Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why ask why?

I had the idea for The Diary of Why lying in bed awake one night at 3 a.m., the caffeine from a double-shot cafe americano consumed 13 hours earlier still coursing through my veins. There are always those skeptics that will tell me that it is physically impossible for caffeine to remain in my system that long, but my clanging nerves and sleepless, bloodshot eyes know the truth. I rarely drink coffee, for good reason, but some occasions, such as the desire to not nod off in the front row of a 19th century French Decadence class, require it. I knew I shouldn't have accepted the second espresso shot, knew I didn't need it, but it was free! And I was so astonished by the fact that snooty coffee shop guy was actually being nice to me, he could have said, "Shot of grapefruit syrup?" and I would have said, "Great!"

This coffee shop must require its employees to sport black rimmed glasses along with their ironic attitude and have at least 50% of visible skin area covered in tattoos. On the plus side, they always play good music. This particular day I was served by a guy with funky glasses, discs in his earlobes, and facial piercings., not just facial piercings. He had, how to put this...he had pierced dimples. One on each side, a cheerful little dimple anchored by a shiny silver stud. I mean, it takes a special kind of person to have pierced dimples. Can you imagine going into your hardcore tattoo/body piercing studio and saying....Yes, I'd like to accentuate my dimples. What can you do for me? Well, can you? So the hipster punk with the pierced dimples took my order. "Would you like room for milk with that?" he asked. "Yes, please," I said, thinking, Huh. No one's ever asked me that before. Then, "Hey, I have this extra shot of espresso here. Do you want it? Wait, did I already ask you that?" "Oh, sure, I'll take it," I said, "and no, you didn't." "Sorry," he said, "I'm like so...out of it today." And he flashed me a smile, nearly blinding me with his shiny, metallic dimples. By the time he handed me my extra super strength coffee and said "Now, let me know if it's too much room, I can top if off for you," I was already floating, congratulating myself on the Most Successful Coffee Purchase Ever! I am accepted by the Coffee People! It almost made up for the time I ordered a decaf (a mistake I only made once. I haven't seen eyes roll so hard since junior high).

Of course, 13 hours later, I was starting to rethink my decision. (I decided it was still worth it. Accepted! By the Coffee People!) And, as I tend to do after lying in bed awake for over four hours, my mind drifted back to the past, to the guys I once knew, and the myriad ways each and every one of them had jerked me around and broken my heart. Being once again at the dawn of a fresh new heartbreak (fresh like roadkill, or an open wound), it seemed appropriate to dwell upon the subject, pouring out to the cosmos all manner of questions, such as Why me? Why again? And, Why, God, why???? And so The Diary of Why was born. In my head at least. To be incarnated in a more tangible form now, right this second, as I pound it all out, mere weeks later.

I feel like I have enough stories to fill a book, a series of books, an encyclopedia set of bad luck, worse timing, liars, cheaters, narcissists, criminals, and general all-around assholes. But I know that my material, vast as it may be, is in fact finite. One day, David, Mike, the other Mike, Jason, and the rest will be thoroughly documented in the annals of ancient history, and then what will become of this blog? However, as I am once again tottering on the precipice overlooking the gaping void of singleness, I am sure that unavoidably, my stores will be replenished, again and again. Truly, my cup runneth over.

I hope you read, I hope you comment, and I hope you share your own Why stories. I hope we can help each other, somehow, using the magic healing power of strangers sharing experiences and supporting each other over the internet. I hope that from so many, many questions that start with why, we can maybe, eventually, someday, find some answers. Or at least a new question.