Out of Pocket
I spent last week back in Tulsa. It’s weird going home to a place that won’t ever really be your home again. I always feel strange coming and going between Tulsa and New York, because while I love being from Tulsa, I know I won’t ever live there again, and while I love living in New York now, I know I won’t stay here forever. I still don’t really know where my home will be, and sometimes that makes me feel anxious.
However, my week back in Tulsa was anything but anxious. I did nothing but swim and shop and go to movies and hold people’s babies. I drove on the highway late at night and ate lots of nectarines and avocados. I even spent an afternoon perusing vintage nudie mags. In the evenings, I’d sit around talking to my parents while we listened to Simon and Garfunkel or The Band on their record player, and then my brother and I would fall asleep on the couch watching Kung Fu Hustle or Empire Strikes Back. I even got to revisit that favorite feeling from my childhood, the one where you swim late at night, go to sleep with chlorinated hair, then wake up in the morning, pull on your still-damp suit, and go swimming again.
I got a few things accomplished while I was home, though, like going to the orthodontist and having my retainers tightened. Shut up. Yes, I still have my retainers, and if I’m sleeping alone, I still wear them. Mostly because back when I was fourteen, my orthodontist struck deeply upon my fear of my teeth reverting to their pre-braces horror by telling me that the longer I wore my retainer, the longer my teeth would stay straight. This was the only piece of advice from my teen years that I heeded, and man, I should get a fucking Retainer Medal by now. They hadn’t been adjusted in over a decade, though, so I made an appointment and sat in the lobby with all the thirteen year olds, reading an article about Benjamin Disraeli and eavesdropping about sex ed. When I got back to the chair, the nurse? dental assistant? orthodontal assistant? The girl my age in scrubs said, “What are you here for?” And I said, “To get my retainers tightened,” and she picked them up and said, in awe, “How long have you had these?” and I mumbled, “Uh, fifteen years,” but in my head I said, “I have sex sometimes! DON’T JUDGE ME.”
The other thing I accomplished was not quite as much, uh, an accomplishment. One day my brother and I floated in the pool for an hour, coming up with horrible disaster dessert names a la Chocolate Thunder Mudslide and all that crap you find at your typical American crap-on-the-wall restaurant. Here are the fruits of our afternoon:
Chocolate Miscarriage Mountain
Double Chocolate Penetration
Cherry Berry Gang Bang w/Fresh Whipped Cream
Lemon Cancer Crunch
Chocolate Final Solution
Raspberry Abortion Surprise
HPV Pound Cake
Monkey AIDS Pie
Moist Clap Cakes
We also floated (ha) the idea of a harsh reality restaurant, with entrees named things like This Steak Will Give You Diarrhea, and Your Daughter’s Pregnant Salad with Your Son’s the Father Dressing. Then we called it a day and focused on just floating, no thinking.
Vacation is awesome.