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Feast Forty-Five: Stan

Appetizer

Which keys do you have on your key chain?

Car ignition, car locks, bike lock, apartment key, house key. I’m not sure if it counts, but I have one of those auto-dealies for my car that, at the push of a button (several times in a row because it works like shit), will lock and unlock the doors or pop the trunk. Technology!

Soup

What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

I’m not the most spontaneous person in the world, so this is kind of slim pickin’s, but I guess this qualifies:

In August of 2002, I had two tickets to see Juliana Hatfield at the Double Door, and I was thrilled beyond belief. Me and The Ex would go see the show, have a good time, and naughtiness would ensue. When I told The Ex about it, she said, “There’s no way we’ll get in. They card like maniacs, and I can’t even flirt my way in.” You have to bear in mind here that The Ex was not the most outgoing person in the world (ironically, she turned to me to be the outgoing one—ha!), but she was very good-looking, which is all that really matters in a bar-bouncer scenario.

Neither of us were 21 (I was only a few months away…), but I insisted that we go down there anyway. I speak the bouncers’ language, which is to say, I had several fresh $20 bills from the ATM. So we wandered down there on the train, and we got off and waltzed up toward the Double Door. A large, African-American fellow who I always will believe was nicknamed “Tiny” glared at us and muttered, “ID?” I flashed my ID, with its red “UNDER 21” tag. He looked up at me like I just fell off the short bus and said without irony, “You ain’t come in here.”

“Let’s go,” The Ex groaned. She thought she could make it as a music manager and didn’t want the humiliation of being thrown out of the same venue multiple times.

I suavely slid a $20 into the bouncer’s paw. He stood there, all stoic and terrifying, brow furrowing down at us, not saying a word.

“Uhh…” I began, in an effort to retrieve my lost $20.

“You gonna git now,” he mumbled. He should’ve known that wouldn’t stop me—until The Ex grabbed my arm and pulled me away from the entrance, back toward the train station, berating me with a wide variety of derogatory statements about my ethnic heritage.

On the way home, I talked idly about going out to see her in Iowa City, where Juliana was playing the following evening. We could stay with Lucy, with whom I wasn’t really speaking at the time, and maybe visit The Ex’s parents in Bettendorf on the way home. This was roundly rejected as the stupidest idea I had ever conceived. We’re going to travel 250 miles to the doorstep of a girl I hadn’t spoken to in three months, take advantage of whatever kindness she’d force herself to muster so we could have a free place to crash, and then make a bleary-eyed, grungy stop to meet The Ex’s parents for my very first time?

So I said, “Fuck it, you’re right.” That was my mantra during the bulk of our relationship. A note to the female readers of this blog: if you let me have my way with you, I’ll do your bidding for eternity.

The next day, Lucy IM-ed me about 90 times in a row. She didn’t really get the whole “silent treatment” thing, so she’d just send barrages of instant messages, hoping I’d eventually answer. Finally, that day, I did.

“Are you trying to ignore me?” she asked.

“Do you know where the Green Room is?” I asked.

“It’s right down the street from my house,” she said.

“Do you want to go to a concert with me tonight?” I asked.

This is the impulsive part, where I—slightly, in the back of my mind, upset with The Ex—drive 250 miles to go to a concert and reunite with my best friend on a whim. Yeah, it might not sound like much, but for me…it’s pretty bold.

So yeah, I drove out there, was disappointed by the squalorific conditions in which she lived (to such a degree I ended up driving straight home through the blackness of Iowa and Illinois at 3AM because I couldn’t stay a whole night there) and was disappointed by the various horrible life choices she had been making (these horrible life choices were why I stopped talking to her to begin with). The only good thing to come of it was when I saw Kathryn Musilek for the first time, and she changed my life forever. So all’s well that ends well.

Salad

Who is the best cook in your family?

My mom would kill me, but I have to grudgingly admit that my sister is a pretty fantastic cook.

Main Course

If you were to write a “how-to” book, what would the title be?

How to Be a Hollywood Hack

Dessert

Name a recent fad you’ve tried.

Back when I thought I was morbidly obese, I was very close to trying the Atkins diet. I did the research, read the book, shit my pants in horror at what you have to go through to accomplish your weight-loss goals, and actually did something Dr. Atkins explicitly states in the book that nobody seems to actually do: I went and talked to my doctor about it. My doctor, when he stopped laughing, noted that I’m only about 20 pounds overweight, and maybe I should try eating less junk food and exercising once in awhile.

And what do you know? That archaic system works just as well.

from friday’s feast

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