Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Time Sean Fought a Girl

Sometimes my whole Fight Club thing got out of hand.

We were living on campus in a trashy town at a dumpy school where High Times magazine interviewed my roommate (Doyal) for an article they were publishing about The Evergreen State College being the most pot-friendly campus in the country. Drugs were everywhere and everybody was a do-nothing know-it-all with something to prove. So there were a lot of crazy people to fight. And I was one of them.

For a guy who grew up as scrawny and nerdy as I did, I sure did my best to establish a reputation as a badass on campus. Usually, in my mind, I was starting fights in a friendly way, finding people who were game. I guess I got impatient. I eventually hit enough people in the face that I could get strangers to back down just by getting in their face a little.

In my fantasy, this was because I was some kind of terror, an intimidating motherfucker of the highest caliber, jackbooting my way across campus and leaving a trail of terror and punk rock destruction in my wake. It didn’t occur to me until quite a while later that maybe I was just a violent drunken asshole and most people would rather leave the party than get in a fight with a guy like that.

Also, the school was almost 100 percent white kids. I don’t know exactly how things would have changed with a different ethnic makeup but I doubt it would have gone down the same. Thank God for easily-frightened white kids.

In the meantime, I was stoked to be such a badass! Man, if I ever ran into the kids who picked on me in elementary school, I’d just show the shit out of them! They sure would be sorry! I took a cheap black jacket I found at the thrift store and sewed a Slayer patch on the left breast, and a tiny Black Sabbath patch on the back. The sew jobs were shitty and the patches began falling off. I was so excited and proud of myself.

Around this time, Tyler began regularly banging a girl named Lisa. Now, anyone (everyone) willing to bang Tyler was pretty messed up to begin with, but Lisa may have taken the cake. We didn’t know this right away, but she was completely nuts.

While everyone still thought she was relatively normal, she’d come by and sometimes she and I would hang out. We talked about all kinds of stupid college bullshit: photography, masculinity and femininity issues, anger at our families.

At some point, she decided she didn’t want people to call her Lisa anymore. Her German name, apparently, was Leila, and she wanted to be called that instead.

I believed I’d been pretty forgiving of some of her pretentious artsy crap, because I thought she was hot, but I decided to draw a line there. I kept calling her Lisa. I felt like it was bullshit to introduce yourself as one thing and then, for no reason, demand to be called something else. I just didn’t have the patience for it.

I still liked her fine, though, and sometimes when she came over we’d hang out. Eventually my whole fighting habit came up and she said she wanted in.

“Well, sure,” I said, “find a girl to fight and bring her over. We could make a night out of it.”

“No,” she said, “I mean I’ll fight you.”

We were in the kitchen. Doyal and Tyler and Molly and Darren and a good half-dozen other people were sitting around smoking weed and drinking whiskey and all of a sudden I felt very much on the spot.

“I’m not gonna fight you,” I said. To a sober man, this is the obvious answer. Any guy will tell you, it’s the worst possible situation for a fight. You either end up the asshole who beat up a woman or the biggest pussy of all time, a jackass who got his ass kicked by a girl.

I said, “That’s ridiculous.”

“Why?” she said. “If you think feminism is bullshit” – at the time, I was in such a foul mood about people that I felt pretty sure every opinion anyone had ever had was bullshit, including feminism – “and women shouldn’t get any special treatment, then why not?”

“Uh, I don’t know. I’m bigger than you.”

“What, so you only fight people your exact fucking size?”

I had a pretty comfortable, brain-killing drunk going on and I was running out of excuses not to fight her.

“Look, you’re gonna hate it. I’m gonna put a choke hold on you and it’ll piss you off and you’ll tap out and that’ll be it.”

Boy, did I love the choke hold. It was my go-to move and out of ten wins, I could thank the choke hold for seven or eight of them. About half the people I beat with it said it was a cheap move. I didn’t think that made any sense. This wasn’t Street Fighter II. This was two real life people in a fight. It wasn’t like I hit them in the nuts.

“What,” said Lisa, “you’re gonna use some pussy-ass choke hold? You’re gonna fight cheap against a girl?”

I couldn’t tell if she was flirting or just being a bitch. But either way the idea of fighting her began to sound really fun.

I looked over at Tyler. Surely he would talk me out of it, and since he was sort-of dating her, I’d have to respect his request.

Tyler was laughing his balls off. He was delighted by the idea.

I had nowhere to squirm and by now I didn’t really want to.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s do it.”

“Yeah?” she said. She was excited now. The sweaters started coming off. It was go time.

