Best Friend

I was just thinking the other day that I hadnít really met anyone interesting since I moved here - and so the story begins . . .

My Siamese cat swallowed a piece of plastic. Heís not too impressively bright, quite determined, and he has a lot of free time on his hands. Apparently plastic has a fish-like taste to it and thatís why cats like it. Good to know. He liked it so much that he swallowed it, leading to a day which I now refer to as Vomitfest 2002. I took him to the vet where it was determined that the plastic was lodged in his intestine and would have to be removed. Surgically. Fanfuckingtastic. Not to sound like too much of a giant loser, but my cat is one of the happiest parts of my existence at this moment in my life. And when the happiest part of your existence starts throwing up giant piles of gak all over your apartment, your existence isnít all that damn happy.

While Iím sitting in the waiting room, well, waiting, thereís a guy across from me with a rather large dog who looks kind of familiar. The guy, not the dog, The dog just looks stupid and happy. He didnít seem to notice me (the guy). I couldnít place where I could possibly know him from, and not wanting to say ďdonít I know you from somewhere?Ē, I continued to thumb through my copy of Feline Fancy magazine. Iím all into this fascinating article on distemper, when out of nowhere familiar guyís big-ass dog licks the entire underside of my arm. My immediate reaction was to let out a string of profanity because dog spit, okay, ewww.

ďKimberly, is that you?Ē

Turns out the Dog Guy and I went to high school together back in Colorado. He didnít recognize me until I started swearing like a sailor. Interesting. I guess itís been twelve years so Iíve changed my appearance a bit. For starters, Iím no longer dyeing my hair black Ė a color my grandmother fondly referred to as ďthat whorish blackĒ, love you too, Grams! Iíve also stopped using the amount of black eyeliner that earned me the nickname Raccoon Girl (one of the nicer nicknames I earned back in the day). Now while I have a vague feeling of familiarity, I still donít remember Dog Guy except in the vaguest sense, but after talking for a while, turns out we went out once. Still with the not remembering though. I went out with a lot of guys in high school. Yes, really.

So Dog Guy (whoís name is Mark, but I prefer Dog Guy) now lives in Tampa and does something with computers, blah, blah, blah, and would I like to go out for drinks, talk about old times? I figured what the hell, I donít know that many people here, he doesnít have any visible scars, marks or serial killer vibes, my catís having part of his intestine removed, why not? Then itís decided, Dog Guy is going to be my new very best friend and itís going to be so great. Swell!

We meet for drinks Ė still me here with the not completely remembering details about him Ė when he starts talking. This is where things go downhill. He talks soooooooooo sloooooooooooooooooow. I wanted to scream with boredom and tried to stifle about 40 yawns. On and on and on. He lacks the ability to notice that I am not part of the conversation except to occasionally nod or signal the waiter for another drink. Then the god talking started. You know, talking about the lord? Yeah. Damn. Iím not anti-religion, in fact I think it is so cool that people have something to believe in. Sometimes I wished I believed in something, you know, or anything for that matter. Itís when people talk endlessly on about it and try to convince you to change your views, because only their god is the right one and there is no room for any other belief system Thatís when it becomes disturbing and annoying. Itís a fine line, although in his case it was more of a big fat glow in the dark line.

So then Ė ding! - lightbulb moment (or maybe doorbell moment if Iím going with the ding! sound effect), I totally remember our date. 12 years ago. I was 16 years old. He took me to some sort of Christian youth group type of event. Earlier that night, my friend Staci and I had smoked some of those funny cigarettes Ė okay fine, now Iíve established that in high school I was a slutty pothead, good times - so the whole date was hyper-weird, especially since I was freaked out by the minister type guy because he reminded me of the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I also remember that Dog Guy caught me unaware and had kissed me that night and it was pretty horrible on many levels, the first being that his tongue was like a cold, dead salmon flopping around in a washing machine (nice visual, eh?). I was never so glad as I was when my dad started flashing the porch light on and off. Bygones. It was shortly after this that I dropped out of high school and moved to California with a guy named Dante who was a professional pool cleaner. Because I was classy like that.

I ordered another double tall Mandarin and seven, lit a cigarette, and tried to imagine Dog Guyís head exploding. Blah, blah, blah, religion, blah, blah, blah, everyone is going to hell who doesnít believe exactly what I do, blah, blah, blah. Just like that, except so very much slower, repeated ad infinitum. The sound of his own voice was just so mesmerizing to him he still didnít notice that I was in no way a part of this conversation. Iím realizing that Dog Guy isnít going to be my new best friend after all. Bummer. He said something really offensive, I donít remember exactly what because he said oh so many offensive things, but this one particular thing got to me because I was feeling Ė oh letís pick a mood out of the mood hat Ė snappy? - so I stood up and said, ďthatís a fucking outrageous remark!Ē (because Iím still classy like that) which I said pretty loudly because Iíd had a few drinks and after a few drinks I seem to talk really, really loud, loud enough so most of the people in the place turned to look at me. Hi, howís it going? Thanks for coming. I sat back down. He looked reasonably mortified.

Anyhow the fun times were pretty much over at that point. Thank god. So long Dog Guy.

Now Iím at home with my new and improved cat, now with the plastic-free shorter intestinal tract, who is on a special diet because he is too fat. Itís really not his fault, heís just big boned. Heís sitting on my lap as I check the progress of my items on Ebay hoping for enough sales to keep us in rent and Meow Mix. And he is my new best friend. Swell.

2002-11-12 at 11:22 p.m.