It had begun as a typical summer day. The summer heat could be brutal, especially when you had to wear long pants because you didn't want your dad to know you shaved your legs. I had just discovered that the SNES version of Sparkster was a completely different game than the Genesis version. It was like finding out there was a second bible.
I wore women's clothes simply because I thought I looked better in a dress than I did in a t-shirt and khakis. The notion that only women could look pretty and delicate was sexist to say the least. There would probably be lots of boys at the manga book club meeting. Try to keep a lid on your feminine charms. The last thing you want is to be called a cocktease.
I was a man pretending to be a woman. My dad's girlfriend was something else pretending to be a woman. My mom always said there were no monsters. No real ones. But there are. Why do they tell kids that?
Everywhere I went I was a victim of discrimination. I was a cyborg, not a true robot, but most robophobics drew no distinction between the two. I wanted to cry but I was saving my tears for my 10-hour drive thru shift the next day. I didn't like being called a Mcdonalds employee. I preferred the term fry jockey.
Working at Mcdonalds filled me with goth rage, but if I took it out on other people I'd be just as bad as the fatties who tormented me in drive thru. Every day I'd get dragged through the eighth circle of fast food hell. I was so used to performing the same routine that it felt like an out of body experience.
I wished I had a nametag - something to humanize me to the drive thru customers. They didn't see me as a person but as an effigy for the hated Mcdonalds corporation. They'd leave but their words would linger in the air like a haunting chorus. If my suffering entertains thousands of readers does that mean it isn't in vain?
"I'll have a 3-piece chicken select." The customer said, holding up three fingers.
"Oh my God, did he just make a gang sign?" Patty said. "I'm calling the police."
The freedom of my time off from work was always overshadowed by the inevitability of my return. My sleep was the restless sleep of the damned. I tried not to think about it and went back to playing my Sega CD. The problem with the Sega CD was that by the time you were stoned enough to appreciate the trippy Q-sound effects you were too stoned to play the game itself.
I was wearing my "People like you are the reason people like me need medication" shirt. I liked the people like me part because it didn't say goths but it was implied. I was getting a hernia operation the next day. Finally an excuse to shave my pubic hair. I hadn't been so happy since id software fired Sandy Peterson.
I was wearing my dress and my spiked dog collar which doubled as a weapon in the event of a barfight. I was going to the manga book club meeting with Lauren. Friends who accepted your cross dressing were the sort of friends you should cherish forever.
C was at the manga book club meeting. C was insane, not because she was an adult baby but because any girl who would willingly go out with me was insane by general principle. C's new boyfriend was just as insane. I couldn't decide whether it was heartwarming or tragic that they were pretty much made for each other.
I wished I had my own entrance music that played every time I walked into a room. Dennys had the ambience of a 1940s era greasy spoon diner. The kind you'd see in a classic film noir except in color. Everyone was staring at my dress. Do we define our lives by our moments of triumph?
Drive thru order #40. As I take your order I am filled with a nameless rage that consumes my every thought. Am I blaming you for the fact that I have a crummy job and my life is a mess? You bet your Big Dogs t-shirt I am, fatty. This is what like the eighth cheeseburger you've crammed down that beef chute of yours today?
"Is it true you cheated on me with a cabana boy while you were in Florida?" I said.
"Well, yes and no." Gabe from Penny Arcade said. "Florida doesn't recognize our marriage so technically it wasn't cheating."
Attention Goth Girls: you rule.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.