Thursday, November 17, 2011

On the Surface

I've known Spux for a couple of years - acquaintances mostly up until a few months ago.

I met him for the first time at the Denver Masticators - a group of foodies who, once a month, gather at a different restaurant to sample the wares of some of the best independently owned and operated restaurants around town. It was Peej's pic - Star of India, of course. It was January, 2010. And, at the time, Spux was, at least outwardly, a woman...a married woman.

This is not the story of how Spux decided to transition from female to male. And I will apologize in advance for mixing up my pronouns because, even though I do try, when I think about Spux then, I can't help but think of him as a girl.

I have to admit...I was a little intimidated when we met. Not intimidated as in afraid but intimidated because Spux was one of the "cool kids" (stop laughing, Spux...I really thought that). He definitely has his own style, that's for sure. Tattoos from head (literally) to toe, adorable dimples pierced, talent and creativity fairly oozing from everything he touches. Punk rock and awesome!

On the surface, you wouldn't know that roughly half the music I own is punk - Bad Religion, Social D, Descendents, Adolescents, NoFX, Dead Milkmen, the Queers, et al. If you didn't know my history, you'd never suspect any of the crazy stuff I've done.

I suppose that's what happens when your 20's slip away into 30 and beyond.

Anyway, so while I wanted to be his friend, I couldn't imagine he'd want to have anything to do with me. However, because he and Acr0nym were friends, and because Acr0nym and I fell in together and grew close fairly rapidly, we were exposed to each other more and more often and actually had, you know, conversations and stuff.

This is also not the story of how, after having known each other for a year and half, we became close friends. That story is long, complicated, a little painful, and likely won't see the light of day on the blog. That one you'll have to buy the book to read *laughing*.

All you really need to know is that, about 6 months ago, Spux and I did fall in together and now spend almost every Wednesday having a coffee klatch at his house after I get off work. You know, just a couple of hours each week to touch base, hang out, get silly and wired on afternoon caffeine.

I never know what to expect when I get there. I never know what art project, costume, or scheme he'll have cooking. I never know what delicious food stuffs he's made to send home with me - gumbo, pesto, pickled radish preserves, green tomato and habanero jam.

But, not in a million years would I have expected what I got a few weeks ago when I arrived to find Spux in...let me just show you.

Behold, the kittens shirt.

Spux makin' the joe

Mesmerizing, isn't it?

There is something about this shirt - besides the fact that it's MAGICAL - that just...fits. If you don't know Spux you're probably more mesmerized by the tattooed tough guy sporting all that furry kitten love. If you do know him, you'll understand that this shirt sums up Spux better than any other shirt ever could and are likely just surprised that you didn't think to suspect this shirt existed in his wardrobe.

Because when you start scratching the surface of the person underneath the ink? You're delighted to discover a shy, kind, laid back, hysterically funny, smart guy who really REALLY likes cats.

My point is - you know, aside from just really wanting an excuse to show you that picture of Spux in the magical, mysterious, mesmerizing spectacle that is that shirt - that, even though we continue to judge books by their covers, we don't know anything about the story until we're willing to crack the book open to the first page and then continue to read.

People are awesomely deep. All...onion-y with layers upon layers of interesting and, occasionally, tear-inducing pungency. I love the stories people have to tell - even if I think I might not like the book based on the cover.

Have you ever become friends with someone who, at first glance, you felt A) you wouldn't like or B) they wouldn't like you? Were you surprised to find your differences were fewer than your commonalities? I'd like to know.


Anonymous said...

Aw..*sniffle sniffle* :-) that's so right-on.
lol lately I've started reading on your blog,
These cold nights I lay covered up reading
your posts and I thank u!!!

Anonymous said...

onion-y with layers upon layers
Shrek was mostly right. I think you are more so. It isn't just ogres who are full of layers. Its everyone. And

While the shirt IS magically mesmerizing? Equally so the pantry in the background and the carved gourdface.
That is a person whose layers are multi-awesome.

The Shiftless Wanderer said...

Onion-y layers. So true! And I think the world would be a much better place if we could approach everyone just so. Onion-y layers of stories, memories, wounds, gifts, tattoos, and mesmerizing kitty shirts, and all of the other hidden treasure and crap beneath - and sometimes the crap is the treasure. You just never know. Nor would we if we only judged the book by the cover. (Mixing my metaphors here.) Onion-y layers is now part of my working vocabulary. Thank you!

Lucy said...

So true!
We forget to open the book and read and learn!

alienbody said...

In the last week there have been several postings on Fbook of a picture where a Punk dude kneels to let a kid touch the spikes on his outfit, Punk dude is smiling. I love the picture. It also made me think how we often reserve the "don't judge a book" scenario to people who dress/act/behave outside of what society calls 'typical'. But for people that just sort of fit in, the wallflowers, that are not REALLY soccer moms on the inside, or whatever niche they are supposed to fit into...they are judged for the stero-type they dress/look like. Granted, there is NOTHING like prejudice directed toward tattoos & piercings - the expectation of some Hollywood perpetuated angst that is supposed to accompany such body art. But I'm starting to see that we are all judged a little bit, in some ways. Gah...aren't all those books made up of the same basic stuff? :-) Oh, BTW...I have 3 cats (I love them) and I'm designing my 2nd tattoo, 'cause this plainjanenotamilfformerminivandriving mom is not all that she appears. She thinks, she hopes. At least I've skipped the elastic waisted far. Great post, thanks!

Masked Mom said...

A. One of my best friends on the planet is someone I would never have imagined sharing a cafeteria table with in high school--more that I would never have imagined her wanting to sit at a table with me, I guess. We are so very different on the surface. We were coworkers and only ended up friends because my husband is much more social and less socially awkward than me and invited her over. That was 17 years ago now and I have shared more with her than with anyone else I've met as an adult.

B."People are awesomely deep. All...onion-y with layers upon layers of interesting and, occasionally, tear-inducing pungency." Love it, love it, love it. In my job at a 17-bed, all-male half-way house, I learn this lesson every single day. I like to think I am getting better about judging surfaces/covers.

spux said...

Love you Jane and all your onionyness.

Just Jane said...

Love you, Spux, and all yours :).