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All Your Lovely Crap

Thongs, cat testicles and tattoos are only the beginning

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I'm thinking about breaking into Lary's place again today, maybe this time through the roof, which I hear has a gaping hole in it. I actually have a key, but old habits die hard. Also, I'm pretty sure he promised not to shoot at me anymore, or at least he seemed kind of quasi-sorry for it the last time he did, grumping about the size of the hole he'd have to dig in order to bury me in his basement if the bullet had actually hit me, which I took as an apology of sorts.

So, yes, it's time for another break-in, especially now that I hear his place is littered with thong underwear, thongs everywhere, even hanging from the branches of his potted plants, "and most of them don't even fit me," he gripes.

This I have to see. Maybe there are some Polaroids of him trying to squeeze himself into one, or of some other kinky act his new girlfriend might be enticing him to try. She looks remarkably like him, or she would if Lary was nubile and hot and half his own age ... and female.

Grant and Daniel and I try to provoke Lary with torments that he might be dating his own daughter, seeing as how he's prone to all those prolonged fits of forgetfulness. He accomplishes the most complicated feats during these fogs, too, like once he erected an entire network of scaffolding in his kitchen, and another time he somehow placed a truck bed on top of his house. In both instances, he has no idea how either came to be. He just claims to have awakened to find them like that, as if arranged there by a playful poltergeist. So fathering a child would have been effortless in comparison, because the early 80s, what with the easy proliferation of LSD and other hallucinogens, was probably just one big long stupor to Lary.

But it's been awhile since Lary woke up to find himself underneath teetering industrial trace material. These days it's all been replaced by those thongs and other curious feminine amenities, such as the set of amputated cat testicles she keeps with her in a jar of formaldehyde (when we heard about that we were doubly certain those two were related), but no matter the nature of the stuff strewn about his place, Lary's response to it is still the same. "Where did this crap come from?" he complains. "None of it's mine."

"What're you bitchin' about?" Grant asks him. For one, Grant points out, Lary's got a hot young girlfriend these days, and some pay a huge cost to have one of those, whereas the cost to Lary has been relatively little. It's not like she demands constant body rubs and gourmet meals coupled with a new car every month. Amazingly, all she seems to require is a place to put her underwear. Occasionally she'll ask Lary to marry her, but he suffers no real punishment when he counters that with an offer to adopt her instead, and she actually laughed when he responded to her request for a baby with, "Sure, it would make a great parting gift." All that plus she's covered in tattoos and keeps her cat's neutered nuts in a jar! "Christ, Lary," says Grant, "she's the ideal woman."

It's the crap, though, that is always the cost. If you ask me, I'm amazed people think they can get through a relationship without encountering any of the other person's crap at some level. And I'm not just talking about tangible stuff, like Kotex and cat balls, but every single little turd pellet of emotional torture you had to encounter in your life in order to claw yourself to the relatively safe level of livability you've managed to reach so far. The crap is there, admit it, and trying to keep it hidden just makes it all the more ugly once it inevitably rears itself.

Take that time in college when I dated that Bible-thumping, dick-wagging rich boy, who dumped me like a load of toxic waste -- took back his Bible and everything -- leaving my barely saved soul sitting there on the cusp of relapse back into Satan's cesspool. Until then I was thinking, "Great! This guy's all interested in my spirit and shit, he's a Jesus freak, so by nature he's supposed to be all forgiving and not all that bothered by the fact that until I met him I'd been pursuing the reputation of a four-star slut." I thought I could wrap all my lovely crap up in a box, slap a bow on it and hand it to him like a damn door prize. I was even kind of proud of the fact that it was bound to be such a big box, too, for such a young person.

But it turns out the last thing he wanted was to become co-owner of all my crap, emotional or otherwise. I could have kept it all hidden, but if I did I'd probably be living in Colorado right now, the wife of an overly religious car salesman, with fake boobs and a few institutionalizations under my belt, my brain long numb from prescribed barbiturates. So you see, keeping it hidden just makes it all the more ugly. That's why it's best to just get it out there, all your lovely crap. Fling it about like confetti. Hang it from the branches of potted plants if you have to.

Hollis Gillespie is now touring to sign her new book, Confessions of a Recovering Slut: And Other Love Stories (Regan Books). Her first book, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch (Regan Books) is available in paperback. Her commentaries can be heard on NPR's "All Things Considered."

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