Drifting thoughts of a snowflake

Monday, June 21, 2004


There’s a lot to be said for friends who indulge your impending neurosis for a margarita, without asking you why you’re obsessing over an $8 glass of limeade and tequila. I spent Saturday night watching B-rated romantic comedies, and learning that nothing is better for wiping up gallons of tears than a cashmere throw. Fuck the Kleenex, you’ll never get anywhere with those little squares. Maybe if you stub your toe those modest tuffs of paper will help, but not if you are going through a full force soul wrenching heart stomping loss. I woke up Sunday morning with an unexpected smile on my face and a mouth that craved the sweet goodness of limes and alcohol.

Cal and I had no idea we were about to embark on an open mic night at the bar. Yet, there we were gulping down Texas Margaritas and listening to beautiful women belt out poorly written songs. I should also mention the yodeling bluegrass guy who mastered the art of pronouncing love with three syllables. About half way through the competition Zoeie Ryze took the stage.

Cal and I were immediately in love with her. She was quirky and weird, jumping all over the place and leaning her head so far back she looked like a little kid screaming. Zoeie was refreshing. Cal, the bartender, and I were all in full nods over the new contestant. The guy next to me thought she was an angry freak. Interesting perspective from a guy with a mohawk, riding around in a wheel chair, and smoking cigarettes with the aid of a fork. Don’t get me wrong; I am not calling people with disabilities freaks. I am just suggesting that perhaps some people might understand the concept of not judging people based on one aspect of a person.

I soon became fast friends with the “Doug” despite his outlook on Zoeie. We talked about our jobs, where we’ve lived, and about writing. I asked how fast his wheelchair could go, and he asked me what type of liquor I like best. After a while I was uncomfortable about not introducing myself, so I just grabbed his lifeless hand, shook it and told him my name. He smiled and told me his name was Doug.

We live through 20 more minutes of the competition and actually hear some amazing stuff. Doug asks me to pull a twenty out of his shirt pocket and hand it to the woman collecting tips for the performers. I smile, find his stash in his top pocket and pay the lady for him. When the bartender told me his story, I felt awful for him. A year ago she says that he could walk into the bar like any other client, and that just a year later he’s unable to walk or have control over his limbs.

I’m starting to look around the bar for a cashmere throw when I hear his friend say, “Hey, Justin are you ready?” I look at the friend bewildered. “Justin? His name is Doug”.

His friend laughs long and hard and says, “Oh, that’s great. That’s what he told you his name is? Doug? That’s hilarious”.

Blankie anyone?

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