And that’s how I woke up in Anoka with no shoes.

“Knock ‘em dead, killer!” Cake Woman advised when we chatted before Paul’s party. Maybe that vote of confidence was all I needed to almost flirt with a half dozen ladies. You saw the pictures — aside from the first couple of women who were dressed as Minnesota sports players I was barely creepy at all.

The next night Lisa made a big deal about the three single women who would be showing up. I made a big deal out of my own terror over throwing parties and threw responsible drinking off of the deck along with the screen door. I had promised Cake Woman that I would protect her during the party. She doesn’t like people and parties make her nervous. I didn’t protect her. I feel guilty. I don’t feel guilty about staggering around my own party and blacking out my foosball losses.

The punchline for that party is perhaps the best part, and telling it leaves the door open for me to trickle out anecdotes involving things that I had to be told happened. My mom’s husband asked how we liked the jugs of microbrewery beer that he had left, and I confessed that I drank and enjoyed most of the Cragg, and drank but did not remember the Diablo beer. Even my mom laughed. Lisa spilled the punchline before my mother gave haircuts to Stan and I, so I had to tell the story. Honestly, it’s not that interesting — just the sort of minor argument that winds through a party like a tapeworm.


Somewhere in the darkest part of the party night, my boss Zach and his friends arrived. I swear that he brought as many people as Lisa or I — certainly more than I had directly invited. Before he arrived, he asked if they should bring beer. I said no, but joked that if they had beer in the car it might not be a terrible thing. I don’t remember ever running out of beer at a party, but I was not about to start now. When Lisa and I used to smoke, we would put out a carton of cigarettes in candy dishes, and we definitely ran out of those.

By the time Zach showed up I was drinking Octoberfest as quickly as I could pour it into my “Our Beer Must Be Good” glass. If you haven’t seen the glass that my mom bought me, it features a naked pinup lady, as though high quality beer causes women’s clothing to evaporate. In my experience, this is not true. I have experienced evaporated clothing, but the clothes were mine, and it turned out that I had merely stripped down naked in the living room before carrying a woman to her bed. The next morning when the room stopped spinning long enough for me to stand up, I exclaimed “what happened to my clothes, did they evaporate?”

Yes, I have made that mistake when drunk, and even when sober. Even more surprising is that other people have made the same mistake with me. When I was thirteen I knew with firm resolution that I would never date any woman. At seventeen I got an unsolicited phone call from a girl, whom I dated and promptly scared away by having absolutely no idea how to relate to a woman in a high school relationship. Things ended badly — or at least weirdly, but she had broken the seal that had imprisoned me.

On the party night Lisa’s friend scolded me for wearing a baggy shirt and told me that I looked much better than I had in photographs from a couple of years before. I don’t remember her leaving, but even I remember rambling on for too long about my magical weight loss methods involving pizza and beer. Probably not cool, but it was my party to wreck — at least partly.

After Zach tried to tell his “scariest story ever told” I found my way inside, where I found Cake Woman taking her knapsack and trying to leave the house. I told her not to leave. I begged. I pleaded. She said that there was no way that she could stay and not seem like an asshole. I sat down. She walked out the door. The whole room looked at me. I sighed, rolled my eyes, took a gulp of beer and stormed outside. I begged some more and told her that if she stayed I would throw everyone else out. Aside from Paul and Zach, Cake Woman was the only guest that I really wanted there anyway. Paul had left for a better party and Zach was trying (but failing) to catch up to my own hideous drunkeness. We argued, and finally I asked “if you go, can I come with you?”

“Get in the car then.”

I swallowed the rest of my beer and set my glass on the lawn. As we pulled away from the curb, I looked down at my bare feet and wiggled my toes.

“I’m barefoot!”

On the way to Anoka Cake Woman smoked an impossibly long Virginia Slims Extra Menthol Light (or whatever the hell it was). I put one in my mouth and got the filter all wet.

“Take that out of your mouth. I’m not going to let you smoke.”

I didn’t take it out of my mouth, but I didn’t smoke it. I didn’t even want to light it, I just wanted to be funny ol’ Jesse, always quick with the pratfalls and jokes.

The world outside the car was a blackened tunnel. Highway 10 slid by beyond the focus of my eyes. It narrowed to a lane and a half for construction, and then we were spit out onto an exit. My feet were pale against the cold asphalt of the parking lot, the industrial carpet of the stairs, and the spongy carpet in Cake Woman’s apartment. I pulIed off my shirt. I passed out on Cake Woman’s bed against the wall.

