Story Time! Names have been changed because I’m not interested in talking about other people. This story is about me–it’s my blog if you didn’t notice.
A very, very long time ago, I knew these two guys named Steve Urkel*. They were friends, and privately I nicknamed them “Good Steve” and “Bad Steve”. We’ll talk about Bad Steve first.
Bad Steve was a nice guy, but bad news. He was a drug dealer. Not a street corner drug dealer, more of a middle man. Not a king pin, but doing well enough that I saw money, drugs, and guns. I distinctly remember video security at his front door, a 9 mm under his pillow and an automatic rifle of some sort in the closet. Aside from all that, Bad Steve was good looking, nice, personable and liked koalas. He also liked me well enough that we never really used each other for anything. This was past my days of drug use. We enjoyed each other’s company–I was no threat and I didn’t do drugs so he could relax and I thought he was fun and to be perfectly honest, it was exciting to be around someone like that. I was young, naive, and very, very stupid.
Now, Good Steve was friends with Bad Steve which is how I met him. He was half Filipino and very frat-y and gregarious. A good talker and good looking and he showed me the kind of attention that made me think he actually interested in me. (As a side note, I don’t usually know when a guy is interested in me, so I’m going to assume in hindsight that Good Steve was very forward). We talked a lot and tried to make plans (LIKE A DATE WHAT THE HELL) but either he or I always had something come up.
One night, very late, he gave me a call and wanted to see if he could come over and hang out since we never could meet up. It was late-late, like 1 or 2 AM. I scrambled around picking up and hiding my disgusting living conditions to make it look like I was a normal person and not the horrible slob I really am.
He came over with liquor and we stayed up drinking and talking and it was fun. He told me about his family and how his Mom hated that he never dated Asian girls, how his dad wanted him to go into a specific field of work. He walked around my apartment and complimented me about my choice of books and movies, but most specifically, he told me he was impressed with my art. I couldn’t believe it! I thought he was just being nice but of course inside I was screaming “OH MY GOD I THINK HE LIKES ME” because no matter what age I am, I still think of it as ‘a guy likes me’.
We went out into the stairwell so he could smoke a cigarette even though I said he could smoke in my apartment. (HOW THOUGHTFUL!) As we were talking out there, he leaned in and gave me kiss out of the blue. I asked him what was that for and he replied Just because I wanted to. (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD I THINK HE REALLY DOES LIKE ME)
Now, at this point I would like to note that I was technically an adult, but I distinctly remember that I wanted to call my best friend right that second to tell her what happened.
Since it was so late, I didn’t call her. As the night went on, I got progressively more and more drunk and ended up in a bad situation. I think I mentioned previously that I was young, naive, and very stupid. Very, very stupid.
That night Good Steve turned into Bad Steve and Bad Steve was suddenly Good Steve. I never saw or heard from the newly appointed Bad Steve ever again. Good Steve and I talked and saw each other here and there for a few months after but I never said anything about it because what was I going to say? I know it wasn’t my fault, but there were a million things I could have/should have done to prevent it. I don’t even know if Bad Steve knows what happened because he was also very drunk. I don’t blame him as much as I blame my own poor choices but I don’t beat myself up about it.
This was a very long time ago and as weird as it sounds, it wasn’t so dramatic and I’m not overly traumatized. I’ve had plenty of other things to ruin me, and in the big scheme of things, Bad Steve is barely a blip on my radar. The thing that does stick with me and bothers me to this day is that I wonder if he actually thought my art was good or not.
I know that sounds dumb, but can’t recall actually finishing any original piece of art since that time. Starts but no finishes. I will make plans to start a sketchbook. Draw every day. And nothing. It’s been such a long time so I don’t think I can blame Bad Steve Urkel anymore, but I do wonder if he planted that seed of doubt in my head.
I don’t expect to suddenly start churning out amazing pieces of original art just because I came to this conclusion. It took me almost 20 years to compile this random thought, so maybe in another 20 years I’ll have something tangible to show for it.
* The guys I’m talking about are actually not Steve Urkel or Stefan Urquelle. Just thought I’d make that clear.