A Message from Win
Wednesday, November 19 at 7:58pm. At 7:48pm, I received an amazing email. It was from Win (whom Sunny refers to as "Beard").
The last time I heard from Win was right after he finished his final comp answer. It was pretty early in the afternoon. Maybe 2pm. And probably two weeks ago. Roughly. I don't remember what day it was. Even if I did, it's uninteresting. The point is he called me as soon as he was done, said something like "I'm done", and then I bid him my farewell/Godspeed/etc.
Later that afternoon, he was planning on going over to William's house, sleeping there that night, and then getting up and flying to Fiji the following afternoon.
Being as I hadn't talked to him since the post-comp-call, I assumed all of this took place.
I assumed he went to William's, had an enjoyable and/or awkward time, slept, woke up, flew to Fiji, and has since been doing all the things a Winthropian vacationer would be doing (I'm not quite sure what this is, but I know that it involves a great deal of gratification; of all the things one can say about Win, he certainly knows how to satisfy indulgences... a skill I will be forever jealous of).
Anyway, two weeks of assumptions found their resolve this evening when Win stopped by an internet cafe and sent me a longwinded email (this obviously being the amazing one I mentioned a moment ago).
Truly amazing. It makes me want to reimburse him for the internet café fees (which I'm sure were outrageously expensive, so I'm actually not going to). But throughout his email, every three inch block of sentence height managed to out-entertain the previous three. Reading it was like following along the graph of a trigonometric function where the amplitude increases with each successive period. But in plainly written English (and thus people other than ultra dull nerds can appreciate it)... and I certainly appreciated it. By the time I was done reading, I was actually in tears.
Perhaps I'm framing too grand a foyer here.
I just realized that - in order for any reader to appreciate this email as I have - and thus weep as I did - there's a necessary prerequisite that this reader must have a personal relationship with William. If Win's email is your actual introduction to William, there's no way you'll end up in tears.
So my hope is that you, my reader, have read some of my earlier journal entries (those of yesteryear where I occasionally had something interesting to say), and are already familiar with William (and his dispositions).
And should the pending email not make you cry, I take full responsibility; that it was my failure of character development as opposed to Win's failure to craft the narrative.
And this narrative was by far the best entertainment I've had since Win left town a couple weeks ago. The runner-up is obviously hoisting Sunny around. And to even announce a third place would be a disgrace to Sunny and the sport of ballet (though I'm not sure ballet is a sport). Either way, Win's email is incomparably the best entertainment I've had since he left.
Okay, I'm really dragging out this introduction. I feel like a crappy opening band playing an unsolicited encore.
And since that analogy is the only half-witted sentence I've managed to squeeze into this opening slot, I'm going to use that as my departing note.
Exit crappy band.
Enter headlining act (Win's email):
Hey bro - I'm leaving for New Zealand in two days. I just wanted to send you the story of my night with William before I go. I have the whole thing written down on a notepad so I wanted to get it typed and sent before I lose it. Enjoy:
Chapter 1: My arrival!
My adventures with William begin by me arriving too early (4:16pm).
I didn't know I was early until I rang the doorbell and not a soul answered...
not even little Ranger (the dog).
Then I suddenly realized that I desperately needed to urinate,
so I walked around the side of the house,
opened the gate to the back yard, stood behind it,
and proceeded to drain a torrent of urea and agua into the dirt.
"Not a good start to the weekend" I thought to my self.
Then it suddenly occurred to me...
How would I explain this to someone if they caught me,
whether it be William, his neighbor, or even his wife
who could be home but too lazy to come answer the doorbell?
That didn't end up being the case, but with that thought in my mind
I pushed out the rest of the urine and just as I started to shake,
I heard William's Porsche, with it's roaring exhaust in all its fury,
clunking around the corner.
So I rushed back out front and got half way across his driveway by the time he pulled in.
I was trying to walk all nonchalant like I was just moseying around admiring his estates.
