March 23, 2015

I drove him out!

We are on Hilton Head, the family, and look who is behind the bar. It’s Colleen. And I am stumbling on my words, and I can’t order my drink, and I hate talking to school mommies on principle but now there is this added pressure of me doing kinky things to her husband, and my husband is there, and I am watching myself from the outside, kind of, talking her up with her sparkly dangly earrings, and guess what?? I do a sincerely legit job. And I like her. And I am lulled into thinking it will be ok.

I do see him, with the girls, but I don’t think he sees me. He is guiding them onto the elevator, hands on their shoulders, and they go upstairs. But, still; I am feeling pretty good; I handled her well, I didn’t want to kill her, and I was comfortable and not terribly insecure.

and then I don’t see them anymore. we are here for a week; even in a hotel, there’s only one pool, its one resort, how far away can they be? How do we keep missing each other? And this is now ruining my vacation because I am worrying about running into them and I wish the fucking penny would drop already.

There is a dark wood half-table with those sculpted legs against the wall in the hallway of the hotel. There are lights focused on the table, and potted dried flowers, and formal engraved cards in a pile in the center with a tiny card mounted in a card holder that says, “take one.”

They are printed like wedding invitations. The Something Hotel regrets to announce that Jason L. and Colleen M. and their family have checked out. They may be reached at 999-999-9999 for the duration of their stay.

Call Me Sentimental

One thing I am turning out to really enjoy is seeing glimpses of how my kids are turning out. The teenager. She’s 15. Freshman in high school. She is on the stage crew for the high school musical this year, which apparently is done ENTIRELY by the students. The ‘adult’ is a teacher’s kid who is in college, who delegates well. But 2 weeks ago this play was a mess, according to my kid. sets not done, costumes, props, sound, lighting, nobody knew what the hell was going on. Then the adult-ish person put a freshman in charge. A freshman. Who had done none of this before, and all the seniors were mad and not being helpful, Well, this poor girl is part of my kid’s “squad” as they call it, the group of about 9 of them who hang out together. So of course my daughter steps up to help out Gabrielle.

Now I am not just being a proud mother when I say; this thing was CRAZY fantastic. CRAZY. They did Little Shop of Horrors. And there’s my kid, hair up, dressed all in black, headset, barking orders, making sure people end up in the right place, all the other crew members have support they need, anticipating contingencies, and generally multitasking the hell out of this thing with her game face on. After coming home from rehearsals at midnight for 4 days in a row, homework after that, knocking TWO honors level exams out of the park in MATH AND SCIENCE and a cast party last night till 1:00. (don’t judge me….parents were there, too…)

And that’s just one kid. There were probably fifty involved in this thing Cast, orchestra, programs, marketing, Tshirts, concession, costumes, hair and makeup (also my kid :))) staging, sound, lights. And you see these kids up there, running behind the scenes, costume changes, working together and delivering one very kick-ass product all by themselves. All. By. Themselves.

That is some incredibly impressive shit. And the world is gonna be ok.

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Right, Left, Whatever

The tire pressure light has been on in the car for a while. Like a year. So its a lucky thing I visually noticed the right rear tire was low today while loading the 4 year old in the car to go pick up his brother and sister at school.  And it’s reeeeaaally low.  Now the hubs has a compressor, but I don’t know how to use it, and I figure it’ll hold till I get 1/4 mile down the road to the gas station that has the air pump I DO know how to use.  But the air machine requires quarters (I have to PAY for air????  since WHEN ?!)  and I scrounge through the console and the floor of the car and I dig up four of them and plunk them in the machine. Nothing happens. And I am not kidding you when i say i scrounged for those quarters.   And the machine doesn’t work ?! I am now officially late picking up the kids, the tire is visibly lower, and I am panicking.  Too far to walk home, especially with a pre-schooler, call a tow truck, take me home? NTB?

