Meeting an Internet Friend in Real Life
Commuting to college with my friend Justin was like being trapped on the moon. Every morning I would put on my spacesuit and climb into Justin's lunar rover. There was always something magical about seeing the Moon City skyline appear on the horizon. In between classes Justin and I would sit in the cafeteria and talk about how we were going to follow our friend Josh to one of the dionysian redneck parties he attended every friday. Being trapped on the moon isn't that bad as long as you have a plan to get off. We were going to make a daring escape in a rocketship powered by the energy field of our own lonely.
I recently found out that my mom has been reading my updates. The woman I used to live inside of now has a means of seeing inside of me. The container has become the contained. It's one thing when your mom catches you looking at suicidegirls.com. It's another thing when your mom is the girl with emo glasses and a fake scar on her breast in the picture you just jerked off to while talking dirty to yourself because the antidepressants you're on make it really hard to ejaculate.
Last week I went to New Jersey on an insane quest to start a band. I've been trying to start a band since I was 16 and each successive attempt has seen me going to greater lengths and failing even more miserably re: my getting stoned and playing Radiohead songs with Matt, a goth who went to my high school. I felt a certain kinship with Matt as we were both anachronisms. The only difference was Matt and his gothic brethren had their heyday sometime in the dark ages whereas I belonged in a Tekwar-esque future where crackwhores and playback junkies gave each other virtual handjobs for nuke. I used to think I was attracted to goth chicks until one day I realized I just wanted to be a goth chick. It was a moment straight out of an ABC after school special where an ethnically diverse group of kids finds out that the treasure they were looking for was inside of them all along.
"How much do you know about this Ryan guy you're meeting in New Jersey?" my Mcdonalds manager, Moe, said as he handed a customer their food. "How do you know he isn't going to kidnap you or trick you into opening the Hellraiser box?"
"Hey, your manager didn't give me any barbecue sauce." the customer said. "Tell him he screwed up."
I laughed, but my laughter was cut short when I realized the customer was completely serious and wasn't going to leave the store until I did as he requested. Every time something happens that gives me additional cause to hate humanity I add another room to my Quake 2 level.
"I hate having to do descriptions of my music where I'm supposed to be all like "Imagine Gary Numan being raped by Foreigner." Ryan said. "If anyone asks I just say I play white blues."
"Hey, you have a Nissan Sentra just like mine." I said. "We should go cruising and pick up some hot girls that are eight or nine... uh, I mean on a scale of one to ten."
Awkward moments. Yes, there were plenty of them. Times I wished friendship was just a simple symbiotic relationship like that between an alien facehugger and its host body. Ryan and I only felt comfortable when we were discussing video games. "I really like the game show part of the intestinal tract level in Earthworm Jim 2." I said. "I wish there was a whole game of just that. No wait, actually that'd be kind of gay."
"Oh shut up, you'd play it and love it." Ryan said.
Ryan and I played Doom 3, a game about shooting spiders in the dark. "Only a man would make a game this hard." I said. "Men are such scum."
"I kind of like it." Ryan said.
"Hey that's great. While you're at it why don't you take me out to this great little coffee shop you know of downtown when really all you want to do is go back to your place, strap on a chest vagina, and have sex with my knee. Then somewhere in passing conversation you can mention how you did a porn video back in modeling school but oh it's not like you did any cumshots or anything - the key word was tasteful."
"Are you wearing a corset?"
"Oh, that's just my concession that there has to be some artificiality present in beauty."
I could feel my skin bonding with the fibers of Ryan's couch. I was trapped in harmonic motion between two polar opposites of ennui and my only escape was the Invader Zim dvd I had brought with me. I will account it to loneliness that if Jhonen Vasquez had appeared before me and offered me one night of wild, uninhibited sex, no questions asked, I probably would've said yes.
My biggest regret during my trip to New Jersey was playing Zelda: Majora's Mask. Rape doesn't even begin to describe what this game has done to my happy. It has spread itself throughout the matrix and is reshaping reality in its own image. The trees and knotted hills surrounding my house have been replaced with sterile textured rectangles. I'll be fighting a slime creature and realize it's a palette swap of one I fought earlier. Then I'll get all existential and ask myself if man's gluttony for new ideas and experiences amounts to nothing more than perpetual stat building for a battle that will never take place. Then I'll go back to fighting slime creatures because that's how we roll in New Hampshire, bitches.
It isn't easy fitting back into my Mcdonalds mold after being Ryan's nerd-slave for 4 days. "I really hate the truckers that come in here." I say to Lauren. "Especially when I'm ringing up their order and they say "How much?" like I'm some kind of korean prostitute."
"The truckers can always get in their trucks and drive away from this horrible soul-crushing place. This smelter of tears and broken dreams."
"I really like the song "News" by Dire Straits." I say. "It's amazing how a song written in 1979 can be such a perfect summation of the perils faced by a bouncer at a futuristic nightclub."
"I've never heard Dire Straits before." Lauren says. "What genre of music are they?"
"White blues." I say.
"Wow, I can't wait to go down to New Jersey and meet you." I said to Ryan over AIM. "I hope we can become best friends and grow old together until we both look like the guy who drank from the wrong cup in The Last Crusade."
"What if we find out that our friendship is just an illusion created by a vast computer that's using us as biological batteries in another reality?" Ryan said.
"If that happens we'll deal with it somehow. Don't worry."
I shot the law, and the law won
College. A time in one's life to sit around, play lots of football on your gaming console of choice, eat raman every day, and sleep-in causing you to miss that 8:30 algebra class. Why the hell do they have classes that early anyhow? I mean, come on. Dude.
To put the college perspective into a more realistic tone, the goons have worked up some pretty "real" college textbooks. See if you can find any of your old torture devices/books in here.
Jump on into this week's Comedy Goldmine, "Real College Textbooks".