Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

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Virgin

“No, dude. Lindsey Teafield last summer. Ask anyone.”

 

“Nice, dude.” He nodded, impressed. “You hear that, Logan?” He looked over to the corner of locker room where Logan, the youngest and smallest kid on our team, was sitting. “Should be inspiring. Can happen to anyone.” He shot me a smirk.

 

“Please.” I said. “Look at me and look at Logan.” I ran my hand through my cold, sweaty hair, the odor of youth and hockey emanating from everything. “It’s not random. Sometimes virgins just stay virgins. Like Logan, or Coach Randy.”

 

Coach Randy had always been one to joke around—he’d said he’d buy us a keg if we won Districts or he’d ask for suggestions on drug dealers, always saying he needed a new “weed guy.” The Sunday after the homecoming dance he’d remarked that our goalie smelled “a lot like pepper spray.”

 

Everyone had heard my accusation. The locker room quieted. All eyes fixed on Coach Randy. He stopped untying his skates. I immediately regretted what I’d said.

 

Coach Randy wasn’t smiling. He locked eyes with me from across the room where him and Darren, his son and our star right-winger, were sitting. Everyone had stopped now. I felt my fists preemptively clench.

 

I knew he could tell I was afraid. He let my anxiety linger for another few seconds before cracking a smile. “I’m no virgin.” He let out little laugh. “Come on, guys,” he said, throwing his arm around his son. “I’ve got proof.”

 

Coach Randy stood up then and dug through the pocket of his jeans. He retrieved a smart phone and stumbled over to me in half-untied skates. Browsing, he found what he was looking for and nodded, assured. He tapped the middle of the screen and handed it to me.

 

There was now no question about Coach Randy’s virginity status.

 

Many more questions, however, sprung to mind. The cowboy hat and bandolier seemed odd wardrobe choices for Coach Randy in this outdoor amateur porn. It, also, was never explained why was he was periodically firing a handgun in the air.

 

Who was the woman in the video? She definitely wasn’t either of Darren’s stepmoms. Why did she have one of those racist, inaccurate Native American headdresses on? Theories on a kooky wardrobe coincidence, creative differences, or misguided political satire were all briefly considered. By the way, why was she referring to Coach Randy as “Zodiac Killer” whenever the camera panned to the date on what I presumed that day’s newspaper?

 

Coach Randy was a lot of things, but definitely not a virgin.

 

 

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Today My Name is Triumph

Denial, anger, bargaining, and, finally, depression—yes, I’ve been through it all this morning.  The tears have started coming and I don’t think they’re going to stop.  Not now, not today, why did it have to be today of all days?  It’s awful, I’m a wreck, and I can’t stop shaking.  No, this isn’t the day Fox cancelled the Glutton Bowl, it’s not the day McDonald’s discontinued the McPizza, and it isn’t even the day my cousin debunked pro wrestling for me.

No, today is the day of the 5K I had agreed to do eight months ago.

“It’s so far in the future, I’ll just agree to get them off my back, and, by the time it rolls around, I’ll have gotten new friends, or they’ll have forgotten about it, or, maybe, I’ll have succumbed to the sweet, warm blanket of death by then.”

Yeah, there’s no chance I thought I’d actually have to participate.

Trudging up to the crowds of happy, fit people was rough enough.  So I don’t own one of those fancy one-piece workout suits that aerodynamically shapes the contours of my penis.  No, I have a pair of pajama pant cutoffs and an old shirt that says, “I hate Mondays, but not as much as I hate Garfield.”

I’m getting a lot of stares; clearly, I look out of place, or everyone here has a penchant for workweek beginnings and comics drawn by Jim Davis.

I don’t want to run, but, fortunately, and much to the chagrin of my friends, Clipboard Guy says I can sign be one of the walkers competing.  I keep hearing that the only people who walk are the perpetually preggers, the robustly obese children, and the geriatric polio survivors.  Perfect, I have successfully identified my athletic equivalents.

The herd of people migrates to the starting line and  I’m realizing how much I don’t want to get sweaty.   I know if I start trying too hard my thighs are going to start rubbing together in some seriously extreme chub rub.  Eh, that’s pretty redundant; I’ve never had chub rub that wasn’t seriously extreme.

The gun goes off and I’m terrified.  Why couldn’t they just say go or use a whistle to start the race instead of that sawed-off shotgun?  People whoosh by me—their already-sweaty arms flailing and their bodily fluids just rubbing off all over my pasty skin and face.

Two hundred boring steps later and my brow is sweatier than John Goodman’s at a mayonnaise-eating contest—I must have gone at least 2K by now.

The realization is settling in. I don’t really want to tempt this life-or-mess situation, so I’ll just walk nice and easy.  It’s like an old car—you don’t want to give it too much gas and risk something coming loose.

Many boring, television-less minutes later and I see spectators handing out cups from the sideline.  I mosey myself over there, hoping that at least one of those cups has Dr. Pepper in it, however, if they not down with DP I guess I’ll just ask the bartender, or whomever’s giving them out, for a triple whiskey.

The first cup I grab just has water in it and I immediately throw it away. Okay, I don’t want to waste anymore cups incase some tasteless freak actually prefers water, so now I’m going to start poking around through all these cups to find Dr. Pepper.  No, nada, nope, all water so far.  What do I have to do; I’d even settle for a Pibb Extra at this point, but no, it’s all goddamn water!

Clearly irritated, the runners keep brushing up against me with their sweaty slick bodies and it’s disgusting.  This is just like Family Day at the water park: constant violations of personal space, utterly unbearable, and notably free of Dr. Pepper and whiskey.

I think I’m close to the end, but my doody chute feels wetter and deeper than the Mariana Trench.  It’s simply become an abyss of cavernous, dark, unexplored depths from which I’m trying to hold back a faceless monstrosity.  In agony, I let out this abhorrent screech—seriously, the sound is insufferable; it’s like a cacophony of screeching cats, or screeching cars, or a young Dustin Diamond.

My dogs are really barking at this point, and by that I mean I don’t think these Hush Puppies were the ideal walking shoe.

The finish line is near and a crowd has gathered.  Surely, they are likely through most of the official awards and paper-plate awards by now, as I think I am the only one still on the course.  I cross the finish line and am immediately dissatisfied with the shameful lack of applause and pomp.  Clipboard Guy grabs me and my head begins to spin.  Did they know I was using performance enhancers?  How could they even know about those Jell-O energy suppositories I bought before the race?  I’m going to have plead ignorance or insanity on this one.

Instead, Clipboard Guy throws me on the top of the podium, likely for some public shaming.  I look to my left and right and there aren’t any contestant standing on second place or third place pedestals.  The announcer’s voice booms into a megaphone as he announces that I, Justin Gawel, have won first place for walking men aged twenty to thirty by default, as I was the only one who signed up.

The crowd sighs; clearly disgusted that part of their life was wasted looking at me received a medal.

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