Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm BLEEPING quirky

Your Quirk Factor: 74%

You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.

No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."

No wonder my mom thinks I'm adopted (sorry DM, had to repeat that one...)

Now I know everyone from high school is jealous about me.

Hmm. Let me tell you a bit about my high school experience. I had it good.

I always had good friends. I was never picked on. I met some of my life long best friends there. I met my first girlfriend in HS. I think I turned her into a lesbian. It's so funny. How that was like a harbinger.

Let's see.

I dislocated my knee while I was in high school, although not IN high school.

Did I ever tell that story here?

Oh man. Ok, here's a great story. I wrote it on my myspace page, but I think it's worth re-printing, don't you?

Well, too bad! I'm re-printing it anyway.

Every once in a while, one of my two favorite living authors asks his fans to write him letters. He's done it twice thus far. I've sent him letters and got two wonderful letters back. I treasure them.

So, the second time, he asked 'tell me something about you'.

So here's what I wrote to Chuck Palahniuk:


When I was a kid, I was in little league. I was a pitcher, and I really hate to say it like this, because I like to think of myself as humble, but I was the best in the league. We won every year, got picked for the all star game... it was awesome.

3 years. Had a lot of fun, friends... my parents were divorced, my dad came to see all the games. It was a lot of fun.

4th year, I get drafted to a different team. I get there, and the coach... I'd like to describe him. Big guy, a guy you'd picture with a cigar. More like a news reporter, one of the slimy crime reporters. 40's style hat, large square glasses, sunken face. I can picture him in my mind even now.

He had the other best pitcher in the league. And he benched me. The entire season. When I did play, and I think there was a rule that every player had to play at least three innings, it was right field, or some shit like that. I remember, clear as day, up for bat and I hit a line drive down the third base line and thought it was foul. Head down, hating everything, the crowd was yelling for me to run because it ended up being fair. That's how much I didn't care.

My old coach went up to my dad and I one day and said something to the affect of "If I had known what was going to happen, I would have put a stop to it."

These things happen, I guess, and it's hard to see the line between the game and the war, you know? I guess it's blurry to these people, I don't know. Probably not blurry to the kids playing.

So, I quit. I think I was thirteen maybe... I'm sure, had I not been picked for that other team, baseball would have been my life. I'm 100% positive.

A couple of years pass. Four, to be precise. I'm in my senior year at high school, I'm deciding that I want to go to art school... I had no idea before my senior year what I wanted to do, and I only ended up applying to one school, SVA in NYC... it hit me hard, wanting to become an artist.

It's Fall of 1990. I'm in Cooperstown, NY, visiting my favorite Uncle and his wife, with my family. Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame... all that. And batting cages.

So, I thought I'd give it a shot, you know? Still loved playing sports. I think it was 10 swings for a dollar or something.

I get up and start swinging. And I'm doing pretty good. A crowd is forming. I can't tell if they're waiting for the machine, or watching me. Maybe both.

I get to swing 9 and I feel something in my right knee. A twinge. Do you know what the definition of 'twinge' is? It means 'to have or feel a sudden, sharp pain.' Well, that's about right... although it really wasn't sharp, it was just sudden and foreign.

Swing 10, the bottom part of my right leg moves to the left, my thigh goes to the right and my knee pops out LOUD. I'm having a hard time even writing this... wow, I'm tensing up! Haha.

I fall on the ground and at first I don't understand what's happened, but there's a lot of pain. And the crowd is laughing. Probably thinking I slipped.

I start screaming. I remember my step-father coming to get me and I'm in a lot of pain, cursing... it was pretty bad.

I get to the hospital and find out I dislocated my knee. I get surgery and find out that it was a birth defect, that there was a muscle that, instead of growing off to the side of the patella, it grew on top of it. Same thing for my left leg, but there's nothing they can do for that leg, until it pops.

This story, this whole situation opened up, clear as day, about two months ago. I was sitting outside, just thinking, people watching, and it popped into my head.

I was going to be a baseball player. I was going to go to college and go pro. It was something I really wanted.

At 13 I had no other interests. Nothing. And I couldn't help but wonder how my life would have worked out had I not been picked for a different team. How I might have made it all the way to college on a baseball scholarship... and then, after time caught up with me, blown my leg out then. How many things would have changed. How I would have had to start all over, from scratch.

This seems more than coincidence. It seems quite planned. I'm a very happy person. I haven't always been, and things have been a bit roller coaster like for many years... but at this point in my life, I'm really enjoying myself.

Isn't that odd?"


He wrote this first, in the first paragraph:

"Your baseball/knee story made me a little ill... but it is spooky how life seems to work out for the best."

That is high praise from the man who wrote the short story Guts and had over 100 people faint at his readings!


Someone, anyone, remind me to tell you the gruesome true story of something that happened to me on a subway in NY. It's hilarious.

Oh, and the time I had a kidney removed. That was ridiculously funny.

Actually, it was more painful and frightening. But in a really funny way.

Have a good evening, folks.


Drowsey Monkey said...

Geez! What a story! And yes, now I really do believe that really are quirky! LOL

Da Old Man said...

Now I need to hear the subway story.

I have one, too. We should compare as to which is the funnier. But mine is second hand.

When you post yours, I'll do mine on my blog, sort of a cross-promotional weird subway story thing. Kind of like when the Everybody Loves Raymond guy shows up on the King of Queens.

Melisa Sriwulandari said...

You know what, I tensed up when I read your story. Why? Because I ever dislocated my knee before. My left knee. And not just once. Plenty of times that I lose count. Only my left knee thank goodness. The first time it happened, I was jumping down TWO (only 2) steps of stairs. I was 15 then. (Okay, enough details. If I write the whole story here, I'll take up the whole page.)