“Who’s The Old Guy You Keep Talking To?”

May 31, 2013 at 11:11 am (Cosmic Encounters, Sweet sticky things)

Frog Umbre;llaAll day long I inwardly hoped, “Christ, I hope I don’t die on my birthday.” There was a time this could have been a legitimate concern. Now I’m just old and boring. Well, maybe not. I managed to creep Weird Steven out, and that’s not easy to do. More on that later.

All is well. It was a grand day.

Everyone asked if I was taking my birthday off from work. I’m 52. What for? A trip to Chucky Cheese? If I still drank I’d already be drunk, so that’s no excuse. I had nothing much better to do, (planned) and mortgage payments are much easier to make when you don’t slough off. Might as well spend a boring Thursday getting paid for it.

My phone buzzed about 10 AM. It was Annie. “Taking grandkids to Fun Center. Want to go?”

“I have to work.”

“Can I see you before? G-Ma needs nerve medicine…”

Ah green bud. Enabling patience in grandmothers for as long as time has gone on. We made plans to meet near an herb cafe.

The bus pulled up, and mayhem ensued. Hugs from babies, babes, moms of babes and babies. We exchanged howdies, I disappeared for a few minutes and returned with Grandma’s little helper. We bought kid-snacks at 7-Eleven and moved on.

I still had to work, so we migrated downtown. Boarding the bus with kids ages five and one takes three hands apiece, so I grabbed granddaughter, the one-year-old, and boarded the bus. The driver recognized me, laughing at the sight of me carrying a baby. A regular customer was sitting in the handicapped seats up front. She shouted, “I didn’t know you had kids! How old are they?”

“Thirty-four!” I hollered as I pointed grandson to the back of the bus. His smuggled Slurpee could be consumed out-of-sight back there. Already teaching the kids how to drink on the sly. Better they learn it from a pro, I guess.

“Sorry I outed your age,” I told my daughter. She shrugged and smiled. The customer wouldn’t stop staring at us. All of a sudden I am interesting.

We stopped at the Upscale Mall. I took Grandson and we cruised the escalators while the women took the stroller up the elevator. On the upper level, Grandson kept pointing down, “Can we go there? Can we go there?”

Yes, we can. BUT, every time he called me Grandpa, I turned to look to see who he was talking to.

Who is this old man you are addressing?

Oh yeah. Duh.

There were hugs and kisses as we parted ways. It had occurred to me early in the visit that Annie had forgotten it was my birthday. Oh how I love working her guilt-nerve…

They left me at work a puddling-up mess. The lovely woman who waited patiently as we hugged reminded me of an office version of Rain. “There’s always time for grandbabies, hon.” Bless you. I didn’t lose it in front of the new kid at work, but it was close.

Too many chiefs and not enough Indians, daddy used to say. Apropos quote today! Three people working, one customer browses. I got volunteered to do bank duty. Getting paid to go for a walk is one of my favorite things; I was happy to oblige.

Throughout the day I got updates from loved ones. I heard twice from an estranged sister. I’ve broken a little bit, and saved her phone number. If nothing else, I’ll know it’s her calling. Rain has been borrowing people’s phones to call me, so I won’t answer by accident at least. Still not sure I’m ready to open that can of worms.

Lucy dropped by the store to say hi and cull gossip. I gave her the wi-fi password to the office next to the store, and you’d think I’d given her top-secret CIA clearance. “Ooh! I won’t get in trouble for piracy, will I?” I reassured her, but she hurriedly checked her email anyway, just in case.

I expected to see Rain, but wasn’t surprised that she didn’t show. She’d showed up the day before, on my one day off, and we caught up on our recent lack of privacy. I’m usually the one pestering her for lovin’; it was a nice switch-up. It had been just as long for me, honey bunny…

Meg was sweet, calling and singing me a tipsy rendition of “Happy Birthday” Marilyn Monroe style. We met for lunch and I got some sweet kisses. She wanted to give me a new earring, but I had to politely decline. “Rain already has eyes on my pinky ring. It’s a good thing it doesn’t fit her. And that earring you gave me last year? Well, that’s a pretty fuckin’ special earring and I may never stop wearing it. You’d have to fuck up pretty good to get me to stop wearing it. I’m out of places to wear jewelry. So, how about a big messy kiss and hug and we call it good this year?”

“Yes to hugs and kisses. I’m still giving you something though…”

Sigh. If you must…

The work night finished smoothly. Weird Steven stopped by on his way to work the Waterfront Store and while we were talking, a kid bought Libigrow, an over-the-counter “male enhancement”. We pondered why this apparently strapping young lad would need any help?

“Marketing. Who is the ad genius who got a guy named Jimmy Johnson to sponsor a boner pill?”

“Hah! Well, I’m holding out on supplements as long as possible. As long as it still works, I’m using it!”

Weird Steven smiled. “Yeah, but that day is getting closer. Why, just today in fact…”

“Yeah yeah.” I gave him a lecherous grin. “But… Do you realize kids born on this date will be legal on my 70th birthday? I’ll be like that old dude on Family Guy…”

“Eww!… That’s fuckin’ creepy! I’m outta here!” Weird Steven raced out of the store, presumably to give his brain a pre-work shower.

Me? I’m just keepin’ on keepin’ on, like the Creepy Uncle Warbucks I am…


1 Comment

  1. Jeff said,

    Happy Birthday…You Old Fart!
    I just turned 61 on the 27th …Rock On (Grand Pa!)

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