Friday, September 27, 2013

Date Night with New Guy and Monkey

New Guy*, Monkey, and I went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner last night. I ordered calamari and dynamite shrimp because I don't eat a lot in one sitting (I eat a lot but just throughout the day). So I sat and was minding my own business when I heard NG say "and a child's plate of the fillet mignon. Medium rare, right?" I leaned back in my chair because I was between them and wanted Monkey to be able to answer. She was silent and I looked at her. She realized I was waiting for her and she shook her head and said "no, he's talking to you."

He ordered me a child's plate. I found it hilarious. He told the server "child's plate, she eats like a bird." And no, there is no child's plate of fillet mignon but NG and Monkey go there often and know the guy so it was all good. In the end, I had the most food in front of me and took home a bunch of leftovers, which I, of course, left at his place this morning instead of bringing with me for lunch damn it.

*New Guy is now my boyfriend so I've changed his name to Batman. He's incredibly capable and can do all sorts of things (last weekend he was wiring his boat so that he can connect a radio or a phone charger or whatever he wants to it whilst out on the lake; after dinner yesterday, he had Monkey lay down on two chairs so that he could use his pliers to fix her braces). He also wears a belt with tools for his job. Batman has an awesome utility belt and he's pretty damn capable so Batman it is. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bubbles isn't happy either

Bitch pissed in a laundry basket filled with clean clothes yesterday. I was upset, obviously, about my SIL so it was not the right time to fuck with me. But Putin's patronus, much like the honey badger, doesn't give a shit.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Game over

I'm not going to clean this up at all because I don't have it in me. This regards my sister in law who has been battling cancer for five years. Forgive my mother's many typos. She was writing on her iPad and she is, obviously, upset.

Not good news. Doctors planned on removing rumors from left lung.  Took her off chemo 13 days ago.  She was in hospital last Tuesday when they had to remove a liter of fluid build up. Friday was admitted again as her heart was not good.  Today they took her to OR, put camera in lung and saw the cancer has spread to lining of lung and surgery is not possible.  They left drains and catheters in and wii have to consult oncologist for more ideas.

This is the worst! Not a good outcome can be expected.

Sorry to be the bearer of this news.

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Guy v.2 - Really Nice Guy, or Serial Killer?

This happened, I'm not making it up. I was minding my own business when I got a super sweet text from NG and then I started talking to Do What, this kid I work with (or, as I cleverly have it below, KIWW) about it. This is the conversation we had over our instant messaging program at work.

