"Twas Ten Days Before Halloween
The 31st, The Big Worldly Festival, was right around the corner, as the saying goes. "It's taking too long the children whined, while they played in the park. They were all so anxious and chatty, that the parents weren't able to keep them indoors today. The anticipation of dressing up in their long-awaited enchanted gowns and their spooky ghoulish costumes, along with the joy of scaring others or to be scared, while searching for doors at sundown, can be exhilarating, I remembered. Then all of a sudden, I too was becoming excited, that the 10 more days seemed like an eternity to me also. How embarrassing, I whispered, to myself.
Lost & Found
Ah, remember those carefree days of your twenties? The times when hangovers didn’t seem to hurt, all clothes looked good on you and carbs were one’s friends? Perhaps you are still in your twenties, in which case, this story will be shared wisdom from an elder millennial. If you are in the 80’s kids club with me, you know that life happens. Let us be transferred to the beautiful pre-pandemic life, where unsolicited grinding, yelling into people’s faces at a crowded bar and dancing until feet gave in was known as just another Friday night. At the time when all of this happened, I lived in a quaint North London duplex with three roommates. Housemates, as they say in England. We were a fun bunch that occasionally hung out together. It was a cold January weekend in Angel. I had a friend visiting from out of town. A friend who was still undefined as whether they’d turn into a lifelong buddy or someone, I ended up dating. Ted and I had known one another for a while and my roommate Maddie seemed to get along with him just fine. As good youngsters, living their best lives in London would, we decided it was the night we’d hit the local little jazz bar nearby our place. Plan set and in motion, we were strutting towards the watering hole filled with glee.
At Least I Got A Signed Book
As someone who grew up in the South, I had never really become accustomed to having celebrity encounters (except for that one time I saw Forest Whitaker at the airport...in New Jersey and not the South). Because of this, when my family and I moved to New Jersey, I felt like I was living in a new world filled with excitement and opportunities. I had visited almost every summer before then to see family, but being able to actually stay there for an indefinite amount of time ignited a new kind of happiness within me.
Don't cry over spilled milk... or Canadian boys
So, you want to know my most cringe worthy, palms sweaty, irrevocably unforgettable embarrassing moments, eh? Well let me tell you right off jump, I have a lot of them. In fact, my entire life has seemingly been one embarrassing story after another.
The Defecation Miscalculation
Little boys find the grossest things funny. That's why I had two of them laughing at me when I did this… interesting thing. Although, I'm not sure if anyone wouldn't have found this funny. Where do I start?
Sink or Sing
Last, year, I thought I was going to have the time of my life on my birthday, December 1st because it was also the night of our annual work Christmas party. If someone had told me that it would be the most embarrassing day of my life, I would not have gone to the party and cancelled my birthday that year.
Big sur, California. April 2000 Stories always get better with time. Embarrassing ones more than any other. We change little details to shine/emphasize certain dramatic tropes. To add tiny dots in the painting to that adds a bit of color, to bring out the background and give it more of a sense of being whole. Sharpen the knives and plunge them a little deeper with each stab, so to speak. So given 20 years of space between then and today I’d like to claim that my memory is as bright with the same details of the day just as it happened. But I’ll admit I’ve shaped this story, consciously or somewhere else in my mind like a clay cup I made and gave to my smoker mother as a child. So here I go, trying to empty the ashtray of my mind by telling this story.
The Last Birthday Party I Will Ever Have
I have spent weeks struggling to internally dissect these events. Events I have been burying for nearly 10 years. So how do I unearth a day so excruciating and humiliating. I could not even find a photo of myself from that night. A testament to how deep I embedded that memory. We must venture back into my adolescent mindset to tap into that night. Prepare yourself because it is an unsavory place to visit.
The Missing Murderer
To this day there is one memory that will create so much discomfort that I will have to physically move in my seat. The worst part: hundreds of people were watching me.
As I walked in the door of my tiny apartment, the phone was ringing. I grabbed it before the answering machine cut in. I was breathless from running up the flight of stairs.
I LOST ON JEOPARDY!
I am not the only person that has reconsidered their bucket list in light of of a worldwide pandemic that has reordered the way we live and work. When the opportunity arises to check major boxes on that list, one should take it no matter how much fear of embarrassment or humiliation creeps into the brain. That is the reason that I was on Jeopardy! Or, more bluntly, that is the reason I Lost On Jeopardy!. I religiously watched the show with my dad as a kid and had watched every season since. Anyone who knows me knows that Alex Trebek was in my pantheon of Saints and Jeopardy is sacrosanct in my house. Being on the show was one of those childhood dreams that didn’t go away. But the kind that you keep wondering if it will actually ever happen. You see, it almost didn't happen because of my own fear.
Where Do I Begin?
I know that any time of day or night, I can put my ear to my heart and listen to a stream of words, a never ending symphony of love, a symphony of words that emblazon my soul.