Friday, August 15, 2008

Screwball Part 6 (Week's highlights)

Time flies when things are going right for you, this week has been the prime example of it. It’s been eight days since my trek down to Eugene and in those eight days it feels like I’ve tried to fit a lifetime into it, I’ve loved it. I can’t say it’s been out of a storybook since I don’t know any fairy tales where the maiden fair is married to some other guy while the knight is trying to win her over (Arthur not withstanding).

We’ve accomplished several things together. I know they might sound mundane to the readers but to me they’ve been shining pieces of jewelry that take my breath away. As a bachelor I don’t do much shopping for food. Honestly I don’t eat at home. Most of the time when I’m at work I eat lunch and then skip dinner all together, I don’t feel like dealing with it. My fridge was filled with drinks, alcohol and snacks but nothing really put together for an adult that needs a meal. So the first order of business at the beginning of the week was to go shopping for fixings.

When I was married I did all the shopping. I’d be sent to the store with a list of goodies that were wanted by all, but not for any type of meal plan. With Ariel it’s completely different. She takes the helm and starts putting stuff in the shopping cart for food for the week. Ahi steaks, Chicken breast and Steaks are the choices, eggs, potatoes, vegetables that include mushrooms (Which I, until recently, would never choose to dine upon). Even with the buying of food, she’s reluctant to get anything for herself. So I make sure to pick things up that I know she’ll eat for junk food: Double stuff Oreos, Chips, soft drinks and iced tea.

Putting food in the fridge is like playing Tetris, we actually have so much that we have to move the drinks already in the fridge around to get it all in. The girl can cook.

First night she was with me, in Portland, she made Steak, Baked potato and that delicious pasta from the Friday before again. Yea, it was yummy.

Other things that she’s done that I’m not accustomed to:

Each day she’s been with me she’s gotten up with me, made breakfast and packed me a lunch. Try to understand that while for some that’s the norm, for me it’s something that I can’t say that I got and if I did, there was much complaining to be had.

We fall into a routine when it comes to dinner. She loves to cook and does it well; I take on the job of cleaning the kitchen for her before she cooks and making sure that the dishes get done. It works well, she keeps me company while I’m cleaning and I snack on her ingredients while she cooks. It doesn’t feel odd, it doesn’t feel like something new, it just feels…right.

We stay up late into the night talking about nothing and everything that comes to mind, we’re built the same way in that we enjoy constant contact with the other person. Holding hands, playing footsie, whatever we’re able to, we do. Our conversations touch on our pasts, our hopes for the future, our regrets, our challenges, joys, loves, quirks and whatever other subject we can think of. None of if sounds rehearsed; neither of us is unwilling to answer a question posed. No secrets.

Thursday we decided to do a couples night. It sounded fun. I invited Jen and Travis over to eat with us. Ariel and I would provide the food and the drinks. First time we get to host something and we’re excited about it.

The night before we go out shopping for ingredients, I leave the dinner plan to her, she’s cooking and I’m just assisting. She decided to make Chiles Reyenos, stuffed peppers. It’s a recipe that’s difficult and it’s also a family recipe. She’s got all kinds of fears about making it but she’s also very adept at doing it. The way I understand it, you go out and get some nice big peppers that you feel have the space inside of them to stuff with ground beef and other fixings, you then fry the pepper and serve. Now just so you understand this is a very simplistic way of telling what to do, her instructions were about three pages long.

She spent hours in the kitchen last night. We started at about six o’clock and finally were able to sit down and eat after nine. She made home made nacho chips, home made Guacamole, and home made pico de gallo for appetizers. They were greeted with hungry stomachs and grateful mouths.

For most of the time she’s in the kitchen I’m around her. I help her do the little things that she can’t get to fast enough; I don’t mind it a bit. The dinner gets served and it’s the tastiest that dish has ever tasted. Jen and Travis eat enough to split as do I.

We find ourselves being comfortable with things that we aren’t comfortable doing in front of others. It’s another thing we have in common and something that we don’t over look. The best times are the times when we have the music playing and we’re sitting talking about nothing to each other and loving it.

Travis and I were sitting outside at one point, I needed that fix, and you know how it is. I’m sweating because of course we pick one of the hottest days of the week to prepare this meal and I have no A/C to speak of. My shirt is sticking to me, I can feel the beads of sweat just running down my cheeks but I’m happy because I know that I’m sweating cause I’m helping prepare a meal for my friends.

