It is common to think you’ll recognize the best day of your life. Quite the opposite is true. Inflection points that alter bad trajectories and mitigate accumulated loss often pass beneath one’s awareness. In the case of Janice, he (or she, or it) was too busy weeping over the remains of a broken phone to see the import of a simple conversation. That conversation was the moment his grandmother decided she’d had enough of his shit. The lad had his head lodged up his ass and everyone was encouraging the nimrod. She was going to straighten things out… personally. That’s what grandmothers were made for.
Janice, whose driver’s license said “Gerald”, was observably swirling the drain. The problem wasn’t that he had an MMA fight that night; he was confident he’d emerge victorious in 20 minutes or less. (And rightly so.) The problem was that steroids (and their ensuing “’roid rage”) were fighting a scorched earth battle against the hormone therapy that was the next step on Janice’s voyage of discovery. As two mutually exclusive tidal waves of chemically enhanced emotional chaos fought for primacy, sanity was taking it in the shorts. The only likely benefactor would be his cat Ali (as will be explained later).
It’d started years ago when Gerald and several of his weightlifting buddies were bragging to each other while downing a heady mix of Kentucky fried chicken, protein shakes, malt liquor, and enhancement drugs. Gerald was an excellent MMA fighter but would never make it to the top echelon. Someone mentioned Gerald could increase his success by putting on a dress, claiming to be transgender, and steamrolling any woman stupid enough to get in the octagon with him. It was the kind of idea that comes from a lifestyle which combines alcohol and Axe body spray. Unfortunately, in one of those statements that only in retrospect seems monumental, Gerald said the following:
“Sure, why not?”
Little did he know a few years hence he’d be flinging toasters out the window and weeping uncontrollably. Gerald, in his naivete, had been unaware that distant forces had deliberately spent decades preparing the entirety of society for bullshit. The road to Janice plugged directly into the bullshit train and it was out of the station before Gerald knew what he’d done. Only now was it becoming clear; someone, or rather hordes of someones, had greased the skids, paved the way, marked the trail… and various other euphemisms for making bullshit not only socially acceptable but self-motivating. Once you start on the bullshit path it’s hard to stop. Peer pressure turned the dial to eleven because everyone and their brother had been trained from birth to idealize bullshit. Gerald’s idea was bullshit and bullshit was awesome. Therefore, Gerald was a goddamn hero! The whole world (despite nothing but good intentions) was pushing the baffled individual faster than his mind could go.
Plus, he was on drugs. Lots of drugs.