As if I already wasn’t questioning whether or not I’m a future alcoholic, I received further confirmation from the good people of Chipotle. I got off my first job a few hours early (that I’d been working since 7:30am thank you very much) and I had to work from 5-11 at the gun store that night so I decided, “Tavaris, you deserve a beer or two for all your hard work today.” Since there were no bars around my job I figured I could go to Qdoba because they sold beer. I ordered my chicken and steak nachos and asked for a beer. She pulled out a root beer saying “This the only beer we got sir.” So, me and my shattered dreams sat down and ate. I then remembered that it wasn’t Qdoba that sold beer, it was Chipotle, and there was one at the end of the block. So I waddle my fat alcoholic ass to Chipotle. Upon arrival I asked the tortilla and rice girl if they sold beer. She said with pure confusion on her face, “Uh yeah.” I walked up to the register and ordered a Dos Equis. The cashier replied “Um sir you have to order food to order a beer.” I literally just ate, but I ordered chips and salsa just for this beer. He apologized a total of 6 times like I was about to shoot the entire staff. When he gave me the beer he said, “We have lemons and limes at the condiments stand, just please don’t get drunk we don’t want to have to carry you outta here.” All with a straight face as he handed me a single Amber Dos Equis. I don’t even know what life is anymore. Am I a future alcoholic? I must say that mid day beer was all worth it. Stay thirsty my friends.
I was on a lunch date a few days ago and we randomly got on the topic of “firsts.” She told me the story of her first kiss sophomore year of college with her female roommate. Awesome story, but pretty late in life compared to mine which happened in 2nd grade. But it wasn’t just a peck on the cheek or lips, it was extremely French… Or so I thought. Me and this girl were in the back of the bus after school, talking about politics of course, then things got a little hot and heavy. She asked me if I’d ever French kissed before. I had only heard the term on Fresh Prince, and had no clue what it meant. I said yes anyway. She said “You wanna?” (She was pretty aggressive as you can see). I said, “Yeah, oh let’s do it.” She leaned in, with her eyes wide open. I leaned in, eyes closed, like the movies, and opened my mouth. Suddenly I felt her tongue lick the entire left side of my face. From hair line to chin, it was brutal. I thought to myself, “Maybe this is what French kissing is.” So I let her do it 7 more times. By time I got home, because of the wetness mixed with cold weather, the left side of my face looked like I slept face down on the beach for weeks. Tragic first kiss indeed.
I didn’t want to get into high school confessions because they are fairly recent and shameful. However I will share with you my first brush with death. It occurred the very beginning of my junior year at Brown Deer. I had recently started a rather passionate, rated PG relationship with this lovely young lady. Things were going well, but we did have to keep our like affair a secret from her parents because they were more strict than a job interview dress code. One breezy afternoon she invited me over her crib after school to chill and watch Maury, still one of my favorite pastimes. She assured me her parents were out and about and wouldn’t be home til about 6:00pm, which was the time the Simpsons came on if you didn’t know. It was about 3:48, and after about 20 minutes of some quality Maury, we heard car doors closing and keys jingling in the driveway. We both looked at each other and turned as pale as a white dude calling next game at a playground in the hood. There were 2 options: get caught and die, or hide in the basement. I went with option #2 this time. We ran to the basement and she hid me in the laundry room and shut every ounce of light off. Here I was stuck in the basement sitting on a tricycle in genuine fear for my life. So after about 10 minutes I officially just wanted go home and hug my whole family. I heard strange noises, and it felt like someone was breathing on my neck. I was on the floor in the fetal position at that point in a cold sweat. Somewhere between 46-120 minutes went by and she snuck back downstairs to rescue me from this Saw 3-like dungeon. We snuck up the stairs, and I could hear her parents talking and laughing about normal parental things, but in my mind it just sounds like Rita from Power Rangers and Scar from the Lion King plotting some evil scheme to end humanity. We went out the back patio door where I dramatically hugged and kissed her goodbye like I was leaving for the Vietnam War the next morning. Afterwards, I sped home like I was late for curfew, made some creamy chicken Ramen and hot sauce, and tried reading the Bible, but ended up just looking at the maps in the back of the book for a few minutes. Those close to me will tell you I haven’t been the same since.