He’s sitting across from me in one of the lawn chairs. His Yankees hat low on his head, giving his eye shade. If you look at him fast enough, he almost seems like a gunslinger out of place and time; you can picture the brim of his hat, smell the hot smell of the Earth’s dirt and see that those eyes are tracking their next target who is a block away.

He takes a drag of his cigarette, “Can I ask you something, man to man?”

“Of course.”

Exhale. “I’ve been in your shoes before man. I’ve had to try and pick myself out of the rubble of my life. In a lot of ways, believe it or not, I look at you and I see myself. I know that you lead with your heart and I know that it’s hard to not have someone to come home to. Which is when we just start picking up chicks at random. What I want to know is, is this just some girl or is she your Jen?”

That’s a deep question. Asking me if Ariel is my Jen holds all KINDS of implications that he and I completely understand but we wouldn’t be able to express them to anyone else. I’ve seen the man go through hell and back for the woman that he loves and has loved for a long time. He waited for her, he’s helped her in whatever she needed, he loves her unconditionally.

“She’s not some girl Travis. I’m beginning to feel that she really is my Jen.” Inhale.

He takes a look at me, gauging my honesty in this situation. Whatever he sees satisfies him and he nods his head, “Then whatever you need, let me know I’m there for you.”

Our little circle has grown by one but it doesn’t feel odd. It doesn’t feel forced, it feels fun and normal.

Life continues to move forward, whether you’re ready or not, right now I’m definitely ready for whatever the future’s going to look like. I’m just hoping that I’m planning a future for two…

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pardon the Interruption... part 1

I’m going to say this once, for the cheap seats in the back, so that we’re all on the same page.

When I started this latest little adventure I honestly didn’t think I would be gaining or losing anything. You guys have to realize that I’ve been to rock bottom and I do mean ROCK bottom not too long ago. It’s not a part of me that’s something I’m going to share but I will tell you that if it wasn’t for Travis and Jen, I would’ve done something pretty silly.

I have spent the last several months feeling like I’m worthless, feeling like nothing I would do in my life would amount to much of anything.

I’m a caregiver. It’s what I do, I love knowing that there’s someone that I can help. It’s when I feel like I’m accomplishing the most in my life. That’s why I counsel people through tough situations, that’s why I share my life with the World Wide Web, so that if someone is going through something similar then they’ll have the decisions of someone else to look at and gauge what they want to do.

I’m transparent on purpose. If you leave nothing to the imagination then the world will k now who you are at first sight.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not scared in this situation okay? To have you sit there and make you believe that this is all just status quo for me would be unfair. I spend each and every single moment I’m getting with Ariel like it’s my last. Why? Because shit like this just doesn’t happen often and usually it’s ends in some sad way. I don’t know what my ending is going to be, I know I love what’s going on.

You know why? I’ll explain it to you because I know that I’m going over stuff a bit slower than normal, for me it’s trying to get it all down and remember it as best as I can, the details guys, the details.

I was married for close to six years and I can count on both hands the times that my wife got up with me when I went to work. I can count on one hand the times that she made me breakfast or dinner. And I can count how many times she told me she was going to cook without cracking the number fifty.

I know what some of you are thinking, “People put their best foot forward.”

This is a possibility but then I look in her eyes, and I know what I see. If you guys are unsure of my ability to tell the truth, and I totally understand that thought process, I turn to Jen and Travis.

I turned to Jen and Travis immediately when things got a little more, interesting. I’ve turned to them to see what they think, what they feel and how they perceive the situation. I’m not reading this wrong, we’re all getting the same vibe. If it was only two of us, there would be skeptics and if it was only me, then I’d be screwed.

If you’ve ever felt a connection with someone. A connection so strong that just walking into the room with them you know how they feel or that they’ve been thinking about you. A connection that just takes ahold of your wrist, whips you around the room and then kisses you like a passionate lover, you know what I mean.

I HAVE to follow this through. I’ve read the comments and I knew that what I’m doing was going to cause some head shaking and some people deciding not to read anymore. I’m sorry for that because I do care about what you guys think, you’re my audience. By that same token, you’re my audience and I have to be open and honest with you about this shit.

