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Headache Night by Ray Printer Friendly

Trying to jump-start, but it just isnít working. Everything seems too long, every word is hiding, and I have to seek out each one to make a sentence. Itís a painstaking process, and Iím only going through with it tonight because I have tomorrow off, and it seems like a shame to waste a night where you get to stay up past your bedtime.

I donít even know if Iím tired or not. I just seem sort of dried up, I guess. Havenít poured enough booze down my throat to make me seem interesting to myself, just yet.

Rough thoughts fighting in my head, I wonder which of them I should let out, which of them I should let slip through my fingers and out onto the keyboard. Probably none of them. Rough thoughts always seem to get me in trouble when I share them with the rest of the world. Either that, or I come off looking like an asshole.

Not that it should matter around The Strangelands. I wonder about my fellow residents. NoÖresidents isnít the right word. I wonder about my Strangers, some of them are friends, some of them are people Iíve never met, some of them are people that I never knew, even if I thought I did. But all of them are Strangers.

I had a girl ask me the other day, ďWhere is The Strangelands?Ē

I just looked at her, wondering about her question. I still donít know what kind of an answer she wanted, but I know what kind of an answer I want to giveÖ

The Strangelands. Itís where you end up when youíre lost. Lost how? Doesnít matter.

Itís a place where you can go to scream for help when you donít want it. A place where you donít need help, no matter how scared you are. Itís a place where you can laugh at your nightmares and express your dreams, or do the opposite.

Itís freedom, itís therapy, itís a bit of life splashed onto a website that millions of people are ignorant of. Itís a place where you can express exactly what you want to express without having to worry about what people will think of you.

Thatís what it is to me, anyways.

In all honesty, the sharp edge of freedom has corroded a bit (for me) because my managers at work know about this site. So I canít just go off, I canít say something like, ďSociety has locked up the stupidest people on the planet in managerial positions at Circuit City,Ē no matter how much I want to. Not that I would want to, of course, because the people I work for are all super-geniuses: flawless in every way and something we should all aspire to.

In a totally unrelated string of thought, Iíve decided that I really like sarcasm. Iíve always been pretty good at it, and I hope to get the chance to work on my skills at some point in the near future. Because I sure havenít been using it in this post, betcher bottom dollar.

I hear the bats out there again tonight, but they arenít flying around. Theyíre just chilling out, I guess theyíre talking about all the basketball games going on around this time of yearóitís not called March Madness for nothing, donchaknow.

Iíve successfully not watched the news now for about three days. Itís pretty exciting, not knowing the horrors of humanity (although I saw a brief thing on TV about how Jessica Simpson is going to play Daisy Duke on the upcoming Dukes of Hazard movie, and that really made me sad). I hate Jessica Simpson, donít ask me why.

Doesnít she have a sister that I hate, too? All these stupid little pop-tramps, they piss me off. Give me an ugly one, man, thatís all I ask. I worked with a guy once who really liked Sissy Spacek (no idea how to spell that chickís name). I once asked him why, and he said something like, ďLook at her, dude. Sheís famous, can you believe it? Just look at her face, and you know that if people still want to see her, sheís got to be good.Ē And heís got a point, you know? She is NOT a fun woman to look at.

If youíve surfed the internet at all, Iím sure youíve seen a bunch of pictures of Britney Spears being all fat and nasty. But every time she goes on stage, sheís a thrusting mass of liposuctioned lust. Send her out there all walrus-ed out, let her jiggle her way through one of those songs about how she wants to feel it or whatever it is she sings about. Yeah, man, Iím sure that all of your loyal fans are going to stand right by your side (three feet to either side, though, because your fat ass will knock down anyone who gets too close), Iím sure you sell concert tickets because people want to hear you SING. Believe me on that one, Britney, and believe that I have an underwater colony thatís going to be a huge tourist hit next year, and you can get in on this for only two hundred thousand dollars, just make the check out to Ray Weeks, and Iíll give you a call when we start making money.

Sorry--I guess I went off there. Talking about these people always sends me off. I would like to blame it on kids these days, but I remember it was going on back when I was a kid, too. New Kids on the Block? I remember being in something like fifth grade, being the unpopular kid because of all the shit I talked (among other reasons). I remember cringing through the eighties, sad that this was the music I was going to associate with my youth (although I used to have some pretty wicked fantasies about Tiffany and Debbie Gibson).

AnywaysÖ

Letís talk about something else, want to?

My past has been coming back to haunt me a lot lately. Not in a cool way, either, where your old business partner comes walking into your bedroom wearing a shitpile of chains, telling you about how you will be visited by three other spirits before morning.

No, this stuff is much more mundane, much more a pain in the ass. Stupid stuff, chain reaction-style, making me remember stuff I have lived long enough to forget. I ran into this girl the other day, I used to work with her.

This was back in the day, man, I was a short-order cook, working graveyard, walking out at six in the morning, smelling like burned pork and loneliness (and in case youíre wondering, loneliness smells a lot like a combination of grease, bleach and cigarette smoke). Days when I had no idea what life was about, I only knew I was doing it all wrong.

So, yeah, this girl, I see her the other day. I remembered working with herófirst lesbian I ever really talked to. She was a fiend for porn, and I used to be just completely fascinated by that. We used to sit there, amidst the drunks and college kids, talking about porn and strip clubs, and whatís the best method for oral sex. Not very informative, if you want to know the truth. She was a jock, and I think we all know about jocks.

Definitely a wham, bam, thank you maíam kind of chick. She recommended a few strip clubs that I never went to, she said she subscribed to Hustler and Penthouse because they had the raunchiest pictures, and she said she didnít go down on girls: ďThatís HER job, so I donít know any good advice on how to do it.Ē

In the end, I quit talking to heróshe sounded like every stupid asshole football player that I went to High School with, only she probably had a bigger dick than most of those guys.

But I saw her the other day. She came in to buy a mini-disc player for her boyfriend. For her BOYFRIEND. Cracked me up. I was tempted to ask if he sucked a mean dick, but I decided that wouldnít be professional. I talked to her a bit, wondering if she would remember me, but she didnítóprobably talking to a straight guy wasnít as memorable as meeting your first lesbian.

I sold her an extended warranty, mostly out of spite. She had the same haircut she had back when we worked togetheróa really curly mulletóand that made me sad for her, but it wasnít enough to erase the memories of her sitting across from me in a syrup-stained booth, talking about how bitches do what she says or she has to teach them a lesson. Maybe Iím a throwback, but I donít like abusive husbands, even if theyíre chicks.

Other things, too. Ghosts, flowing through hundreds of miles of wire to haunt me through e-mails, phone calls, whatever.

Inverse meditation, thatís what I used to call it. Pick out the things that are the least soothing, things that are the opposite of calm, fill a room with them, and breathe deeply.

And when the rage has finally built up, when youíre finally so pissed off that nothing matters, thatís when you find out what really does.

Iím not saying itís a good idea, Iím just talking.

Collages of college, lonely winter days, watching the friend drive away, hearing whispers that have no business being in my ears. A dress falling to the ground with a sound of dominance and hatred and urgency.

Plaster cracking, the smell of old ashtrays, broken bones and rage and confusion, and why the hell am I blamed for any of it?

Nine Inch Nails, Type O Negative, sweat pouring down my cheeks, or maybe tears and it doesnít matter anyway, itís all the same.

Lost.

But now Iím found. Still hounded by my lost years, though.

Man, what the hell am I talking about? This is about the time in New York where T-Dawgís gonna go, ďMan, you should go to bed. Youíre slurring everything and you arenít making any sense.Ē

Good call, broí.


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