1:56:27 PM ME- Ready to hear something that will make you sick?   
1:56:32 PM
Kid I Work With- yes  
1:56:48 PM
ME- I just got a text from New Guy that is a picture of the phrase "I smile like an idiot when I think about you"   
1:56:59 PM
KIWW- awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww  
1:57:10 PM
KIWW- that's awesome. what a charmer  
1:57:10 PM
ME- right?   
1:57:14 PM
ME- Indeed  
1:57:27 PM
KIWW- he's got the makings of a serial killer though...definitely smells like a lifetime movie  
1:57:29 PM
KIWW- just be careful  
1:57:42 PM
ME- How so?   
1:57:53 PM
KIWW- he's too charming  
1:57:58 PM
ME- True  
1:58:00 PM
KIWW- i'm just joking though  
1:58:02 PM
ME- criminal record  
1:58:04 PM
KIWW-   
1:58:21 PM
ME- He kills the feral cats that get into his yard because he's afraid they'll attack Monkey. Or so he says  
1:58:33 PM
KIWW- hmmm  
1:58:41 PM
KIWW- so animal cruelty...  
1:58:49 PM
KIWW- just a few red flags  
1:58:53 PM
KIWW-   
1:58:58 PM
KIWW- i'm sure he's a great guy  
1:59:16 PM
ME- I did ask if he had a history of starting fires.  
1:59:18 PM
ME- Wait a minute...  
1:59:39 PM
ME- he and his friends used take semtec and put it on remote control cars with pagers attached and set them off like bombs  
1:59:56 PM
ME- If he ever wets the bed, he will have it the homicidal triad and I'll be OUT  
2:00:17 PM
KIWW- LOL what does wetting the bed have to do with it???  
2:01:20 PM
ME- Oh, a history of wetting the bed, setting fires, and killing animals is called the homicidal triad. They are three things that are common in the history of serial killers  
2:01:35 PM
KIWW- interesting!  
2:02:26 PM
ME- I know this shit, which is why it is insane that I'm all "yeah, sure. I'll go to your house 10 miles east of where I live to meet you stranger that I met online and have talked to on the phone once and mainly texted. What's that? Sure I can pick up some duct tape and hefty bags on my way. No prob!"  
2:02:56 PM
KIWW- hahaha  
2:03:07 PM
KIWW- too funny  
2:03:12 PM
KIWW- well, you met his daughter  
2:03:17 PM
KIWW- unless, she is a paid actress..  
2:03:18 PM
ME- Alleged daughter  
2:03:21 PM
KIWW- hahaha  
2:03:21 PM
ME- Or victim  
2:03:23 PM
KIWW- hmmm  
2:03:32 PM
KIWW- now we've got your wheels turning  
2:03:55 PM
ME- I didn't do a DNA test. She could be a kidnapped child.   
2:04:11 PM
KIWW- does she look like him?  
2:04:27 PM
ME- I don't know. He's really tan and bigger. She's tiny and blond.  
2:04:34 PM
ME- I'll have to take a better look next time  
2:04:55 PM
KIWW-  indeed  
2:05:32 PM
ME- He could have used his boat to take previous cut up victims to Lake Ray Hubbard, put them into a cooler with rocks, and dumped it.   
2:05:52 PM
KIWW- so your trip to his boat was foreshadowing...  
2:06:03 PM
ME- OMG! And there was a cooler!  
2:06:15 PM
ME- Thank goodness the boat wouldn't start!  
2:06:19 PM
KIWW- !  

New Guy

So, here is why I haven't been very good about writing up the Austin visit: I've been busy. For once, I've been really fun busy. Because I don't seem to ever really know what I want or where I am, I decided to reactivate my dating profile because I guess I do want a relationship. Guitar Hero is fun and all, but he and I were never going to be anything more than friends. Before reactivating it, I updated my profile to reflect as accurately as possible who I am and what I'm looking for. I also included a line that said "Oh, and I'm an atheist. That seems to matter."

Two guys messaged me. The first used freaking texting language. In my profile I mentioned that I'm smart and I'd like someone who keeps up with current events. I'm not genius and I can't name the leader of every nation or anything, but I do like to talk about what is going on in the world. So I replied to texting language guy and said "Hi, nice to meet you. So what do you think about this whole Syrian conflict?" Needless to say, that relationship was short lived.

The second guy who messaged me was a lot better. I don't remember what we talked about in the messages exactly, the usual getting to know you stuff, but we then began texting one another because he doesn't have a cushy office job like me (he's a building engineer or something. You know, when shit breaks or the alarms go off or whatev, he's the guy you call in). We texted all that day and the next, and made a date for Wednesday.

Look, I know I said I'm smart up there but I do some stupid shit. I've seen how many television programs and Lifetime Original Movies and yet still I'm all "yeah, sure, sounds great!" when a guy I don't know, who I met on line, invites me over to his place for dinner. No wonder my mom thinks I'm a date away from being chopped up into little pieces and buried in a desolate area.I do set myself up for that. "OK, yeah, sure, I'll drive nine or ten miles east to an area I've never been to have dinner at your house guy that I've just 'met' on line!" Clearly, I was not chopped up and buried, but still. Think, stupid, think!

So, about New Guy (I'll come up with something better eventually, especially if this works out, but right now, all I have is New Guy). He is a single father who has been raising his fourteen year old daughter on his own for the past twelve years. She's a freshman and on the drill team so she's busy and out and about a lot with less time for her dad and he decided he'd try dating again. He and his ex divorced when his daughter, Monkey, was two and he got full custody and has been working and taking care of her ever since. This meant he couldn't really date because even though Monkey was raised as a latch key kid and has been pretty self sufficient, she was too young. Where New Guy went, Monkey went. Packaged deal and I think he just didn't want to fuck with that. But now he can and so here we are. He's originally from California, outside LA, but has been in Texas for eight years and likes it a lot better here (still drives like a Californian though). He's worked in construction and all sorts of stuff and has an awesome skill set that is beyond my ken*. He's very much a country boy and hunts and camps and the whole bit. He's smart, funny, and he reads! Austin made fun of me for being excited about the reading but I haven't met a reader in fucking forever!

