Last night, I drove over an hour to the home of a dear old friend. Today is his birthday. He’s the friend who has everything, including an endearingly childish love of pranks and stunts. I drove out of the city’s comfortable glow, past the uncomfortable and uniformed hum of the suburbs and into the freaky blackness of the middle-of-fucking-nowhere. The safest and most-comfortable way I can position my life right now is to live in a serene and immaculately clean apartment in the center of urban chaos. All else makes me wiggle and fret. My friend, you see, lives in the solitude of a little house off a county road in a town that makes me fidgety.
My backseat held the tools of my work: a donkey pinata, a garbage bag filled with carefully-selected thrift store bras and panties in various sizes, a crinkled brown paper bag of cowgirl confetti, a filthily-edited game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, a roll of packing tape, a Sharpie (I’m rarely without one and I have no idea why), and a slew of “acquired” local Republican-party campaign signs (he is not a fan). The panties and bras are to inspire his nosy neighbors into thinking he’s more socially active than he actually is, the donkey themes are to pay homage to a long-running habit he and I have of adding “jackass” to the ends of serious sentences, and the Republican goodies are just to piss him off. I attached the pin-the-tail poster across his front door, adding “You owe me for the tape” in Sharpie and proceeded to over-tape the poor donkey poster to death. The panties, bras and confetti were all scattered around his yard, as were the political signs, and, lastly, the pinata was positioned like a sadly forgotten puppy, staring at the front door.
He phoned shortly after daybreak today in hysterics that gave way to genuine gratitude for effort. It was odd. I expected his laughter, I expected his promise of revenge (my birthday is, after all, only a few weeks away), but, as my hijinx were to entertain myself just as much as they were for him, I never counted on him being touched that I “decorated” his yard.