suburban interlude

photo courtesy of Primates

right. so i visited my friend jimmy last night. hadn’t seen him in awhile. the last time we met up we went to the zoo. met him working at the mall during my semester off. he’s not exactly my crowd. in the sense that i’m college-grad, whatever bound…and he’s college-on hold, whatever-bound. two very different paths.

he’s on his third DUI or so, going to court tomorrow for the nth time, but he’s a really great kid. he smokes like a chimney, and probably has never eaten a vegetable in his life except any lettuce that comes with taco bell, but he’s a good guy. works at a coffee shop. his manager is 5 years younger than him.

he lives in a house full of guys in the middle of the high-income suburbs. none of them are sure how that happened.

bobby, johnny, pete, scott, and jimmy. bobby is white, blondish, slightly rotund, covered with tattoos and piercings. pothead, snarky, doesn’t give a hoot. johnny mugs tough, is half asian half white, but is really a pretty nice guy. he’s out of town for a BEST Buy training conference. scott is asian, quiet, never says much. but smiles frequently. i don’t meet scott but scott is jimmy’s brother. whose girlfriend also lives in the house with them.

all the guys are cool. they have 9-5 jobs working sales or whatnot at local stores. their house is a shrine to american male culture. posters of scantily clad women everywhere. beer cans everywhere. two cats (port and wiggums) that kill constantly (bugs, mice, invisible rats).

one of the cats can’t open either of its eyes because it caught some kind of eye infection and it makes it look hella hardcore. but sad too. jimmy has been taking him to the vet but he isn’t getting any better.

video game system. multiple tvs. a cactus on their back porch that looks like terrible things have happened to it. explosions and chemical spills and nuclear testing. it’s their “area 51.” they constantly quote movies to each other and i held my own. matching quip for quip. i think they were impressed.

we didn’t know what to do on a monday night in the suburbs. so we drove around. all the power had gone out in one section of town. we ogled that for awhile. then we stopped at a KF Bell (kfc and taco bell for those of you not in the KNOW). some police were fingerprinting a crime scene. we were mildly interested.

then we stopped at safeway to get groceries. this involved jimmy buying ice cream, his friend alex buying a loaf of bread and a pack of bologna, and jimmy, bobby, and their other roommate pete, all buying cigarettes. the cashier was wearing a monster mask. “it’s like a year until halloween!” i grumbled. “34 days.” bobby says grimly. i feel, yet again, like i’m in a depressing indie flick.

we head back home. we all sing along to the radio. bobby and jimmy consider throwing a taco into someone else’s car (we have two left over from our dinner). they know every girlie pop song. they know every alt-angst song. they know every hiphop.soul.r&b flava of the week. i feel light.

we hang around the house. more smoking. josh opens up a HiC to wash down his ice cream. bobby burns me a cd. louis shows me a card trick but messes up halfway through. i am smitten with their nonchalant hospitality. “come over some other time.” jimmy says. “sorry we were boring. we can go to the zoo again.”

you know. i guess i don’t really fit in with jimmy and his cohorts. we don’t have much in common to talk about. we mostly crack jokes. and yet it’s so comfortable. sometimes scary but there’s no pretense. it’s incredible. quietly and unassumingly there.

photo courtesy of Jazz

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