I am in love with her, hard. I wish I could play the guarded role and be all cool and shit, act like I don’t care. But I do and I know it and it shows. Co-workers have commented on a change in me, my friends have pulled me aside and told me that they’ve never seen me this happy. Never.

I hope that those who are thinking about leaving, don’t go away thinking that I’m some monster. I’m just a guy. I found someone who completes me. (Fucking Jerry Maguire) I’m going to be in this until the end, I’ve already made myself that promise. I don’t know if the end is a month from now, a year from now or until my dying breath. I don’t know but I want to find out. I want to live this life to the fullest and when I’m with Ariel I have that feeling.

Stay tuned guys if you want to. I promise to keep talking if you keep listening.
The Shaman.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Screwball part 5

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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Screwball Part 4

Sharing emotions is hard, anyone who’s ever wanted to share the love they feel for someone else can testify to it. You look at some of the great loves in history and it’s a funny thing because it takes time for it to be revealed but once two people know the truth it burns hot and brightly like a supernova.

Sitting across from Ariel I felt that hot supernova effect for the first time myself. It wasn’t something that was worked on, it wasn’t something that felt contrived, it just was. It seared my nerve endings in a way that’s inexpressible but I knew at that moment that this wasn’t just some momentary thing but a feeling that was lasting and that would follow me to the end of my days.

How do you woo someone you’ve lost the right to though? Seriously, looking at the situation, how exactly do you say, “Yes, I know it, you’re the one for me and only you!” when they can’t say the same in the situation? We’d look at each other and smile this smile that said everything, “I can’t believe that you’re here, with me and that you think I have enough value to love.”

You guys remember that one scene in the Lion King where Simba meets Nala after they’re all grown up and they both realize that they love each other? They’re playful but bashful, both unsure of what to do next, yea that was us. Circling around each other unsure of what to say, how to hold each other, if we had the right to.

The first kiss was like fireworks. It was electric and bombastic. We’d both been waiting for who knows how long to kiss and there it was and it was as sweet as I always thought it would be. It tasted like a lazy Sunday afternoon with the one you love as you read the funnies to each other.

The weekend was a whirlwind guys. I remember each moment and by the same token could never do those moments any justice on paper. I know that I felt love, true genuine love, for the first time in a long time. I know that it felt more kinetic, electric and fated. I didn’t feel this way when my wife and I were courting. It’s a real love but one that burns you enough to let you know that it’s real.

We watched some movies, Across the Universe was WAY better than I expected it to be and we ended up singing songs from it to each other. I know that sounds REAL cheesy but we both love music, can’t live without it, so it just felt right. Neither of us was embarrassed in any way while we did it, cause it felt like a good way to exchange the feelings we had going.

We talked about our lives after our last encounter with each other. How she had gone to another job that hadn’t appreciated her, how I had moved on to a county job and started figuring out that I wasn’t ever going to be happy again.

Here’s a tidbit you, faithful reader, didn’t know, Ariel figured out I was unhappy in my marriage long before I did. She’d listen to my stories and the things that I did and she knew that I wasn’t happy, probably not appreciated and taken for granted. She could read the dedication that I gave the relationship I was in but understood that it was a dedication that I thought was important, just that it wasn’t right.

She told me little things like when I would give her a ride home every night, she wanted to reach out and hold my hand, tell me everything was alright and show me that someone cared and knew my worth. How she knew that I had this one song play every time she got into the car specifically because she had mentioned once in passing how she loved it and didn’t hear it often anymore. (My Own Worst Enemy by Lit) The way that when she brought food to the office she always made sure she saved me some so I could enjoy it.

Little things, it seems to be the best way to describe us. We remember the things that most would take for granted. Like I remembered her favorite drink was Dr. Pepper and that Cheetos were her munchie of choice. She remembered how I used to give her extra breaks just so I could talk to her for a little bit (yes folks, abuse of power).

It’s remembering those little things that got us comfortable with each other again. That night is something that I’m always going to remember because to me, it’s the start of a new chapter for me, the start of something fresh and hopefully real and long term.

So the following day we went to Empire. It’s a Chinese buffet that had pretty good food. Now I’m one of those old school fools who really only enjoys the stuff that he knows well and has a hard time trying something completely new. Ariel enjoys Sushi. I know that’s it’s supposed to be this great thing but honestly, I have issues with putting raw fish in my mouth. If we were supposed to eat crap raw, we wouldn’t have been given fire.

