Character

Character is what you crave because authenticity is what you lack. Character can only be developed through the slow grind of real life; being put to the test and succeeding or failing on one’s own merits.

It is not to be found in sterile confines of a safe shoebox life.

It is bodily fluids on concrete.

It is realizing there is nothing to be done and yet trying something anyway.

It is failing spectacularly.

It is staring death in the teeth and surrendering to its will; then leaving that moment alive, realizing you have been spared until another day.

The artificial patina of photo filters overlaid upon your phone’s window to the world does not cut it. Nor do you tattoos. This is all product.

Bullshit.

You know it.

Live.

Get the fuck on with it already.

 

Body Rapping With Aiden

When I was about eight or nine years old I befriended Aiden, a small kid a year younger than me who lived nearby. Aiden was an only child with a single mom, and I guess he had things pretty rough. His mom was always working, so Aiden was by himself a lot.

However, the big bonus of having a hardworking single mom (as far as we were concerned) was that she felt pretty guilty about not being around. This meant that Aiden would sometimes be able to get her to buy him a cool toy.

One such toy was the body rap system.

Now, most folks won’t be aware of the full throttle  awesomeness that was the body rap system. Check this shit out!

Body Rap

Like I said: pure awesomeness.

Aiden invited me to come over to play with his body rap system and we got right to it. We soon discovered that rather than wear the “sound pads,” it was much easier just to lay them out on the floor and use them like a mini drum kit. What fun!

Man, did we ever rap it up! I’d say we had us a good, solid fifteen minutes of fun before it started getting old. By this time, Aiden was getting mad (he had some rage issues) with the sound pad that said, “BODY!” He didn’t like it, for some reason.

I kinda thought that one was cool, actually, because, you could make the machine stutter by tapping it quickly. “B-b-b-BODY! BODY! B-BO-B-BODY! RAP! *cymbal crash*”

But Aiden was adamant: the “BODY” pad was fucking him up. Perhaps he was just jealous of the awesome, stuttering grooves I was laying down with that motherfucker.

Whatever his reasons, Aided decided the “BODY” pad had to go. He ran off to the kitchen, came back with a pair of side-cutters, and clipped the cable of the “BODY” sensor. However, rather than solve his problems, this must have pushed the two wires together in the cable to form a short-circuit.

“BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY!”

It wouldn’t stop saying “BODY!” Even worse, the body input seemed to override all the others, because that was the only sound it would make. Aiden was getting angrier, and my gales of laughter were probably not helping.

“BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY!”

Feeling a little bad. I recommended turning it off and on again. (My dad was an early adopter of the home computer, so I was already all over that shit.) We did so.

“BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY!”

Then we tried taking the batteries out and then putting them back in.

“BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY! BODY!”

It was at this point that Aiden flew into a complete rage and started smashing his body rap system into the floor by its cable bundle. I can’t remember if that held up, but however he did it, Aiden persisted and completely destroyed his body rap system.

No mo body rappin for us.

Aiden was pretty inconsolable. By this I mean he flew into a full on, ape-shit spaz attack (the technical term we had for such behavior in those days) and began demolishing other stuff in his room. I went home at some point during this.

Poor Aiden. This anecdote wound up being a lot less amusing than I tend to remember it, now that I’ve typed it all out. But that’s childhood memories for you.

Cunt

Back in the day, I worked as a pump jockey in a 24 hour full-service gas station. I worked with a pair of brothers who lived together for years in an odd and vaguely incestuous way. I became pretty close friends with the younger of the two, Travis.

Eventually, the elder of the two, Marley, got a girlfriend and she moved in with them. Then things got weirder over there.

I would go over to their house almost every week and, when they weren’t showing me porn (they had the internet before me, you see), Travis and I would watch movies and play video games in the basement until I crashed on the couch.

Usually, we’d also listen to Marley and his girlfriend fight. Horrible, abusive, screaming fights that would go on for hours and hours. These would often culminate with her physically attacking him. She’d kick, punch, bite, and scratch, and he’d have to wrestle her to the ground to protect himself. We would sit in the basement listening to them howling and banging upstairs; rolling across the floor just above us, their curses and grunts barely audible, yet so much more visceral than their louder noises.

Now, the thing about this woman was that she wasn’t one of these “hot and cold” types where she’s a psycho some of the time and the rest of the time would be some kind of an exciting “firecracker” type. Not Donna. No, she was surly, miserable, vindictive, petty, and thoroughly unpleasant at all times. The kind of person that will suck all the energy, light, and life out of a room with their mere presence.

A real superb cunt.

I think about her sometimes. (Obviously.) She might seem an odd person to dwell upon, but you have to understand that there’s no malice or heat to the memories of her. I never really suffered her; I was simply a witness. So, over the years that have passed since I last saw her, Donna’s memory has grown into a unique nugget of entertainment within my inner world.

It’s like when you see a disturbing but perfectly executed work of art that sticks with you. It’s not like you enjoyed consuming it at the time, but it planted something within you that you take away. It can come to represent something larger for you; serve as a symbol for an otherwise inexpressible element of the human condition.

So it is with Donna. She holds a special place in my psyche as though a work of art.

Cunt. By Donna.

Perfection.