The half-moon is the apostrophe between the Z and the S. The heavy breathing of the monster and skeleton sent the bed-skirt flying upwards, covering my exposed legs. The howling wind came through the opening of the glass like a straw and ripped the sheepskin right off my hide. Sleep is the cousin of death because I woke up sweating bullets hearing “ant ant ant” from my alarm clock. The time was handcuffs, handcuffs, handcuffs. 3:33. The colon between the numbers were batting it’s eye lashes like it wanted a conjugal visit. I had 13 inches free; my other foot and both my hands were tied up. An imperfect 10 was getting even with me. It’s like the lump transferred from the oddball to the throat how I was engaging in emotional eating. I couldn’t swallow because I knew this She-Devil stuck her forked-tongue in my breakfast in bed. The blood is the only part of the steak the vampire likes. Why does Cupid shoot arrows without good directions attached to it? Because everywhere I go makes me weak in the knees and I keep falling for a head over heels, whose favorite piece of the shoe is the shank. Maybe I wouldn’t be in these situations if my favorite part changed from breast to sole? Skeleton hands wrapped around her ankles and pulled the little closet freak under. The time I copped I spent wisely freeing myself with the 3rd little piggy. Got out the big house and the first thing on my to-do list wasn’t a brick house with wolf pussy.
I want a check sign next to a signed check. Number 2. I wanna walk in the bank like my shit don’t stank. 3:33. I want fuzzy handcuffs slapped on my wrist by Fine M. Banker for not taking off my hat and shades. You see, the hat for the one-eyed-monster I call Mike Wazowski. The shades to block sonny boy and little miss sunshine. But I’ll gladly take off my pants to show you I don’t have a gun in my pocket. But I do keep a pair of red striped white socks stuffed in my pants; Get your mind out the gutter. I know what you’re thinking. “Them there socks make up 9 inches of the 13 inches from earlier.” Yeah, you’re right …. because I was referring to my shoe size, not my penis, genius. And I know what you’re not thinking judging a book by its cover, “He gotta put ‘em somewhere since it’s a fashion faux pas to wear ‘em with Sperrys.” This reminds me of how much you and your girl got in common. My ensemble was the topic of our conversation last night on the phone. She asked, “What you got on?”
I didn’t want to write this. I didn’t want to write this because I don’t want to be responsible for my uncle having 964 new cousins. But I have to write this. I have to write this to flush these annoying thoughts out of head in hopes of this shit sticking to the page. Thoughts like, “If I had that money I would buy this, I would buy that. I would do this, I would do that.” Why the hell am I counting and spending another man’s money?! I only did this probably twice in my life and the thoughts were in passing, but this time it’s been consistent ever since I was told. I know of millionaires and billionaires, but the key words are “know of.” I don’t truly know them. I never met them. I don’t know if they look like their pictures, if they’re shorter in person, if their breath stink. But this hit closer to home. A home I’ve been to countless times. A home I’ve spent the night at. A home I’ve spent holidays at. A home with a backyard I’m scared to go in because of a big ass black dog named Missy. Please, somebody tell me! What is this phenomenon called? Where something impactful (bad or good) happens to a relative and you think it happened to you too, like y’all share the same body, the same mind, the same lifestyle. It’s weird. And people, please take a harder look at your junk mail. I was cleaning up and shredding papers when I came across a check from a settlement payment. I was a Settlement Class Member in a class action lawsuit from the time I was employed at this warehouse. By the time I saw the check it was 3 weeks passed the 150 days I had to cash it. Only $13.07 but I needed that little money to go with some other little money to make some little big money, ya feel me? Sigh. Without further ado …
He deserved it.
He has a history of winning. In the mid 2000’s, he was rewarded $20,000 from a court settlement due to a job-related incident. Weeks after his recent lottery winnings of a half of million, he played again and won thousands. In the 90’s, he won over the heart of a woman who keeps my heart clogged up with lasagna and cheesecake: my aunt. Unfortunately, he also has a history of loss. In the early 2000’s, I lost my cousin, their first child together. 3 years ago, they were displaced after their apartment unit went up in flames.
I don’t believe in it.
The only time I ever used a coin, a key, a fingernail to scratch off a lottery ticket is when this car company sent me some mail that said if I get wam-wam-wam in a row I would win a truck. During this time I was naïve to marketing tactics companies use to get foot traffic in their store, so, of course, I got excited when I got wam-wam-wam in order. Know the first person I call? My favorite aunt. She took me to the dealership and I expected to leave off the lot in separate cars. The only thing I left with I didn’t come with was a sucker. No, seriously, they gave me some candy. I didn’t understand the symbolism behind that then, but as of writing, you better believe I do. Although, buying lottery tickets won’t break the bank it’s something I don’t want making my bank either. This has nothing to do with the horror stories you heard about past lotto winners. I’m an entrepreneur and I feel I have a better chance at selling a million scratch devices. Let me pitch you! What do you think of a newly designed coin used solely for scratching off the UV ink on lottery tickets? Instead of dead presidents and monuments no one really visits, how about on the front of the coin it’s a past lotto winner and on the back of the coin it’s a gas station? Insanely great, right? This will be your lucky coin, your lucky charm! 100 on 4 please!
It’s my way of pretending I never heard the news to begin with.
I’m not asking which convenience store he went to. I’m not asking which numbers he played. I’m not trying to act like I didn’t get mad that time he splashed water on me at the pool. I’m not trying to remind him of all the times he playfully asked me to borrow money when I was a kid. I’m not trying to sit around talking about basketball all day and how much I love LeBron James (I will confess my love for the King to any peasant). I’m not trying to educate my aunt on how dirt is more conspicuous on black cars and offer to wash her new Camaro, annnnnd ask to go for a spin in it. I’m not trying to babysit my cousin (their surviving child). My grandma never came over to my place that day and the first thing she said to me after not talking to me in 2 weeks was not “My favorite son-in-law just won $440,000 playing the lottery.” It’s none of my business! It’s none of my business! It’s none of YOUR business, woman!
