There are many moments in your life that define who you are as a person today I believe. Moments that will stick with you forever embedded into your very soul. Instances and happenings that are so poigniant and clear that it helps shape you into the adult that you become for better for worse.
These aren't any of those moments.
There lies a street in Idaho Falls, a magical street. On this street on a blisteringly hot July evening you can sit on the porch with your friend, sipping adult beverages and watch the pretty lights.... Of the police car across the street that is! You see, Benton street off of St Clair is one of those mystical convergences of incredibly bad energy that sometimes, when the stars align just so, you can spend a whole evening just watching the neighbors getting arrested. Where tube tops are standard issue and speaking English makes you weird.
It's hard to describe the wonderment that is this street. I mean really, how many places can you think of that you can suntan on your porch and watch the neighbor strip the paint off his 1980 peice of shit with liquid sandpaper and a spatula? That takes work son! But really, I'm not here to talk about the street, or hitting golf balls down the block off the front lawn which is really just trimmed dandelions, I am here to talk about the apartment. This apartment was about as bad as you can figure. Each time you vaccumed you could only smell beer. Each time you needed a dish.... Well.... You better go buy yourself a dish because instead of washing them we just put them in a box outside with the intentions of going to the carwash instead. To this day when I drive past it I might hold my breath a little, let it out slowly and say a quick prayer of thanks for making it through the time we lived there.
Of course I am going to have to take the heat for everything that actually happened in this place. It was afterall my place. At a certain time in 1995 I had moved in with a girl. I was playing house. Now of course I understand what a terrible idea it is to do something like that, but at the time, playing house with a hot chick that had a Camaro.... Well not a bad idea. The girl was pretty alright, we got on pretty well, and didn't really hate each other much, but we fizzled. She moved out after about 8 months or so and I kept the place.
My friend Shad was in the mood to move out, so we met each other for pretty much the first real time as I had no idea who he really was even though he at least wanted to beat me up in highschool at least once I am sure. But hey, when you are in your twenties and you need a roommate it's ok to forget about certain things. He moved in, I got a job working with him at Perkins, yadda yadda time passes and Mike moves back into town.
At the time Mike was living downtown in one of those really nice apartments, you know the ones that have cockroaches big enough to talk back to you and wake you with primal screams in the middle of the night? Mike, his clothes and his skii's moved in. Thank god the cockroaches stayed.
It may have been the mystical convergence of the street etc, but I think it's much more likely that you take 3 bachelors that are of drinking age, that all work at a restaraunt together, live together and well, it's pretty much signs of the apocolypse after that mix. We three nincompoops should have been jailed. A lot. One night while drunk as skunks driving down 17th street we almost murdered our favourite homosexual friend. It wasn't on purpose mind you, he was crossing the street at just the same moment that Shad's head was bouncing off the window you see? Why was his head doing that? Oh that would be my fault again. Mike and I had some really wonderful peices of machinery to get back and forth to work in, they were actually functioning cars, but we decided in a drunken stupor to ram each other repeatedly while going at least 35 mph down the street. We played bumper cars. We smashed our cars into each other at least 3-4 times, the whole time Shad's head bouncing off the window like a basketball. Chances are that Depeche Mode or Erasure was playing at the time in my Pioneer tape deck. The next morning while hungover we pulled the fenders out of the wheelwells so that they wouldn't flatted our tires.
This... This is the kind of crap that we got ourselves into. Thinking back on it all now, we all sigh, breathe in deeply and usually at the same time say how glad we are to be alive, how incredibly stupid we were, etc etc etc. The thing is, it wasn't all bad there. At one time a friend we worked with lost her apartment. She needed a place to stay. We weren't about to leave her out in the cold so we offered her a place to stay. The deal was that she washed the walls, and did our laundry. So she did, and all was well. I had folded underwear for the first time in my life. Which honestly was a little strange. I've never understand folded undies. Who cares if your undies are wrinkled anyways? Mine fit me like a rubber band around an egg anyways, the wrinkles have no chance. Also, it wasn't my idea to fart on her head, Glen did that all on his own. She rewarded him with a sparkly sticker that read "It's fun to fart on your friends!"
