Alexplorer Goes Time Traveling...

If you're just joining this series already in progress, then it means you don't have a time machine, so here's the short version: Every Tuesday (your present), I come back from my adventures time-traveling around MySpace and fill you in on what happened to people from my past as they keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Ah, here's one now...


Duane (not his real name) was a nice guy.  And when I say "nice guy," I'm talking about the type to permanently land in the "friend zone."  He wasn't very tall, and maybe that's what put him under the radar of even girls way shorter than he was, but he was hung up on a cute but infinitely self-centered little bitch named Joyce who used him every way possible except for sex (not that it's really possible to "use" a guy for sex; we don't mind, really).  I mean, this girl had an ego like a black hole: Inwardly directed and inescapable, and Duane got sucked down it.  It was pathetic.

I never heard Duane play sax, but he was in the marching band (as was the little bitch he obsessed over which was part of the reason why he could never extricate himself from that entanglement).  He started played bass soon after I met him, and found he liked that instrument much better, gradually moved to guitar over the next year or two.  I jammed with him a few times.  We were both into Pink Floyd, the same as pretty much every other male college student in the mid-'90s.

Duane's best friend was another guy in the dorm who we'll call Pat.  The two of them were pretty much inseparable and I used to come back from class all the time to find them sitting on the bench outside our place.  Ours was a small dorm at the front prong of a horseshoe filled with (excepting ours) just girls' dorms.  Duane and Pat spent their afternoons watching our female neighbors come and go between classes.  I'm a bit oversexed by most people's standards, but even I got bored after about ten minutes of this.  They did it for years.  Of course, these were the guys who used to buy a case of beer, then get drunk in the dorm's lobby before they went out.  It was cheaper, they explained.

Somewhere before I graduated (again), Pat and Duane had a falling out.  I don't know what it was over because I was too busy with my thesis, teaching, night classes, etc. by that point to hang out with them.  Whenever I saw the two of them toward the end of that year, they were on their own and didn't have much to do with one another.

Duane's living up north with what sounds like a pretty good engineering job for the state.  He doesn't do MySpace as far as I can tell, but I find traces of him on countless other boards devoted to home theater systems and cable vs. satellite options.  I didn't think this was an area of human endeavor worthy of discussion, but somehow he found others who talk endlessly about it with him and one another.  Seriously, he knows this shit inside and out.  I even ran across an old personal page of his that contained a gallery of photos of his home theater and dvd collection.  You would think that this is an indicator that he really needs to get out and find a girl.  Fortunately, somewhere along the way he did already, one who cared enough about him to give him a kid that she'll probably have to shush while the game is on.  I don't know what happened to the snotty little bitch he used to pine over, but I just hope that isn't his future ex-wife.

Hypothetical letter I'll probably never send to him:

I was a completely self-involved bitch when I met you in college.  Since we parted ways, I have worked to become a better person.  This has included traveling around the world with the Peace Corps and trying to make up for wronging everyone who I used with my self-serving ways.  I am trying to atone through every way possible, and I believe you could help me with that.

If you should ever happen across me on the street, I'm not sure how I will react.  Maybe I will be friendly like I always should have been.  Maybe I'll immediately revert to the little cunt I always acted like around you, but it doesn't matter.  In either case, the first thing you should do when you see me is to slap me as hard as you can across the face.

I realize this is an unusual request, but it is exactly what you should have done to me the moment I revealed my vile personality around you.  If I'm not rendered unconscious immediately by the force of your backhand, please do it again and again until you produce the effect I deserve.  Remember, you owe me this with interest, and I should collect it all at once.


A postscript.
After I posted this episode, my friend Beth wrote:
OK, sounds like Joyce screwed you over too.
I replied:
I don't think I exchanged more than a few words with her, but she was friends with my friends Shanna and Britney (not their real names either).  They were originally this improbable trio that succumbed to that very improbability.  Shanna was wild and ADD and is likely the person I married in an alternate timeline or in a future I'm not allowed to reveal to you for fear I could corrupt the timestream.  Britney was a tall brunette who looked and sounded like a national newscaster.  Joyce was a short, blonde center of the universe in her own mind.  She wasn't bright enough to be manipulative, but gullible and desperate guys (like "Duane") would fall over themselves trying to do everything they could for her.

Logic and reason held no sway with her, and that especially included times when we were out trying to have a good time and she wasn't getting what she wanted.  One night Shanna and I were out with her and a few other friends, and Joyce continually whined about wanting to go somewhere else instead.  "Go," we said, but she wouldn't.  If she wasn't enjoying herself, then we shouldn't be allowed to either.  Shanna and Britney eventually started avoiding her so they could go out without having to practically babysit her.  They wanted to move into a place together, but they kept their apartment hunting a secret lest she try to weasel her way into co-signing a lease.

I don't know what ever became of her, but I hope it involved the words "malignant" and/or "grossly disfigured."

Copyright 2007 Ale[x]plorer.  All photos are of the actual individuals described above because, seriously, I can't make this shit up.
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