Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's One Thing To Take A Crap, It's Another Thing To Lie About It

The sun blotted out by a hefty overcast, it seemed some kind of cold front was moving in. According to it should have rained several hours ago, but we didn’t give a huffle puff. We’re PMT (Paco, Morrissey, and Toussaint). Paco and Morrissey are two young men I mentor and work with for the summer. Since our inception last summer, we’ve lead a trail of definitive adventure, argument, and accolade.

Given the option to go to Valley Fair for the day, or wait ‘til better weather and take it up next week, we opted for the former. Trashed on overpriced funnel cake, mini donuts, and a sweltering vertigo from the Power Tower, I am not the man I used to be. There is a time in your life where you will abandon every activity and action from your childhood, and suddenly be wrought back to life with the simplicity of swinging on a swing at a park. Soon after that, your body will revolt with headache, stomach curdling, and questions of how old you really are. At this point, people usually stop, bid adieu to the swingset, and revel in content that they at least went back and tried it once. In hanging out with Paco and Morrissey for my summer job, there is no going back after that point one usually retreats from. I’ve developed caluses on my hands holding on the monkey bars too long, a distinct sense of balance from walking the tops of the swingset to escape during games of Sandman, and a stomach for any ride this carnival can throw at me.

Temperatures dropping to 60-something, we had to depart Soak City. It was just too damn cold to be dawning a bathing suit and inner-tubing down lazy river to not get hypothermia. Retreating to the food stand to eat for a few minutes, our conversation took a sharp turn from the sarcastic-potty-mouth-joke rants we go on to an actual topic.

“Morrissey, what do you think of the hall of fame for baseball. You think they should let those guys in if they used steroids?” I asked across the concrete picnic table.

Morrissey is 11 years old, and is a natural when it comes to baseball. Yeah yeah fn yeah, everybody’s dad says their kid’s a natural at somethin’, but I ain’t this kid’s dad, and I will be the first to tell you that an competing athlete is less than talented if they are. However, in Morrissey’s case, I’ve watched him throw a pool toy ball at a speed that just wasn’t intended for 11-year olds to be able to do. The kid displaces objects with his arm through the air at an accuracy I can’t keep up with. Attending one of his games, a little league style of play with actual pitchers and regional competition, he smacked the ball every time he stood up to bat. He’s the kid that pisses off all the opposing-team parents in the bleachers because no matter what over-hyped suburban talent is pitching to him, there ain’t a damn thing they can do to get the ball by him for a strike. It’s too early to say if he’s a phenom, but for now I differ to him for any baseball inquiries.

“I don’t think they should be let into the hall of fame, because y’know- if a guy walks into a bathroom and takes a small crap, then walks out and tells his team that he took a big crap- y’know- it’s lieng.” Morrissey casually answered.

A few moments pass as Paco and Morrissey still eat, while I all of a sudden froze from the answer Morrissey had just given to my question.

“Caruthers & Christ” I thought to myself, molliwhopped at the mere feat of trying to interpret the dialogue that had just gone down.

I processed what Morrissey had said as: a player on performance enhancing drugs could only exist as a lie. I’d never thought to interpret lying as more than an instance, whereas Morrissey was suggesting that the player, the player’s statistics, the physical movement of the player… was all a lie. There is no part of the player beset in truth long as he is on PEDs…

“Hey, let’s go to the Wild Thing one more time before we leave” Morrissey announced.

“I don’t know. The line looks kinda long.” Paco replied.

I finished my meal and affirmed with myself that I had the best job in the world… and woulnd’t trade it for anything.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Zimmerman Debt

A coffee shop will be whatever you want it to be as long as you’ve paid for something.

He sits with a blue-collar bronzing tan along his arms next to a Mountain Dew and round of chewing tobacco atop the table in front of him. He stares at the table with seemingly nothing going on for the Sabbath, but to partake in being out of the sun for a few hours.

At the cash register, a man chats with the barista about the Zimmerman trial while shuffling about. The chatting man looks stifled and eagerly discontent.

A new customer enters the shop. The barista must bid the chatting man adieu. Turning his prattle toward the sitting bronzed man, “Yeah man, I’m from Florida where that boy got shot” says the chatting man.

“Ya don’t say” replies the sitting man, somewhat endeared he’s made a new friend aside from his Mountain Dew.

“Yeah man, my mom was in a Wal-Mart out there when the verdict went down and people started flippin’ out. They had to take all of the Caucasian customers and line them up in the back storage so they wouldn’t get hurt” continues the chatting man. “Everybody wants to jump to a conclusion y’know.” He looks over to me.

For a moment I expect he expects me to chime in on his rant. Perhaps because he and the sitting man are white, and I am not.

The sitting man leans back from his table, “Yeahhhh… it’s a crazy world we live in” he says.

“Ain’t it the truth” the chatting man replies, and then opens the door to exit the coffee shop.

Unlike him, I don’t need a publicized act of sociologically charged injustice spattered across the headlines of every social media to know America can be whatever you want it to be for the right price. Unfortunately, for the less privileged, that price is our lives.