We decided to have a party during the summer. I'm not sure why, but we did that a lot. It was a rare occasion too that we had scraped up enough money to buy both Pizza and a keg of beer. This was exciting becuase with kegs come kegstands, and you get to chant "Chug chug chug!" over and over again while watching beer pour out of your friends noses. Some other people had that same night gone to a pre-halloween party. Which brings us to the cow. Ahh the cow. I have no idea what her name was, but that was the best costume I have ever seen to this day. Keep your trashy skanky revealing costumes, this chick nailed it. She was cute as a button. It was so cool that I had to mention her in the title of this entry.
There were people from work, and people we had never met. We actually had a coffee can or something similar and were collecting keys from folks. We were at our worst, and our best. That is until the episode with the cat.
I miss this cat. He was a good cat. His name was Buster. He was a male Tuxedo. He was killed in a driveby on that same street months later which was very sad, but I cared a lot for that cat. He attacked our computer screens, and it was always fun to watch him attack Mike and Shad's gargantuan feet. Attacking things was what he did. On the night of this party he likely attacked a Redneck named Billy. And in a way I can blame this on the cat, I was just following his example afterall. Billy had shown up to the party, he wasn't invited, and even tho at least a dozen other people weren't invited he made me mad. He made me very mad. Not only did he show up with a Lesbian, he showed up and drank our beer and ate half a pizza. He also wasn't a hot chick, and the only girl he brought with him had a spike hairdo with a mullet and could arm wrestle any guy there and win. Who the hell is this guy? Who does that? Well, it was ok for a bit, and then he started to mess with the cat. The cat was there, doing whatever it is that cats do at keg parties, but he was a cool cat and was likely hitting on the chicks. Billy decides to torment and tease the cat. My cat. He pulled it's tail, he messed with it for a few minutes, and the whole time I was watching. I had a Full Metal Jacket moment. I asked him twice to please leave the cat alone. He mumbled something incoherent a few times and I had finally had enough. I would feel bad for what happened, but as we have justified this a few dozen times, he was warned.
I asked him nicely to stop screwing with the cat. He didn't. I asked him again, he didn't. That's when the world slowed down. In a fit of cat defending rage I walked up to him, reached my arm back all the way to rigby and hit him. As hard as I could. I had to do it, I had to defend my cats honor. I remember being shocked at what happened, and then giggling a lot. I hit this guy so hard that he flew back a few feet and hit a closet so hard he broke the handle right off it. We had to use a screwdrivers to access this closet in the future. Blood pouring out of his mouth, eyes unfocused, mumbling something he finally came to, the whole time I had my mouth open not sure what I had done, or what to do next. From the corner of the room Kim and another girl start screaming and saying oh my god the cops are going to come! Which in reality, they didn't. Billy's date to this party picked him up off the ground and carried him out. Which was interesting to see by itself.
If I saw Billy today on the street I'm pretty sure that I'd let him hit me as hard as he could, but not the face man, not the face. I do feel bad about what happened but damnit, he was messing with my cat. I still think back on that story, and others and feel very guilty. Guilty that I hit that guy. Guilty about cheating at strip poker with Jen whatever her name was (even tho the other guys were cheating as well). But in the end I feel thankful.
We do a lot of stupid crap when we are young. We play strip poker with strange waitresses, we hit people for messing with cats. We run over telephone distribution blocks repeatedly, we nearly kill our favourite homosexuals.
Don't we? Yeah I didn't think so either, but we did, and we managed to live through it.
Today Shad is an outstanding Father with a freshly minted marriage. Mike of course is paying it forward on a daily basis because we all know he's going to rot in hell, and along the way he has a beautiful wife, beautiful children and a wonderful life. I of course, well I'm a work in progress, but I have some pretty awesome friends. And the fact that we never did anything that bad, or that heinous to land ourselves in really hot water, or get caught for the things that we did that were that bad.... Well I guess that means that we weren't nearly as bad as I remember sometimes. I'm thankful that I lived in such a shithole for that time of my life because honestly, it was a real good time.