DRIVEN, It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty, Uncategorized

Deer and loathing

A bit dark and gory after the jump, so proceed with caution.

Humanity has never gripped me like it did that night as I screamed into the lonesome night at a creature that had no more a mind to understand me than it did body able enough to escape me.

I had pointed my flashlight up and down the road at least half a dozen times, both praying no headlights would appear to guest star in my late night grapple with mortality and its intersection with morality while at the same time wishing some grown-up would show up — my dad preferably — to solve the situation I found myself in.

The road is a popular drag for speeders, especially since it runs right behind the high school. If you wanted to show off your car’s acceleration, this was the strip to do it. I vaguely remember riding along with one such crazy adolescent as we passed an assumed adversary on the road, topping 80 or 90 mph down the long, straight two-lane drive.

I, of course, wasn’t going nearly that fast on this night. Maybe five or 10 over, but mostly because this was the final two miles of a seven-hour trip and I badly needed to use the bathroom.

The first doe darted out confidently. I had no chance of ever hitting her, but I slammed on my brakes anyway to avoid what was sure to be the rest of her nocturnal grazing party.

And then there he was, taking a 45 degree angle to the road as if he was going to rush me off of the left side of the road.

I merged left to avoid him, but he refused to stop, choosing instead to barrel into the side of my car.

I shook the steering wheel steadily to keep myself straight, but hardly had to slow down at all.

I didn’t even stop. “No time for that now,” I thought, pining for my bed while looking over at my antenna, which now looked like a crumpled pipe cleaner tossed to the side from some craft project.

The radio hadn’t even skipped for a moment. That’s curious.

“Dammit my side view mirror is gone!” said the voice in my head, finally realizing there was something missing from my car like the final answer in some Sunday comics picture challenge.

I’ll have to go back for it.

But I knew there was one more thing I would need to go back to, as well.

This had happened before, of course. Continue reading

It's in the vault, Journalism, Me Myself and Ty

The War Between the States of Being

The sensation first came about late Friday night: Was I still walking the line of first-person journalism or was I now reenacting alongside my sources?

I was dressed in full Confederate garb, with the only evidence I wasn’t in the 19th century in my hand: a sweating can of PBR.

Hell, thinking back, the 1862 siege my comrades were reenacting was 30 years ahead of the very blue ribbon that won Pabst the right to its three-letter acronym. Continue reading

Eh?, It's in the vault, Journalism, Me Myself and Ty

Trouble at the border, Eh?

It was a 14-hour drive to the border.

The beer I drank in another country. It was an Amsterdam. There were many more.

We had planned to go to Canada for months, although you wouldn’t believe it if you asked us why we were going.

“I want to drink a beer in another country,” I told everyone. And truthfully, that was the extent of the longing to head north.

That’s also what made it so difficult when the border agent asked what we were planning to do in Canada. Continue reading

It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty, Sports

Braves New World

The handshake was unwieldly, which was just how I had planned it.

How do you say hello to someone you’ve never met, but talked to, at times daily – hourly, even. But still, you’ve never met.

You can’t hug. You can’t not acknowledge each other either. Let’s take it to a new level and force a handshake on her. It’s a problem that seems to be something more common in our new era of online dating and networking and “friends” of “friends.”

She banged her knuckles on the door which she had opened for me. I remember damning the fact that the door was weighted to swing back closed. If not for that, I thought, the handshake would have gone better.

Still, she let me in. Thank god my faux paux hadn’t ended it all on the far end of an eight-hour trip.

I met her dogs and feigned excitement.

Yes, I loved them. They were amazing, and a great distraction from how nervous I felt standing in her apartment, but I would have gladly traded my meeting with them for some time to truly study her.

She, after all, was what I had traveled to see.

I loved the dogs from the start, but it was still a chore to keep my eyes off her. I had never seen her, apart from photos online, one in my coworker’s office and in my dreams.

There were girls I had never spoken to that I had spent more time ogling, but I knew she was different. She was a good girl. And she wasn’t interested.

I figured I could steal glances at her during the game, since baseball is truly the ultimate first date destination. No conversation if you want. Light enough to see the other party. Enough people around to see you to eliminate any pressure to make out and miss the game.

In other words, way classier than a movie. Plus it allowed for conversations in between innings, in between outs, in between strikes.

But the silence was difficult. Should I be talking? Should we be studying the game? Is she having fun? God she’s beautiful. That shirt. The back says “Nice Catch” and of course it’s baseball T-shirt humor, but those gathered there probably think she’s my catch, since she’s sitting next to me and occasionally speaking to me.

Sure we haven’t made any physical contact since that incredibly awkward handshake that I forced on her, but people must think we’re at least familiar. Even if I feel like she’s way too pretty for anyone to think we’re together.

The tomahawks were the key. I put one in her hand, insisting that she take part in the mob mentality of chopping the foam objects in unison.

Truthfully I didn’t give a damn. I just wanted an opportunity to steal some of her attention away from the game.

Yes, she’s a sports fan, but I want her to be a fan of me. I’m an attention whore and have no problem being shameless and going after it.

The chop began without me once and she touched my left arm with one hand while chopping me with the foam extension of the other.

This was the first indication I had that she liked me.

Let’s seize on it.

Continue reading

It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty

The Miracle(s) of Saint Patrick

In the year of our lord, twenty hundred and twelve, on March the 17th eve…

I was, as usual, at my hometown pub in downtown Goldsboro. My cousin was heading back to California the next day and we hadn’t had any time out together, so I was showing her what I do most nights.

We had a few beers and there was live music, but it didn’t truly become Saint Patrick’s Day until one of my friends came by and wanted to play pool. For more on that, read this.

To make that long story short, they took my ID in exchange for the cue ball and I proceeded to leave it behind the bar. My ID, that is. The cue ball I left on the table.

Fast forward to 11 a.m. on Saint Patrick’s Day. Continue reading

Eh?, It's in the vault, Me Myself and Ty, Sports

I’m not good at pool, Eh?

We had just been herded inside from the patio and out of the crisp Toronto air. We crowded into the bar and lounge area, all of us forced to carry our conversations, spoken in half a dozen different languages, inside where a billiard table stood, taking up valuable standing and drinking room.

I was in a frenzy at this point, spinning in two different directions like a planet on two axes. Beers were only $4. They were delicious, but therein lied the problem: too many of them were sitting around unattended. There is a rule about alcohol within my circle of friends – it should never be wasted. I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself to be too old to finish off empties and actually approach the job with a point of pride – I feel like I’m the best at it.

After I had palmed two Canadian pints I hadn’t myself paid for, Kelly asked who was going to play pool with her. Deep down I knew it was me who would play her, as if the dice had already been cast and my number had come up. It was quite evident to me that no one else wanted to play, but she would be insatiable. Sometimes those things are just apparent.

Plus I knew it was time to lose again. Continue reading

It's in the vault, Journalism, Me Myself and Ty

It’s in the vault: The Dec. 23 Incident

As far as “It’s in the vault” stories go, I feel like this was an instant classic. Enjoy.


I’m outside Gary’s apartment and it’s cold. There’s vomit on the ground beneath the light pole and I’m stumbling toward the door.

In the moment, I can’t help but think I’m in a dream. I channel Inception and realize I can’t remember how I got to where I am now, but I’m too cold for it to be a dream. It feels too real. Continue reading