Head Like A Hole

Randy and I met in an AOL chat room in the mid nineties. He lived in Kansas City and I lived in Cincinnati.

We connected immediately.

Our first conversation was about our mutual love of office supplies. For the record, our devotion to paper goods, staplers, and such has never wavered. We didn’t know each other well enough when we moved in together. We had seen each other in person a total of 9 times. 

We had to make it over some Mothra sized hurdles, but 23 years later, we’ve worked out most of the kinks. Well, except for the fun ones.

I look back on that time and I remember two people who don’t exist anymore.

We’ve changed and grown. We’ve  morphed into who we are today and while we share some characteristics with those long ago versions of us, we’re head like a holeboth quite different from the people we were when we met. We bonded over writing, insecurities, and music. Neither one of us could get enough of Pretty Hate Machine.

We were both playing Nine Inch Nails on a loop at the time. While in the writers chat room, we would type out  lyrics of which ever song we were listening to. We were in our early thirties. Chat rooms were kind of new. Shut up. 

Anyway, last Thursday, we were on our way to play music trivia when Head Like A Hole played on the radio. I immediately waxed poetic about the old days.

Me: This takes me back. Goddamn. Remember this? We were so young.

Randy: Do you see that?

Me: See what?

Randy: Gas has gone up ten cents since this morning. Ten fucking cents.

Me: Are you kidding right now?

Randy: I got gas this morning before it went up.

Me: You are an old man. I’m being all romantic and shit and you’re bitching about the price of gas.

Randy: Still, glad I filled up this morning.

This is funny because Randy is the die hard romantic in this relationship. I’m sure he could give you scores of examples. I guess if he wants to write his own blog he can tell you all about it.

Also last Thursday, I had lunch with my older son, Zach.

I have lunch with him once a week and look forward to those lunches every week. He works second shift, So I see him before his work day starts. Last Thursday, he took half of his lunch to go and when we got in his car, he put the sandwich in his lunch box.

There was a baggie of popcorn in his box.

Zach: You should try that popcorn. It is bad ass. It has black truffle infused salt on it.

Me: Okay, cool.

Me: Oh dear god. Fucking hell. This is disgusting.

Zach laughed his ass off while I spit the popcorn out in the parking lot and pawed at my tongue like Tom Hanks in Big when he ate the caviar.

Zach: Don’t like it, then?

Me: Fuck no. That’s as bad as yogurt.

Zach: That salt is crazy expensive. I paid $23. for 3 1/2 ounces.

Me: I’m so proud.

Zach: When I got home, I opened it up to smell and dropped it.


Me: Wait. You dropped it?

Zach: Yeah, but I scooped it back up because it was $23.

Me: Let me get this straight. I just ate the most disgusting popcorn on the planet, and it was seasoned in salt you scraped off the floor?

Zach: That’s about right.

Me: I have a popcorn kernel stuck in my teeth and I didn’t actually eat any popcorn.


All in all, I consider it a successful lunch date. Zach doesn’t laugh out loud often, so it’s nice to hear.

So, now I’m wondering, since it is Thursday, will anything happen today as entertaining as last Thursday?

Edited to add: I am bummed because I cancelled my SiriusXM account. I LOVE Sirius, but as long as they give a voice to Breitbart and Steve Bannon, they don’t get any of my dollars. 




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  • Thanks for all the smiles and “therapy” you’ve provided over the past year. You have a real knack for touching hearts. For touching this heart. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family, and here’s to a better world in 2018.

  • Love the story about Randy, your romance, and the price of gas.

    Sounds so much like us!!

    And me? I like my popcorn with butter and salt. Normal butter and normal salt.

    Just sayin.

    You were smart to spit it out!

    Merry Christmas you crazy kids!

  • Back when I ate popcorn, I used to like garlic salt and lemon pepper on it. If I really wanted to get fancy, I’d put some garlic in the melted butter and pour that on there.
    How’s that for sounding old? “Back when I ate popcorn”?
    Never listened to much NIN, but one time this kinda crazy woman who later stole my classical guitar and music collection was listening to “Closer” really loud in the car and I asked her “Shouldn’t that be ‘as an animal’?”

    • See? I wouldn’t like that either. Popcorn just needs butter and salt. Nothing else. I can’t really eat it a lot because it ALWAYS tears my stomach up. But then I do anyway.

  • Feeding our mom popcorn seasoned with gross truffle floor-salt sounds like something me or my older brother would do. Probably more my older brother, because I would never pay $23 for less than 4oz. of salt, I don’t care how gross it is (also, my brother is a chef and I’m about 80% he probably has $23 truffle salt in his cupboard that he’s never used; seems like his thing).

    Glad you had a good lunch date with your son. Those are the moments we need to remember.

  • That bit about the salt–hilarious! Reminds me of the time my son bought a $400 light sabre. By the way, I’m a huge NIN fan too–listen to them on a daily basis. My current fave is the concert clip where Gary Numan shows up and performs Metal and Cars with them.

  • Good on you for canceling Sirius. In these days when we feel we have no control, it’s good to remember we can always vote with our wallets.

  • I can’t quit laughing…. The popcorn scenario is hilarious…. Hey… I met the love of my life in an AOL chatroom……. He lived in N. Carolina and I am here in Michigan…. After a couple of months of non-stop talking he hightailed it up here and never went back….Unfortunately I lost him to cancer a few years ago… Gotta love those chatrooms!

  • Well, I like truffle salt (not so sure about truffle popcorn but truffle french fries are awesome) and yogurt, and I liked your post, too. You are funny and profound (or something) at the same time. Hey, one day, you can tell your grandchildren about AOL chat rooms. And AOL. And lots of other things, as our lives turn into museum pieces.

  • Been reading you for quite some time but your heading today really caught my attention. I knew immediately another NIN fan. Ah, the 90s. My brother “turned me on” to NIN back in the day and we’re still listening. Pretty Hate Machine was/is my favourite while his is The Downward Spiral (my 2nd). They still merit current playlists for us, as well as new music from Trent. I’ve never known another woman who even knew about NIN. Very cool – thank you. BTW – also a child of an intensely self absorbed father and narcissist mother. Keep going.

  • I LITERALLY laughed out loud over the gross truffle-floor salted popcorn. That was great. And not even remotely cussy! Oh, wait. Yeah, that’s right. It was plenty cussy (I just re-read it to be sure and, um. Yeah. Fuck.) LOL anyway!

    My husband will forget that I buy a good variety of food for the fridge, pantry, and freezer, and he’ll go on a binge of like, ONE type of food for about a week. Some weeks it’s a mac-n-cheese casserole thingy; some weeks it’s popcorn. Like seriously, our “evening meal” will be POPCORN. I have to find something, anything, nutritionally-more-sound, because I love popcorn but my system will NOT allow me to live on it!

    • You really do! I am not a fan of Smashing Pumpkins because Billy Corrigan’s voice gets on my goddamn last nerve. I’m going to miss the nineties station on Sirius when my subscription ends at the end of the month

  • I have learned after two years if I want my partner to really listen to me, I have to tell him to put his phone down. However, he remembers the most minute details of our relationship. So I feel your pain.
    Lunch with sons are the best. That sounds like my cheap son, spilling salt on the floor, picking it up and using it anyway. But he would offer me something disgusting and then try to convince me how good it is.
    Thanks for all your blogs this year. Nice to know I am not alone in all this shit. Let’s hope 2018 is better for everyone. It is a given 2017 was full of surprises. Maybe the orange man will go away. Would be our best Christmas gift evah! Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

By Michelle