Number 1…part 3

 

PATIO TALK

It was warm out, so I’d decided to eat my lunch out on the patio of our workplace. I ate ravenously, barely chewing before swallowing, inhaling more and more until my plate was nearly clean. One would think I had malnutrition. I probably was…being a “starving actor” ‘n all. I ate alone, a warm breeze flushing my cheeks. I enjoyed eating alone. It was peaceful and I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I could focus purely on my food. I could focus and think…

Think…think and thinking and thinking too much…

I wondered about my friend Pablo and why he liked Bobby, or Robert—or whatever—so much. Pablo was my best friend, but I couldn’t understand what he saw in him. Why he thought he was a really nice guy when he was a total ass. I thought about the time I asked Bobby to stay at work for me so I could go home early and he said “no, that he had to get home to his daughter.” Then when he was done with his shift, he ended up hanging out with Pablo at the bar with a couple of drunken girls. I was really mad about that. Angrier than usual. I shouldn’t have been. He wasn’t my husband. But there just HAD to be a reason why he was acting this way. It didn’t make any sense. Because he WAS a really nice guy. He wasn’t a jerk. But his actions just didn’t match up. And Pablo liked him, and so did a lot of people, so why was it I was seeing him as the bad guy? There just had to be a reason why he acted the way he did and it was going to drive me insane until I found out why!

“Hey, whatcha thinkin’?”

Speak of the devil

“What’s up, Bobby,” I said, snapping into focus, and wiping any residual food-crumbs off the corners of my mouth. He was standing across from me, smiling his usual-annoying smile.

“Oh, I just saw you out here and wanted to say hi, but you looked deep in thought…” he said, smiling.

“Oh yeah, I do that,” I said, wiping my face again with my napkin. I could’ve sworn I felt leftover crumbs on my face still.

“Whatcha eating?” he asked, his fingers laced in front of him as he casually leaned against a chair.

“Um…” I glanced down at my plate…what did I eat? I was so hungry, I didn’t even pay attention. “I dunno, sliders?” I shrugged.

Bobby nodded. “They must’ve been good.”

“Yep.” My eyes flicked from my plate to Bobby and back again. “So, what’s up?”

He shrugged…and smiled again. “Just wanted to say hi.”

“Why don’t you act like a married man?” I blurted, as if the situation couldn’t be anymore uncomfortable for me and my “private” lunch.

He blinked and the smile went slightly crooked, but seemed to still hold on. And then his face relaxed, as if a sense of relief went through him. “Do you really wanna know?” he said.

“Um, yeah. I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t.” Boy, I could such a bitch to him.

Bobby sighed and the smile was gone. Then he went into a story I would never forget. Out of respect for the sake of their own relationship’s privacy, I won’t divulge. But all you need to know is that the man went from beginning to end with a story about what happened between him and his wife. And because I could sense he was telling the truth (lies are easy to spot, trust me), the hate and anger I felt for him melted away. Those feelings were replaced with a sadness and a touch of guilt for hating him so much. I asked him why, if the two of them were so miserable, he or her didn’t ask for a divorce. He told me that he wouldn’t do it because he wanted the best for his daughter, but that the idea of divorce crossed his mind many times. He figured, being an incredibly patient man, he would try to wait it out until his daughter grew to be 18.

After a moment, he said, “Do you think I’m a bad person?” And he was serious, the look in his eyes glossing over.

“No,” I said. “I think you’re human.”

My insides warmed but in a very sad and guilty way. It felt like everything I thought I knew or assumed about Bobby was right and wrong at the same time. Bobby was trapped in a marriage where both people wanted to escape and neither knew how to do it right. From then on, I decided to make him a friend. Not a close friend, but in my circle of people who I knew needed somebody. I called it The Losers Club (because, frankly, I was one of the biggest losers).

“Thank you for telling me,” I said. “If you ever need a friend…” This time I smiled.

A month or so had passed since we had that talk on the patio. We were good friends at work, but nothing more. My sarcasm remained when talking with him, but we were more playful than we had been before.

One day, while the two of us worked at our computer stations, he looked at me with a particularly bright smile and said, “I’ve got some interesting news to tell you.”

“Oh yeah? What?” I said, smirking at him with my usual cockiness.

“I’m getting a divorce.”

My jaw dropped…

Whimming high up in the sky…

…With Funny Man, Mr. Georgia, and Funny Man Jr. (names have been removed for privacy reasons). And when I say high, I don’t mean stoned, although that would be another interesting whim. It was a great time, just three older guys and a kid-girl getting to know each other for about an hour as we flew from Van Nuys, CA to Mesa, AZ on a Hawker 800 for Funny Man’s comedy tour.

But getting to that Hawker is a whole nuther story in of itself.

My dear friend Anne was supposed to pick me up 45 minutes before I needed to arrive at Clay Lacy Airport. The time to get from Simi Valley to Clay Lacy is about 35-40 minutes. But she needed a buddy to ride with us so they could get back to Thousand Oaks in time for work by way of the carpool lane. So our friend Joe calls me. He decides he’ll be driving because both of their cars are out of gas and Joe drives fast enough to get me to the airport on time. As he’s explaining his plan, he’s also sitting at Cisco’s having a few drinks with our other friend Reid. I roll my eyes thinking Anne will still be driver.

