“They are just like my old ones. Nike Air Monarch, black, size 13 4E. My last pair were good for five-hundred miles, I figure.”
She was grinning.
“And don’t start singing that fucking song!”
“I would walk five-hundred miles;
And I would… aughh!”
When I find something I like, I stick with it. It’s the bane of all my girlfriends’ existence, I’m sure. My “look” changes about every ten years. My clothes, a little more often, but only because I have a bunch of the same kinds of things.
Pocket tees have been a staple since 1990. I wore sweatpants for twenty years, but switched over last year to denim jeans. I do have a pair of camouflage cargo pants for when I feel like going back to my outlaw hillbilly roots, but I wear them as laundry pants most of the time.
Bottom line, stuff wears out. It was time to refresh.
I get comfort from the damnedest places.
I’ve been living alone for a couple months, maybe three. I’ve asked Rain repeatedly to come get her stuff, while trying to resolve mixed feelings. I want her, and want it to be like it was when it was good. Realistically, that isn’t going to happen, or it would have by now. I’ve given her deadlines, which have come and gone, so today I took a little more of my freedom back.
I moved some of her stuff into the driveway.
It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in ages.
I’ve been trying to get Rain to come get her clothes/possessions for over a month now. Delays were expected, but at the first of the month, when she has money for about three days, I was hopeful. I began making plans.
My first day off was New Year’s Day. I was available, but figured she’d be busy her first day with money. (“There’s so much shopping to do.”) We made plans, but I wasn’t surprised when she left me waiting at the bus stop for an hour. We’ll try again tomorrow.
Friday, we made contact, made plans for early evening. Again, I went to meet her, to escort her to the house, but “something came up” and it was a no-go. That’s all right, I had food at home and was up for a quiet night.
Saturday? She’d texted me during the night, saying she was coming on the last bus, but by Saturday morning she hadn’t shown. By Saturday afternoon we were conversing, and she’d be on her way in a while.
By Saturday night, I was tired of waiting. One of the things we fought most about was her ability to waste my time. I make plans during specific times so I can get things done in an orderly fashion, as I assume most people do. This doesn’t work with Rain, who says “I don’t make plans, I follow God’s plan.” Well, God isn’t making any more time, and I hold mine precious. DO NOT WASTE MY TIME.
I’d spent Saturday waiting, and was done. Sunday was mine! I would watch football, sleep too much, and do what *I* wanted.
Around midnight, Rain called. “You hear that? I’m on the bus, headed your way. Have you ate yet?”
“Yes,” I said. “I’ve ate and gone to bed. Sorry I missed you.” At this point I wasn’t really sorry, though.
“What does that mean? Do you want me to turn around and go back?”
“Well, I been waiting three days for you to show up, I got tired and went to bed. Maybe we can try again tomorrow?” I said it nice as pie.
“I, uh- Fuck! Well, bye!”
I hung up on her.
We haven’t talked since. I might call her in a few days, to let her know her stuff is going into the driveway if she doesn’t come soon. After a day in the driveway? There’s a donation bin around the corner, about to get some nice, cheap ladies clothes…
I can’t decide if it’s been a good Christmas holiday, or the saddest ever. A little of both, maybe?
For the first time in years, I spent the holiday alone. Not completely, sad-old-man alone, but by myself, watching TV, going for walks. Allowing the day to run me, instead of the other way around. As I went through the day, I wondered about Rain. She moved out a month ago, and I barely hear from her. A text once a week or so, telling me she’s coming for her stuff.
But not on Xmas. Not a peep…
Rain’s departure has come with little fanfare this time. Out of respect for her (and us) I haven’t been saying much. My family and co-workers have been through our break-ups many times before. I’m sure folks say “Oh, they’re just fighting, they’ll be fine next week.” For the longest time, that was true.
But, in recovery, they talk about rock bottom. “How do you know when you have hit rock bottom?”
“You’ll know when you get there.”
I’m pretty sure I’m there.
…All over again.
Just spent my first weekend alone in a long, long time. You know, without a girlfriend to answer to, or a date to keep. Just me.
It’s weird how I’d stopped doing things for another person, things I’d loved before. Also, things that hadn’t bothered me were starting to. Rain has been leaving clothes, makeup, worldly possessions, etc… at my place for years, but she used to take them when she went away. This time I am left with a monolith of a suitcase that only fits if sitting on the edge of my bed, braced against the wall a foot away. Hey, it’s almost like sleeping with her…
It goes with the rolling suitcase at the foot of the bed. I can tolerate the five trashbags of clothes hidden around the room, or the dozens of shoes under my bed. The makeup and body lotions on the nightstand add a sense of femininity to the room, and make it seem less like a Florida motel room where old men go to drink themselves to death.
Yet, without a woman there to use those things, clog up my TV-watching with her BET shows and eat half my dinner? I get lonely as hell. So I go out for walks. And bus rides.
Long bus rides.
Rain has been living with me for a couple years, off and on. It’s a cozy arrangement. I have a bedroom that’s about 12×15, in which we share a single bed, and a TV slightly larger than that. That we haven’t killed each other is a testament to ongoing love, because I’m sure we’ve both been tempted a couple times. Despite rough spots, I’ve really enjoyed having her with me.
But, it’s time for space. When the winter shelters open downtown, she volunteers and stays there. We’d been planning her departure for yesterday, opening day, but because of cold weather the shelter opened last week. Rain has been volunteering, and staying with me at night. Yet she held to schedule, and night before last, when I got home from work, she was in full-on packing mode.
