Potters, Bar Flies and The Peanut Gallery: Abe

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I haven’t read a comic in three weeks except for the Decoy Hardback which is why I haven’t been pimping comics. But I did finish Goblet of Fire and read the first 200 pages of Order of the Phoenix since last Friday. In less than three weeks I’ve read the first four Harry Potter books and a third of the fifth one. That’s over 1500 pages of Potter action in less than three weeks. I swear to God I didn’t even think I’d like them. The ending of Goblet of Fire fucking rocked me. I’m such a dork.

I will say that I went to a bar today on Panama City Beach and got drunk enough to feel really, really, really bad for this barfly. I ended up talking to her for an hour, she was really nice, smoked like a chimney but really nice. We just talked about life and shit, mainly religion which I find pretty funny. It was just sad, she must have been in her late 30s or early 40s, this plaid skirt and fake-fancy shirt – too much make-up and all done up. Voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard. You don’t get a lot of barflies in DC (at least not in the yuppie bars I got to) so whenever I go on business trips I end up getting all sad for the ones I see. I couldn’t imagine my life without Robin; I keep seeing myself as the male version of a barfly. Shit, if it wasn’t for Robin I’d be an alcoholic and gambling addict – I’d just be a depressing son of a bitch. And I see these chicks and I just think it would be me without Robin. And with a vagina, of course. An old, musty vagina.

_________________________

Going back to high-school here, Abe was this cat I didn’t start hanging with until senior year. He was this big Hindu kid who was a nice as all hell guy but a bit…sheltered…until he started hanging with us.

He was one of the “beat monsters”. One of the things about being in the dork program in high-school was that it was easy to be the “cool kid” despite how dorky you were. I had this random assortment of Asian kids (and Abe) that I called my “beat monsters”, sort of apprentices in the art of beat-boxing, and they called me the “beat master”. I realize that there is nothing cool about that whatsoever but it was fun, so, who gives a fuck?

So, quiet Abe, who never really talked much, was taken into the “beat monster” fold, the first (and only) non-Asian to be allowed in.

He started hanging out more, schmoozing his way into my non-Beat Monster friends and it turned out he was a pretty cool dude albeit an occasionally awkward one (coming from the kid that was nicknamed Beat Master, I know).

He always dressed like he was running an insurance office. Slacks, bad button down shirt tucked in, a thin belt stretched around his waste and desperately holding on to that last belt hole. His book bag was straight from 1982 and filled with holes. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke cigarettes or dope, but just liked to hang around – play some ultimate Frisbee in his shiny black shoes, clumsily tripping over his own feet.

Things got kind of weird, though, one day when we were joking around about masturbation.

You see, every guy starts out puberty thinking masturbation is evil. To call someone a “masturbator” was an insult in-line with “gaylord” or “herb”. At the age of twelve, masturbation was our dirty little secret – our shame. What made it worse was that our fathers told us it was ok, that everyone masturbated. As an adult that conversation is sleazy and I’ll never have it with my kids - as a kid it was the most disgusting thing to ever enter my ears.

But, once high school hits, masturbation is no big thing. It’s freely discussed. Except for Abe who happened to be carrying around the “nobody masturbates myth” until senior year in high-school when we talked about it in front of him.

And, well…let’s just say that years of holding it inside just sort of spilled out. He asked questions (“Does it take long in the shower for you too?”), made observations (“I like it better if I just use the fingers, not the full grasp.”) and occasionally went too far (“Tastes funny, though.”). Guys don’t taste. And even if we did, in a moment of curiosity while still in our early teens or possibly a little later, maybe, you never know, we never admit to it. And if we do admit to it, it’s a trick to get some other guy to admit to it so we can all make fun of him.

At one point, Abe actually said that this was “great” and he’s so happy that he can finally talk about masturbation with other guys. I think it’s nice and all that the kid came out of his shell and realized he wasn’t a disgusting pervert for the past six years but I rate the comfortable level of that conversation somewhere between catching your father getting gang-banged by four dudes and catching your father getting gang-banged by four dudes while your mother video tapes it.

But Abe was a cool dude – I just wish that one conversation wasn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I think about him…and masturbate.

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