Would you start playing the lottery after a family member won a significant amount of money? Why or why not?
Har+new: Why are you always looking in the mirror?
Har-old: Because I look crazy talking to you without one.
Har+new: Ha! You do more “listening” than talking.
Har-old: Okay. Don’t you want me to be a better listener? Isn’t that one of the qualities you’re helping me develop?
Har+new: Yes, but no, that’s not what I meant. You “listen” as an excuse to look.
Har+new: Since when did blowing kisses while another person is talking make one a great listener? You can’t walk pass a mirror without looking in it, can you?
Har-old: Yes I can!
Har+new: Ha! Not with peripheral vision, you can’t. Remember when you worked at Smith & Nephew? That day you were headed to the restroom and saw Lauren waiting in the lobby? Instead of approaching her and telling her how much you were crushing on her, you ran to the restroom to make sure you looked presentable a-k-a making sure your nose was booger-free. By the time you got back she was long gone.
Har-old: Who knows how long she was sitting there when I saw her? They probably finally saw her after making her wait forever.
Har+new: Or you was in the mirror forever. Hmmm? And when did you start to care if people thought you were crazy or not? Hmmm?
Har-old, this is how I knew Now Wife was the one:
I use to date this girl who was beautiful, I mean stunning, gorgeous, sexy, hot, fine as hell, OH MY GOD BROTHER! But I can only give her those physical compliments, you know, because she was dumb as a rock, man. This broad was … this broad was a complete idiot, Har-old. And one day while we were out on a date I saw my friend Rob. He approached us before we got seated. And you know how if a buddy catches you on a hot date with a hot chick he doesn’t try to take up too much time with small talk but the little time he does take and the small talk he does give is staring at her and complimenting her looks. And, I expected that, you know. And, I was okay with it, ya know … until:
Rob: Har-old, she is beautiful. I mean stunning, gorgeous, sexy, hot, fine as hell, OH MY GOD BROTHER. You, lucky dog, you!
Rob: Well, I will get out of you kids way, and let y’all enjoy the rest of y’all’s night.
Har+new: Hold on! Wait a minute! “You, lucky dog, you???”
Rob: What’s that?
Har+new: “You, lucky dog, you?”
Har+new: Rob, you have known me for many, many years. You know how hard I worked. You know how I busted my ass to get to where I’m at. To get to the top. To get to this position. To establish my wealth. To make my ideas reality. The blood, sweat, tears! YOU KNOW THAT!
Rob: Har+new, calm down. Calm down, brother.
Har+new: And you know if I was a chick you would totally bang me. This girl … let go of my arm … this girl is a freaking dummy. She may have the beauty but she doesn’t have the brains to match …
I went on for another 10 minutes like this. Suffice to say I got a glass of water thrown in my face. I was SO angry at this girl’s looks that I wanted the next girl to be the smartest girl I’ve ever met with total disregard for her looks. And I found her! While we were out on a date I saw Rob again. This time his little time and small talk was ALL directed at me.
Rob: Well, I will get out of you kids away, and let y’all enjoy the rest of y’all’s night.
Har+new: Hey man! Where are you going???
Har+new: You not gone compliment my date on how she looks?
Har+new: What you mean why?
Rob: Brother, look at her.
Har+new: *turns head* DAMN, YOU UGLY! Let go of my arm! No, Rob, no! She is smart as hell. She has 4 degrees, okay, Rob. FOUR! She knows 6 active languages and two more arcane and dead ones. You hear me?! Have a conversation with it, HER!. HER! Have one, Rob!
Rob: *scared look on his face* Please, no. I don’t want to. Please don’t make me have one. Please! I beg of you.
I went on for another 5 minutes like this … trying to get Rob to have a conversation with that thing. Suffice to say I got a glass of water thrown in my face … Rob did too. Again, I was SO angry at having a beauty without brains to match or a brainiac without beauty to match that I wanted the next girl to be the best of both worlds. That’s right. I was done being tacky. And, I found her … Now Wife. When Rob caught us out in public you should’ve seen it. His little time and small talk was evenly distributed between me and her. And by this time the phrase “You, Lucky Dog, You” was an inside joke between Rob and I. We told each other whenever we caught the other out on a date or if we talked too extensively about a girl we would say the phrase. And that’s when IT happened:
Rob: Well, I will get out of you kids way, and let y’all enjoy the rest of y’all’s night.
Har+new: Rob, you forgetting something.
Rob: Oh yeah!
Rob gets between us, disconnecting our hand holding, grabs her left arm, lifts her hand up and kisses it and turns to me and says:
Rob: Har+new, I’ve known you for many, many years. She is by far the most attractive woman you’ve ever been with. You, lucky dog, you! Hahahaha!
Now Wife: Shut the hell up! Both of you! *looks at Rob* Let go of my arm! I’m Not Just A Pretty Face. I appreciate the compliment, I do. But *grabs her face* I’m just renting this for a while. But *points index finger at her head* this is mines to own.
She went on for another 22 minutes like this. Wow! Suffice to say a glass of water was thrown in my face … by myself. I thought I was dreaming.
Maybe you should cover the mirror with post it notes if you can’t stop looking in it. LOOK ON IT! Those are the words that aren’t backwards. Accept my suggestion. You’ll thank *holds right palm up* you’ll blow a kiss at me later.
P.S. Har-old, let’s have a good Friday and make history this weekend strong-end.