It might just fuck with your head

Early this morning I was the guilty victim of a dreadful Freudian slip, and now I’m running from it, scared that it might happen again in front of a bigger audience. Come to think of it, I was lucky only one person heard it. I was also lucky that the one person was not my Dad. I don’t know if he could handle it. If my sister’s recent Mormon conversion causes him to question his role as a parent, this would just be irreversibly devastating.

So I exhale a little sigh of relief, but then I inhale an abundance of paranoia. What if I don’t take a week off writing New Goo, which I had resolved to do on Friday? What if I decide to write about my Freudian slip, and it doesn’t stay safely between my friend, dear old Sigmund, his coke habit, and me?? Am I prepared to make my tiny spec of blog audience feel truly ashamed of having read a single word that I’ve written here? Do I really want my friends to disown me and erase my number from their cell phones? Is it worth it? And if so, why?

Alright, Father. I’ll confess. The moment in question occurred around 1:30 this morning, smack dab in the middle of my backyard. Normally, this is an empty, secluded place where you can get away with impersonating Hilter without anyone really knowing. However, on this particular morning, my roommate and I had some people over. Because there were always more than fifteen of them at varying stages of the night (and they were drinking vodka tonics and Miller Lite cans, smoking, listening to themselves talk about music and movies at a louder volume than usual, and complaining about the music selection by “quietly” putting Bjork into rotation much to the hostess’ dismay), I guess you could call it a party.

This party was not my idea. My roommate suggested it to me with stars in her eyes last Wednesday, so I reluctantly agreed and invited everyone I knew. I love people, parties, and party people, but having too many of them at once in my apartment is socially overwhelming. If I talk to someone for more than five minutes, I feel like I’m being a terrible hostess, and then someone else arrives and wants me to fix them a drink, and then someone I don’t know thinks he can replace my DJ skills with Bjork (see also: Party Killer, the antithesis of James Brown’s “Sex Machine”). At least four times last night I wanted to suggest ditching the party in favor of some real conversation at the bar across the street, especially after an unfortunate incident cast an ominous, somebody-just-died spell on the overall mood of the festivities.

Unbeknownst to me, a troubled lady friend of a dear friend of mine had decided, for whatever reason, that it would be cool to take a handful of muscle relaxers before arriving around 10. After drinking a couple beers and acting deceptively normal, she parked herself in our easy chair for twenty minutes, stared into space in a heroin-nod kind of way, and then tried to get up when they were getting ready to leave. Several falls, plenty of severe convulsing, three attempts to carry her to the car, and one 911 call later, there was a fire paramedic flashing red down our apartment complex driveway.

She’s okay now, but I have to say that the worst part about this happening was hearing from my friend this morning that, after having her stomach pumped at the hospital, this woman was angry with us for caring enough about her to call the ambulance. I’ll probably never see her again, so I’ll just let everyone else judge her. I just really hope she figures out her drug issues. But muscle relaxers? I’m no Drug Czar, but I can’t help but question her DOC. Are muscle relaxers the new Oxycontin? If so, can we discreetly inject some into Rush Limbaugh’s mouth? Not enough to hurt him…just so he can’t talk for…a while?

Anyway, so…back to the party, on my way to the Freudian slip. Backyard buzzing with good friends and really bad vibes. I’m working overtime trying to divert conversation away from the OD when one of my old friends from college randomly decides to show up. I had called him earlier that day, but like all of my invites, it was a short-notice shot in the dark. Back when I was a senior at Syracuse, he was a TV-Film grad student, doubling as an excellent-tipping regular at Cosmos, the diner where I earned my extra minor in restaurant service sociology, with specialization in memorizing mini jukebox mainstays like Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” (I can now whistle the entire guitar solo verbatim). After graduating, we both moved out here around the same time and we’ve sort of kept in touch, but as of last night, I hadn’t seen him in at least a year.

We were playing catch up in the backyard, and as he sucked down the same old name brand cigarette I used to smoke back in the day and blew it right in my face, I ran my mouth on the 20-second State of My Life at Present. Small talk sounds like a walk in the park compared to tackling (earlier that night) a conversation that begins, “Did you know that if you drive your car too far, through your wall, you would ram right into your kitchen? What if Lorelei was cooking dinner, and you just drove right through?” But I prefer getting the “small” in “talk” out of the way as quickly as possible in order to get to discuss more important things, like possible reasons why I would want to drive my car through the wall and analyzing the laws of physics to determine how fast I would have to be going in order for me to hit the fridge.

