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True Confessions September 21, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius.

No matter how many times I protest that my life between the ages of 15 and 25 wasn’t all that interesting, it is still suggested from time to time that more tales of my colorfully checkered past need to be properly blogged.

I wonder if everyone has the same experiences that I do when looking back at their own past.  It seems like whenever the occasion arises to share chapters from my well-lived life, I always have stories to tell, yet when I look at events as a whole–the Big Picture–my life seems pretty dull.

But today I’m rethinking that idea in light of something my sister wrote to me in a letter many years ago.  She likened her job at the time to a tour in Vietnam: long periods of mind-numbing boredom punctuated by heart-stopping excitement.  The hours of routine don’t make for a compelling war story, and that’s how it is with my life, too.  When I think of my life the way I would consider any memoir, it seems natural to mention the boring bits so that they can be officially set aside.  That, of course, leaves the stories.

The people in my current Real Life know lots of my tales at this point, and still from time to time insist that they’d make great blog fodder.  I can’t argue with that.  When you strip away the tedium, in my case what’s left is pretty goddamn entertaining.  But the problem in a nutshell is that a lot of the stuff I’d love to talk about on this blog are wildly off-color and in some cases, truly scandalous.

You know, the BEST kind of stories.  The kind of stories where you pee your pants laughing, say “OH MY GOD” at least three times, admit, “Wait, I don’t understand…” and a week later think of it randomly in the shower or a stall in the men’s room and laugh out loud about it all over again.

Alas, as these things so often go and as I’ve said before right here on this very blog, many of these stories of epic debauchery can’t be told in public even if I change the names to protect the wicked.  You see, the things I confess openly to being a part of–things for which I require no absolution–always involve someone else.  And in most cases, I don’t have that someone else’s permission to tell the story in a public forum.  Now, lest you be thinking that “Oh, no one will be able to figure out who you’re talking about,” I can only assure you that my tales are…unique.  They stand out.  There’s nothing particularly generic about some of the capers I’ve been privy to–and a willing and active participant in.

My days of throwing caution to the wind are few and far between, thanks entirely to the Internet age.  One night, after swapping some truly ribald stories of personal defilement and defining moments in substance abuse with a friend, I made the comment that I was so glad that I didn’t grow up in the age of the camera-phone.   I have a feeling I might not have been nearly as brave or as stupid if I thought my picture would wind up on a blog the next day, and my comrade agreed that there would be truly horrifying things on Facebook tagged with our names had that been the case.

Though, just between you, me, and the cat, I say “horrifying” but truth be told, I find them entertaining.  I have no regrets.  Oh, I have a few “I can’t believe I did that,” moments, and even a couple of “I’m not sure why I’ve never been to jail…or rehab” stories, but I don’t regret any of them.  In fact, if I could do it all again, I’d do it bigger, and it’s for damn sure I’d do it better.  And more often.

This has been one weird-ass week, my friends.  It’s been a week of rampant story-telling the likes of which I’ve never seen.  You know how it is when you’re chatting with a friend and you bring up something that just happened: perhaps you mention off-handedly that you might have recently had a wee bit too much of the drink and did something or other that was apparently funny to the people you were with.  Your friend agrees, and says, “That reminds me of the time my friends and I…” and you howl with laughter because your friend is your friend because he’s fucking funny as shit in the first place.

So then, secure in the knowledge that he has friends as dangerously stupid as your own, you tell him a story that involved Wild Turkey, several illegal substances, and a stick of butter and he nearly pisses his pants laughing.  Then he tells you about…see that?  I almost went too far.  GUACAMOLE.

If it had been just once, one random couple of hours of shared delight in our misspent youths, knowing that we both turned out quite alright in the end, it might not have registered, but I’m starting to think these things come in threes.  Or fours, even.

A few nights later, different friends, slightly different location, and the whole thing kicked off with “Tell the butter story.”

Please don’t comment bomb me with “Tell the butter story.”  It involves some serious substance abuse and a class B felony, and since there were at least five other people involved (that I can remember), telling it on this particular platform seems like a bad idea.  Though I can’t imagine the friends of the people involved don’t already know that story.  It’s fucking awesome in so many ways.  Still.

So I told the butter story for the second time that week, and got the usual “OH MY GOD” and sat back to enjoy the looks of combined amusement and horror that inevitably ensue.  And it started off another round of “This one time, at a frat party…” stories.

I love my friends.  Seriously.  You are some funny bastards, and the fact that we share senses of humor that are ridiculously skewed, added to the habit of flashing back to inappropriately funny things at even more inappropriate times just adds the cherry to this luscious karmic cake.  The fact that your stories are often as horrifyingly funny as my own thrills me to my very marrow.

