1. Salt on lettuce makes my tongue swell.
Not making this up. And it’s just salt and lettuce. If I’m having a salad with other ingredients, or lettuce on a burger, or any situation where there’s additional players on the food team, it’s all good, nothing happens.
And it’s not super-major, life-jeopardizing swelling where I suddenly drop to the floor and writhe about in a desperate bid for attention. It’s just enough inflation that I slur my words a bit. So if you’re talking to me on the phone and my speech is garbled, I’m either drunk or I’ve tasted of the forbidden, single-condiment leaf. Make notes accordingly.
2. I’m not a real big fan of Ben Stiller.
I’ve tried, I really have. I understand that he has a certain caché among intellectuals, and some of my friends and relatives roll on the floor in continuous laughter throughout his entire movies. But I just don’t get him. I don’t laugh, and I’m bored. Maybe it’s my particular genetic makeup. Or the salt. Just don’t make me watch him. Please.
3. I have an infatuation with Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour.
I’ve read it at least 10 times since it came out years ago. I’m just about to finish it up once more on my Kindle. The rest of the books in that series pale in comparison, and some of them are almost an ordeal to get through. (Anne, honey, if you don’t have anything fresh to add, move on.) But this initial installment, I heart very muchly. Probably because I can easily imagine myself as a witch in olden times who had magical powers, slept with lots of people they shouldn’t have and made a ton of money. This appeals to me.
4. I can go for days without speaking to another human being.
Some people can’t live without constant socializing and conversational validation. I am not one of those people. Yes, I greatly cherish an intelligent conversation, and I can talk for hours when I connect with someone. Sadly, this level of discourse just doesn’t happen in most daily human interactions. I’m from the School of Don’t Say Anything Unless It Has Merit. Most people aren’t even aware that this school exists, never mind actually passing the entrance exams.
5. I avoid confrontation.
There was far too much of it in my childhood, mostly from my father. Constant violent outbursts and mystifying rage and unending dissatisfaction with my inability to be what other people wanted me to be. When I finally fell from the tree, this apple made sure he landed as far away as possible. I will not be that angry person who lashes out indiscriminately. Will. Not. I study and I evaluate and I only confront if it’s something that actually has importance. Don’t expect me to be the one who bitches out a slow waitress or chews up a worker-bee about a billing discrepancy they didn’t create or yells at someone for cutting in line. That’s petty, and it passes. Use your justified anger in a manner that moves us forward as a society, not backward.
6. I am not a morning person.
If you need any semblance of productivity out of me before 10am, prepare to be disappointed. On the flip side, if you need me to explain the Theory of Relativity at 2am, call me. I’ll be wide awake and percolating away, much to the chagrin of the other denizens of this domicile who flee to their respective boudoirs and cat beds at the first hint of twilight.
7. Seafood is manna.
If someone decreed that I had to eat only that for the rest of my life, I would be fine. Not kidding in the least. We won’t discuss the cholesterol angle with the shrimp, leave that for another time, especially if you’re my personal physician who seems overly fixated with a certain figure on my blood test results. (“Why are you looking at me with pity and asking if I happened to eat a triple-meat cheeseburger just before the blood was drawn?”)
8. My favorite outfit is jeans and a t-shirt.
I’m one of the bad gays who has no interest in fashion. Sure, it’s nice and all, but I really don’t care what I look like. As long as I’ve recently showered, and my loins are covered in some way so that I don’t offend that contingent of people who are apparently ashamed of the body’s natural appearance, I’m good. It’s what you are, not what you wear.
9. Everyone deserves a second chance.
Everyone. The only life you really know is your own. Don’t judge so quickly. Third chances? Well, we’re pushing the limit a bit at that point…
10. I’ve wanted to be a writer since day one.
I swear I shot out of the womb clutching a typewriter, despite no photographic evidence to substantiate this claim. The careful manipulation of words thrills me. No greater love. And the best thing that you can ever do for me, if I may be so bold, is to understand this, and respect it. You don’t have to necessarily appreciate my output, or even like it, but at least realize that this is what I was meant to do and wish me well on my journey.
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 06/12/11. Considerable changes made, although I tried not to jack with things too much, not wanting to alter my basic mindset seven years ago…
And yes, I’ve repeatedly mentioned several of these things over the years. When you have touchstones, you often touch those stones…
Categories: My Life