The setting was senior year of high school around Valentine’s Day at good ol Brown Deer. I was casually early to Algebra 2 (Which I failed. Twice). When I walked in there was a big bouquet of flowers on the desk where the finest girl in class always sits. She arrived to class and was all excited and feeling loved. She read the card and announced it’s from a secret admirer. “Hmm…” Is what I thought to myself. Class started and it was homework check time… For me that meant, “Asking to go to the bathroom, because I didn’t do it” time. I left class to roam the school for a few laps until homework check was over, but on the way out, I saw a fellow classmate walking in who was late. I said to her, “Hey, when you get in class, ask ______ does she like the flowers I got her?” She agreed to do it. I came back to class 16-30 minutes later and the whole class was looking at me like I just pulled out a full pack of gum. Even the teacher was giving me googly eyes which was strange because she hated my guts. I looked back at the hottest girl in class and she was staring at me with the largest smile and she had love in her eyes. In my mind I was like “Which wunna yawl going home with Trigga?!!!” Class ended. She approached me with the biggest most affectionate hug ever and we exchanged contact info. I left class and somehow this news had circulated through the entire village of Brown Deer. I got to Anatomy class and even that teacher knew. I told my best friend in class what happened, and he told me something I’ll never forget… He said, “You going to hell with gasoline draws on.” I just want to apologize to the girl, and whoever the guy was, because I’m pretty sure he’s been plotting a Saw 6-like murder for me in a abandoned daycare somewhere.
A large number of my friends call me “T Smooth” due to my abundance of smoothness I may have displayed in social settings while partially and/or extremely intoxicated. However, I must confess, at one point I had serious doubts about my sober smoothness. These doubts began a few years back in Chicago on my birthday. A lovely lady friend of mine from outta town came to visit me. We met up at my place to plan our day, and decided on a trip to Michigan Avenue. We drove down Lake Shore Drive with Trey Songz’s “Ready” album playing. The day was going grand. It was autumn, the leaves were changing, the weather was still decent enough to be outside. We were both dressed very well. If you didn’t know us, you’d think we were newly engaged, that my parents invented ranch dressing, and her parents owned Crayola. We arrived downtown, parked, and did some shopping. We took pictures near landmarks, had an affectionate photoshoot on a MacBook in the Apple Store, and held hands. The city was glistening. All the symptoms of some interracial romantic comedy. Suddenly the clouds started rolling in, and it began to get chilly. It was time to call it a day and head home. Problem was, I completely forgot where we parked, and we had been roaming downtown Chicago for about 3 hours. It started raining. We had no umbrella. She’s wasn’t from Chicago so she wasn’t even sure which direction was north at that point… And honestly, neither did I. I felt terrible because she had her heels on and her hair was all wet so I knew she was hurting. The back of the bottom of my jeans are wet and riding up, so it looked like I was rocking capris. An hour of looking for the car in the rain went by, and I saw an Asian girl drinking from a Jamba Juice cup. Suddenly, it was like I took a limitless pill. My smoothness took over. I had a flashback to 4 hours before when we parked the car, and remembered the first store we went in was the Juicy Couture store. I silently looked it up on Google Maps, found it, and said to my lady, “Follow me, baby.” Grabbed her shivering hand, and walked straight to the car with no uncertainty. She was so happy. We stopped at Burger King on the way home, and she fed me chicken fries like I was a South African emperor as I drove us home to warmth and safety. I outdid myself that day. T smooth is what they call me.
I’ve gotten to the point where when someone catches me lip syncing really hard in the car or at work, I just pay them no attention and finish my verse. I am not ashamed of who I am. I been practicing my R&B faces too. All I need is for my mustache and beard to finally connect and a mysterious R&B name (Examples: Maurice Oliver, Marcus Hollywood, The Weekday, Carlos Raphael, etc.), a few kegs of baby oil and I’m set. Don’t judge my dreams.