The Wild Card

May 8, 2013 at 10:17 am (Sweet sticky things)

There was a time when I really hated the unpredictability of life. I wanted to know what was gonna happen before it happened, and if things didn’t happen the way I thought they should, I would stress. Early on I discovered that few people would see the world the way I do, and would probably want different outcomes than I. So I learned to accept the randomness of life, and to appreciate the controlled chaos and mayhem that comes with everyday life.

I guess that’s a really roundabout way of saying, “I’m having women problems, and I love it!”…

I’ve been taking a break from Rain. I don’t want to get into a long drawn-out castigation of someone who is sick. I am having troubles with her addiction, and situation, and am in tough-love mode right now. I hate it. I miss our “thing”. Although few crimes are committed, she is my “PIC” (partner-in-crime) and I love her very much. She needs to do some things for herself, and if I have to be the strong one, so be it. I hate that she feels I’m pushing her away, but I have more loved ones than just her to take care of, and I won’t jeopardize my (or my family’s) home for anybody.

Meg? We are getting along fine. I go to her to unburden, but it’s from the chair across the room, not next to her on the bed like I used to. I haven’t taken a nap there in ages. And as to being my mistress? Yeah, that’s still a thing. (Yes!) I no longer pay her rent, but we love each other, and I still come to her for lunch almost every day. The Marshal, her longtime abusive boyfriend, is “dying of prostate cancer” and “bleeding out his ass.” She’s giving him a respectful sendoff, despite all the nasty things he’s said and done to her over the years. I will be there for her when it happens. My other women friends will just have to understand.

What I didn’t expect? A wild card in the equation. As I slept last week, I got a text. From my ex-wife: “Daughter and I are in town for a couple hours. Want company?”

I blinked awake and texted back, “Sure! Give me half-hour to shower/wake up.”

By the time I got out of the shower, there was another text. “Sorry, ran out of time. Raincheck?”

Well, shit. I’d kinda hoped to see the Old Lady, and always love the hugs and giggles of the grandkids. Alas, another day.

The next day I get another text, this time from Annie, my ex-wife, and she’s alone. “Am bored out here in the country, can I come visit? I have something to share with you.”

“Sure.” I gave her my work hours, and forgot about it. One of the things I hated most about my ex-wife was her propensity for making plans she never keeps. If she shows up, I will deal with it. Otherwise, I got work to do!

About an hour later, as I upsell a homeless tweaker on lottery scratchers, I see a familiar face. A face from thirty-five years ago. She’s a bit thicker in the middle, there are a few lines around the eyes, but she’s the same beautiful Indian princess I married a lifetime or two ago. I declare “Time out!” to no one who mattered and gave her a big hug and chaste kiss on the lips. “Howdy, stranger.”

“Hello yourself, handsome. You are looking good.” (I’d bragged to her a bit on the phone. Lost about 50 pounds since she’d last seen me.)

“You too.” I got rid of customers as quickly as possible. Fortunately, we met in a c-store, and I proposed to her in a c-store, so she’s always been cool with me taking a minute from a deep, heartfelt moment to sell some drunk some Camels and a box of Magnums that don’t fit.

“So, you got a surprise for me? You’re pregnant? Didn’t do it!”

“No, smartass. I’ve been sober almost a year, and as a reward of sorts my brother bought me tickets to Brit-Floyd. Do you know what that is?”

“We were clicking around on TV the other night and PBS was doing pledge drive. I thought they were showing the Pulse concert, but it turned out to be Brit-Floyd. I almost bought a ticket, but didn’t want to spend that kind of money on just me. Wish I had, now…”

“Well, my brother can’t go, he’s got business in Chicago, but he suggested I take you. And I kinda like that idea. Anybody else I take would be drinking, and that kinda defeats the whole purpose of the night.”

“I can keep you sober AND goofy as fuck. I got cupcake…”

“That sounds fun. Or some acid…”

“Nah, not for me. I’m just fine with my herbal enhancements. I’ll get you in a Floyd mood, with nary a drop of booze.”

We passed the time for a bit, caught up on small stuff. A gal we had a three-way with in the ’80s had died of liver failure. (Her second.) That affected us both; she was younger and drank less than either Annie or I.

Eventually she decided to head home, and I got back to work. We texted back and forth, and on Friday I got a message: “Wanna spend some time together today?”

“I have to work today, but have half-day tomorrow. If you don’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight, you could come over.”

“Are you inviting me to spend the night?”

“If ya want. It won’t be anything you haven’t seen before, but I only have a single bed. It *will* be cozy.”

“We’ll work it out. How about I come tomorrow? I’ll meet you at work and we can hang out after?”

Perfect.

We met at a Starbucks a block from the Waterfront Store. We walked a while, met Meg, who was trying to bleed some money out of the Saturday Market crowd with her less-expensive jewelry. I got hugs from random customers, which seemed to impress Annie. “Wow, you got quite the fan club down here…”

After work, we beelined to the weed clinic on Hawthorne, where I procured for her a couple bottles of glycerin tincture and an eighth of Fruity Purple Kush. “They don’t grow weed like this in the country!”

After, we headed to my house, and my room. We took a late-night MAX trip to Gateway Freddy’s for a quick dinner. By the time we got home and smoked a bowl, she was starting to fade. “I don’t stay up past eleven much anymore. Not a lot of nightlife where I stay.”

She curled up on my bed, and I curled up next to her. The next thing we know, it’s 9 AM and I have messages from Meg and Rain. I set the phone aside. Annie got out of bed, put on her shoes and ballcap, and said, “I’m gonna hit the road. You need good sleep before work. Text me when you wake up.”

And she was gone.

So… We have a date for an upcoming Tuesday. The third Tuesday in May is quickly becoming the official Pink Floyd Day in my life. Two years in a row I’ve had big Pink Floyd doin’s.

At the end of the month I will be 52 years old. 26 years ago my sister and I took Annie to see Pink Floyd in Seattle. It took half a lifetime, but Annie is finally getting me back for it.

Are my other girlfriends jealous about this?

God, I hope so.

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