Read Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story Online

Authors: Charles Mcdowell

Tags: #Non-Fiction, #Contemporary, #Biography, #Humour

Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story (4 page)

BOOK: Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story
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Possibly a matching bow in her hair? I should have been taken away in handcuffs immediately for even picturing such a thing. Five minutes ago, I had been fast asleep having an awesome dream where I was a James Bond–like spy, saving my family from an evil talking rainbow trout. This corrupted fish was forcing us to colonize underwater, which I knew would kill us because we didn’t have proper breathing equipment. It was utterly terrifying, but I figured out a way to lure him onto the land, where
he
didn’t have proper breathing equipment. My family was surprised by my courageous acts, and ultimately, I think they were proud. Which was a rare occurrence, even in my subconscious. And now all I could think about was a toddler’s fashion consciousness. What had these girls done to me? But more important, what shoes was Suri matching with her top? Little flats, I presumed—ahh! That was it, tomorrow I was going to put an end to this madness.

At this point, I was too disgusted with myself to go back to sleep. I opened up my computer and logged on to Twitter to see if any of the people I follow had something interesting to say. Elijah Wood was wide awake as well due to the pain from his root canal surgery. Rob Zombie was thanking Berlin for a “kick-ass crowd.” And my sister had posted a picture of her and the rest of my family out at dinner. Hey! Why wasn’t I invited?!

I had recently joined Twitter and immediately realized that it was my kind of website. A place where antisocial people can be social without being social. But I had yet to tweet my first tweet. I felt so much pressure trying to come up with the perfect thing to discuss with the entire world. Okay, maybe I was exaggerating a bit since I only had three people “following” me. (Two of whom were my friends; the other was a gorgeous blonde named Gezibelle who followed 742 other people but oddly had no followers of her own.
Maybe that was because she tweeted way too much about calling cards.) But still, what if that one mysterious person was just waiting at his computer for my first tweet, getting ready to pick apart every one of the hundred and forty characters I typed? It needed to be great.

Suddenly I heard, “I feel like I’m gonna die. I texted Chad four hours ago and he still hasn’t responded.”

Perfect, I thought. My first tweet would have to do with the girls above me. At the expense of their pain and suffering, I began typing.

“Hey, girls above me, where’s Chad?” No, no, that’s not it. Much too on the nose.

“Hello, me ladies who dwell in the chamber aloft. Where art thou, Sir Chad of no Replyingham?” Interesting, but I didn’t want to set an Elizabethan tone with my first tweet.

“Yo, bitches above, Chad’s probably textin’ yo mama instead.” I actually scared myself with that one.

As I stared at my IKEA reproduction coffee table in deep contemplation, I noticed a recently opened letter from my cable provider.

Dear Valued Customer,
After multiple attempts to contact you with no response, we do NOT regret to inform you that your cable will be terminated effective immediately due to multiple unpaid bills. This is great for our company because we are going to take even more money out of your pocket when you decide to turn your cable back on. Yay us!
Sincerely,
The Biggest Piece-of-Shit Cable Provider Ever

I may have paraphrased a bit, but that was the gist of it. I had no immediate plans to deal with my bill, but it did give me an idea for my tweet. So I tried again:

Dear Girls Above Me,
I’m sorry that Chad isn’t responding to your text, but honestly, can you blame him?

I pondered it for a few moments. Not my best work, but it felt impersonally personal enough to publish into the world. “Tweet,” I clicked. And with that, I had written my first letter to the girls above me.

THE GIRLS ON FASHION
Dear Girls Above Me,
“I saw a terrorist at Forever 21 today!” What?! “She was wearing sandals with socks!” A fashion terrorist. I should’ve known.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“If I don’t get a coat from Chanel’s winter collection I’m honestly going to kill myself.” Am I supposed to report this?
Dear Girls Above Me,
“Isn’t it weird that we use the same word for the devil as we do for the most fab fabric?” Are you talking about Satan and satin?
Dear Girls Above Me,
(screaming) “J. Lo, if you’re out there, what eyeliner do you use!?” It’s times like these I wish I had a sassy Latina accent.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“She’s wearing 5″ heels tonight? That bitch! Time to bust out my 5 3/4″ stilettos!” Shit just got real.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“If that bitch talks shit about me one more time, I’m gonna wear a white dress to her wedding.” Men use fists, women use fabric.
Dear Girls Above Me,
“This week I’m only going to talk to guys who have the same name as my favorite designers.” Say hi to Helmut from me.

CHAPTER FOUR

I woke up the next morning at the crack of dawn to the vibration of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana.” At first I thought it was coming from the girls above me. Do they ever fall asleep? I wondered. Where do they get all this energy from? Drugs seemed like the only logical explanation.

But as the song’s melody continued and I slowly became more awake, I realized the sounds weren’t coming from above me; they were coming from inside my apartment. Unless a burglar with really good taste in music had broken into my living room and decided just to hang out and play some tunes, this could only have been coming from one person … my roommate, Pat.

I met Pat while we were both getting our undergraduate degrees at Chapman University. I was accepted into the film program, but Pat had gone to obtain his bachelor’s degree in “leadership.” His academic path seemed to follow along the same lines as that of people who majored in communications, otherwise known as the “I have no fucking clue what I want to do with my life” degree. I constantly
made fun of Pat for choosing such a bullshit area of study, to which he would reply, “You mock me now, but when you’re in need of a leader, I won’t be there to show you the way.” I decided to take my chances.

