Cornelius II

Everyone has an alter ego. Mine just happens to be named Cornelius and he tends to come out as soon as tequila gets involved. Sometimes it only takes one shot, sometimes it takes three, but once the tequila touches my lips, you better start preparing to spend the rest of the night with Cornelius and not Troy. Cornelius came out to play last Saturday night.

My two buddies and I weren’t supposed to meet our friends for a couple hours. What better way to waste time than sitting on a rooftop bar taking some tequila shots. We only took one shot of tequila but it was enough. Immediately after I had to run to the bathroom to break my seal. Cornelius was waking up.

I was washing my hands and could see it in my eyes Troy was gone. When I got out of the bathroom I saw my buddies were at the bar talking to these girls. I tried to walk by with my head down, letting them have their moment, and meet them at the elevator, but that didn’t happen.

They called me over to them before I had a chance to get away. I didn’t know what the girls they were talking to looked like. I got over there and was completely taken back. They were easily the two most attractive girls in the bar that day. Looking exactly like your typical Italian girls. One of them didn’t turn around to say hi to me while the other one was this little ball of energy I couldn’t ignore her.

I think her seeing a fellow Italian like me naturally made her question how Italian I was. Just as I would have tested them if they didn’t beat me to it. The first test was my name, she asked and I said, “Cornelius, what’s yours?” without hesitation.

She pounced on me, “What kind of Italian name is Cornelius, That’s not your real name right?” I told her it was and she didn’t believe me. “What’s your middle name then?” She didn’t even ask me again what my real name was. Maybe she did believe me, or maybe she just wanted to move onto the next question. Usually no one ever believes that’s my real name. I never thought I would get any further than that.

I told her the truth this time saying my middle name was Paul and her opinion of me didn’t change. “No way you’re not Italian. Those aren’t Italian names.” I was starting to feel a little insulted. I mean I’m not going to argue that Cornelius is an Italian name, but I feel like if you had one look at me, you would guess I was Italian. Then she moved onto the third test, “Okay you’re Italian, so let’s see your chest hair.”

This was the last straw for me, “Look at my neck. My chest hair damn near connects all the way to my beard. I don’t have to show you my chest. My last name is Tartarini. It doesn’t get more Italian than that.” I was beyond offended. Up until that point I thought the people guessing I was Italian was the easiest thing in the world. She crushed my ego and the feelings of not just me but all the Tartarini’s before me.

Maybe she could see the disappointment in my eyes, or maybe she was testing me because she was looking for a purebred Italian but before I walked away she grabbed my arm and said to me, “This is my daughter, she’s a nice little Italian girl.” My mind was thrown in a blender. Was this mom trying to hook me up with her daughter?

This whole time I thought it was two friends hanging out at a bar. I had no idea this girl that was shattering my confidence was a mom. If anything, her talking to me, busting my balls, in hopes of finding a gym, tan, laundry type of guy for her daughter caused me to like them more. I made it far enough, passing all her tests, that she actually wanted to introduce me to her daughter.

Her daughter who I will never see again. Maybe if things went differently, if she wasn’t so cruel and abusive to me, things could have been different. Maybe I may have even gotten their names or maybe even a number instead of walking away despising them. I’m Italian and if you can’t see that from just looking at me, then things will never workout between us. I’m just glad Cornelius was there to handle that one for me.

Third Time’s A Charm

They say you fall in love three times in your life. The first one is that puppy love high school sweetheart kind, proceded by the hard love that teaches you all those harsh lessons, only to be concluded by that unexpected love, that real thing that you never thought you would ever find. What happens next? Like after you found those three loves?

Is it over for me? Have I walked away from the only three chances I’ll ever have in my life to find that real love? How many times can you walk away from that one thing that can make all of your dreams reality? Am I too self centered? Too Petty? Was it really love? Is there someone else I’m missing or did I miss my chance at finding that everlasting love?

Thinking about it now scares me. It keeps me awake at night thinking that I’ve blown my chance at finding it. I chase the thoughts running around in my head of me living my life alone with no one by my side sleeping in an empty bed. If that’s the karma I have coming for me for walking away from love then I get it. After what I’ve done it would be well deserved for me to spend my life alone.

