04th Sep2004

H&M Bonding

by Will

Today was so weird at work because it suddenly turned into a sleepover gossip session. Not like that, but I mean the stockroom turned into an episode of SATC as me and the gals started trading relationship stories. Actually, very little “trading” was done on my part. I just egged them on to tell me their business. I love how that works…

Anyway, I learned more about those women than I’d ever known before, especially the quiet ones. I heard stories of sitcom-like proposals, several druggie exboyfriends, and several drunken mornings-after. I kinda feel closer to a lot of them than I did before.

And yes, I shared. it was only fair. I recounted a story that I haven’t told in awhile, and it wasn’t really easy to tell today. I kinda glossed over some stuff, but the gist was still there. Not sure if they gained any insight on me, but hey, it was there for their approval.

What story did I tell them? Well, you haven’t earned that yet. You see, I’ve never posted about it directly, and it’s not time yet. If you know me, then you know what I’m talking about. For those of you random site visitors in Paraguay, you’re gonna have to wait a bit. One day, oh we’re gonna have a big honking expose on the matter, but for now, it’s not the right time. Stay tuned….

02nd Sep2004

Magic Shave Turned Me Into Firemarshall Bill

by Will

Boy, today sure sucked…

1) I didn’t get that job. I didn’t know if I could really do what they were asking, but I was willing to try. Anyway, the chick just kinda fumbled on my voicemail. The professional equivalent of “It’s not you, it’s me…”. Man, if she’d mentioned that she was a lesbian, my life would’ve come full circle…

2) I burned my face using Magic Shave. For the uninformed, as a Black man, a razor is your worst enemy. Well, the Grand Dragon of the local KKK is your worst enemy, but a razor is a cross-burning distant second. So, there’s this powder called “Magic Shave” that’s a chemical which removes the hair. Anyway, leave it on too long, and it’ll irritate your skin. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got to work, and noticed there was basically blood on the surface. It had take off a good bit of my epidermis. And it was predominantly just on the right side of my face. So, I spent the day looking like Two-Face, which burned until I numbed it with an icepack. It also didn’t help that a guy at work called me “Firemarshall Bill”. That asshole…

3) I lost my man! No, it’s not what it sounds like. Well, I guess it is. Anyway, Cheesecake Factory guy’s been spending a lot more time in H&M. But it’s not for me! Apparently, he’s met one of the authentic H&M ga…i mean, “guys”….Well, there goes that source of attention….

4) For the second week in a row, my comic total came to about $50. This is absurd. Especially when I think how these things used to cost a fraction of what they do now. Of course, I wasn’t alive then, and the same could be said for gas and food, but still….why should 22 pages of colored paper cost $3.50? I’ve GOT to drop some titles….

5) I can’t go to Boston anymore. I was planning on visiting Tarek for Labor Day, but H&M has fucked with my schedule as they’re so prone to do. I need out. I can’t take that job anymore. And I really needed that trip, too….

26th Aug2004

Hell Is Nothing But Flavor-Aid & Drake Cakes…

by Will

Conversations At Work

Coworker: “Making fun of deaf people…I’m SO going to Hell.”

Me: “We’re ALL going to Hell. I’ll see ya down there.”

Coworker: “Cool! I’ll meet ya by the vending machine.”

Me: ” You know, I’ll bet Hell has a really shitty vending machine. The kind with no name brand snacks. You know, nothing but Rock Creek Ginger Ale and those Lifesavers that don’t have holes in them…”

Coworker: “That’d be awesome if the worst thing about Hell is that it’s got no brand name snacks!”

26th Aug2004

The One Where My Family Pimps Me Out For A Table At The Cheesecake Factory

by Will

And the drama continues…

Tonight, i went to The Cheesecake Factory with Mommy and the Aunts. Well, as I posted about a month ago, one of the hosts has a major thing for me there. And they know this, but they just kinda think it’s a joke. To show how far it goes, though, when Natalie and I went a few weeks ago, the guy basically stared daggars, like he’d kill her where she stood. When we were leaving, he told me, ” If you ever see me up here at the desk, you don’t have to wait in line..you can just come right on up.” I was like, “Wow, I’ve got a hook-up @ Cheesecake!”

