Let me take you back in time. It was 1994. I was a young ThirtyWhat. The worst of the drinking days had passed. My co-ringleader had joined the Navy ... and so the weekly parties and binge-fests had trickled down to getting spectacularly liquored up only on special occasions like New Year's Eve and weekends.
I was dating the on again/off again guy. I spent two years in a constantly alternating state of bliss ... and utter misery. It was a completely fucked up situation ... and to this day, I wonder if he gets what a complete mind fuck the whole business was. Every breakup spurred an escalation of the relationship.
We dated normally for a three months. Nothing serious just ... dates. He broke it up because he said we were too close and he needed his space. A month later he called and asked me to dinner. This time we dated for six months ... and to prove his commitment he took me to meet his mother in southern Illinois and his father in Indiana. We even drove to New York to meet his sister. He broke it off saying he felt like we were getting too close and he needed his space. A week later he called and told me he'd made a terrible mistake ... and to prove his commitment we started looking at houses together.
That last time was disastrous. After several months, he told me he wanted to see other people and me at the same time. He thought it was only fair that he got to "evaluate his options" before choosing someone to settle down with. And hey ... I should date other people too!
It was awful. I'd try to date someone else and he would immediately start showing me attention. When he knew I was hooked ... only seeing him ... he would back off and again tell me I didn't own him ... that we needed to see other people.
During this period, I tried dating this guy ... we'll call him The Hoarder. He wasn't a hoarder at the time (much) ... but he is now. He's the only guy I dreaded telling Stoney about ... only because he was still loosely part of the group my best friend hung out with. But leave it up to J to blurt it out in the middle of Buffalo Wild Wings. Thanks, ass. Um ... I digress.
I was dating the Hoarder. We were both working at Suncoast. I took random part times jobs around this time because I was bored and lonely. I knew on/off guy was out with someone else and sitting around my house just depressed the hell out of me. So I was working at Suncoast, a video store at the mall. The people I met out there ... it was insane. There were two guys who regularly came in dressed as Klingons. There was another guy who asked me on a date ... and told me he'd pick me up in his space ship. There were constant conversations that went something like this ...
I'm looking for a movie with that guy.
You know ... that GUY.
That guy ... he dances?
No. He's white.
No. Ummmm ...
No. Ummmm ...
YES! DANNY FUCKING KAYE!!!
That ... was an ACTUAL conversation I had. Word for word.
Anyhow ... I was working one day and the Hoarder came in for his shift and gushed that I needed to watch this new movie called Clerks. Everyone who worked there was knowledgeable about movies. We were supposed to watch movies. Knowing trivia and actors and release dates was part of the job. So hearing someone say, "You HAVE to watch such and such ..." was common ... and I ignored him.
He kept nagging me about Clerks and one day he begged me to stay late after my shift and watch it. He told me he'd rig it up so I could watch it on one of the video surveillance monitors in the back office. He explained the movie was in black and white ... and so the color and quality didn't matter. I don't know if I was tired of hearing him nag ... or if I just didn't want to go home to an empty, depressing apartment ... but in the end I agreed to stay.
I loved it. I loved it so damned much.
Fast forward twenty years ... and I'm sitting here on my big ol' bed watching Clerks. I honestly love it just as much today as I did then. Dante and Randall ... Jay and Silent Bob ... Veronica and Caitlin. The best people I've ever known are the people who laugh anytime they hear the words, "Try not to suck any dick on the way through the parking lot."
It's odd how much life changes ... how we change. But some things stay the same. Chewbacca ... what a wookie!
But I'm happy just to die trying
And I hope I ain't done nobody wrong
But I miss you smiling
And I'm looking for a cure
Cause I'm bored to tears
And I'm stuck in here
Stuck out here, stuck in here
Soul Asylum - Can't Even Tell