Friday, April 22, 2011

Is it Easter Again Already?

I'm about to hit the road and head down to Bethesda to spend the Easter weekend with my mother. I had every intention of avoiding her this Easter, but last week when one of my Twitter friends (@maddjudd) asked me to "Say hello to your momma," it gave me pause. I know I'm all conflicted about her relationship with Mr. "Call me Brad" Huggins, but that isn't really her fault. That's something I have to deal with. Meanwhile, she's still family and, at this point, I have damn little family to lean on right now. Maybe it'll be good for me to put Carla Puckett in the closet for the weekend and go back to being Angie for a few days, especially after this past week.

On Sunday, Geoffrey (a.k.a. Hank) and I went down to Chester Schifflet's house on Kent Island for his cook out. Good thing he had a nice deck because his back yard was a swamp after all the rain we had on Saturday. Sunday, however, was bright and crisp and beautiful. Can't say the same for the company. We spent the afternoon drinking cheap beer and eating burnt burgers-from-a-box while Chester's friends "entertained" us with crude jokes and narrow-minded opinions about how to fix the world's problems (or at least the tiny scrap of world they choose to acknowledge).

Geoffrey has a much easier demeanor when it comes to this sort of thing, so he did most of the socializing. I spent most of my time with Chester's girlfriend, Amber, who seemed even more quiet and reserved than usual. At one point, she looked like she was on the verge of tears, so I corralled her into one of the spare bedrooms where we could talk privately. It turns out that Amber is pregnant with Chester's baby, but she hasn't told him and is not sure she wants to have it. She knows that Chester and his best friend, Ryan Mayhew, "are planning something big" in the next few months, and she fears for what will happen to him. Amber doesn't want to bring a child into the world just when the father may be dead or in jail. The poor girl cried on my shoulder for about an hour. Unfortunately, I didn't know what to tell her. I'm against abortion as a rule, but I don't want another racist loser coming into the world either. What's more, I had to know what this "something big" was all about so Geoffrey and I could stop it. That meant getting closer to Ryan Mayhew.

After I had managed to get Amber calmed down with promises to get her help, I walked into the living room where Geoffrey was already engaged in a passionate conversation with Mr. Mayhew himself. They were having a "scientific" discussion about racial purity and how certain races have genetic imprinting that predisposes them to bad behavior like violence, lack of industriousness, and criminal tendencies. Geoffrey's deep brown eyes blazed with intensity as he wowed Mayhew with a hate-filled diatribe so unlike the real Geoffrey I know. It chilled me to the core. Between Amber and Geoffrey, I was emotionally drained. I just wanted to go home.

Geoffrey returned to his old perky self as we headed up to Chestertown in his growling Trans Am, but I knew this performance had to eat at him. The next couple of days, he was still out of sorts and Tuesday night, he got completely hammered at the bar. I offered to drive him home and I spent the night there. We were up until dawn as Geoffrey unloaded about his divorce and missing his kid. Playing duel roles in the same body had taken its toll, and he was beginning to regret ever entering this profession. I was beginning to have doubts as well. Despite telling myself that I would never have romantic notions about being a counterterrorism agent, I had romanticized it all the same. What I didn't factor in was that I would have to play people I would otherwise throw mud on if I saw them on the street. Once you fall into these roles, you can't help but wonder how much of these characters are really you.

Anyway, I asked Prune if I could have off this weekend and now I'm heading home to forget all this for awhile. I know my mom will not like the orange highlights I put in my hair. People in Bethesda are mostly Nationals fans, but the customers at the bar in Chestertown are mainly Orioles fans. I thought the orange streaks might give the struggling team some luck, but so far the results are mixed.

I'll let you know how the weekend went. In the meantime, here's some Easter humor from my favorite comedian, Patton Oswald:

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