So, he was working today, but I didn’t go up to him because he was busy with another group of people. I got my little beeper thing, and we waited for our table. A little while later, he noticed, and came on over. Mommy was clearly getting nervous. He was all like, “Why didn’t you come up to me? I told you you didn’t have to wait!” I told him he was busy and I didn’t want to bother him. A few mintues later, he signaled me over, and said he was ready to seat us. Mind you, the little beeper thing has NOT gone off, and there were several parties ahead of us. But who am I to argue?

So, he takes us to our table, and we sit down. Mommy looks all uncomfortable. I told her, “we got a table, so shut up and eat your bread.” Yeah, i can be a dick sometimes, but she knows how I am. So, she was just quiet. Eventually, he came back over, and asked how we were doing. I thanked him for seating us and everything. Once he walked away, the Aunts were like, “Was that him?” Because they had heard of him before. Suddenly, they began a chorus of, “He’s cute!” I was like, “WTF?!! Is this a trap?”

This was followed by sudden, uncomfortable silence. Then, Mommy looks at me and says, “He’s cute….” pause…”But don’t you mess around with him!”

I was like, “Oh God! I can’t help it if I’m cute! It helped us get a table, so be quiet and enjoy your bread. If you feel so bad about it, then maybe you should act like a pimp and slash my face so no one’ll look at me again!”

They laughed, and said, “You find you a cute girl. While you’re at it, find him one too.” Wow, old ladies and their flawed reasoning. I kinda lost my appetite after all this, but managed to force some food down. As we left, Mommy at least thanked the guy, as did I, and he told me to come back soon. I wonder if my face’ll be slashed by then…

22nd Aug2004

What An Epically Fucked Up Night In DuPont…

by Will

WARNING: The following is the longest, most drunken, most deplorable and shameful post I’ve ever written for this blog. This seriously bleeds into the “too much info” category and I probably shouldn’t even share it, but I’m so mad that i have to get it all out. Bear with me…

Tonight….fuckin’ tonight…So, work sucked today because I was hungover from Bethesda bar-hopping with Davis last night, and only getting 4 hrs of sleep. Not only was it a typical busy H&M Saturday, but the server went down, so we had to manually approve each credit card transaction, which caused our lines to be LONG! Anyway, after work, I had plans with Natalie.

Natalie and I went to a Loverware Party @ Night Dreams, a sex shop in Bethesda. Hosted by DC 101, the guest of honor was Victoria Zdrok, Penthouse’s Pet of the Year 2004. It was…interesting… Honestly, Victoria was kinda busted. And the sex shop was kinda disappointing. I think the shady Ithaca one had more to offer than this place. In the meantime, the event had an adverse effect on me ’cause it made me depressed. While in there, I realized “There’s a sexual world out there, and I have nothing to do with it!” Seriously, where’s my sex? A place like that makes you realize just how many people are screwing, and it hurts to not be in that number….At the same time, Natalie’s walking around going, “I want this…and this…” And it got to me ’cause she’s gonna use the shit. With some girl. No particular girl at the moment, but give it time…So, when the thing was finally over, she asked what was wrong with me, and I told her. Yeah, I’m too honest. Then she goes into this thing about “it happens when you least expect it” and “you gotta stop looking…” blah blah. All shit I’ve heard before. I’m tired of these games: You’re too nice, you’re gay. You have to make a concerted effort to appear uninterested in order to interest a woman. WTF?!! I’m sick of this mindgame shit.

So, after she dropped me off, I got ready for the second phase of the night with Brett. Once at Nation, I immediately see this beautiful girl dancing with her friends. I mean, she was smoking. She looked like Jessica Biel. And the cute part was she almost looked like she was counting while she danced. She had some moves, but she was definitely getting points for effort. I danced around her. but not with her. I thought her friends were trying to keep her away, so I didn’t press the issue. Eventually, after a few more drinks, I tell Brett how much I want the girl, and he’s all like, “Talk to her.” I didn’t know what to say, so he took his drunk ass and went to talk to her for me. I pretended I didn’t know. He told her I was straight, thought she was attractive, etc. She told him I should come over and talk for myself. So, after pounding a Long Island, I make my way over to her, not knowing what to say. First off, I apologized for Brett ’cause I had to make it look like I hadn’t put him up to it. We started talking, and she was a cool, beautiful girl. But there’s more…the kicker was when she told me her future plans. You see, she just graduated from college and her major was RUSSIAN!!! And in a few weeks, she’s off to grad school in RUSSIA!!! I told her about my Russian past, and she couldn’t believe it. After we exchanged a few Russian pleasantries, we were really hitting it off.. When the good music started, we were back on the dance floor, and I was grinding her like you wouldn’t believe. There were points where I thought, “I should make a move”, but I can’t bring myself to be that guy. Unfortunately, I was drunk, and I think I lost my rhythm at one point. It was then that a gay guy just swooped in and snatched her from me. Later on, I saw her and she told me she was going to find a friend she came with. I found her in the other dance room, chilling with some Black dude; I’d been replaced….

