|Cory is the one with the long hair and the look of hatred. I'm the one lying on the floor with the look of hatred.|
His name was Leroy in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and I was his brother Ollie. See, boys weren't too keen on being in plays back in the day because obviously all males who act are homosexuals, so we used the few males we had sparingly on roles that legitimately needed to be boys. The rest of us were girls or weird hermaphrodite things. No girl ever understood if she was supposed to be playing a boy, or if the character were being revised to accommodate for her boobies.
My bro Cory helped me to look as grungy as our family of characters were intended by cutting holes in my jeans and sandpapering them to give them the appearance of falling apart. Because they were. I helped myself look grungy by chopping off my own hair an hour and a half before the second night of the show.
We didn't talk or see each other at all after our magnificent performances together, which was pretty much how all my high school friendships went.
Then the magic of Facebook happened approximately seven years later, and we discovered we were both unmedicated insomniacs who should therefore spend our sleepless hours talking about nonsense and insulting each other.
Me: My kitten is sooo cute. She's lying on my neck to sleep. :D
Cory: I'm going to feed your kitten to a shark next time I'm at the ocean.
Me: I'll feed your pet snake to a water buffalo, you jerk.
Cory: No you smell like cheese.
Obviously the perfect friendship.
Knowing that I was doing nothing with my life at any given time of the day, Cory would occasionally call me and ask me to come hang out and do nothing with my life in a different location. Sometimes this was harmless and normal, like when we went out to eat at dinnertime. Other times it was sketchy and weird, like when I had to meet his friend (whom I had never met) in the parking lot of a used bookstore at 2:30 a.m., let him get in the car with me, and allow him to show me the rest of the way to the house because the directions were too complicated to tell over the phone. Of course I obliged unquestioningly, because what is the name of my blog?
Actually nothing bad happened at all on that evening. We just played poker or something and listened to extremely loud music with lots of screaming. But I very easily could have been drugged and sold into a human trafficking network.
The time it actually got bad was at Cory's birthday party two years ago. He had a bonfire in his back yard, which is nice and cozy and festive. I was the hottest girl in the yard because I was the only girl invited. It looked to be a lovely evening.
It was in fact a lovely evening, despite some questionable decision-making involving illegal substances and the presence of a guy named Smoky who was friends with my ex-boyfriend.
I ignored all that stuff and drank a warm Dr. Pepper from the trunk of my car. And I'm not just saying that because my impressionable young mother will read this.
When these wholesome family-friendly activities wrapped up at around 4:30 in the morning, I was starving. There was a shockingly small amount of food at this soiree, which I did not appreciate. I needed to maintain my lovely lady lumps by devouring someone's entire kitchen.
Only Cory, myself, and one of his friends were remaining by this time. I forgot his friend's name so we'll call him Dan. I kindly asked Cory and Dan if they wanted to accompany me to IHOP so we could eat our weight in syrup. They declined, saying they had no money, so I generously offered to buy their food and therefore their undying affection.
With that problem easily solved, we went on our merry way to IHOP. Halfway there, trouble started brewing as the boys suddenly expressed their guilt about me getting their breakfast.
Cory: I just feel bad. You shouldn't have to pay for my food... I just won't eat.
Me: You're ridiculous. It'll be your birthday present. And, well, I'll just get Dan's food for the heck of it. No big deal.
Dan: I'm RIGHT HERE. Don't talk about me like I'm some charity case.
Me: I... wasn't?
Dan: I don't need to be talked to this way. I should just go back to New York if this is how they treat people in North Carolina.
Me: I don't... even... okay.
We walked into the restaurant in uncomfortable silence after his unexpected outburst. I thought if we just didn't mention it, his rage would subside... mine always does.
Waitress: Okay here's your table, can I get your drink order?
Dan: *loudly* Check out that fatass marine over there.
Waitress: *frozen smile, glancing at Cory and me to help*
Me: Oh gosh. Golly. Tea please.