In any event we go and this place has decent food. It’s not to die for but it’s not really that bad either. We get there and she tells me to get my food.

“Why don’t we go up together?”

“Cause I always wait to go after Kevin gets his food.”

Yea, not going to fly with me. So we’re both looking at the buffet seeing what’s what. They have some pork ribs, pot stickers and the like. So I grab what I would usually eat and she comes back with Sushi on her plate.

So we’re sitting across from each other and doing the stupid smiles thing and she nudges a piece of Sushi my way. “Try it.”

You know how many times I’ve been asked to try Sushi? So many times I’ve gone out with friends and I’ve never tried it, I’ve just flat refused to even consider it. All she has to do is look at me once and ask and I try it without a second thought. I have to admit that it’s not bad. She had me try five different types and explained each one too me. (I can’t remember it all.. LOL)

We eat and talk some more and I excuse myself to use the bathroom. I’m not gone five minutes but I come back to the table and the bill’s already paid and she’s no where to be seen.


Fuckity fuck fuck.

She paid and left. I know she did. I was sitting there being all retarded and she was just thinking how she could get away from the weirdo. I ask the server if he’s seen her and he shakes his head.

Yes folks I had a very mild panic attack. I found her and now I lost her. Figures, good job Shaman, way to…

Then she walks out of the ladies bathroom takes one look at my face and giggles, “Silly, you thought I left didn’t you?”

Reads me like a flipping book.

The rest of the day goes the same. There’s all kinds of chemistry between us, all of it is good and just seems to get better. We talk about likes and dislikes and the similarities keep piling up.

Later that night we start talking about health. I’ve been prone to cysts on my back. I’m a diabetic and it seems that it’s just what happens. One of the spots that I had healed weird and now there’s a lump on the top of it. She’s asking about all of the scars and looks at that one and get concerned. She wants me to go get it checked out.

I’m an instigator, “Why?”

She gets quiet, chews on her bottom lip before she says, “Because I want you around for a while.”

Then we talk about her health and I get the chance to be worried.

Hasn’t had a women’s health exam in over two years, has a couple of swollen lymph nodes behind one ear, retaining lots of water and some depression. I’m no where near thrilled that she hasn’t taken care of herself. It comes down to money, or lack of it. So I get a brainstorm.

“Listen. I work for a county clinic. Talk with Kevin, I’m willing to take you down with me for a couple of weeks when you both agree to it, no strings. I can schedule you appointments for a WHE, a regular doc visit and a follow up just to make sure there’s nothing that pops out at them.”

Now when I offer this to her I don’t mean now. I’m thinking in another month or so when they’ve mulled it over I’ll get the okay, which is fine. No she picks up the phone then and there, “Hey, it’s me. Listen the Shaman is giving me the opportunity to get some doctor’s visits done. You know that I need to be seen and such for my medical stuff. I’d be gone two weeks.”

“See you later.” Is what I hear from him.


Can I just interject for a moment and tell you that if my woman, whom I just married, told me she wanted to leave for two weeks with a guy that she’s already told me she loves, I’d throw a fit? Yea, a huge two year old fit complete with screaming, crying and kicking but this guy just takes it in stride and after a two minute conversation he’s ready to hang up with her. Lolwut?

So my plans, as they were, change drastically. I’m coming home with a guest. She’s staying for two weeks and we leave the next day.

In my mind, this is what I expected Sunday to look like. I check out of my room and drive to her house, drop her off and give them time together. Let them say what they need to say to each other, talk like lovers do or whatever. I mean, I’m the third wheel in this situation, to ask for more would be stupid.

It went nothing like that. We did leave my room and head over there but I think that how I picture things is a little too romantic. He leaves because he has to get the marriage certificate for her to get a new ID, which takes him about an hour or so due to distance. He gets back and I think, okay now he’ll want to spend time with her, it’s only right and I’ll totally understand, go for a walk or something.

