Fourth of July Festivities & Absurdities
It started with Shawn. Working at a car dealership has given me a growing respect for males that popular feminism had contorted my mind from seeing. Wait, scratch that, It probably has more to do with my ex-husband contorting my mind. How like God to allow one of my greatest sources of healing to come from the same gender that caused the greatest wounding. One of the things about many of the men there is that they seem to notice the low days and get extra funny for me when they occur. This may be my overall favorite male quality. Humor is healing. That day Shawn’s humor was healing. Thinking of myself constantly as both sexy and brilliant, such delusions of self-grandeur can get tiring, and it was one of those days I was feeling neither sexy nor brilliant that Shawn seemed to understand intuitively he should go into funnier mode.
We have a thing where he is suppose to ask me each morning if I showed up around 9:30 or lecture me if I was late. I walked in around 9:35, and he evaluated my demeanor with those knowing Asian eyes of his. Then lifted a ornery eyebrow and declared with lackluster amusement as he tapped his watch, “It is 9:35 princess.”
I retorted, “I said 9:30 “ish”. I happen to know I said “ish” because I never forget the “ish” knowing I need to allow myself a little room for “ish-like” behavior.”
He made his look like he does where it is evident that he actually loved my nerdy retort, but he is going to do his best not to show it. Then he smiled and said, “I was just teasing you. I was going to text you at nine, but somehow I knew you would be here because I believe in you.”
That startled me for a moment. I think anytime anyone drops the teasing to let me know they actual care, I startle for a moment because I had become accustomed to fake caring. This was Shawn, who is almost always joking and never serious, being real. I decided to continue the teasing where I feel comfortable, “How would you do that without my number I wonder?” Then I paused, “Actually, I am totally fine with you having my number. You have my permission to text me and tell me to get my behind moving if you haven’t seen me. I’m giving permission just in this domain.”
He looked surprised, “How am I going to get your number I wonder?”
I opened my phone, “I will text it to you.” I found myself enjoying the fact that I had his number, and he didn’t know. I have everyone’s number in the company in my phone in case I need to contact someone. It is very useful. It took about an hour to enter them all from the phone log but has been a life saver sense.
His phone rang, and he lifted it in shock. “Whaaaat? You have my number. You little stalker.”
I giggled proud of myself.
He added, “I’m not sure I know how I feel about you stalking me. If I had realized, I would have left a window open at night for you.”
I rolled my eyes at him. “Shawn, it is nice that I have you around to regularly ask me out and hit on me so I can keep my ego at a properly inflated level. I don’t know what I would do without someone to deny on such a regular basis. You are practically medicinal.”
He rolled his eyes and shrugged before returning to work seemingly pleased with himself that my spirits had been lifted. You see, Shawn knows we aren’t going to be a thing, he did that because he wanted me to feel better and could tell something was wrong. It was in some ways, selfless.
Next came Oklohoma. I don’t know what it is, but all the dudes there seem to be able to tell when I’m down and purposefully visit with some goofy male introduction to check up on me. I had been working on my research paper with a mad curiosity due at midnight. I was wearing blue vision glasses because I had noticed the bright light bothering me.
He came and sat down and removed them from my head and put them on his. It is always interesting to me that some of the same tactics that worked in elementary school are still some of the best for starting a conversation with the opposite sex. Then he glared at me rather ominously. I was not sure why I was getting that look. He accused me, “You called me a dumbass.”
“Nonsense Ricky dear. I don’t swear on the showroom floor.” I lifted an eyebrow and waited.
He gestured to my glasses. “Yes you did. You may have not used that term. You did essentially say—you are a dumbass Ricky.”
I giggled because he was clearly butthurt over something and a warped part of me found it amusing that I had no idea what I had done.
He sighed and continued, “When I put on your glasses yesterday, you said—you actually look smart now. That would mean the rest of the time you don’t think I use my brain. You meant it.”
I giggled again because it was true and there was no defense.
He kept going, “I don’t have to use my brain much to sale cars. I just need to look good and be nice to people.”
I giggled again, “You do look good Ricky. You have that going for you. Success!” Poor kid, I was really finding this whole thing hilarious. I knew he would pick up the part about not saying anything about him being intelligent and still be insulted. That is because Ricky is not stupid—he is a dumbass. The two are entirely different. There was no redeeming the thing so I took my glasses and turned my back and went back to typing my research paper.”
He looked hurt and said, “I was wearing the glasses because you evidently like smart. I thought I might look good enough for you then.”
That one got to me. The idiot has a girlfriend. He should care what she thinks of him not me. However, he is an actual friend. So, I decided to reduce the attitude. I wanted to say, “Women like intelligence because it makes for a better personality often. An intelligent man is going to know how to protect you. A dude with a brain is probably going to be more imaginative in the bedroom also. Nerds are waaaaaay underrated. It isn’t actually attractive to act dumb. Dumb is not the new cool to me kid.” Yet, that would have led him the wrong direction, and I only want to be his friend. Instead I said, “You are plenty intelligent. You choose to pretend you are not and not challenge yourself. You are therefore a dumbass.” Then, being a terrible person, I giggled again.
