January 27, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 04
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Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020



Tour De Life by Beau Burriola
Big Bad Ass
"You're so cute," the nice man I didn't know standing behind me in line at QFC said to me. I could have and should have thanked him, smiled, looked up, or said hello; but instead, all I could think about was how this beard I grew was supp- osed to make me look menacing and how much of a bad ass I felt like. If I wanted to be called anything right then, it wasn't cute. I felt menacing.

"Fuck you," I said suddenly in a menacing voice, surprising everyone in earshot, not the least myself. I was surprised enough by what I'd said that I don't think I came across entirely convincing; because in response, the man looked at me smilingly, as if he thought I was joking, before he turned around and walked away. Immediately I regretted my actions. I thought of how I might try to fix it, but I didn't. Woo hoo, look at me: Big Bad Ass.


It's clear to a lot of people who have run into me lately that I've been acting like a big dickhead. It started as just a little attitude and started getting progressively deeper. There have been some days where I've said things I would never in my life say, instead deciding suddenly to try something less familiar than I've always done, to push limits I've never felt I had to push before, just to experience something else. Why have I been doing this?

"Smile. I never see you smile anymore," Nick complained on Sunday right before the whole bar erupted into cheers at a second Seahawks interception. I didn't feel like smiling, but I especially didn't feel like doing it on command.

"No," I said without looking at him. I felt his frown from the corner of my eye. Woo hoo, look at me: Big Bad Ass.

All the bad reactions have given me a lot to think about. I wish I could explain to that grocery stranger or my best friend all the complex feelings behind what has been going on with me lately - wanting to test my limits, wanting to move beyond who I've always been, fear that I've become too boring, desire to experience newness where life is stale, an unexpected desire to be a little less "Good Boy" than I am - but it's not so easy to say stuff like that in line at the grocery store or watching a football game at a bar. So I say nothing.

These are questions I already thought I'd answered a long time ago: who I am, who I want to be, what sort of person I want to present to the world, how to treat other people. It sucks to find myself asking them all again. Shouldn't I be comfortable with who I am already? Why suddenly should I want to change everything again?

To all those folks I've rubbed the wrong way as of late, I'd sure like to rain check my apology until I feel confident enough to know it's over and I won't do it again. Lately, that hasn't been the case.

Sometimes you don't feel like a saint, you don't feel nice, you don't feel cute and you don't feel great. It took me a long time to feel like that was even okay and I'm not all the way there yet; so all I can do until this passes is apologize when it ends to all those folks I'm managing to offend on my bizarre twenty-seventh birthday.

Woo hoo, look at me: Big Bad Ass

Beau Burriola is a local writer coloring outside the lines and all over the newly painted walls. E-mail:

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