If that was it for me, if that is all the love I will ever find in my life, at least I’ll be able to die a happy man. I gave it a try. I found love more than once. Not summer flings, or someone to call at night, I find that real thing and each time it has made me the happiest man in the world. Each time I’ve found it has made me a better man. If those are the only times I get to fall in love then I’ll be buried with a smile.

Love is the best drug out there. There isn’t anything that makes you feel rock bottom the way love does, and because of that, there isn’t anything that can take you higher, or make you feel more invincible then love. It’s because of love I’ve been able to find out what happiness truly means.

If these are the only three times I fall in love in my life, then it’s been a life worth living. It’s been a life full of smiles, laughs, tears, and moments I will never be able to forget. It’s because of those times I’ve loved I’m the man I am today. It’s only because of those time’s I fell in love I can die a happy man. At least I tired. “I’d rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ rather than ‘what if’s.’”

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Growing up I always thought my house was haunted. I was scared to be home alone, I was scared to shut all the lights off in the room, like I wouldn’t even watch anything scary in my house. I felt like if I gave them any sort of chance or darkness they would surface.

I believe in ghosts and truthfully they scare the shit out of me. Fortunately I haven’t ever seen one with my own eyes but I have seen their work and felt their presence before and that’s all I want to deal with. This shouldn’t be any new information to you,… Ghosts are real. Being back home now, a little bit more mature, hasn’t changed a thing. I’m still terrified of my house.

I’m not sure what it is that has kept them here so long but they’re definitely still here. I came back here and immediately started waking up at three thirty in the morning everyday to what I can only assume is a ghost hovering over me just staring at me. I wake up each morning to the feelings of their presence filling the room. I know they’re out there creeping on me but I just can’t see them.

Which is exactly why I hate being home alone. Hell I even hate being the last one to go to bed. The worst part about my days are when I have to shut all the lights off in the house before I go to bed. As soon as I hit the switches off, I take off in a dead sprint to the front of the house, up the stairs to my room, and into my bed before any of the ghosts has a chance to find me.

I’m twenty six years old and I’m terrified of ghosts. For the guys out there; I’m not a pussy. Ghosts are real, you’re just lucky you haven’t seen them yet. For the girls out there; I can be that guy that kills all the spiders and bugs that come in the house. I just need a girl that is willing to shut the lights off for me each night. Or at least someone that makes enough they’re not worried about paying their electrical bill and keeps the lights on at night. By all means I’m cool with just closing the door. It gives me a little of a night light to help me sleep.

It Makes No Sense

Us humans have technically been here for almost five million years ago. The first homo sapiens however weren’t walking this earth until about two hundred thousand yeas ago. North America itself has only been home to humans for close to twenty thousand years. All I’m stating is that, as a whole, we’ve been breathing the air out of this planet for centuries.

We’ve been here that long right, but yet here we are, whatever amount of years later, still dealing with things like allergies. Isn’t that weird? It’s just baffling to me that after years of evolution and natural selection, and people reproducing new babies stronger than they the generation before, and we’re still out here struggling with allergies. It’s just perplexing.

Here we are with people going about our lives and some of us are still allergic to peanut butter. Something we’ve been eating for damn near four thousand years. Strawberries, pollen, cats, dogs, fucking grass we’re allergic to everything… Us humans are still carrying around epipens just in case someone touched a wrong plant before we made contact with them. All these things that have been around with us for thousands of years, breathing the same air as us, evidently is our kryptonite.

As for me, I’m not allergic to any of that. My parents blessed me with some superior genes. My body has been damn near impenetrable against all foods, animals, and plants. Well most that is, except for one… that Mary Jane. I have never been tested for it, I’m not sure how one would get tested for it, but I don’t think a scratch test would do it. Just trust me when I say I’m allergic to it.

Each time I smoke I sneeze ridiculously. I blow my nose more times and grosser than someone who just sorting a line of pollen while being allergic to pollen would do. My eyes get watery, my skin gets blotchy red, and my face was hotter than a stove top. There’s no doubt that I’m allergic to the weed. I’m just fortunate that that’s the only thing I’m allergic to. I guess for me it’s a little ironically unfortunate that smoking the weed is the only thing I’m allergic to.

