Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Meet the new Ken…….. Same as the old Ken……..

Had the most wonderful weekend, you'll be happy to know.

… which was capped off with nightmares… of course…

Rich Lind came into town last week and, though arranging out schedules was tough (he was in town, after all, because his dad was in the hospital), we were able to meet up Friday night at Claim Jumper. What a way to start the weekend! I was giddy, as well as a bit nervous (we hadn't seen each other in well over a decade), as the evening approached. Shouldn't have been at all nervous, though. Seeing him was like walking through a time machine. We started joking and drinking (the final bill coming well over $100… and we didn't eat that much) and took it back to my place for more drinks after. Rich liked Vicky and she liked him, too.

Rich is a high school teacher out in Florida and he seems to be more comfortable in his life than just about any of my friends (short of Tim Murphy), sure of the rightness in what he does, comfortable in his own skin. He is, was, and ever shall be NOT ME… not by a long shot. But that's usually how good friends are made.

He still wants to write that book but I told him the longer he waits, the less I remember. And, honestly, I don't want to write about Rosa after Vicky and I are married, which means he's on the clock.

The next night, we got together and went to see what (I'm hoping) will be my new home. As we walked around the neighborhood and went to the park around the block, I felt, for perhaps the first time, completely okay with this purchase. I liked the idea of buying this house, honestly thought it was a good idea. It was more than that, though. I felt okay about, well, everything…. All weekend! I felt a great love for Vicky and a sureness that our marriage was absolutely the right thing to do (coming Sept. 24 to a theater near you!). I was even okay with my writer's block! I guess I have Rich to thank for that… for some reason.

I didn't see Rich on Sunday but Vicky's parents came around bearing gifts - not bad at all! They brought us an exercise bike (no hints there) and an indoor grill for making sukiyaki. (You want us thin or fat or what???) Vicky's mom made sukiyaki for us and we all had lunch together. This is all so much cooler than the last time around!

I went to bed Sunday night feeling great, loved, and…. Yes….. Happy.

Woke up Monday morning feeling like shit. Sometime during the night a freight train had snuck in and beaten the snot out of me. Mind you, Vicky had been sick all weekend so I was almost expecting to start exhibiting some signs of her headcold but this was different. Only after a few hours at work did I realize what this was. It was a migraine. Oy!

I went home and, after hanging with Vic for a bit, took a nap.

There, in my sleep, Vicky and I had yet another fight. It was so intense that we broke up and I left the place angry and… hungry. All the scenery had changed… it all looked very, well, midwestern. Over on the other side of the tracks there was a restaurant that sold "Down Home Cookin", so I went there. I didn't get there until after dark (no, I don't know why). I found it was closed and, to top that off, Vicky had followed me. We didn't have any time to talk before we were set up by rabid dogs. A dozen of them! I had no weapons and could only hold them off by shouting and barking in return, telling Vicky, "Step back slowly. Slowly."

And then I woke up.

What the hell was that about?

But my headache was more or less gone and it didn't really come back for the rest of the day.

However, when it came time to go to sleep, I wasn’t tired. I tried sleeping on the sofa - only to watch the numerals on the clock move on and on - and finally fell asleep at 4am (or so).

Before my sleeping eyes, a documentary film began. It was a film about Rosa and here's (more or less, considering how quickly dreams fade) how it went. Rosa and I met up (no, there was no Vicky in the picture) and went on a trip. She explained to Mike's sister (as Mike was gone) that we were just friends. We got this old bus and worked on it and traveled the country together. I noticed I had a beard (which looked damn good, by the way) and we'd take turns driving the bus and sleeping in the bus as we drove through the countryside. Tim Clostio was there, too, and I noticed that he also had a beard (which looked damn good, by the way). We stopped at a motel, Rosa and I taking a room for ourselves and both started getting naked together. Then, Mike's sister started pounding on the door. "I know you're in there!" she shouted. "You're in there with - with him!" Rosa pushed me into the bedroom, telling me to hide. (Keep in mind, I'm watching this as a documentary.) I shut the bedroom door, holding my garments in my hand, and listened to the front door being forced open. "He's in here," Mike's sister screamed. "He's in here and you're a married woman! Have you no shame!" Rosa kept saying I'd stepped out for a minute, I'd been taken by aliens, I'd dissolved - but the other woman wasn't buying that. She burst through the bedroom door, Rosa trying to hold her back, and did the obligatory, "Ah Ha!"

This is when the dream began to get strange.

The documentary froze on the face of Mike's sister looking dour, unpleasant… mannish… pretty much a stereotypical dyke, and a voice-over started to explain things. It explained that Rosa and (essentially) made the same mistake I had. (The "essentially" was classic Rosa as she had only kissed me only because we were caught before we could do more.) She wouldn't get back together with me now, even though the tallies were what you might call balanced - she'd still never do that. The film went on and on and I could slowly feel the waking world insinuate itself in, trying to wake me up. But I didn't want to wake up! I wanted to see if Rosa would go through the pain I went through. If she would experience the horrible guilt. If she would end up on the edge of the Grand Canyon, or at the very least the entrance! Would she have a nervous breakdown, sleepwalk, awake screaming at the top of her lungs…..?

But I was awake. It was 5:20am. I was panting, clutching the sofa… terrified.

Even now, a few hours later, I feel terrible about it. I feel terrible about dreaming about Rosa. I shouldn't be doing that. I questioned writing this because Vicky will read it and what will she think?

Probably what many of you will think… what Rich said so many times this weekend in reference to my ways… "that's just part of your Ken-ness".

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