Gimmeoxygen's Blog

November 30, 2009

Home forThanksgiving. Please Pass the Xanax.

I went back east for two weeks.  Being away from my relatives for a few years made me not quite forget I was raised by jackals, but time made them seem much less awful than they really, truly are, so…I spent Thanksgiving with them.

I took notes.

Copious notes.

Over the course of this week, I’ll share these notes with you, and ask you to, please, consider adopting me.  I’m not too old, and I’m pretty small – in the right light, I can pass for, oh, 14 or 15 years old, okay?  I promise I won’t make too much noise or any mess; I’ll keep my room tidy, and my gratitude will make me your loyal, devoted servant for life.  I can take care of you in your declining years!  Just something for you to think about…

* * *

If I live to be 200 years old, and I still have relatives to go home to, the moment I come through the front door, someone will start to sing, “If I had a dime in a bucket…” and everyone will laugh.  Why?  Because that is how I interpreted Jim Croce’s TIME IN A BOTTLE when I was 4 years old.  My mother had me sing it that year for everyone at Christmas…and everyone laughed.  They had to find me and coax me out from underneath my grandmothers’ bed to come to dinner because I’d been FUCKING TRAUMATIZED.  Not only will those present for the incident never forget, they, apparently, have handed-down my humiliation as an heirloom much the way other families pass down good silver, china and jewelry as members of the family who weren’t born at that time know about it…and everyone still laughs.

* * *

Everyone seems to feel this overwhelming need to poke, pat, pinch and fondle me.  It’s as if they don’t think I’m quite real.  I’m going home with so many bruises it’s going to look like I had a 3-way with de Sade and the Countess Bathory.  This is more intimate than I want to be with a group of people who consider higher education to be watching JEOPARDY! while washing pork rinds down with whatever domestic beer is one sale.

* * *

My weight, or lack of it, concerns my family.  This conversation took place between my Aunt Adele and I:

“Why don’t you have children?  You need some kids around so you won’t be so high-strung all the time, and to put some weight on you.  Why don’t you find someone and have a few babies?”

I wanted to say, “Well, I know it’s traditional for the females in this family to have their first illegitimate child by the age of fifteen, but I’ve always been a slow starter.”  What I actually said was, “I just haven’t given it much thought yet.”

“Don’t get with a professional man.  Get with a trucker like my Stan.  MY kids are all healthy as horses!”

What I wanted to say was, “Horses?  Mules, perhaps.  Tell me – do you buy Danny shoes, or simply take him to a blacksmith?”  What I actually said was, “Yeah…um…they’re pretty sturdy, all right.”

“And you need to eat real food.  What’s the deal with that hummus shit and funny bread you brought with you?  You thinking of being one of those vegetarian people who always look so pale and skinny?  People need to eat meat and gravy and potatoes, too.  If you did, you might get yourself a figure that’ll catch a mans’ eye.”

I’m not a vegetarian.  I’m a carnivore.  I just don’t snack on hunks of greasy sausage and cheese impaled on plastic toothpicks, that’s all.  The closest thing they had to a healthy snack in the fridge was half a quart of milk that was two days past the expiration date.  “I suppose…” is all I said.

“You take my advice.  Put on a few pounds.  Wear some more makeup.  Find some clothes that show a little of you off – you look like you’re trying to cover everything up and people might think you got that eczema shit or something.  You don’t have eczema, do you?  If that’s the reason, I understand.  If your skin isn’t messed up, though, wear yourself something more revealing.  Look at Heather – all the boys chase her around.”

Heather looks like a misplaced street whore.  She had on see-through, plastic platform stripper heels, and every time she sat down, her dress crawled up to her navel.  She had on so much foundation that it was cracked around her eyes and mouth, and she had bright orange – orange??? – lipstick on.  Heather is Adeles’ youngest child, and I tried to see her through a mothers’ eyes.

I’m just not that maternal.

I don’t know if I’ll last until Thanksgiving.  I might have to invent some creative excuse, and get my dog and I out of here. 

* * *

 

 

November 17, 2009

Seven Pounds of Vet Bills

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 6:32 pm
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I was up late working on my finances (insert sarcastic laugh at the word ‘finances’).  One of the piles were the bills for BuKi, my Chinese Crested, who is diabetic, blind, arthritic, suffering from Canine Cognitive Disorder (doggie Alzheimer’s), and prone to infections of the anal glands (don’t ask), and ears.  The breed has notoriously soft teeth, too.  So much so that they are the only breed I know of who can be missing teeth and still qualify in dog shows.  She’s had extensive dental work that includes four root canals.