The next morning I woke up alone next to a woman. She was alone too. Neither of us had moved from where we had fallen. We hadn’t touched during the night. I wasn’t even under the blanket.

And that’s how I woke up in Anoka with no shoes.

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What A Weekend!

So Cake Woman works six days on and three days off. Her weekend this round was composed of Tuesday, Wednesday, and today, except that she had a ride along today at six AM which involved wearing a bulletproof vest and traveling at a speed of one hundred and twenty miles per hour in a Crown Victoria. Yes, I’m terribly jealous — the fastest that I have gone in a car was about 117. Despite only getting two hours of sleep and me suddenly remembering that I had to babysit after school, we still managed to hook up to do fun things. Most of the time the fun things that I do involve intellectual pursuits like television or reading on the toilet, so it was nice to break the tedium with some Addams Family Pinball at the Viking Bar and bowling at Elsie’s. Our penultimate game was my best game ever! I bowled a 119! I think that it was the Slipknot that turned my game around. I can’t say that I like metal, but sometimes you just need a little screaming to get your game on.

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Woo Hoo!

I just used my new cell phone in my room. Five bars.

Dear Verizon:
You are the ones who are ball lickers.

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Zach is the genius of comedy

Zach: whereas the children of pie and the children of meat would be otherwise very different

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I Was In a Deep Sleep

i napped
I really meant to go vote, I just wanted to close my eyes for a minute…

Like Rhonda Shears and Gilbert Godfried I was up all night. This had deleterious effects on my sanity today. When I got home I slipped into a coma crossways in the big chair. I’m kind of ashamed of myself for not stopping on the way to school, or on the way home, or after I got home when Lisa and Stan offered to drop me off. Okay, terribly ashamed.

I wish that my classes were at night again, this interleaving classes into work really blows.

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New York, New York


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Just effing great

Well, rolling back to testing didn’t seem to do the trick. I ran memcheck86 for like two hours and it didn’t find any problems with the RAM in the server. I just rolled back to apache2/stable. I have no idea what side effects that will introduce, but at some point the server gets shut up and I visit the bridge with the shoe tree and try to find a shortcut to the water.

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I spent the day sleeping, watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and now PBS. I learned that killer whales are super cool. I also checked my voicemail about a million billion times. I can’t wait to get my new cell phone so that I can obsess without expending any effort. Ooh! Time for Kidnapped! I will also be trying to sleep, if that makes you feel any better.

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When They Say Unstable, I Guess They Mean Unstable

I’ve been running debian unstable for a long time with seemingly no problems — until just this week, when everything went haywire and my server crashed a couple of times a day. I rolled apache and php4 back just now to the…

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The Stars Fill Up My Eyes

When you sing

I went to an art auction for a friend’s gallery tonight. One of the things that I had forgotten from the party (the party!) was that I had said that I wanted to volunteer for the gallery. Fortunately, drunk Jesse and sober Jesse agreed. Of course, I ducked out of volunteering from Tuesday through Friday, but hey, who’s counting. I’ll be back tomorrow (today!) to help take down the remnants of the festivities.

“Do I have some competition, then?” Cake Woman asked. The rest of you (including Paul and Zach) are SOOOO lucky that I didn’t drunk dial you. I mean, I was sober, but at one in the morning, there’s no telling whom I will call if I can actually get service on my cell phone. Cake Woman was referring to Cupcake Woman, whose name is Andrea, but gained a terrible moniker by virtue of serving up bite-sized amazing. I introduced myself to a lot of women, but most of them were moving targets. Not so the cute lady with the delicious cupcakes! However, the cupcakes were from one of three places that she works, so maybe they don’t count in the cake race. Who knows. I had an all right time talking to her, and she has my phone number now.

She left early. I had hoped for a second round draft pick, but the rest of the women all seemed pair bonded. FINE. You go line your nest with trendy emo glasses and American Spirits in the yellow box. You do that, and take your knee-high boots with you. I won’t miss you, except when I wake up alone, which is every day.

On the way home a wave of realism swept over me. I sang a loud counterpoint to Laura Veir’s “Galaxies:”

She’ll never call! You know she’ll never call!

Singing is the only part of driving that I miss.

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