So 4:17 rolls by, just a few minutes behind when I need to be leaving, and my friends pull up with Joe as driver. I immediately have a bad feeling. This is going to suck somehow.

I jump in and Joe takes off. In the wrong direction.

“Where the hell are you going?” I say, as he begins to drive deeper into the mazelike neighborhood, instead of having turned around back to the main street which he should have done in the first place!

“What? You never gone this way?” Joe says in his usual cocky tone.

Anne laughs.

It takes 10 minutes for Joe to blindly and arrogantly navigate through the neighborhood to finally pull out back onto the main street. As we drive towards the freeway, we pass my road. Obviously, THAT was no shortcut.

Anne laughs again. At this point, I want to pull out my hair, which I spent time making pretty, and was now being blown around by wind and smoke because Joe decided to start smoking in the car.

“So where’s the gas station?” Joe asks. At this point he’s finally listening to me, which he should have been doing 10 minutes prior! I tell him and we get gas as he’s smoking and admitting it’s illegal. Of course! Joe is Mr. Invincible and can get away with everything as long as he buys the other whoever a drink.

We hit the freeway at 100 mph. In traffic. Not too heavy, but enough that driving 100mph made me think we were either gonna DIE or get pulled over, which BOTH would have made me very late! Needless to say, from what should have taken 40 minutes took only 20 as we pulled up to Clay Lacy. As I frantically tried to straighten myself up and pretend like I didn’t just go through hell, Mr. Georgia came out and greeted me. All was better. He took my bag and ushered me inside the private reception area as Joe took off with Anne.

I told Mr. Georgia the entire story. He just laughed. We walked toward the Hawker 800 right as Funny Man and Jr. pulled up to board. To sum up the flight, I talked with the pilots, asked if I could fly (no, alright next time), got to know Mr. Georgia and Jr., and Funny Man Christanna2 piped in once in a while either teasing me about living in Simi Valley or why in the world did I move to California if I did mainly theater stuff. Mr. Georgia would back me up. 🙂

All in all, it was a lifetime experience. Thankfully Mr. Georgia had a camera because I forgot to bring mine. It was nice of him to offer taking pictures. It was also great to see my parents and grandparents whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. It’s not everyday you can just call up your mom and say, “hey, what are you doing? I can hang out today in an hour if you want” when you live in another state.

One of these days, private jets will be the only way I fly. 😉

PS-Come to find out later that Joe rear-ended someone after dropping me off. But he was only going 30 mph. Lol.

Boys and Girls can’t just be friends…

Unless the boy is gay of course.

I’ve been very stubborn to admit this statement can be true. I mean, come on! I grew up with boys, felt more comfortable with them, and many times considered myself to be one of them. In fact, many of my closest friends were boys. There were a few years here and there where I actually asked my best “guy friend” if he would be my maid of honor (whenever the day would come I would actually get married). We had a good laugh about it. How it would be unheard of. And how I’d better find a husband who wouldn’t mind my bestest friend in the whole world to be another (straight) guy.

I believed I could pull it off having a sans-sexual-tension best friend relationship with the opposite sex. Of course, I always think I can pull anything off, be above and beyond the norm. I was a very stubborn thinker during my teens and to my early twenties. Now that I am nearing my mid-twenties and have attempted to continue this way of thinking, I’ve realized I made a mistake.

Years ago, I saw the film When Harry Met Sally, which is supposed to be a story about two opposite sexes trying to ignore the ultimate sexual attraction they have for one another. They indulge in relationships with other people and keep their best friend relationship. As the movie continues, their friendship gets more complicated (of course!) and lots of random fighting start to sour everything up. Ultimately something needs to change in their friendship, but I’m not going to say what it was in case you haven’t seen the movie. Don’t wanna spoil the ending. 🙂

It’s funny, these platonic relationships. Because someone always seems to be more attracted to the other and has to learn how to control their feelings in case of ruining the comfortable friendship they have (now when I say friendship, I’m talking about really close friendships; best friend status). In most cases, I’ve found that it’s always the guy who starts to feel the sexual tension for his best “female” friend. Usually, for the girl, it never occurs to her unless someone else says something like, “Hey, you guys look cute together…” and only then does the sex idea pop up into her head. Otherwise, usually the girl is completely clueless about her best friend’s attraction to her. Usually.

Where am I going with this? Well, what happens when those two friends start to explore their sexual attraction for one another, all the while trying to stay “just friends?”

Crap happens. The deeper, romantic and complicated feelings start to come out and if the relationship isn’t defined appropriately, the friendship becomes more troublesome and messy than it should be. Everything you once thought was clear becomes cloudy and confusing. And your best friend becomes the source of your problems, instead of the problem solver. There’s no getting away from it, and there’s no sense in denying it.

So what do you do? Seeing as I really don’t have the answer, I’m gonna have to admit that I don’t know. But what I can tell you is to do this: Take a deep breath, count to ten, and wait for the answer to come. You’ll only see it on a clear day.