Continued from this post:
After waking up, sneak changing into new undies, and washing my face and teeth with Listerine, went off to find another McDonald’s. Once again shamefully sat in a parking lot stuffing myself with grease just hours before I was to leave for New York. Thought about wrapping me cob in a McDonald’s egg bacon and cheese biscuit wrapper (just like your momma’s scratch biscuits) and working it to completion. Knew I had to toss the fast food bags away at some point so Blair wouldn’t see them. But first I had to build a baby cancer mask.
Looked around a grocery store for food coloring, something I hadn’t found the day before. I wanted to ink my body with as many different colors as possible. Since I’m 35% edible, food dye works on my skin. I have a history of coloring myself:
After getting that shit I got hold of Blair and had her try help me find somewhere to take a shower.
Although I was trying to recreate a hobo experience, it was now Sunday — Halloween day — and I hadn’t showered since Thursday. Despite many Listerine baths, felt dirty and downtrodden. Every part of me felt slimy and gross. Your asshole is the canary in the mine of the body. If it isn’t feeling great, you’re fucked. I was fucked. Blair directed me to what was supposed to be a truck stop with a shower. But Google maps fucked us. I was in a residential neighborhood. Then she had to go to breakfast and couldn’t help me. I was stuck cruising around in my car all stinky and gross, full of gut bombs.
Tensions got high again over the frustration of trying to get me to a shower. Directing someone hundreds of miles away isn’t easy to do. Especially when that person is crabby and your command center isn’t some high tech army shit but a Mac computer in a tiny dorm. We’d been on a slide all weekend in terms of fighting, and so now each person was defensive to the point that every statement was taken as criticism. “You just called me Nolan. I am King Nolan, bitch.” You get the idea.
Eventually, under Blair’s guidance, I ended up at a Travel America one town over. Had never showered at a truck stop. Pretty sure I didn’t fit in. Didn’t even know how to get into my personal shower room, and some short lady washing clothes had to help me figure it out. I had been trying to slide my credit card at a door that already had a trucker inside. If I had gotten in him and I could’ve lathered up together. One on the toilet, one in the shower. Then pull a switcheroo.
The room was actually super nice. It was a big tile bathroom with a great shower, toilet, full length mirror, and clean towels. I brought my own towel and shampoo anyway. Stripped down and inspected every part of my body. Pinched my sides of fat. Was disappointed in how I looked. Wanted to look nice when naked around Blair, but it wasn’t going to happen. Turned around and looked at my pale chubby ass. Spread my cheeks and bent over for fun. I’ve done this my entire life anytime I’m presented with a large body mirror. The asshole passed inspection; the canary was not dead yet. So I showered up. That first hit of water felt great. High pressure and hot. Shooting off days of sweat and tension.
Masturbated over the floor. A day away from having physical intimacy again for the first time in two months and couldn’t wait. In between fits of jerking I shampooed twice, injected forty pounds of soap into my ass, gargled water then spat it on the wall in jets for fun, shaved, and washed down my entire body with fruity goop. Your strawberry scented narrator. Eventually my hand brought about completion and I shot onto the floor. Then spent next several minutes on hands and knees making sure every gelled up drop of cum had gone down the drain. Soap in my eyes as I scavenged for my dead children.
Stood in the shower for couple minutes more, just letting water roll over me. Didn’t know how much time I was allowed in this room; but I wanted to use up every second, while at the same time feeling paranoid one of the gross truck stop lady attendants would come banging on the door saying it was my time to go; saying they were barging in to wave a black light over the floor.
Dried off with my towel and changed into new everything. Brushed my teeth properly and probed my ears with some q-tips. I felt brand new. This was amazing. My mood had come around completely. Didn’t feel tense or angry anymore. That shower was the perfect way to spend $10. It made me realize that a good shower works like sex in that sometimes it’s all you need to go from feeling like shit with tons of problems, to having a turn around and getting a bit of euphoria. You don’t even realize how much you needed it until after the act is done and you have some clarity for the first time in a while. What you worried over before probably wasn’t worth it. Thank you, Mr. Shower.