He's also incredibly kind and generous, affectionate and attentive, and appears to dig me quite a bit, which is, of course, a plus. I'm a bit nervous that things will go the way of Murdoch, seeing as he was really awesome at first, but I'll have to wait and see.

Our dates have been awesome and a bit hilarious. On Wednesday, I drove to his place and arrived 15 minutes early. His friend, Phoenix, was there but he left shortly after. His kid was going to church that night. Welp, Phoenix ended up there all night because he blew a tire and I ended up meeting the kid because at first she wasn't going to go to church and then she got back early. But Phoenix made himself scarce so NG and I had dinner (fish, rice, and mushrooms) and watched a movie. We even chatted with Phoenix a bunch.

The next day, NG texted me saying that Monkey had a last minute football game (she is on the drill team) and that he had free time. So I said "come out to my neck of the woods and I'll take you to dinner." It was a very interesting evening but I'm not going to go into details because I do, actually, have some class and because it's none of your business. Let's just say that he and I were both surprised to learn that there are disposable cock rings. Oh adult novelty world, how you never cease to amaze!

It was homecoming weekend at Monkey's school so I ended up spending the weekend with NG. On Friday I went over and we had dinner (stew) and we just hung out all evening. We ended up staying up till about 3 a.m. because we were chatting and couldn't get tired. The astute reader will have already correctly assumed that if I am spending the weekend at a guy's place, I have already had sex with him. NG had a three date rule about sex but he broke that shit on Wednesday. He said that he'd gotten to know me better after texting and emailing for the previous 72 hours than he'd gotten to know a girl he'd dated for three months (they only saw one another once a week because of her work schedule) so he didn't feel too bad about breaking his rule. So yeah, that happened and that kept us awake throughout the night as well, but really it was the sleepover syndrome of having a friend over and just wanting to talk and joke and laugh. Eventually we got up to watch a movie, 'The Bling Ring', and he told me that he remembered when it was going down in real life and, being from just outside of LA, he knew the areas. At the end, when the kids were being led to the bus to go to LA County Jail or wherever, NG said "I've been there." I said "you're fucking with me" and he said "nope." Things you should know before you fuck a guy: is he a convicted felon? Technically, yes, yes he is. He can gt it expunged but would have to go back to CA. That was fun to learn. Fortunately, it was neither for a violent offense nor a drug related one. I've also been assured that there are no other surprises from his wayward youth (he served a couple of weeks when he was 20 or 21... he is going to be 37 in November) and he's cleaned up his act remarkably because of having Monkey.

I have to say, this guy is a dedicated father. He bought the house that he did because it is in a small neighborhood. He bought it with the idea that it will eventually be an income property for his daughter. He has the life insurance that he does so that if anything happens, she'll be taken care of. He's taught her how to hunt and shoot and all sorts of how to be self reliant shit. He bought the car that he did with the idea that it will be hers eventually. Hell, he even got her a credit card in her name so that she can start establishing good credit. He jokingly bitches about how expensive she is what with the drill team and homecoming, but it's apparent that he loves the hell out of her. And I dig that. He told me that a lot of the women he's met through the website weren't that down with the fact that he was a full time single parent, especially when they realized that he already had a girl who took priority in his life. But it doesn't bother me at all. And I like Monkey. We haven't spent a great deal of time together or anything but she does talk to me a little when I've been around her. I think we are going camping in two weeks actually. I asked her if she was going to make fun of me the whole time because I've never been camping. She said no. NG said "yes".