All Natural

I’m not really a cologne guy. I haven’t worn any sort of that spray stuff since I was in high school playing fifty in the mornings. All I do is apply my deodorant in the morning and let it just ride out. If my natural stench comes out then it comes out. I’m Italian, all I’m going to smell like is garlic and onions and if you use the bathroom after maybe some asparagus.

When I’m out in public all I ever smell like is sex, alcohol, and weed. Nothing has had more precedence of my smell than the cannibas. You’ll only smell the others if you get close enough to me but you’ll smell that Mary Jane as soon as I walk in the front door.

It’s completely arrogant of me to be stinking up every place I step inside. No one wants to smell that shit while they’re inside a restaurant eating their dinner. I get it, it’s rude, but sometimes it does work out in my favor. Before I go into any restaurant to pick up my food for take out I always take one more hit of that devil’s lettuce ahead of going inside.

I’m always going to be an asshole that walks into the restaurant, reeking up the place, ruining everyone’s meal. I don’t just do it to be a dick, I do it because it helps me. Do you know how much quicker I get served now rather than those times when I actually cared about other people and wouldn’t show up smelling like I just came from a Wiz Khalifa concert?

As soon as I walk in wearing my fresh cannibas for men cologne, they greet me immediately hoping to get me in either a corner booth outside away from everyone or finding my take out order so I can get out of the restaurant ASAP. Right when I saw I’m here for a pick up my food is miraculously always ready for me. They even throw in some extra fries for me just because you know.

I hate cologne but if I wear any cologne it’s always Cannibas for men. It seems to always work for me. It makes me new friends, new connections, and gets me my food quicker each time I’m out. I guess that’s why I never wear cologne.

First To Last

Things aren’t how they used to be. I used to be the first person she would show anything to. If she wasn’t sure about what outfit she wanted to wear she would send them all to me asking for MY opinion on which one looked best. She gave me the exclusive first look. Every time she took a cute picture of herself or when the lighting hit her just right, I got all those pictures sent to me over text before she put them on Snapchat, or Instagram, for everyone else to see. I was always first.

I thought I would always be the first. The first one she wanted to tell a story to, the first person she wanted to see when she had a second to herself, and the first person she wanted to see each and every morning to start her day. I thought we had all of that. I thought we were the first people in each other’s lives to know everything about each other.

We used to be something special. We had that real thing that everyone dreams about. We used to be the one shining light in each other’s lives. Our days used to start and end with us locked in each other’s arms. Now look at us. I get up and go to work as you’re coming home ready for bed. Never able to find time to talk to each other. All those nights she been going out looking like the girls of my dreams and I never once got to see her.

I went from first on her list to last on her list in the span of a few days. Once we got back and settled in it was like we had no more time for each other. We weren’t how we used to be. I iced to be the first person she wanted to talk to and she was the first person I always wanted to see. Now we only we’re just someone we used to know.

The Long Way Home

Last week was the first time I really went out since I’ve moved back home. And by going out I only mean going to our local watering hole. I haven’t made it all the way into the city yet. But that night it didn’t matter, it was just me and the guys drinking our bar dry. You couldn’t ask for a better night out.

It was perfect until those last two vodka red bulls I ordered that I didn’t need. My body could have done without them. They were exactly what sent me over the edge, gave me the spins, and prevented me from being able to call a ride home like a normal person. I had the spins severely and the only way I was able to slow them down was by walking. So walking I did.

It took me damn near three hours for me to get home that night. In case you’re wondering, a three hour walk equates to almost six miles of walking. I won’t lie to you I didn’t walk the entire way home. I had called two uber rides that took me two blocks each before the world started spinning and I had to get out. I’m grateful for them at least helping me cut down my time slightly. Eventually I made it home, went straight to my bed, and passed out before I could even get my jeans off. I didn’t remember anything after those last couple vodka red bulls I had. My bed was spinning and all I needed was to sleep.

