Monday, May 12, 2008

The Burden of Commitment

First off, let me apologize for all these impromptu hiatuses (hiati? Hold on, now I need to look this up . . .) Interesting: Apparently the plural form of “hiatus” is either “hiatuses” or “hiatus” – just like the singular word. I guess it’s like one of those trick words teachers used when you were first learning about plural words in grade school, when they would write a bunch of words on the board and ask the class if they were singular or plural and it would start out easy like “dog” and “trains” and then get a little harder like “cacti,” but you were holding out to answer the hardest of the hard because you were a nerd, so when the teacher wrote “flock of seagulls” on the board and everyone thought it was plural you were like, “no, they’re a band – a singular band” and everyone (including the teacher) laughed at how queer you were.

Putting all that aside (into a remote nook of my subconscious where I can pretend it doesn’t bother me until I hear “I Ran” and burst into tears and have to tell people that it’s just because the song is so powerful), I have to explain why hiatuses are inevitable. Sometimes a person just needs to relax, and I don’t know about you, but I find nothing more relaxing that giving up on the world: looking around and seeing nothing but inevitable death and purposelessness. Then you come home and watch a “Top Chef” marathon and decide that the most important thing you can do right now is make a hamburger and season it perfectly. It’s invigorating in a way, because responsibility is a man-made convention, just like destiny and the recommended dose of toilet paper sheets. (Four? Why don’t I just wipe my ass with the broadside of my hand.) And getting back to basics (survival, beer, TV, etc.) can really put some perspective on things.

Which is why I didn’t blog last week.

Which is kind of a shame, because it was an interesting week. Brooke had an old friend in town, so the two of them decided to shack up at a hotel and do girly things (INSERT GIRL ON GIRL ACTION JOKE) leaving me and Puppy at the apartment to fend for ourselves.

Now if there is one thing that working from home has taught me, it’s that I could make a full-time job out of taking care of myself. You don’t realize how much structure a job adds to your life. You like to think that you’re all grown up now and you choose to wake up in the morning and choose what you wear and choose not to drink screwdrivers with breakfast, but in fact it’s the delicate hand of your career guiding your every action. So when you have to make up those imaginary boundaries yourself to keep your life on track (e.g. showering) it can sometimes feel like an added responsibility more than a really simple thing that even dimwits understand. And we all know how I feel about responsibility.

When we first started this working from home experiment (right around the time I cooked a hamburger at 11:00 a.m.) Brooke took on the role of de facto “boss.” She coerced me to wake up, shower, shut off SportsCenter, and get to work. In return, I silently resented her – like a real boss – and the natural order was restored.

So when it came time for her to leave, she was apprehensive. Although I convinced her that I could fend for myself in a fully autonomous situation, while I was saying “Yes, I’ll remember to give Puppy his medication,” in the back of my mind I was really thinking “Could I barbecue inside if I turn on the fan?”

Needless to say, the reasons I didn’t blog were many (TiVo) and profound (the beach), and while I’ll stop short of apologizing, I will say this: Brooke is back in the roost and I’m easing myself back into blogging. Not so much like you might ease into a warm bath, but more like you ease into the ocean on a hot day. You know, when you first put your feet in the surprisingly cold water and think, “OK, that’s enough.” But then everyone will call you a pussy if you don’t go all the way in, so you keep on walking, and it’s alright as long as the water is only on your legs, and as you walk you involuntarily jump up a little every time a wave comes in, but then finally you can’t avoid it anymore and the water touches your genitals and it’s not so much like you’re in pain or discomfort, it’s more like “WHY?” Which is to say there will be hiccups, times when my blog touches my genitals and I think “WHY?”, but for now this is enough:

While Brooke was away, I, of course, passed a lot of gas, mostly in the morning when I first woke up. This is the thing I miss the most about living alone.

The first morning I awoke alone, I half-consciously slid back into bachelor mode and ripped a resounding fart. It was loud. So loud, that it woke up Puppy, and a second later his front two paws were up on the edge of the bed as he looked at me wide-eyed like, “WAS THAT THUNDER?” It became our routine, a morning wake-up call of sorts, and by the end of the fifth day when the fart boomed out, Puppy moved with no urgency whatsoever and slowly and deliberately jumped up on the bed and looked at me sullenly like, “We’re still doing that?”