But now with my head clear, I felt shame from how I’d been acting. Got on phone with Blair and told her how great the shower felt. Left out the masturbatory elements. I don’t know exactly what all I said, but know we more or less made up then from our fights over the weekend. Thanked her for everything she’d done for me, and really for the first time in a while said I was excited to get to New York to see her. I actually meant it. I’d be there in just one more day. It felt really good. Stuff seemed right again. Thought about the letters, just a foot away in my bag, and all the good things about her. Knew I was stupid for all these fights, and now I finally had the realization during the day when I could tell Blair instead of in the middle of the night as I slept in a cold car. Now I knew what I wanted and had to do. I had to get to New York. Had to see Blair.
Spent next couple hours being directed around by Blair as I looked for a baby mask. Wanted to get something like the guy was wearing sideways on his head the night before. I had this great costume that the baby mask would go perfectly with. Blair looked up every possible Halloween shop in town. I went to Target, K-Mart (where I dug around a shopping cart full of masks and toy cars), Wal-Mart (which had a drunk fat woman in the Halloween aisle panicking over how she had to get shit for her son’s fucking birthday that afternoon because she loved him so much but only got to see him a few times a month), and a dedicated Halloween shop that sold nothing but slutty cereal box costumes.
Eventually wound up at the mall. After looking at another Halloween shop I found something that might work but wasn’t ideal. For fun I decided to stop by Spencer’s. I hadn’t been there in years, despite my father (a fifty six year old sober farmer whose most risqué activity is laughing at sex jokes on Becker) shopping there all the time for incense. In his own words “I’m not buying freaky sex stuff there.” I skipped over the freaky sex stuff and bought a great creepy baby mask. It was exactly what I wanted. I was going to glue cigarette packs all over its face. This was going to be great.
Got back downtown and went on walkabout. Honestly I might have done this exploring on Saturday, I can’t remember. Anyway, I hadn’t explored the downtown since I was always so busy running from show to show. So now was the time. Saw kids skating, hippies on the sidewalk playing guitar, dude with a cybernetic leg, hobos out looking for bread like pigeons. Always had my eye out for anything interesting and people with Moogfest wristbands on. Saw very few. Spent a few minutes watching a band play on a sidewalk. They were good stuff. I traipsed some alleyways, but business district alleys just don’t have the charm that residential ones do. Eventually it was time to hustle back to the car, once again parked by the church and grocery store.
I got my costume out of the trunk. It was something I’d built years before: a cigarette suit. I am not one to repeat Halloween costumes, and have always taken pride in coming up with bizarre nonsensical original costumes. Here’s a few of them:
This year I wanted to go as a Plastic Dinnerware person. I was going to glue hundreds of plastic spoons, knives, and forks to myself. Maybe a paper plate to my face with macaroni box eyes or something. But then I realized that this would probably poke into people, and I’d be leaving a trail of plastic everywhere I went as the pieces fell off me. Cannibalistic witches in gingerbread houses would have no trouble finding me, and that’s not a good thing.
Also had no time to construct a costume since I got out of the malaria study after ten days and then basically drove straight to North Carolina. Thus I used an old costume. The door to door cigarette salesman. I collected cigarette cartons for years at my old gas station job and then glued them to a suit. Sometimes during high school I put the cartons to ill use.
In high school I began peeing in public in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Be out doing shit with my friends and duck behind a dumpster to take a piss. They always told me not to do that since apparently you can get a sex offender charge against you for it. Not sure if that is true or not. I began peeing on peoples’ cars whenever we’d leave the movie theater. I worked at a gas station and would save all these empty cigarette cartons. Collected literally hundreds of them. For about a month, once a weekend I would drive down this particular residential street in Grand Forks with some friends and we’d litter the entire street with these cartons. Turning a nice neighborhood into a cigarette slum in under thirty seconds. On the same street there was a car that was always in someone’s driveway and I peed on that same car every single weekend during the carton littering. Nolan Devine: leaving a trail of piss and cigarettes. There has to be a witch out there who hunts after such things.
Anyway, this door to door cigarette salesman thing was a costume I originally debuted right after I got to know Blair, two years earlier:
So on Halloween in North Carolina I pulled the costume — cigarette pants, cig suit coat, and cigarette tie on a shirt — out of the trunk. Sneakily changed into the pants as the pastor of the church I was parked next to gathered up his congregation and brought them inside.