I decide to scrounge for more quarters (do you know I found about 15 of them in a jacket pocket stuffed under the fold down seats from 6 months ago??  Karma on MY side for once, 🙂  And I ask for help from the teenage boy ringing customers inside the station  He is everything you’d expect from an American high school, complete with the Butthead voice, “uuuhhhhh…..” and the girl at the deli overhears and says, “I’ll help you” and she comes out and I put more quarters in, and she smacks the machine and it makes a god-awful noise and she fills up the tire, points out the nail I ran over, asks what my recommended pressure is (I knew that!!!  32 psi!) and so she fills it up to 38 and sends me on my way.

By the time I get to get the kids, late, they are waiting in the office worried, and the principal is just ready to call me, and the 4yo is asleep, and I gotta get him out of the seat to sign them out, and go to the firestone and tell them the left rear tire, and we walk to walmart and buy the 10 year old some under-armor-y pants for track, and the 8 year old is throwing a holy fit in the store that I never buy him anything, and we walk back to the Firestone and my car is up on the rack, and the wrong tire is off.  And the guy overhears me say to the kids, “I think that’s the wrong tire” and I have to ask the four year old because now I am unsure, and I finally have to say, OOPS, sorry, I meant the other tire.  I see, I actually SEE them roll their eyes and complain about me back there, but at this point, I do not even care, because #ijustcant.  And while they start the process over with the right tire this time, the boys are climbing all over the stacks of tires in the showroom and knocking down the wiper blade display and finally, FINALLY, we are done, $66 bucks, and a 10 inure dissertation about the condition of my FRONT 2 tires, secondary rubber, blah, blah, alignment, blah blah, some hocus-pocus car salesman math to get me a great discount on 4 new tires and lifetime alignment and she is asking me to make an appointment for another $900 for all this, and the four year old needs to pee, and he says, “I am just going to go on the street” and starts walking out the door.  And now the 8 is crying that he’s hungry, and I am DONE.

20 minutes and 20 dollars later, we are pulling out of the McDonald’s drive through, all forgotten and everyone happy.

Jesus.

In the T station. Or I guess it started by WALKING to the T station, I’m in some kind of custody. Jail, kidnapped, political prisoner, something. We are in a line, walking outside, dark freezing, wet. Climbing the scaffolding to get over the tunnel, into the mezzanine of the stairwell, with the East German overseer telling us to strip and sit down. There is one other fat chick, and she doesn’t care that she is uncovered and her saggy stuff is all hanging out, and no one else is looking at her anyway, so I take my clothes off and pretend to act like her. Down the stairs, into the restroom, and men and women are together, and they assign us a stall. And god help me, I am making out with Nicholas, of all people, and then we get on the train.

We end up in an elegant underground mall, flagstone floor, white firefly lights on the trees, and Sharon is there, and Keith from high school, and about 8 other people from work who are kind of all melding together in my head. we walk up the ramp to the dock and see the Hilton Head Lighthouse, but it is a smokestack on a boat instead, and I think how beautiful it is with the moonlight and the wispy clouds and I want to take a picture, but I figure I will wait until it is in the air where the other boats won’t be in the way.

The show starts, and as the boat begins to ascend, and the music rises, and the lights focus on the ship, all of a sudden there is a flash, and a noise, impossibly reverberating, and screams and the ship is gone, having fallen to the sea gracelessly in a floating sea of debris, and people are screaming everywhere. An icon is gone.

So we go shopping. Walking on the boardwalk, elegant shops again, wandering in and out, and there is a record store/head shop and a stack of magazines with centerfolds of female guitar rockers, and Ava and I are looking through the posters and all of a sudden there is a cover with Robert Downey, Jr. on it and he is handling a plastic male toy with a coy little look in his eyes. So I snatch it away from Ava and of course that makes her interested, and she wrestles it out of my hands, looks at the cover, and says, “Ew. I just don’t get boys.” and tosses it aside and goes back to her posters.

Later, we are at a picnic table at a seaside restaurant, drinking beer and eating crab legs with the steel drum music in the background. I am at a table next to the group, not with them, and there are people I know with me,but I can’t make out who. I am on the edges of the conversation, as usual, looking at keith, WANTING. But I remember Luke, and I remember my awkwardness, and I envy how easy it is for Sharon to be friends with everyone, while I sit quietly on the sidelines wishing it could be me, but absolutely a bull in a china shop when I try.

