Buddy Israel

Saturday night I ended up at the club, just sorta hanging out and nursing my drink when one of the more drunken patrons of the place stepped over to me. He was this mix of cartoon character and run of the mill corporate barfly douchebag -- complete with spiky blond hair, a shiny silver shirt (where is everyone getting these all the sudden -- have the Dwarves started selling mithril at Macy's?), and a straight black necktie. He gave off this whole vibe that visually said "I just got off work making huge deals for huge money, splashed on some Nivea conditioner, and now I'm ready to frikkin Tanqueray."
He looked like the kind of guy Patrick Bateman would want to
take an axe to after a speech about Huey Lewis and the News.
Anyways, this wannabe-Tad Allagash who has been doing the prerequisite drunken happy moves you see pretty frequently in a place like that on a Saturday night (yelling every conversation at the top of his lungs, imitating people dancing on the floor, high-fiving everyone) moves up to me, shakes my hand, and looks me in the eye -- but instead of telling me his name over and over and making me his new best friend for the next three minutes or so, he kinda stepped back, studied me for a second, and then leaned back in and said,
"Dude, what are you so mad about?"
The question caught me totally off guard. "What do you mean?" I asked, "I'm not mad at all" -- but he persisted. Kept saying it was in my eyes, written on my face. He kept punctuating his sentences with drunk talk like "You know what I say? I say 'Life's Too Short' is what I say" and "No, No, No, No.. No -- It's just like I was telling my bro over here I was telling him.. It's all like, you know? .. Man, you look mad!"

I didn't feel angry. Things weren't particularly good or bad, but as far as I knew I wasn't really working from any emotional signpost. To be honest it was just kind of a blah night at the club. The DJ's weren't that great and the crowd (aside from shiny shirt boy) stayed in their own circles, but Endo's like that sometimes. My friends were all there behind the bar, drinks were flowing, what did I have to be mad about?

But the more I considered the thought the more it was like the curtain kept getting pulled back revealing a day where I had snapped at a couple of people, had stayed in the apartment and just sorta watched TV all day instead of taking advantage of the nice weather and the holiday weekend. But none of those things were (as far as I could tell) any sort of expression of anger or whatever -- it's just the way the day played out.

I had a three-day weekend. I played a lot of guitar (which I was really happy about). Of course my amplifier kept messing up, and having not really played that much in the last couple of months my chops were way off and I wasn't able to do some of the things I wanted to do -- but if I can find some time in the next week or so I'm pretty sure I can woodshed back up to where I want to be.
Of course the best I can hope for even with that is jamming along with CD's or whatever -- but what can you do?
I don't know -- maybe I am frustrated with things. Money's a mess, and despite budgeting out every penny I can it's gonna be a while before I can get in front of that. Of course all of that depends on what happens with my job in the next few months; which is another sore spot considering I was hoping for more love from the company I'm with than I've been getting in terms of long-term considerations.

But beyond all that is this feeling I've been having lately. It's like that point right before a snake sheds its skin. The eyes are clouded over, and the animal moves all around the cage, rubbing up against any surface it can trying to get the thing off? You wonder if reptiles like that can sense things like itching -- but if they can could you imagine anything worse than having every inch of your skin scratching on you?
How badly would you want to get that off your back?
In other words, best as I can tell nothings really burning, but a lot of the foliage, canopy, and underbrush in my life seems ready to spark. I'd really like to get into a nicer place. I'd really like to get ahead of my bills. I'm bored at work. I'm restless at home. I'm frustrated. I'm horny. I want to get back in the gym (I had to cancel my membership to save some money). I want a new amplifier. I want people to jam with. I want to travel more without having it crash my bank account every time I take a short road trip.
But when it all runs through my mind all I can hear is whining.
I'm making good money at my job -- my problems are more a result of mismanagement. A word that could easily be applied to all of the issues that I just discussed. So yeah, I'm kinda bugged -- but in the end it's myself that I'm ticked with, and perhaps that's what rubs the worst, because it always seems to come back to that.
So maybe I am mad. Maybe it is on my face. Maybe dude was right.
Maybe what I really need is just someone to talk to..
But when I looked up, shirt-boy was gone. Shuffled back off to the world of his friends, slapping their hands and cheering at the top of his lungs whenever he took a drink. Cut short of my realization, I settled back down into my seat -- taking a moment to realize that most of the people around me were caught up with their friends, hanging out and laughing.
Everyone at that moment it seemed, but me.
Or at least I was until I felt someone slide up beside me and I found myself the subject of a long hard look from one of the more notorious regulars at the club named Tina, who even for her seemed more drunk and sloshier than normal.

Her eyes focused on me even as she slipped in her seat and needed her free hand to steady herself against the bar. Then she leaned in closer, squinted -- took a drag off her cigarette, and then filled the air with smoke and the scent of liquor while saying,
"Everyone tells me I'm wrong, but I know for a fact
that you're an Undercover Cop. What's up with that?"

[Listening to:    The Stooges"No Fun" ]