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The Year of Living Dangerously
The Saga Continues
Fortune Cookie Life

Note: This volume has been edited beyond recognition.

Friday March 5, 2004

I neglected to mention that I transferred the dough to my local bank account. I am ready to close the townhouse deal on March 18th. An uneventful day, at least to begin with. Shirley and I ate lunch at Zippy's. I am not sure why, but she has been a lot friendlier lately. It was quite obvious. She did bring up Shagha when we were talking about cell phone plans. I said that I may downgrade my cell phone plan since no one calls me and I have no one to call. I met up with Pseudo-professor Glen and his wife Nancy for happy hour at Indigo's. We had a few drinks and a lot of good food. Then, we went on the Art Walk.

Saturday March 6

I did my tanning hike this morning. I was feeling pretty bad after imbibing yesterday. I took the bus to town. I went to the gym. Then, I took the bus to Ala Moana to do my usual trek. I ended up at Kahala Mall and rewarded myself with a Jamba Juice smoothie. For some reason, I wanted to go to Waikiki Beach. I took the bus there and did the beach tour. I returned home late. Right after dinner, I was off again. I took the bus to Waikiki and spent some time sitting at the beach. It was a really pleasant experience. I observed all of the couples walking along the beach. There were a few losers sitting near me, so I was okay. I did a lot of thinking about my situation. I realized that I had a great year. I've done well for myself.

Sunday March 7

I am just going through the motions of living. If life in the "cocoon" wasn't so painfully stupid at times, I would probably be content to stay on. However, it is clear that I just don't want to be around moms' house any longer. In contrast, Robert has become quite content again. I have not heard from him at all, nor do I intend to initiate any contact. Looks like my phone list is going to be pruned considerably again. I am also not intending to hang out with any of the guys whom I know. There is no mutual benefit, unless a pity party is considered worthy. I am always going to prefer the friendship of babes. I have much more fun talking with them and going out with them. Although I enjoy Caroll's company, I now realize that she carries a lot of baggage. It's gotten worse since I left Cali. Every conversation with her is now a woeful tale of being dealt an endless series of bad hands in life. In the past few weeks, I've learned that she hates her job. She's been trying to fix an endless series of traffic violations. Those violations are also preventing her from getting her license to sell cars again. Her financial woes just continue to grow. She's sick of living in a small trailer in a sleazy trailer park, although this has been the only time that she's had a stable roof over her head.

I did my usual tanning hike up Koko Head this morning. Then, I was off my usual benign rounds. I love walking through Ala Moana Beach Park. It's refreshing. There are also a lot of the homeless there. which serves to remind me of how good I have it. Caroll and I played phone tag again for most of the day. We haven't really chatted. She said that she wasn't in the mood to chat because of her financial problems. I really wasn't in the mood either. Frankly, I am planning to downgrade my cell phone plan. I'm just about done with this phone bullshit. I ended up at Kahala Mall again for a Jamba Juice smoothie. I also perused a few home decorating books at Barnes & Noble. Robert called and left a message. He was on his way to the Sunset on the Beach event in Waikiki. Every weekend, there's a free movie and entertainment. I guess he called me to let me know that he's got it goin' on. He's living in a dream world. Instead of chokin' da chicken, he should get busy and move out of the "cocoon."

Monday March 8

I checked the listings in the paper yesterday. There's another townhouse unit up for sale in Haiku Point where I am buying. The asking price was $195,000 with a leasehold. My townhouse includes the fee (read: no lease), which ten years ago was $68,700. The value of my townhouse could have increased about $38,000 since last month. Can you believe it? I also checked the Ditech site and discovered that moms' house is valued at about $400,000, obviously since it's in Hawai'i Kai. Do your see why the Ninja Turds are up to no good? I still have not brought up the purchase of the townhouse or the fact that I am moving at the end of the month.

