Skip to main content


Jesus, man: just blow!
These retards have no capacity for the fine, incidental skills the rest of us have: rolling a joint, folding an origami swan, blowing a goddamned bubble of chewing gum.

A cynical bastard like me has no business volunteering at the local nuthouse. If I say even half the things that are in my head, I would crush the very shriveled, splintered core of every loon in this place.

Yet here I was, sitting with Kevin from Portland, a middle-aged man who can't string a full coherent sentence together; Kevin, who has been drooling over my shiny black shoes for the past 25 minutes. I mean that quite literally - he's a drooler. A retarded, shoe-obsessed, non-bubble-blowing drooler.

Christ, what am I doing here? I can feel the backs of my ears getting hot from frustration. My patience left me long ago. Who the Hell decided this would be a good bonding activity, anyway?

Kevin is having about as much fun as I am, by the looks of things. His eyes are glazed, fixed on my shoes. His spine is slouched in his chair. His mouth is wide open, from boredom or retard-dom or something... Maybe his drool is self-aware and just wants to escape his that lifeless, bubble-less mouth of his.

It succeeds, along with that nasty, chewed up piece of gum. I saw it fall out as if in slow motion, but the monotony of giving bubble-blowing instructions to a retard totally screwed my reaction time. It smacked against my Floorsheims with a moist thud.

Ah, this must have lit up something in that sour mash brain of his, because his eyes snapped to mine, searching (fearing? hoping?) for a reaction.

Normally, I'd yell. Normally, I'd stomp out. Lose my shit. But this was just so ridiculous that I couldn't behave within the normal boundaries. I was in a nut-house, after all. So... I stood up and began to tap-dance. I tap-danced just as a retarded person might tap-dance. I mimicked every facial expression, every shoulder twitch, and every awkward foot-tap. I tried to hurt Kevin's feelings as much as possible. It was a pretty good impersonation, I thought. All the while, the gum hugged tightly my shoe.

Something wholly unexpected happened then. Kevin, rather than crying or moaning (as I expected he would), worked up a grin. I could hear a chuckle work its way into his throat. Eyes fixated on my shoes, in complete amusement, Kevin laughed. And as he laughed, he formed with his drool and his lips and his breath the most perfect, beautifully-shaped spit-bubble ever to be made by man.

And when I saw it, I crumpled. My legs gave out. I fell back into my chair. This time, my mouth, was agape, I was astonished; I must have looked like the retarded one. What was left to do but join this man, Kevin, in his innocent laughter?

And so I did.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Clink (New Friends)

Each other is all we have. It's no surprise, then, that when we think about the chapters of our lives, those chapters usually begin and end with the beginning and ending of relationships. My current chapter began in July 2016, when I made the move from Philadelphia to Denver. In many ways, it was the fulfillment of a promise made between Peace Corps friends; Carly, Evan, and I spoke often of our desire to live in the same place some day, and after two wonderful years spent with Kyla, it was time for me to join them.

The great advantage to this arrangement is that Evan and Carly had been cultivating friends in my absence, so upon my arrival last summer, I was met with a wonderful group of people who had been carefully conditioned by Evan and Carly to like me.

Readers of this blog will remember Evan and Carly from my Peace Corps days. They were the closest I had to family for two years, and by the end of our service, we were inseparable.


Pappy. Pop-pop. Dilly-dally. Evan is know…

Reaction to Dante's Hell as Portrayed in Dante's Inferno

Since its Patristic roots, the Church has struggled with two seemingly contradictory aspects of God's nature. One one hand, God is said to be loving and caring towards his creation. At the same time, however, God is seen as a judge, dealing out justice to all according to their actions. Some Christians have argued that God, due to his overabundance of love, can never punish or cause harm. Other Christians have no qualms in maintaining that a loving God sends people to Hell, even against their own will. Most fall in between these two extremes. I would maintain that Dante's view of punishment in Hell errs on the side of the latter extreme, given the assumption of a loving God as described in Christian literature. The God portrayed in Dante's Inferno punishes based on gross oversimplifications. His God ignores the larger picture of human psychology and sociological influences in addition to the rehabilitative capacities of wrongdoers.

Good parents do not punish their children …

Love in the Peace Corps

I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to connect with the rest of the world, to see life from the perspective of the oppressed, to spread joy and wonder and curiosity to new places. I did not join, in other words, to find a girlfriend.
Why was it then, that as soon as I walked into my hotel in Philadelphia, I felt like a college freshman? I couldn't get through my first elevator ride without my heart-rate increasing and my breath shortening.
The feeling returned during our introductory meetings: the nervousness, the flurry of disordered thinking that accompanied moments of eye contact.
Damn you, body. Why must you sabotage everything good in this world?
I talked this over with my friend Ted on day one in Morocco. I was prepared for the bugs and dirt and cultural difficulties that come with Peace Corps, but nothing could prepare me for the onslaught of charming, independent-minded, attractive girls that I would be meeting throughout those first weeks. He agreed. It was eerie how ma…