The Becky Book (January 15, 2013)

The Becky Book



“Don’t drink my wine! You’re not choking anymore!”

This is the latest entry in JC’s new project, a handwritten collection of non sequiturs and utterances taken out of context that my comedy terrorist partner ultimately believes to be an accurate reflection of my character. For better or worse, I have inherited a reputation as a straight shooter with good intentions, who could nonetheless benefit from the installation of a weigh station between the neurons and pie hole.

“I think I love Eminem because he reminds me so much of me.”

It was last weekend that JC fell in love with 1990s-era retail sensation, the dollar store. Don’t ask me how a 41 year-old man from Fort Wayne, Indiana managed to sidestep this cultural rite of passage. I told him the story just last evening of my parents’ routine bribe of a $5 spending allowance on days when my sister and I were particularly well-behaved while running a particular errand (a visit to an insurance office, a utility payment or GOD FORBID a trip to a home improvement store). $5 in dollar store cash, then and now, is a veritable fortune to a young teenager looking to accumulate. Somehow JC had overlooked this unusually trippy place, composed of equal parts close-out cosmetics, snack food, housewares and seasonal merchandise.

“If I didn’t have Botox, I’d give you such a stink eye!”

Eight months ago, when our relationship began after years of disinterested acquaintance (on my part anyway), JC first issued a facetious threat to begin jotting down the idiosyncratic dispatches that seemed to accumulate in his presence. If there is any truth behind the idea that the formation of close bonds leads to increased silliness, then JC and I are a perfect case study. However, I dismissed these warnings as the affectionate bluff of one peculiarly enamored with gibberish – until he returned from the dollar store with a mini notebook bearing the following title page: The Becky Book.

“You don’t like Sally Field?! I should break this wine glass over your head.”

Frankly, I underestimated the enthusiasm with which beloved friends of mine would serve as willing accomplices in the compilation of this material. Last Saturday, JC and I were on a double date with my chum of 20 years and his partner. More than once I leaned in to hear my high school comrade highlighting a bon mot that JC may have missed over the din of the jukebox.

“There might be sugary stuff in meth.”

My lover’s ultimate plans for this anthology remain a mystery. Also mysterious is the reaction that the awareness of The Becky Book produces in me. Far from eliciting a conscious effort toward self-censorship, I feel empowered by its existence, emboldened to speak my mind, unencumbered by a self-consciousness that in the past often materialized as standoffishness. I knew very well that weird shit just seemed to tumble from my mouth without warning. But it took someone’s appreciation of my particular brand of randomness, a concerted chronicling of verbal oddities, to make me look at it in a different way. In a predictable, Klout score-regulated society, I am unscripted and he loves me for it. Maybe, just maybe a trait I long considered a liability turned out to be an asset.

“I love you, dummy.”

I don’t worry about this odd collection of my intellectual property. Paranoid by nature, I cannot consider JC’s curated chitchat a threat. I am able to see The Becky Book for what it is: a record, a one-sided time capsule of personal incongruity that has confused and alienated many, yet finally stumbled upon its perfect audience.


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