Pat and I have lived together for almost three years now. The plan was for him to temporarily stay in my spare room/office while he looked for a permanent place to live. He didn’t know many people in Los Angeles, so I felt the need to help him make a smooth transition from his hometown, Mukilteo, Washington, to the annoyingly bright lights of Hollywood. After a month had gone by with Pat, I noticed that my apartment had become quite a bit cleaner, the aroma had improved tremendously, and I would often find little sticky notes that would lead to other little sticky notes that would lead to fresh-squeezed orange juice with a tiny umbrella sticking out of it. A small umbrella in your morning drink is something that people would consider a luxury, but it’s also something you can’t really accessorize by yourself without feeling totally pathetic. I realized I had found the perfect roommate. Finally, a man who would umbrella my drink for me. So I invited him to stay permanently (assuming the umbrellas would continue).

In college, Pat was my resident advisor, which was basically a semifancy way of saying that he was the person I went to if I clogged my toilet. He was certainly a leader in all things plunger related. But with this title, he also had the authority to fine me for things like lighting candles and/or farts, skateboarding in front of the dormitories, and playing the trumpet outside Jenny O’Brien’s window. Luckily for me I quickly realized that Pat was much too nice of a guy to use his authority over me. Any time he would start to fumble his words, I knew I could easily talk him out of any disciplinary action, which for me is the sign of a potential best friend.

To this day, I believe I still hold the record for the most farts lit on fire (sixteen) in a public area without getting into trouble. I owe this crowning achievement to Pat, because Tyler Trautman was right on my tail (fourteen) and was really getting into a solid rhythm just before Pat busted him. Tyler was very confused as to why he suffered from disciplinary action over lighting farts while I did not. Later on, Pat was freaking out, thinking that Tyler was going to take this issue to a higher power: the school’s board. I told Pat he needed to “calm the fuck down” and find a place to lie low for a bit. He sat on his large beanbag chair in his dorm room for a week, while I brought him tater tots every morning until things cooled off. Tyler never ended up filing a report. Maybe he was too embarrassed about having to admit he lost to me in a fart-lighting contest, or maybe he was scared by the life-threatening handwritten note I left on his pillow. It’s unclear. Regardless, that little incident brought Pat and me closer.

So much for
memory lane. I was groggy and sleep deprived as I made my way into the living room. It was seven thirty
A.M.
and Pat was playing a Wii video game called
Michael Jackson: The Experience
. The music was blaring at full volume as he danced along to the beat. If my apartment wasn’t in a black hole from which no sound can escape, someone might’ve complained about the noise. He maneuvered his body perfectly in between our two La-Z-Boy recliners and gripped a remote in his hand as if it were a microphone, which for the record was absolutely pointless, because the game calculated his dance moves and had nothing to do with his singing.

“Dirty Diana, no. Dirty Diana, no. It’s Dia … aa … aa … ana!” Pat sang with enough passion to raise Michael out of his “Thriller” grave.

“Good morning,” I said quietly in order not to disturb his concentration.

“Charlie, I’m on my way to reaching eighty thousand points for the first time. Watch me get dirty with Diana.”

Pat climbed up onto our coffee table and began thrusting his pelvis into a nonexistent woman. He was completely oblivious to everything he was knocking over and crushing on the table. The OCD boy living inside me almost passed out from sensory overload.

“Pat, come on, you just knocked over a glass of water—”

“Ssh … Dirty Diana, no!” I couldn’t believe it; he’d actually shushed me. I absolutely hate it when people shush me. But then I remembered that MJ makes odd vocal noises during his songs and assumed Pat was just singing “Sha’mone,” which is MJ-speak for “come on.”

“You’re not even looking at the video game anymore. Now you’re just dry-humping our table,” I said. But Pat was in his own world and nothing could stop him. As I watched Pat take our poor table’s virginity, I couldn’t help but wonder whom he pictured underneath him. He sang with such strong emotion and intensity that he couldn’t have been thinking about just anybody. He must’ve been imagining someone he really cared about. Someone with whom he shared a real human connection. Someone who challenged him to be a better person. Someone with whom he had dreamed of breathing his last living breath. Someone with, possibly, a penis.

You see, I had this little theory that Pat was gay, though he would never ever admit it. Most people in my life believed that this was not a theory, but indeed 100 percent fact. Even my mom said, “Charlie, I’ve never met a young man as gay as Pat. And if you can’t see that, then maybe I have a gay son.” I’m not quite sure about
her logic there, but I did begin to question whether or not I had grown so accustomed to Pat’s “gayness” that I didn’t even notice it anymore.

I should mention that I am not a homophobe. I’m extremely comfortable with and supportive of anyone who identifies as gay, straight, or bi. This was only an issue for me because I wanted Pat to live the life that made sense for him, and if he was in fact gay, I wanted him to be openly so. But at the time, my findings were not yet conclusive. It was possible, after all, that Pat was not gay but simply fabulous. It’s easy to mistake fabulous for gay, so I decided to make a list of things that Pat had said or done that might possibly come across as even a tad bit gay. Upon completion of the list, I would have enough facts to make my final assessment. Here’s the list I had so far:

COULD PAT BE GAY?

In seventh grade, Pat ran the number one Spice Girls fan page in America, called
Pat’s Spicy Page
.

He often describes having good sex as “kick-ass intercourse.”

He wants to marry Kylie Minogue so that she can sing to him “all day long.”

He owns every color of American Apparel tighty whities, even the sea-foam green ones.

He’s seen the musical
Wicked
thirty-two times.

“I never really liked Spider-Man. I was more of a Pinocchio kind of kid.”

He read all four
Twilight
books in less than two days.

When I took him to a Lakers game, he said, “This is where Taylor Swift plays!”

He has described Nair as his “best friend” on multiple occasions.

BOOK: Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story
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