I slept for almost ten hours that morning. It was perfect. Perfect that is until I went to do my laundry the next day. My pants from the night before somehow ended up on my floor but that was it. The shirt and belt I was also wearing last night were nowhere to be found. I spent the first two hours of my day ripping the house apart looking for them.

So if anyone sees a Batman belt or a white and red v neck t shirt on farm street please grab it for me. It’s actually the only belt I own.

P.S. If I saw you that night I’m sorry I don’t remember. Let’s just pretend like I still haven’t seen you in years and we’ll catch up for real when I’m in a more coherent state of mind.

Ditch The Kids And Enjoy Your 4th

I must admit I’m sort of a people watcher. I can find complete bliss in simply sitting on a park bench or sitting at the bar by myself. I eavesdrop on conversations, I sometimes stare too long at what people are doing, I’ve seen and heard things that no one should ever have to hear. So this is my confession. It’s a fresh start from here on now isn’t it?

While I was down watching the fireworks this family of four (including the parents) were about two people behind me looking for their friends who evidently were right in front of me. I could hear the people that I could see in front of me loud and clear while I could only faintly make out what the people behind me were saying.

All I knew was that they were looking for one another. I could hear one of them ask a question while the other answered behind me with a yes or no. They were getting anxious and started talking loud enough that I could hear their whole conversation.

Which may lead you to ask, “Troy why didn’t you help them find each other?” Great question; I didn’t help because I could hear their conversation… If I said something to them it would have been creepy enough for me to enjoy the rest of the fireworks in the back of the paddy wagon. I couldn’t be their Robin Hood.

So I let things play out naturally. I felt their kids brush by me and immediately see their friends in front of me. I took a sigh of relief, happy that they finally found each other and we all could enjoy the fireworks. The only thing separating this family from their picnic spot and their other friends for the show was a four foot fence.

A fence their middle school kids, I don’t know how to tell how old kids are, do we go by age or grade? Regardless, both their boy and girl hopped the fence no problem. I turned around to see what their parents were going to do, there was no way they were going to attempt to hop the fence. I saw them both looking at each other and without saying a word simultaneously wave at the parents hosting their kids as if, “We’re gonna walk around.”

Just like that they left their kids with some parents I wasn’t fully convinced they knew. I think it was just some people their kids knew, but that was it… I guess enough to deem them safe enough to leave their kids with. I didn’t see their parents for another forty five minutes. They didn’t get back until the moment before the finale started. They got there and literally introduced themselves to the strangers that had been watching their kids.

I couldn’t believe it. These people found someone that knew their kids, dumped the responsibility of watching them on those parents, and then proceeded to pound a couple shots at the bar and smoke a joint. No trust me I’m not judging. It’s just I have that exact same scent, I knew it as soon as I smelt it. I thought to myself, maybe having kids isn’t so bad. Based on how well these parents seemed to have things under control I figured they must have taught at least one of them how to drive a car. So they at least have their D.D. to get home.

It’s Supposed To Be Easy

Typically it’s pretty straight forward placing an order over the phone at a restaurant. Usually the hardest part of the whole ordeal is deciding where you and your significant other are craving. Once you get through that fight it’s smooth sailing from there. You just call up whatever restaurant you picked, tell them what you want, and then in about twenty minutes you’ll be face deep in your meal. Easy.

For some reason whenever my brother and I call to order food it’s never that simple. Just the other day we called our taco restaurant with a hankering for some tacos. This guy answered the phone, said he was ready, giving us the green light to tell him our order. As soon as my brother started rambling off his order the guy stopped him abruptly and told us to wait a second for him to get ready…

We were silent for about thirty seconds waiting for him to come back to the phone. Finally when he did, he answered the same way he did before telling us he was ready for our order. My brother ordered whatever salad he has been craving for a month now and then started to rattle off what he wanted for a desert. Before he could say his next item the shushed him from the other side of the phone.

He told us he needed to go ask his boss if they made whatever salad my brother ordered off of their menu. He didn’t say hello when he got back on the phone, this time he came back yelling into the phone excited for us that they actually had the salad, “Yeah we have that salad coming right up, anything else?”