I made a plan in my head. I would back her off, let her get all her crazy out while I had her at a distance, then I’d grab her arms and hold her down until she admitted it was over.

That plan didn’t work for shit.

Lisa was out of her mind. She came at me like a complete savage. I kept cool for a second but almost immediately I was having the time of my life. We rolled all over the kitchen and living room floors and down the hall. People couldn’t get out of our way fast enough and we knocked a couple people down. I was holding back a little bit, still, but she started using her fingernails to scratch me and in my mind, she’d suddenly given up her frailty as a reason for me to fight respectfully. She was fighting like a badass and I couldn’t be happier.

Eventually we rolled into the bathroom, and then kicked our way into the little side room where the bathtub was kept separate and knocked the door shut. We were grunting and breathing heavily and Molly started knocking on the door, asking what was happening in there.

I knew what she had to be thinking, so I decided to do the respectful thing and make it clear this wasn’t a pre-fuck.

I had Lisa bent up over the rim of the bathtub, and I looked down and saw the tub drain. This was a house inhabited by six disgusting men in their early 20s. The drain was packed with hair and loogies and all of it had been peed on a hundred times.

I pushed Lisa’s face down into it.

Lisa lost her mind and screamed and flailed around until she finally agreed the fight was over. We both came out and drank as much whiskey as we could each handle, and that was that. Although Molly was pissed at me for weeks.

I felt like the whole thing had been pretty cool, and Lisa seemed all right with it too, once she’d been able to wash her face off. But later on she started dating a guy named TJ and got into punching fights with him in public all the time and they’d both walk around with black eyes they’d given each other. Somehow I knew where they were coming from but felt it crossed a line.

Plus, another time she and TJ were out walking on campus in the snow. They ended up playing and rolling around in the mud, which, again, I could understand, but then Lisa said, “Oh my God, TJ, I have the best idea. We should both pee our pants!”

Whereupon she actually did pee her pants. TJ told us the story later.

I can’t exactly claim to have been in my right mind during this whole period in my life. And Tyler brought home some pretty crazy women. But I always had love for Lisa for really taking the prize on crazy, Olympia-makes-me-nuts batshit behavior.

Words: Sean Murray
Art: Manuel Martinez

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bobby the Banker and My Daring 'Do

My best buddy working the bank was Bobby the banker. He was baby-faced and dorky but he was also about seven feet tall. It was amazing. I’m not a short man, but I had to do a lot of neck-craning when Bobby was around.

Bobby and I first bonded, I think, over comic books. We were both big geeks about ‘em and we’d try to take a lunch break together every week or two to walk down to the comics shop nearby and pick up our books. Bobby had some cool ideas for a superhero book he wanted to write and wild stories about living in a warehouse when he was young.

So, one day Bobby’s at the bank, and the line of customers is between his desk and the line of tellers. He glances up from his desk at the line and does a double take.

Bobby rubs his eyes with his hands.

Nope. It’s not his eyes.

That guy standing in line... is blurry. He’s standing still, holding his bank slip in front of him, just chilling out. But he looks like he’s in a blurry photo or something.

Bobby sits back in his chair looking at the guy, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. He looks at some other people in line to check, maybe it’s the lighting or something. But no. Everyone else looks normal. Bobby can’t figure it out. And he can’t exactly go ask the guy. So he sits there puzzled while the guy gets to the front of the line, does his business with a teller and walks out.

Bobby gets up and walks over to the teller.

“Hey, am I crazy, or was that guy, like, out of focus? Like fuzzy-looking?”

The teller, a young girl, looks at him with an ashen, wide-eyed look of grossed-out horror.

“He was CRAWLING,” she says, “with LICE.”

They had to shut down the branch for a week to fumigate.

Another day, some jumpy dude walked into the branch and asked Bobby if he could sit down. Bobby thought, “Awesome, nobody even had to work for this one,” and asked the guy what kind of account he needed help with. The dude mumbled something indirect in reply, and for a few minutes Bobby, disappointed this had turned instead into a waste of time, tried to figure out how to open an account for the guy, who was just sitting there fidgeting and half-shivering.

After a bit, the guy jumped up and walked right back out of the bank.

We were slow, so Bobby came over to the teller line to tell me about the weird guy. We laughed about him for a minute and then Bobby walked back… to find the guy had peed all over the chair.