He screeches his Porsche to a stop in front of his garage,
opening the door to get out at the exact same time.
I was going to swoop in with a hug as it had been months
since our last encounter.
But William is mumbling something,
clearly displeased with my arriving earlier than him.
Yet puts our differences aside and gives me a disgruntled Scottish hug
(maybe he had a hard day at work or was just upset with his wife).
I don't know.
So we enter the house.
Obviously shoes off.
William goes to let Ranger out; the dog runs around.
Ranger has to be one of the ugliest dogs I've ever seen.
He suits William well as a pet.
William offers me a beer.
I accept (at least this time it's not Bud Light).
So, beer in hand, and Ranger loose, roaming the open fields of Williams house...
we sit down at the round kitchen table.
Actually, I was about to sit down on the couch and relax
with my beer after slaving over comps all morning,
but at that very instant, William commands me to sit at the kitchen table so we can talk.
Evidently, we have some catching up to do.
Chapter 2: The talk at the round table (with Ranger occasionally jumping on/humping my leg):
I really should have brought my recorder.
I've already forgot 90% of the last hour.
I'm currently sitting on the toilet scribbling all of this down,
Chapter 1 through now, after having faked like I needed to pee
in a way that only Courtney Douglas Jensen would appreciate.
During the last hour, part of the 10% I did remember involved:
"Do you know what his middle name is?
Husane...Yep!...He's Muslim alright!"
Said with such conviction (by William) that you would think Jesus Christ himself came down from the sky and declared it.
30min lecture on the origins of Muslim religion...
Tells me the old testament is "good reading."
Unfortunately, I forgot everything else from that hour.
[God I hope you appreciate what I am going through for you Courtney. I am suffering alone merely for the benefit of your humor...and the night has barely begun. and I'm still sitting on the toilet (clothed) hiding out in order to write this material before it is done with its ephemeral journey through my handsome skull!]
Chapter 3: About to go to dinner:
So after "the chat" I inform W. I would like to shower as it has been a long day,
not to mention I've been in the same clothes since jogging with Andy Fields
at Stanford (sorry for the name dropping).
He shows me to my shower...
Which I didn't know until later was his too.
He sneaks in a couple more beers while I'm in the shower.
News for W: I might be a little more astute than I appear in your rearview mirror.
So I clean up, come down stairs,
And find W. has cleaned up a slight amount too,
And is on his 4th beer.
In addition, the bottom two buttons of his shirt are unbuttoned
in a manner that exposes his all too manly adipose "tire."
In fact, I think I recall this happening once before.
Though I say nothing.
I'm sure he'll remedy the situation.
Or at least cover it up with his black leather fanny pack, which he so proudly sports...
like it's a sign of wealth or something.
So right before we were about to go to dinner:
(Beer count: Me = 2, W. = 4)
W. says to me, "you mind driving?"
And if you know W. you know you can't say no to him.
So I say yes, I can drive.
Though the proper response would have been "no, I don't want to get a DUI."
But I'm sure such semantics would be wasted on W.
Also, before we leave, but after the 4 beers,
W. says to me:
"I want you know I consider you a son to me"
Actually, he said this with a genuine look of seriousness
as he reached for the fridge handle to grab beer 5!
He was intense.
Like he wanted me to know he loved me a great deal more
than his actual biological (yet estranged) son.
Then he went off about how he considers you a son too,
but he thinks you're mad at him,
because he told you that you need to grow up
because you are 28 and don't have a career.
That's when I told him that you will be just fine,
and that I convinced you to submit some books
for publishing before I get back from NZ.
Then he aggressively bet me $10 that you won't have done it by the time I return.
So I bet him, knowing I would have contact with you
and could convince you to submit them,
not so that I would win the money, but on principal;
so that I would win bet that really matters (the bet of being right in life).