So, Brett and I left, and decided we were too drunk to come home, so we went to Soho for coffee. Soho’s right next to Apex, which is where Natalie went tonight, so I called her up. She met us outside, and went to Soho with us. Now, this is where shit gets twisted….

I’m drunk as shit, and brazenly hitting on Natalie. So, she likes girls. I’m drunk. What do I care? So, I’m making an ass of myself, but it’s cool ’cause she knows I’m drunk.

Next thing I know, these two guys, George and Tony sit at our table. I kinda see them looking at me, but I pretend to ignore it ’cause we’re in DuPont at this point, and I don’t wanna send any mixed signals. Next thing I know, Tony’s telling me that I’m a beautiful man. George, then, says that I’m the most beautiful man he’s seen all night. Well, Holy Shit! I’m getting hit on by some gay guys! They’re older, like late 30’s, but they definitely seem interested. Now, I’m weirded out ’cause I don’t swing that way, but at the same time, flattered ’cause, c’mon, “Most beautiful man all night”?!! that’s some heavy shit.

So, we all start shooting the shit, and all of a sudden, George is like “Are you 100% straight?” I was like, “Yeah, I am.” Natalie, trying to be cute, chimes in, “No, he’s like 50%, max”. You see, here’s a little variable I’ve never blogged about before. As much as I’m into the girl, she’s got this hang-up where she doesn’t exactly believe I’m entirely straight. In fact, she kind of thinks of it as some kind of sick game to try to turn me. I think it’d be some kind of HRC accomplishment for her to do so. Maybe she gets double coupons this month if she’s successful.

So, of course this little tidbit stokes the fires, and Tony and George wanna hear more. He finds out that she likes girls, and then he’s like, “Dude, why are you chasing a lesbian? You’re in denial!” I’m like, “Denial of what?” He responds, “C’mon man. Don’t bullshit me! I was like you. When I was in my early 20’s, I got married. I had a kid. But I was fooling myself. I wasn’t being true to myself.”

He continues with, “You love this girl because she’s safe. Don’t get me wrong. She’s a beautiful girl, but you love her because you know you can’t have her. But it’s the closest you’re willing to go in order to be with someone who’s not straight.”

Brett’s just sitting there, kinda laughing at the absurdity of the whole thing, but Natalie becomes fucking Juror # 1. She seems to be agreeing with the guy. He asks her why she’s dating me, and she says we’re not dating. She tells him we were dating, but it just didn’t work out. Now, that’s fuckin’ news to me! Whenever I’d even attempt to call our shit dates, she’d get all weirded out ’cause “things change when you start dating”. So, here I am being attacked ’cause I’m “in denial”, and the past few weeks have apparently been a sham.

Brett and Tony disappear, and I go into my explanation of how I’m willing to acknowledge an attractive man, but that doesn’t mean I want to sleep with him. Quite the contrary. I can’t fathom the idea of sex with a man. I seriously can’t. Hell, I hate my own penis, so how can i go about dealing with those of others? I LOVE women. We won’t get graphic, but there are things women have that a man can never attain. I appreciate an attractive anything, be it man, woman, or sunset. I don’t feel as comfortable acknowledging attractive women because women tend to be catty and jealous, and being raised by women, I was conditioned that you’re just asking for trouble if you open Pandora’s Box in that dept. Don’t tell a woman that another woman is attractive.

