so, in a never-ending effort to fill my time while at my FTJ, i often peruse craigslist, if only to make fun of all those wacky bastards on that shit. (please note: i have never posted to craigslist, but might add this to my 'bucket list'-- we will have to see.) anyway, in my usual wednesday afternoon routine, i'm looking over the 'best of' aforementioned website. for those of you who are unaware as to the types of posts found in this section . . . they are vastly different, but all are usually hilar. while going over this list, i laugh, i cry, sometimes i recoil in a twinge of disgust, but NEVER have i EVER (freshman year of college drinking game..? no.) been able to understand the poster's emotion--be it anguish, annoyance or joy.
please read the following san francisco area (of-fucking-course) post:
"I've been trying to think of ways to spice up my life. I'm 35 years old, happily married with two kids and I have a good job in insurance. But somethings missing. I feel like I'm old before my time. I need to inject some excitement into my daily routine through my arm before its too late. I need a challenge, something to get the adrenaline pumping again. An addiction would be nice, but, in short, I need a nemesis. I'm willing to pay $350 up front for you services as an arch enemy over the next six months. Nothing crazy. Steal my parking space, knock my coffee over, trip me when Im running to catch the BART and occasionaly whisper in my ear, "Ahha, we meet again". That kind of thing. Just keep me on my toes. Complacency will be the death of me. You need to have an evil streak and be blessed with innate guile and cunning. You should also be adept at inconsicuous pursuit. Evil laugh preferred. Send me a photo and a brief explanation why you would be a good nemesis. British accent preferred. Compensation: $350 up front."
now, please hold your laughter, contempt and/or pity for this man. poor chap. (english lexicon, obvi) i could apply for this position, but that's neither here nor there. i genuinely feel bad for the poster. missing something in his life.. SEEKING ARCH NEMESIS. that's an obvious filler/solution/amazing idea. however, i highly doubt this person really realizes what goes in to having and being an arch nemesis. i should know, i've got one.
laugh if you will. we'll call my arch nemesis alexander. you're probably thinking to yourself "how does a beautiful, intelligent, hilarious lady like yourself find yourself in this situation . . ?" well, i'll give you a quick re-cap.
let's rewind to the time when i still had a full fringe bang and wore denim skirts-- 2001. the scene: honors french class, the verb conjugation race. i'll tell you this, if there is one thing i know, its my french verbs. i didn't ask for "501 french verbs" for christmas prior to starting my mastery of the language of love for nothing. obviously, as in all my other pursuits, i was going "in it to win it," fig speaking. there i was, down to the wire. said nemesis had already been eliminated from this conjugation bee. i was pitted against some idiot from canada (the province of quebec to be exact-- so he already knew french) whose french name was aurelian and who aspired to be a pilot when he grew up. sometimes i wonder if he achieved this goal . . . given what i know of the effort with which he tried to outsmart me that day (and the fact that he also wore a leather bomber jacket to school every single fucking day) i am confident to say that he is probably sitting at his mom's house, playing some video simulation flight game. regardless, he was in this clique of losers (i'm sorry, i know, i know, bitchy, but i like to call a spade a spade) and it was his turn. he got some crazy off-the-wall verb and had to conjugate it in formal, subjective and some other bullshit tense i have no recollection of, nor care enough to remember. i don't recall what he said, but i do remember that it was absolutely fucking wrong judging from the snickers of the class. the pressure was on.
as i saw my teacher flip lovingly through her copy of '501 french verbs' she had probably JUST BOUGHT i began to get nervous and think of the last time i was in this horrible situation. (that being the wake county third grade spelling bee. on the final word, i was in the exact same situation and had successfully spelled all kinds of jackass words and with my adorable smile and boy haircut i was confident . . . overly confident in the hours that my mom had drilled me from her standard 1979 edition of the american heritage dictionary--needless to say, i was wrong. i got out and lost the bee on the word . . . wait for it . . . TRAILER! i had thought it was t-r-a-y-l-e-r. IDIOT, i have never forgiven myself, and i am sure that event, coupled with the fact i couldn't sell more than five boxes of girl scout cookies that year led to the extreme disappointment my mother had in me until 1995, but, i digress.)
