Mentors and Rivals

Elementary school was a magical time. LaSalle Avenue Elementary School hosted Anthony Guy, an odd sort of kid. Born and raised in South Central, he didn’t think, act, or talk black. You couldn’t say he was whitewashed because he had yet to meet white people. However, he was different. Pudgy, stout, basketball-loving, read the dictionary for fun, and voted most likely to get his ass kicked at recess. Not many friends, if any. However, it was still magical because in second grade, Anthony met Corey Nash, a yellow, thinner, more athletic youngster, but still quite the genius. In first grade, they both earned the respective highest overall achiever designations from their classes; now, these two were on opposite sides in the same classroom. There would be no wondering what would happen if these two clashed; the dream matchup wouldn’t be delayed until they matured. Instead, the matchup would mature both. Anthony won the first matchup, then swept the remaining three years. Anthony and Corey were friends, but would set their friendship aside to prove which one was smarter. While Anthony succeeded, he had no one to thank but Corey; if it wasn’t for him, Anthony would not have needed a reason to kick it into higher gear.

The magical time ends, as Anthony hasn’t had a rival since. It’s not a question of arrogance as it is a matter of futility. Since fifth grade, my friends have dramatically increased, and my intelligence became less data than it did sophistication. However, therein lies the problem. By not having a suitable rival all these years, I’m asking how much talent did I leave on the table. This is compounded by another issue that never bit me until recently: I’ve never had a mentor, either.

Growing up, it was just my mother and me. No father, no father figure, and not quite enough male teachers. I’m not going to say that I was bathed in estrogen, but I’ve never had a problem throwing a teary-eyed bitch fit. To say I’m sensitive is like saying water is wet. Being tough probably wasn’t in my genetics, but it probably could have been nurtured. I’ve amassed a number of older male friends, but none of them have truly served mentorship roles. This stems from a combination of factors, such as being on equal grounds with the people I have met, or equally/surpassing them in short time. I can’t be the child when I’m directing the offense from the crib. I had to grow up much earlier than I preferred because there was no one here to guide me along the way. Likewise with rivals, I haven’t had a true rival since elementary school. Even the petty things I’ve contested, such as jerseys, title belts, salsa tricks…none of that has ever been a pure moment of rivalry. Some friends have factors that I’m envious of, yet it doesn’t deter me because I’m bound to succeed on a higher level. Not one of my friends can be considered an alpha; if the fire starts, it’s because I scratched a match across my ass and said “ooh, heat.” I’ve never had a sufficient wingman. I have friends, but none of them are contributing to my personal growth. That’s a callous thing to say when I generally like my friends, but my hypercompetitive streak is not being sated. I truly wonder what I would have been like if I had a mentor telling me the way, or a rival racing me down that path.

I started mulling this over after my vacation to Palm Springs. I sojourned there because of the annual salsa festival, and well, it was a mixed bag. For starters, it was hot. Miami has heat (no pun intended), but there’s a beach nearby. Palm Springs is literally in the desert. Burning hot. Sean was my designated companion for the trip, which is where I learned that perhaps I’m not meant to travel with people. There are items that annoy the piss out of me when it comes to traveling with other people: money, timing, energy, and synchronicity. Money is self-explanatory; you need money to do stuff, and preferably, on time. Timing means knowing we’re on a deadline, and if you do something that interferes with my deadline, you will get the death stare. Energy can be described as “we’re on vacation, sleep is the enemy, do not die on me or get sick.” Synchronicity is perhaps the hardest, but in short, being on the same page. When I am on vacation, the rest of the world gets put on pause while until I return. I’ve traveled with a grand total of three people in the last year, and I can’t say there has been ONE trip that went flawlessly. In fact, I’m sure my other companions have heard me hissing under my breath. Granted, I wouldn’t say I’m the perfect travel buddy because I am moody, but I know how to stick to a schedule. Hell, the one perfect trip I took was last year in April, a solo run to the apple cider factory. You can’t put a price on peace. If something went wrong, I could have only blamed myself. Nothing went wrong, so I gave myself a handshake. OHHHHHHHH YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

Back to Palm Springs. My roommate went to a salsa festival and did not dance one m*****f***ing song. Yes, I am so irritated about this that I am self-censoring. On the surface, he was a good companion. He eventually did have his money, and he did buy all the alcohol. Inside the room, there were no space issues. But after the trip, I realized something: I didn’t see him outside of the room. If you can’t dance, take classes; after all, you paid for them with your admission. Also, be cognizant about the realities of your identity. I am the Shaman of Sexy, but I wouldn’t hang around me if I didn’t have to; others don’t have to hang around me, so er, they don’t. My roommate can be effectively described as a mute that doesn’t dance. In what world does that combination create a party environment? It doesn’t. We had a lot of unused alcohol that went back to his place. I was mildly pissed about this, only mildly because I should have seen it coming. Our room was not a party room, no matter how many shots of tequila I imbibed. And apparently, people liked me buzzed, since I came across as friendlier. That’s cause for me never drinking again. I wouldn’t fancy myself a people person, but I don’t hate them, either. I guess by seeing me in a quasi-human state made people think I’m human. They’re wrong, I tell you.

