Register Sunday | June 17 | 2018

I Have This Hollow Feeling

"The word “asshole” has been flung my way more times than I can count."

I’ve been accused of many, many things in my life. It may come as no surprise to anyone, even at such an early stage in my blog life, that the word “asshole” has been flung my way more times than I can count. I’ve been called a dickhead, cocky, over-opinionated, any number of barbs and slings. When I was younger, substitute teacher’s developed the habit of asking for “Janet” McNeill when calling roll. Catcalls around the room, “Janet, Janet? Are you here, Janet?” I found it hilarious then. It still is (not even close to) funny looking back. When I lived in Colorado a group of kids on the playground started calling me “Jarret, Carrot, Ferret” which, alarmingly, was picked from the ether of inspiration (without my having related my childhood tale) by my SMAK Mama (SMAK is a story for another time), her son Bob (my best friend from college, and hetero lifemate), and his wife, Leah, or "The Magnificent Geebs" as I call her. Although they alter it slightly. “Jarret has a ferret named carrot.” The SMAK Mom wrote me an e-mail this very morning that ended with the cute rhyme. It is good that I can laugh about these things. At a party in high school, drinking beer in an open field, a guy came up and punched me in the face. I had said exactly zero words to him. I had been at the party all of 40 minutes. I may have looked at him the wrong way, but that was about it. None of my dear friends are surprised by any of these accounts, by the way.

So as you can see I’ve had any manner of arrows launched my way. It comes with the territory, really. I’ve never been someone who blends in well, and people don’t tend to be ambivalent to my presence. I can’t think of a time in my life that anyone would have said, “Jarret, oh, he’s alright, I guess.” It’s either, “I love the kid. He’s brilliant.” Or, “that kid is the biggest asshole I’ve ever met.”

Before today, though, I don’t think I had ever, never, ever been accused of not existing. In response to one of my posts a man allegedly named “Scott Eden” questioned my very being. I am living in a Shakespearean play (a bad one, given his lofty standards), where my name is not really my own, but something I threw on like this morning’s outfit. I would not be surprised to find that my gender was not my own. How far my duplicity goes, only this “Scott” person knows.

Insulted? I don't think so, but my pride has suffered a blow. The matter must be resolved. “Scott,” if you indeed had the balls to post comment under your real name, I demand justice. My honor must be assuaged. We must settle the manner as gentlemen. With pistols. At dawn. I will be your Aaron Burr.

(Oh, and by the way, yes, I did put link to myself in this post.)