Three Twenty-Eight a.m., Sunday, 21 August 2005, But Really Nine Thirty-Two a.m., Sunday, 22 August 2021
Stu is home. He was not home before he sat down to type this. But he is home now. Stu is sleepy. Notice that he writes in the present tense and in the third person. Does he succeed? Observe how he avoids the use of contractions. Does he fail? Know that his real name is not “Stu.” Does it matter? Although Stu tends to stew he is never up this late or this early. And yet, and so, or nevertheless, apart from typing this, Stu finds the energy to stand on a chair and smear the north wall of his bedroom with the guts of some many legged bug. Yes, some many legged bug had the audacity to crawl up his wall. And now it is smeared: the bug, its guts, the wall. Well, smeared not ALL over his wall. Most bugs, in this day and age, are not so large. (Compared to walls.) Add to the lengthy list yet another completely valid reason for why Stu should have the walls of his room repainted. But he waffles. Why? Because waffles are tasty. No, he waffles because he does not want to lose his privacy to a painter, nor does he want to lose time repainting the walls himself. Stu could relocate. But you know what They say: “Moving is akin to mourning the recent death of a loved one.” Whether Stu needs must migrate to a different room or to a different address, it makes no difference. He is, in the extreme, loss averse. Occasionally, he mourns the loss of some hefty, perfectly solid stool he flushes down the toilet. (Rest assured, such grief is brief.)
Beware: Stu does not intend to do much, if any, proofreading and/or editing of this post. (Well, that was the original intent. What you are reading now is a doctored / polished version of what “Stu” posted sixteen years ago. In other words ((because Stu struggles with choice)), this is a tinkered with, adulterated, massaged, fiddled with, and most assuredly punched up blog post. We have left a few grammatical curios intact. When we use “we” we use it in the royal sense. Wee-Wee. When we use “wee-wee” we use it in the urinating sense.) Stu plans to go on writing until the paperboy drops the Sunday Tribune at the bottom of the driveway.
Now playing through Stu’s headphones: Schubert’s incidental music for Rosamunde (D. 797). Stu could blast it through his stereo’s speakers without disturbing Pop’s slumber. Say you drop a Steinway from the stratosphere. Say it craters the patio beside Pop on his Adirondack chair. There he is, reading the sports section of the Sunday Trib. What does he hear? Maybe little more than a C major chord. Instead of looking down, he would probably look up. Betty (Pop’s “companion”) would sit bolt upright in bed if a water drop hit the drain rim of the next door neighbor’s basement sink. When Betty sleeps over, Pop’s snores drive her downstairs to the family room sofa.
Stu yawns. It is not his first yawn of the night. Stu sometimes yawns his mouth so wide he will fuck up his jaw. There is then a pain. He must massage it back into place — the jaw, not the pain. You cannot massage pain, silly. Or perhaps you can. If you massaged a cut on your pinky you are massaging pain. No? This is not to suggest that such massaging is an effective approach to pain management. No, but you might, in effect, massage more blood out of the wound. Stu has had this yawning-jaw / jaw-yawning problem for decades. It is a good thing. In a way. The pain. It serves as a reminder of the many advantages in keeping one’s mouth shut.
Stu keeps thinking he wrote “message” instead of “massage” in the paragraph above.
Now — this second — as Stu bangs out these very words, it occurs to him that all of this, all that he has written so far, and all that he intends to write, is stupid, idiotic. Is he not dilly-dallying? Beating around the unpruned bush? Glossing over the juicy stuff? The Oreo cookie double stuff? The stuff clogging your ears, or that will clog your ears by the time your hair — assuming you are fortunate enough not to lose it — turns gray? They call it “wax.” But I ask you, would you use it to burn a candle or shine your car?
Stu is losing you, dear reader, if he has not lost you already. He suspects you never clicked on this blog post in the first place. Why would you? Google probably misdirected you to the homepage of this website. But why? What is Google’s master plan? To distract you, perhaps. But what from? And why would it want to do that? Are we not, collectively, the proverbial frog in the pot of water brought slowly to boil? Consider the evidence. Frogs do not succumb to collective denial, delusions of grandeur, or even cat videos.
Why are Stu’s neck hairs so difficult to shave off? What is the trick? There are two kinds of men in this world: those with smooth necks and those with prickly necks. Those with smooth necks probably attended Ivy League schools. They are the ones to watch out for. You cannot trust a man with a smooth neck. They have not suffered. Every time Stu shaves he spends hours in front of the mirror yanking out neck hairs with a pair of tweezers. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE WASTE OF TIME.
Never mind that nobody cares. “If they care,” Stu asks his mirror, “why do they keep quiet?”
And why is it always a “pair” of tweezers? Or, for that matter, a “pair” of pants? A “pair” of socks or shoes or eyes or boobs or mittens makes perfect sense. BUT WHO LOSES A PANT LEG? If you snap a “pair” of tweezers apart, you are not left with two tweezes.
Once, way back in high school, Stu shared a bus seat with a big bully. The bully posed a question: “Why not shave those hairs above the bridge of your nose?” Indeed, until sophomore year, Stu was a victim of a raging unibrow. At least the bully cared. Bullies get a bad rap. Unlike the rest of us, bullies have the courage to express their opinions. Bullies tend to have one major problem, though. They often go too far. But quite a few of us tend to adore certain kinds of bullies. Many of them end up hosting highly rated talk shows on AM radio or cable TV.
Stu wishes he knew the right way to dress and behave in public. Should he push his freaky creepiness to the limit, or should he try to “tone it down” and “blend in”? But who will notice him if he does not have a unibrow?
Stu had one beer tonight. One was enough. He had it, that beer, a Miller High Life, at ImprovOlympic. Curiously, you cannot legally call it that anymore. Rather, it can no longer call itself ImprovOlympic. This is completely stupid — unless the “legal” Olympics adds competitive, comedic, long-form improvisation to its lineup. Legally, to the world, ImprovOlympic now goes by the name, “iO.” Anyway, that was shortly after midnight (the beer, not the name-change).
Stu cannot focus. This is true of the moment, but it is also the story of his life. Pop’s newspaper will not be out there for another hour or two, but Stu’s eyelids feel heavy. He could lie down for a little while. His futon is right behind him, already unfolded. Maybe he will set an alarm.
Dear curiously curious reader, Stu begs your forgiveness. This was not a particularly illuminating, amusing, sickening, horrifying, weird, and/or truly pathetic read, was it? But having read it makes you all the more special, since few eyes will ever grace the bottom of this post. On your deathbed, you can say to your friends, family, lovers, caregivers, nurses, physical therapists, urologists, attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, plumbers, dominatrixes (past and present), pet goldfish (past and present), Siri, and/or Alexa, “I have read all the way to the bottom of the insipid blog post FireVaney published on August 29, 2021; and I would wager my entire estate that you have not.” Please feel free to revel in their entirely predictable response: “Who?” You are encouraged to point at them and titter. Scratch that. You are hereby strongly encouraged to point and titter shortly before (ideally, seconds before) you kick the bucket. Caveat: Point and titter at anything other than a TV screen (or its equivalent). If a statistically significant number of expiring mortal souls did this, consider the spiritual and cultural impact on all of humanity.