Decided to get drunk this day off of $4 wine. I had never before drank before or during a show. My thought process was that it made no sense to get fucked up before something you paid a lot of money to see because then you’d forget most of it. Realized that in the moment I’d be having a blast, but for me a big part of concerts is reliving them after by looking through photos, writing, telling stories to friends, and thinking about the show in my head. I’m a lightweight drunk, so knew I’d be risking losing the memories of good shows. But I figured it was worth a try. So while changing into this outfit, began taking sips of wine out of a glass bottle held in a paper bag. The pastor was culling his flock to Christ, I was getting wasted on the wild rose of Ireland.
Got the cigarette packs glued onto the baby face. Put it on to test it out and my eyes stung from the glue chemicals. Waaa. Waaa. This diseased face was my new skin. Poured red coloring on the mask to get it bloody. A cancer baby who could give you a glue high. This was good shit.
Started pouring food coloring on my face. It was getting all over the steering wheel and door so went outside to do it by the trunk. Would squeeze the bottle onto my face, smear it in, then take a sneaky sip of my wine which I’d now wrapped up in the leg of a pair old sweat pants. The cement at my feet was sprinkled with a thousand dots of color. I must have looked as if I were a diseased creature. Covered in cigarette cartons like bird shit, smeary colored face, drinking wine out of a pair of sweat pants. A dead baby hung off the side of my head — crying to get high on smokes and glue.
After dousing myself in food coloring, then trying to wipe it off the car as much as possible, I was ready to go. The out of gas hobo from the day before approached me as I did my final preparation. He gave the same story about just running out of gas. Dude obviously didn’t recognize me from the day before, as I’m sure he gives that spiel dozens of times a day. Told him I didn’t carry cash. He was in good spirits, saying that “Yeah everyone just has plastic these days.” I wished him luck. Here’s the creature he nonchalantly approached asking for gas money:
I’d drunk the entire bottle of wine. Didn’t feel much. But as I headed up the hill I got more and more wasted with every step. I stopped by a Catholic school to make a video called Sunday School Abortion Chamber. Came up with the idea the first day of the festival, and now could finally do it since I was in costume. It’s less than thirty seconds and worth your time:
Lady stopped me and asked for my photo. She was an old hag who said her son worked for a tobacco company. I’ve never even tried a cigarette in my life, and my costume surely wasn’t an endorsement of smoking, but I let her think what she wanted. She got some good shots and sent me on my way. I felt happy with the fact that my costume would get passed through her circle of friends. Strangers who I’ll never meet would get to enjoy something I created. I like that idea when it comes to any creative process.
By the time I was in the music venue I was full blown wasted. That $4 wine was hitting hard. My heart pumped it into my toes and asshole. Tons of people were staring at my costume or giving me compliments for it. That was cool, but I was alone. I stuck out so much, just hiding in plain sight, but still as lonely as could be. But now I was texting Blair and telling her what was up. Had sent some preview pictures of my costume for her to enjoy. But with these people around me it was only a surface level meeting.
I sometimes feel like I’m only interesting if you know me for five minutes. I can make a great lasting impression as some weird expressive dude full of stories, but then I shy away and don’t make long lasting friendships. Always think that if I know someone for very long the facade will be eaten away and the real Nolan will emerge, no layers of goofy creativity to hide behind. Naked and plain. That’s not to say the way I am is a put on or that I’m boring if you know me for a while. I just don’t have confidence. And I don’t set out to be weird or whatever. I just come off the way I am, and I guess that’s weird part of the time, which makes it hard for me to relate to people. I just need to figure out a way to flesh out the other less striking parts of my personality to make them equally interesting as the creative shit I do.
Shout Out Out Out Out was the first band I saw that day.
They were so fun, wearing silly costumes and singing through a vocoder the entire time. Was at this point beyond wasted on the $4 wine from me mommy’s Ford Taurus wine cellar. Maybe that made their music seem better than it really was. But man I loved that show. “Dude, you feel electrical,” became my catch phrase for the next week. Once I got to New York I bought their album, basically the first music I’d purchased in at least a year other than a Sufjan album. I tried to show them to Blair, but she wrote it off as semi-crappy. Unfortunately she was right. It kinda sucked. And that is why I never buy music, even if it is only $5.