My bed was piled four-feet-high solid with clothes. How the fuck did she get all those clothes condensed into that tiny roller suitcase? No wonder the seams had broken. The new suitcase was a collapsible jobber, big enough to hide me or her inside. (“Road trip! You ride in the bag…”) She stuffed four smaller bags inside the big one. Eventually she cleared the bed off, and I fell to sleep. It was about 6 AM.
I awoke about 10 AM. She was still up, but fading. She’s always asking, “Aren’t you sick of me and all this crap of mine in your room?” Even on the rare occasion her stuff does bug me, I keep quiet. It’s like that snoring that bugs you to death. You miss it so bad when it goes away you can’t sleep, because you miss her so much…
I rolled out of bed, put my feet on top of her suitcase next to the bed, looked her in the eye, and said, “Okay, THIS is too much!” I said it with a smile, but she wasn’t looking.
“It’ll be gone tonight. I’M LOADING IT TO LEAVE, REMEMBER?”
Ooh, testy. I backed off. I loaded up and left for work. I’m guessing my room will be a lot roomier after midnight.
About 8 PM, I got a call from Rain. “How you doing, babe? Did you get it moved?”
“Well…” she said. “I was wondering if I could stay one more night? I have to rethink my packing. I can’t drag this thing. It’s too big!”
“Of course,” I said. I wasn’t in a hurry to sleep alone. “It’s like that old Johnny Cash song, where he built a Cadillac in his living room? ‘That’s cool, but how you gonna get it out of your house?'”
About ten minutes to midnight, she showed at work. We met at the bus stop, and went home just like normal.
Now I have this suitcase the size of a Cadillac. We all share a room in Felony Flats. And at the moment it’s sleeping with my girlfriend…
I roll in after midnight, usually closer to 1 AM. Come home, watch a rerun of the 11 o’clock news, eat something, and crash. Repeat 4-5 times a week.
Then I got a girlfriend.
I work a lot, pay a lot for cable/internet, and feel as though it should be used, so I encourage Rain to play with the cable all she wants. (Pay-per-view is password protected, so I don’t have to worry.) She has all her daytime shows, BET, and she’s a crime/murder mystery fan, so the Discovery ID channel is on when the others aren’t. Not much of it bugs me, and I have internet to keep me amused if I’m not interested.
Night before last, she was knee-deep in some program. I had plans! (See previous post about AHS: Freakshow and Boardwalk Empire.) But I know to choose my battles, and there was half a Dutch-apple pie hidden in the bottom of the fridge, so I let her watch her show. Mine will be there later.Just as I put the empty tin away and returned to my room, POP! ALL the power went out in the neighborhood. Which means… No lights, TV, computer, radio. Oh, I have a handful of keychain flashlights, and we poked around like miners for a few minutes, then decided to give up and sleep it off.
A funny thing happened as we laid there. (No, not that, though it would probably look funny to young people…) It was like we were twelve again, and on a sleepover, or at summer camp. Normally one of us passes out and the other crawls into bed whenever. We had to lay there and pillow-talk like a regular couple. I loved it; Rain probably would have had more fun if she could have seen the end of her show and had fifteen minutes prep time.
About 7 AM, the lights came back on. I’d shut a lot of things off, but the TV wasn’t one of them. Fucking Pat Robertson was on the channel the TV was on. I’m not particularly superstitious, but when his is the first face I see in the morning? I pray for a black cat. I switched to the news, (“It’s cold outside! Power outage!”) and clicked back off. That isn’t news.
I’ve had two days of relative sloth, now it’s time to make the doughnuts. I will gently nudge Rain as I depart, leaving BET kinda loud on the TV. She’ll be up by nightfall that way, and hopefully watch all her shows before I get home.
Because if the power goes out again, I’ve thought of a couple things to pass the time…
Today has been strange.I didn’t get up until 1 PM, and then only to return to bed for a nap. About 3 PM, I went to the Kwik-E-Mart for pop and a coffee for Rain. She was still sleeping when I got home.
It’s winter wonderland outside. There has been a bit of freezing rain, and since I have nothing I really need to do?
Screw it, I’m staying home and watching TV.
First up, last episode of season four of Boardwalk Empire. I got Rain hooked, so now we’re finishing it off. We saw one of the best fistfights ever, and watching Rain get fired up over the action left me speechless. I wouldn’t want to fight her if she really wanted to hurt me.
Hurt hasn’t been a problem today, thanks to our favorite medicines. Rain was sticking close to bed. She had an errand to run, but it took her until 7 PM to get dressed. But who am I to holler? I went to the store in basically pajamas and an overcoat.
We spent the past three hours watching American Horror Story: Freakshow. Art East saw it and said it was a TV show custom made for me, right down to the killer clown. When I saw Kathy Bates as a Bearded Lady, I was intrigued. When I saw Michael Chiklis was involved, I was more so. Then Angela Bassett came on-screen, with her accessory breast, “proper lady parts, and a ding-a-ling!” I was in love. That odd couple remind me of Rain and I so much it’s almost uncomfortable. (Except Rain only has two boobies, and her only ding-a-ling is me.) We have the new episode cued for when she gets home. She’ll hopefully return with money and party favors, and we will get scared witless some more.
Ice and snow? It’s nice to see you today. Gives me an excuse to lay around watching TV with my beautiful babe, not doing a goddamn thing.
It’s almost 8 PM and I am restless. This is good. The last thing I want to do is get comfortable being lazy.
I’m going for a long walk first thing in the morning.
…And their sons.
This one’s going to the dogs.
People ask how I tolerate the assholes at work? The mouthy tough-guys who run up to you like they’re going to hit you? If they can get you to flinch, they think they can bully you. I stand steely-eyed and ask, “What’s your point?”
See, if you walk a third-of-a-mile in my shoes, you get a lot of practice with sons of bitches giving you a bunch of attitude…