Everything in Its Right Place/Radiohead - DJ Technics Remix [MP3]
Hey, I'm a lifelong Orioles fan and one of the city's biggest fans ...gotta represent the Baltimore Boom.
OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- Late Tuesday night, I accomplished something wonderful.
Through numerous adjustments in posture and under the direction of those more experienced, good coaches all, I learned that I completely suck at bowling.
When I say I suck, I mean that I stink worse than a dead rat in an oven, worse than a port-a-potty on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. I'm as directionally challenged as a Duke lacrosse player in a Women's Studies course. My poor ball spent more time cruising the gutter than most politicians.
I rolled an 102. Over two games. Finished dead last, out of six people.
There's no use in making excuses. Sure, I haven't bowled a single frame in seven years. I'm still babying my shoulder a bit, I'd been up since five that morning, etc. Any which way one looks at my score, a laughable 51 average, I still, at the end of it all, sucked rather large monkey balls.
So, ah, Jason, I think you'd better put that up on your blog there, one friend said, sending the rest of the group into snickering and general good-natured mockery.
Why wouldn't I blog about it? Hell, the whole scene was pretty damned funny.
Me, struggling to maintain even a tiny bit of dignity in a tiny, run-down bowling alley, way out in the middle of fucking nowhere, in Oxford Fucking Ohio. Even the "team" mascot, one of those creepy-ass Burger King bobbleheads, seemed to be laughing at how much I sucked.
There is so much from that evening I could write about, so many experiences I could document, so much fun and merriment.
But, well, I'm not. It's not because of bad behavior, any need for discretion, any request that I specifically not write about certain personal discussions or events.
There are some things I just don't put on the ol' blog. As much as I'd love to share, well, I just don't think it would be appropriate. Some things are private - yes, there are indeed things I don't discuss on the blog.
Earlier this week, I accomplished something, something wonderful.
I made it through another day alive, and I had a good time with some good people along the way.
* * * *
I knew I was in for trouble the moment I decided to post about my less-than-innocent California fling. I knew that there'd be repercussions for both this ZenFo Pro character and in my offline life.
I knew I'd get scolding IMs late into the night, knew I'd get the "How dare you write such smut!" criticisms, even knew I'd probably lose a few friends, in Cyberspace and in the real world, if I wrote about this one particular experience.
One of the things that generally pisses off every critic, every amateur blog analyst, every cyber-preacher and other morality dictator, is the fact that even in the midst of an embarrassing faux pas, I still try to find the humor in almost every situation.
Well, I can make fun of myself or my situation, at least.
XXXXXX(1/18/2007 12:17:53 PM): just wanted to let u know i dont read your blog anymoreOne of the most important skills I've learned is to never take anything too seriously.
XXXXXX(1/18/2007 12:17:57 PM): ur so not who i thought you were. i thought u were different from other guys here in oxford.
XXXXXX(1/18/2007 12:18:04 PM): just another overgrown boy with a hardon
ZENFO PRO(1/18/2007 12:18:19 PM): sorry to disappoint you. thanks for reading anyway :)
ZENFO PRO(1/18/2007 12:18:37 PM): my hardon thanks you too. right now though both my hardon and i have to get back to work.
ZENFO PRO(1/18/2007 12:19:06 PM): Doing five things at once. and that's just my hardon. think it just applied for a teaching position. its the part with the brain. think it earned a doctorate last year.
XXXXXX(1/18/2007 12:19:11 PM): fuck u. you think ur so funny dont u everythings a joke. this is stupid.
ZENFO PRO(1/18/2007 12:19:15PM): completely agree. feel free to delete my no. already blocked yours ;) later :)
Life. Death. Criticism. Praise. Sex. Love. Hate. Everything is fleeting when weighed against the whole of eternity.
* * * *
Since I've had a lot of folks decide that, well, it's okay to forget that behind every blog is a real, honest-to-God human being, that every single one of us human beings will never achieve any sort of perfection, will all continue to be hypocrites about something, will live certain moments of our lives as if the world were as serious as clown shoes and fart machines, I thought I'd clarify a few things.
"Tonya" and I were, well, both consenting adults. She took responsibility for her actions, told her spouse. Ya know, given the amount of bruises, cuts and scrapes we each left with, well, there's no hiding it. I decided to take responsibility for mine by confessing my sins on a very public online journal.
I'd hate to be blunt here, but, well, I blog for myself. This ain't American Idol. There's no voting on how I live my life, no panel of judges to tell me what's appropriate to write or not write.
The Zenformation Professional ain't a blogocracy. It's a blogtatorship.
The only person, at the end of the day, who takes responsibility for what goes into this damned thing is me. And I'm very careful with how I edit, the aliases I use, the identities and privacy I protect. I weigh each and every post carefully before I hit that "Publish" button - if I find out that I weighed wrong, that I somehow overlooked something or offended someone I care about offending, I pay whatever the price is.
Simply put...my blog, my rules. If you don't like 'em, well, nobody's holding a gun to your head. Close the browser window. Navigate away from the page. Find something that fits into your perception of the world.
* * * *
It was a cold Friday afternoon in Oxford Fucking Ohio. The ZenFo Pro, in the midst of a workday meltdown over unfinished compact shelving, missing furniture, and strange smells emanating from a company vehicle, hurried across the newly-renovated ground floor of the ZenFo Pro Library towards the elevator.