I added up what I’ve spent to support the cur this year, and it came to over four thousand dollars.

Four thousand dollars.

I looked down at her.  She was, as usual, staring up at me, creeping me out.  “I want to tell you something I’ve kept from you, Princess PooHeinie SquatsALot.  Do you know how you came to be my dog?  Lemme tell you the story…”

When I was a teen, my mother decided that it was time to teach me the responsibility of caring for another living creature, and that a dog would be the perfect gift for me at Christmas that year.  She went looking for a dog she thought I’d like, and found out about Chinese Cresteds.  They were quite rare then, and very expensive, but she thought they were adorable, and knew I’d love their quirky, Dr. Seuss-like appearance.

She found a breeder.  Looking at all of the dogs available, she was trying to decide when she noticed one that the breeder hadn’t presented as being for sale.  This dog was BuKi.  She was the runt of the litter – underweight, even more slight of frame than the breed is naturally – and they had already tattooed a fancy ‘UFB’ on her tiny belly.  Unfit For Breeding.  They weren’t going to sell her because they hadn’t deemed her worthy.

Of course,  my mother not only fell in love, but the idea of getting a bargain appealed to her.  She managed to talk the breeder into selling BuKi for the lower sum of six hundred dollars (the others were going for twice as much),  and walked away with the breeder still apologizing to her for accepting her money for such a puny beast.

“That’s right, sport – you are a bargain basement dog.  A downtown dog from an uptown breed.  I didn’t want you to ever find that out, but…I want you to suffer a little after looking over all the money that you, a bargain!, have cost me.”  She continued looking at me, and burped.  She burps at me a lot.  I suspect it’s her way of telling me I’m full of hot air.  “And what do you do for me?  I’ve spent half of my life with you, and I do not recall you ever – not once – rubbing my belly or preparing my dinner.  You have never stood beside me in the freezing rain waiting while I pooped so you could pick it up in a ridiculous, little bag.  You haven’t even applied antibiotic ointment to my anal glands, and let me tell you how disgusting THAT is, chickadee.”

“What you HAVE done is cost me a ton of green.  You’ve dragged me on walks in the middle of the night.  You’ve turned your nose up at the dinners I give you.  You’ve puked on everything I own, I think.  You’ve barked in my ear while I was in the middle of a dead sleep just to wake me up and rub your tummy.  On top of all that, you get under the covers in my bed at night and fart like a maniac (it’s awful, it really is – I keep a can of Febreze Extra Strength on my bedside stand).  You are a thoroughly useless and problematic creature, and I am going to make slippers out of you, I am.”  She yawned, turned in a circle, sat down in exactly the same place, and stared on.

I went back to working out a budget for the coming year.  A little later, I feel a very delicate, nearly not there, touch on my leg.  I look down and she is holding out one paw, barely brushing against me.  This is her asking me to, please, pick me up – do you mind? – it’s time for me to be held now.

I do so.  She likes being held in my arms like a baby while I swivel in my chair.  She snuggles into me, and sighs.  In a few minutes, she goes utterly limp as she falls asleep.  She trusts me.  She knows I’ll never hurt her, never drop her, will take care of her…and this goes directly to my withered, blackened heart. 

I’m being held hostage by a farting bit of fluff.

November 15, 2009

Still Looking For the Parrot in Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 9:15 pm
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I don’t have a thing to say today except that I’m cold, I foresee myself getting colder, and I’m already praying for spring, so I went into my stash of handwritten journals to find an entry that is suitable for this snowy day. 

I wrote this shortly after moving here a few years ago.

*********************

The area I’ve moved to is known for harboring eccentrics.  In the summer, the roads are often congested by recreational vehicles full of tourists from Iowa (I think all tourists are from Iowa even when they are not) travelling no more, and no less, than 32.5 mph so that they can stare at the most colorful of the natives.  (My personal favorite is the old man who dresses like Pinocchio and juggles as he walks back and forth in front of his puppet shop.)

The natives depend on the tourists as most of them either own, or are employed by, the small shops featuring things like handcrafted guitars and dulcimers, handblown glass, medieval clothing, occult and New Age texts, herbs and spices – you know the type of town I’m speaking of.  You might even be wearing the handcrafted silver cuff bracelet or tie-dyed pajamas you bought there now.  (You are, aren’t you?  Are you from Iowa by any chance?)