Now, two thoroughly entertaining “I can’t believe I’m not dead” tale-swapping sessions in one week is remarkable.  Unless you’re at a reunion or something, I suppose, but not in day to day life.  Then again, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s your normal modus operandi, but it’s not mine.

I suppose I should have seen it coming when, on the very next night, what started as a casual gathering of a third group of totally different friends devolved into a wine-soaked discussion of virginity-loss and numbers of sexual partners.  At that point I was starting to wonder if I had unknowingly entered into some sort of altered state.  Not that I have any problem with that.  My state has been altered from time to time, so it’s not like I’m a stranger to it.  So I shared…not the butter story this time, since it had no bearing on the conversation, but other stories entirely, and I again managed to be a standout in a crowd.

I believe I am officially what you would call A Woman With a Past.   It’s a good thing, too, since my present is so rarely noteworthy.  Rarely.

Case in point:  Monday night, after one final parting story from a not-entirely-unexpected source, I re-ran the list of the men and boys who have had supporting roles and cameo appearances in my life, and went to bed secure in the knowledge that I knew everyone I had known.  In the Biblical sense.  I had categorized them, put them in chronological (and in one case, synchronous) order, and had separated out the ones best described with a Clinton-esque “I did not have sexual relations with that man,” caveat.  You know, depending on what your definition of “is” is.

Tuesday morning at 6:14, my eyes snapped open.  I was WRONG.  I had forgotten one, and in a rush it aaaaaaalllllll came back.  I remembered where we were, how we went from talking, to flirting, to making out, and how “It’s warmer in my room” was all the encouragement I needed at the time.  I also remember how I had sense enough to go back to my own bed at some point, thus avoiding the walk of shame, and how neither of us ever spoke of it again.  And how he had a girlfriend who came up that very weekend to celebrate their anniversary.  Niiiiiice.

Dude, I remember lots of details about that night, right down to what I was wearing, but for the life of me, I can’t get a picture of this guy’s face in my head.  I couldn’t remember his name at all.

This is what I get for my smugness about being able to remember all my conquests.  It’s what I get for laughing at the notion that one would need a friend to remind you that the person that just walked into the bar looks familiar because you once nailed her like a two-by-four.  With God as my witness, if that guy showed up on my front porch right now, I wouldn’t recognize him.

Well, that started me going through my hope chest.  I have pictures and letters and playbills and notes people have left for me from everywhere I’ve worked and every school I’ve attended.  I may be a level 4 hoarder, but the upside to that is that there’s some great, funny, heartwarming things in there.  Not to mention a tangible record of shit I did.  Useful information to have when you consider that I may or may not have killed off too many brain cells in the intervening years to remember everything adequately.

I swear to you that at one point I had everything organized.    My plan was to eventually put everything neatly into scrapbooks.  In the meantime, though, I tend to dive in looking for something and mess up my own filing system.  I promise myself every time that one of these days I’ll go in there when I have time and get it in order so stuff is easy to find, but…yeah.  That never happens.  So as of yesterday, it’s a big old jumbled mess.

I know I have playbills from that particular summer–all the summers I worked in stock, in fact.   Ever since yesterday, I felt like if I could just figure out his name, the face would follow.

I was wrong.  I did find the book with all my pictures and playbills and I know his name.  But the one group pic I have is taken from too far away to make out features.

As a side note, I did find a picture of another carpenter that I distinctly remember snogging in the car on the way to a party, so there’s yet another gap in my memory somewhat accounted for.    I had totally forgotten about him, too.  I wish I were still capable of blushing about such things, but alas.  I am a woman with no sense of shame.

I’m not sure exactly when I started making better decisions about my life, or why.  Having sex in public no longer seems like fun.  I haven’t considered stealing a road sign in years.  I turn down tequila shots when they’re offered because I know I don’t recover from them like I used to.  Now, when someone says, “I triple-dog dare you,” I tell them to fuck right off.

And the only wild oats I have left are from Trader Joe’s.



1. Southern - September 21, 2011

Alas, my greatest stories aren’t about the sex (although the sex was more than pretty good) I seem to have a had a habit of running CIA level covert ops and campaigns of righteous vengeance. Although, now that I think about it…there was a Honey Pot operation on more than one occasion.

I’d tell my stories, but then I’d have to kill you.

2. Trillian42 - September 21, 2011

Heh. I have a missing name, too. And it’s bugging the hell out of me, because I have first AND last names, plus approximate date ranges for every other one. And I know for a fact that I used to be able to list them all, so I can’t figure out when that one name dropped out of my memory. I keep hoping it will hit me at a random moment.

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