The story of a lonesome ol'Jerome
Road trip! I
I focused on making my way to I-5 while Andy waited semi-patiently, fussing with his hair, for me to declare I was ready for his onslaught of questions. He had his notebook at the ready, his phone with his methodically sorted list, and he was positively fizzy with excitement.
I felt kind of bad. He was going to be sorely disappointed, I wasn’t exactly thrilling. Besides, this was hardly fair, it wasn’t like I was going to get to take notes, or had been able to make my own list of questions in advance and motherfucking sort them into microcategories. I decided I’d see if I could coax him into answering some of his bloody questions too, and maybe writing down his fucking answers for me as well. I wasn’t sure how perfectly that scheme would work out, but it was worth a try.
I found Monday morning traffic quickly sent me into a nasty fit of tics, kind of souring Andy’s mood. “It’s ok, Hot-shot, seriously, don’t worry about it. It’s just, like, a physical way that stress, or, more like, irritation, shows itself with me. The same as, like, how I swear as I drive. A better alternative to actual road rage, right?”
Andy looked dubious. “Just, you know, remember that I’m not having, you know, a seizure, ok? My tics don’t compromise driving. I promise you’re safe or I wouldn’t be driving around, ok?” I glanced at him briefly, just long enough to tell that he believed me, which was a relief. I knew that it was weird-looking to see someone having tics, and I’d been really relaxed around him for a while now, so it was probably disconcerting. I hoped he got more used to it before I had any manifestations that were more than just my typical head twitch.
I grinned briefly at Andy. He had gotten bored waiting for me to get settled and started doodling. “Ok, dude hit me with your list.” Predictably, Andy bopped me on the arm with his phone. “Dork!”
“I had to, you were wide open for that one! It had to be done. Ahem. Ok. First section-“
“-You’re going to tell me the section names?” I couldn’t decide if that was brilliant or a horrible idea.
Andy sounded defensive. “Of course! It will be obvious anyway, but this way, you’ll have everything, like, mentally sorted. We’ll stay on task.” I guffawed and rolled my eyes. “Whatever, I’m asking you every single one of these damned things, if I have to sit on you for an hour after we get there! So fucking help me, I will get to know you better, whether you like it or not, Doc! I want to get inside your head and try and understand the way you think!” I didn’t even have to look to sense the puckish mischief, it was coming off of Andy in waves so thick it was a wonder my vision wasn’t obscured. There was more to it than that. He was up to something, he was going to ask me weird shit, I could tell.
“Andy, I don’t have a favorite sex position, didn’t we already talk about this?” Andy snickered.
“Don’t make assumptions, woman! Besides, I think I’m slowly figuring out how to interact with you in that way alright, don’t you?” The way he said the last part came out kind of slow, low, and drawn out. It was suggestive, to say the least, and I felt my temperature start to rise.
I cleared my throat. “I… I’m driving, Andy. A real question?” I kept my eyes on the road and waited.
“Ok, first section: general. Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?” I took a second to think.
“I mean, my knee-jerk reaction is introvert, but I often find, in smaller groups, when I know people a little bit, I’ll end up babbling like crazy. I often embarrass myself, and can’t stand the way I acted when I think about it later on. I’ll unintentionally dominate conversations, I interrupt people without realizing it, it’s weird. And even though I spend, by far, the vast majority of my free time alone, I really suffer from never spending time with people. But… I hate parties, like, where I don’t know people, I have a huge touch bubble, I need alone time, I dunno. I prefer one on one interactions, I really prefer interactions with depth. Though I loved Burning Man, and I like going to music festivals on my own and just kind of doing my own thing for a day, though I fucking hate crowds and the sun. So, fuck, I dunno.I think, when I’ve had personality testing, I’ve always been told I was an introvert, so I guess I’ll go with that. Uh, you can let me know in two weeks? How about you?”
Andy scribbled for a minute. “Well, I guess, we’re pretty similar, then.”
Andy looked at his notes.“Wait- can you write down your answers too? Please?” I peeped at Andy, he wasn’t thrilled. “You can just put an ‘A’ by them.” He grunted affirmatively. I felt kind of bad. “You can call me a slut or whore next time we have sex...” I took a quick peek at Andy.
That had his attention, he was staring at my chest, smiling crookedly. Dork! “Both and I’ll do it.”
“Deal, Hot-shot. Depending on the way you phrase it, I kind of enjoy it, you know, every now and then. There’s a difference between using words to humiliate and degrade, versus, you know, as a very kinky, submissive term that can make someone feel sexy and special. I won’t tolerate someone trying to debase or demean me, you know, truly insulting my character. If I submit to someone, it is a gift.” Andy didn’t say anything. I skimmed over at him to make sure he was ok.
He looked a little intense. “Absolutely. However, I think we should talk about something else, because, frankly, my pants are getting uncomfortable.” We both had a little chuckle. “Can I roll down the window and have a cigarette?” I grunted at him and pointed at the makeshift ashtray soda can, and grimaced as the heavenly vapors went past. Must not kill Andy .I tried to focus on driving.
Andy looked at the notes he had taken. “I guess, sometimes, I might be critical of my performances, but I don’t necessarily feel like I tend to really beat myself up, feeling like I sucked, so much as I try and figure out, you know, how to do things differently the next time. And, I mean, when I’m around a lot of people, or people that really want to talk to me, it’s also easier for me to get pumped up and energetic, so I know what you mean there. But, in a lot of ways…Some things I like to keep private still.Though the touch bubble kind of had to go away, when people really want to hug you or shake your hand, and it would really mean the world to them, it’s hard to say ‘no.’
“And I never interrupt people, ever. Or go on at great length, on random tangents, about things like curly fries, or, you know, Armenian politics, or how I just don’t get it how they got that little tool up the noses of the people they mummified in Ancient Egypt, to pull their brains out. You know, the hooks?” I nodded.
It had been a while since I thought about mummification, but I remembered reading about it as a kid. “If I remember, it’s like, this long, straight thing, with a little hook on the end. I mean, what the fuck? They must have had to fish around forever with that thing! How’d they get to the back, by the spine? Was there a curved version?You know what I’m talking about, right?”Man had a point.
“Totally. Maybe they put chemicals in to make the brain mooshier, and then they could just, you know, kind of pour it out, if they just moved the body around? Like, to pour the brain out the nose? Used the hook like a little spoon to encourage it along? Or like a whisk, to soften it up, mix it really good?” Andy considered it. “Or- hey, the brain has a little, tough, sac it lives in, called the dura matter.Maybe it was mostly to puncture the dura, so the chemicals could get in, and make it mooshy?” Andy nodded, impressed with my contribution. I was less swayed. It would still have been a total bitch to ram that fucker through the cribiform plate and sinuses. Why not just drill a discrete trephination hole through the skull, maybe disguised in the hairline, if that was the goal?I shrugged.I’d never really tried to drag someone’s brain out through their nose before. I guessed I shouldn’t judge the Ancient Egyptians so harshly, when I didn’t really have a better plan.
woohoo road trip part I
QOTD: introvert or extrovert?
i guess more introverted?