Murder, They Guessed

My parents and I saw Agatha Christie’s “Spider Web” at the Alley Theater last night. All three of us are obsessed with murder mysteries, which makes us a) overconfident but dangerously accurate amateur detectives, and b) horrible, horrible audience members.

[Warning: Spoilers below.]

Everyone else in our section: “I can’t wait to find out who the murderer is!”

My mom: “ALRIGHT, PEOPLE. THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR.”

Me: “BRING IT.”

My dad: “MISS PEAKE HAS TO BE THE ONE WHO MOVED COSTELLO’S BODY.”

My mom: “COSTELLO IS THE MISSING LINK IN SELLON’S NARCOTIC RING.”

Me: “PIPPA IS PRACTICING WITCHCRAFT BUT DIDN’T ACTUALLY KILL ANYONE. WHICH MEANS…”

My dad: “WARRENDER MURDERED COSTELLO TO PREVENT HIM FROM STEALING THE RARE STAMP HIDDEN IN THE SECRET DRAWER OF THE ANTIQUE DESK.”

My mom: “BAM.”

Me: “CASE CLOSED.”

Everyone else in our section: “Goddamnit.”

Bros Before Mos

A frantic text message to my buddy Angelo:

Hey, I know you’re at work, but this guy I used to date is now engaged to someone he’s known for a month, and Alan’s at Southern Decadence, and Douglas isn’t speaking to me this week, and I literally might die if I don’t laugh about this with somebody.

He called moments later and laughed his ass off along with me, because he’s a brother and a true friend. And then I may or may not have agreed to fly to Chicago with him next May and act as his publicist/handler while he competes for the title of International Mr. Leather. Like you do.

This is… not exactly where I expected sobriety to take me. But I’m cool with it overall.

On Human Sacrifice and Hairpin Man

Prior to working with me in property management, Alan had a distinguished career as a hair stylist, and up until last October, he was employed by a small, hip salon in one of Houston’s trendier neighborhoods. One slow afternoon, not having any clients to attend to, Alan got bored and made a sculpture out of hairpins; as so many things do, it ended up on my desk. I named him Hairpin Man.

“Hairpin Man”; 2014; hairpins, mixed media.

A few days ago, Alan asked if I still had Hairpin Man, and I was all, “Of course I do!” and then ran into my office to make sure he was still there. He was, but I learned an important lesson about mindfulness and staying present: I’ve got all these awesome things (and people) in my life, but I take them for granted and often don’t notice that they’re still around. Hairpin Man was a tiny little token of my friendship with Alan, and I decided right then and there that I would take a moment every day to appreciate him.

The following morning, Hairpin Man was gone.

Being nothing if not reasonable, I barged into Alan’s office and screamed, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HAIRPIN MAN?!” Once he climbed down from the ceiling, Alan assured me that he had not taken Hairpin Man, and in fact had seen him on my desk just a few hours before. We went back to my office to find him, and Alan suggested that maybe I’d accidentally knocked him onto the floor when I was unpacking that Apis the Bull statue. A cold, rational chill ran up my spine.

Are you at all familiar with the Twelve Labors of Hercules? In case you’re not, Labor Number Seven involved Hercules having to travel to Crete and subde a savage bull which had been rampaging through the countryside and terrorizing the locals. So I was crawling around on the floor and groping behind filing cabinets and suddenly obsessing on this particular legend, and my brain put the two together and presented me with what it felt was a perfectly plausible explanation.

You guys… I think Apis ate Hairpin Man.

And yes, I’m taking my meds, and yes, I’m fully aware that cast-resin replicas do not come to life to devour conveniently located knick-knacks. In theory. But nobody was in my office when Hairpin Man disappeared, and there is historical precedence of man-eating bovine idols, even if modern Biblical scholars dismiss it as propaganda.

I’m just saying don’t fuck with bull statues, people: At the very least, they are unpredictable.

Unless you’re a celebrity, of course, in which case the rules don’t apply to you. Typical.