my stripper name is murphy maple

I’m usually the one holding the stolen goods when the cops show up.

Somehow, there was no room in the getaway car, so I stayed behind to ‘handle it.’

“Stand back everyone, I’m the prodigal son of a Western physician.”

I often wonder if I were interrogated, if and when I would crack. I have a pretty stoic constitution, but if someone started pulling out fingernails, I’d probably squeal.

In other words, not to worry – it would take a lot for me to rat you out… but I do have my limits. I’m no John McCain.

I have had some rather embarrassing run-ins with the ‘the law’ over the years.

At a fraternity ‘function’ in college, the cops showed up, and I took off at a Prefontaine sprint. I was wearing a ridiculous puffy vest from Ralph Lauren with a number 5 on the back. Imagine if Hogwarts had a rugby team – I was dressed like the captain.

I still remember the cops yelling at me as I ran, ‘Hey, number 5!’ And in my haste, I abandoned my girlfriend inside the party to fend for herself.

One of my ‘brethren’ tended to her that night, and I still sometimes meditate on whether or not she sucked his dick in the apartment complex parking lot while I was hiding from the fuzz in a neighbor’s closet.

Clearly, not my most shining moment, but a gram of cocaine and twelve cans of Natural Light will make you do crazy things.

Sorry, that’s unaccountable… it was probably more like two grams and fourteen beers.

Only a few months later, in an attempt to save that very same relationship, I stripped down naked in the middle of the campus dorm courtyard as a gesture meant to profess my undying love.

When I threw my half-clothed body on the hood of my girlfriend’s car to try and stop her from leaving me, a different set of police officers arrived to escort me home.

I inadvertently confessed to driving drunk that night but managed to stay out of jail, out of what I can only imagine was pure pity.

Thank you to the ‘boy in blue’ who took mercy on me that evening and attempted to explain to me that the noxious fumes of a toxic relationship were clouding my judgment. And the alcohol. Definitely that too.

I sure wish I would have taken his advice instead of trying to walk the three miles back to my girlfriend’s apartment building the second he dropped me off at my house.

I fell asleep (read: passed out) at her door that night.

It’s uncomfortable being the fucked up hero in your own story.

I don’t always like myself, who I’ve been, and how I’ve behaved. As I eke out these scathing Yelp reviews of my youth, I feel my insides churn.

On one level, I’m glad I feel ‘shitty’ about parts of my past because it likely indicates that I’ve learned and grown. And yet, I still feel charged with finding some balance of compassion and comedy with these memories.

Inevitably, I’m the main character in my own movie, but if I were an impartial audience member and not me watching me and didn’t feel the responsibility to empathize with myself, what would I actually feel toward the person acting how I acted?

I don’t know how relevant that question is. I don’t know if I believe in objectivity or if it has any real value.

Regardless, it’s a compelling thought experiment to try and see ourselves from this more etic perspective.

I do find value in confronting the sometimes harsh realities of my flawed humanness, the ways in which I’ve embarrassed myself, acted selfishly, the ways I’ve cowered in fear, my negligence, my codependencies, and all the other ways I’ve behaved like a human form of teenage ‘back-ne.’

How does one live into the larger context of our actions without making themselves a victim in the process?

I didn’t have a lot of things well-modeled for me as a child, and I can certainly see reverberations of the emotional void playing out in my most reckless behaviors, but that doesn’t excuse them, it just helps explain them.

I find myself sliding up and down the stripper pole of accountability and compassion, hoping someone will throw dollar bills at me when I stick the landing.

Which brings me back to being in the bank holding the big bag of money. Living into a story of being bad puts you in a mindset that you’ll only be good when you get caught for what you’ve done. And so you put yourself into situation after situation where you’re waiting to be exposed as the asshole that you feel like you are so that someone will finally punish you and absolve you of your sins.

Man, what a kink. An orgiastic merger of the neurotic and the erotic. Where does one start, and the other begin?

I don’t know how to put a period on this sentence. I think I largely remain unresolved on the matter, like emotional ellipses.

Just… thank fucking god I haven’t fallen asleep at anyone’s door in over a decade. I’ll take the win.

by: anonymous

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