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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Squat, Bald Man in My Head

Meet the guy relegated to the further corners of my brain -- the corner, apparently, where one is free to ignore the No Smoking signs! -- a guy fond of slogan tee-shirts and lighting one cigarette with the butt of another.  You may have seen this before, but I took a rather nasty fall yesterday -- not down the staircase of my third-floor home!, but from a rain-slick deck...  Offers of back rubs and liberal doses of internally applied margaritas are being taken in the comment section.


The squat, bald man in my head has a louder, and sometimes opposite view of life than I do.

He’s the one cackling with glee when the young XL woman in the M pants struggles to lift her own body weight up the steps of the bus, the guy who looks me in the eye to make sure I notice her, the one who lifts a knuckle-y finger to point out a possible gravy stain on her chest.

He’s the guy who mutters questions under his breath related to the state of our country's educational system, just loud enough to hear but not loud enough to make out while standing behind the man with 14 items in a 10 Items or Less line at the grocery store. And sometimes he meets that guy’s eye, then shoots an imaginary weapon at his gallon of two percent, grinning.

He’s the lout yelling at the guy playing the flutophone and irritating the lunch crowds down on Nicollet. Trilling madly and playing with a flourish seen infrequently since Liberace's death, Flutophone Man's upturned hat is at his feet, implying that your change would be the reasonable response to the audio assault hurled in your direction. “Would you shut up?" he bawls at him. "For cryin’ out loud, you have no skills!”

All said in good fun, of course.

The squat, bald man is not a violent man – necessarily – but he wouldn’t mind watching.

And he likes me.

“Oh, oh, oh,” he says, sitting down on the couch, square elbow to my ribs. “When you run to the store, get me a pack of Marlboros.”

“I’m not running to the store.”

“Yeah, right, but when you do,” he says, lighting one cigarette with the glowing end of another, lips curling and uncurling around the words, “get me some smokes.”

“I thought I told you I don’t want you smoking in my head anymore.”

“You did.”

There is an uncomfortable moment of silence as we stare at each other.

“Whatever,” I say, turning away. “Just don’t blow it into my sinuses anymore. I hate that. Blow it out my ears.”

I can hear him smirking. He leans against me. “I’m gonna need the car Tuesday night.”

I sigh heavily, turn back. “OK. One, why does everyone think they can use my car; and Two, where the hell do you have to go on a Tuesday night?”

He lifts his chin, blows smoke toward the front of my head, catches himself, and turns toward an ear. “The less you know – pffffffffffff – the less you can tell.”

I don’t like this, but like the cat, the squat bald guy in my head has a way of returning the car with a full tank of gas, a sure way to my heart. I worked at a full-service gas station for half a year in my late teens and have a love/hate relationship with the pump.

“Fine,” I say. “But leave the seat the way you found it this time.”

The smirk leaves his face and he draws himself up in a show of false dignity. “A man’s posture is his own,” he says, indignantly.

He grins. “You allow me full adjustment rights on the front seat, and I won’t tell anyone you had three cigarettes Friday night on that freak-out you girls called an evening.”

I lean back on the couch, rub my eyes, press my fingers against them until they explode in a Byzantine disaster of black and red.

“Fine,” I say.

At least I'll get a full tank of gas out of the deal. Plus my cigarettes from the other night are still a secret.


vanilla said...

Enjoyed the story again; but concern for you pushes frivolity to the back burner.

I don't have any margarita makings, but I've a bottle of horse liniment...

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Nothing broken I hope? Poor girl, you've had your share of body/heart ache lately haven't you? I offer you a virtual pitcher of whatever floats your boat, a pack of secret ciggies and I'LL take that guy in your head for an afternoon at the beach to give you a break. Take care Pearl....healing thoughts headed your way.

Simply Suthern said...

From what I read on the news you are lucky(now theres a loose term) to not have slid off the deck into a raging swollen stream.

Take cre of you hun. I feel for ya but I just cant reach ya.

esbboston said...