I thought, at first, that the eccentricity was an affectation employed solely to ply their trades, but I’ve since learned that most of them have established permanent residences in Oz.  Whether they began this way, or became what they are after wearing the suit for so long isn’t clear, but its true to say most of my neighbors are as colorful as the parrots in the Amazon.  Beside them, I’m the small, pale ghost slipping around, and beside, them.

I was walking in the new snow this morning.  I heard a snowmobile coming up behind me, and I turned to see an elderly couple wearing boots, gloves, hats, scarves, and nothing else go past me.  They were laughing like children, and thoroughly delighted with themselves.  I filed it in my “Thought I’d Seen Everything” bin, and watched them disappear over a small hill.

Will I ever have the courage (or thick enough skin) to snowmobile naked?  Will I ever want to?  I look around inside myself trying to find something I want to do that is exceptional, even a little odd, and I come up empty-handed.  It’s not that I want to be different because I crave attention – I’m willing to adopt a solitary sandbox of weirdness to play in – it’s a matter of wondering if I have an underfed parrot somewhere inside me at all.

I don’t think I’ll ever want to snowmobile naked, but I’d like to be the kind of person who would do it, laughing like a child, if I ever did want to.

I am passive eyes and ears.  I observe.  I listen.  Perhaps that’s my role – what I do – but I’d like to take part one day as well.

Wonder if I look hot in a scarf?  Hmmm…..

November 14, 2009

Well – It Certainly is White, Isn’t It?

Filed under: Winter — Ruby Dabling @ 9:06 pm
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snow-covered

The first year here when I was still excited by the snow

It turned cold and gray today, a light snow falling and much more to come in the forecast.  I’ll spend the next week hoping that the roof doesn’t cave in, no bears decide to crawl into bed with me, I don’t lose my dog in a drift, and putting off going into town until all that’s left in the cupboard is half a box of stale crackers and an inch of peanut butter…and the dog has begun to hide her succulent, moist, fleshy self under the bed when I fire up the oven.

I love the way the fallen snow looks.  I love the hush that accompanies it.  I love sitting in front of my fireplace underneath my afghan reading and dozing with Buki curled-up at my feet.  What I do not love is shovelling the stuff for hours until my fingers are frozen, blue claws, and driving in it.  My best method for driving narrow, treacherous mountain roads in the snow is to shut my eyes and scream loudly until I’ve arrived at my destination, so – if you see me – it would behoove you to pull over to the side of the road and say a prayer until I’ve passed you (I’m the screaming woman in the eggplant-colored PT Cruiser with the clichéd Hawaiian hula dancer on the dashboard, k?).

If no one hears from me ever again, assume that I’ve either been eaten by bears, mountain lions or cannibals (I live near the famous scene of the Packard Party who ate each other to survive their first, brutal winter).  If I have to choose, I’ll go with the cannibals.  At least the pot of boiling water they’ll throw me in will be warm…

 

 

I’m Having a WHAT?!?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 2:30 am
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More or less how I spent the day

I’m taking advantage of the ‘roid-induced ravenous appetite while I have it.  I spend the day grazing in the supermarkets and going to my favorite restaurant afterwards.

I got black grapes, cherry tomatoes, pickled peppers, animal crackers, cookies, gummi-frogs, spearmint leaves, humus, olives, pears, clementine oranges, huge and juicy golden apples, ice cream, red licorice, pickles, smoked oysters, and orange cream yoghurt.  I  bought chocolate, peanuts, cashews, jellied fruit slices and marzipan.  I bought two large cans of coconut macaroons and a giant jug of chocolate milk.  Do you think it’ll be enough???

On the way home, I stopped in for some feisty Pollo Fuego.  I love it even though it’s so spicy-hot that it makes me sweat and want to tear all of my clothing off to run, howling, out into the night before leaping into the first available body of water…it’s that good, folks.

I’d come in early enough to avoid the crowds that gather the five days of the week that Chuy – the best cook – works.  He likes me because I like his food, and he takes his cooking seriously.  It gives him pride to know that someone like me will suffer the torture of the damned later in the form of blazing heartburn to eat something as good as his pollo fuego.  He came out, sat down beside me, and asked me what I did that day.

