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October 29, 2010
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I take out my belly button ring for one stinkin' day, and the hole closes up. There goes forty-five bucks. Most of the forty-five bucks was spent on the emblem that dangled from the base of the belly ring. It was a gold dollar sign that I bought from an Asian jewelery cart in the mall called "Gangsta' Sparklez". The Asian jewelry cart owner said it was nice gold, and that I would be able to tell because it would leave a green "nice gold confirmation mark" where it rested on the baby fat just below my naval. My neighbor Keith has steady hands, so I paid him six dollars to pierce the whole for me with a tack hammer and a sharpened paper clip. But, I was starting to think that maybe belly button rings aren't cool for guys anyway, so maybe losing the hole was for the best.

I discovered the jewelry cart while loitering at the local mall with a small group of high schoolers that I met at a roller skating rink two months ago. Some people think that loitering with high schoolers is weird at my age, like Michael Jackson climbing trees and hosting sleepover ticklefests with neighborhood children, but I just look at it as a way to keep my mind youthful. I try to remember that people think a lot of things are weird. For example, I've heard people say that's it's weird for men to prefer to sit while going "number one". What would those people think if they heard that I prefer to stand while going "number two"?

These are smart kids, and they have been helping me sort through things. I've been thinking about my dreams and aspirations a lot lately, and frankly the wrinkled meat-mess housed inside of my skull doesn't process simultaneous complex ideas very productively. Typically, when I start generating a hurricane of existential thoughts, I become overwhelmed with anxiety and have a couple sips of beer to slow things down. The next thing I know, I'm laying on the floor of my garage wearing only my great grandpa's lucky corduroy blazer and plaid town hat, with a cooked breakfast sausage link shoved into each nostril, trying to relax.


I take advice from one of the kids the most, his name Grain Dolson. He's a devoted Christian teen with a shimmering positive outlook on things, but he's still got the "I'm emo: life is worse than death" look to him. I don't know how he gets into his pants. Kids have this really-slim-pants things going on right now, it's a trend that I couldn't have followed if my life depended on it. It would have been like trying to force two angry pigs into a Snickers wrapper.


His pants are so small that his butt crack is usually showing. When I confronted him on it, he justified it as part of his positive outlook on things, and as a gesture of his commitment to a clean lifestyle, by saying, "I'd rather show crack, than do crack". Blew my mind.


Once I heard that single piece of advice from Grain, I knew that I had to keep squeezing this piece of fruit to get as much juice out of it as I could (not the most appropriate metaphor in this case, but my lack of better judgement and consistent trend of literary terribleness will leave the original thought unedited). 


I told Grain that I've been thinking a lot about what I haven't done, and what I would like to do in the future. I told him that, "I haven't done very much" and that, "I'd like to do more in the future". He said, "that's cool man. Look, in Life, you can't have regrets. You've gotta put it all out there, and pursue... like... you're dreams and stuff. Otherwise, you're always going to be moving forward, but looking backwards". 


I told him that the last time I was moving forward, but looking backwards, I was at a summer horse-riding camp. I was performing my chores of cleaning horse poop and chucking hay around in the main stable, when contrary to the main lesson taught at the camp, I found myself behind my horse, Commissioner, with my poop bucket in hand. I had just grabbed and chucked the last nugget of horse poop into my bucket, and was going to walk around the side of the horse to set it on the ground, when I heard a sound. A gust of wind made the massive front doors to the stable begin to close, and the age-tarnished hinges made a loud squeaking sound. When I turned to look back, the horse adjusted just enough for my face and the horse's ass to collide. My face nestled deep into the horse's private place like I was bobbing for apples, but instead of bobbing for apples, I was bobbing for horse guts. It was at that moment that I learned what the phrase "brown nose" means.


I always appreciated that lesson, and I've never been a "brown-noser" ever since. Fortunately, the horse didn't kick, otherwise the lesson would have been more difficult to understand, something about "brown-nosing" and "horse-kicking in the chest or balls". I guess, if that would have happened, I could have interpreted the lesson as "if you are a brown-noser, a horse will kick you in the chest or balls", which might have been just as effective as a life lesson. But, regardless, without the kicking, it was clean and simple, and I was able to interpret it as "don't put your nose in a horse's ass", which I've never done since.


I guess the point is, regardless of his crack problem, Grain is a good kid.


Until next time: No matter where it comes from, or how the phrase goes: It's never a good thing to be a stinky brown nose.
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