So yesturday I get assigned to the clackamas mall with alan, jared and a new guy, steve. fun for us. bad for work. there's a theory which, by all accounts so far, seems true, that when a gang of women live together their periods synchronize. well, same thing for guys who spend too much bordom time together. we shamelessly regress at the same rate to twelve-year-olds, and we did it right there in the middle of the mall and didn't give a flyin' rats ass who could hear us.
first we each wrote a different stanza to a song and jared sang it out loud to any passersby who would listen. mildly shocking to suburban shoppers on a friday afternoon.
then we tried to figure out the difference between a Hot Carl, a Hot Lunch, and a Cleavland Steamer. Apparently it's all the same, depending on what part of the country you're in. We even made up a few of our own. The Hershey's Kiss. The Corn Dog. Each one of them was concieved out in the open for anyone's approval.
Yeah. We didn't get any surveys done in those couple of hours. For some reason people just kept right on walking. Even that redhead with the warheads under the army shirt who was treated to steve's whitest-man-on-the-planet routine. Maybe it was Alan's shirt. He had a "thing" to go to right after work, so he kept his "nice" shirt in the car. He didn't think to wear even a decent shirt during work. No. He wore a regular undershirt. I was glad that I wasn't the first to have to say something. He took the jab much better from Jared than he would have from me. I don't think my sense of humor amuses him, but there's so much comedy in a tubby guy wearing an undershirt in the mall trying to solicite surveys from total strangers. And we had a kids' movie to do, too.
When we got back to the office, I heard Derrick was in deep shit for calling in late to ask someone else pick him up that morning. I should have said something to him before. So this morning I picked him up on my way in. It's silly not to. And he's a good guy.
He hadn't even settled into the passenger seat before he goes off about the party last night. I don't know how much he was embellishing; his story just felt slightly inflated. Apparently there was a group of white boys at this party who showed up throwing gang signs, speaking ebonics, and crowding other dudes into corners. Maybe there were guns, maybe knives. Derrick said he grabbed a butcher's knife from the house next door, just in case. He's a good guy, though.
I told him my night wasn't so much a story as his. I really wanted to talked about it, but if there's no pussy-gettin involved, my life isn't of much interest to him.
So what was to be Thursday night became Friday night. It was the thirteenth, but it was the best day I've had in months. I took Jennifer to the airport and was expecting Emily to be waiting at my house at seven. I had less than an eighth of a tank of gas, and fifteen minutes to make it. I did it in seven, which gave me time enough to clean the kitchen, sweep the floor, take out the trash, straighten up the living room and brush my teeth. When she rolled up on her bicycle, she said she'd wait stretched out on the grass until I was ready to go. At least the house was clean.
We rode to the park, and we rode hard. I forgot that she cycled across South America this year - or was it just Cuba? So when she rides, she's not fuckin around, sucka.
At the park we tossed a frisbee for an hour or so until it was too dark to see, then rode over to a resturant to steal some day-old out of the kitchen. It wasn't really stealing. She works there.
Noncommittal also means indecisive. On a hot Friday night the neighborhood is bustling with people. It took a while to convince her that we could leave the bikes locked up and go for a walk up and down the street.
We didn't walk very far before Emily spotted an empty sidewalk table at this pizza joint across from the Bagdad. There were a couple of hippie chicks singing across the side street; I sat and listened to their last song while Emily went inside to get a piece of sun-dried tomatoe and spinach pizza and a pint of Hef.
We talked that old-friend bullshit talk and all was fine. But everyone has two conversations with a person. The one coming out your mouth and the other one going on behind your eyes. I was thinking about not being at all bored with her. Nope. Not a single bit. And I thought about how calm I felt to be out with her. I was feeling just very happy and content. And that's a good thing. A very good thing. Level stability is a good thing. I really enjoyed myself without projecting those little notions, those little tiny wishes that get in the way.
I haven't ridden my bike up the hills to her neighborhood for years. The last time was when Karyn was house-sitting across the street. So we rode a couple of miles, Emily charging down the hills like a mad Scotch warrior, me chugging up the hills like a '72 volkswagon. I made it up to her house, thuroughly exhausted, but I made it. We talked s'more outside her house. I think we made plans for Monday. We'll see.
. . . I don't feel like I'm making this very interesting. Well, nothing happened.
Or, everything happened. I'm not sure which, so I won't be holding my breath.
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