This explanation seems to satisfy George. He says that I’m just a secure, heterosexual male. But no, Natalie can’t seem to let it die. She goes on about how I’m perfect, and how if I was a woman, it’d be on. But I’m just in the wrong package. The knife twists. So, George harps back on how futile it is for me to be pining for a lesbian. I tell him I’m a dreamer, and I guess I’m holding out for that tiny part of her that does want me. She sits there quietly.

Another blog I neglected to post was from last Saturday. You see, I got drunk, and a few revelations. I realized, as much as I want her, Natalie doesn’t not feel the same about me. Sure, she loves me. Just not IN love with me. She doesn’t want me. I’m safe, and nice, and care about her, but it’s not about…desire. And like an self-respecting drunk, I called her and told her this. Long story short, she didn’t deny any of it. Basically, this time has just taught her how much she really likes girls. What luck have I!!!

Fast-forward back to tonight. She considers my phone call last week to be when I “broke up” with her. Hello?!!! Didn’t know we were on that level. There’s a part of her that’s joking, but also a serious part.

So, here I have Tony and George telling me how foolish I am for pursuing this, and I have Natalie basically in silent agreement. She stands by her whole, “we tried and it didn’t work out, so stop dwelling” stance. Sorry, but I don’t remember all this!

So, then George starts trying to buy me a drink. He’s all like, “OK, I am gay. Do I have a shot?” I CRACK UP LAUGHING. He’s got balls, I’ll give him that. Now, here he is, psychoanalyzing me, and then he tries to take me home! I was like, “No, you don’t have a shot!” But he kept plying us all with drinks, so when Brett agreed, I was like, “fine, you can get me a drink.” He kept suggesting espresso, so I guess he wanted to make sure I stayed awake for awhile tonight….

Finally, Tony is like, “Do you find me attractive?” What are you supposed to say when you’re on the spot like that? I was like, “Yeah, you’re cute.” “But do you find me hot?” he asked. I told him I didn’t have feelings like that. I didn’t know him to know if he was hot. At a glance, he’s cute. He said, “I want you to listen to those words. You need to listen to the words that you are speaking. And I want you to respect this woman, ” as he puts his arm around Natalie. Ok, not really sure how I disrespected Natalie, but this was turning into a bad sci-fi movie where your ally has been a spy all along. She seemed pretty comfortable nestled up with him, as Tony suggested I be honest with myself. He said, “You love this woman, but you know it cannot be. You are hiding from something. You must be honest with yourself. What was your name again?”

George chimed in with, “You shouldn’t be like this. You should be proud of who your are. You are a handsome Black man. You shouldn’t take shit off of anybody. It took me awhile to learn that, and I’m not Black. I’m a White guy. From Switzerland. But I learned that. You should go out there, with your head up, and say ‘fuck you!’ You should never be afraid to be who you truly are!”

This is when the real shit hit the fan. Tony stands up, offers me his hand, and says, “My name is Antonio Guerra, and you are gay. You are in denial, and you are scared, but you should know that there’s nothing to fear. You have friends here for you. We will support you.” I didn’t take his hand. I just sat there, dumbfounded. I can’t believe he fucking tried to OUT me in a damn coffeeshop in such an AA fashion. I just looked at him. This bastard was standing here, trying to welcome me to the fold!!! Brett thought it was hilarious, which, had it happened to anyone else, I probably would’ve laughed too.

Everyone seemed so convinced, and there was nothing I could do to change anyone’s mind. I didn’t say anything. Brett started to light a cigarette. “Brett, give it to me,” I said. Yes, I did what I never thought I’d do. I guess I have a real reason to hate those Truth.com kids now. Yes, I smoked my first cigarette. Brett was all like, “Don’t just inhale. Just let yourself take it in.” Fortunately, I didn’t choke or start coughing or anything. In fact, I only had about 3 puffs. Enough to relieve the stress, but also enough to know that I’m not cut out to be a smoker.

So, everyone seemed pretty satisfied, and the conversation turned back to bullshit, such as the fact that George was a chef at a popular G-town restaurant, etc. Then, he acknowledged that I hadn’t said anything since my apparent “outing”, so he gave me the floor. I told them I had nothing to say. I was drunk, sleepy, and had nothing to say. They said I was using it as an excuse, but to give it time….

