone else, I might have felt like we had finally come to some kind of understanding. But this was Gary, and Gary understood nothing. Just because he displayed an emotion other than anger doesn’t mean I’d suddenly gotten a glimpse of the complex humanity beneath his gruff exterior. Fuck that guy. He might have been a softer piece of shit than I’d always thought, but he was still a piece of shit.

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