Now, because I held this job during my Fight Clubbin’ days, I sometimes showed up to work with bruises and scabs all over me. Just like Edward Norton does in the movie, I took a sick kind of delight in having people walk up to make their deposits, make a quick second of eye contact with me and immediately turn their faces down to the counter and keep them there.

I didn’t want to scare anybody; I just thought it was funny how uncomfortable they were. Barbie thought it was funny. I got a really brutal black eye and face-scrape one night after racing down a sidewalk in Seattle with Tyler sitting on my shoulders, and when I showed up to work the next day she laughed.

“Did you get in a fight?” she said, the same way you might teasingly ask a soaked person if they forgot their umbrella on a stormy day.

“No, actually,” I said, half-surprised to be giving that answer.

“Did you get drunk and fall down?”

Good ol’ Barbie.

So eventually I decided to quit. My life SUCKED at this job! Olympia was slowly killing me and I was becoming an alcoholic and we were living in the only project housing in town and it was run by meth-heads, and my school was a limp jerk-off of an education and my job was boring and paid little and it was cold and wet all the time and Seattle was too long a drive to realistically visit very often and my girlfriend and I hadn’t had sex in forever and my parents were getting divorced with my brother dealing with it alone down in California, and some of my favorite people at work had been fired or quit to get better jobs and you couldn’t buy booze on Sundays.

All of which had been the case for quite a while, but then my boss said I couldn’t have time off to visit my family for Christmas.

That was when I realized something awesome. I didn’t have to do something just because my boss said I had to do it. I could quit the job. I didn’t have any abiding love for bank work. It would be easy! Holy shit, I couldn’t believe I thought of it!

Soon as I made the decision, life changed up a little. I called my mom and floated the idea of coming back home, and she was so cool about it I was stunned. My boss at the bank decided to quit, too. I went about making goodbyes and wrapping up what little needed wrapping up, and then I got a great idea.

My plan was to go to my last day of work, all normal-style, and then halfway through the shift – I would get a Mohawk.

It was genius. It would totally freak everybody out. It would be hella punk rock. I could tell people for years about how cool and anti-establishment I was, how I stuck it to the man by making them DEAL with a guy who had a fuckin’ MOHAWK, you guys. I was so stoked and full of self-satisfaction it’s a wonder I was able to put on my pants that day.

I brought a pair of clippers in a bag and stashed them in the break room. Then when lunch time was coming up, I walked over to Bobby’s desk and broke him the news.

“Dude, you have to come help me cut my hair.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I brought clippers. You gotta give me a Mohawk.”

“I don’t know how to give you a Mohawk, man!”

“Dude, it’s easy. You clip off one side and then you clip off the other. Come on, don’t be a pussy!”

“Okay, but we gotta be quick.”

I’d made Bobby all kinds of nervous by springing it on him at the last second. We went into the employee bathroom and I took my shirt off and knelt down over a wastebasket and Bobby – still wearing a full business suit – stood over me with the clippers. I wanted a REAL Mohawk so we took the guards off and he was shaving my head bald.

He was seriously freaking out, though, and he kept saying, “I gotta get back, man, they’re gonna notice I’m gone,” and he ended up cutting the shit out of my scalp with the clipper blades by jamming them into my head too fast. He managed a straight line down one side of the ‘hawk but the right side of my scalp had hair coming out farther around the middle of my head, forming a sort of long triangle instead of a long, thin bar of hair. I was bleeding all over the place. I had loose hair all over my shoulders and neck. I put my shirt back on and it was the most uncomfortable thing I’d ever worn.

I went back to the teller line, all set to rock everybody’s world… and nobody gave a shit. A couple people laughed but nobody was freaked out. I was stunned. I came in with a black eye and everyone got shy and quiet, but a freakin’ badass Mohawk and blood all over? No one really batted an eye. Every time someone walked up, I gave this expectant, excited look, ready for them to flip out, and people would just nod and look at my hair and say, “Well, how ‘bout that?”

I went home and showered and looked at it again and I couldn’t believe how stupid I looked. I tried to fix the damn thing and got Molly and Darren both on the job with the clippers but it was never the glory I expected. And Molly made me agree to shave it off before driving the moving van back home, arguing that without any black people to screw with in either Washington or Oregon, the police would likely instead fuck with people who had stupid punk rock haircuts.

I was so glad to finally have someone give me validation that the ‘hawk was, indeed, a very punk rock gesture on my part, that I shaved it clean off and drove through three states looking like Uncle Fester.

Words: Sean Murray
Art: Manuel Martinez

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Banking: Not the Glamorous Life I Imagined

When I was about 16, an older kid I was sorta buddies with got a job as a bank teller and I thought it sounded like the fanciest job ever. Boy, did I have it wrong.

