Here is a Christmas tree right next to an ATM machine.
I'm feeling like writing more than blah, blah blogging tonight. So, here goes:
It felt weird. Not just having him in her house in person, but actually talking to him on a Sunday. When he called her drunk on Saturday nights, he always promised to call her the next day, but he never had.
Just a few minutes before, he told her he felt more comfortable with her than with almost anyone else he knew, but he didn't act like it. He didn't really know how to talk to her without teasing her. "Nice plants," he said, laughing.
"Shut-up. I'm not very good at remembering to water them. That's why I mostly have succulents." They were both a little hungover, and she was feeling overly sensitive. "Besides, I bet if I went to your house, I'd find plenty of stuff to make fun of too." He agreed that she definitely would.
She joked about how pretty she looked and how good she was sure she smelled.
"You smell like a flower," he said.
"More like the stinky water the flowers sit in..."
"You smell like three day old flower water," he corrected himself.
"Oh yeah? Well, you smell like three day old hotdog water." They both laughed until they winced. Those jokes were less funny when they were hungover.
She started making the futon back into a couch. She had slept in the living room and given him her bed. He stood up and studied her shelves of books, CD's and movies. It made her nervous. She couldn't remember what was out on display. Most of her stuff was safely stored in boxes in her walk-in closet. You just never knew what someone was going to like or dislike. It was like the mix CD she had made him. For the most part, he loved it, but there were a few songs he couldn't stand.
"I can't do Jerry Reed. Let's get that off of there, " he said. "None of that Smokey and the Bandit shit."
He liked the comic books. She knew some people poo-poo'ed them but he seemed pleasantly surprised that she was into them.
He was twitchy about getting his son from his ex. He had talked to her earlier and she was concerned about the roads. He was at the mercy of his friend to get him back home, and his friend had a habit of not being very reliable. Plus, they didn't even know where his friend was. She told him that if they couldn't find him, she'd drive him to his car about an hour away. She knew exactly what that stress felt like. She went to get ready, just in case, and he continued to peruse all of her stuff. This time, he was careful not to make any comments.
Well, until he noticed one DVD in particular. "Do you really own a copy of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble?" She tried to explain how her brother-in-law found it at Target for .99 cents and bought it for her kind of as a joke. He thought it was funny and said, "That's cool. I have the soundtrack.."
"Really?" She was way more excited than she should have been.
"No. Of course not. Do you think there even is a soundtrack?'
"Oh, probably not. See how gullible I am? It's so ridiculous."
His friend finally answered his phone and she drove him over to where he was and stayed and talked to the other guys until it was time to go. He told her he'd call her in a couple of days, but they both knew he wouldn't. She was okay with it. She had made her peace with that part of him already. They were friends now and she had lower expectations when she didn't think it would grow into anything more.
Still, she went back home and looked at her shelves to get an idea of how he saw her through her things. Most of the CD's on her shelves were bluegrass and older hardcore punk albums. She had some organic gardening books, tons of classic literature leftover from her English degree and a few graphic novels and more current books. Her DVD's were mostly her daughters', so there wasn't much he could judge her on there. Basically, she thought all the items on her shelves screamed, geeky dork, and that was a pretty accurate description of her.