How to spit into the Fenario Quagmire.

So I’ve been trying to learn how to spit like a boy lately. It’s not working, and I really wish someone would teach me. I have the appropriate amount of snot; I just have to figure out what to do with it.  Last night I was driving down Hwy 54 and feeling good about myself, when I realized I had to spit. “Here’s my big chance,” I thought. I rolled down the window, gathered everything up in my mouth and let it go.

Well, I guess it was successful, if my intention was to send a huge chunk of high velocity phlegm hurtling towards the power window button at sixty mph.

So I ignored the angry snotspit staring at me from the inside of the door and I kept driving to Fenario, which is where half our band members live. We practice there and run a recording studio out of the living room. It’s also where I wash my clothes sometimes.  There are two things you need to know if you visit Fenario:

1.  Absolutely No Smoking in the Control Room unless you’re drunk and it’s three a.m. and even then you HAVE to cup the flaming end of your cigarette while you careen through to the kitchen and even then it’s only okay to do this if Scotts is three towns over, working, instead of at home, witnessing you taint his machines with cigarette by-product.

2. At the base of Fenario’s deck steps, there is a swampmarsh ecosystem not unlike the Bog of Eternal Stench. There are two strategically placed bricks and you must step on these to gain bog-free access to the deck. Lately, I have been devoting my life to finding alternate routes to the deck, but when I arrived at Fenario after my spit-cident, it was pitch-black outside and I was carrying an overflowing basket of laundry.

I decided to attempt one of my “alternate bog routes” since I knew there was no way I could hit the two bricks in darkness with my arms full. Well, I misstepped and my poor be-flipflopped foot landed directly in the heart of the muck.  It immediately started sucking me into its murky depths. I was about to become a casualty of the Fenario Quagmire, a modern-day Artax with no one to mourn my demise.

I braced myself and jumped the five feet to the deck. I landed well but my laundry did not and there was bog-shit covering me past the ankle. I limped over to the door and tried to remove my flip flop, and it was then that I had this overwhelming urge to. . .spit, so I catapulted myself to the edge of the deck and just let it all go, spit, snot, panicked tears, and I felt good about it, like maybe this was the time, in the midst of great distress and urgency, maybe this was the time I would be able to Spit Like A Boy.

My plan was great, except for one thing.  My faulty autopilot chose the one deck railing that afforded a perfect path to the air conditioning unit, and of course the air conditioner was running, and everything that I expelled came flying straight back at me like so much mucusy boomerang ammunition.

I was stricken with Deadly Swampfoot and Heinous Phlegmface, and the Fenario door was locked and no one was home and I had eighty three articles of clothing threatening to jump ship from the broken laundry basket, alarming in its inadequacy to accommodate all my stolen boy-jeans and repurposed t-shirts. My inner monologue contained a startling amount of pidgen Engrish.

I spent the rest of the night sitting in the Fenario Bonus Room (an extra room!  For Fun!), folding clothes and feeling sorry for myself, White Album blaring, while my dear friend and Nashville Troubadour Jackson floated through the house, toting a broken portable harmonium and a coffee mug of Evan Williams, the contents of which would slightly spill and lightly dot the carpet in his wake. And that’s not a misplaced modifier; the harmonium was in bad shape and shedding keys in tandem with the mug’s frequent whiskey deposits.

So now I’m at OCSC, sitting at the card table underneath the gigantic oil painting of an elderly woman enjoying a slice of pie. I’ve got an untouched High Life warming itself in front of me.  I’m ignoring the four friends I agreed to meet here.  I realize, through the rain outside, that tires skidding on wet gravel sounds like canned applause from TV, sort of.

I am thinking about how dreary Carrboro can get during a rainstorm, how weathered all the buildings look when they get a little wet. I’m thinking about how I feel like I should apologize to the people sitting at my table, since I am sitting here too, typing furiously and listening to the Flaming Lips on my headphones instead of taking part in the conversation.

My mind is swimming. And even worse, the Flaming Lips song I was listening to in the last paragraph just came on the jukebox, and the lines between reality and fiction blur as my bottle of High Life spontaneously combusts with the frustration of being at room temperature for so long.

Who cares if I can’t spit.

Mandey

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