Wednesday, February 03, 2010
It's pouring down rain and gloomier than a Goth with diarrhea today, and in Arlington, TX, that's kind of a double whammy seeing as how Arlington is a town that induces mild depression and vague feelings of unease in its citizens regardless of the weather. It's days like this that make me think about getting my hands on a lot of money... robbing 7-11s comes immediately to mind... and hitting the road like a 60's biker cliche. Born to be wild, or at the very least born to drive for a while until I get sleepy and need a Red Bull. The destination? Anywhere, my man... somewhere exotic, somewhere fun and alive, a place where the action never stops and neither do the bartenders when you accidentally puke into your pint glass.
Of course, before these daydreams take a firm hold on my brain and talk me into doing terribly foolish things (leather pants and a tattoo of my cultural hero, John Daly), I have to take a step back, splash some cold water on my face and my junk, and remind myself that... out there... in the big bad world... things are not all that. Other places, they're a hassle too. Sure Arlington sucks, but at least you've got family here, friends, a job that makes you want to kill yourself with a table saw but still it's A JOB...
Things are never quite as perfect as they seem. That grass isn't greener, it's just glinting in the sun because a hobo peed on it.
With that in mind, and in an effort to talk myself out of buying a Harley (which I would name "Lil' Stinker"), here's a breakdown of supposedly fantastical places and the reasons why they're as soul-deadening as everywhere else. Enjoy!
Earth is a Hell On Earth: A Travelogue
Perception - A tropical paradise where the rum flows out of the bathroom taps and sweet, sweet native girls are ready and willing to hula your dong at a moments notice. The beaches! The wonderful weather! You might meet Lilo AND Stitch!!!
Reality - You really want to see yourself in a bathing suit, you fat sack of taco farts? Well neither do the people of Hawaii, ESPECIALLY the native girls. They're going to go bone a hot surfer while you do a Sudoku puzzle on the beach and get a sunburn so bad it looks like you've been pan-fried. Plus, there are hurricanes, Smoke Monsters, ritual sacrifices, you're allergic to flowers (and they've got A LOT of flowers), real estate costs a million dollars because HELLO it's on an island, and eventually one day whatever volcano is sitting underneath all of that mess is going to blow its top. Try to enjoy your tropical paradise with a natural disaster's worth of hot magma rammed up your ass.
Perception - You're going to be a star!!!
Reality - You're going to star in a movie that mainly features deep, introspective shots of your anatomy getting worked over by a failed college lacrosse player who the box art will call "Meat-Man Max."
Perception - Oooh, I can be all Beat Poet funky, living in the East Village and putting on plays THAT TELL THE TRUTH, man... yeah or I'll join a band and we'll be big on the underground scene and get a positive mention from Vice Magazine. The hustle and bustle of the Big Apple will sustain me! I'll be at the center of the world, which is exactly where I already am in my own mind. The internal becomes external! I'm a creative soul exploding it's man-cage! I can make it there!!!
Reality - If you want to live in the East Village, one of two things have to happen: You have to pay a not-very-nice Middle Eastern man several thousand dollars every month or get evicted (if not fitted for a cement overcoat and tossed with little ceremony into the East River) OR you'll share a one-bedroom, sixth-floor walk-up with nine other people, four of which are hardcore heroin addicts, two of which are on the run from the law, one of which talks to the lamps, and the other two are friends of friends who will eventually give you HIV and/or steal everything you own (including the fillings out of your teeth). And you won't do anything creative. You'll be too busy working double-shifts at a grocery store, trying to save up enough money to just maybe go out to a bar for one... ONE... beer (which costs $12). You won't be hip. You'll never listen to music for fear of getting robbed on the subway. You'll be cold all the time. And THAT'S when you get bedbugs.
Perception - You love skiing and you're darn good at it, too! Time to put those skills to work; ski instructor by day, lover of ski bunnies by night!
Reality - Running those double-black diamonds was punching above your weight, you know that now. Sure didn't see that drop off. You guess they'll probably find your frozen corpse eventually, after the first thaw. Maybe.
Perception - The romance of it all! So much history and art, it's like living in a textbook on the Renaissance. You'll drink rich coffees at quaint cafes and red wine at bistros, you'll nibble a pain au chocolat as you discuss Victor Hugo with a mysterious stranger who just may be the love of your life. You'll become one of the twinkling lights in a city known for how they shine!
Reality - You don't speak French, you hillbilly, and you've never lived outside your county, much less in a foreign country. Tell me this: What's a Euro? Where are you going to go when that "mysterious stranger" takes your passport while you're showering off his B.O.? And that's enough thing... have you ever smelled the French? It's like an armpit learned a romance language. You'll hate every minute over there and you won't be able to stop thinking about that one Waffle House back home where you and all your friends used to hang out, God, I be they're there RIGHT NOW. You'll force yourself to go out and try to find some modeling work... that's what they do in Paris, right?... and because you're not anorexic and all dead inside (yet), you'll end up in a seedy part of the XVIII Arrondissement where you're told that all models must remove their clothes and get in a van. And that's your introduction to the terrifying world of white slavery. Enjoy your tour of the many brothels around the Baltic Sea!