He looked shocked. However, he is used to me tormenting him. He decided to shrug his shoulders and accept it.
I changed the subject, “What are you doing for when we get off early for the fourth?”
His eyes grew big, “I’m having a barbecue with my family at my house. It will be a lot of fun. What are you doing?”
I sighed, “Chelsea and I were going to go downtown and watch the fireworks.”
He looked surprised, “Aren’t you going to go with your family and do something?”
I looked down at the ground uncomfortable, “They aren’t here. They went somewhere else. I, I,…” I paused and didn’t know what else to say.
His eyes got angry, “Those assholes. You guys should come to my house. I would enjoy having you.” I instantly felt better being included.
I looked at him surprised that I just insulted his ass up to high heaven and got an invite. I was wondering if I was missing something. However, Ricky is an animal. The idea of a crazed fourth of July party with the occasional creepy Uncle he was bound to have sounded enjoyable. I thought to myself, why the hell not? You may be wondering at this part in the story what happened to my boyfriend. I was also wondering the same thing. Ricky and Shawn both know about him. However, considering that he was in another state visiting old friends in mixed groups and not contacting me very much…. (He was also visiting his son, I liked that part.) I was suffering, but I was not going to sit around while he figured out if he missed me or not. I never once tried to call him because I was not going to pursue him. He was free to make his own choices. So, I would go out and have a good time. I was going to have such a good time I was going to pretend like I didn’t even miss him. Heck, I might even convince myself.
My boss overheard that I might be going to Ricky’s. He said, “You do realize that will be a wild bunch?”
I thought to myself, “Precisely why I want to go.”
Ricky interjected, “The fourth of July is my favorite holiday. You get to drink lots of beer and blow stuff up—he had a slight crazed glimmer in the back of his eye.”
I thought, “Sweeeet! Yes, crazed glimmer party-leader let’s do this.”
My boss looked thoughtful, “You know I make good cocktails also. I just want you to promise me if you get drunk over there you will call me. I will give you a ride home. No driving!”
Ricky looked offended, “I would hide her keys before that could happen. My dad made plenty of people spend the night when I was a kid.”
I was a little bit incensed and thought, “Yeah…um… dude, you aren’t getting us both drunk and getting a three-way. I don’t spend the night at party houses. I don’t sleep around for a reason… I’m going for the blowing up of stuff.” If he hid my keys, there would be no chance in hell I was spending the night there! The guy has got to work hard for that behavior. In Ricky’s case, it just isn’t possible. I actually felt like stomping my foot—thou shalt not conquer me! I’m dramatic… it makes for interesting art.
Instead, I lifted an eyebrow toward my sweet white-haired boss for his tender gesture and said, “I do like to get a little drunk. I don’t like to get wasted. I also don’t drive drunk. I promise if I get drunk—I will call.”
He let out a sigh of relief.
I drove home and found Chelsea out back smoking her tobacco pipe. Puffing may be a more appropriate adjective for that actually… She turned and nodded her head and smiled.
I said, “Hey, I would like to join you.” I paused only to see her face light up happily as I ran back inside to grab my cheap pipe.
It took me awhile to get mine lit and she laughed a little at me. It turned out I packed the bowl too dense. I don’t know what I’m doing yet. I only know that it was of the most pleasurable things I have experienced. There is Jesus, orgasms, and tobacco… they are all up there for me. That is why I made myself wait a month sense the last time I smoked and decided to save it for special occasions. I don’t need to become a habitual smoker this year too, although the idea is enticing.
We didn’t really start talking, the good stuff part of the conversation, until we had been puffing for about fifteen minutes. Then I introduced the idea of going to Ricky’s instead of downtown for the firework show. She had a dirty look cross her face. I was surprised, I thought they had a friendship.
“He has been flirting with me for the last two weeks. He even brought me the gift of all his old gauges for my ears. I found myself surprised that I was responding and realizing he could create real feelings in me. He also has a girlfriend, and he asked me to hang out alone with him. I don’t want to go to Ricky’s party. I don’t want to see Ricky outside of work.” She stopped with a venomous look in her eye.
Ricky had asked me if it was cool if he hang out with Chelsea. It was cool with me, but not if he was playing her. I figured out he was a player a while ago, I still liked him as a friend. I felt differently toward him if he was playing my friend… that would make him no longer my friend. He could play other girls, not my girls. A part of me thought he and Chelsea would well together. As I was contemplating Chelsea said, “The problem is he reminds me of this chick I dated.”