Anyhow. On Saturday we were going to go with Phoenix to a lake. We did go, actually, but NG's boat's batteries were both dead so we had to return to his place. We ended up sitting in his garage and drinking and chatting and it was relaxing and nice. After a nap we went to my place so I could throw food and water at my animals and then went to Phoenix's place in McKinney for a barbecue. NG, Phoenix, a guy named Juan who doesn't speak English, and I were sitting on the deck, smoking and drinking some beer, when suddenly there was the flashing of light. Phoenix got up and went to the corner of his deck and then was asked to come forward. There were three cops there who asked him to step outside but he refused because he isn't stupid. He was on his property, in his backyard, doing nothing wrong; why give them any reason? He handed over his military ID (Marines) and explained to the officers that we were just drinking and smoking ("no, man, I have my smoker going" he had to explain after they asked what we were smoking... full disclosure, when Phoenix got up, he threw his bag of pot at me and I handed it to NG. I don't smoke but every man in Texas seems to). It was a good five minutes and it was absurd. The officers told Phoenix that they were out for a noise complaint. There was loud music going but for one thing, it was only about 8:30 at the time and for another, the music was coming from another house up the block. Weird as shit, homey.

NG and I left at about nine to go to a local pub where another of his friends was celebrating his birthday. I met a bunch of people and they all looked at NG in surprise because he hasn't dated in so long so they aren't used to seeing him with someone.It was nice to sit there awkwardly for awhile. Then, back to Phoenixes and we chatted more and I got a kick out of his fiancé. Then back to NG's house where we basically passed out.

Yesterday was chill. We woke up, I went back to bed because it was wicked early, he let me sleep in, and when I woke up there was breakfast. We just hung out lazily for a few hours before I had to go so I could take care of my animals and do some chores. Bubbles was not pleased with me and showed her ire by pissing on Johan's ramp. She did it again when I could see her and I had to yell at her. I'm fucking whipped by these animals and need to teach that little bitch that she might have to go without petting a few days a week. Shit. I just realized that if I go camping I'll have to board them both. Hopefully NG will help me get Bubbles into her carrier.

Anyhow. Went back to his place later that evening to have dinner with him and Monkey and to do some laundry. We were watching a movie ('The Host') when he suddenly said "feel like going for a ride? I have to go to work". So I went with him to one of the building's he supervises and watched as he checked this panel and went into that pump room and other stuff. We went to the second floor to talk to the guy who reported the problem and that guy apologized for calling NG in on a Sunday. "At least the Cowboys game is over though, right?" NG replied with "actually, I was in the middle of a date." When we got into his car, NG called the property manager to report his findings and 2nd floor guy had already texted her so she said something about the whole being on a date thing as well. "Fortunately, she's very understanding" is what I heard.

OK, I'm tired of writing. That was a lot. But like I said, I've been busy and this is why.

*I don't know why, but I've started using the word "ken" a lot lately. I don't even know if I'm using it appropriately. 

Austin & Simply Ride Again: Part II

I apologize in advance but I put off writing this for so long that my memory is a blur and so I'm sure I left lots of stuff out. But whatev. I know what happened and Austin knows what happened, and we both know where the bodies are buried. So, without further ado, the second half of our visit.

*****************************************

Excellent hostess that I am, I had zero plans for Austin’s trip. On Saturday morning we drank coffee and sat on my sofa, both of us with our laptops open (so 21st century) reading the news and chatting about it. We were amazed by the whole Leith, North Dakota thing where some guy is trying to make the population of seventeen town a haven for White Supremacists. Seriously? And we talked about Syria. Austin was convinced that the U.S. would take military action. Neither one of us thought the U.S. should be involved but Austin was convinced it would happen. I told him that I held out hope and we talked about various other military engagements that we had been involved in. At one point Austin said “it’s like having Obama as president was a tradeoff. OK, you can have a black president but in exchange, we will NEVER talk about George W. Bush and Iraq.”

