I actually got out of the house again last weekend. I went to a Ring of Honor wrestling event in Chicago Ridge last Saturday. The night before, I met my friend "Drew" and his girlfriend downtown and took the Metra to his house in Park Forest, IL. Usually we stay up all night and play poker with Drew's mother and brother, and "Ronnie" if he decides to come there. We did play poker Sunday, but not Friday or Saturday because Drew's mother was comped a room at Trump Casino and she, his brother, and his brother's family were spending Friday night there. So Drew, his girlfriend, and I had dinner Friday night at Buffalo Wild Wings, then I won $100 playing online poker at Drew's house. Saturday Drew and I got Burger King, and let me tell you, I never appreciated BK more because there were two of them near my old job and I could go to either of them right now since my school is near my old job, but they both closed. And I can't eat McDonald's because that shit is just toxic. If my stomach can handle White Castle and Taco Bell and all the other junk food I eat, it should tell you something that it can't handle Mickey D's.
Then Saturday evening, Ronnie continued to try to impress his current girlfriend by telling the guys going to the wrestling match (me, Drew, and his brother) to wait until he got to Drew's house so that he could drive us the 40 minutes to the match even though he wasn't going, then he and his girlfriend would perhaps go to Navy Pier and wait the three hours for the event to end, then pick us up and go somewhere for dinner. There was no reason for him to do that other than he was trying to show his girl what a magnanimous guy he is. If the pussy wasn't there I guarantee he never would have made that offer because there was nothing in it for him. As it turned out, Drew called him to come pick us up when the steel cage was being constructed for the main event because we figured it should be about 15 minutes for the cage plus about 20 minutes for the match. But Ronnie arrived fairly quickly, and there were problems with the cage, so when he got there, the main event had not even started yet. Ronnie made the mature decision to not wait for us and took off for Mokena, which is near Park Forest. I can say he wouldn't have been that much of an asshole if he didn't already know that Drew's brother had driven to the wrestling match by himself and therefore could drive us back to Park Forest, but I'm not 100% certain. We met Ronnie and his girl coincidentally at the same Buffalo Wild Wings, had a late dinner, and made plans to get together the next day.
Ronnie and I used to be in a bowling league together, and we're very competitive when we bowl against each other, not yelling at each other competitive, but silently concentrating on the game like it was a PBA Tour event. Since he will never admit that I am a better bowler, he never asks me to go bowling with him unless he's feeling like he has to build his self-esteem, and having this new girlfriend certainly qualifies, so at his suggestion, Sunday evening he, his girlfriend, Drew, Drew's girlfriend, and I all went bowling. The last time we went bowling was before I met "Karen" or "Sarah," so almost two years ago. And Ronnie had another advantage: He knows that I generally don't do as well bowling with a house ball and shoes as opposed to my own bowling ball and shoes, which were back at home on the North Side of Chicago, a good hour plus away not counting traffic. He was going to leave it up to me to bitch about not having my gear and look like I was a wuss. But I went anyway. I had not bowled myself since late last year, so I started very rusty, and as a result, Ronnie actually beat me the first two games. I even offered to bet him the second game, since I finished the first game pretty well, but he declined. But after the second game, feeling full of himself, he waited until I had pried off the rental shoes before announcing, "Okay Dre, it's time for you and me, one on one, the main event, what everyone came to see." He then bet some money on himself, but he bet with Drew, not with me. I wasn't about to put money against him after losing the first two games. But I should have, because I forgot how tight his asshole gets when there's money involved and the score is close late in the game. I beat him 150-99.
The night wasn't over, of course, because Ronnie would not let me win a contest against him in front of his girlfriend. That was the point of going bowling, not to have fun, but to show his white girl that he was the bigger nigger. So despite everyone being tired, we went to Drew's house to play an '80s trivia game, which he won by one question over me after I had a big lead. And I guarantee you, if I would have won that game, a long night of poker would have followed, anything to prove that he was better than me. But finally, after the game was over around 3A, everyone left. I got about 4 and a half seconds of sleep before Drew's crazy-sounding alarm went off, and we hopped on the Metra, he to go to work and me to go home. And boy, was I sore. Just imagine two 340-lb. black guys heaving bowling balls as hard as you can, competing in a silly tug-of-war, the latest in a ten-year rivalry. I would've soaked in my tub when I got home, but I was too tired to run the damn water.
I was on track for a regular week of night school when I was met by the head of the English department Thursday on my way to math class. Just like last year when he surprised me by telling me that I had won a scholarship for an essay I wrote, he surprised me again by telling me that the teachers union banquet where I would have received my award last year was canceled at that time because the union was on strike and had more important things to worry about, but now the banquet was the next day, Friday, and would I like to come and stand up and be announced? I said sure. So I made a trip to Greektown yesterday, at a restaurant called the Parthenon. I had a great meal, several courses of authentic Greek cuisine, gyros, rack of lamb, Greek salad...I was stuffed. And when the announcement was made for my award after several other students had received theirs, I guess the people involved with the scholarship did not want me to come to the stage and receive nothing, since they already awarded me the $500 prize last year, so they had another envelope ready for me this time, with a check for an extra $100. Fucking awesome! As with the first check, I was honored and stunned, and I couldn't thank them enough.
That doesn't solve my problem of what I'm going to do with myself this summer though. I'm still wrestling with my sensible option of moving back with my uncle and not having to pay so much in rent, but sacrificing my independence, my less-than-sensible option of staying here in Chicago and continuing to look for work, and my "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU FUCKING HIGH?!?" option of packing up and moving to another part of the country that I've never even visited just as a change of scenery, since I can't get a job or get laid in Chicago. I have to make a decision soon, as my unemployment runs out in July. But no matter what, receiving this award from school and receiving the compliments I've received about my blog (hey Keish!) means that I will continue to write and continue to go to school and work towards a degree some day. I may have low self-esteem, but apparently I can write my ass off.