So, I was ready to go, as was Brett. Natalie wanted us to walk her to her car. George and Tony are asking for our numbers. They want to get together again. Natalie and Brett actually gave them to them. Tony wanted me to have his number in case I “needed anything”. I guess he wants to be my coming out coach. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll get it from those guys…” Like Hell I will!

We said our goodbyes, walked Natalie to her car, and I cussed the entire fucking way home…

So, to recap: I’m mad because I can’t win. Crushing on a lesbian…who thinks I’m gay….who pulls a Judas on me…in the meantime, I can’t even hook up with a straight girl in a fucking gay club! I can’t win. I’m “outed” in a fucking CTB-clone coffeeshop, by a bunch of guys I don’t even know, who’re clearly just trying to find a reason to talk to me. Whatever, I can forgive that nonsense, but the whole Natalie involvement kinda disturbed me. Oh yeah, did I mention that I can’t win?

Oh, and for the record, I’m NOT GAY!!!! Get it through your fucking heads. If this had happened at Nation or something, we could use the whole “You were on their turf, so you were asking for it” excuse. But SoHo is NEUTRAL territory.

15th Aug2004

No More Pyramid Schemes!

by Will

So, here’s another”WTF? Moment” from my life:

So, there’s this girl who works in the mall. Let’s call her “N”. So, N works in another store, but she always comes into H&M to talk. In fact, she’s been coming in since the day we opened. She’s cute, although a bit young, and somewhat flirty. But I’ve met N’s bf. Kind of a thug. I think he’d kick my ass.

Despite this, she’s still friendly and touchy feely. But I don’t want my ass kicked, and if you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve got my hands full as it is.

So, the other day, we’re talking and she says, “You should give me your number so we can talk.” This is when I had a “JW Moment”.

Backstory: JW Taylor was my grandfather and although he was a loveable guy, he was kinda ornery. Had a penchant for being an a-hole at times. I have very few memories of him, but he was always an a-hole with me, God bless him! So, for some reason, I got none of my father, and only got JW traits. When I meet relatives from Alabama, they always say, “Wow, he’s just like Unca Nap (JW’s nickname).” So, I’m JW: The Next Generation.

So, I had my JW moment. She’s asking for my number, but I’m thinking to myself: “Why do you need my number? We’re talking now!” But I soon realized I was stalling, and probably looked like a real asshole right there on the spot. So I fumbled and got a pen and gave it to her.

Fast forward about 3 days. I’m on lunch, and my phone rings. Y’all know I don’t answer if I don’t recognize the number. That’s what voicemail’s for. Well, I was waiting for a call, and wasn’t sure if this was it. So, I answer the phone, and woman says, “Hi, my name is T.P. You don’t know me, but I’m N’s mother…”

Immediately, I’m thinking, “Shit! Did that chick run away from home or something?!! What the fuck did I get myself into?!!”

She, then, goes on to say that she had been talking to N, who’d informed her I was looking for another job (who isnt?). Apparently, this chick had one of those Make Money At Home schemes, and she was trying to recruit me. I am SO sick of these bastards! I swear, this has been the summer of gay guys and pyramid schemes. If one’s not approaching me, it’s the other. I’ve had guys try to give me business cards at urinals because apparently I “looked like a hard worker”! Man, that’s prolly the best damn, gay pick-up line I’ve ever heard. Those are the borderline situations where I’m wondering, “Is this a job thing or ARE you hitting on me?”

Anyway, N’s mom wanted to meet sometime to discuss the whole thing. I really didn’t know how to get out of it, so i told her I was really busy because H&M’s season start was coming up, and I’d be working long hours. Apparently, she had a penchant for Tuesdays, so she kept trying to make a meeting for Tuesday. I told her I didn’t know, but I’d get back to her.

I felt so fucking violated! As they’d say in your typical YM or Seventeen, “I was totally mortified!!!”

That girl gave my number to her mother! And there was no freaky-deaky motive behind it! Instead, it was just a nefarious plan to expand their empire. And I was caught in the middle of it! I felt like such a fool.

So, I couldn’t wait to confront N about what happened. She didn’t come to work for about the next four days. I saw her yesterday, and I was like, “YOUR MOM CALLED ME!!” She just kinda laughed. Got all touchy-feely again. I told her I’d hear her out to show I wasn’t a dick, but I wasn’t interested, especially if there was a buy-in, which there usually is in these programs. They always say, “You’re starting a business. Don’t you think that costs money?” Yeah, if I had overhead and a building. Not if I’m e-mailing shit from the comfort of my own home. What could that possibly cost?