For a year in Olympia, I worked as a teller. I was desperate for the work. Less than a year before I got to town I’d bought an ’86 Ford F-150 that immediately shit its guts out and sucked up every last dollar I’d ever earned.

The problem was, I moved to Olympia just after 9/11 – about six months after the Nisqually earthquake beat the shit out of Seattle and everything in some ridiculous thousand-mile radius. Olympia was split into two sides – the west side was full of homes and had the college campus, and the east side had the capital building and all the local business. The two sides of town were connected by a thin, short bridge that got busted up in the quake, and the already-screwed up economy just completely went to hell. Everywhere you looked there were “Going Out of Business Sale” signs posted in windows.

Somehow, I was able to land the job anyway and, despite being arrested on my way to the first day of training, managed to keep the job.

I got there and my God, the bank was depressing.

For one, we had the Labor Ready payroll account. Labor Ready is based in Tacoma and sells itself as the country’s biggest provider of temporary manual labor to construction sites. What that means in real world terms is basically this: if you’re an alcoholic or a convicted felon, you show up at the work line at 4 or 5 a.m. and hope they give you a job for the day, digging ditches or hammering roof tiles or whatever the hell. You bust your ass all day in the sun or the rain and at the end of each day you get a check.

So these guys would come slumping in, stinking like a homeless guy and tired and hungry and greasy, and they’d wait in line and then try to cash their checks with us. About a quarter of these guys had expired IDs, or the card was so beat-up and weather damaged that you couldn’t read the information and we had to send them away. None of them had bank accounts, obviously, so we’d have to get their thumb prints stamped onto the checks. Some guys would have their thumbs all fucked up from work, scabbed up or covered in paint or glue or tar, and they’d leave these thumbprints that looked like a raccoon’s paw or something.

One guy that came in a lot owed a ton of child support and alimony. He’d been ducking it so long that the courts had gotten involved and forced any employer that paid him to garnish the holy shit out of his pay. You know the walk people get when they’ve just been in a fight? Like a slow stagger, half-deliberate and half-drunk? I never saw this guy walk any other way.

He walked in and stood in line with his stained orange baseball cap and his red plaid jacket, picking at his trucker moustache. He came to me once with his check, signed the back of it and gave me his thumb, and I cashed it out. As I counted out the money, he said, “Do you know how many hours I worked today?”

I looked down; the check was tiny.

“Yeah, rough getting hours these days, huh? I feel for ya, man,” I said.

“I worked for ELEVEN HOURS TODAY."

I looked down at the check again. I pursed my lips.

I took out the cash and counted it out to him.

Nineteen dollars and seventy-four cents. Neither enough for a full twenty-dollar bill, nor a full three quarters in change.

I laid the money on the counter between us.

He looked down at it. Then he looked up at me.

“I can’t even get drunk on that,” he said.

I had nothing to say. What the hell CAN a 20-year-old kid say to a dude in his 40s in that situation? Here I had thousands of dollars sitting in a drawer in front of me. I was making nine bucks an hour – I’d topped this poor sonofabitch’s income for the whole day in a little more than two hours. And I felt poor!

We stood there for about five or six seconds. He looked at me with this confused, demanding disappointment. He wanted me to do something, but he didn’t know what. Or he knew what he wanted someone to do, but he was wrestling to remember that it couldn’t be me that would do it. I just tried to keep as much eye contact as I could – I was completely unable to help, but I didn’t want to leaving him hanging, so I figured the best I could do was look him in the eye.

He took a deep sigh, slowly slapped his hand on the counter over the money and slid it back, jammed it in his pocket and walked out.

Another account we had where people would come to cash their checks was the crazy people. Sometimes a court will declare somebody incompetent to handle their own affairs, right? Well, when that happens, that person’s money (apparently) gets sent to some corporate handler that squirrels the cash all away and portions it out in controlled, specifically-designated doses to the poor old sap.

This stuff was hyper-specific. I’d get guys walking in with checks for five dollars, and in the memo line it would read, “For cigarettes.”

One of my favorites, though, was an old dude named Harvey. He was practically the only black guy in town – Washington State is, in my experience, almost totally white. He was maybe 55 or 60 and the kind of guy you might guess at a distance is homeless, because his coat was ratty and cheap and he wore a knit-wool cap, but when you got up close to him you could see he was wearing clean, modestly-framed glasses and he was perfectly clean-shaven.