Not even a moment. Literally what happens is that the other roommates put in a Jet Li import and start watching, he sits right in the midst of them. He doesn’t ever look up, he doesn’t ever touch her, give her a kiss, nothing, he’s in his own world. I give him another hour or so, thinking it’ll get better but it doesn’t at all. WTF? Finally at three I ask her if she’s ready and she is, she’s packed for two weeks, bringing some movies to watch and all the other stuff she feels she’ll need. We get ready to leave and she has to call his name a couple of times to get his attention to let him know she’s leaving. He doesn’t even get up.

This was when I was writing Part 3, so in a round about way we’ve caught up to my earlier to be continued.

The good byes having been said, we head out and start a new adventure.

To be continued, come on, you know it was bound to happen.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Screwball Part 3

Curveball City

It’s Sunday morning for those of you who would like to know when this is being written. I’ve spent the weekend with Ariel and things aren’t clearer, in a way. In another way they’re the clearest they’ve been in a long time.

The drive up was something interesting. I live in Oregon but haven’t explored much of it. I know that farmland takes up a big chunk of the state itself. Since I’m a city boy, I never felt the desire to learn anything about the state. Salem is the state capital and it’s about an hour away from Portland, Eugene is an hour away from Salem, putting me on the road for about 2 plus hours for this little trip. Funny how the mind works though because during the time on the road I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, it never did.

Instead Ariel kept me company during the trip. I got out of work an hour earlier than usual, ran some errands and then put myself on the road to see her as soon as possible. Sadly it was a Friday night right during rush hour, so while it felt like at one point I was ahead of the pack, I was swallowed by it shortly afterward.

Things I noticed on the road about Oregon, there’s a lot of mountains, there’s a lot of farmland, trucks are forced to go 55mph, so getting behind one will do absolutely nothing but slow you down and that no matter how fast you think you’re going, there’s always someone going a bit faster.

The butterflies took the entire trip with me which was unexpected and if anything they got more active the closer I got to seeing her. It was sweet and it was a bit disturbing, I kept hoping that I would see it as no big deal at some point but it never happened.

The trip itself was uneventful. We talked about random things, music, movies, games and the like to pass the time. Once I got to Eugene some of the excitement happened. Kevin, the husband, wanted me to come in one way and Ariel had a different idea of how to get me to their house. I got lost… never a fun experience. Less so when you’re already nervous and that only makes it worse. Kevin was able to lead me into the area that I needed to be in to get to their house and the first thing that I’m greeted with is a man in a kilt, standing outside his house and guiding me. Meet Kevin.

About 5’3, long hair, though not as long as mine, bright smile and a mischievous personality; I like him instantly, can I just say, fuck? Yea I will, fuck.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad that I like him instantly but in another place and time this guy could’ve been a good friend and right now I’m not feeling it. Not because he’s rude, or crass, just the situation itself doesn’t really lend to being buddy buddy. I live two hours away, it’s not like I can come down for a night of boozing with the guy, if I’m in town, it’s going to be for a very good reason and he’s going to be the last person that I’m going to invite to hang with me. Sadly this tears at me a bit, not much but enough to throw me off a bit.

So Cast of Characters:

Kevin – cause I’m lazy and just introduced him.

Albert- Wow. Yea… um he also tried to get me to the house and was doing really well, if he was using directions to get me to the house from the RIGHT area. He was quoting directions from a different highway to me…. It was funny. He’s a cool guy just a bit, eccentric to say the least. He’s probably about 5’5 and 102 soaking wet. Think of a sturdy twig and you’ll have an idea of what he looks like. Nickname seems to be Spider-Monkey on Crack… cause he can climb any surface, any surface…no I didn’t ask so I can’t tell you anything more.

Pip (not actual name) is Albert’s friend. Seems that everyone else had met her that day as well. She was kinda reserved until we got her going. Lanky, blond hair, about 5’7. Think Barbie kinda but maybe like one step down. I don’t know if that makes sense. She seemed to have SOME brains but she’s the American standard right now as far as looks go, there’s a dozen of her at any mall in the nation as I type this. I’m not taking away from who she is, just laying the groundwork. Oh, I’ll explain Pip in a bit.

So, Kevin’s standing outside the house. I’m neck deep in Oregon Ducks territory, you see those little wannabe Donald’s on everyone ‘s windows, cars and houses. Even the stores have little Oregon Duck logos on them. I’m not much into college anything so it’s like walking into a bad episode of the Twilight Zone. You know like that one where the girl has the plastic surgery and she comes out looking like a fox but then they show the doctors and their disappointment and to them she’s this horrible fucking CHUD. (Clerks 2 reference)

In any event, I walk into the house and it’s a nerd’s paradise. On the walls they have posters of comic books, anime, old school movies and tons of action figures on the mantle. (Dragons included.)