I threw my head back and laughed so hard I truly did forget about my wild red-head. Thaaaat was the funniest thing I had heard in a while. I turned to her, “Thank you for that. It has officially made my night. I so wish we could tell him. We really want to go to the party Ricky, the problem is you remind Chelsea of a chick she dated. You understand right?” Hey, I have thought Ricky had some woman in him anyway… I continued, “How do you think he would respond if you told him?
She contemplated, “That could go any number of ways. Normally you don’t tell someone something like that.”
I giggled. This was delightful. “No, normally you don’t. Let’s pretend you did.”
She chuckled softy, “He would either be surprised I dated a chick and focus in on wanting to know more about that, or he would be offended I told him he is like a chick. It is true—he is a lot like her.”
I started laughing my head off all over again. When I gathered myself I said, “I don’t think he would skip a beat if you told him you had dated a chick. I think he would zero in on being like one. This is why it would be worth it.” I laughed an evil laugh because he is like one in the drama way...
Then I wondered, “How is he like her?”
She puffed some smoke into the air relaxed and softy began, “They are both extremely charismatic and likable. So likable that a person who had become their enemy would still act like they like them to their face because that is what you have to do with a person who has that much charisma.” She waited then let drop, “They are also both fucking crazy.”
I smiled and said, “Ricky absolutely has the potential to be crazy.” Then I asked, “Tell me more about this girl you dated. I have heard of you speak of her before and know there was love from the tone in your voice.” I has suspected Chelsea was bi, but she had not yet actually told me. She had only dropped hints. I wanted her to feel like she was accepted in whatever way she came as my best friend. It seemed like asking her to tell about the relationship was one way of indicating my comfort level with who she was had not changed.
She nodded and began, “She pimped me out for my birthday.”
I giggled. I gestured my hand and lifted an eyebrow, “Awe, the beginning of a great story.”
She looked embarrassed and then laughed, “It is not a good story friend.”
I titled my head, “I didn’t say good. I said great. I want to hear a great story of how you got to be who you are today. You can’t very well tell me you were pimped out and leave me hanging. If you feel safe, I would love for you to extrapolate.
“Well, we went to her pole dancing conversation….
I interjected, “Was she any good?”
She nodded her head vigorously, “Incredible.”
I said, “The really good ones are amazing athletes.”
She continued, “It isn’t a good story. She literally sold us both to some guy without telling me. I don’t remember most of it. The dark event bonded us. Our dark energy melded taking part in that together. That is why Ricky terrifies me—I think the darkness from our pasts would bond. I am trying to overcome that. She was also genuinely crazy. I did love her, but she was not good.”
I was convinced she was crazy at she pimped out her lover. But hey… the things is, crazy people who do bad things are people underneath still and you can love bad, crazy people. Chelsea had been abandoned and needed to be loved. The underground world made her feel it for a season. She just realized it wasn’t the good kind, nor was she happy. Then, she found Jesus and she is healing.
I made a decision. “I could care less about the party babe. We will go downtown and walk on the green belt and see fireworks. We will have innocent fun. Your feelings matter to me some of the most in my life right now. How you feel matters and we are going to protect you. I privately thought I didn’t need to be going over there to not feel pain anyway. That also was not healthy. I’m for health typically…”
She looked pained and said, “After I became a Christian, I wondered why God would make me bi and then not allow it. I had another friend who was bi who told me that was because He didn’t. She felt she had become that way because of pain in her past and the desperate need for love, but it was not natural.”
I looked at her deep in the eyes and said, “Chelsea, it is okay with me if you feel you were made like that. I want you to know that. It doesn’t change anything. I like these bad great stories because they tell me how you became my friend. I care. Many of these things are not reflective of who you are anymore, but they did help shape you.”
She lifted an eyebrow, “You are different you know that. There are very few people in this world that I could tell I dated a chick. You accept me; I knew telling you wouldn’t change how you were toward me. That is a very rare thing. Most people are not safe.”
This grieved my heart and I thought that so often what people need most to heal is acceptance as they are. “You know, people reject what they can’t understand because it scares them. It is easier to reject you than have to come to an understanding. This doesn’t make their rejection correct.”
She nodded and said, “I would only date guys now. I think she was special.”
I shrugged as if to say—It is cool whatever it is honey. I think also this is the same message God sends to us, come as you are and let me show you my love. We begin there and build upon that loving foundation. I really don’t think rejection is a message of God, it is sad the church has made people feel that.
We went to a spectacular firework show together talking of pyramids, time, the ten dimensions, angels and demons… and lots of other fun things. It was the best kind of fun. When it was over, I looked down at my phone and saw two missed calls from that red head and a, “I’m missing you.” I let out a sigh of relief, he had figured that out now had he? Funny thing was, I had hurt missing him… but not that night. That night I was with my best friend.
I also had a talk with Ricky the next day about not asking Chelsea to hang out alone with him unless he actually wanted to let his girlfriend go because it isn’t fair to Chelsea or his girlfriend. Oddly enough, the talk went well…
#writing #shortstory #prose