Karma Wins All Games.
The Gross Uncle’s ears were stretched to the perfect gauge. I met him at a bar that reminded me of high school cafeteria, where an overabundance of picnic tables covered a gigantic backyard area, and finding a seat was intimidating as soon as you emerged from the bar with your pint of PBR from the tap. Seeing his struggle to find a seat, and after taking a few minutes to pump myself up and remind myself that yes, I did indeed have a microscopic spec of knowledge when it came to wooing members of the opposite sex, I convinced the man in need of a seat that the one next to mine would be the coziest. The Gross Uncle agreed, and followed me to my bench.
My place in the mess of the drunken high school lunchtime arrangement was occupied by feminist painters, flamboyant gays, and people who spoke about nothing but art. The Gross Uncle and I spent the night downing PBR and playing the question game, in which we took turns asking each other bizarre questions that we only hoped the other had never been asked before. It was all a ploy in my plan to pursue and entice this imaginary character across from me. Our lower legs nudged each other and our feet occasionally found themselves friendly rubbing surfaces as we got further into our intoxication and deeper into our interrogation. The Gross Uncle was an alias I would break in half by unleashing knowledge of this pathetic game in small doses that implied my false stupidity. With no wingman on this one night only, desperate to break out of routine and eager to cash in my winnings, I courted The Gross Uncle, and found him on top of me in my bedroom not fifty questions later.
But I was a liar, I must admit. While The Gross Uncle with ears stretched to the perfect gauge was indeed attractive, smart, witty, sexy, and by all means far from gross, I liked it the most when his head hung over me and all I could see was the structure of his face and the mod-like cut of his hair. At tiny moments like this, he reminded me of a man I had pursued not one week previous and had failed due to waiting too long to play the game. When I could not make out the defining characteristics of The Gross Uncle’s identity, I pretended he was someone I had wanted more; someone I had sought out The Gross Uncle in the first place for the sole purpose of forgetting. And here I was, sandwiched between his body and my bed, with both my failures and my winnings turning me on to the point of practical climax; two wins for the price of one loss, or so I thought.
The next day, The Gross Uncle left, and I would never see him again. I called a few times, messaged a few times, and when I realized that there would never be a reciprocated voice recording, I gave up on that Gross Uncle and went about my merry ways of playing games and picking up. I was no piece of the game to get in a fuss over a good-looking catch that hadn’t lasted. Apparently we were both to blame for hiding behind aliases as we purposely picked each other up with the sole intention of dropping off at an unvisited corner. While I dragged The Gross Uncle from his intended spot amidst the tables in this outdoor cafeteria with full kegs of PBR hidden underneath the bar, he did an equally convincing job of dropping me off with a simple kiss on the other side of the city the next day.
It was only a matter of time before karma and the Excelsior called for a surprise reunion of Mylo Styles and The Gross Uncle. On an early morning walk back to Bart, Grant Gilliland, unequipped on the sunny sidewalk without his Gross Uncle alias to hide cleverly behind, ran into a tired, hung-over, blinded, and bloody Rachel Severance, unprettied by a lack of sleep and an absence of game left in a place where comfort besieged her. It was us, plain and simple, unhidden and completely revealed. I don’t know about him, but I sure as hell had nothing to say at that very moment, and the thought of trying to slip on a mask before I was spotted and recognized seemed pointless and detrimental to our status as long since gone and forgotten. Suddenly the entire idea of the situation that was about to take place, whether three awkward minutes or five awkward seconds, became caustically truthful and karma-induced to me, and I suddenly found it to be very funny; ironically funny. So funny in fact that when he noticed me, and did the polite thing by saying hello, even though I’m sure it wasn’t on either of our lists of things to do today, I could do nothing but start laughing. I tried to contain myself for a matter of seconds before I realized just how good it felt to be laughing in his face, and partly in my own. Here I was with half a biscuit in my mouth, face to face with an unmasked Gross Uncle, forcefully remembering something that both of us had participated in turning into a beautiful moment of horrible karma. As I nearly stumbled and dropped my biscuit to the ground in uncontainable laughter as I swirled around playfully like an idiot, Grant Gilliland got five seconds of a pretty girl laughing in his face after a series of unreturned phone calls and unanswered invitations to continue our streak of sleazy winnings.
In that moment, we were both losers. We were both asshats that had managed to cheat a gamble only to have our scams uncovered and broadcasted months later after spending our fortunes on worthless material possessions like legacy cars and pricey works of art. We were both fatalities of our blatant wrongdoings, and instead of letting that embarrassing exposure leave me humiliated for the rest of the day, wishing I had done something different or said something amazing in the five seconds I had to be remain memorable, I just decided to fucking laugh about it. And if karma had been walking right next to me at the moment I finally stopped laughing, two blocks later, I would have slapped it on the back and admitted that it had gotten me good there.