Love

Random Access No. 10: “Wuv”

Artwork Provided by Ariel Tebben

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Friday, November 21st, 2008 Webcomics No Comments

The Chronicles of a Coincidental Cupid

I am a lightning rod.

An average-looking, physically nondescript, barely mentionable lightning rod. I have no idea when or how it happened. Did I piss off a gypsy? Trip over a Voodoo priestess? Piss off a pantheon of ancient deities? Accidentally killed a kitten by masturbating? No clue.
 
I should probably explain…
 
Remember that shitty movie Good Luck Chuck? I related my views of the movie in a prior entry, so I won’t waste time on that here. However, picture the protagonist of that film, shave off about six inches of height, the gayish Caesar cut, the hackneyed attempt at comedy, but keep the character’s plight. Women found their future loves after having sex with him.
 
Well, I have a similar problem…er, minus the sex part.

I first noticed it about sixteen years ago. A friend of mine – alias, J-1 – introduced me to his girlfriend. As oddity would have it, I knew her. We were part of the same church youth group. Here were two people I knew from two completely different social circles, and they’d found each other at the same high school. Pure happenstance, I thought.
 
Fast-forward a couple of years later. J-1 and I became roommates with a third chap. We’ll call him J-2. One day he noticed me surfing the net on J-1’s computer. He snickered at the fact that I was using Yahoo! Personals. I informed him that it had landed me a couple of dates thus far. Er, not entirely successful ones, but it was something. Lo and behold, he tried it out after that mention. In just two short months he found himself a steady girlfriend. I chocked it up to another coincidence.

Around that same time, a fellow movie theater co-worker and I planned on a guy’s night out with a couple of others. Somehow, some way, my sister had negotiated her way into the festivities. The first stop was Kell’s downtown. After some drink and dialogue there, we moseyed two blocks down to Bar 71. While we were walking, I looked behind me. My sister and co-worker were holding hands.
 
“What…the hell?!?” I slur-exclaimed.
 
Neither had a good answer. A week or so later they were officially dating…if dating is the right word for it. Weird but not unheard of.
 
I went off to college, and the first few semesters passed by without incident. That is, besides the back-to-back weddings of J-1, J-2, and my sister. No big deal…really.
 
Late ’03, on my brother’s suggestion, I joined Myspace. Friendster had proven to be an intellectual (and dating potential) wasteland. Greener pastures sounded grand. Among the frenzy of folks I started talking to was a Reno girl stuck in New York, attending Julliard. An opera singer.
 
I became her loose – and un-family tie – to Reno since I was attending the university there. She lamented the urban loneliness. At the same time, on a completely different coastline, my closest cousin was doing the same damn thing. The collective woes of the two of them crescendo-ed to an intolerable peak. There was only one answer.
 
I said, “Here, you two! Talk to each other!”
 
And so began a Y! Chat courtship. A few weeks later, they met. One fell first. Another followed suit. Both acquiesced into a relationship. Shit happens…right?
 
Speeding ahead to early ’05, I finally returned to Oregon after my collegiate stint in Nevada. I was back in the ol’ parents house. (No, they were not living there…I swear.) My weekends consisted of hanging out occasionally with my cousin, Jason, and his roommate. We’ll call him…uh…Tree. Yeah, Tree’ll work.
 
Anyway, Tree chimed in one day over Myspace to say one of my “buddies” added him. Given my addaholic “friend”-ing tendencies, I was curious as to whom. He pointed the profile out, and the default photo for this e-buddy was of a girl attired in a nurse outfit. How this had escaped my notice, I know not. I gave him a metaphoric pat on the back and said, “Go get ‘er!” A week later they were an item.
 
Now I was convinced something was amiss. I joked about having “l337 matchmaking powerz” but didn’t think seriously on it. The incidents weren’t frequent enough to cause immediate alarm. I shrugged it off.
 
A year later, a hotel co-worker of mine informed me that he friend-mooched from my Myspace list. He was Indian, she was Indian. I chuckled, not thinking much of it. He probably didn’t either. Shortly after, they were together. Congrats to them! But…
 
What the eff-tard? I thought.
 
The notion translated into a theory in October of ’07. I dated a girl (off of Myspace, yet again. Wheee! A pattern!) for about two weeks. Things fizzled by Date 3. A newly (and reluctantly) single friend of mine had taken interest. That much was apparent. Over a conversation, I said he could have at it.
 
Two days later they were dating!
 
Weirded out by it, I kept my distance from that social circle for the better part of three months. Out of jealousy? No. More out of eerie vibe-y-ness, or so I explained to people. Alright, Powers-That-Be, very funny. I got the joke. Pull one over on ol’ geek-boy. You can stop now…
 
Or so I thought at the time.
 
The theory was finally proven genuine March.
 
We’ll call this last friend J-3. Great guy, talented guy, terminally gynophobic. He’s good-looking in an 80s Brat Pack sorta way, self-employed, and a musician. Can we say quintessential pantie-moister? And yet the poor schmo hadn’t dated in…crap…since I’d known him. I could understand my plight, but his was something completely screwy.
 
To one of his concerts, I brought a female friend – one that hadn’t left the house much and was getting over a funk of sorts. I pried her away from her Interwebbing for the night as a birthday present, and what better way to experience fresh air…than a dimly lit, dingy warehouse in NE Portland to hear music.
 
A day later, I got an e-mail from J-3, “Are you dating that girl?”
 
I told him I wasn’t.
 
A reply came soon after, “I guess what I’m wondering is…would you break my balls if I asked her out?”
 
My mouth was agape. Here was a guy who approached no one to date, and he was asking my permission to approach a girl. Like I was her dad or something. I gave him my “blessing” with a chuckle. A week later, said girl informed me she had a crush on him.
 
It was so cute, I could vomit.
 
In closing…
 
Fine, you win, God/Buddha/Hecate/Whoever-the-Hell-You-Are. I’m your damn lightning rod. I’ll take pride in the fact that I’m indirectly responsible for four marriages, one engagement, one divorce…and a myriad of hook-ups. Strangely enough, I’m okay with that.
 
One favor, though, and you owe me. Can you kindly point me in the direction of another lightning rod? A female one? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? Sparks fly?
 
Big whoop. Get cracklin’.

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Saturday, November 1st, 2008 Musings No Comments

I work for tea money.

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