Tales of a Terrible Person, Part I

9 May

In the past few weeks, I’ve made a couple of interesting observations.  Number One:  Lately, I’ve only been attracting girls that are crazy, desperate, or crazy desperate.  I mean, I’m not entirely opposed to crazy.  It keeps things interesting, and really, having to get a restraining order is just God’s way of telling you that someone thinks you’re worthwhile.  But honestly, if your month consisted of four consecutive weekends of a different wide-eyed skank sternly repeating something along the lines of “YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME” at 6 in the morning, chances are it’s time to go back to the drawing board.  Or at least stop hanging out with chicks that smell like they just got gang-banged by Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker.

Observation Numbero Dos stems from the first one: If someone has to go out of their way to say they aren’t crazy or that they are a good person, they are likely crazy and/or terrible people.  It’s just a fact of life.  People love to think that just because they held the door open for an old lady or put a penny in the homeless jar or smiled at a black person, suddenly, they’re good people.  But when push comes to shove and some dirty Queensbridge hooker is getting the Dollar Store makeup slapped right off her face by some pimp named Tony, I’ll bet a shiny nickel that none of those “good people” would get involved.  I, for one, am not one of those people.  Don’t get me wrong, I still wouldn’t call the cops in that situation, but at least I’m the first person to admit that I am a terrible person.  Sure, I’m not Hitler-Terrible or even Kate Gosselin-Terrible, but for the most part, the only good thing about me is that I got an ass that’ll make Zeus jealous.

Trying to explain why I’m a terrible person just doesn’t make much sense, so for all those who I haven’t left for dead, drunk in a midtown gutter, I’m compiling a series of stories from my life that will explain it better than I can.  This is part one.

About a year ago, I was leaving New York for London for a month and wanted to celebrate my last weekend in the city.  Problem was, I was still under 21, using my brother’s ID to get into bars.  Nobody ever questions a New York State ID, even though the man in the ID photo weighed about 200 pounds more than I did with a beard twice as furry as anything I could ever grow.  Thankfully, though, I knew every detail about my fake identity and I had the perfect backup story just in case anyone asked where the weight went: gastric bypass surgery.  Most bouncers and bartenders know just enough to understand that gastric bypass surgery makes you skinny without knowing much else.  I never had the surgery, but I knew just the right amount about it to convince anybody who asks, and all of my friends were in on it too just in case.  Either way, no one ever asked, so I kept my mouth shut.

For the big celebration, we decided to go down to some overpriced hookah bar downtown run by pretty much all the bad guys from 24.  I rolled through like a motherfucker, wearing my sunglasses inside just to let everyone know that I planned on acting like a huge douchebag all night.  When we ordered a round of Coronas, Haji from Johnny Quest decided to card us.  I flipped him my ID and turned to start macking on some girl who probably didn’t deserve the honor of my company, when all of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Uh, this isn’t you, sir,” said Haji.

“Uh, yes it is,” I replied.

Haji shuffled a bit, wondering how to put it best.  “Yes but sir…this…is not you.”

I pulled down my shades to the bridge of my nose and waved him in.  Cupping the side of my mouth, I whispered, “I had gastric bypass surgery”.  My friends laughed and yelled, “Yeah, you should have seen him, he used to be a fat ass!” I shouted back at them with feigned embarrassment, and between us, we put on a more convincing show than the LGBT kids from Glee.  Haji handed me back my ID and headed back to the kitchen, America wins, Terrorists lose, end of story.

But a few minutes later, Haji tapped me on the shoulder again, and he wasn’t carrying a tray of cold Coronas.  “The manager would like to speak with you,” he said.  She stood sternly against the bar with her arms folded across her chest–a large, frightening woman who looked like she hailed from a country where murder wasn’t exactly frowned upon.  I walked up to her with the swagger of an entitled teen who’s been watching too many Dos Equis commercials.

“You wanted to talk to me?”

“You.  You got gastric bypass surgery?”

“Yup.”

“When?”

“Two years ago.”

“Where?”

“New York.”

“What hospital?”

“Mount Sinai, uptown.”

“Lapband surgery?”

“No, the other one.  Laparoscopic or whatever.”

The manager looked at Haji and told him to leave the two of us to speak alone.  He left confused, and the manager stepped closer to me, staring directly into my eyes, waiting for me to blink.  After a moment of silence, her face suddenly dropped in sadness.

“I just got the surgery six weeks ago in Colombia.  They removed most of my stomach, and I can barely eat.  I can’t eat meat or drink soda, and I’m just so…I’m so sad.  I’m so scared.  Was it like that for you too?”

All I wanted was a beer.  But instead of downing drinks and smoking hookah, I was playing Dr. Phil for an obese woman who just got her stomach cut out of her by a Colombian doctor whose medical training likely consisted of a guest spot on a Spanish telenovela and beating a bunch of kids at Operation.  The fact was that I was in way over my head, and the only responsible thing to do was to tell her I had been lying all along.  I cleared my throat, pulled off my sunglasses, looked her right in the eye and said:

“That’s perfectly normal.  I went through the same thing after my surgery, and I never thought I’d be the same again.  I thought I’d have to go the rest of my life without my favorite foods, but trust me, it does get better.  I really thought I was gonna die, but just give it some time and it’ll all be fine.”

She wiped her eyes and said, “Well, you look great.  You really have given me hope.  I honestly didn’t know I was gonna get through this, but you really gave me hope.  Thank you so much.”  She hugged me, and I whispered softly in her ear, “It’ll all be better soon.  Just give it time.”

My friends all asked what was going on when I sat back down at our table.  I just sat and shook my head in shame.  In all likelihood, she probably wouldn’t be fine.  From the sound of it, neither she nor her doctor had any idea what they were doing.  Somebody should have told her to see an American doctor immediately to make sure her procedure won’t eventually kill her, but instead, I filled her with confidence and false hope…and all for what?

Just then, Haji placed an ice-cold Corona in front of me.  I popped my shades back on, tossed my arm around the girl sitting next to me, and shouted with a smile, “Worth it!”

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One Response to “Tales of a Terrible Person, Part I”

  1. Anonymous 06/01/2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Love it

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