It's all about the give and the take. After eight years of small town living, I finally figured that out. I gave up my anonymity when I moved here. And I must take a dart, once a month or so, throw it at the Oregon map and get the flock out of here to relocate my strange, the estranged, our strangers.
My town counts 700 residents as permanent. Most of them think they know me, know of me or have heard of me. My residential curiosity does not run as deep and as wild as most local eyes and ears. And my friends know that. Most locals don't or have yet to realize that about me. Yet, I do say hi, I do give a nod, I do wave to hundreds of people I know, people I like, I respect on any good weathered day or on any screaming gale in this small town along the Oregon Coast.
And it begins, anew, each morning at the coffee house, it starts with the small talk, the chit, the chat, oh shit here we go again, the questions--the weather?...its cold and damp "How's your baby boy?" he's warm and damp.The tourists?....cold and clammy. The Trailblazers?....hot and cold and sweaty. They just keep coming and stopping, plopping down, these conspicuous irrelevancies. That is how and why I developed my immune system, my disease, my defense against them....I had no choice they created it. I just wanted a little Garbo time--at times.
I call it Voluntary Tourettes Heartburn and it can strike at any bored, frustrated, get the fuck out of my general vicinity moment. Sheyboygan, Boris Spassky, Boxcar Willie or Geraldo can spasm, blurt and bleep from my voice box when I'm interrrupted, inconvenienced or just feeling ornery. My own Private Idaho invaded by Oregonians. Ralph Malph, Bolivia, Buttafuoco, zamboni and Bjorn Borg will flow my from lips and smack the confused homegrown dickweedius-interruptus and slam the befuddled dipshitius-localus upside their melons like a Nolan Ryan fastball. It is a clarion moment. That one or two word brilliantly tossed curve ball, bean ball of Hoboken, Dirk Diggler or Slim Whitman can keep a local pestering local from pestering me locally for weeks sometimes months.
I've learned alot in the eight short years of small town life. I think I've got the give and the take thing down. Now if I can only master the art of my Voluntary Tourettes. You see, I've been keeping a low profile for a few weeks. There is an angry husband after my hide. He wants to fillet me open for calling his wife a gefilte fish. I want to explain to him my condition, but in a small town word spreads faster and more cattywampus than a tsunami. It can turn into a redneck version of telephone and before you know it I'm a leper with irritable bowels or worse a Republican with happy bowels.
Maybe I'll just show him a note from my doctor explaining my disorder. Yeah, he'd listen to Dr. Huxtables' or Dr. Welbys' words.
Or one morning I could just call him Dirk Diggler.