The enrollment for the new term at the Asylum plummeted so low that all of my classes were canceled. That's right, I have no classes. Fortunately, I am on salary, but there will be questions raised. At this point in time, I cannot take a reduction in pay. It is just amazing how all of this crap came up just as I am about to purchase the townhouse.

I chatted with Lori on the express bus this morning, and we also met for lunch at Café 8 1/2 in town. We had an interesting discussion. In fact, we were at lunch for a couple of hours. At one point, we were discussing the age issue. I told her that I was sick of people telling me to "get real," and how tired I was of people expecting me to act my age. She told me that I was a "hot babe," or something like that. Several of her friends made that comment as well, although she would not tell me who they were. She also said that they were surprised I was not haole. Lori had told them that we were once a couple. It was quite flattering nonetheless. She also gave me more information on the paddling club. The big day to join is this Saturday, but I am not even motivated to do so. The cost is $150, which now seems like a lot of dough given my precarious employment situation. I am also moving to Kane'ohe, so it will be difficult to make the practice days in Hawai'i Kai. We also discussed the situation with the Ninja Turds and moms' house. Lori knows quite well about the crap that went on. I am weighing her opinions.

I facilitated my night class at the Diploma Mill and returned home. Moms made some kind of obtuse comment about me being late again. Then, moms put out all kinds of food on the table. I am really becoming more disgruntled by the day. Mainly, I am displeased with myself for putting up with this nonsense for so long.

Tuesday March 9

Yesterday was a horrendous day for me. However, I remained somewhat sane through it all. I have to. I'm being tested by the sinister kahuna again, and I don't plan on failing. And, I am not going to lose the townhouse before I even move in. Sheesh! Lori discussed babes with me yesterday. Many of the things Lori mentioned applied to herself. However, Lori was fortunate. She finally found someone who could provide everything for her. She lives a life of leisure, working only three days per week. I am still somewhat surprised about how Lori talked about me yesterday. She was truly enamored with the ol' lavahead.

I was only at the Asylum briefly today. I talked with several faculty members. None seemed happy about the situation. The administration has been laying low. It's a complete mess. Shirley dropped off some Mau'i sweet potato mochi for me. I don't particularly like mochi, but this variety is really good.

I don't say a word anymore when I return to moms' house. I am not going to call it home, because it's not. It's a "cocoon." Moms has been trying to adjust to my coming and going, but I know that it's only a temporary fix. Robert will discover the same thing very soon. The real problem is that moms is catering more to what she perceives to be my needs. This is exactly what happened when the Ninja Turds were here. The more abusive they became, the more moms capitulated to their demands. This really bugs me. I just want to be left alone.

Wednesday March 10

To add insult to injury, I discovered last night that the funds I deposited won't be available until March 22nd. There was supposed to be a ten-day hold, but it's apparently fifteen days now. The closing for the townhouse is next week. I will probably end up depositing a $1,000 check every day for a week in order to get enough cleared in time for the signing. This is so fucking ridiculous. Perhaps I should just stay in the "cocoon." It now becomes even more obvious that babes have no respect for a guy who lives at home with moms. Yes, even if they say it's okay, the real truth is that it's not okay.

Then, there's the issue of having babe friends. Babes don't like guys to have babe friends, although it is okay for them to have guy "friends." I have noticed that Shirley has been a subliminal point of contention. I know this for a fact because I am probably the only guy I know of who has a close babe friend. We pal around so much that most people think something is going on. And, I am one of the few guys who was able to establish a friendship with an ex-babe.

I did not sleep well at all last night because of the situation with the bank. So, when I got off the express bus in town this morning, that was my first stop. I was prepared to do anything to release the hold on my funds. The bank staff was not very friendly, but I was able to release my funds. Later, the Dean at the Asylum assured me that my salary will remain intact for now. So, once again, a series of small miracles has saved me.

Shirley and I ate lunch at Taco Bell. Shirley will be free for most of the weekend. At one point, I happened to be discussing how Lori has it really good now. She asked if I would ever get back together with Lori if she divorced. I said no.

