A sort of life

The wild wordsmith of Wasilla

RICHMOND, Va. — Today–and I do not exaggerate the latter part of this sentence–the entirety of the available horizontal space in my kitchen is filled with empty beer bottles. There is not a single spare centimeter. Believe me. I tried to find one. I don’t say this to prove my drinking prowess, or to reveal that I am an alcoholic, though I can see how someone could easily come to either conclusion. They’d be wrong on both counts. I say this as a segue to how wholly disgusted with my life I’ve become.

I’m an honest man. I’ve made no attempts to hide how trashed my flat is. I even recall writing about it on several occasions in this very space. A friend of mine once said it looked like a junkie lived in my place. I’ve heard it before. It almost seems too easy of a thing to throw around. But this guy, when he said it, it meant something. He had a reason to know what that sort of situation was like. And he was right.

My dad keeps telling me to hire some domestic help. I love him dearly but I think his view of my financial situation is a little optimistic. The rest of my kin think a woman will get me to get my life straight. History shows this not to be the case. I just do not attract those sorts of girls. I attract those that are bruised. Those that are pained. Those which do not inspire me to clean up for them. I generalize of course, I have felt inspired on occasion, but not now. Not recently.

So here I am.

This weekend my cousin Jeremy is getting married. The perennial bachelor will be no more. I haven’t met his almost wife. I hear she’s lovely. But, part of me is saddened to see his single status come to an end. We’re not too close, so it’s not like I’ve got a stake in his situation. It’s not like I’m losing my wing man. No, it’s more like this: for many years he’s been a beacon on the horizon for me. Many in my family compare us and I’ve always looked proudly at him as a guy who’s resisted those that force their inbred need to nest upon him, and thus me.

I wish him the best. And congratulations. I look forward to meeting his wife, which I’m sure she’ll be by the time I see them next.

Today was a funny day for me. I went to the grocery after work. Anybody that knows anything about me knows that I don’t do the grocery thing. Maybe I go once every two or three months. And that’s only because I haven’t found a take out place that carries cat food.

So, I went to the grocery store and I was standing in the beverage aisle staring at the bottles and daydreaming about something I can’t recall now, and this older guy walked up to me and said:

“You having trouble choosing?”

“It’s a toss up between the Harp and the Smithwick’s,” I replied, shaking off the spider webs.

“Both are good. The Smithwick’s is good. But I like the Harp. It’s more down to earth.”

“I was leaning towards the Harp. I had the Smithwick’s last week. It’s good stuff.”

“Alright then.”

So I went on to find some cat food and not two minutes later I find myself standing behind the beer guy in the checkout line. He’s got himself a case of St. Pauli Girl. “This is the best beer in the world,” he said. “It’s the smoothest, most consistent — I’ve been drinking it for 20 years.”

“Yeah, that’s good stuff too.”

“Tell you what,” he said as he tucked the case under his arm. “That Harp is on me.” He turned to the cashier. “Ring up that Harp on me.”

So I shook the guy’s hand and thanked him. I’ve had plenty of people buy me beer before, but never have I ever had someone pick up for me at a grocery.

It’s been a strange day. Tomorrow I may write about a girl in the pharmacy that floored me today. Tomorrow.

“The wild wordsmith of Wasilla” is from Volume One: Frank’s Wild Years (1983–2009). Written between 2003 and 2009, Volume One was this author’s attempt to find meaning from life as a young twenty-something. While this endeavor would ultimately fail, what remains is a comical tale of loneliness and debauchery.

Follow the river and you will find the sea

Follow the river and you will find the sea

Oscar Facciolo De Soto enjoys a river cruise with his family in Bundesrepublik Deutschland circa 1992.

I just do not attract those sorts of girls.