It all started at Costco...
No, wait. It all started 21 years ago. (Though, you never know, it could have started before then.) I'd been hit by a car, taken to the hospital, and was driven home by Sean Mullin. He was the first person I told, afterwards, when I found out that I had amnesia. I told Tim Murphy next. Years later, Tim told me about how - during that period which now sits in a blank tapioca haze - I would smoke French cigarettes and drink from a little bottle of gin. This is all important. Honest.
And so, Saturday morning, I went to Vicky's place, all packed up for our weekend together. We had it all planned out... and then plans changed... and then we had it planned out... and then plans changed... and then we said, "Too hell with it," which was inevitable.
We first went to Costco, hungry because she'd had no breakfast and I had only one granola bar to coat my stomach for my vitamin. And so we traveled from sample stand to sample stand... sampling. And getting our goods. We had a sample of Zipfizz and bought a box at half-price, because it picked up Vicky a little and gave me a buzz as good as my last bong hit. Yes, I liked it! And I needed it. I'd spent the past week with body aches and I made a special effort not to tell Vicky about my sore throat. I wasn't going to let anything ruin our weekend, especially myself!
But when we returned to her place to unload the stuff and get going, she noticed when I sniffled. "That's not the first time you did that," she observed.
"I ate something spicy," I told her.
"I ate the same samples you did. None of them were spicy."
"Oh," was all I could say.
And so she got ready. And so we left for San Diego. I drove. Now, I love driving but when I'm driving someone else's car and that car is an SUV, that love turns into hate. Now, just imagine how much I hated it, considering that traffic was stop and go almost the entire way!
Quadruple that because of the fight Vicky and I got into on the way down! Sure, this was still a "Ken & Vicky fight", which is at worst a heated disagreement. As I've said before, if this is the worst we fight, I'll be the luckiest guy in the world! At the same time, it's never pleasant to have even a heated disagreement with someone you love. Worse, I could see a pattern. Vicky likes to make herself out to be cold and heartless, which makes my chest go tight and my heart stop - but she can't keep it up and ends up admitting that she's not cold and heartless. I realized Saturday that she does it because she doesn't want to be taken advantage of; she wants to be appreciated, respected, and loved. When I realized this, I told her she didn't have to worry about that with me. But I know how defense mechanisms work - I'd be crazy not to admit I have a few built-in, too - and it'll take some time for her to learn that she doesn't need it.
Even with the fight we had, we were fine again by the time we reached San Diego. "Tim, where's my drink?!" I said as I went in to blow my nose. We went next door and bought some Vanilla Clove cigarettes - Heaven! I'm in Heav-en! - and drank melon vodka and 7-Up. Yep, it was fun... We even danced out on Tim's patio - Vicky and I, Tim and Vicky, Me and Tim... and got a few pictures of the happy couple... Vicky and I!
But after a while, Vicky was a little hungry. Tim and I were a little drunk. What better time to walk to the beach and grab a bite. We staggered down - Vicky looking very embarrassed for us. By the time we got to the bonfires on the beach ("We have to walk by the bonfires and make friends," drunken Tim had told us.), we were holding hands. "Are you guys a threesome or something? Why are you holding hands," someone at the first bonfire asked us. "We only do this when we're drunk," I replied. I'd meant that we only held hands then... I think he took it differently. He yelled, "Right on!"
It was about this time when I started forgetting things.
We went from bonfire to bonfire, making fools of ourselves. When Tim couldn't do it alone, I helped. Vicky abstained. Vicky and I were trying to work Tim up from the beach to a restaurant for dinner. It took forever but we eventually made it to Hodads - a burger joint with great burgers. I ordered a cheeseburger, a malt, and a side of jealousy. It came when Vicky and Tim started checking out the guys. Now, Vicky says she wasn't doing it... and I was drunk so how could I say?... but it sure looked like she was... and I sure told her she was...
And she sure took off angry...
And so, we had our second fight of the day. It ended when I admitted that I was drunk and I could have been wrong - even drunk I knew to say that even if it wasn't true - I still thought she'd been checking the guy out - and I just wanted to go back to Tim's and lie down. My head hurt, I was drunk, and I couldn't stop sniffling.
Somewhere on the way home, I lost track of continuity... I remember all the vodka and 7-Up hitting my bladder... Then, I remember getting to Tim's and running into the bathroom... Later, after Vicky had gone to bed, I lied down... ("Honey, aren't you going to get under the blankets," she asked. In response, I grumbled... and went to blow my nose again.) And on one trip to blow my nose, I remember that my ears popped, as they do sometimes... and the rest I'm piecing together with recollections from Vicky and myself... She asked, "Honey, are you okay?"... I grumbled that I was fine... "Where are you," she asked... "I'm in the bathroom," I replied... "No, you're not," she said. "You're on the floor."... I opened my eyes and, sure enough, I was on the floor. I'd fallen down after blowing my nose...
And there I remained... for a while...
But I had to keep getting up to blow my nose. And, so, it was morning that brought the end of a restless night, a now-raging head cold, and a murderous hangover.
It wasn't pleasant.
Still, I wasn't going to let this ruin my weekend with Vicky. We went to breakfast. We went antiquing. And I, basically, died a little bit with each step. Sunday became all about getting through. I didn't enjoy a minute of it.
Thankfully, by the time Vicky got us back to her place, my hangover was mostly gone though my head cold raged on. I stayed at her place, while she cleaned. I was supposed to go to an audition but I could hardly move in my state. Auditioning was right out! I relaxed with her, had Taco Bell for dinner, and then headed back to my place for more nose blowing. A fever awaited me at home and I added that to my repertoire!
So, it was no surprise that I didn't go to work Monday and now you know why this My Side is a day late...
The fever persisted all day. And I sweat and I sweat. Still, last night was the last night of the auditions and it was for a play I wanted to do. It was for "Laura", a play that Teri - my director from "Something to Hide" - was going to direct. The director was changed at the last minute, though, so my "in" with Teri was gone but I still wanted to audition. I wanted to audition for the part of the good guy. I'd never played the good guy. I thought it'd be a nice stretch for me.
But I continued to sweat. At 5pm, I took a shower. At 5:15, though I'd dried myself off, I was soaking wet... not a good sign.
At 6:30, I went to the audition. I'd forgotten my resume though I'd remembered my headshot. I could barely stand. I had little voice. Oh, I was impressive.
The new director had me read three times. The second time, she said, "Could you read him drunker?"
"I didn't know he was a drunk," I said.
"Well, he may not be, but you look kind of drunk and that's given me an idea," she replied.
Shortly after that, she sent me home. I don't think it's a stretch to say I probably won't be cast.
I went home, snuggled that cats a bit, and spoke with Vicky before I went to bed.
Almost immediately, I was at Rosa's door. I'd come to have her sign the life insurance papers, splitting our policies into two. She said, "Can you hold me, just once more, for old time's sake." I backed away from her, "Rosa, I'm engaged to be married. You might not remember what that's like but I don't intend to let anything ruin that, not even you. You never appreciated my level of fidelity - you never appreciated me - like Vicky does and I'm never going to do anything to ruin that!"
I awoke with a start, my face dripping with sweat, my throat sore.
I immediately punched Vicky's number into the phone and felt better, hearing her voice.
(For those paying attention, we're not engaged..... yet. Stay tuned.)