Thursday March 11

I'm surprised that Shirley did not comment on my haircut like she usually does. I got one of those skin fades again. The rest of the day was uneventful. I was essentially done with work by 11am, but I stayed in town until the last express bus leaves. I don't particularly care to return to the "cocoon" any sooner than necessary.

I have not announced anything about the townhouse or moving out with any family member. I haven't even discussed the trip to Cali. I just don't feel like it right now. I am under duress as it is. I don't need to explain anything to anyone. I had to get a drink at Chez Pasta this afternoon.

Friday March 12

I have not been able to obtain the figures for amount that I actually owe when I sign the papers at escrow. This has been somewhat frustrating. I am supposed to take care of this nonsense next Tuesday. I am sure that the escrow office is completely swamped. Almost everything on the island is selling fast. Even most of the high-rise condos are sold out and the places haven't even been built yet. Prices are sky high as well. Who can afford to buy these places? Certainly not the locals.

Leaving the "cocoon" is probably the smartest move I'll make. I am still fuming over what moms told me when the rent was doubled. "You didn't offer," moms said, meaning that I was supposed to offer to pay more. I cannot handle the mixing of cleaning chemicals, the hundreds of stupid foam trays, and the endless religious material strewn about. I am not sure how Robert was able to conform to the rules of the "cocoon" again, but I can't take it anymore.

An interesting day. I sat with Lori on the express bus this morning. We had an interesting dicsussion. She going to call me tomorrow to accompany me to the paddling club sign ups. Shirley and I ate lunch at the Panda Express in the Makai Mall at Ala Moana Center. We both had fortune cookies. I opened mine. It read, "Be tactful, do not overlook your own opportunities." I read it aloud to Shirley. Her fortune was about finding a new relationship. Earlier, she had told me about some guy in her class at the Diploma Mill. "He's hot," she said. Apparently, he's a buffed thirty-year old stud. "Why don't you show that to the older hottie and ask him what it means?" I prodded. Shirley laughed. She also noted that it was interesting how we got our respective fortunes. The reverse would not have worked, she said. "Don't underestimate the power of the fortune cookie," I said. We both laughed. After lunch, we were walking around the mall for a bit. This is the kind of fun we have these days. We are supposed to meet tomorrow, but no one has made any plans yet.

I had to go to a meeting at the Asylum this afternoon. Then, I walked over to the gas company. I picked up an application to initiate service. Then, I went to the gym. I wanted to go to Indigo for happy hour, but I thought better of it. I returned to the "cocoon." After dinner, I left immediately for Kahala Mall. As usual, I meandered around for a couple of hours. Wheee!

Saturday March 13

I went for my tanning hike up Koko Head early this morning. It started to rain, so no tan. Lori called. She came and picked me up. We drove to Maunalua Bay. I picked up an application form for the paddling club. Lori signed up. We then went for coffee at Starbuck's at koko Marina. We chatted for a while about a nhumber of things. The rain was really bad by then. Lori drove me to Aina Haina and dropped me off. Debbie, my realtor, picked me up shorlty after ward. We drove to Kane'ohe for the final inspection of the townhouse. It looked very different when it was empty. The carpets really need to be replaced, but I just can't afford to do that. Everything is essentially ready for the big day on Tuesday. I rode back with Debbie. She stopped off at Safeway to buy a few things. Then, she dropped me off at Ala Moana.

I took a bus to Kahala Mall and looked around. Caroll called and I chatted with her for a few minutes. I returned to the "cocoon." I left for Ala Moana about 7pm. The Mai Tai Bar was the choice. We were to meet at 9:30pm. I walked around the mall. The mall closed at 9pm. I did not hear from anyone, so I drove over to Border's I ran into John, a former Asylum student. Later, I drove back to Ala Moana. Shirley and Erin were already inside.