At this point, I have to interrupt for a moment. Win's story isn't over... But he already won the bet. I sent query letters to two agents yesterday morning. I was only going to do one (to Elise Proulx in San Francisco; she was the one with whom I thought my writing would be most compatible). But after I sent it, I reread what I sent and found a grammatical error in the very first sentence. It was where the fifth word should have been and wasn't. So the whole first sentence made no sense whatsoever. So I'm obviously not going to hear back from her. And thus I sent another. To Faye Bender. New York. Haven't heard back from her yet either. Anyway, back to Win's tale, which is far more interesting than mine:
Chapter 4: Finally off to dinner!
We go to RAW.
Even though I had sushi for lunch with Ann at Cocoro.
W. didn't really ask for my input.
I drive Stacy's green jeep with the sides off.
Lots of fresh air flow.
We walk in, don't wait for the lady to help us (neglecting the clearly posted sign).
W. makes himself at home at the bar.
The world poker tournament is on the big plasma TV.
I can't tell whether W. is more aroused by this
or the exotic looking bar tender who hands us a couple menus.
She is not all that friendly herself,
but my eyes light up at the rows of liquor in front of me...
Hoping for dosage enough to bring a bit of sanity back.
W. promptly takes care of this, informing the bartender
that she will be bringing us a large Sapporo promptly!
"With only one glass!"
She brings two chilled glasses.
W. is pissed.
He pushes it aside almost violently
then he pours me less than a third of it
and downs the rest straight from the bottle.
We order some sushi.
I go to the bathroom to write some more notes for your selfish ass.
When I come back W. says:
"WOW! Look at that! When we left the house the Celtics were up by 5...
Now they're down by 6!!!"
-Might I note: he actually seems genuinely amazed,
As if he just witnessed the parting of the sea.
I could care less.
I guess he made the bartender change the channel of the tv so he could see the score,
Then change it back to the poker stuff.
Dinner wasn't all that eventful.
William talked in a racist tone about some "black guy" at the off track betting place he goes to...
insinuating that he stole a ticket from an honest white citizen.
It ended with me offering to pay (as a polite gesture).
Actually at first I just offered to pay for my portion...
W. was silent; maybe holding out for a better deal.
Then I said:
"why don't you let me pick it up since I'm staying at your house and all"
(just to be polite, and it's costing him virtually nothing for me to stay there...
maybe $1 in electricity and water).
So he says "yea, sure, ok" and I'm stuck with a $40 tab.
Which I don't mind,
because in the long run, it's always better to be the gentleman.
But it's the principal.
I'm poor and about to go traveling.
He spent the whole dinner bragging about how well he has been doing
considering all that's been going on in the stock market...
S'est la vie.
[oh yea, I forgot to mention, before we left the house,
W. was walking from the bathroom towards the kitchen and ripped/stumbled.
I'm sure he thought it was the fault of the uneven carpet. I thought it was inebriation.]
Chapter 5: Back home
Back to the W. estates.
As soon as we walked in the house W. unbuttoned his shirt completely.
It was just hairy and gross.
"Let me put the game on for you!" he says, yelling.
As if I actually cared about any game that could possibly be on TV
anywhere in the world.
I plop down in the closest chair to me.
I recline a bit; which takes some of the edge off from the day.
Just then William comes charging down the stairs, almost bouncing,
wearing a white monogrammed bathrobe, obviously naked underneath.
He also plops down.
On the couch 90 degrees to my right,
And spreads his legs (this is not a joke!)
So there sits William. Spread eagle.
And he bluntly informs me that I am sitting in his favorite chair.
I am taken aback for a second.
I can't quite tell whether he said this because he wants me to move
and wants his chair back...
Or whether he said it out of pride for his chair
and was just fishing for a compliment.
I told him how nice and comfortable it was
(I didn't feel like getting up).
And just when I think he is satisfied,
He jumps up, comes over and grabs my hand.
He turns on the light on the table at my left (while still holding my right hand).
He takes my right hand and places it on the lever to recline the chair
(as if I couldn't figure it out by myself).
Once satisfied with my education on how to properly use his favorite chair,
he sits back down.
