Screwball part 5
The long road home…
The road is a tricky thing, in several ways it feels alive. Headed down to Eugene it felt like the road stretched out before me with no end in sight, on the way home it literally was shoving us back to home base. The drive was great. We spent two hours talking nonsense, trivia and excitement. I wouldn’t have guessed that I would be bringing her back with me but there it was.
I had left a MySpace comment that I was bringing home a surprise. Jen and Travis, God love them, enjoy busting my balls and since I didn’t give them as much as about the situation as I should have their comment back to my mood was, “what you bringing back an STD?” It was a joke…
Still Ariel saw the comment as she looked over my shoulder and gave me a look with those grey eyes that told me she was even more nervous now. I explained the logic my two best friends shared and it settled her a bit. What we wanted was a way to get them back. So we both decided that as we got closer to Portland we’d call them, see what they were up to and where and then just drop right in and see what happened.
A little after 5pm we got to our destination. Neither Jen nor Travis answered their phones when we called, decided to go to my place then. We had just started to get settle when I hear Jen and Travis outside and settling into the lawn chairs. I ask Ariel to go hide in my room for a second.
Jen and Travis had been at the zoo all day with Anni, Jen’s daughter, and Travis’ nieces. They both looked dog tired but still managed to smile when they saw I was back. Course the first thing that Travis says is, “Hey beaner, so you get a form of STD over there?”
It gets a chuckle out of all of us, “Seriously, what’d you bring back from Eugene?” Jen asks. I smile and tell them to give me a moment and go to get Ariel.
I come back with her on my arm and they almost choke on their tongues. The look on their faces is going to be one that I cherish my whole life. They knew when I left that this was a married woman and they both had reservations and now she’s with me away from her husband. You have to remember ‘guy world/girl world’ in guy world my accomplishment deserves at LEAST a high five. In girl world there’s disgust, shame, anger and regret. Those aren’t any of the vibes I got from Jen, they actually looked like they got hit in the gut when they saw her walk through the door and join them outside.
Jen and Travis are my compass. They are all I have left in the sense of friends or family. I’ve burned a thousand bridges by either choice or by fate. The people that I had known for years in my inner circle? All my Ex-wife’s people. Not only would I never go to them, they wouldn’t want me around. So how they feel about the person that I’m with, pivotal because if I can’t hang out with my friends well then, maybe it’s not the best fit in the world.
First order of business is we need MORE BEER, so I go on a beer run alone. Thought process is that if she can survive a barrage from those two then she’s strong and if she can win them over it’s a plus. Honestly, I was sick of being in the car, I wanted to get in and get out of the store as quickly as humanly possible. I could only do that alone.
The evening went well. Jen and Travis didn’t disappointment me with the embarrassing conversation about the stuff I’ve done in the past to make myself look like a fool. We all laughed. Then they asked her pointed questions about her intentions, her thoughts, aspirations, stuff like that.
They finally call it a night at about eight since they have Anni with them and they want to make sure she gets to bed on time. Everyone says good night and we go our separate ways.
Then Jen and Travis blew up my phone. Not only did they like her, they LOVED her. They wanted her to stay, they wanted me to do the very best that I could to keep her, period. They weren’t going to let me let her get away. It’s not how it would go down, at least not in their minds. It was probably a good forty minutes of back and forth with them about how they thought I should handle it and what they saw when I was with her.
Friends are wonderful in that they’re honest with you no matter what. Jen and Travis have really seen me at my worst. They’ve seen glimpses of who I can be when I’m happy, it happens occasionally but not consistently. They kept saying that with her I looked totally and completely happy and at peace. They kept saying that the looks she gave me were more than just passing fancy.
It boosted my spirits to hear them say that. To know that my friends saw what I saw and felt how I felt. They weren’t just telling me she was okay, they were telling me she was phenomenal. Why wouldn’t they when I think she definitely is?
Playing house has its ups and downs. When we got into town I reminded her to call Kevin so that he wouldn’t worry. It was a short call. At the end of the night I told her to call him again, make sure to wish him goodnight, still a short call.
I take all of this in and say nothing. Like I said, I can’t push or pull, I can’t put out ultimatums. The fastest way to make a miracle disappear from your life is asking why it’s in your life in the first place. I’m not that dumb, I’m not going to ask the whys, I’m just going to enjoy the ride. I’m going to show her how much I care. It’s all I can do.
The following day we go over to Jen and Travis’ for drinks and conversation and things get very interesting.
Now you guys know Jen and Travis. These two speak their mind in a fashion that many people wouldn’t be able to get away from. They’ll sit you down, tell you the worst thing in the world about yourself but in a way that once you think about it you’ll be thanking them later. When I had my moment of clarity that led to me leaving the situation I was in, they had spent some time getting me to that point. They had shown me the mile markers that I had passed during my time with her that told me repeatedly, Get off the road moron!
So Travis and Jen have been given the entire story at this time. By the time I left on Friday Jen was worried about me and of course Travis was tickled pink, here’s his large Latino shy friend, going out to score with a recently married woman. They were taken aback that I brought her with me, although proud, and embarrassed by their little STD comment. By the time the next day rolled around they had a course of action, they wanted her and me to stay together.
Jen, “Gabe, we can see who you really are when you’re around her. You’re our Gabe! Silly, funny, no need to put on a show, you’re just you!”
Travis, “Brother, I’ll tell you the same thing that my granddaddy told me when I told him about Jen: Knock her up and knock him out. He says that’s how he got his woman.”
So I’m sitting there with three people I admire and suddenly Travis looks at me and says, “Let’s take a walk.”
Ariel looks at me with her grey eyes and they ask me what’s going on.
“He can’t help you honey. He and Travis are going to have guy talk while you and I talk girl talk.”
Life is a comedy, I swear it is. I’ve found someone who so completely enjoys the same bloody things that I enjoy and she’s married. Recently married no less, figures. Travis and Jen don’t see that as a problem, only an obstacle that must be over come.
Travis’ conversation with me is how it usually is, part bullshitting, part truth, part teasing and part love, mix it all together and you have two guys that look at each other almost as family trying their best to make sure the other is getting what they need in life.
“Brother, I’m not going to lie to you, when Jen told me what you were doing in Eugene I had my doubts and when she showed up here but seeing you with her we can tell you two are happy. I don’t know what’s going on or whatever, but I know a good match when I see one and you two need to be together. We don’t want you to say anything to her. We want you to be who you are with whomever you end up with and this girl makes you the happiest I’ve ever seen you. You can’t let her go man, you guys have a real connection.”
While I’m getting the brother speech from Travis, Ariel’s getting the twenty questions from Jen.
I have to admit that I was curious as to how twenty questions could be played with a woman that’s already spoken for. I mean technically we can’t hold any expectations.
For the record this is fictionalized.
Jen: “So how ya doing?”
Ariel: Giggle, “Okay I guess.”
“What are your intentions toward our Gabe?”
“Well I’ve always had a thing for him and I called to see if he did too and now here we are and I love him.”
“You love him? But you’re married.”
“I know, it’s his fault. I called a bunch of times during the last year and if he had only picked up the phone this would be a different situation.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that I love him and I would have left whoever I was with if he had only asked.”
You get the gist. I’ll see if Ariel wants to do an entry.
For the moment, this is all you get.
To be continued.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Screwball part 5