Yeah, that’s right. Saturday morning found us nerding it up with some coffee and news. But we eventually decided, moved by hunger, that we should do something. The plan was to go to the Flying Saucer by the Lake, a place Hunter told me about that purports to have the largest selection of beer. I wanted to make a stop at the UPS store to return some cable equipment and that was just awesome. I thought I knew where the place was so Austin told me about his marriage and how they work really well together whilst I did that asshole thing of probably driving well under the speed limit, trying to find the fucking place. It was nice. Not the “where the hell is UPS” but hearing how mature and good my friend’s marriage is. They really work together to make it work and he spoke so lovingly about his wife. It’s rad to hear that sort of thing. I mean, we met in our twenties when we were in college and just a pair of young idiots but here he was telling me about how this was the first girl he’d ever met that made him feel like he wanted to spend his life with her. He talked about how they always communicate, how they know how they both are when annoyed and actively work to try and be decent humans when they are exhausted, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Keep in mind, they have a two year old, he works full time, and the wife just graduated from grad school.  I may not be the most maternal of women but I was so proud of him and happy for him.

We didn’t find UPS though. Eventually we just gave it up and decided to head to the restaurant. This was another fun trip, me white knuckling my steering wheel as Austin held the directions. Turns out it is a fucking straight shot and a six minute ride to the fucking place. I’m actually a really good driver but when I don’t know where I’m going, I get nervous and overly anxious. Then I make fun of myself when I realize it was all for nothing (side note: I’ve driven to New Guy’s house three times now and the third time I did not need my GPS. See, I can learn).

The Flying Saucer was the perfect thing for us to do that day. We sat outside on the balcony, both of us in our cowboy boots, looking at menus and then looking around to see if we were ever going to be waited on. “I came here for service” I said, peevishly, to my friend. I don’t know why, but it cracked us both up. The wait was probably a good thing because it allowed for Austin to make the serendipitous choice of buffalo wings. He evidently doesn’t usually go for wings and they weren’t the obvious choice given that it was 729 degrees outside, but oh my god they were the perfect fucking thing. The artichoke spinach dip was decent and he seemed to like his sandwich but the wings were just the exact right thing for that time of day. It was also fun because the table was covered in food like we were two kings or something.

We chatted a lot about Spark Plug, the girl who brought us together, reminiscing about her and agreeing that we both hope she is doing well. We talked and joked as usual, and neither of us wanted to move from that spot. When I paid the bill, I asked to see his license and brought mine out at well. That’s when the visit took a weird turn. “You are NOT five foot eight! You have always been shorter than me!” Yeah, I didn’t just yell at him about it, I make him stand up so we could both take off our boots and see who was taller. Disturbingly, it was him. It isn’t disturbing that he is 5’8, an inch taller than my 5’7; no, it’s the fact that for ten fucking years I have thought this guy was shorter than me. My mental schema of Austin included, and has always included, his being shorter than me. It was like the whole world shifted. Up was down, black was white, food had no taste. OK, so that’s being overly dramatic but it really was a shock and a very weird thing. How do you not realize this about someone? Especially when you used to hang out with them in person? I wonder how many times I told people he was shorter than me. How many times did I say that in front of him? Oy.

Filled with sunshine, beer, and food, we returned to my place (a much quicker and less perilous trip) and took a nap. Because that is how you roll when you are hip like us. You nap like a mother fucker. The evening was chill. We went back to The City (I’ve decided we are cool enough to be in the in crowd and no longer have to say “Sports City”, just “The City” because you know, the people who matter will just know what we mean) for nachos and a beer whilst we decided what we’d do. The decision ended up being to walk to Kroger, get food to eat later for dinner, and rent a movie. So we finished our beers, learned what the fuck a Sooner is (sooner born, sooner bred, when I die, I’m sooner dead), and headed out to the other side of town (not really but where I am, one side terminates with The City and other eating establishments and public houses [READ: chain restaurants] and the other side hits an intersection with a shopping area… it’s maybe a couple of blocks to walk) and gathered our supplies. We even bought more Dos Equis just in case and Austin was very disturbed at how wet the bottom of the box was. We were fairly convinced that when we got back to my place we’d find six half empty bottles.