Sleigh Bells was the next band. This was kind of special to me because they were someone Blair introduced me to and who we kind of bonded over, sharing a mutual love. Made me think even more how now all that was important was getting to New York. Getting to see Blair. Sleigh Bells’ album is such catchy and high powered fun. Makes me want to snort meth and eat french bread with hummus, all at once. But live they were only so-so, running around in the shadows and screaming to make noise. But still it was fun and full of energy.
Neon Indian was the next band up. They were my favorite set from Bonnaroo the summer of 2010, a festival I’d gone to with Blair. I was so excited. They were a big part of why I wanted to go to this festival. While waiting for them to come out a photographer for Moogfest asked to take my picture with a girl dressed as a Na’vi from Avatar. He got some shots and told us they’d be up on Moog’s official Flickr site. I told Blair this immediately since I was so excited about it, even if I had been grouped together with someone wearing an uninspired, though well done, costume. I was really proud of my costume. There was only one other costume I saw the whole weekend that I truly appreciated. It had a similar DIY aesthetic and garnered tons of notice. Here’s a picture:
There was a costume contest going on but you had to get your photo taken in an official booth across the street. I regret never getting that done, but ah well. I still loved my outfit. I am a happy drunk, but was being kind of a dorky asshole whenever anyone asked me what I was. My costume, like all my costumes, wasn’t anything. It was just an enigmatic image I put together. A deformed food coloring monster. There was no purpose or thrust behind it. I had no idea what I was. So whenever anyone asked me I told them I was going as Tom Hanks or the cast of Home Improvement.
Neon Indian came out and played. Now I understand why I don’t drink before shows. I honestly remember very little of it. I was completely in the moment and having a total fucking blast during that show — I literally could not have been having any more fun as I danced my ass off in joy — but now looking back I don’t remember the show. It is just a series of images in my mind. I know it was good, but I can’t elaborate and don’t get to experience looking back on it. But at least people were getting creeped out by my baby mask, which I rocked on the side or back of my head. The effect was working. Here’s a picture of Neon Indian as Shotaro Kaneda from Akira.
I liked that bands were dressing up for Halloween, though none were tossing candy to us this day. Hot Chip was the next band. They’re a group I’ve loved for years and had been wanting to see forever. Before they came on security made us move out of the pit and go sit in chairs. Apparently a humongous fat dude was dancing so hard that he broke the floor. When Hot Chip came out and played they addressed this, saying they loved us but didn’t want to be in the middle of a song and start seeing kids disappear through the floor into the nether. Rave yourself straight to hell. Hot Chip was a total dance party, even though I had to stand in the aisle beside a seat during them. Again, I can’t really remember a whole ton of it, but I knew almost all the songs they played and it was fun to rage to them since they were so great.
Walked down to catch Pretty Lights next. I had a zig-zag dispenser on my costume that people had been utilizing all night. Check it out here:
It might surprise you to know that your humble narrator does not, as has never, smoked pot. But I enjoy helping others get high. I don’t have any problem with it, it’s just doesn’t really catch my interest but I’m sure I’ll try it someday. So people would take out a paper or two, thank me, we’d chat a little, and then I’d be on my way. I was being nicer now, knowing my sarcastic costume answers wouldn’t get me much human interaction, which is what I was looking for. I guess I partially got so fucked up on wine this night because I was hoping that it, like my drug paper dispenser, would act as a social middleman, getting me to talk to people. Drugs are a friends magnet I guess. Maybe I should start doing them.
At Pretty Lights I did actually talk to people a bit. Some girls asked me to take a picture with them and I kind of talked to those around me as I danced into infinity. It was fun. The booze loosened me up enough that I came out of my shy shell, and even though I was just having my typical five minute and bail conversations, it was nice to have that much. When I wasn’t busy dancing or chatting with people about my costume, I’d send Blair a text talking about being excited to come. About how much fun I was having, how much fun we were going to have.
At this point it was near the end of the night and I was a little worried about how fucked up I was still. I’d been drunk for like six hours. After Pretty Lights I went and drank water until my tummy ached. Then I walked around a bit and drank some more.
Exited the building hoping to get to one last show that started in a bit, just some DJ. These two guys had been bumping into me the whole night saying “Smooookin’,” like on The Mask. As I walked out now they caught me again, saying their line as a girl blew bubbles that popped all around me. It was fun.