Bodies and Vini

We are all at Vini’s house, whole family, visiting for the weekend. Overnight bags and everything. And she comes out of his room in the morning crying and saying that they broke up. And Vini is fat.  And we say our goodbyes and start on the road.

We come to a crossroads, a long view-movie style crossroads. It seems like there were 2 people fighting, biker guys, and one (the Jax-looking one, yum) ends up out maneuvering the other (fat old bearded) and stealing his bike. he tears down the road, now coming to woods, fat-guy running behind shaking his fist as Jax (now ‘we’ or ‘I’ more precisely, because the family is gone.) flying down the road, more and more trees, and finally coming to a state park, and a family on the right having a picnic in a wooden pavilion set back off the road on the right. a sparse stand of scrawny trees, leaf-less despite the season, and somehow still providing shade, covers about 50 yards between the road and the family. They are grilling hot dogs and the mom is digging through the cooler, and little Johnny and Janie are playing frisbee and riding bikes in the field.

Jax/I hop off the bike and head in the direction of the family, like we are expected at the party, and as we are jogging through the trees and over the scrawny roots laying across the path.  There are swampy areas scattered on the ground with the wet dead leaves and a grey looking foot laying sideways , a layer of slime floating on the eddies of the water.  A denim clad leg leads to a torso, and ultimately a skeletal face, half buried in the mud, with blonde hair matted in the sticks.

Cops everywhere, and the field turns out to be an organic beef farm, so everyone is antsy about how to maintain the lack-of-contamination required for organic status.  The trees need to be moved, the swamp needs to be drained, and they bring in goats to eat the trees out, and sheep to eat the grass away.  And a backhoe to dig a big hole, now with Jane Doe on a tor in the center, still on her side, with a veritable archaeological dig going on around her.

And she appears to move.  Brown, suntanned, muscled flank, rolling over in the dirt, rolling in the tor.  A man emerges, not muscled, but average, stooped, a little professor like, and the movement was because he was rolling the body. Clamor.  “What the hell are you doing in there?”  and variations of the like from the cops, and the professor tries to show them things they have missed, but they are not having any until the source of the muscle rises from under her, naked and hard, and stands in the open, challenging them wordlessly.  Another, and another, all well defined triceps and trapezius and abs. All naked, each approaching a cop with authority, backing them down, until the cops run away and they dive back in the dirt.

Jersey Shore?

We are traveling to New jersey. We are moving there, and it is clean and beautiful and suburban and we are excited. And we visit Bob as he is ordering crepes and breakfast casserole at this little bakery, and they show us our casserole in the oven and we ‘ooohhh’ and ‘aaaah’ over our bubbly sausage and cheesy eggs. There is some conversation about the crepes taking a long time to make, but this is vague.

We go home to wait and clean out the fridge for the new people, and eventually Bob and Kurt come in and they have a pack of hot dogs and a container of biscuits. No crepes, no casserole. WTF I ask them, and he said they gave the casserole to someone else and that the crepes wouldn’t be ready until tomorrow.

So we clean out the fridge, eat leftovers for breakfast, and hop in the van. Broken down blue minivan with the fading stick figure babies on the back window, but we are also watching the weather as we approach the coast, and there is more and more rain, and more and more VERY high water on railroad tracks and underpasses, and Wolf Blitzer saying to watch out; then we are in the water, racing madly with one set of wheels on the sidewalk, bumping in the potholes and hydroplaning on the left wheels, in the pouring rain trying to get to the new house.

This is not (?) a panic situation.

So the four year old decided not to weight bear this am.  I am smart enough to know that it’s probably (>77 % chance, according to up-to-date) viral.  I am educated enough to know that personality changes, change in bowel and urinary habits, headaches and painful limp is bad.  I am trying VERY hard not to freak out.

And when his daddy had to have him in the ED because even the ibuprofen wouldn’t stop the screeching, even when all we did was touch the leg, I was at work, sure he had an abscess in there. I wasn’t there to help him, not there to kiss his sweet face when they put in his IV, or at discharge when he chose a pink band aid for his IV site boo-boo.

oh, it was viral, BTW.