Cold Shoulders

March 16, 2015 at 10:04 am (Sweet sticky things)

scaffoldSo much for Steak and Blowjob Day.

I had three days off last weekend, in which time almost all of the women in my life ignored me. Coincidence? I think not! It was a grand conspiracy to keep me from two of life’s favorite things.

Or maybe not.

I tried calling Meg after finishing laundry Friday morning. Get the responsibilities out of the way, so the fun can begin. Starting early, I was at the laundromat by 10 AM. Had the joint to myself, in more ways than one, and finished about 1 PM. I sat in my chair for a second, and awoke at 2:45. Shit, I must hurry if I want to get Meg’s errands ran by 4 PM. I called, but she didn’t answer. I tried two more times. Oh well. Maybe she fell asleep.

I’d been spending time with Stevie, mostly when her son was at school. We all got along great; her son loved when I brought Angel over for a puff and a laugh. I envied his experiencing puberty living in a downtown apartment, explaining to Stevie that country raised Jesus-freaks are just as susceptible to life’s misfortunes as street rats from the urban core, while typically growing up with a more open mind.

This was subject to debate, as was most everything with Stevie.

Saturday I was having a rough day. One of my nephews had committed suicide, and I was missing his funeral. I probably could have made it. It would have been a two-hour bus ride to a town I’ve been to maybe three times, then hoping some relative would be sober enough to come get me. Devil and angel discussed, devil won. I would hold kind thoughts toward my family, and appreciate this life I’ve been given. Every day I awaken and thank the cosmos for letting me be here. Life truly is a miracle, and I want to experience all of it. Life has been trying to get me down, it seemed. I will push back and look to the bright side.

Easier said than done when you’re surrounded by Gloomy Guses. Repeated attempts to reach Meg were ignored. I’d had a date of sorts with Rain, (“I’ll come see you Saturday,” followed by “I will come spend the day with you Sunday…”) but she was absent. She let me know she wasn’t gonna make it, in her own way.

Which left Stevie. I texted her Saturday night, “How’s it going? Want a visitor?”

“Been cleaning all day. Would love a break.”

Cool. I will visit her, then wander the downtown core and experience Saturday night like a normal person. Off work and on the prowl.

Stevie met me at the door of her building. She ducked back as an older man with a grey ponytail walked by and waved. “That’s Octopus! I have a restraining order against him.”

He was a guy she’d dated when we’d first met. He was dry-humping her leg at the counter, and she had wanted me to interject. It was none of my business. He paid her rent one month, now he has a restraining order. There is also one against another neighbor, a baldheaded dude she calls The Eggman. (Goo goo ga joob!) I’m not sure what he did, but he better not do it around her again.

I sat in Stevie’s small apartment, her son played video games. I’d brought a large root beer from the soda fountain at work. I take a couple sips and leave it behind for them to share. It sat ignored as Stevie dithered here and there, complaining about her lack of window shades.

“Horizontal shades work pretty good, I’ve had them at my house for fifteen years-”

She interrupted, “They won’t work here, you can see right in.”

“If you tilt them the right direction-”


“Well, I’ve been using the same set for a long time. I’ve checked, because I have a hot girlfriend who doesn’t always stay dressed when walking around in my room. If you turn them one way, you can see right in. If you turn them the other way, you have to get right up next to the window, and you STILL can’t really see in.”

“Are your windows street level? Because if you look upward you can see right in.”

“And you might be able to see the ceiling. To see anything they’d want to see, you’d have to stand topless on your bed. In which case, you probably should make sure your blinds are closed.”

“That won’t work. I’ve tried horizontal blinds, vertical blinds.”

“Vertical blinds-”

“What? You know something about vertical blinds I don’t as well?!?”

“I was just going to say that vertical blinds seem flimsy by comparison-”

“Vertical blinds actually work, but you can see the back wall…”

“Can we talk about something else?” I was tired. This had been going on for about twenty minutes.

“You just act like I don’t know what I’m talking about! I’ve lived on this earth for 45 years, AND I DON’T KNOW A FUCKING THING ABOUT WINDOW BLINDS.”

“Maybe I should go,” I said. I glanced at her son, who gave me a sympathetic smile while trying to stay as invisible as possible.

“Maybe you should. We’re done here.” She retreated to the corner of her kitchen, arms crossed.

“What does that mean?” I asked. Sounded like break-up talk, except we hadn’t actually “gotten together.”

“I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”

I have been dumped, and it felt like getting kicked in the nuts. This smelled of freedom, reeked of it. Did I really need another bipolar charity case in my world? I get really tired of arguing with people over every goddamn little detail, often unimportant to the core conversation. Chatting with Stevie often turns into lengthy debates over unimportant details that leave you asking, “What the fuck were we talking about to begin with?” She’s cute, but goddamn it gets tiring trying to get through an ordinary conversation with her sometimes.

“Okay,” I said. I got up to leave.

“Take your soda with you.” She wanted to make her point.

So did I. “If you don’t want it, dump it out. I’m done here too.” I picked up a cloth grocery bag I’d left there and walked out the door. Once outside, I dropped it in the hallway. She can throw it away, along with our “friendship.” Now that she doesn’t get a free buzz every time she smiles at me crosseyed, we’ll see how friendly she really is.

Will I be the next one to get the restraining order treatment? Does she have a recipe for guinea pig? Hopefully these questions won’t be answered on the next episode of As The Stomach Turns…

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