The way I got to know Harvey was one day he got in line to cash a money order and the teller who helped him was Barbie.

Barbie was super-hot in kind of a “white trash town in the middle of nowhere” sort of way. I don’t mean she had four kids and an “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt so much as I mean that every white trash dude who came in the place would get to the front of the line and then let people go ahead of him until Barbie freed up for the next customer. Every once in a while, when she wanted a new person to treat her seriously, she would introduce herself as Barbara. I would hear it from my little station a few doors down the teller line and it always made me smile.

So one day Harvey comes in, and as Barbie starts cashing this little money order he brought in, he belts out at the top of his lungs: “Yooouuuuu are so beautiful… to me! Yoooouuuu are so beautiful, to me, can’t you see?”

He did the whole song. Barbie had no idea what to do. The entire bank stopped. Everyone was completely absorbed in this guy and the girl he was singing to. He was good, too! He threw his arms up at the emotional notes, held his hands to his chest for the heartfelt, quieter parts, like a whole professional performance.

Barbie had no idea what to do. She giggled. She covered her face, which was red as a drunken Irishman’s. She tried to compose herself and crossed one hand over the other on the counter in front of her. Then she busted up again.

When Harvey was done, the whole bank exploded into applause. It was the greatest thing ever.

I got the guy’s phone number, and that year for Christmas I bought Molly a steak dinner and had Harvey come into the restaurant to sing to her. Cleared it with the management and everything. To my amazement, Harvey came in wearing a tuxedo! He gave her a rose and sang three or four songs, two that I had chosen and then some improv of his own choosing. If you’ve never tried this with a guy who breaks into song in public for (almost) no reason, I highly recommend it.

The week after I met Harvey, though, somebody else came into the bank and caused a really amazing problem. We’ll tell y’all about that next week.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Time Whisky Made Me Gay

One thing I liked to do when I lived in Olympia was to sit down at the big round table in our living-slash-dining room with a bottle of whisky and a shot glass and get myself good and drunk.

The two state-run liquor stores in town actually sold stuff for a pretty decent price, all told. You could get a bottle of Jack Daniels for about fourteen bucks, Jim Beam for maybe eleven. Evan Williams, the rotgut bourbon made famous by One-Armed Nate, was about eight bucks.

Once in a while, Doyal or I would buy a ten-dollar bottle of Clan MacGregor scotch, which I recommend to no one. Every single time we made the mistake of buying it, Doyal or I would wake up with this grimy, ashen kind of hangover you can only get from drinking dirt-cheap scotch. It soaks into your muscles and makes you feel dirty and gritty. You feel like a lowlife. “The Clan put a beatin’ on me again,” we’d say to each other. We could never figure out why we didn’t learn the lesson, but every month or two another empty bottle of the Clan would turn up in the morning.

On the other hand, I made nine bucks an hour working part-time as a bank teller downtown. Doyal got a job at Subway Sandwiches that took an hour to get to on the bus. Concessions had to be made, and the most important thing to do with our money was to get drunk, so cheap booze often prevailed. You could get half-racks (12-packs) of Olympia Beer at the gas station near our apartment for $5.50 and we ended up literally wallpapering a huge wall in the apartment with the cardboard.

Once in a while though – my goal was once a week – I’d buy a nice delicious $16 bottle of Powers Irish Whisky. Oh, that was a treat. It was usually freezing and half-the-time raining outside and there’s nothing like a swallow of sweet, hot whisky sliding down the inside of your chest when the world outside the window looks that ugly and cold.

So one day I’m sitting down for my ritual blackout and Pretty John sticks his head in through the big living room window we used as a door.

Everyone called him Pretty John for the obvious reason: he looked like a pretty girl. You could be walking on campus behind him and think to yourself, “That girl’s got a pretty nice ass,” and then it would turn out to be John: Whoops! Pretty John was pretty much the poster-boy twinkie. For those that don’t know, if you're not a genius accusing an Asian person of being "white on the inside," calling someone a "twinkie" in gay terms is pretty much the opposite of calling them a bear. Bears are big, burly, hairy, macho. Twinkies are slight, usually blond, and look kind of like elves. Some twinkies go really feminine in style and appearance, and John was one of them.

Our apartment on campus was right near a dirt walking path and people popped in all the time, and right now Pretty John was sticking his head in to say hello. I’d never really talked with John, but we were in classes together and I was in a good mood and when he asked to come in I invited him to the table. I grabbed a second shot glass and slid it across the table to him, then slid the whisky bottle over right behind it.

