Monday, May 17, 2004

A typical weekend...

I say this was a typical weekend because it held all the elements that you always hear about from me: psychosis, smoking, discovery, drinking, and punching blocks of ice.

Okay, maybe punching the ice wasn't typical.

It all started, as they most do, after work on Friday. I didn't go to the gym. I'd gone for the past five days; I deserved a day off! (I ended up taking four!... which I probably didn't deserve...) Anyway, I wanted to get home and do some writing. I wrote a couple more pages on the new play (FUNNY stuff!), then Keith and I went out for a drink.

I got home around midnight and, thinking I was tired, went to bed. I didn't drift off, though. Instead, within minutes of hitting the pillow, my head was racing with a million thoughts. Most of them said, "You're alone! Alone! ALONE!" Etc. Etc. Etc. I was past the point where I could quiet my brain so I got in my car and started driving. It was hard to drive, though. I could swear I was covered in bugs.

Yes, it was a bad one. By four in the morning, I had grown tired enough to drive back and my mind was still enough for me to lie down. And that's when I fell asleep.

I awoke a few hours later, at nearly 11am, took care of a few chores around the apartment, and headed to my mom's to help her with her computer. Since getting her on the Internet, it's been nothing but trouble. I'm hoping that will quiet with time... hoping. Anyway, the nice part was that we had a good talk afterwards about what was going on with her and how she was feeling about things. (People in my family - myself excepted - talk only about what they're doing. They don't talk about their feelings or their hopes and dreams. When you look at them, they're two-dimensional.)

Afterwards, I drove south for a surprise visit to Tim's in San Diego. It was a beautiful day for a drive and, with gas prices so high, the freeway was probably going to be empty.

The freeway was backup up from the Orange County border, about 40 miles from Tim's place. As I cut that span in half, I noticed a car move in behind mine. It was a blue Honda Civic... just like Rosa's... and the driver... looked just like Rosa... and she was reaching behind her seat to a baby's chair.... and Rosa has a baby... Could it be that Rosa was on the road right behind me to pay Tim a visit? Could it be that Tim had serendipitously arranged us to meet at the same time (for I had arranged to go to Tim's the night before - it was only a surprise because we didn't think we'd hang out until Memorial Day) and reconcile?

With traffic going slow, I played this scenario through my mind. There, Rosa and I sat in the cabin behind Tim & Axel's house. I was smoking. She was sitting very straight. I said, "You know, when we were together you made it a point to go against any advice I gave you, as if you had to express your independence by sabotaging your happiness. Well, now you're with a man who is abusive to you and the first thing I'd tell you if we got back together is that he's got to change or leave. There's be no ifs, ands, or buts. Could you live with that?"

In one version, she was silent and I realized she'd never abide by my wishes. She'd rather be abused than lose her "independence". In another, she blamed me for judging him, as if it's worse to expose an abuser than to be one. In all cases, it was clear: it would be impossible for us to reconcile. I ran out of chances with Rosa long ago.

And I kept driving, not crying, not even depressed. Actually, I felt pretty darned good. Looking back on the past few years, I saw that I've been a good person - and as clich├ęd as it might be, it was her loss.

That said, I'm still painfully single.

No time to dwell on that, though, because I finally got to Tim's and my leg was killing me. All that stop and go traffic (four hours!) with a manual transmission! So, I took a little break a Tim's while he got ready. Yep, he was heading up to my place! By 7pm, we were back on the road and, before we hit my place, stopped for snacks and mixers. I had (always have) plenty of booze at my place. As short time later, we were lounging on the patio with Cosmos and smokes.

Okay, I've been doing a good job at not smoking. I've been going to the gym pretty often, keeping my lungs clean. Well, I needed a weekend off. So, I fell off the wagon for one weekend - and LOVED it!

... But what about punching the ice? Tim had bought a bag of ice from the store. When we got to my place, I wanted a drink. For some reason, instead of breaking the bag of ice against the counter.... I punched it.

Yes, I punched it.

So, next time you think, "That Ken guy seems pretty smart," remember, I punched a bag of ice.

The skin on my hand had busted at the knuckles and I was terrified that I'd literally busted my knuckles!! I hadn't. They were intact. Mind you, swelling started almost immediately and my hand hurt like a mother... but nothing was broke.

For future reference, do NOT punch bags of ice.

I never even checked to see if I'd broken the ice...

After driving for four hours down to San Diego, getting minimal sleep the night before, and driving up...I was wide awake at midnight while Tim fell fast asleep on my sofa... the bum... I was having too much fun to sleep. My apartment was clean, a friend was there (though asleep), things weren't looming in my mind (for a change), I'd started a new play... I just felt good and wanted to relish in it. Well, I relished with my fourth or fifth pitcher of Cosmos (which Tim makes as vodka with a splash of red color) and a few more cigaroos... ah the good life.

Why is it I always forgot to drink water? They say water prevents hangovers (since hangovers are caused by the alcohol dehydrating you)... I could have used water that night. Sunday morning, I woke up with a hangover in bed with me. It was awake, driving iron spikes into my brain... so I stayed in bed until nearly 10am while Tim was up and moving around... the bastard.

But I'd told him we'd have breakfast, so I dragged myself into the shower and felt slightly more alive upon leaving. We breakfasted at El Torito... the only detail of which I'll discuss is the girl. There's always a girl and this time she was sitting three tables away with three other ladies and her son. I don't know what occasion brought them out, where their husbands might be, if they even had significant others... wait, I do know the occasion. At one point, I heard her say (for my ears were straining to catch any sound of her voice) "No, it's your birthday. I'll pay." Ah ha. She was in her early 30's, blonde with her hair up in a tail, a little bit too much eye makeup, lips a bit too thin, average build... and entirely too beautiful for words. Contradictory? Perhaps. I am fascinated at how a collection of features that might look plain on some people, on others so far exceeds the sum. (Yes, Rosa was a lot like this.) Her smile was dazzling and her eyes hypnotic. And when she would pick up her son and hold him, she did so without reservation - no "leave me alone and eat". She seemed like a good person... who, for all I knew, was a born-again Republican... I chose to see only her goodness.

Somewhere in there, we had breakfast.

Then, to the reason for the visit: DVD Planet. What an evil place. I spent $140 there! They're worse that crack dealers! I got:

To Have and Have Not. Bogie. Bacall. Hawkes. Fuggettaboudit!
Chappelle's Show! I've loved this guy since he was starting in stand up - brilliance.
Sweeney Todd. The finest English-language Opera - BAR NONE! (And the definitive performance with Landsbury and Hearn!)
The Critic. The sentimental favorite. I love Lovitz!
MST3K, Collection 5. What's not to love?

Mind you, by this time it was afternoon and Tim's train would be leaving shortly but we stopped by Costco for a quick trip. Can you believe I bought nothing but fruits and veggies? I've got to get healthy eventually... you know, to make up for the smoking... On the way out, Tim and I helped an old lady with her things. (No, we didn't take them, we helped her put them in her car.)(For the record, Tim helped more than me... but not for lack of trying.) I only mention that because it's so rare - and it shouldn't be, goddamit! But people are so afraid of each other these days... fuck! (Sorry... it's just maddening.) It was nice to do something nice for someone, if even in a small way.

After that, we were off to the train station. We sat out and had a couple smokes until the train arrived. Then, Tim was off.

I had to get back to my place. I had all that food and those movies in my car.. and it was time to get back to life as normal.

(Coming soon: Ken looks for a house... so much for normal...)

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