Cory: *hands over face* Water. Sorry.
With the waitress out of the way, I could see the two uniformed marines at their table nearby, glowering at us over their stuffed french toast. Dan was staring straight ahead at the wall, behaving as if he had not just offended and disrespected a man who could kill him with his big toe if he wanted to.
The waitress brought our drinks, ignored Dan, took my order, ignored Dan, and ignored Dan some more. Cory had decided not to eat so now me and my food were the only reasons we were slumped at the vulnerable little booth at IHOP, stuck being subliminally assaulted by a slightly overweight marine and his average-sized marine friend.
We said literally nothing for quite some time. Dan's rage filled the entire building; I could taste it in my hash browns. Why was he so angry? Why was he so suddenly offended by my offer to buy him breakfast when he was fine the whole night leading up to that moment? Why did he blatantly disrespect a man who fights for our country? Why did he not show any remorse for his unkind, not to mention unnecessary, remark? And why was he staring blankly into oblivion like a freaking sociopath?
I tired of asking myself these questions because it was ruining my appetite, so I attempted light-hearted banter with Cory to distract from the situation and to fill the enormous silence.
Me: Whoops, I put too much ketchup on my plate.
Cory: Well you can never have too much ketchup.
Me: I like cheese in my eggs.
Cory: That's why you always smell like cheese.
Dan quickly had enough of our strained laughter and culinary commentary. He slammed his fist down on the table, causing me to swallow my fork, and stalked outside muttering about moving back to New York where friends know how to treat each other.
I regurgitated my silverware in time to notice the "fat" marine and his buddy heading for the door. We desperately flagged down the waitress, threw some money at her, and sprinted outside so we could rescue Dan, or at least watch him squirm his way through a tussle.
Cory: Come on man, let's just go home, you don't know what you're doing.
Dan: I know exactly what I'm doing, and I'm going to keep doing it, they can't stop me.
"Fat" Marine: Learn some respect, boy, do you know what we've gone through to protect little jerks like you?
Dan: I don't need protecting, nobody's ever done anything for me!
Cory: Dude I'm letting you live in my house.
Dan: Oh now I'm a burden to my friends. Just leave, I'll walk home. Or I'll find a new home, maybe that would make you happy. Nobody in New York would ever make me feel guilty about staying in their house, eating all their food, and having them drive me everywhere.
"Fat" Marine: Maybe you should go back there then.
Dan: I don't need some DUMBASS MARINE telling me what to do with my life!
By this time there were quite a lot of people standing around the entrance, waiting to see some scrawny punk kid getting his face rearranged. They were also looking at Cory and me judgmentally, for being friends with this belligerent lunatic and bringing him out in public. I was horrified and painfully aware of how my tired eyes and sloppy hair could be easily mistaken for signs of drug use when combined with the evidence of my present company.
Dan and the "fat" marine were standing inches apart, screaming hatred and venom into each other's souls, when Cory turned to me and said, "let's leave."
I was behind the wheel before he was done with his sentence, and was halfway out of the parking lot before he even got his door closed. He apologized profusely for his ridiculous friend, and didn't seem at all afraid of what Dan would do when he realized we had taken him seriously on his threat to walk home.
I feared that Dan would be waiting for us at Cory's house because he could obviously walk faster than 55 mph, so I only stayed around for approximately two and a half minutes after dropping Cory off. Just long enough to meet his pet cat and subsequently get fur all over my entire being.
Dan called and cursed Cory out for leaving him at IHOP to get the poop beaten out of him "for no reason." I suffered through a mild panic attack while envisioning Dan hunting us through the woods with a machete for abandoning him. He said he was halfway to the house already and was ragingly pissed off, as if we didn't already know that part. Cory ordered me to drive home quickly, not look back, and not make eye contact with anyone walking down the road. I cried the whole way home.
All I'd wanted was to have a good time and meet some new people.
Dan is now living safely (I guess) in New York (I think) again where he can not bother me or anyone else I know (I hope).