I complement him on how nice it is now that it is reclined.
He says "oh yea, it's great" then jumps up and heads to the fridge.
I thought he was going for another beer.
But old W. tricks me.
He opens the freezer.
Serves me a bowl of strawberry sorbet.
And for himself, an entire pint of vanilla ice cream.
He sits back down on the couch and finishes the whole pint
while attentively watching his basketball game and spreading his legs.
As soon as he finishes his ice cream, he bounces up the stairs
and is gone for a few minutes, doing god knows what...
Then he returns down the stairs and informs me
that he has placed a bottle of water on my night stand,
turned on the nightlight, and turned down my bed.
"It's all ready for you!"
Silly me, I thought it was ready before William touched it.
At this point I am thinking:
"How in the world did you ever talk me into this shit.
One day I was in Medford by Bruce's pool, talking to you on the phone
and you told me to come to Pacific. 2.2 years later I am with a weird
hairy naked man you introduced me to and you are nowhere in sight."
I have to interrupt again. This was my favorite part... There's something sentimental there, albeit squeezed into a batch of high comedy. But there's something nostalgic about that image. It doesn't matter. Moving on:
Nevertheless, I brush my teeth, prank call your mom
(that sucked, I meant to fool you, but obviously didn't.
And she already hates me from my previous mishaps
in phone etiquette).
Then I call Stacy, whisper good night, and go to bed.
Chapter 6: Morning comes, dawn is broken (well, not yet)
The night before W. informs me he will wake me at 4:30 in the morning.
I was hoping for 7:30, so I try to compromise for 5:30.
I'll take what I can get.
Thus, I set my alarm for 5:20 because I don't want to be thrown off guard
by William and any resultant actions at 5:30 in the morning.
At 4:59am I am aroused by the rattling of my bed.
No, it's not William.
It is his Christian station blaring on the stereo two rooms over.
Mind you, this is not your ordinary loud.
This is Perfume loud,
Except with tons of static.
Definitely painful, if not unbearable.
And all I can think to myself is:
man, I hope he doesn't make me pray with him this morning.
I'm in the process of waking up around 5:10/5:15
I can hear W. showering in the guest bathroom (my bathroom).
I am a bit confused, considering he has a master bedroom,
which to my knowledge, usually come with master bathrooms.
I roll over and try for the impossible 5 more minutes of "snooze"
5:20 William opens my door,
in his white bathrobe, not really covering anything
and with shaving cream still on his face.
"Time to get up!"
He literally comes in and stands above me and looks down at my head.
I thought at the most he would knock on my door a few time and yell at me.
I do a half sit up while squinting at the light,
and assure him I am up and ready to start this beautiful morning
laid before us from the cornucopia of god.
He seems satisfied,
and goes to resume his shaving in my bathroom;
which makes brushing my teeth awkward,
not to mention urinating with the door open,
(he has it locked open via the bath mat).
W. and I eventually go downstairs.
We agree that I should follow him to a coffee shop
and we'll get some rich brew to start the day off right.
But before we can leave the house,
W. can tell from my face that I am in deep need of a prayer.
It wasn't as bad as I thought.
He did the praying,
I did the over-enthusiastic amen.
We met at the coffee shop.
He treated me to a good cup of coffee.
We chat for about 5 minutes.
He suddenly realizes he has to teach class at Delta in 10 min.
We do the man embrace thing and top it off with a handshake for good measure.
We say our goodbyes,
And William zooms off.
If you can't tell by the end of italics, that was the end of Win's email... other than a "to be continued..." which I neglected to copy/paste. And perhaps an "all right bro, take care" or some such departing sentence...
All in all, an amazing story. Right from the beginning where Win shows up at his house and immediately defaces the property out of biological necessity. Enter clunking Porsche, story unfolds, wraps up with an amen, exit clunking pursche. It was perfect. I felt like I was there the whole time - at Raw, in the recliner, in bed, etc, with William (who's like a father to me).