I Almost Died In A Car Crash and Other Fun Things That Happened in the Last 36 Hours

Guess who’s back…back…back…back again. Ah, yes. I took a bit of a hiatus.
I apologize, dear reader. But, I promise I have a good story to tell out of this rather traumatizing series of events.

After a freak, bone-chilling snow storm hit Northwest Ohio and Southeastern Michigan, I found myself in Michigan, about 45 miles from my home. I drove home carefully in the thick darkness that is US-23 South, paranoid of deer and snowbanks, listening to Iliza Schlesinger. I made it home close to 1:00am, tired but alive. I even stopped at a supermarket to procure a congratulatory snack (Fruit Gushers; for my foreign homies, they are delicious!). Mission accomplished. I felt like Homer, completed his Odyssey like a goddamn boss.

The next morning I woke up at 7:30AM, dreary but ready to head back to Ann Arbor for my 10:00AM hostess shift. Business as usual. Donned my makeup and my cute little outfit and hopped in my cute little Honda Civic, shiny and a bit frosty, but ready to roll. I was cruising carefully (note: carefully) down the slightly frosty highway. Focused on the road, the ride was uneventful for the first half. The song “Cool It Now” by New Edition turned on while I approached my halfway point, a small Michigan town called Dundee, home of a huge outdoor sporting goods store called Cabela’s, where one can procure roasted nuts and an assault rifle all in one trip!

This next part is important and forever seared into my memory. There is a slight curve whilst driving past the overpass past that exit. There was some noticeable ice on that section of the road. Going no more than 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), I braked to change lanes and avoid that patch. Suddenly, my car fishtailed, spinning out of control. I spun like an old-school top, and smashed head-on into a concrete divider, finally ending up parallel on the side of the highway after my rear right side cracked into it.

My life didn’t flash. I screamed. I gripped the wheel and felt the impact. I was aware and fully conscious, yet out of control. Time didn’t slow down. It just happened. And then it was over. I looked around, audibly hyperventilating, trying to process what the fuck just happened. A man and woman in a teal pickup truck stopped on the opposite side of the highway, having seen the whole thing. A pudgy, bearded guy, possibly in his 40s rolled down his window and called out to me. I said to myself first, “I’m okay? I’m okay. I’m okay! Holy shit! I’m okay?!” I repeated that like it was the only comprehensible phrase I could utter. It truly was at the time.

The couple in the pickup, after seeing that I wasn’t horribly injured and urging me to stay in the vehicle, called the police. A tired, young, blonde female officer approached after about five minutes. I tearfully sobbed to my mother, telling her what happened over the phone. It was so surreal. I had never gotten into any sort of crash before, yet here I was. I was a literal mess. I was shaking, terrified, adrenaline still pumping through my veins. The officer was kind and professional, letting me sit in the squad car while she completed the paperwork and waited for the tow truck to haul my once-pristine car off the side of the road. Dozens of cars whizzed by, nonchalantly. It was like a dream. It didn’t seem real.

I went to the ER after my mother picked me up about a half hour later, in the parking lot of a gas station. Still sobbing and terrified, I began to feel the pain. My neck and my shoulders were stiff and sore. I had a thumbnail-sized gash on my knee, surrounded by a mild bruise. By and large, I came out unscathed. It’s remarkable really.

So, I now have a bit of survivor’s guilt. It sounds quite terrible, but it would’ve been easier if I had died. Now, my family has to incur the burden of the damages. It was almost $400 to tow the car from Michigan to Toledo. The mechanic said there is likely $6,000 worth of damage to the car. I paid only $6,500 for it. It’s a joke. The bullshit, scam auto insurance I have didn’t pay a red cent because of some legal loophole. Luckily, I bought the car from a mechanic/used car dealer who offered to re-buy the now-junked car for between $4,500 and $6,000. So, now I’m back to square one. I’ll have my red 1999 Acura 3.0 for the remainder of the winter because I now have no other options for transportation. Life’s great, huh?

Death is such a good way out of trouble. I don’t want to die (always) but it has always been an option. I wouldn’t consider myself suicidal but it’s on my “lifeplate” constantly. And, it rears its ugly head. I faced death head-on and while yes, I was scared, I realize now that death could be…whimsical. I realize that I don’t believe in God, in any way shape or form. I never have. I don’t believe that any god or spiritual being “saved” me. Nor caused it to happen. It is just action and reaction. We make choices and everything is cyclical. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. There is no God, playing us like puppets on a string. I feel more at peace being real with myself, shedding the lies and mysticism and fantasy and devout bullshit now.

