Sunday, April 23, 2006

Her Learning Person

Against my better judgment, I went out with Shannon and a crew of folks determined to get drunk. I was still running at about 50% after the days-long stomach debacle, but hadn't eaten in two days and figured Outback would perk up my appetite.

There we ran into Sean, our friend everyone swears is gay but has been romping around with an 18-year-old girl. He's considerably younger than I am--25--and is given to never-ending rants about everything that is wrong with the world, all President Bush's fault. Not that I entirely disagree, but I've grown to dislike talking about politics--there is so much bullshit and misinformation out there, even if I agree with someone, I don't trust much of anything anyone says. Plus, it's droll.

His first rant was against Paris Hilton, something about a restaurant in a D.C. Hilton that closed down rather than fix the elevator that would allow the Wounded-In-Action soldiers across the street at Walter Reed to eat there. If it's true, then yes, shame on them. Do I want to hear about it for fifteen minutes, at a half-holler? Not so much. He'd had some beers by then and became increasingly shrill with every sip. Everyone else exchanged that know the one, eyes widened slightly, eyebrows raised, pursed lips, the one that says Oh here we go, let's all try to be patient.

At one point, he was screaming falsetto imitations of someone caught with their pants down, and the peanut gallery all shifted in their seats and That Expression became open expressions of alarm. The whole restaurant craned their necks to peer at this odd little redheaded man with the rectangle Hilfiger glasses shrieking with apparent abandon. Not that we really care about being shunned in the Sierra Vista Outback, but it was one of those pitches that grates your last nerve.

A bit later, Sean and I were holding a table at J.R.'s, a pathetic dance/hip-hop bar where there is always some tramp who looks too young to even be in there dancing in front of the mirror, watching herself as if she were rehearsing for the next Fifty Cent video, dressed like getting some ass were the sole purpose of her existence. Amusing and annoying at the same time. We were waiting for the rest of the crew to drop off cars, so more people could get drunk. This was CLEARLY not my scene. I told Sean I'd stay until the rest arrived so he wouldn't be left there by himself like a jerk.

The Tramp de Jour was a skinny black girl in a dress that showed her asscrack, barely covered her nipples, and looked like it came from the Wal-Mart kid's section. Just the right color pink, cheap-looking fabric. She stared into the mirror and swivelled her backside around, so she could spread her feet apart and watch it change shape.

"So I told you I broke up with Kimberly, right?" Sean asked. Last time I'd seen Sean, she called him because he had acted like "something was wrong. Are you mad at me?" He assured her over and over again that he was not. That's the mixed bag of dating someone still waving bye-bye to the turnip truck that just kicked her off--I'm sure most men would love to date an 18-year-old in theory, but the price is the Very. High. Maintenance.

"Seems like I heard ya'll split up," I sipped my water, listened to my stomach gurgle uncomfortably, and wondered where the hell Shannon was.

"So yesterday she shows up at my house to see if she left a shirt there." Oldest trick in the book--if you're done with a guy, you won't go to his house to pick up your wallet containing ten thousand dollars and all your ID...well, maybe ten thousand, but anything under a couple hundred, he can keep it. I nodded, watching the skinny private dancer.

"So then we start that whole conversation again, and I've been very clear that I don't want a relationship. I told her I was in a place in my life where I didn't want a big thing, it's not her it's me, and I just made it very clear I don't want to date her."

"Mmmhmm." I can't quit watching this girl, it's like rubbernecking at a gory car wreck. She's twisting around like a showgirl, really giving everyone a peepshow, all the while never taking her eyes off herself. It's like she's in front of her bedroom mirror at her parents' house with the music turned up and the door locked. Truly bizarre.

"So then, I layed down on the bed because I was tired of talking about it," Also the oldest trick in the book, I might add...if a person in whom you have no interest but has interest in you is at your house, the last place you'd steer that exchange would be the bedroom, and sprawling out on the bed is inviting trouble. "And then she just attacked me! How am I supposed to respond to that? I mean, I'm a guy...I held her off as long as I could, but I mean, she just attacked me!"

I raised my eyebrows and looked at him. "You slept with her?"

"Well, yeah, what was I supposed to do? I was very clear I had no interest!"

"No you weren't."

