I spent every weekend of my life at what people my age called “shows,” but I guess the new little shitheads would call them “local concerts,” or something stupid and defining like that. I went and watched my friends bands, some better than others, with names like For The Fallen Dreams, Angelic Vomit, or an obscure, sad, angsty, word, play guitar in the lunch hall of some poor, unsuspecting church or VFW. As we got older, we aged out of churches and moved up to a dark, dank, hole in the wall bar in Lansing. Mac’s Bar. It was gross. You don’t sit on the toilet seats and you NEVER want to see it in the daylight. My friends liked to jump around, get sweaty, punch people, and listen to loud music and I liked to photograph them all doing it all. They would pay me $10 and it was enough to buy a pack of whatever cigarettes were on sale, that an older friend would buy me, for the week. I was happy, angsty, artsy, and I found my bracket in society.
When I made the poor decision to attend art school in a city larger than my small town, rural farm community, I was on top of the fucking world. All I will say about this time period is this: my poor roommates. Between the parties with cheap liquor, crazy shenanigans, like stealing all the phonebooks and super gluing things to the sidewalks, I went as crazy as an angsty girl from a small town-moved city could. I hung around with people who were copies of my friends from home with different names and faces, attended the same sort of shows, and dated a lot of assholes. Then one-day, things changed.
One of the assholes I was currently seeing decided to bring a friend over, unbeknownst to me. So when there was a knock on my apartment door later on that night, I opened it expecting the face of current asshole. Not the face looking back at me. He was tall. At eyelevel, I saw a crusty looking neck bandana and below that were harness boots. He smelled a lot like beer. Through long, crazy hair he met my stare with some of the bluest eyes and longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen, before looking over my shoulder, seemingly annoyed. It was such an unusual combination that caught me so off-guard, I didn’t really know what to say or do. I stood there like a total idiot for a moment. So there’s my excuse for staring at the hottest guy I’d ever seen who happened to walk into my apartment that night. It’s not a good one, but at least it’s honest.
After they seated themselves on my stock Ikea couch that came with my first, shared, furnished apartment, I tried. I really tried to not ogle the hot guy, who was later introduced as ‘Chris,’ on my couch. I was seeing his friend; I couldn’t be that kind of shitty person. I was though. I was a shitty person. But even drunk, he was unfortunately pretty observant.
“What the fuck are you looking at?” he spat.
I’ve had people jokingly say things of this nature to me, but never waiting for a serious answer.
SHIT. SHIT. SHIT. WHAT DO I SAY?! FUCK, JUST SAY SOMETHING AT LEAST!
I honestly don’t know what I said because I was in such a state of panic. I think I maybe shrugged and offered them both cupcakes like a total fucking idiot, but as I handed him a strawberry flavored Betty Crocker cupcake with ridiculous sprinkles, I realized two things. There was no way I was going to forget about him anytime soon and it was time to break off whatever I had with his friend.
To the asshole who brought the crusty guy over, I’m sorry it didn’t work out with us, but fuck. Thank you for bringing over the smelly, drunk dude. I owe it to you.
A little while after I had broken off whatever kind of non-committal, but still kind of committed, relationship I had going with the hot guys friend, I opened my Facebook to a friend request. It was Chris. Between messages and eventually texts, I asked if he wanted to come over and I would make him dinner.
“What’s your favorite food?” I asked in one digital exchange.
“Chicken and rice,” he texted back.
I turned to the trusty Internet and searched for any kind of chicken recipes that sounded better than Shake ‘n Bake and found one that caught my eye. Chicken with a pineapple and kiwi salsa, over rice. With the recipe found, we settled on Friday, 3 fucking days away. I was excited, apprehensive, and really hoping I didn’t have to answer what the fuck I was looking at this time around.