What movie, you ask? Why, Shadow People, the shittiest of ‘horror’ movies! It was really well done and well shot and all that, but the story was ridiculous and not fully thought out. Austin and I just talked through the whole thing and made fun of it. Jesus, the Shadow People. And stupid over here didn’t get one of the main themes until the very end. See, the movie is shot like it is a dramatic reenactment of actual events. There is the smooth, shiny, production value portion with the events as they happened, and then the less shiny parts where its interviews with the actual people involved. Those things were done really well. The interviews and “real” parts were really well done and it looked exactly like it does when you watch Dateline or the old Unsolved Mysteries or whatev. But Jo Jo the idiot girl didn’t realize that was going on until the end. In fact, Austin had to help explain it to me. I must have missed something at the very beginning, like when I watched Side Effects but missed the very beginning where there is blood.

So yeah, a very well done movie but the plot wasn’t fleshed out and things were not explained and there were just too many unnecessary parts. If I had buckled down to write this blog earlier instead of putting it off, I would have had way more to say on the topic. Austin even said that Shadow People might warrant its own entry, but at this point, I don’t really remember so he’ll have to contribute in the comments section. It was just soooo fucking stupid. I mean, a kid calls a late night radio station where the on air talent guy takes calls and I don’t know what, to talk about some crazy ass shit and then he fires a gun. He doesn’t kill himself but he goes into a hospital and he dies in his sleep. I don’t really even know what the Shadow People are. Something about an old man in Cambodia telling stories to the rest of his tribe/clan/family/posse? Radio station decides to use this for ratings and then the lines are opened to all sorts of wack jobs ands their conspiracy theories etc. On air talent guy ends up wearing aluminum foil hats and removing all the furniture from his house. Some chick from the CDC determines that the Shadow People can only hurt you if you believe. On air talent guy, in order to save planet earth, says he made it all up (you know, so people won’t believe and thus, die in their sleep), and then his kid finds a tape and watches it and so sequel! The end. There, I saved you a buck twenty eight or however much it costs on Red Box.

To make up for that monstrosity, I put in The Other Guys, a movie that makes me laugh and from which I quote frequently. At first Austin wasn’t really into it because it doesn’t go at the pace a comedy usually does, but before long I was smoking on my patio and I could hear him laughing out loud. Every so often, we text one another with random lines from the movie, just because it makes us giggle. In fact, I just texted him. Let’s see if he remembers (I texted him “if you were with me, you wouldn’t be in this dump, shakin’ it for dollars.” “He does not approve of this Francine!”) Then, old people that we are, we went to bed.

Remember how I said we took a nap on Saturday? Yeah, Austin slept for a bit but I didn’t. I failed at napping on Friday and Saturday and ended up just laying there. My body was rested, which was good, but dude was I fucking tired. So on Sunday we took it super easy. We bought a newspaper and went to Hooters for brunch (well, lunch because they don’t do breakfast) where we discussed the possible interview experience for a Hooters girl as well as other stuff that I just plum forget. See what happens when you put shit off, kids?


And that’s it. He stuck around until about 2 PM and then headed back to where he came from. I took an actual nap and then I think Guitar Hero came over that night. I don’t know. But that ends the story of what I did when Austin came up to visit me in Mesquite. Sorry it isn’t better but I was busy. And lazy.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Austin & Simply Ride Again: Part I

I've been trying to write about Austin's visit last weekend but it's been weirdly difficult. He was here for a short time but it was packed full of fun. The problem is, a lot of it was of the "you had to be there" ilk and a lot of it was talking about old times and old friends. But I did my best. So here is part one of the wonderful weekend when Austin and Mesquite came together.

Friday
Austin arrived at about 8:45 PM on Friday evening. He had to park at the front of my hood and get out of his car so that we could find each other because I tend to live in apartments where it is really hard to find me. Not on purpose, though it does work to my advantage. When I saw him we grinned and hugged. I’m not a huggy person usually, but Austin and I have been friends for ten years and hadn’t seen one another in about eight. That’s a long time to remain friends through letters and emails. We graduated college, got jobs, there were marriages, a divorce, a baby, a diagnosis. He’s one of two people I’ve tried to keep in touch with since college and the only one that seems to have stuck.

