This story takes place in the winter of 2008. It was a year after Highschool, and I had long since left the employment of the Olive Garden. I think I was still employed as a phone salesman at Kraftmobile. It was a good job, but we only got paid a base rate twice a month, plus commission, and I was a pretty terrible salesman.
Working there afforded me two luxuries:
I worked in an office from 9 to 6. I had a co-worker who was literally like Dwight from the office. I got paid for Shenanigans because everyone hated her.
I was off at 6.
It was because I was off at 6, I could have the social life of going to dinner with friends, and movies, and other things people did at night. Africa and I had been talking and agreed to hang out when she was back from Baylor University.
We went to a local game shop and rented a Super Nintendo for awhile and played it in the back room. I think we played a Mario game, but it could have been Donkey Kong.
We went out and got some coffee, and talked. Then went to see the lights in downtown New Braunfels. She made some snarky comments. She then went back to another semester at Baylor before dropping out to go on a mission trip to Africa.
It was here I realized I still liked her, and she was still kind of conceited. To be fair though, I’m a smug asshole.
I wasn’t always smart, nor articulate. Ok, I was, I just hid it because I got made fun of a lot in school, and then I just stopped applying myself, which is stupid because now I have to work twice as hard to prove I’m not a fuck up.
This was especially true my senior year. I was in a Marine Corps ROTC unit, Master Seargent didn’t really like me too much. Our head Col., Col. Reid though did, and I pretty much excelled as a cadet. There are days when I wake up and think, “I should have been a soldier.” I seem to excel in a disciplined environment and expect the same from people I work with. I’m also a slob at times. I’m kind of a paradox.
Every year the ROTC would give cadets that did four years of service a letterman jacket. My entire class got one, except me. That was until the last day of school when Master Seargent realized this. He called me into his office and gave it to me. He had been talking to all other cadets and wishing the well. When I got there, he said, “We forgot to give this to you.” I thanked him while thinking that I would never wear this now because I graduate in two weeks, and I’m done with school.
Then out of nowhere, he said, “Anderson, you’re fat.” To which I asked him if that was it. He replied with a yes. I walked out.
He was forced to retire a few years later.
I’ve begun work on what is going to eventually become Gears and Bones volume 3.
No other details at the moment other than I’m writing it.
In the summer that we worked at the Olive Garden, (As I liked to call it, ‘The OG Lounge’), We used to do an adventure called midnight tubing.
If you’re unfamiliar with what tubing is, it’s a river activity where you take an inner tube, usually from a semi truck tire, fill it up with air and float down a river. It’s really fun, especially if you have booze, and not a lot of people are on the river. It’s a huge thing in New Braunfels, and besides Schlitterbahn, it’s the free alternative.
We liked to do it at night, or midnight because no one was on the river, and we could get wasted as teenagers. Really a stupid excuse, I just wanted to get close to some girls who were into the party scene. I hate beer and think it tastes like horse piss, that’s why I drink straight up alcohol mixed with coke. Can’t mix beer with coke….
Anyway, we really enjoyed doing this, and lots of people would come. It was probably one of the most dangerous activities I would participate in my youth, the other most dangerous one was making homemade bottle rockets.
Jared and I were running late because we had to drop my truck off at the end location so we could drive back to the park. We were talking about something arbitrary when out of nowhere, Nicole jumped on the hood of Jared’s car scaring the crap out of us and smashing her body against the windshield, and at the same time, her breast had become fully exposed. I pointed excitedly and like a dumbass shouted, “Booby!”
They didn’t talk to me for a week.
I’ve dated all sorts of women. Liberal, Curvy, Smart, Ditzy, and Hippie. Ashley fell into the smart category.
I only went out with her twice, and it was at a time when I was living on my own for the first time, and this story is going to focus really on the first time.
I was on online dating for awhile. I tend to just shotgun it, and send a bunch of messages out, and I got a response from a girl who was what I assumed to be super smart and sexy. She was. We ended up agreeing to meet at a Starbucks, which was right in between where we both lived. I went there, and we talked about everything. She was cute and funny and I thought, “Score”.
When after almost six hours, I went for a handshake. She went for a hug. My arm got caught between our stomachs, and I ended up giving her a body shake.
We went to concert one time after that, and I was punched by a small hobbit of a girl.
In the same summer that I got kicked in the face, I met Jordan Rosenwinkel who was a mutual friend of two friends of mine, Kristina and Shawn. Kristina and I had gone to high school together and worked at Schlitterbahn, a popular local water park that employed nearly all high school and college students every summer, or at least it seemed that way. Shawn worked there too.
I met Shawn in middle school, and we hated each other at first. It wasn’t until we duked it over a girl, that by the way didn’t like either of us, that we became friends. Shawn won the fight by the way. He was pretty tough for being skinny. That’s part of the reason he won. Bone hurts more than muscle.
Anyway, I was invited by Shawn to a concert, and I was all, “well, I’m not really doing anything right now…” Which is how I live my life anyway…
So we get to Kristina’s house and pile into Jordan’s car. On the way to the show, I could tell that I was on the same level of music nerdiness to Jordan, we talked about albums and talked about gigs we had been to eventually, Kristina and I began talking about movies, and how we went to them. Shawn had pretty much been silent for most of the ride, suddenly out of nowhere blurted, “I never get invited anywhere with you guys.” While he was in the car on the way to concert with us.
We never went to a concert in a group with him again.
Also, it was at this show I got introduced to We Shot the Moon.