I told him all about my shopping and all the yummy food I’d bought to chow down on.  He listened, nodded, and said, “You have a heart that is damaged, right?  Tell Dr. Chuy all about it.”  He settled back, tented his fingers under his chin and gave me his very best, starched and pressed, sincerely concerned gaze.

“You, my dear, are a Mexican ass-bandit who makes the best food in the Southwest.  That’s what you are.”  He beamed – he soaks up a deserved compliment like his sopadillas soak up honey.

“Listen to an old fag, girlie girl, ”  He had relaxed into the Chuy I know.  “And old fags know heartbreak.  You are wearing a halo of pain.”

I smiled.  Chuy loves his drama, he does.  “Don’t armchair-psyche me, you minion of Satan – go back and rattle those pots and pans.  You’ve got an art to practice and patrons to dazzle.  GO!”  Since the first of the first rush was trickling in, he had no choice but to get up and leave me to wolf down the rest of my meal…AND a piece of his Pineapple Banana Creme pie.  I felt like a freakin’ pinata – ready to be hung from a tree limb and whacked with a stick by greedy children – when I paid my bill and left.

Getting busy, yes, but he still took the time to dash out into the parking lot and chase me down before I left.  With what was real concern this time, he took my hands and said, “You know, chica, you aren’t the first girl who’s been in your situation.”

I looked at him, puzzled.  Did he think it was a love gone wrong?  Food as fulfillment?

“You don’t have to hide anything from me.  Tio Chuy isn’t going to tell a soul.”  Nonsense.  He is Gossip Central in the area.  I know intimate details about the lives of people I will never, ever meet because of him.  Still, I stared at him.  I had no idea where this was going.

Finally, he let me know it was okay for me to tell him I’m pregnant…

He had, of course, added two and two, and come up with pregnant.  The bags of groceries of disconnected items.  The way I ate everything put in front of me that wasn’t ceramic or silverware.  The extra piece of pie I was taking home just in case I needed it later.

I love it.  Just love it.  I laughed all the way home…but it’s nice to know that there is one concerned person here who would, I do believe, be willing to be a shoulder to weep on if I ever need it.

November 13, 2009

Again and Again and Again

I just returned from another dreary visit to the hospital.

I was born with a bad heart and set of lungs.  Occasionally, my lungs refuse to work no matter how many inhalers I suck on, and I have to visit the local house of horrors for a bit of respiratory therapy before I turn blue and go into respiratory arrest (which isn’t much fun at all).  I’ve become used to it.  I have my Oh, Shit Bag – filled with books, crossword puzzle magazines, my MP3 player, a robe (those hospital jonnies that let it all hang out in back aren’t that attractive – I wish I could talk all the really old men who come to the hospital to bring a robe, dammit!), and I arrive wearing sweatpants and an oversized tee as I know the next four to five hours will be spent with me hooked up to beeping, booping things and the computer the therapist uses to tell her when I’m done cooking.

The medical staff knows me.  They warn the newbies about me.  Do I disrupt or complain?  No…but I do consider the new employees fair game for any bit of mind fuckery I can come up with.  Tonight, on handing a newbie my obligatory urine sample, I said – very seriously and with a straight face – “I do hope you’ll give me a receipt for that, and that I’ll be able to retrieve it upon leaving.”  The poor girl began to stutter about how the samples are discarded and…and…before I let her off the hook with the Big Smile.  Apparently she didn’t get the memo about the women in Room 3.

Feeling better now.  TOO much better – they always pump me up full of steroids before I leave, and ‘roids have the effect on me that can only be described as  euphoric energy combined with the appetite of an elephant (which is a good thing as I’ve a hard time keeping weight on).  I’ll be up all night coaxing the dust bunnies to cross the picket line under the bed and leap into the dustpan, scrubbing the wall behind the stove, talking to the dog (who will, eventually, pass out and ignore me), and cruising blogs, watching vids on YouTube, etc.  As they sent me home with five prepared syringes for the coming five days, I won’t sleep until, oh, Monday (yes, I exaggerate, but….).  I hate that I can’t do what I like best – start a fire, curl up with a book and my imagination – as I can’t concentrate that long.  Even the blogs I read tonight, no matter how well they are written, will be only vaguely remembered tomorrow and I’ll have to read them again.

