It’s midnight, on a weeknight, and I find myself standing on the Venice Beach boardwalk. This is not a bad place to be exactly, but not necessarily the best place to be, alone at midnight. Not to mention that I have just paid a stranger fifty dollars to allow me to strip naked, and climb into a giant refrigerator.
You’ll want to be careful with that visual.
The fact that none of my friends know I am here, I think I should be more afraid than I am.
The reason I didn’t tell anyone where I was going is… well, what would you say?
“Hey I’m going to this place behind an alley in Venice. They have giant refrigerators and if you pay this guy he will let you get inside it. Do you want to come with me and wait outside?”
I never done anything like this before either and I don’t really know what might happen.
Then again I can imagine Rod Serling stepping out as I walk inside. “Picture a man who loves science fiction. His life has taken him on a journey. And that journey has let him here, to the sandy Beaches, of the Twilight Zone.”
Of course it is late at night. Perhaps the camera will pan quickly to Alfred Hitchcock. “Good evening ladies and gentleman. It seems we have a conundrum. Our actor is going to voluntarily crawl inside of a refrigerator. Given the usual results when this occurs, we might have to inform the coroner by the end of the episode. Let us hope for the best, or the worst, which could be fun as well.”
The man in charge looks up at me from where he is sitting. He looks like the missing link between Keith Richards and Tommy Chong. He’s wearing enormous dark sunglasses, which looks to be an attempt to hide the fact that he is extremely high!
“I want to do a float?” A question statement always makes you seem confident and aware of the situation.
The man let out a short guffaw, “You do huh?” He rouses himself just enough to lay out the rules. “Okay man here’s how we do this…
As “the Dude” begins to speak, I realize it’s taken me almost twenty years to get here. Twenty years after leaving high school to finally graduate into my life. It’s not like I needed my GED or anything.
I did graduate. It might have been by the skin of my teeth, but I did walk the line of, “Congratulations! We’re not responsible for you anymore,”
Isn’t high school supposed to prepare you for getting out there in the world and living your life?
When I was in high school I was so trapped I felt like a horse at a starting gate, staring down the lanes, anticipating my future and just wanting to get the hell out of there and get on with it. I couldn’t wait to be free because I was going to show them all. Everything would change, once I got out there.
By them, I meant my mom, my dad, my teachers, those punk bitches who pantsed me, those punk bitches who stole my lunch money, those girls that ignored me… punk bitch… and all the others. I was going to take the world by storm. No one would be able to ignore me once they know who I was because… I, was special!
Well. I, was wrong!
This was just high school and high school is just a big popularity contest. The real world is completely different. Once I get out there, around intellectuals, thinkers… my peers! Things would be different.
Well firstly my peers were geeks. And not the Zuckerburg/Gates kind of geeks. More the, World of Warcraft, dungeons and dragons, kind of geeks.
“Dude we’re getting ready to start a new campaign, should last about nine months, we’re all meeting at Tony’s tonight to talk about it.”
The truth was that outside of getting out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. No matter… once I get out there everything would just fall right into place. Right?
Boy was I fucken wrong.
Ever notice when some sort of crisis occurs you forget about everything and react on sheer instinct? For instance say you’re, I don’t know… run over by a tank or mauled by a lion… It could happen. And when it does our instincts kick in and we want to just stop it from happening.
The internet is full of videos of things gone wrong. Videos of slow motion flying through the air and we know it’s going to be painful or bloody and we can’t help but keep watching. Sick people, you can’t tell me America is not into snuff. It’s the natural progression from the Funniest Home Videos to the Bloodiest.
When things go wrong, check out the hands. They grasp and grab at anything and that right there is reality.
The moment I got out of high school I felt like I was in freefall, naked and being mauled by a lion. I was in shock and I didn’t even know it at the time. Everything was in slow motion, like falling down stairs, which I’ve… done for… a few different reasons.
Flailing my arms and grasping at college after college because that was… What was expected? What I wanted? What I thought I should do? I mean that was what I was supposed to do right?
Go to college, get a job! And once I got a job! Ah… There it was. Once I got a job I would start to make my mark.
It wasn’t long before I found myself standing out in the world naked, and completely and absolutely lost. But I wasn’t about to admit that to myself or anyone else. The realization that nothing was as I expected was terrifying, but more than that… I was offended. I was personally offended that life was not what I thought it was supposed to be, and for that I blamed everyone: my parents, my teachers, my friends, my enemies, girlfriends, bosses and co-workers because now I had to get a job, a real fulltime, boring, monotonous, go nowhere job… in retail.
Now, I have made sandwiches and flipped burgers and retail is just one step above working in fast food and two steps above a shit hole. Retail doesn’t pay you enough to afford to live in a shit hole and by the way, working in a shit hole pays a lot better than working in retail.
So I blamed everyone for my shitty situation and on top of everyone… I blamed God.
Now there was a time in my life, that I seriously considered the priesthood. And strangely enough it’s one of the reasons I am standing here now. There was a time when I believed in everything the bible had to say. Every story, every tale, I believed was true. And I saw the truth and the hope it gave out to people through the parables and the metaphors against right a wrong. Priests were the instruments of that, but now you know… priests like other instruments now… ha ha, C’est la vie.
The thing is on the other side of that coin I believed in everything I saw or read in science fiction. I knew it was fiction, but I believed that those things were at the very least possible.
When I turned twelve I started doing the one thing that all things of authority don’t ever ever ever want you to ever ever do. I started to ask questions.