Per tradition, I don’t feel my trip was a success since there wasn’t any coital interaction, but I did meet a cute girl. Pale, glasses, nerdy. You know, my type. If she didn’t get sick, I’m sure we would’ve gotten along famously. We flirted on the floor, were inseparable in the pool, and all of my friends decided to elevate me to godhood when she came near. Quite the funny site that my party was at the other end of the pool cheering me on while I helped my new friend float. Quite entertaining. And I was the best dressed dancer in Palm Springs. Stole the show in every room I stepped. Made a coach leave her husband because she wanted to dance with Salsa’s Only True Premier Athlete. But yeah, that was Palm Springs, and getting questioned on every song home by the guy who could not find the dance floor. Yeah, I’m definitely in need of an alpha male as a friend. Not going to fire the ones currently in my employ, but alas, change is good. Then when change is bad, everything that is old becomes new again.

Probably won’t look for a mentor, though; the last one who applied for the position ended up in a drunk fetal position being rocked to sleep. By me. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Four Horsemen “Horse”

Coconut Bras and Mischief

Only one person can show up to a birthday party for seven people and have all eyes on him.

I don’t have to do much these days to get a reaction. Cheers, boos, applause, tomatoes. Yeah, any reaction is better than being permanently relegated to “Anthony’s sidekick”…although being in my shadow does mean you can catch a glimpse of the sun. For these reasons, I’m thinking of taking on a manager. Although I’m more than capable of handling my own promos, Alberto Del Rio has his own ring announcer. Another way to add to the snarkiness. I am the latter day rock star, mind you. I’ve come to restore the old days. Color, promise, and other fun stuff.

Recently in the news, Anthony still doesn’t have a girlfriend. All of his friends are taken. In other words, nothing’s changed. Well, nothing besides my aloofness becoming more socially acceptable. I’ve used some rather filthy lines and commentary when flirting lately, and well, it’s working. I couldn’t be any more blunt with my intentions, and my words are apparently worth their weight in gold. I want a girlfriend, but I’m starting to think my niche is being Barney Stinson reincarnated as a human being. Saw a video of his top ten lines. Vulgarity, lewdness, the works…but his delivery was beautiful. Much like my delivery. If I could be half as awesome as Neil Patrick Harris, I’d be up to my armpits in paternity scares.

To prove how awesome I could be, my club had a Hawaiian Night and I showed up in a coconut bra and a hula skirt. I was the most attractive guy there. Couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. I received more attention with my attire than I have for using moderately acceptable attention seeking behavior. I don’t know how many pictures I took. I don’t know how many girls wanted to dance with me but didn’t get the opportunity. I also don’t know why I felt absolutely no shame in dressing up without being drunk. But alas, my night wasn’t all rainbows. A friend was sad and I was obligated to cheer her up. For an hour and a half. Which means I missed most of the night where I could’ve easily gone home with someone. Oh yeah, not happy about that. But the thing about friendship is that friendship is very inconvenient. Sometimes, it costs you money so you can’t buy the pair of goofy pants until next week. Sometimes, it costs you grey hair because they lead ridiculously unstructured lives. Hell, it can even cockblock me. I meant, it can even cockblock you. I’ve been on the receiving end on all of those, and the question I usually have is “why haven’t I fired these bastards yet?” Unsurprisingly, I still don’t have an answer for that. I just know when duty calls collect, you accept the charges. Even if you might never look as beautiful in your coconut bra and hula skirt again. Especially when these conversations are outside at 1am and all you’re wearing…yes, you guessed it: nothing but those items. Jesus Tittyfucking Christ, I’m getting rich and buying friends (read: paid assistants who wear bombs in case they try to screw with me).

Chick-Fil-A recently had a controversy about gay marriage and all that jazz. I’ve long been a supporter for people to do as they please, as long as it doesn’t include doing animals or doing me (unless you’re female). I had an argument with a  hardcore Christian that tried to claim that outlawing gay marriage isn’t discrimination. After I repeatedly refuted all of her points, I walked away knowing that she’ll still believe what she believes. Two conclusions drawn: some people need to drink bleach, and if I was around centuries ago writing the Bible, well, I’d have ultimate power. People scare me sometimes when they don’t know their own stupidity is dangerous. But, this is why I love bad guys in all forms of art: the villains are the last ones to know they’re villains. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Kevin Rudolf “Don’t Give Up”