Ah, well…

November 12, 2009

A Domestic Mystery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 5:52 am
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ch crested

Chinese Crested

 

 The picture is not of my dog, but it could be her clone.  Her name is BuKi, and she is a diabetic, blind, powderpuff Chinese Crested with arthritis and Canine Cognitive Disorder (i.e. doggie Alzheimer’s).  Although she’ll be 14 years old in December, she is, still, the very delicate and beautiful creature I love to excess.  I’ve had her since I was a teenager myself, and we know each other so well that people observing us interact believe we’re privy to some sort of mystical communion when it’s merely a matter of long, and loving, familiarity.

She’s a good dog.  She’s never destroyed anything, doesn’t poop in the house, doesn’t bark to excess, and would never be seen doing anything as vulgar as sniffing another dogs’ butt – it is beneath her dignity.  However, there is one habit she’s acquired that makes me crazy, and bothers me to no end.

She sits at my feet, a little to the left of me, and stares.

What?  You don’t think that’s odd?  Do you remember me telling you that she’s blind?

Yeah.  As a bat.  The corneas of her eyes are as white as the hair (and Cresteds’ do have hair, not fur).  As white as the falling snow.

It makes me very uncomfortable.  I’ll be trying to work, or read, or whatever it is I’m wasting my time on, and she’ll be sitting in silence, staring.  “What are you looking at?  What do you want??  I’ve walked you.  I’ve fed you.  We’ve played I’ve Got Your Belly until my fingers ache…” and, still, she stares.  “STOP STARING AT ME!  You’re freaking me out, yanno?  WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?!?!?!?”

She didn’t do this before she went blind, so I can only assume that she’s deliberately messin’ with my head.  Oh, yes – it isn’t beyond her.  She’s an intelligent beastie. Probably tells the other dogs about it when she’s at the groomers and laughs at me.

And, yes, she’s doing it now.

Sigh…

November 10, 2009

Screw Waldo – Where’s Ruby?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 5:57 pm
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I couldn’t sleep last night.  Instead of laying in bed letting all of my past mistakes come to visit me with all of their attendant If Only’s, I took a walk, crawled through some blogs, and did a few crossword puzzles until 2 a.m. when I, finally, settled on the sofa with my beaten-but-beloved afghan and my equally-destroyed copy of Quentin Crisps’ THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT.

It was Crisp who, in part, inspired me, a few years back, to abandon the course I was on, and leave the east coast to move here and try to reacquaint myself with who I really am.  I’d quite forgotten, truly – I had to begin by, and continue, asking myself  “Do I really like this?  Do I really want this?” with everything I do, say, wear, and buy because I’d spent all of my previous life desperately scrabbling to be what I needed to be in order to please the people around me.  It hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be to dig down under all of the layers to get a glimpse or two of the real Ruby, and I find that strange – I mean, you’d think you’d know, wouldn’t you?

Well, you don’t.  Or, at least, I don’t.  I was too well molded, detailed, I suppose.  Parochial school, a girls’ academy, a good college, and employed on graduation into a career where I was expected to endure, and succeed, at the office politics until I rose to the level of my incompetence where I would be assured of remaining until my retirement.

So – bit by bit, I’m breathing life back into myself.  I’m surprised by what I’m finding now that I refuse to ask myself what other people will think about my choices.  I’m, also, surprised at what a coward I am as, many times, its taken everything I have to force myself to say and do what I honestly feel in front of someone.  It’s like being naked – I feel that vulnerable – but the high that follows from letting the real Ruby peek out of the dark is worth it.

I’ll never be as colorful as Mr. Crisp.  I don’t think anyone will ever be that colorful, but – that isn’t who I am, either, so I suppose I’m doomed to be a comfortably anonymous soul in an ocean of them.  However, I feel better all the time.  Like I’m shaking off a deep, drugged sleep.  I just hope I like what I find when I’m, finally, fully awake.

Now, fueled solely by caffeine and determination, there’s another day to deal with.  Wonder what I’ll find out about myself today, eh?

November 8, 2009

Alas, My Breasts – They Did Not Quiver

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 8:34 pm
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Words, as any fool knows, are very important tools.  You can make, or break, worlds with the right, or wrong, words.

In school, I had begun having lunch with a shy boy I liked.  I wanted him to ask me to the Spring Prom (which is a practice prom for sophomores if your school didn’t have one).  He was Hungarian – his parents had moved here a few years after he was born – and his name was Kosmo.  In America, the land of the cookie-cutter people who all want to look, act, talk, and smell like each other, he was already having trouble being One of the Guys.  I liked his quiet ways and intelligence, though.  It was one of the first times I understood that what was inside a package is much more important than the package itself.