So my brother finished giving this guy his order and instead of handing me the phone so I could tell him my order, he kept the phone knowing damn well that if that guy heard another voice he would be completely discombobulated. Neither of us were convinced this guy was actually going to give our order to the chef but he told us it would be about half an hour until it was ready. I needed to see if he got it right.

I fully expected to show up to the restaurant and our meal to be messed up. I left the house with nothing but thirty dollars to waste on a dinner I wasn’t confident about. Even knowing what was going to happened it still sucked when I got there and our order was nowhere to be found.

Our order was an order they had no idea they needed to make. As I was waiting there for someone to help me I noticed they didn’t even have anyone answering their phones. It just kept ringing off the hook for the entire eight minutes I was there waiting. I mean I saw it all first hand, none of the employees answered the phone.

The restaurant wasn’t playing music. The only sound you could hear was the phone ringing. I was standing there patiently waiting for someone to come out and shut the phone up but it kept on ringing and ringing and ringing. It wasn’t until a customer finally got up from his table, answered the phone to tell them no one was there to answer the phone but continued to take their order and write it down on a piece of paper and give it to the chef in the back.

Where was that guy when I called? We must have called when some kids thought it would be funny to take our order and never put it in. Needless to say we found our way to the Golden Arches and stuffed our face with McDonalds. I’m not complaining.

2AM

Our last night together was our hands down our worst night together. It was the first time we slept in separate beds since our first date. I was upstairs in mine staring at the ceiling all night long while she was downstairs in the guest bedroom with only her blanket, pillow, and a naked mattress.

Every other night we shared together would at the very least fall asleep smiling at one another before we went to bed. Even if she was pissed at me, it was how happy we were together that made us so magical, it didn’t matter what happened we would always find a way to smile together before we closed our eyes to fall asleep.

My favorite part about our time together was that I always got to wake up each morning next to her. For me it’s never been about who I spend my Saturday night with, all I cared about was spending my night with someone who I wanted to wake up next to each and every Sunday morning with.

But on our last night none of that happen. We both woke up the next morning alone and confused oblivious to the fact that this was our last moment together. We had this fight that boiled over from the bar back to the bed and into the morning.

It was the first time we didn’t fall asleep next to each other smiling. It was the first time we didn’t get to wake up the next morning holding one another. We spent our last night together sleeping in the same apartment. Which breaks my heart because together we found that real thing and we didn’t get to enjoy it up until our last second.

Our night alone was like a goodbye before we even knew it. Maybe we’re only chapters in each other’s story. But the way things ended between us will forever leave a sour “what if” kind of taste in my mouth.

She is someone I will always wish I got to say goodbye too. We had something real, something pure, and it’s something I will never forget. It’s just a things had to end the way we did for us. Together her and I found nirvana. Together it was like all of our dreams became our reality. I don’t think either of us thought we would end as abruptly as we did.

She will always be one of those “what if’s” I’ll be thinking about until the day I die. I will always wonder what if we actually got to say goodbye to each other? Would we still be together? Would I be able to actually sleep at night now? Who knows what could of happened? All I know is that it is never easy to say goodbye, even if you think you can handle it.

Back In My Old Room

It’s bittersweet moving back home. I’m going to miss the life I created for myself down south of course, but I’m ecstatic to be back home with my family and friends again. Emphasis on the family part, because of them I didn’t have to rush to find an apartment to live in. I could move right into my parents basement.

But saying it out loud now is kind of embarrassing. I couldn’t let myself be that thirty year old guy living in their parents basement. The only other thing I could do was to move back into my old room… with my brother. It would be just as if we were kids again. We could push our bed together and have our fall off the bed matches, we can see who can make the most socks into their sock drawer, and if we want to get crazy we can even get ourselves some bunk beds.

As long as I can find a way to prevent myself from living that cliche in my parents basement I’ll be happy. I’d rather not be that creepy thirty year old that lives in his parents basement. I’d much rather be that dude who still shares a room with his brother.

I think it sounds a little classier if I word it that way. The way I see it I have three years and two floors until that day comes and so until then I’ll be bunking with my brother.

P.S. With my luck now that I’ve said this, I wouldn’t be surprised if I wind up in my parents basement in a few years.