He really should've taken the stairs. He could've taken two or three risers at a time, could've avoided a potentially awkward situation, could've dodged a potentially humiliating conversation with a blog reader.
Instead, the ZenFo Pro played it cool. He was, after all, an information professional, on the job. At an ancient 28, in a community where the median age always hovers around the legal drinking age, he was also an old man who could always pull the more mature "I don't discuss the blog at work" rabbit out of his hat.
Instead, a busy librarian stood there, staring at the elevator doors, praying to all that was Holy, that some 21-year-old patron who'd once flashed him on a rather depressing Halloween night hadn't seen him hurrying down the gray tile.
He knew she was standing there beside him. He recognized the perfume. He didn't have to look to know that she was grinning from ear to ear.
The elevator door opened about 30 seconds too late. The Librarian and one of the Boob Girls boarded the car. He avoided eye contact when he asked her, in his most authoritative, librarian-esque voice, which floor she needed.
"Hey. Were you at P______ Tuesday night? I thought I saw you."
"Um, yeah. Floor?"
The ZenFo Pro continued to avoid eye contact. He could feel himself doing that eye-rolling, squinty thing, that thing "Tonya" had reminded him that he did often, that slow turn of the head and stupid grin, the first sign that he was about to begin rambling if he wasn't careful.
Head like a slingshot, he remembered. The adult performer ex had said once that one line was indeed the best way to describe him. She'd stolen it from one of his high school poetry notebooks, stolen it while reading his poems aloud one afternoon in a coffee shop. He started to remember how she'd gone commando that day wearing a skirt; she also had this nasty tendency to open and close her legs while seated and in the midst of a discussion.
Four male faculty that he knew personally had walked by them, had caught a view of his girlfriend's vagina that day. He'd caught one of them staring. Awkward. For some reason, standing in that elevator, squinting and eyes a-rolling, he thought about that.
And Britney Spears. He felt sorry for Britney Spears for some reason.
Head like a slingshot, indeed.
"Do you remember me? We met Halloween."
She stretched out her hand for a formal, less drunken introduction.
"I read your blog a lot."
Oh for fuck's sake, the ZenFo Pro thought. The elevator didn't seem to be moving as quickly as usual. Time froze as his heart raced. The librarian braced himself. He thought he was about to experience his first on-the-job patron bitchslap for his outside-of-work activities, for his online self.
"I really like your writing. Helps me think. Wish I could write about what you write about. But my roommates would kill me if people knew what goes on in our house."
The librarian, the old man in a young person's town, began to relax his tense frame as the woman continued. The elevator doors opened onto his floor, but he didn't exit.
"I just thought you'd like to know that. Must be a bitch sometimes."
The ZenFo Pro shook his head, certain he looked like a complete fucking idiot. The woman told him she hoped he'd continue writing, how she'd like to see more things about the "good" sororities, the ones not full of "skanks," and maybe something about how there are very few things for college students to do in Oxford after dark - besides drink, fuck, and gossip.
"Hey, I've got to get to class. See you around, okay?"
And the woman got off the car, on the same floor they'd just left. As the doors shut, the ZenFo Pro pushed the button for his floor, leaned against the back of the car, and finally allowed himself to breathe.
When he entered his office, his office mate smiled and said hi. He started to say something, something coherent and professional. But he felt his face starting to scrunch up, his eyes starting to roll.
He exclaimed to his office mate that his week had just gotten a whole hell of a lot better. He didn't know why, but it had. The ZenFo Pro sat down at his cluttered desk in the ZenFo Pro Library and read an afternoon's worth of email. He stared down at his arm and noticed a continuously shrinking scab staring up at him through his shirt sleeve.
Teeth marks, he thought to himself.
A few weeks earlier, a woman had accidentally, playfully chewed on his arm. He'd been too close to the edge of the bed and had slipped off while she'd been biting. The woman laughed her ass off as the old man from the young person's town fell to the floor, wedged between a cheap boxspring and a cheaper nightstand.
He composed email after quick, terse email. He remembered grabbing Tonya's ankles while she laughed, pulling her down to the floor on top of him. And he remembered how he did some biting of his own, how he'd enjoyed every damned minute of a fleeting moment.
And then, when he was finished reading and responding, he got up and headed back out of the office. He had to run across town to run errands. He was back into the hustle of a Friday, back in Oxford Fucking Ohio.
But he no longer felt like an old man at 28, stuck in a young person's town. As he drove around Oxford, around the Local U., he started composing a blog post in his head, NPR blaring over the company vehicle's speakers.
And then he remembered a friend, nights before, making fun of his horrible bowling skills...
* * * *
So I suck at bowling. But if I'm invited to roll a game or two in the future, I'll gladly expose the world to my suck-itude once more.
Maybe I'll bowl an 103. In a single game. Wouldn't that be something?
Sometimes, it's good to suck at something. Reminds you that you're still breathing, that there's always room for learning to un-suck, always room for change and personal growth and...
And, well, moving on through life.
And I might blog about it. Or I might not. Either way, it's my blog.
In fact, it's my life.
Wouldn't that be something?
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