Friday, May 27, 2011

Always Saturday

In typical Maryland fashion, the promise of spring was drowned in days of rain and now we are rushing headlong into the stifling heat and humidity of a premature summer. Those glorious days of dry, cool weather that we characteristically associate with April and May were crammed into one week early in the month. Okay, I should stop bitching. At least it isn't snowing.

I'm afraid I've been in a horrible funk for the last few weeks. My job has lost its novelty and now I feel like I'm just serving drinks and killing time. The jokes from the regulars are as stale as the beer stains on my T-shirt, and there's nothing to stimulate me mentally. I've become lazy and feeble minded. The other day, I stepped on a scale that was on display in a store. I couldn't believe I had put on 11 pounds! Even when I was wallowing in Las Vegas, I worked out five days a week. For the last month or so, I haven't even practiced my yoga, which at least keeps me limber and toned. Geoffrey tried to console me by saying it suited my cover, but I can't stay on top of my game if I'm overweight and sluggish. It could get me killed.

So I've been trying to rally myself, but it's a struggle. I can't ignore how unhappy I am in this interminable assignment. The longer days and sunnier weather makes me yearn for times when I was truly happy, even if the emotions are just a trick of memory. You know those times, when everything just seems so perfect your heart aches. Songs can make me feel that way sometimes. The first time I remember it happening was when I was seven or eight. I was playing at a friends house. She had an older brother who was listening to an alternative rock station. They were playing Always Saturday by Guadalcanal Diary. I was too young to fully appreciate the lyrics, but there was something about the music and the singer's voice that filled me with a weird feeling I can only describe as melancholic happiness. I wanted to live in that song forever, holding on to the feeling, but of course it ended and the outside world of Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake on the TV encroached.

God, where did that come from? I guess I'm just sick of the people I have to associate with right now. Chester's girlfriend Amber miscarried her baby. I was at Chester's house when it happened and had to help her through it. Not an experience I care to revisit.

She hadn't told Chester about the pregnancy yet, so this was all a big surprise to him. The next day, Amber visited me at the bar. She had some bruises on her face. I finally got her to confess that Chester had knocked her around a little after I left. Not really sure what was going on in that twisted head of his. Apparently, he was mad that she hadn't told him about the pregnancy and even more mad at Amber for losing the baby. Either he thought she did it on purpose or she wasn't strong enough to bear his child, I don't know. I was about to go over to Chester's house and kill the little bastard, but Geoffrey talked me down. We still needed the creep, no matter what I thought of him. I had to be a good soldier and let it go.

I was so tempted to call The Colonel and ask him to reassign me, but that would shoot my career right down the toilet. I haven't earned the right to pick and choose my cases yet. Maybe I never will. As it is, Geoffrey and I have worked our way into the inner circle of this strange cult of Ryan Mayhew. They have multiple terrorist plots in the works. Everyone is assigned specific tasks related to each plot. No one knows too much about each plan and no one knows which plan Mayhew will ultimately command us to carry out. He says this is for security purposes. He's paranoid as hell, but given the fact that Geoffrey and I have already infiltrated his little clan, he has good reason to be. So far, Mayhew has had me researching the price and availability of various chemicals and mechanical parts online. Lucky me, I'm now an accomplice to a crime.

Anyway, with all this going on, I had to make a change. My dreary apartment, which suited me just fine when the winter weather was equally dreary, seemed hopelessly cramped and depressing now that the sun shines for 14 hours a day. I needed a little space and someone to prop me up, so I moved in with Geoffrey. Yes, his trailer is pretty small, but there is a little land around it, so I can sit outside on my nights off and watch the stars. I even planted a little flower garden along the side of the trailer that faces the sun most of the day. It feels sort of like a home, and I have a man next to me in bed every night.

Every day doesn't feel like Saturday yet, but maybe Friday afternoon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Between the Holidays

It's been a strange couple of weeks. Not that you would know it from any outward appearances, but emotionally, I've been all over the map. It started with Easter weekend, which actually turned out to be very nice, thank you very much.

When I arrived at my mom's house, I was relieved to see that Mr. Huggins wasn't hanging around. We went out for a little dinner, and then stopped off at the neighborhood beer and wine shop to pick up a couple bottles of moscato. During the course of the night, we consumed said bottles of wine and talked about so many things. In vino veritas, as the saying goes. I unloaded all my negative feelings about mom being with my old high school principal, how I couldn't stand his insufferable daughter, and my general lamentation about losing the family feeling we once had. Surprisingly, mom understood it all and kind of agreed with me. She also pointed out that nothing was ever going to be the same now that Dad was gone and I had to accept change even if I didn't like it. It all sounds so trite and simplistic as I summarize it here, but these were things I couldn't accept and needed to hear. Despite my headache the next morning, I did feel better.

Easter was fun. Mr. Huggins broke out Dad's old charcoal grill and cooked a leg of lamb that mom had marinated the day before. It was a pretty spring day until late in the afternoon when a thunder storm rolled in. Mr. Huggins brought the lamb in from the grill just in time before the heavens broke open. The food was delicious, and I felt much more comfortable with our new family than I did last Thanksgiving.

Easter Monday I was back at work. Geoffrey started bringing Chester and Ryan around to the bar. Ryan finally admitted to his having a little group that meets secretly at Chester's house. After several days of beer fueled conversation, Ryan finally relented and said we could come to the next meeting. Things are moving ahead.

Of course, this week was all about Osama bin Laden. I felt a certain amount of relief that we had finally taken him out, although I couldn't bring myself to cheer and wave flags. Counterterrorism is a nasty business, and killing people, even ones that deserve it, isn't exactly like winning the Super Bowl. Besides, I know first hand that there are still threats to this country. A strain of virus has been killed, but the disease marches merrily on, and we have to keep doing our jobs. Still, I'm glad we didn't have to face the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with bin Laden still out there.

As soon as the news broke, good ol' Chester had to start his conspiracy rants. "Why can't we see the body? Kinda convenient that they buried him at sea, don'tcha think?" "DNA tests? That's as phony as Obama's birth certificate!" "Obama bin Biden is just creating a distraction so people won't talk about what a rotten job he's doing!" On and on. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, the boy doesn't know how much he doesn't know.

It's wearing me down, listening to all this crap day after day, and I can tell it's wearing on Geoffrey. He's the consummate pro, but he's also human. That easy swagger feels more forced than it once was. He also snaps at the most insignificant things, like when the mailman didn't close his mailbox lid all the way and his mail got slightly damp from the rain. I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable around him sometimes.

Then, in the middle of my shift yesterday, he calls me and asks me to move in with him. It's not like I haven't been spending time at his place, but it still felt out of the blue. He rationalized that, since Chester and Ryan lived closer to him, it would make more sense for me to be living in Centreville rather than Chestertown. I don't think that's the real reason, though. He's feeling adrift and he wants someone by his side. I was hoping he would be my rock through this assignment. Now I think he wants me to be his. I told him I'd think about it, and the disappointment spilled through the phone. I don't know what to do.

Anyway, I can put that off for a few days because I'm going home to see my mom for Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day everyone!