"I told her over and over again..."

"But then you fucked her. Has she called you today?"

"Um, once or twice."

"She thinks you're back together."

"No, I've accepted that I'm just going to be her learning person, the one she learns from, and that's it."

I was amused. "Not really, you're just jerking her around. She figures if you really wanted to break up, you wouldn't fuck her."

He looked miserable. "Great."

Shannon finally showed up, and after I'd spun her up on the Dancing Queen out on the floor and Sean's teenage girlfriend, I begged off, citing my sour stomach. Which wasn't totally a lie, but the bar scene in this town is like drinking Diet Coke...add all the fancy-pants Splenda you want, squeeze a lime and scrape a vanilla bean into it, it will never taste like the real thing.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It Takes a Village Idiot

I had to get sick to get up off my arse, ironically enough, to take "Watertown, NY" off of my profile and reflect my new (albeit temporary) occupation. I'm prepping like mad for the LSAT, even today, as I alternate working the logic games with trips to the toilet and meds to try and break my fever. I spent the first half of the day snuggled up in my wonderful bed--the fever gave me chills, but I have a fat down comforter with pretty little dogwood blossoms on it, not to mention the cats and the foster greyhound poking her nose in my face about once an hour.

Sienna goes to her new home this Sunday--I served as The Acclimator, taking her straight from the racetrack in Tucson and coaching her through the vet appointments and adjustment to the new digs, the concept of a human's attention and soft places to sleep. Which greyhounds do not get until they are rescued in this way--they live like POW's during Vietnam. Small crate, too many other dogs around to eat in peace or get any attention, nothing soft for their painfully bony frames. So when they are rescued, they are worshipful pets--I wish I'd had a video camera the first time I played music in the house. She crouched down and spun her head wildly, wondering what the hell it was and where it came from. It's been rewarding, but she tends to chase the cats around and they need a break. Anyone who's thinking about getting a dog, GO GREYHOUND. They are calm, well-behaved, housebroken, and loving. And it's a good thing to do, saving one of these lovely beasts.

Yesterday, I received my determination from the VA...and I got 50% disability!! It's for my back, my hips, and my right knee...but I had no idea I'd get that much. It translates to about $700 a month, free healthcare, and preferential treatment with government jobs. For the rest of my life. Which means I'll essentially never have a car payment (with insurance) ever again. I'm hoping it will help me out with Law School admissions, but I don't know if: a) they work that way, or b) I'd use it to my advantage. It's not like I'm in a wheelchair or anything.

OK, back to the toilet...lovely, just lovely.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Well, instead of using that money to invest in real estate, I decided to spend it on the house I live in, so that when I sell it, I can invest the profit in a law degree. I take the LSAT in June, and it will determine my whole future.

No pressure or anything.

If I don't do well enough to compete for scholarships, I'll have to rethink the whole idea. I did some research and found a study that conducted a cost/benefit analysis on going back to school for law, and after you pay back your loans, the lifetime difference in your income--not your total income, just the difference from what you made before adding that nice little "Esq." behind your name--is over $750K. So worst case scenario, I do well enough to get into a Tier 1 or Tier 2 school and borrow it all, I still come out WAY ahead. As for what kind of law? I'm keeping an open mind--I like real estate, maybe intelligence law, but I can see getting into international trade law or intellectual property. I'm not looking to "declare a major" in my first year.

After spending a year in Iraq, I don't think law school will kill me. I'm aiming for University of Arizona--you know, where Sandra Day O'Connor went--but I have to admit I really like the idea of going back to UGA, then settling back in the South. The possibilities are limitless. I do NOT relish the idea of living in poverty again--I'll likely have to sell the car and the Harley, get some cheap pickup truck like I drove as an undergrad. Move into a small house with a garage, where I'd store all the furniture I wouldn't have room for. It didn't kill me the first time, and back then I didn't have the reasonable expectation of a high-paying job at the end of the road.

It might be kind of liberating in the way that enlisting in the Army was--shave everything down to bare essentials, focus on developing a knowledge base, get down to the meat of it for three years. I don't want to teach at the intel school forever--looking twenty years out, I want to be a wealthy older lady looking forward to a comfortable retirement, someplace away from the desert.