We’d been eating lunch together for almost a month when Kosmo gave me a love letter.  I’d been thrilled when I began to read his passionate declaration of undying love (the only kind of love one experiences at the age of sixteen) until I got to one sentence which read:  “I dream of your breasts quivering in the moonlight.”

WTF?  I was fifteen.  Quivering breasts?  I barely had breasts, and it horrified me to imagine them quivering like my grandfathers’ jowls in any kind of light…and, then, I began to laugh.

Young love does not survive such laughter.

I made the mistake of sharing the letter with my best friend, Rita.  She swore, of course, to never tell anyone a word about it…and broke land speed records  telling everyone who’d listen to her.  The phrase ‘quivering breasts’ made the rounds at the school, and I couldn’t walk down the hallway without boys saying things like, “Are yer tits quiverin’ yet?”  This made Kosmo and I come to loathe each other for all the wrong reasons, and we both suffered.

I whipped the snot out of Rita in the girls’ bathroom beside the gym as well, and I went to detention for it without regrets.

A little more than a decade has passed since that happened.  I have real breasts now, although I’d still be alarmed if they began to quiver involuntarily, and I’ve come to truly regret the cruelty that the other kids inflicted on Kosmo, but – teenagers are callous, bloodthirsty shits, aren’t they?  I can only hope that he found the woman he was looking for, and that her breasts quiver in the moonlight all night long just for him.

I, still, laugh, you know, but I have to admit that his is the only love letter I remember, and that’s saying something, isnt it?

November 2, 2009

If You Aren’t Going to Use that Emotion, May I Have it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 9:01 pm
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I fell into a relationship with a man named Andrew-never-Andy a few months after moving here.  I’d decided on the first date that he was much like tapioca pudding – I neither liked nor disliked him, and I never did understand why we continued to see each other after that first night as I’m absolutely certain Andrew-never-Andy felt the same way towards me.

Sometimes, these lukewarm couplings survive because the sex is spectacular.

The sex was not spectacular.

However, we limped along like this for nearly seven months.  Andrew-never-Andy became part of my daily scenery, and he was like a piece of furniture, in all honesty.  We didn’t talk, we exchanged necessary information, and even that was at a minimum.  We’d share the couch like two people at a bus stop – politely, a bit warily.  Eventually, we’d march into the bedroom to share uninspired sex, and I was always happier when he’d not spend the night.  I’m not sure how long we would have remained in bondage to this emotional inertia if Andrew-never-Andy hadn’t, one spring evening, suddenly asked me to marry him.

My response was to ask him if he was fucking insane.  “Oh, c’mon – I don’t even know why we go on seeing each other, and you want to get married?  How do you justify that?”

Nonplussed, Andrew-never-Andy shrugged.  “We’re functional.  There’s no drama.  You don’t get angry or make any demands.  I like things quiet and calm like this.”  He popped another Dorito into his mouth and went back to watching a documentary about the Mayans as I wondered if I should check him for a pulse.  I’d arrived at the conclusion that he was either the walking dead or an android.

I didn’t bother to explain to him that we were too emotionally disconnected to create any drama, and that you can’t make demands of someone you want nothing from, but I did say that we needed to end our relationship, and I’d mail him anything he might have left (which turned out to be a pair of worn socks, and a toothbrush).

I told him not to bother to call me again, or to drop in, and I wasn’t surprised when he followed those instructions.  I never heard from, or saw, Andrew-not-Andy again.

Until Halloween.

Another knock at the door, and I opened it to find him standing with an unsmiling, and empty-looking woman holding a terribly cute, chubby child dressed as an apple.  She was, perhaps, three years old, and she was silently holding out her hand .  When I gave her one of the bags of candy I’d made up for the kids, she solemnly took one, inspected it, nodded and left with them without saying a word.

Andrew-never-Andy had found the perfect wife, and they had produced their perfect child.  I closed the door realizing the fate I’d avoided, and that I’d found proof that there is, indeed, someone for everyone.

There’s something awfully funny or truly sad about this whole story, but I’m not sure which it is…and that, actually, sums up the entire Andrew-never-Andy experience, doesn’t it?

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