So, not really sure how this thing is gonna play out. I’ll prolly bail on the meeting the day of. I’m feeling JUST that flaky, plus I don’t owe this chick anything. If anything, she owes ME.

15th Aug2004

Nothing But Trollops, Ma’am…

by Will

So, this old lady comes in the store the other day and asks, “Do you have ladies’ slips here?”

“No, ma’am,” I replied. “We don’t carry them at this location.”

She fired back, ‘What, no one wears slips around here?”

Here’s where I go into smartass mode. “Nope, no one wears ’em here. It’s just a bunch of loose women walking around…”

Luckily, she was hard of hearing and didn’t catch that, but my coworkers were surprised I wasn’t fired on the spot. Oh well, you can’t mess with the West….

05th Aug2004

I Know You’re Russian ‘Cause You LOOK Like A Russian

by Will

My favorite part of my job at the moment is speaking to all of my Russian customers. Lately, I’ve been trying to get back into the language by using Pimleur’s CD’s and whatnot. Anyway, I’ve gotten to the point where I can call out a Russian on sight (Yes, profiling’s bad, blah, blah, blah)

They’re always like, “How did you know I was Russian?” I can’t say, “Because you look like it!”, so I always just say that I heard them talking. Then, we get into a conversation about how I was an exchange student, blah, blah. Usually, they tell me I have a good accent, which I hope isn’t them just patronizing me. I mean, I guess it would be odd to be minding your own business, and have this Black guy pop out of nowhere, speaking your language. I’m only at the pleasantries/greetings/numbers level, but they still seem to get a kick out of it, and sometimes they teach me new words. Anyway, I gots to get my kicks somehow these days….

01st Aug2004

Thanks…I Think?

by Will

“You just don’t get it! You’d get the hottest guys if you were gay!”

-Natalie

Thanks, sweetie. Thanks a fuckin’ bunch 🙁

18th Jul2004

Will & JJ’s Ho Hunt

by Will

Wow, it’s been a long time since an adventure like THAT! So, last night was quite a night…

First off, my day started kinda shitty ’cause I was late to work for reasons that I couldn’t control, yet they still wrote me up for it. I started the whole “I’m too good for this shit, why am I here, I really gotta leave this place” stuff in my head. Then, out of nowhere, I started getting all these compliments.

We have this thing called a “Snap Board” where people give you “snaps” for doing something good. I saw that I had 3 new snaps for stuff I hadn’t even realized I’d done. I was like, “Wow, they really like me”..Still too good for that place, though.

So, we were all trying to hang out after work ’cause one of the guys had a friend in town, and he wanted to have a big group go out. We were going to Dave & Buster’s, but at the last minute, he decided to go to Apex. That’s the curse of being the only straight male in the H&M Corporation. I was NOT going to Apex ’cause I didn’t feel like dealing with all of that, so I opted out.

Now, from the producers of “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle”, comes “Will & JJ’s ‘Ho Hunt”. It’s not as misogynistic as it sounds, but it is a literal definition of what happened next. We got bored, and were just driving around, as we found ourselves downtown, around K & 12th Streets. Anyone from this region knows what that meant; politicians ain’t the only thing downtown. All of a sudden, prostitutes were coming out of the woodwork. The service roads were backed up with dudes pulling over trying to get a little lovin’.

We were stopped behind a minvan @ a traffic light, when suddenly, a ‘ho just pops out of the side door, adjusting her outfit. I swear, I BET a segment of the Bang Bus was happening right in front of us, and we never even knew it.

So, as we keep driving, trying to get back to MD, more and more hookers. Then, the cops came. They started taping off the service roads so the ‘hos would have nowhere to pick up Johns. Then, they started stopping the younger looking ones, lecturing them about the dangers. It was just like it happens on “COPS”.

The crowning moment of the night was when we saw a guy running out of the alley, smiling like it was his birthday, as he pulled up his pants. JJ’s golden statement? “Dude, he just got served!”

Finally got out of Gomorrah, and passed out at home around 6 AM. Man, that was fun….

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