Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Retiring from the Game

Listen, which word don't you understand? There is no out, there is no through, there is no out!
I've been playing a trivia game at the bar for the past five years. It was a lot of fun for a long time, and now it's just started wearing on me, especially since it got to the point where any winner who isn't me gets a round of applause from the other trivia players. Me, I get whatever's one step down from cat-calls, and it just pisses me off. I'm the most reviled person at the bar, and I'm tired of being that guy. I'm tired of hearing, "Oh, shit, Mickey's here; now we're all going to lose."

So, I'm retiring Jordan-style. I mean that in regard to his first retirement, when he was still at the top of his game. Of course, then he decided he was going to take up baseball, which was certainly not a great decision by any stretch... but I don't think anyone complained but the Chicago sports fans, merchandisers and sportswriters. Within the league, it was probably seen as the end of an era, and there were probably quite a number of players who were relieved to not have to play against Michael Jordan anymore. After all, the Bulls really did suck without him. As for me, the kids can have their fucking sandbox to play in.

So I got home, feeling like complete and utter shit, from five pints of Guinness, a frosty mug of Miller Lite and a thousand years of solitude, proceeded to log into Instant Messenger and started talking to a very nice girl. "Damn, you move quick," I thought, and ultimately ended up grabbing a Vanilla Coke and heading to her place to watch (ironically) Say Anything. As it stands, she remembered that she'd already seen the movie, and so we just ended up talking for ... about four hours. And it was a great conversation, just drenched in pop-culture to the point where ninety-nine percent of humanity would think it was gibberish. We're talking about a girl who, like myself, enjoys verbally assaulting people in the most high-brow manner possible:

"Okay, of course she's not going to know those words; that girl's copy of Webster's Dictionary has Emmanuel Lewis on the cover."

So, yeah, it was like that for something on the order of four hours. Just sat across the living room from each other and talked about Buffy, movies, our respective exes, our respective penchants for using the word fuck and the necessity to curb the usage of the word to make it more emphatic when it is used. And there were muffins. Fat-free apple-cinnamon muffins are surprisingly quite tasty when drenched in Brummel and Brown margarine. The only down-side is that they stick to the muffin-paper thingies.

I feel like me again, and I don't feel like nearly as bad a person as I have over the past couple of days. We didn't drink, we didn't smoke, we didn't turn on the television. We just sat and talked for that long, and the only thing that stopped it was the fact that we were both dead-tired, at which point I hopped in my car and drove home.

Ironically, the one girl I had wanted to hear from earlier in the day called my cell phone while I was out, as I had inadverdently left it next to my computer. This, of course, means that I would have been without a phone if I had gotten lost on my way to my nice little chat tonight. But, if she had called my cell phone earlier, I don't think that I would have gone out, I wouldn't have had that conversation (or those tasty muffins), and I wouldn't have realized what was totally missing in my recent relationship.

In the post-mortem, I think that trivia was probably why I didn't see that; that I was so wrapped up in the game and thinking about the questions that I didn't realize that there was probably no way that I could have talked to her for four hours with neither interruption nor inspiration. There was just too much time sitting across a table or on cell phones, saying nothing in a neither comfortable nor uncomfortable-silence; just silence.

[Life] is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury...
Signifying nothing.

AIM: therbmcc71

EDIT: I realized a few minutes ago (eight hours after posting initially posting this) that I only got halfway through re-enabling comments, and so there they are again (although now it's gotten rid of all of the previous comments and has made every single thread commentable). I don't care; comment away, be free and happy. Me, I'm going to -rather appropriately- listen to some Fleetwood Mac.