I told my mother tonight that I don’t believe in any god. And it went as expected. She looked at me like I was crazy. Like I WAS CRAZY. I don’t believe in a fictional book that tells about a floating being who controls everything and I’m the insane one. Okay, fine. It’s why exactly I didn’t bring up this topic; I didn’t need not want the judgement.

In the U.S., Christianity is so important, especially in the African-American community. It’s a huge stigma to be atheist. It’s probably worse than being homosexual, to be quite honest. To openly condemn the notion of a “God” or “Jesus Christ” or the stories of the Bible would cause a very visceral and heavily heated response. I don’t want my family to hate me. But, I can’t lie to them anymore.

I’ve never, ever felt any presence of “God” in my life ever. I’ve never, ever come home from church feeling better or more peaceful or affected in anyway. I’ve never prayed and felt comfort. I’ve tried, believe me. I truly have. But, I can’t force myself to believe in what I think is honestly bullshit, used to control the minds of the weak and weary. When you have nothing, you grip onto anything to bring you peace and comfort. And that’s what I told my mother. If it brings you peace and comfort, I will respect it, but just respect my decision to not believe. And also, don’t think my “faith” is just being tested or that it’ll come back. No, it was never there. I never bought into it. It’s a myth. I will never buy into a myth. To me, it’s idiotic. Especially for black people to be Christians when that same religion was used to justify your enslavement. Was used to control you. Was used to make you feel less than. I mean, come on. Like I said before, when you have nothing, you’ll grip onto anything that gives you some bit of comfort.

So, that was the last 36 hours for me. A few profound revelations and the fact I need to leave this place ASAP. I don’t need to be pressured to be someone I am not. I don’t need to return to school. I don’t need to do anything but live my life the way I want to live it, in order to not only survive but thrive.

I apologize for my absence 

As we all know, the three of us are battle depression or some kind of mental issue.

My colleagues are better about opening up than I am. I’ll open up to them, but they’ve also seen me at my worse, on multiple occasions. 

The past week or so I’ve been in my head a lot and I’ve been battling a question, something that I assume most people don’t about, or don’t think about often.

I don’t like the holidays. October 31st-January 2nd, don’t be near me. I’ll be the first one to admit I’m a Grinch. (Side note: I also hate that someone who doesn’t like the Holiday season is nick named a Christmas character) Halloween was ruined by a traumatic experience a few years back and don’t get me started on thanksgiving and Christmas. Both holidays revolve around family, something that I’ve struggled with my entire life.

During this time of year my normal ritual is simple. Be so high that I don’t know what my name is. Usually that works, but as I get older the less effective that method becomes, And this year….nope not working.

So this is what changed.  

Jeff Lark is my father, Donna Lark-Weiner is my mother

 
For the first time in my life my family headquarters isn’t going to be in the small town in rural Michigan that I hated with a passion. I’m not going to be sent back to negative temperatures and a house full of negative and traumatic memories.

In other words I’m happy. Or I think I am. Or I’m on my way to being happy. I don’t know what’s going on or how I feel.

To make a long story short I’ve had a hard life. School and I never worked, family wasn’t a thing, I’ve always been really sick and my heart is an idiot, to say the least. There’s a hole in trying to fill, but that’s for another time. 

I’m going through a change and I think it’ll be for the best.

Not So Subtle Racism

Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, likes to dance when he scores a touchdown. Here’s the gist if you don’t follow sports: Cam Newton is black, he dances when he scores a touchdown, and white people can’t fucking stand this. In particular, old white people get REALLY butthurt when somebody dances in the endzone.

Hot take alchemist Skip Bayless (an old white man from Oklahoma/Texas) claims that what he’s upset by is the fact that the QUARTERBACK is doing a dance; it has NOTHING to do with Cam Newton being black. Guess what he doesn’t take umbrage with? Rob Gronkowski spiking the ball. “Because it’s short. It doesn’t take that long.” Rob Gronkowski is also another doofy white guy so he’s gonna get a pass no matter what. Oh yeah, and Gronk has also done some dances in the past too. But that’s OK because…oh wait nobody’s brought that up yet.

A couple months ago, bat flips in baseball was a big talking point in the sports world. Let me break this down for you: white dudes from the south and California don’t do bat flips because they “play the game the right way” and Latin players and Asian players tend to “show up the pitchers” and “show off too much and disrespect the game”. When anybody in any sport talks about the “integrity of the game” it’s an automatic red flag and it means that they’re about to either say something completely insipid and dumb or they’re about to say something racist or ignorant.