No, I have never seen you faLL, although I am certain that I have read true tales of your atoms in Autumns.

fishducky said...

Faw down go boom? Poor baby!!

Rene Foran said...

Girl, if I lived closer I'd be over with various and sundried self medicating balms. Your squat bald dude would love the optimistically cynical gal who occupies my head.

Pat said...

Poor girl:(

Meeling said...

Ouch! I'd send you a margarita (I can make a mean one) but I think it will have melted by time it arrives.

Thank heavens for bald guys who can keep secrets! ;-)

Camille said...

Good grief and for Pete's sake be careful out there!

I checked the cabinet. I have little to offer except some dated looking containers of Preparation H and Bag Balm...and I swear they're not mine. I'll send them right over with a gallon of Margarita Mix. That should be a help right?

Joanne said...

Damn. It probably hurts even to lie down. Heat and ice. Send Mary out for a new pack of smokes and libatons.

Ms Sparrow said...

Hey kiddo, you gotta take better care of yourself! I know you're still reeling and healing, but concentration is the better part of...something or other!

sausage said...

Gravy stain! what's that about?

Eva Gallant said...

Pearl, you have got to cut back on the margaritas! Obviously they affect your ability to navigate rain slick decks! Either that or the crowd in your head is knocking you off balance!

Hope you mend well and soon!

Bodaciousboomer said...

OMG! A flutophone! I hadn't thought of one of those in years.

L-Kat said...

You have a lot of people/animals in your brain, Pearl. How do you entertain them all? Love, L-Kat

Shelly said...

Get thee to a beach, my friend. And soon.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Did you get good scores for your fall? 5.9 from the Russian judge? Roth x

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

After hobbling around for ten days after a fall, I say if you have any concerns get to a doctor, or urgent care, or ER. Otherwise rest, ice, compression,and ibuprofen. Exercise can wait. (Posting from my wheelchair after a fall, no joke.)

Lynn said...

Oh my - I hope you're OK!

I read the bald guy's voice in my head hearing Andrew Dice Clay. :)

CarrieBoo said...

Oh dear. You're in the wars. I guess it's too late to say 'be careful'... Don't you love how people say that AFTER you fall or hurt yourself. TC.

jenny_o said...

I'm no good at back rubs or making margaritas - trust me on this - so how about a joke?

Q. What's the difference between bagpipes and an onion?

A. No one cries when you cut up the bagpipes.


I wish I could be of some actual practical help. Be good to yourself, rest, heal.

esbboston said...

I got to thinking later after reading this blog post, and I might try your idea of opposite gender in-my-head voice(s), so I should probably go with:

"The Squad of Blonde Women in My Head"

Gigi said...

Sending you buckets of margaritas! Hope you heal up quickly - and well, if the truth be told, if you drink the margaritas constantly until you are better you won't feel the pain.

Mr. Charleston said...

I feel cheated. I should have a buxom blonde with a martini in my head but I don't. I do have this constant ringing though. Maybe I need a sound tech in my head.

ThreeOldKeys said...

hey pearl ... i'm on empty tonight; i got nothin'.

[Insert thoughtful words of wisdom here]

[Insert wry but cheerful joke here]

i hope you're feeling better. and i wonder what a full list of your various jobs would look like.

[Insert signature here]

NellieVaughn said...

I am pretty decent at the whole massage deal. Not the best, but it will do the trick. And if you have a smoke in front of me, I won't run and tell anyone.

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Daisy said...

Oh Pearl, I hope you soon heal. It sounds painful. I'm drinking to console you and in your honour! Get well soon.
Hugs from Barbara and doggie kisses from me.

Amy said...

The bald guy who lives in my head is an elderly guy who dons black knee-high socks with shorts, chases people with his false teeth, and likes to give young women unsolicited hugs. But I hear he is excellent at the art of massage. I'll send him your way.

Diane said...

I have a bottle of horse liniment as well. Just swallow two tablespoons this time. You remember what happened last time . . .