Yesterday was Brooke’s first day back under our roof, and it was exciting for all of us – right up until we this morning. We arose in silence, Puppy and I, and as I walked to the bathroom to coax out my gas in the quietest way possible, I locked eyes with Puppy. In that awkwardly long gaze, we shared a silent lamentation for the transient nature of freedom and the constraints of responsibility.

And with that he followed me into the bathroom.


Anonymous Amy said...

Wait a minute, men aren't supposed to fart in front of women? I don't think my husband got that memo...

May 12, 2008 at 12:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Katie said...

Utterly delightful. If I were your least favorite Aunt I'd pinch your cheek and tell you what a card you are. Awesome post.

May 12, 2008 at 1:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Julie_Gong said...

since i'm a lady and never fart i'm not quite sure what you mean here...

May 12, 2008 at 1:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger verybadcat said...

Great post. I was out of town the whole weekend, and I finish your post, and it occurs to me: That's why WH and the dog keep looking at each other like that! :)

May 12, 2008 at 1:21:00 PM EDT  
OpenID notsojenny said...

working from home is tough. people always say "you're so lucky!" but what they don't realize is that it's chaos. it's almost 2 and i haven't eaten lunch and am hanging out in my robe. the fact that i have to shower and go into work tomorrow makes me want to cry. not showering is the only perk of working from home.
and going out for drinks after work is less enticing when you have to change and get ready to do so... so you end up drinking in your robe from 6-7 all alone.

May 12, 2008 at 1:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jacob said...

Dude, weekends are rough enough. Taking a shower during the weekend seems like such a royal pain in the ass when during the workweek, I don't give it a second thought (even though I'm not a morning person and getting out of bed each morning puts me in an hour-long funk of depression regardless of how much I slept the night before). When my wife leaves me alone, I basically read, watch movies, drink beer, and eat junk food for days on end and may not even see the back half of the house. I exaggerate, but only a little.

And any woman who isn't cool with your bodily functions doesn't love you. My wife is likely to laugh and mock me if I fart near her. I can't imagine her getting mad. Now that she's back let one rip in front of her. Her reaction will tell you where the relationship is leading.

May 12, 2008 at 4:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger [mother] said...

"Was that thunder?"

I can't stop laughing.

May 12, 2008 at 4:41:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cheeseme said...

"Yes Puppy - butt thunder."

May 12, 2008 at 5:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

Man, that just rings SO damn true. The part about working from your home and everyone thinks its all awesome. Its hard. You have your T.V., your bed your Porn, its all right in front of you and you are like, well, I have to work and stuff and you just do it, you man up by not putting on ESPN, you man up by taking a shower, but I dont have anyone to NOT fart around so I at least have that going for me. And going to HappyHour after work on a Friday, thats still good.

May 12, 2008 at 11:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Poodle said...

it's 5:37 pm my time and i still haven't taken a shower. yesterday, the same. tomorrow, the same.

May 13, 2008 at 5:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger k. said...

good to have you back, dan. nothing like a little freedom and farting, though.

also: ha! bill from gainesville capitalizes Porn.

May 13, 2008 at 9:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hollywood Sucker said...

Your description of working from home, farts and all, makes me sad that I'm here at my office all day. I feel like I'm missing out on a secret other part of the world.

May 14, 2008 at 2:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tessa said...

I don't want Puppy to grow into Dog. :(

May 15, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous BurkeInTheOzarks said...

Stellar post! Good to have you back. I 'heart' you, but only in a platonic, manly sort of way. Which means no tongue.

May 15, 2008 at 5:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger industrialpoppy said...

Still laughing.

May 16, 2008 at 7:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous bacardi & Diet said...

I'm sure Brooke appreciates that you go to the restroom to "coax out" your gas. What a nice boyfriend you are.

May 18, 2008 at 12:11:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous hello haha narf said...

dude, you gotta rip em in front of her. farts are funny stuff. just don't hold her head under the covers and all will be fine.

June 2, 2008 at 10:06:00 PM EDT  
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December 11, 2008 at 2:50:00 AM EST  

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