We waited in line for a long time. We finally got into the place at 11pm. We joined up with Shirley and Erin. I chatted with Shirley and Erin for a bit. Shirley was expecting Lance, a classmate to show up. At one point, she said, "Don't forget about the fortune cookie." I laughed. The place closed at 1pm. We parted company. Shirley was arm-in-arm with Lance by then, so a hook up was in progress. She apparently took the fortune cookie seriously, unlike myself.

Sunday March 14

I forgot to mention that moms cooked up a whole mess of food again yesterday. I suspected that the Ninja Turds would be coming by. However, moms apparently ended up delivering the food to the Turds. There is one good point about having my own place. I will be able to avoid those dysfunctional family get-togethers during the holidays. Moms can also stop those secret phone calls to Mrs. Turd. It's all very tiring. I am still predicting that the Turds will be moving back in at the end of the year. Until Turd Jr. has his own room, moms will not be able to sleep well at night. I still have not mentioned anything about the townhouse or my upcoming trip to Cali.

I did my tanning hike up Koko Head again this morning. Then, I walked to the bus stop. I did my usual psychotic tour around Ala Moana. I spent a considerable amount of time sitting at the beach. I was contemplating the situation. Shirley has apparently hooked up with Lance. I was suprised since he is a haole guy. That's a first for Shirley. Now, my social life will definitely drop down to nothing. I can probably spend a few weekends working on my townhouse. I can paint it and clean the carpets myself. Then, I have to buy furniture for the place. Yet, I am back to Square Zero. My vacation in Cali next week will serve to renew myself. I will spend much of that time contemplating what I will do when I return to Hawai'i. Soon, I will not have a babe friend either, as Shirley is hookin' up. This will be an interesting situation. However, as always, the ol' lavahead ends up the odd man out.

After my vacation in Cali, life will returning to its old boring state. I have to admit that I had some fun times this year. I probably fared better than Robert or Pseudo-lifeforms Jim and Paul. There is one lesson I am learning the hard way, that is, there is no such a thing as a friendship between guys and babes. There are only a few rare exceptions. Guys and babes become "friends" because of some kind of attraction to begin with, so the friendship will always be difficult. I enjoy having babes as friends, but I receive female attention. The babes benefit in the same manner. Simple biology should have told me this. And, I am not convinced that babes are the only ones who have a FriendZonetm. All in all, I cannot help how I feel about this. I enjoy going out to the movies or going for drinks and pupus with a babe more than I would with a guy. It's just more fun. So, in the end, I am sad to be losing my babe friends. It was a great time, though, and I'd do it again.

Monday March 15

Well, today is the Ides of March. Shirley and I did not have lunch together today. She did not call either, but I knew why. Shirley's hook up with Lance was a complete surprise to me, although I had a variety of hints. First, she invited him to the Mai Tai Bar get-together. I could not figure out why. Second, she invited Erin along. Now I understand that she wanted Erin's approval. Third, it was the fortune in the fortune cookie. Now it makes sense why she kept it, and also why she said that the fortunes would not work if we had gotten each other's. Shirley said that she would not hook up with anyone while she was still in school. As always, never believe a babe. She's on a timetable to get married by 28 so she's got only four years left. She graduates from the Diploma Mill next year. I know at least one person who will not be happy with this news, and it's not me. To be honest, I am not impressed by Lance. I think she could do better. He's a little cocky, so I know he's going to push for da wild thing soon. That's going to be a problem because Shirley is a little conservative when it comes to this matter. I just don't want to see her hurt, nor do I want to see her coerced into something she doesn't want to do. This was the big Ides of March surprise. And, it was one hell of a surprise at that.

I obtained a Cashier's Check for $12,300 this afternoon. I will be handing this check over tomorrow as part of the closing process for the townhouse. I have about $5,000 in deposits and credits already established. I still have $92,000 in my investment accounts, so it looks like I have planned properly for this milestone in my life. I ran into Robert later in the afternoon. He said that he has been "hermitizing," which he translated for me. He's been cleaning his room in the "cocoon." He's also convinced that we need to take one of those Russian tours to meet babes.

