I knew a week ahead of time they were coming, and it ate away at me.
The depth of my social anxiety is such that the very thought of having house guests causes me to see death, horrible things, awaiting me around every corner.
I could be holding a winning lottery ticket and you could call to tell me someone is coming to sleep in my basement, and all my millions would be ash in my hand.
So what I am a millionaire, I have to small talk with someone in my kitchen.
So what I can ride around in my transforming jet boat now with a Soul Train dancer on each arm, I still have to sit at the dinner table with someone who is going to talk to me about terrifying mundanities like the weather.
They called to say they were ten minutes away and I blurted out "Brownies! I need a pan of brownies! ahhh...god...brownies."
Nothing was helped by their physical perfection, nothing made better by their apparent whatever-is-cool attitude of no pressure houseguesting.
There they were in my driveway and I saw myself as a giant Moonpie.
I was eating myself, tasting how good I was, till when they came in I was only a few crumbs on the floor.
The man of the couple, so smiley and earnest, still stooped down and attempted to find my little chocolate hand, so to give it a happy, extroverted shake.
I wondered then, as I have several times since, if there is a chance, however small, that I might, to some very minimal degree, be a bit of an occasional emotional eater.
For example, my little son starts school tomorrow for the first time, and tonight I went to the gas station and bought a pony keg of nacho cheese and one of those giant bags of tortilla chips that puff a cloud of salt and MSG in your face when you pull them open.
I ate it by myself and felt sad for my son.
We tried to home school him because I don't really think much of schools as a whole.
In my completely biased and unfair opinion, schools are often staffed with more than their fair share of dullards and overly cheery simpletons.
I have been in faculty meetings like this:
We tried to home school him because putting your child out in the world, even to such a small degree, means surrendering them to all the influence and input that you cannot control.
You fear all the new tricks someone will teach your pet monkey, because some of them may involve throwing feces.
But the world is always falling apart on some terrible scale that consistently out does itself, and starting kindergarten for a five year old boy and his parents is so despicably minor, so miniscule of a drop of sadness in the expanding ocean of human sorrow, that it is almost shameful to think even twice upon it.
Yet, in my mouth went chip after chip, the cheese tasting like the smell of Sunny Delight when someone drinks too much of it mixed with vodka and then throws up in the backseat of your car.
Which reminds me that I cannot stand commercials for Sunny Delight.
Those urban hipster middle schoolers, swapping tales of how much they love the 'D.
Is it wrong to want to kick people you see on television?
Or read on the internet?
Because on some pathetic level I also want to kick the authors of the Sleep Talkin Man website.
I am not jealous.
They are lying.
Nobody talks in their sleep using the exact vernacular that is so popular with internet writers; the same flavor of non sequitur, the same bone-headed sexual doofism that makes bored office workers cram their sentences with LOL.
I guess I just want to kick them out of my deep need to be right, and I know I am right that they are making the whole thing up.
Like many, many people, I have always been right, especially when I was in college.
I remember when my new girlfriend and I walked into a common room where a big group of people were watching a movie.
It was State of Grace, an old Sean Penn movie, but they all thought they were watching Reservoir Dogs.
I knew they were wrong, and I practically screamed at them that they were watching the wrong movie.
My nails dug into my girlfriend's palm and she stared at me in shock.
I like to think the shock was due to the absolute sexiness of how right I was.
She'd never been with a man who could express his opinion with so much whiny and unnecessary righteousness.
Inexplicably, she broke up with me a few days later, and I drank a lot of whiskey because it's easier to win girls back when you do that.
When she shook her head 'no', I turned and vomited into the bushes in front of my dorm.
Later that night, I drew all over myself with magic marker and walked the halls of that dormitory.
In the morning, I noticed that the lines I had drawn from my nipples to my chin had left my sheets blue.
Since then, I have learned to put down the marker and take up the Choco Taco.
It's a battle standard, a light in the darkness.
As my son steps through the doors of his new school, hears the deafening voices of too many children crammed together, shrinks from the offered hands of smiling strangers, I hope he will reach into his coat pocket and find the little treasure I left for him there; the dollop of nacho cheese on a napkin, carefully rolled up, with some broken bits of tortilla chips buried in it, waiting like little treasures to be found.