Why I Hate Texas
It seems that with all of my Texas bashing of late that I am giving some of my Longhorn friends a complex. Yes, I do despise the state, and a lot of those reasons are political, and ideological, and philosophical, and other "icals," but those are cosmetic reasons, really, blemish cream, cocktail party fodder. I said I wouldn't talk about bipartisan issues, and I'm sticking to it. So though I fucking hate that cocksucking fucking state, I do so for a better reason than the political.
It is the state where I lost my second wife.
After I got sober, I thought I should be doing some things in order for a change. So I got an education, restored my credit, and I got a new wife. My first wife, Hadley, and I had been divorced for a while, even though the paperwork was just drying about the time I was proposing to my second wife. Who we can call "April." It's not her real name, because the only time I want to see her actual name is when I look in the mirror. It is inked into my chest, right next to the demon holding my ripped out bleeding heart, serving as a reminder for what I a dumb ass chump I was.
Another thing I did after I got a sober, besides making a piss-poor choice for a second wife, was reconnect with old friends, ex-drug buddies and otherwise who I lost track of during "the salad years." Some it would turn out had died, others were in prison, or Wisconsin, which I guess is the same thing. And others were online.
Two of these we can call Todd and Marty.
Those aren't their real names either.
Todd and Marty weren't part of the SF scene, really. In fact, Gluehead used to ask why I even let them hang around. They hailed from the South Bay (who the fuck chooses to live in the South Bay?), and had been in some of the worst-named bands ever, including but not limited to "November" and "Ardor."
But I liked them. Especially Marty, who was a gentle, skinny, sweet soft-spoken kid who seemed to idolize me.
Marty didn't do drugs. He drank a lot. He sang real well, and I thought he wrote decent lyrics.
Todd was sort of a douche, with no neck and a blocky longshoreman body, the kind of fat prick who shaves a line in his beard to give the false impression he has a chin. Covered in tattoos and bullheaded, and one of the least flexible guitarists I ever met, he had a soft spot in my heart as well. He wasn't as likable as Marty, nor was he as attractive, and considering that Marty himself wasn't particularly attractive that's saying something. But he sort of looked up to me too.
Our relationship and how I got to know these two is convoluted. It involves a drummer we shared, but mostly it concerns their both liking me and thinking I was something special. If you like me and think I am something special, I can overlook just about any character flaw. "Yeah, he's a dictator and killed a lot of Jews, but he he likes me, thinks I'm special. Give him a chance. Just overlook the goofy mustache and let him hang out with us."
Anyway, after I kicked the junk, I reconnected with Todd and Marty, who were two of the gayest heterosexual men you'll ever meet, Todd playing the husband and paying the bills, while Marty going to culinary school (I shit you not).
So how did these two clowns ruin my marriage? Well, to quote Bruno Kirby: "Infidelity is just a symptom." To which Harry replies, "Yeah, well that symptom is fucking my wife."
Todd had flown out to see me in CT around the time I had proposed to April, who had done a great job selling herself. As I've always said, when she wanted to be my girlfriend, she was the best girlfriend, and when she wanted to be my fiancee, she was the best fiancee, and when she wanted to be my wife, she was the best wife. And when she wanted to be none of those things to me anymore, she turned that fucking switch off like a fucking light.
Todd and Marty were still living in SF when April and I flew out for a visit. I wanted to see Gluehead and Kelp, Tom Pitts, my cool SF friends, but Todd and Marty were squeezed in for a dinner, and it was nice having those two singing my praises all night, because they really did think I was something special.
Fast forward. April and I are married, I'm in grad school, Todd and Marty are in Houston, TX, where Todd works and supports the family. I exchange occasional e-mails with both. It would turn out, April and Marty had been e-mailing. A lot.
When it came time for my annual trip to SF, April pressed me to go see Todd and Marty in Houston instead. These guys were never that good of friends, not like the kind you shell out a plane ticket to fly and see, and call me dumb, naive, but I didn't suspect anything from my wife.
Three days in Houston, three days in hell, and it all makes sense now, later, after the fact, when the dust has settled, smoke cleared, and any other trite military analogy you want to throw in. The important parts to know: when it comes time to leave, April and I are fighting, and she will not get on the plane. Still, I don't suspect my friends of anything. April had been moody of late, and she was very young. In the end, I talked to Todd down by the pool at midnight before my flight. He said, She probably just needs time, and who better to trust her with than us, two of your oldest friends. Leave her here. You can trust me.
So I left her there, thinking in a couple days she'd fly back, and even just writing this now, I feel like a goddamn tool.
You can guess the rest. Phone calls unanswered, waiting until I was gone from our Miami apt. to pack her bags and fly back to Houston, a relapse and near-death experience, a quick return to the hospital, back in grad school, getting a hotter girlfriend, another even closer near-death experience, and then a return to SF, landing a hotter wife, making some money, writing some books, and having the greatest kid ever. So, in short, to quote Charlie (and Adam): winning.
Or maybe that's just a wee bit of justification, posturing, the spackle of a splayed open heart that still hasn't healed and oozes self-loathing and disgust and shame.
All I know is, rather than blaming myself, it's easier to blame fucking Texas.
In a happy ending to this story of betrayal and cocksucking friends...
I never saw Marty again. And frankly, I couldn't have hit him; it'd be like hitting a girl, he's so soft and dainty. Skinny fat. You know the kind? Rail thin without a toned muscle. Like walking human veal. But Todd, him I saw. He's a big guy, and he'd given me his word.
It was for Dan's wedding, when I flew out with said hotter girlfriend, to San Francisco. Dan was marrying his longtime sweetheart Yuri, all the Boys of Belvedere were there. Good times.
The bachelor party was at Zeitgeist, the bike bar way down there on Valencia. This was about five months after my motorcycle accident. I had literally been walking without a cane for, maybe, a week. I hadn't spoken with Todd since the incident. I mean, I'd called a couple times, but when it was clear she was staying with them both, that they were laughing at me, that I was a joke, I stopped calling. I got it. Hoodwinked. You got me, kid.
Anyway, I walk into Zeitgeist, a little early, although "limped" is more like it, and who do I see, sitting there with friends in the crowded open patio drinking a big beer and smoking a cigarette. Fucking Todd. And the douche has the nerve to stand up. With wide open arms and a smile, he says, "Oh, wow, look who it--
And I dropped that fat ass fuck with one punch. Best goddamn punch I've ever thrown.
And it felt fucking good.