Not everybody who hates dancing in the endzone and touch down celebrations is racist. But the numbers and statistics are against you. If you don’t like touch down celebrations then most likely you are an old and shitty dude who hates everything fun and you just suck. But more than that, if you hate touchdown celebrations and bat flips, you probably have some racist or xenophobic hang ups. If you hate dancing AND you feel the need to complain about it and then turn around and feel the need to defend your point because it comes off as racist, then you should drink a bottle of Drano because you’re human garbage.

“Integrity of the game” is code for “it was better before we let coloreds in”. Just like how white people use the word “thug” when they really mean something much much worse. This is not so subtle racism. Somehow, old white people have decided that dancing in the endzone and flipping your bat after a homerun is an act of war on white cultural and human decency.

As your average, white, 22 year old sports fan, I chalk it up to old people being insufferable penises. My dad is that kind of guy who will call Cam Newton a GLORY BOY and then turn around and say “but I’m not racist”. It’s deeply upsetting to me because the worst thing about the not-so-subtle racist bullshit that we have to put up with in America is that it comes from our supposedly progressive and liberal population. My parents are a good example of this: they hate hip-hip, think that people of color are “loud”, hoodies are for thugs, and dancing is a sign of poor morals and a serious lack of character. But they vote on the left and make a point to always criticize the backwardness of the right wing. I’m very sure that this sounds familiar to many other young white dudebros out there. You “liberal/progressive” parents don’t know that there are several English speaking countries in Africa and they will tell you that being gay is fine…as long as YOU aren’t a gay. Drug addiction is a disease…unless YOU are a junkie. The only way that I can compartmentalize this and move on with my life and not get too hung up on it is if I just think about it as a generational thing, which I do think that it is. There’s no way that Gen-X is nearly as ASS as the baby-boomer/post boomer generation.

It seems like a stretch to turn a conversation about racism in sports into a full blown analysis of sociological and ideological differences and conflicts between generations and demographics in America but this is important. Cam Newton’s dancing shouldn’t become ground-zero for an inter-generational culture war but that’s where we are in this country. We’re at war with ISIS and we’re talking about a football player doing some goofy dances just for fun. This is fucking insane and childish when our nation’s capital is being threatened on a daily basis. We do, in fact, have more important things to worry about. This is a moment where we can just paint things with bold lines and chalk this horseshit up to racism. Yes, it is that simple: (mostly older) white people hate it when black people dance. It rustles their jimmies BAD. So much butthurt over a dude just dancing for not even 10 full seconds.

In the immortal words of Al Davis, “GET OVER IT!”

 

I have S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

…and some people don’t believe it exists. But, it sure does. Though I don’t owe any doubters an explanation, I’ll try to express it as accurately as I can. Around the fall Daylight Savings Time, the activity I feel in the warm, summer months seems to deplete. During that time, I feel tired, unfocused, dreary. Like I’m just existing rather than living. Sometimes, I’ll think of something sad or depressing, and my brain will latch onto that thought all day long. On a day like today, a windy, rainy day, it’s very apparent. It’s like my body knows; my muscles ache, my teeth clench, and my eyelids seem to droop. 

Sounds terrible, right? Yeah, it sucks. I think what sucks more is that it’s taken until now, at 22 years old, for me to realize this pattern. Looking back, I can clearly see a decline. When I was in school, the first few months would be fantastic! I was on top of my work, my relationships are passionate and dynamic; I’d be on top of the world. Then, my mental sun would set. I’d start smoking more marijuana to combat the onset of depression. Eventually, my grades would decline because I couldn’t get out of bed. I’d only leave my dorm room to eat junk food and return to my own personal bear den. All I’d ever want to do is sleep. No amount of sleep would ever be enough. I’d look around, angry that no one understood how I felt. How could people be productive in the cold, dark, scary world? 

The worst I can think of was the period where I had gotten into legal trouble. The $2,000 Yuengling (see in the archives for that story). I had been prescribed an anti-anxiety medication (Klonopins and/or Xanax) the summer before but it was at that period where I started to abuse them heavily. Huge chunks of that year are gone from memory. As much as I try, I cannot remember October of 2014 until January of 2015, when I was admitted into a hospital for overdosing on Klonopin. One evening, I took 9 of them, and smoked a bowl. I didn’t think I would die, but if I did, oh well. That’s how much regard I had for my life. And that’s how deep my depression manifested.