For the record I’ve got a little pixie sitting next to me as I write this so if some of it doesn’t sound like my normal rambling, wave to her, she’s editing as I type.

They have several game consoles, an area where TPBs for comic series are stored and at the dining room table, there’s a game of D and D going on and I get to hear a conversation about the exploits of the man of steel versus Batman OUTSIDE of a comic store or convention. Like I said Twilight Zone, this is the norm here… how odd is that? Most of us have to hide in our rooms and chat online and here’s a house where D&D, comics and women playing WOW is common and accepted. Maybe I died and didn’t know it, it’s the equivalent of my 72 virgins! (Points if you get the reference)

Okay so I walk through the door and I take this all in. Kevin’s leading me around and for the record I did shake his hand.

So I go into the back of the house, where the kitchen is and it’s a nice kitchen, definitely built for someone with skills in cooking, which means it would go to waste with me. Albert is there, so’s Pip and I’m looking around and I haven’t seen Ariel yet. My heart’s going like a trip hammer, my brains on overdrive and I suddenly have an extremely high urge to go out and smoke a pack of cigarettes at once. Maybe that will help how I’m feeling but I know it won’t and then I hear her voice and my knees just give just a little.

There she stands my Aphrodite, and everything becomes a little crisper in my eyes. I can tell that Albert and Kevin are goofing off over something I have no clue about as Pip is trying to find something to occupy herself with because she feels out her of element. That there’s dinner that’s sitting on stove that Ariel had been preparing as I drove down. That the guys at the table are really getting into the game and the other girls in the house are trying to figure out who wrote Reign of the Supermen, that there’s a cat sitting by a pond in the backyard watching fish that aren’t there. This is all going through my mind and I’m staring at her.

She’s sitting right here, so I’m trying to focus I swear.

Can I say that she’s more beautiful than I remember her? Yes, without a doubt. I think I stopped breathing for a second. I put down the soda that I’m holding (Cause every road trip needs caffeine) and we start bridging that distance between us. Okay, more me than her but still, you know there’s that silly moment like the old movies where two people have been separated for a long time and they’re running to each other in some empty field with “Sweet Mystery of Life at last I’ve Found You” Playing in the background, yea I know.

That first moment where we’re in front of each other with less than three feet separating us is awkward, mainly because we both have an idea of how we want the hello to go but are also just aware of everything else. I do end up giving her the best hug I’ve given in some time and get it returned in kind which is all kinds of awesome.

She’s still as amazing as I remember her. Grey eyes that speak volumes without her having to say a word, blue black hair that’s short at the back with long bangs in the front. A smile that would definitely send a man into lunacy if he wasn’t able to ever see it again. I’m looking at her and I’m positive that she’s glowing and while many might attribute it to a thousand different things I would like to think that it’s a glow that’s just for me.

She made us dinner, Crab Louie, which is a cold dish, kind of like a Crab salad basically with dressing over it, it’s was very tasty. She also made a pasta dish with a homemade sauce and chicken. It was fabulous, seriously even though I was full I still went ahead and finished everything on my plate. I knew that she could cook but I was floored by two things, the first just how GOOD she can cook. I mean I’d tried her cooking before on some other things but this was outstanding! The second, that she had bothered to make anything for my coming in to see her.

Look I don’t have to tell you guys my recent track record and the things that I’m used to getting, you’ve been reading this blog and you know me. So far I’m getting blown out of the water by the effort she’s put forth just for the evening. Many might consider dinner a not big thing but I’m not one of those. People who cook for other people, there’s emotion behind that meal and you can usually tell what emotion when you get that first bite. It’ll either taste like heaven or scorched Earth and not in a good way.

She serves me up and sits across from me, though I didn’t want to sit just yet because of the long drive and my back tightening up, I did anyway, she asked and who am I to say no?

As we’re sitting eating Albert comes up behind me and playfully puts his hands around my neck. I’m not going to shy away from rough housing. Now remember the description that I gave of him, I stand up, put him in a head lock, double him over, ready to go ahead and sweep one of the legs out from under him so I can put him on the floor, pin him and prove my point. I’m halfway to doing this when he says, “Wait, wait, don’t put my back out.”


