Thursday, April 13, 2006
"What are you doing here?"
I think I need to start carrying around a tape recorder or something. About a million things happen to me every day that are blogworthy, but when I actually find time to sit here in front of a blank screen, it seems like I can't remember a single one. The famous Cerio photographic memory is apparently on the wane as I get older. (sigh) Even when I say to Ducky "oh, this is SO going into my blog, it seldom arrives there in one piece. Certain bits a phrases wind up in the cartoon, which is good, but I mourn at times for the stories never shared, the jokes not told, and the love not spread like so much cheez whiz (or vegemite for those on the other hemisphere) over the crackers that make up the intellectual landscape.
"What are you doing here?" is a question that has teneded to pop up a lot in my life recently, and it struck me the other day just how different situations can make this phrase funny, serious, inspiring, or just downright annoying. I often ask myself lately "What am I doing here?". Here being alternately in New Orleans, or just in my life in general. I like to think it provides direction in my hither-dither-and-yon lifestyle.
Of course, there are also times when it comes up because it's all I can think to say.
The other night, there came a tapping gently rapping upon my chamber door. As I am still sans telephone, I figured it was either Ducky or Dizzy come to call... So, I get up off my comfy couch, stroll across the living room, and open the door without looking through the peephole. Dizzy chastizes me for this all the time. I've told her I tend not to worry because there is a limited number of people that would just show up on my doorstep and knock... 95 percent of which I would be happy to see there.
So I open the door, and standing there is part of the other 5 percent... My ex-wife, Charity.
When last I had heard from her family, she had run off in yet another psychotic daze from a job that she held for a record-breaking two weeks, and wound up in a homeless shelter somewhere deep in the heart of texas. She was safe, at least 700 miles away, and I honestly figured I would never see her again. Yet in spite of this perfectly logical assumption, there she was.
"What are you doing here?" was all I could think to say.
"My mom needs to use your bathroom." She said, as if the situation was perfectly normal.
My brain stammered a bit while my mouth said "Okay...". Behind her, I see the other part of that five percent hop out of her SUV and run indide the house muttering something that sounded like "thankyouwereofftothebarwouldyouliketojoinus?".
The right half of my brain was still busy hitting the left with a baseball bat (for opening my door at all at this point) while my mouth, as elequent as ever, managed to get out "Wha?"
"We were in the neighborhood." The Ex smiled, "and said, 'hey, let's have a drink with Rob'"
Both sides of my brain stopped fighting and looked at her incredulously. Once again, my mouth only said, "Wha?"
The Right side of my brain snapped out of it for a split second here to yell at my mouth for not taking advantage of my extensive vocabulary.
"Charity... What the hell are you doing here?" I said.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean here! As in NOT in TEXAS!"
"Oh... they threw me out of the homeless shelter and Mom came and got me."
Both sides of my brain fainted at this point, leaving my mouth to fend for itself. Char's Mom came back from the loo about this time.
"So are you coming?" She asked me.
"You keep saying that..." Charity noticed.
"To the bar for a drink with us. My treat." Her Mom said.
The Left side of my brain perked up again and said "Oh... we definately need a drink my friend."
The Right side said, "Go... you need to find out what the hell is going on here."
So, I went with them, (and Char's little sister who had been in the car this whole time) out for a beer.
The short story: the Ex is back in New Orleans because Texas has too many rules... and both of these women that have at one time or another promised me that they will dance upon my grave someday apparently agree that they miss my role in their extended family. Lucky me. (sigh)
"So, I'll call you when I'm settled." The Ex said, as they dropped me off.
Sorry... no telephone. Do the words "blessing in disguise" come to mind, anyone?