I’m not ashamed to admit my past problems. I’m in therapy now with a wacky, older counselor who is a self-described “Jesus Freak” who has 5 or 6 adopted mixed-race children. I think I feel comfortable with him because, though he’s an old, white guy, he can sympathize with issues that people of color feel since he’s raised black children. I admitted to him that I harbor a lot of guilt and shame; from my “attempt” to my collegiate failures. Admitting it has helped, and having an unbiased ear that will listen. That combined with my moderate dose of Wellbutrin, I hope I can beat this thing for the first time…ever. 

Charlie Sheen Has HIV…? 

On the American morning television series, “Today”, tiger-blooded wunderkind Charlie Sheen announced that he is HIV-positive. The coked-out actor has apparently been positive for the virus for the past four years, and allegedly has spent “millions” of dollars to keep the secret. But, that hasn’t stopped the OG Bud Fox from procuring sex workers for longer than I’ve been alive. 

So, now America knows. Now what? It seems that Sheen’s ex-partners have been coming out of the woodwork, because when you’re drunk and coked out of your mind for the past 20 years, it’s probably unlikely you can recall every sexual partner you’ve had. TMZ reported that at least 6 women have come forward claiming Sheen deceived them about his status. 

It’s a bit unnerving as a woman to think that there are sociopathic men out there who care so little about the lives of others. Of course, there are sociopaths of all genders, races, and creeds, but it seems that Hollywood is the final destination for the borderline. As the Young Alcoholic and I dream of one day moving to Los Angeles, how are we supposed to stay sober and safe while trying to dip a toe into the industry? With drug use almost commonplace, retaining ones sense of self and sanity will be very hard. There will be one hand helping and one hand hurting. We hear of miracles everyday; L.A. : The Place Where Dreams Are Made Of. But, it’s also home to crushed hopes, neglected safety, and desperation for a fleeting moment of fame. 

In my heart of hearts, I feel nothing but pity for Mr. Sheen and others like him. He’s immensely talented; the gift that always seems to curse one to a life of deep depression. To be creative is to have a combination of deep-seated narcissism and cripplingly low self-worth, measured by a swirl of paparazzi photos and retweets. Sheen has had to deal with a life of scrutiny; comparisons to his father and brother, failed marriages, and mental illness. And now, looking into the face of America, he’s admitted that his behavior has had consequences that threaten his life. That’s fucking sad. 

I see him and other Hollywood players as victims of the industry. It seems almost suicidal to even want to be a part of that. At the same time, I want it. I’ll always want it, but I don’t know if it’ll every make me happy.

This Black Girl Can’t Twerk…

Perhaps it’s because I have acute scoliosis in my spine. Perhaps it’s because I don’t listen to a lot of trap music. Perhaps I’m just not “black” enough. But, alas. I just cannot twerk.

In my opinion, I think the dance is a passing fad, akin to the “bump” or the Electric Slide. But, as long as there are strippers from the Southern United States, twerking will not die. What started out as a spectacle is now a competitive sport! Don’t believe me? In the last few years, the United Kingdom hosted the first annual twerking competitions. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, bouncing one’s ass in a rhythmic fashion could now be a future Olympic sport.

Now that twerking has effectively spread across the world (shoutout to those Korean girls on YouTube!), do I have an excuse? Black American girls were at the forefront of this craze, and once again, I find myself lagging behind the trends. First weaves, now this! Ugh. Am I failing at my blackness? Dear god, have I been demoted to mixed-girl status?! Nooooooooo. 

I hope you can see through the thinly veiled sarcasm. I couldn’t give two shits about performing some weird mating call that would only attract date rapists and deadbeats toward my precious butt. Because it is precious, just like the rest of my body. And, I don’t need to shake it all around for anyone to notice and pay attention. I would rather, as the great Muhammad Ali said, float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I am the chocolate Madame Butterfly (except I’m not a man in drag, fucking with some French dude… Bad example!) let’s backtrack here.

The whole reason of this post is the idea of expectations when it comes to looking at a person. In light of the horrible conflicts in the world right now occurring by a very select few, it’s important to realize that just because some people perform an act; whether violent, sexual, or comedic, it’s relative to the individual. 

Let’s send our love and support to the peaceful people who may be in the throes of a conflict that isn’t theirs. To the ones who have to suffer the perceived judgements and unwarranted hate. And most importantly, to the ones who can’t twerk. 

Wine. Weed. My Thoughts. [Stoned Diary, Part 1]

There’s not much that can be said right now. Have I broken my self-imposed sobriety by smoking this evening? Yes. But, damn does it feel good. I remembered why I loved smoking; the grace of it all, exhaling a cloud. Sativa, too? Fuck. Yes. Gimme more.

