Roger came running towards me. Roger is about 18 years old or so and is probably one my favorite students because he attacks geek subject matter with relish. If ever I need to discuss zombie apocalypses, the Marvel universe, or popular science fiction, I need only to turn the nozzle and the hot water will pour out. In fact, it will overflow out of the sink, flood the bathroom floor and seep through the floor until your downtairs neighbor’s ceiling has a leak. A discussion with him on the X-Men First Class movie's deviations from the actual comics may very well take up your next 45 minutes in spite of any subtle attempts to table the conversation or body language that’s meant to convey “Okay, enough already, damn it.” In any event, back on track, Roger came running towards me. As per usual, he wanted to happily inform me of the effects of rough-housing with friends. He once advised me not shake any friends who were stronger than I was. Today, he proffered this sage advice “Don’t ever get in a fight with a bisexual, when you them, they hit you back a lot harder.” I didn’t have words with which to respond right away.
A part of me wanted to ascertain whether or not Roger understood what the term “bisexual” meant; moreover, I wanted to ask him he understood that in spite of the bisexual’s raw and energetic appetites, they still, on average, posses no more street fighting prowess than the average queer. In fact, the bisexual’s sole super power lies in his or most certainly her ability to engage in coitus for hours, even days at a time, but I digress… No, unless I’m missing something, the Bisexual Nation nor the Bisexual People have never had advantage when it comes to the art of war. I could be wrong. Perhaps historians will surprise all of us in a year or two by a finding one of Joseph Stalin’s private journal in which he reflects “Indeed, the Swastika was but days away from flying over
and leaving our socialist utopia in ruins were it not for the release of the Siberian Bisexual Brigade. For reasons that would later become obvious the men of this unit never found the military life altogether demoralizing. Every morning they arose renewed and fresh for battle. Our Comrade Bisexuals, upon learning of men and women suffering fascist occupation, would get a special gleam in their eyes, obviously wishing for nothing more than to liberate their proletarian sisters… and brothers. “No the bisexual’s are united by one particular similarity, nor a language, territorial claim, or martial art. That said, it doesn’t stop people from trying to group them. I remember some bag lady sitting in Denny’s Late at night, rambling away about something. I only remember the following words “J. Edgar Hoover. J. Edgar Hoover was slandered by bisexuals.” Moscow
This grand, longwinded introduction is simply meant to get you to reflect on the delightful eccentrics of your life and to encourage you to rewind your mental audio in an effort to remember just what it was that they said. Roger’s comment was ridiculous, but not insane, and it brought back memories of a man who used to ride some of the same busses that I did and frequent the same haunts This man’s most distinctive feature was his small set of lips. His face seemed so small as to be turtle like; in fact, his pursed lips reminded me more a turtle’s beak than a face. He had a crew cut. His hair was always pretty much shaved down to the scalp. His sitting posture had to be his second most noticeable distinction. He sat with one leg resting over the other, but his knee was always help up high, circling around and jerking, and he constantly tapped his foot. Then there were his hands, or actually, his hand. He’d pull his fingers down from his hair through his forehand and into his nostrils, but it didn’t seem like he was guilty of nosepickin’. From the nose, he would reach out to something in front of him and then start this tic all over again. Yeah, you’ve probably reached the obvious conclusion by now that this dude was a bit on the strange side. But physical appearance really shouldn’t be reason enough to be considered strange. Well okay, maybe tics can be legitimately weird, but we here at Ray Ray Montoya Industries refuse to be superficial. No, this gem of a man was, and is, cherished most of all for his outbursts, blurtings, his random words. I remember him favoring bus passengers, none of whom were conversing with him, with some of the following phrases, usually repeated:
“That little teacup.”
“The story of Sampson. The Jawbone of an ass.”
“The tallest woman in the world is 7 ft tall. She lives in
“ The Birdcage. That was a play about homosexuals.”
“Say the Rosary.”
“Aaaa mockery of God.”
“Ya take out the bones. Codfish, mashed potatoes, and a little bit of butter. It’s really very good.”
“Ringo Star of The Beatles was the only one of The Beatles that was Catholic.”
As admitted earlier, this man and I seemed to travel in the same circles. If it was the type of place where loitering was expected and local color tolerated, then he’d be there. I remember him repeating the phrase “She begged for her life,” while pacing around a bar/ pizzeria. A waitress told him to stop saying that because he was bothering her. He stopped for a second, but then had another false start. Again, the waitress chided him and this time he really did cease his disturbing reverie. On the other side of town, at a café-pizzeria, in a gentle cadence, he repeated “No Irish need apply/ No Irish need apply.”
I could refer to him as “this guy” but that sounds too mundane given his antics. I could say “this eccentric,” but that sounds like I’m hedging my bets and holding back. I don’t want to be cruel, but dear reader we’re going to from here on out refer to him as “the weirdo.” The weirdo was well known all over town. Most frequent bus-riders or people who spent anytime downtown knew him as that guy with “shell-shock,” “Tourette’s,” “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,” “Autism.” I heard him referred to as “booger-man” and “hand-jive,” or “that big guy with the crewcut.” The fact is, if the year were bad for incumbents, he probably could’ve gotten elected to the local city council. The weirdo was literally everywhere. Southside, Northside, on the bus, at the bar, eating at the diner. He walked down highways into outlying rural areas. There are stories of him hitchhiking his way back home from as far as 45 miles away after having spent the night in a ditch off a rural highway. Sadly, I don’t think this man, this weirdo, is with us anymore. It sounds like a mockery, but I honestly heard that he was seen getting off the bus looking into the sun, muttering something unintelligible, stopping and falling down dead. A mysterious death somehow seems appropriate for an enigmatic man who doubtlessly confused many of his fellow travelers during his lifetime. From a storyteller’s standpoint, I’m not sure we would be any better off knowing what his deal actually was.