Friday, November 04, 2005

These Friends Of Mine

So about a month or so ago my pal Mike comes into the store about 20 minutes before we are ready to close to buy the new live Primus DVD. Since I am sort of multi-tasking, getting things ready for closing, I am scurrying around while talking to Mike and not really looking right at him while doing it. I mean, it's Mike. I've known him for 15 years. I know what he looks like, right?

Well after about 20 minutes of this Mike gets miffed and says, "So I noticed that YOU have not noticed my spiffy new hair-do yet."

So I finally look at him. And he has... uh, a faultline shaved down the middle of his head, from front to back. And down his face, between his mustache, and parting his beard.

"Mike!" I bellow.

"Supercuts did it!" He replies happily. "I asked her to split me in half."

"Nooo," I roll my eyes, "I mean why didn't you ask me to do it for you? I shaved Joe's hair down the middle the same exact way almost 10 years ago, and I did it perfectly even. I'd have done yours for free, yo."

Mike may not have remembered back when Joe had his hair like that during the Nsect Club years (haha Mike's old) but after a month or so of not seeing him I figured he might have gotten over the novelty of it and let it grow back out.

Bzzzt... Wrong! Mike comes over to my place Wednesday night still sportin' the reversed mohawk look, now even more pronounced because he has let the remaining hair grow out considerably further around it, punctuating the fault to the point where even a known nitwit like myself could pick up on it after more than 20 minutes of interaction.

I still think the back looks a little lopsided, though. I don't think it can be anything I'd have the skills to fix without just widening the fault beyond the "subtle" stage. Not like he's going for subtlety anyway, I'm certain.

Oh who the heck am I kidding? There's nothing subtle about this as it is! But I will have to show the pictures to S. this weekend, if only to hear her say, "Hey, remember when Joe had his hair like that back in the Nsect Club days?"

And speaking of S. I've been spending the past week beating myself over the head trying to figure out what to give my best friend for her birthday this Saturday (trying at least to out-do the playing card shurikens I got her last year) she calls me last night from her boyfriend's house to tell me that she has already opened the one of three "big" gifts that he got her this year -- knowing full well that I would be the only friend she has who could truly appreciate the value:

A first printing of Love And Rockets #1. No, not "Music For Mechanics", the original Love And Rockets #1. This is some kind of a promo #1 called "Music For Monsters", a story that I am familiar with from the "Music For Mechanics" issue. Also featuring the stories from issue #1 like "Mechan-X", "How To Kill An Isabel Reubens", etc., and the cover art has what looks to be a robot peeking through a hole made out of its claw. Apparently only 800 were ever made.

And he bought it for her on eBay for $1,500.

Holy Christ on a bicycle!! How does she even hold the damn thing without fear of... of breaking it, for crap's sake? "I haven't even touched it!" she cries, no doubt staring at it from a safe distance across the room as she's speaking to me, "I can't even read it! It's... it's... I feel unworthy just to look at it!" I asked if I could come over to look at it with a tiny hole cut into a paper plate but there's talk of maybe all of us getting together for dinner on her birthday and then maybe she'll usher me into the special secret acid-free comic book isolation chamber that she no doubt has constructed in her backyard for her most valuable of titles. And she promises me that she won't make me turn the pages with tweezers like my brother does with his comix (he really needs to stop being influenced by The Simpsons so much).

Welp, there's no pressure of topping that this year from my end. So without much in the way of money or bright ideas, I am making her homemade cookies for her birthday this year. Yeah, I know! I know. But she does like my cookies a bunch. But to be honest, cookie-making is kinda special to me. I don't do much cooking in general, so when I make cookies by scratch it's sort of -- this is gonna sound hokey -- a bonding moment between myself and the person for whom that I am making them. When I am mixing the ingredients, stirring that thick batter with my horribly insufficient rinkydink little spoon I spend a lot of that time thinking about the person that I am making them for, thinking about how they usually like more chocolate chips, or less chocolate chips, or more of this texture, or less of that, just from years of experience in making cookies for them, and I work hard to make them just how they like them. Every blister on my finger (and boy do I get blisters) is a mark of love, a reminder of the physical effort I put into something specific for them. When I hand S. her box of fresh-baked cookies she always notices the Band-Aids all Michael Jackson-style up and down my fingers and she always comments with that aw-no-you-shouldn't-have-not-your-drawing-fingers-awww but she always knows, or at least I pray she knows, I do it to show how much she means to me as a friend. And I have a lot to make up to her for this year. The pain is always worth it, as long as my sentiment shows through.

And of course I had to make some cookies for my love... my Joe. I'm just brimming with the milk of human kindness this week, aren't I? Try and catch me while I'm like this now, compadres. I'll be back to my old crankypants self by the beginning of the working week, to be sure.


Blogger Anita said...

At least I'll know what Mike looks like if I ever run into him somewhere! You can't miss that!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Mike is actually a pretty well known local drummer and has been in a number of bands, both local and national. He's most well known for being the drummer for the Gibb Droll Band for a long time. Gibb being a local blues guitar prodigy in the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan. He's also played live gigs on and off with national (and local) blues artist Deborah Coleman.

10:36 PM  

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