Life and Other Minutiae
Last weekend was Labor Day weekend. I was cat sitting for the Mr. Brewsters, who took Punky to see their families in the Chicago area for the first time. I also got the chance to have brunch with a friend and to spend some time with Lubbock and Lineman.
My weekend actually started Sunday. I met a friend for brunch at Taco More on Parkfield and Rundberg. My friend is a super smart Catholic gay man who’s not only studied theology but also taught it at the college level. I haven’t seen him in a long time, and it’s amazing to see the changes that have happened in his life, for the better.
I’ll call my friend Dave. We talked about a friend of his that has recently left his life, a woman that I’ve met on multiple occasions but have not had the pleasure of getting to know well. This was a decision that he was making to lose his friend based on choices that she was making that caused her to come across as wishy-washy and be less than reliable. Quite possibly, she is also isolating herself, and she has a habit of turning over her entire life in chaos every nine months. Nice number there. The exact gestation of a human baby.
After brunch, Dave took me back to his place that he now shares with a different roommate than the one that I was familiar with when we used to hang out. The whole house is lighter, cleaner, brighter, happier. The yard has been cleaned, and a tree where I once stared at a Christmas ornament dangling from a branch for hours, while high on pot, has been trimmed. An old bed of his has been transformed into a planter for a little backyard garden. Dave bought a push lawn mower and planted grass seed, and the place just really looks great.
We both talked about how much happier we are now. I gave him an update on The Girl From Out Of Town. She recently left her way beneath her admin job for the corporate offices of a large department store. She’s going to get training from Cornel University and start her own consulting business, working as a disability advocate, a passion of hers.
Sunday afternoon I called Katina. She’s recently broken up with her boyfriend and had to kick him out of the apartment they shared. She got a year of sobriety under her belt, but her boyfriend, a crack addict, has had two relapses now. She got him clean after the first one, and then he started using again. He’s moved into a house in my neighborhood, where he can score crack more easily from drug dealers. He’s unemployed, and he can’t pay for his fixes, so his roommates are being pestered for the money. He’s been abusive while high, and the police had to be called and she had to go to an emergency room for a fracture on her arm. She’s now drinking again, and she called me Monday afternoon, drunk, to cancel a tentative movie date that we had made.
I saw Lubbock and the Lineman Sunday night. I went over to hang out and snack on chips and queso. Lineman was watching a Texas Tech game and was quite obviously already three sheets to the wind. His speech was slurred, and it was the most drunk I’ve ever seen him get. Lubbock put him in jammies, and he passed out, snoring, for a while but eventually got back up and put his clothes on. He tried to explain to me why he drinks, which according to him, has something to do with having been a professional musician, and the fact that most people suck. Despite my offer to drive him home, he declined and drove himself home anyway. He said that at fifty years of age, he had earned the right to make his own decisions and mistakes. You can’t make someone do the right thing. I love Lineman. He’s great. But he breaks my heart.
Monday, Lubbock and I hung out at her apartment pool, and I got some sun. It was just the right amount. I got barely pink. Lubbock invited an old friend named Chris over. I’ve met Chris before. We met at Red Lobster, and Lubbock insisted that we make cheese garlic biscuits for dinner in honor of my first meeting of Chris. Chris is a cocaine addict who’s been in the program for many years. He’s also an attorney who used to command some of the highest rates in the state for criminal defense.
Chris is a really brilliant man. He asked me who my judge was, and when I couldn’t remember the name, I provided him with a physical description, and he gave me the name. Same thing with my attorney. We ate salmon fillets and Cajun cabbage and the mock Red Lobster biscuits. It was a good dinner, and then at about 7:00, when it started looking like Lubbock was getting tired of having company, Chris decided he wanted to attend a meeting at Club 101, which is in my neck of the woods. So, we went together. And that was nice. I hadn’t been to a meeting in a long time, and I forgot how important it was to be in the presence of other nut jobs like me, ones who have made the decision to be sober.