Profiles in Cowardice

The thought occurred to me while I was at the gym. It's not a new thought by any means. However, I've come to realize that in my discussions with a few of the "parallel lives" buddies, we all share some very similar traits and denials. I've wondered about whether the babe situation for us was really a matter of cowardice as many have suggested. I've tried to deny this premise before. Rather than cowardice, I asserted, it's a matter of choice — keeping a "friend" or finding a babe.

Recently, I have regained my senses and realized that, in general, friendships with babes are close to impossible unless one has good mental stamina. I cannot argue that hanging out with babes is far more fun than hanging out with guys, especially a bunch of middled-aged losers. The real question, though, is why all of us who share parallel lives are unable to find babes. Living in the "cocoon" is a major deterrent. However, there must be more. In my conversations with the "parallel lives" buddies, there has been one obscure point which I overlooked, that is, until I observed it in myself. We always have to visualize something before we can do it. This applies to everything in our lives. None of the "parallel lives" buddies can actually visualize mackin' on babes. I can speak for myself. I cannot visualize myself doing a cold call mack. I can see myself responding to a babe mackin' on me. That's it. Not being able to visualize this is an impediment to action. Is it really fear? That's what I wonder. To me, it seems more like "Why try? I'm going to fail anyway." Yes, it is defeatist, but it may not exactly be cowardice or spineless worm behavior.

It is my understanding that babes require a guy to snap into action and make proactive "moves." Lance had to do that with Shirley, because I know that Shirley is not assertive with guys. It is a guy's perogative and duty to follow through. I have also noticed that all of us in the "parallel lives" zone have very distorted self-images. In other words, we seem to not feel that babes could be attracted to any of us. Even the ol' lavahead, who has a number of babes hit on him in the past, is totally unsure of himself and his masculinity as applied to babes. I am beginning to wonder why I even go to the gym. Lori has commented that some of her babe friends made some very positive comments about the ol' lavahead, his physique, etc., yet he just cannot bring himself to believe any of it. That's true. I cannot see myself approaching babes, chatting them up, and asking for a phone number. I cannot see myself calling up a babe and asking her out on a date. I can't even imagine that I could hold a babe's interest for longer than two minutes. Then, I really could not see myself making the big moves, be it the first kiss, etc. I just can't see it, although I've been through it a number of times. I don't get it. Did I really become a reborn virgin?

It is so strange. I think this is where I came up with the concept of a "regular guy in a loser's body." It's derealization at its finest. Everything is so weird now. Mackin' is innate in males. It's instinctual, yet some of us have been so emasculated that we don't know what to do. Living in the "cocoon" has only exacerbated the situation further. Yet, how could we have overridden instinct? This is simply not just "mind over matter." It would require complete genetic recoding. How did we do it?

Tuesday March 16

I met with Brenda and Debbie at the escrow office. I signed a whole mess of paperwork. I actually felt a little sick afterward. After all, I had just signed my life away. So, the closing is complete. Once the closing is recorded, I will get the keys to the townhouse. That should happen on Friday. It's all so surreal to me. I still have second thoughts. I had vowed that I would not assume a mortgage unless I had at least a family of two with two incomes. Obviously, I would have had to wait until hell freezes over before that happened. The rest of the day was uneventful.

Shirley tried to call last night, but I missed the call. I sent her a text message today. She tried to call again, but I missed the call. Perhaps I will see her tomorrow. This definitely a new beginning for the two of us. Shirley is hookin' up. And, I am moving out of the "cocoon." It's all happening this very week. It's also almost beyond coincidence. Our lives are now diverging. However, something tells me that our lives will converge and cross paths once again in the future. Who knows what's in store for all of us?

I still have not mentioned anything to my dysfunctional family about the townhouse or my upcoming trip to Cali. I was just not in the mood to discuss it today either. I walked over to Chez Pasta for a drink this afternoon. Rudi Bakhtiar was on CNN Headline News again. She is such a hottie. This life is just too crazy for me.

To be continued ... Go to D.29

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