I met Austin during the Spring Semester of college at the University of Delaware in 2003. He was dating Spark Plug, a former roommate and friend (the other college friend I try to keep up with). It was Ag Day, one of those college shindigs thrown by a specific college (agriculture in this case, as SP majored in Horticulture Landscaping). I was the last of SP’s friends for Austin to meet as I’d spent the previous semester in England. She’d told him about me and added “just don’t run away with her.” She was a bit worried about that. I was feminine for all my sailor mouth and sarcasm, and I was always able to banter and chat with quick wit, able to make others laugh and engage with people. She wasn’t jealous of me or intimidated by me, but I think she just worried because I was somehow OK with who I was and she wasn’t. Even then, even during those dark days, even when I didn’t like myself, I didn’t really apologize for myself and just was who I was. I’m sure it didn’t help that Austin walked back to campus with me and not her.

But there was never anything romantic between us. I know it is odd for men and women to just be friends but for some reason, that was just never on the table and we both found it funny, the very idea. He’s never been my type nor I his. But we got along really well and enjoyed one another’s company. We spent a lot of time on Main Street, sitting outside a local coffee shop or in random places on campus. When he was thinking of breaking up with SP he talked to me a lot. I remember one day his asking if I’d still be friends with him. I guess he was afraid she’d get custody.

So I hugged him because I was so fucking stoked to see him. He looked the same as ever, as I’m sure I did. We both probably have decaying portraits in some attic some place. Once inside, we began talking. He had a good drive up from his neck of the woods (ahem, Austin), and told me about a stretch of road where there was nothing. It was the type of place where you read “all that was found was an empty big gulp cup with the missing person’s DNA, a backpack, a shoe, and NOTHING ELSE.” I don’t even know what we talked about at first. Probably my friends with benefits thing and the immediate life stuff. At one point, after his second beer, Austin got up to go to my fridge and looked at me and said “do you mind if I just start binge drinking?” It was hilarious because he’s a dad and so seemingly straight laced and we are both great big grownups so you don’t expect that. But he and I have always been blunt and honest, with each other and others I assume. So yeah, knock yourself out.

He spoke to his missus, who was in Iowa with their daughter, visiting her mother. I made some dinner and we chatted. Afterwards, we put on our cowboy boots, which we would wear everywhere, and headed to Hooters. No room at the bar so I said “OK, we’ll go to Sports City.” Great call, by the way. We got the last bar table in the joint and giggled and chatted about butt chugging and twerking and my winning Miss Bear, Delaware after sleeping with a lot of people, some who weren’t even on the judging panel (that never happened. I totally did NOT win). That joke cracked Austin up and he said “I’m used to the one two three of a joke but I forgot how you are, going four five six.” He made me laugh by demanding to meet the mayor of Sports City and by trying to bust a move at the table, seeing that it got a laugh out of me, and choking on his water. Dos Equis was the beverage of choice that night, with Austin feeling all sorts of confusion about why he was missing a lime, what had happened in transit to lose the lime. Neither of us knew what we were meant to do with the limes so we just squeezed them into our beer and threw the limes in after.

At one point, I went out for a cigarette and a guy asked me my name. He was trying to hit on me and started asking what kind of cat I was. “Are you a feral cat, or are you a domesticated cat?” Even after I said “it’s a name I picked up from my husband”, not mentioning the ex part, he continued to try. Austin found that hilarious. We decided that if a guy tried to hit on me when I was at the table with him, Austin would just doff his cap and wish the guy well because that would take balls. Seriously, a woman cannot be alone in a bar in Texas, even on the smoking patio, without someone talking to her. The next time I went to smoke I said “OK, I’m going to kind of rub your shoulder so that anyone looking will think we are together.” It was awesomely awkward and we could hardly keep our shit together, but it seems to have worked.

Having exhausted our being the most obnoxious residents of Sports City, we returned to my apartment to watch Shaun of the Dead. Austin talked throughout the entire thing, talking to the movie and saying what was going to happen. He informed me when it was bedtime that he always does that. I’ve seen the movie seven hundred times (J got Hot Fuzz, I got Shaun of the Dead in the divorce) so I didn’t mind. Austin slept on the couch whilst I took the bed. He was enamored with my animals, especially Johan since he hasn’t known anyone with a guinea pig, so he was happy. I told him that if he woke up before 9 he was to leave me alone.