My roommates sat around and my girlfriend Molly watched some TV on the couch and I poured myself shot after shot.

At some point, the bottle was half-empty. Pretty John had taken maybe two shots, and the rest was my doing. It was time to be bold.

“Hey, John.” I said. “Can I ask you something personal?”

He said I could, of course, and I was so excited: I’d wanted to ask somebody this for YEARS.

“Here’s something I don’t get. Why would a guy, who likes to fuck guys, who also like to fuck guys… want to look like a girl?”

I didn’t mean anything aggressive or mean by it – I sincerely wanted to know. It didn’t make sense to me.

The truth is, I have no idea what he said in response. The next thing I remember is, John had moved from across the table to right next to me, and he had his hand on my thigh.

I looked up at the table and the whisky bottle was empty.

My roommates, of course, had fled.

Molly was still sitting on the couch. John leaned in and started kissing my ear.

I was frozen. I was piss-drunk and freaked out and I just sat there trying to remember to breathe.

“Molly?” I called.

“Yes, Sean?” she said.

“Am I… what’s, ah… what’s going on?”

“Well, Sean, it looks like you might be about to make out with a guy.”

Somehow, I was panicked but couldn’t move.

“What should I do?”

She paused. John nibbled on my ear some more and rubbed my leg with his hand. Christ, what Molly must have been thinking.

She said, “Do whatever you want, Sean.” Her voice was tight and freaked out, but she was trying to be soothing, too.

I felt relieved by that. Now, whatever I did, it would be okay. I had permission to do it.

John kissed my neck.

I thought, “Well, when am I going to have this exact chance again?”

I thought, “When in Rome.”

I turned my face down, and Pretty John and I were making out.

Surprisingly – to me, anyway – it wasn’t that bad. I mean, I was blind drunk and could barely move, but the sensations were all pretty much the same as kissing a girl. I knew this was a guy, but just at the moment I really didn’t care.

Molly left the room. I was told later she began hyperventilating in the hallway and my roommates had to help her breathe.

I wish I could tell you how making out with John ended, but I was in full-on brown-out mode. Manuel likes to call it “time travel,” when you jump from scene to scene like you’re hitting the chapter skip on a DVD.

The next thing I knew, I was with Molly again. We were in the bathroom. You know those diners made up like they’re from the 50s, and they have the cute painting of the little boy and little girl sharing a milkshake with two straws? It was like that, except we were sharing a toilet bowl, each of us puking into it to save our lives.

And that was the time that whisky made me gay.

A post-script: Obviously, plenty of guys get super drunk and don’t make out with other dudes. I couldn’t really put it on the whisky. So when I woke up the next day, and remembered in little flickers what had happened, I freaked out. For like half an hour. I just bolted up in bed, Molly sleeping beside me, and said, “Oh, my God,” over and over. Was I gay now? What did I do? Could I still have a girlfriend? What did other people see? Every retarded question in the book went like lightning flashes through my mind. I started wondering if I had to invent some kind of new, start-from-scratch second life. I went into full-on retarded melodrama.

(See, until you’ve done something like kiss a dude, and found out it’s not the end of the world and doesn’t actually shatter all your foundations, this kind of thing can feel legitimately scary.)

My roommate Darren, who I’d met freshman year at San Francisco State, was a little homophobic. One time he was riding in a car with us in San Francisco and when we drove through the Castro district he actually got mad we hadn’t warned him. He was like a brother to me but I was freaked out he would have a big problem with this. Maybe stop talking to me. He was the kind of guy to get quiet when he had a problem with you, just get into his shell and shut you out.

I put on some pants and walked into the kitchen, and Darren was there. I looked at the ground and tried to get past him to open up the fridge.

“Hey, good morning, fag,” Darren said. “Careful you don’t close the door on your boner.”

Right there, I knew everything was cool.

Words: Sean Murray
Art: Manuel Martinez

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Delayed this week, yes.

Hey everyone,

Apologies for the late post this week. We got thrown by Thanksgiving and another, more exciting development -- our scripting process is finally fully underway! Manuel and I are chewing over beats and page breakdowns together, beating each other up to bring you a graphic novel next year that will rock your collective asses off.

We're finding a rhythm to get both the blog and the progress on the book done each week, and will have the latest blog story for you shortly. In the meantime, thanks for hanging with us.

In the meantime, try picking up the latest Sons of Anarchy episode. Team Spitball Press watched the season two finale last night and it completely rocked. Although we're about done with Agent Stahl being such an asshole...