And that’s it. Gimme more. I’ve always felt, like any person struggling with addiction issues, there is no limit. I’ll always want to get higher. There’s no limit. Houston, we have a problem.

I recently started a job at a bar and restaurant. I’m a hostess and basically in charge of serving people and being a professional mannequin, capable only to be oogled at and say “good bye”. I smile so much I hurt. And while my coworkers are nice, I sense a tragic story behind all of them. You can read a lot about a person by looking into their eyes. At least, I can. And, it seems that now, I’m tempted by people who smoke and drink. 

For now, I’m optimistic that by being honest with myself about being under the influence, and know that I can stop again if I want. That I can not want this. That I can enjoy the moment. I’m feeling a lot less anxious while describing my feelings. There is a certain amount of tension with being stoned. While things feel good and your thoughts are fantastic, small things make zero sense. Enter the fact that I’ve also had a glass and a half of red wine and well…

Earlier in the night, the friend I’m staying with began to talk about Kim Kardashian and how she slays outfits. Dude, while I agree the fashion companies use that poor woman’s cartoonish body to sell overpriced clothing made by widowed Bangladeshi women, that was not the subject that I needed to think about high as fuck. Kim Kardashian, in my opinion, is just a pawn. She’s a pawn in some weird media saturation vortex spearheaded by her mother. If there is an Illuminati, Kris  Jenner heads it, for real. Or is at least a member because she has the greatest PR mind in the United States. She turned her daughter, some thot, rich girl from California who knew nothing more than to look pretty and somehow get famous, into A LITERAL PRINCESS. They have so much power in our country, dude. Kanye West, some legitimate psychopathic dude from South Chicago, is considering running for President. President. 

I sort of have the feeling that whomever wins the nomination, it’s going to be almost like an athletic competition. Complete with short, angry white guys with headsets, chewing gum and yelling at the candidates! That’s exactly what this position has turned into; a puppet show so the real “government” can control shit. I ignore that stuff generally because I’m a conspiracy theorist. And I honestly do believe my government records our conversations, tracks our texts, and definitely monitors our online activity. It’s stupid not to know. But, I’m so malinformed. That information to protect oneself is out there, but I haven’t gotten it. 

It’s late. 

Bye. 1:42am

Our thoughts are in Paris tonight

Hello everyone, as you have probably heard tonight we’ve lost 220 French citizens in a said to be terrorist attack. 

Tonight, give someone you care for a hug, call your mother, tell someone close to you that you care and love them. Life can disappear in an instant. 

From all of us at the Professional VIP, stay safe. 

Thank you,

Miles, Aja & Ted

Vive la France!

TOP 5 QUOTES FROM “THE BOOK OF TED”

We all have that one friend who has the ability to make us laugh uncontrollably. Every morning, I wake up to a series of missed Google chats from Ted and Miles, arguing about some topic, usually with Ted in ALL CAPS. Ted is an ALL CAPS type of motherfucker.

But in all honesty, since today is Friday the 13th, and folks are on edge, time to cheer up the masses with some of the best Ted Esten quotes, straight from the Book of Ted. Not in your Bible? Strange, it’s totally in mine. Level up, bro.

I’ll attempt to provide some context to these -isms, but… you’ve read the articles. You know how he is by now.

“Hook em Horns!” -Dover, NH, March, 2015

Ted and I sat on a frosty March evening, teapot hot, with NCAA (American College/University basketball, for our foreign readers) brackets in our hands. I knew so little about the importance of NCAA to the young, white male before Ted Esten. That above quote refers to, I think, the University of Texas Longhorns?

“Chill Down, DOOD.” Dover, NH, March, 2015

Whenever anyone, including Ted, gets a bit…much, never hesitate to quote his chain-smoking, bong-ripping, Chinese cohorts and do the above.

“Beer in the Mall!” Toledo, OH, June, 2012

Ah, my 19th birthday. Ted, two of my college friends, and I celebrated at a BD Mongolian BBQ and snuck a CLEAR WATER BOTTLE full of perhaps Bud Light or some other pisswater pilsner into the local mall roof. Ah, good times. I recall my hair being on fleek as well. Alas, this was in the throes of the heavy imbibing times.

“You have a Jesus complex. Get of the cross, fagit” Google Chats, November, 2015

Hahaha. Still funny.

You’re grinding weed, you’ve got time…” Google Chats, October, 2015

Ted equates time with the ability to be able to grind copious amounts of marijuana for immediate consumption.

Gotta love Ted ❤

Watch out for Top 5 Miles Lark Quotes coming soon!