Got over to the last show. Stood in line for a long time, the Smokin’ guys behind me saying their phrase every now and again. At this point it was annoying. Eventually I got in. Still wasted. Danced a lot. A photographer took my photo, showed me the shots, then she handed me a robot sticker. I thought it was her card or something, but no, just a robot sticker. I don’t know where that thing ended up. If I’d kept it I’d have wrapped it around a green banana for fun.
After the show I lingered around listening to people talk. Texted on my phone so I wouldn’t look like I was using my international spy moves on the pockets of people and their conversations. Eventually I realized it was all over. This had been my Moogfest weekend. I saw a ton of shows, danced a lot, and got to experience a bunch of new things like how I slept in the car and going to a show fucked up. Didn’t make any friends, but that was okay, New York was near. Knew I had to get there. Had to get to Blair.
Took a few photos on the way back to the car. Statues and stuff like that. Saw this at a park and it made me laugh:
Made it back to the car, too drunk to feel paranoia over hobo attackers. Got on the phone with Blair and started talking to her. Explained how I was still drunk. I couldn’t understand why. It had been something like eight hours since I last drank. But I guess I did so on an empty stomach. Kept on apologizing. This was fucking frustrating. I’d been waiting so long to see her. Already came this far. Had a twelve hour drive ahead of me and wanted to start it right away. Now I couldn’t even drive a foot because I was drunk.
We talked for quite a while and I told her about the day. Despite the frustration of me being drunk, we were both in really good spirits. We’d had a good day talking to each other with no fights after I took the shower. Now I was dirty again, but the good will remained. Kind of had a high knowing that we would be seeing each other very soon. First time in two months. The longest we’d been apart since we’d been together. But the wait was about to end. I was deliriously happy.
Got off the phone with her and tried to sober up. Drank a ton of water. I had several gallons of it that my mom had sent along in the form of frozen bottles to act as ice for food. Now they were melted. I drank and drank and drank. Ate a ton of food. Had zucchini bread and peanut butter. Began stuffing my face with it. Pack in the bread, then flush it down with water. I wasn’t eating. I was inhaling. Chomp. Chomp. Whoosh. Trying to cement my stomach with anything that’d fit down my throat.
Kept getting out of the car to piss on the side of the grocery store. Threw away all the McDonald’s junk laying around. Changed into clothes from the trunk. Also did a lot of the eating at the trunk since I didn’t want to risk a DUI from being in the car with its keys. So here I was, a miscolored monster sucking down water and food. Packing on pounds of weight. People drove or walked by and saw me. Didn’t care about them or how silly I looked. I had one goal, Blair. Kept on repeating to myself: Gotta get to New York. Gotta get to Blair.
Nothing was working to sober me up. Spent maybe an hour on the eating, drinking, pissing routine. Decided I needed to make myself puke. Walked down the hill and kneeled in long grass. Stuck a finger down my throat and gagged. I had to puke. Just had to. But nothing came up. Became frantic, thinking I’d never get sober. So frustrating. I stuck two fingers down this time and twiddled them like a creature walking in a shadow puppet show. Spit and bits of zucchini vomit hit the ground. But not much. The grass made my knees wet. My ears rang. The moon shone over me. I looked up at it, then shoved a hand down my throat again. Three fingers now. Repeating in a whisper:
Gotta get to New York.
Gotta get to Blair.
Your Puking Narrator, GABFRAB:
P.S. That night after a long time I eventually sobered up enough to drive to a rest stop. Once there I went inside, food coloring still all over my face. I was pukey and dirty and my hair was all fucked up. Felt tired and out of it. Some truckers saw me and asked if I was having a rough night. No more funny quips about being the TGIF lineup from me. Just told them “Yeah, Halloween, ya know.” I washed up enough, though the food coloring didn’t come off completely until I’d been in New York a few days. That night I slept at the rest stop in the car, then woke up sober, over twelve hours since my last drink.
That cheap wine fucked me over that night for both the music and getting to Blair. But I got there the next evening after driving through the land of fifty foot crosses. She kissed me despite my food coloring deformities. And then, after all that waiting and struggle and excitement, two weeks later we broke up.