anyway, back to the task at hand. my word was assigned. prendre in "indicatif passé simple" -- cakewalk, right? psh, this was child's play! as i began to spell, i hesitated and if that jackass in the section of students who had lost on the first round didn't chuckle and make a comment. oh he did. much to his dismay, this allowed me to refocus and win. player please! i gave him the absolute worst look i could muster through my thick bang victorious joy.
however, from then on, i knew we would be nothing more than adversaries, in the truest of senses. i repaid him by not picking him for an officer position in french club which i knew he so badly wanted. and he returned the favor by not showering for the rest of the year and having crooked teeth. turn about is fair play. we continued on most of our senior year with no notable interactions. we graduated, i went off on my path to become a taxpayer and law-abiding citizen and he, i heard, traveled to chicago to join a roving-actors troupe while attempting to grow a beard. we were both moderately successful.
i was thankful that, being in austin, i would never have to run into him again, or so i thought. our next encounter was his final straw.
the scene? thanksgiving break, freshman year of college. i had traveled home and had been picked up on a random night to attend a party thrown by one of our favorites. being picked up by your best friends with 40's and seeing people you haven't seen in months? amazing. we brought the party. in the apartment, off to the side, in the living room, i notice a tent, fully assembled. not just your run-of-the-mill pup tent used for a quick overnighter . . . an elaborately sized, army green nylon habitat. it was zipped tightly. obviously when someone doesn't want me to do something, i have to do it--especially after multiple dranx, if you will (and we had).
naturally, i began inching closer and closer to this tent of mystery . . . "who in god's name would put up a tent in the middle of a living room?" and other similar questions ran quickly through my mind. i absolutely had to know more. my best friend must have read my mind, and thank god, that's what best friends are for . . . mind-reading and encouragement. she nudged me as if to say "i've got your back, do it. now. right now. you go girl."
whether or not that is what she meant is of no consequence. in a stealth move i unzipped said enigma and stumbled (rolled, fell, whatever) right inside! it was strangely (by strange i mean with the strong aroma of pot and insence mixed with christmas lights and dirty linens) glorious! i looked around, and there, to my left, a SHRINE! on top of that shrine, buddha himself! with the exception of various anarchist manifestos, i oddly felt right at home, so much so, that i sat down, careful not to bump over the LIT CANDLES burning inside and tried to zip the flap, shutting out the cares of the world (which, at this time consisted of two friends trying to bump and grind with no music, audience or encouragement and a home-made keggerator in the background)
good things don't last forever, and i should have known; for no sooner than i had started zipping up than i heard a bellowing "WHO IS IN MY TENT?" from somewhere within a mile radius of this raging party. i mean, i wasn't worried, everyone loves me and its not like there was a sign that said "please do not go into my mini-house-tent and desecrate the things i hold near and dear to my heart" . . . if had i seen that sign, no questions asked, i would have never been called inside. blame buddha.
now, the question was bellowed again, however, this second time, i heard an included sense of anger that was unmistakable. i began to get nervous. i didn't want to die in that tent, or catch on fire, or make buddha mad. i figured if i was silent and didn't move that i would be able to simply let the moment pass and escape sometime later that night.
as i arrive at the above conclusion someone bounds into my space with a certain, mastered delicacy as to not knock over any of this tent's contents, most notably the candles. i looked up and was face to face with my arch nemesis! OF COURSE THIS WAS HIS TENT! it reeked of irresponsibility, a poor english accent and a high school rumor that he only had a year to live (i was not that lucky, obviously). how could i have been so stupid? i tried to escape without letting any part of my skin or clothes touch him, it was a futile attempt! as he began to angrily question me as to why i was in his 'apartment' . . . i responded with smartass answers that 'he didn't even pay taxes, let alone rent' . . . after what seemed like years, i was finally able to escape, with my life, all my limbs and this story.
i carry this event with me always, thanking god that i am alive to tell this cautionary tale. since that night, i have carried pepper spray as a safety precaution for, as i'm sure you can imagine, i never ever want to be caught in a dank buddhist shrine tent without protection. i recommend the same for you all.
perhaps i should write to the fellow seeking an arch nemesis in san fran. tell him my story, try to save him the danger i have seen.
as they say, 'fortune favors the bold.'
i mean really, don't even give me shit about that ending. how do you top that story?
you're right, you don't.