So here I was, eyeing his cigarette, intermittently swigging my beer, and doing my small talk routine as fast as possible. I’m nearing the end, and my next line is to say that I’m starting grad school in the fall to become a librarian. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Karl Rove swoops down and inhabits the left side of my body. Tom Delay sabotages my critical judgment like the Texas congressional districts. Like Ursula in the Little Mermaid, Ann Coulter manipulates my voice so that it says:

“I’m going to grad school…to Cal State Fullerton…in the fall…to become a Republican.”

You should have seen my face. There are no words. Well, I’ll try. Shock. Shame. Disappointment. My friend stared at me like he didn’t recognize me, even after I profusely corrected myself and looked around, paranoid, to make sure no one else heard. Uneasily assured that my reputation was still intact, I quickly changed the topic away from small talk to the safe haven of his day job marketing high-end sci-fi props. My sips of beer became increasingly more frequent despite early morning soccer, but I didn’t care. I needed the worst kind of intoxication in the worst way. After all, I had said, aloud, that I’m going to grad school to become a Republican.

Following shock, my first reaction to this statement was sobering humor, which I kept to myself. How funny would it be for someone to get a graduate degree in Republicanism? But I didn’t laugh because it’s actually not funny at all, given the farfetched inevitability should we allow the current Administration and Congress continue to accumulate more power. Determined to conquer the liberal majority intelligentsia of higher education system, Republicans might encourage state and private schools to introduce majors that accurately reflect the state of our union, rather than dooming our young leaders with misleading deviants like Saussure, Derrida, Foucault, Marx, and, well, Freud (because I’ve got to blame someone).

And now that I’ve officially freaked myself out again, I’m going to get down on my knees and pray for the sanctity of higher education, reassured by the fact that roughly 98% (adjusted for exaggeration) of college professors are liberal, and that they would never go to grad school to become a Republican, let alone actually say it out loud in public, in Los Angeles.

Even an OD-scarred party with appalling political orientation revelations has a silver lining. I fell asleep worried that my Freudian slip would become as permanent as Bush’s tax cut fantasy and that my brain would be dyed red. When I woke up, I looked around and knew that this would be, without a doubt, the most liberal day I have ever lived through, and it was heightened by an appreciation for my political views and everything that has shaped them to where they are now, at a time in my life when I finally care.

Just to make sure I was still all there, I dissected the LA Times after my soccer game. When my Republican Freudian slip shock from last night was effectively superseded by a “what the fuck?!” in response to the Schiavo case ordeal, I breathed another sigh of relief. Rove and Co. better not try that shit again, because next time I’ll be prepared. Who knows? I may have wanted to be a Republican for one second, but from now on, my mind is safely in the clear.

Well, actually, thankfully, it’s far from clear. Today I was inundated with ideas, coming from seemingly everywhere. Potential stories/posts/perspectives are stacking up like the unread books on my shelf. I even got an idea for a screenplay for the first time since officially losing faith in the feature film, making me realize that I might want to skip Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous in favor of a yet-to-be-determined born-again movie fan experience.

Best of all, once again, I have been hit, blindsided by a song, a song that has given a fresh, renewed urgency to everything, a timeless song which, by pure force of music theory, lyrics, and context, may very well become my favorite song of all time, and I don’t knock around language like that lightly. I’ll write it up New Goo-style soon enough, but for now, I’ll leave you with the song, in case you feel like checking it out.

The introspectively epic culminating track closing the revered album Forever Changes by legendary late-60s LA band Love (let me just say it's uncanny that, given present personal circumstances, the last three bands to have impacted me have been named Stars, the Dears, and Love, respectively), "You Set the Scene" is intense; if you listen carefully, you can’t miss it. It'll set your have control over your own scene, and to appreciate a horn section in a rock song. And if you’re really lucky, it might just fuck with your head they way it has fucked with mine all day today.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home