I thought I felt crabs, and I think I knew who gave them to me.
When I sat I felt crawling vicious things running rampant between my thighs. I’d only felt this feeling once before when I found crabs in my nether regions at the tender age of 19. I was living in Harlem all alone and–for the first time–living away from my mother or any sympathetic ear.
I wrote my mother a tearful fair well in spanish before I left Los Angeles. I told her I loved her and that I would miss her. As I left her at the airport she told me to be good, and what happens when I came to NY?
Hostile alien life forms invaded my genitalia.
The saying is history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. I was scared when I was 19, but now I was disgusted.
“I think I have crabs,” I told Fly G over instant messenger. He is my pill popping rock, my alcoholic confidante.
“EWWWW LOL You have what?” Was his response.
The majority of the things my mother taught me about nutrition were wrong.
It was the mid 80’s as I sat on a hideous yellow couch in our living room in Los Angeles. I unfolded the small personal tv dinner table by its legs in front of me while I waited for food to come. On the plate was my mother’s first attempt at healthy food. It contained beets.
“Eat it all!” she pleaded, “finish your beets!!”
I sensed frustration in her voice but I also felt that I was gagging on the beets. Something was calamitous to the palate existed in the purple slime. As I shoved the beets away I could hear my mother sigh. Before the beets my mother had tried to feed me the following foods.
- Quesadillas. A simple store bought tortilla with melted white cheese inside.
- Tortillas with cheese on them and beans and covered in ketchup.
- Chilaquiles. Fried tortillas stuffed with cheese and covered in tomato sauce and sour cream
- English Tea cookies with coffee
- McDonald’s Happy Meals!
I was in a busy lounge with Fly G in Hell’s Kitchen when he turned to me and asked me to play a game with him in his typically nasally warble.
“You tell me what person in here has my body type, and then I’ll tell you who has your body type!’
I jumped excitedly.
“That sounds fun! Ok let’s see, let’s see…”
I knew that his ulterior motive for asking this of me was to satiate his brand of body dysmorphia, so I looked around for someone who had Fly G’s body type and I would be very generous. He’s a bit taller than me and slender with a curved in back and only slightly outwardly curved stomach. A bit of an ambiguous “S” shape that suits him.
“You look like him!” I pointed to the lithe boy who was manning the tablet menu who had somewhat of an S shape to him.
“Oh nice!” Fly G said as he seemed pleased and took a sip of his beverage.
“Ok now do me.”
“Alright,” he said. “Let me see….no….no….”
Several minutes passed when he finally pointed out someone climbing the stairs.
“Oh yeah…” he exclaimed
Something was very wrong.
From the morning upper shot of coffee bought from the small bodegas that littered the Manhattan Midtown fashion-scape that made me hyper aware of my tittering fingers, to the post-lunch can or bottle of soda that I drank which provided me with precious seconds full of bug eyes (just enough time to dream of being elsewhere), and finally to the evening glass of wine meant more as a red satin bed to cushion the hard fall; I was a wreck.
You take caffeine for granted because everyone’s on it, but it’s still a mood alterer. I figured I’d feel like a 50 year old man by 6 o clock because I was getting older, but it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t the tiredness of a marathon and it was unbecoming of someone of the age of 28.
“This is the caffeine. This is chemical. I need to stop drinking it.”
Quitting things is my specialty. Giving up coffee was as easy as giving up cigarettes or blow for that matter, and it was similarly done on a whim.
What followed were 2 days of enormous crashing. I was like a boxer who was losing to a knockout champ. Several times my head almost hit my keyboard at work even as the CEO stood behind me talking to someone else. I’d felt that feeling before when I would miss a cup o’ joe on accident, but I reasoned that this was just a withdrawal stage and if I kept going then it would wear off and then…