I let go and sure enough his back is out, he’s got to go sit down and I suddenly feel like the big lummox from Of Mice and Men because I don’t know my own strength and I’m also waiting for Ariel to say something to me. She doesn’t, she understands, which is nice but I still worry about the guy.

Now everyone of the cast is out in the back deck while Ariel and I begin to eat. Albert comes back in and starts retelling how he was bent over outside and Kevin was across from him, something happens between Pip and Albert, playfully, where Kevin’s white hairy ass gets exposed because the man wears his kilt traditionally, commando.

Albert’s retelling this story and says, “Man that was some hairy man ass.”

The story’s over, so I say, “How’s your back?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean how’ s it doing?”

Suddenly Albert gets this weird look in his eye.

“When I checked this morning it was fine.”

He walks away from me, lifts up his shirt and starts checking his back in the reflection. Somehow he got his wires crossed and thought that I meant he had a hairy back, which he doesn’t. So he’s standing by the reflection, bugging out and PIP started laughing which is where the name came from. It appears that she has a Pig in her Pocket. She’d sit and snort as she laugh, which got Ariel going and she’s a squeaker so we had a nice snort and squeak going for about a solid ten minutes. It was short of hysterical.

They get going and Kevin and Albert are behind the glass doors leading the orchestra.

So since I’ve come to town Kevin’s going to a strip club with Albert and Pip to spend the time. Which is fine as he’s getting ready to leave he says, “Do I have the sixth liberty?”


Seems there’s liberties and hell if I know they all are.

Ariel says, “Yes there’s some condoms in the car, take a three pack with you. How you use it is up to you. When you run out, though, you’re done. Kay?”

Open relationship remember? So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander in this situation. Still how many of us can say we’d be cool with sharing someone we love? Yea not many, me included but like I said this is a very different situation for me and everything that’s been about me has straight up gone out the window with this woman.

We finish dinner and head out to my motel room for the weekend. See she’s promised to be mine for the weekend. If this seems odd to you, think about how this is on me for crying out loud. This woman, who has plagued my dreams with apocalyptic consistency for two years, is putting everything else in her life on hold to spend the entire weekend with me. I’m all kinds of crazy over her and I’m not going to give up my time with her.

We get there, the door closes behind us and we clam up. We finally feel all that fear that we’d been holding back. In my mind’s eye I’m staring at the woman that I’ve longed for for years now. I know there’s stuff I want to say, emotions that I was to share with her, devotion that I want to offer, it’s all at the tip of my tongue but I also don’t know how she’ll take it. Will I be laughed at? Mocked? Tossed aside? Will this be the first and last time that I see her like this in my life?

Yea it’s a lot to swallow at once and I’m looking at her and she won’t even make eye contact, she’s that nervous about being in close quarters with me. I can read that she wants to be there but is also all kinds of freaked out about it. It’s not a bad thing, she’s going through the same thing that I’m going through in my own way.

We make small talk, talk about the silly things in life, talking nothing about how we feel, saying nothing about our hearts and we both know that it’s waiting to bubble up.

Slowly it starts coming out between us. Her fear was rejection, same as mine. The question that I’ve had since this all started up like it is, “Why’d you wait until after your married to call me?”

“Honestly? Because I needed to know. I’ve wanted to know for a long time but I didn’t know if I could handle you saying no without someone there to pick me up.”

This is about when we start realizing that we’re looking at a mirror and the longer the night goes the deeper that realization comes to us. It’s stopped being this small time thing that could be a tryst or could be a lost weekend, this is closer than the two of us understood.

I’m staring at those grey eyes and I’m just seeing all kinds of things that I never expected. I can feel her love for me palpably and I see in her that same light that I saw earlier. It’s brighter and pulsing and I know that she’s not pulling my leg on this one.

I know this is going to sound sad but come on now. A beautiful woman calls you out of the blue and tells you that she wants to be with you, while you’re going to love that fact, there’s still going to be something in the back of your mind that tells you “You’re going to be disappointed”.

Okay I’m distracted right now… (No I’m not telling you)

Can you say:

To be continued?

I knew you could


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