AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 5/13/2004 08:59:00 AM ----- BODY:
Are you looking for answers To questions under the stars? Well, if along the way You are grown weary You can rest with me until A brighter day and you're okay --Dave Matthews Band
"I haven't seen you in weeks, and you still have all my CDs." This was my greeting to Tim yesterday when he picked up the phone. "Okay," was his simple reply. We went to dinner at Chili's and updated each other on recent events. Then we sat there, Tim studying his white lighter carefully, trying to balance it upside-down on the table. "This is weird," I said. "I can't think of anything else to talk about." "It happens," he shrugged. "Yeah, but it's not unusual for you." He shrugged. We sat. Two of those wizened people, you know the kind, the kind who smoke so much they look like dried tobacco leaves themselves, came in with two young children to sit smack-dab in the middle of the smoking section. I hate these people. I know that seems hypocritical, but it drives me nuts when some lowlife with a three-pack-a-day habit drags their unsuspecting child into a smoking section, because I don't like to smoke around kids. When an adult who is supposed to be responsible for the health of their child then makes it my guilt trip to deal with about smoking around their child--essentially foists that responsibility onto me--I resent it. Plain and simple. So we left. Once we were in the car, for whatever reason, we began conversation again. I don't know what it is about Tim and me and talking and cars, but for some reason that combination seems to work every time. We were remeniscing about things like the time that we tried to sneak a veritable bargeload of alcohol into Brandon's dorm room or the time...well, you know what I mean. "I've known you for five years," I told Tim. "Can you believe that?" I remember that by the time the four of us--K, Brandon, Tim and I--had known each other for exactly one year, we all laughed about it because, as Brandon put it, "If that's one year, I don't know if I want to see the rest." Seriously, completing that year was like dangling and straining and struggling to complete a single chin-up, and then, finally, nose just clearing the bar, counting, "ONE!" Things have changed, of course. "You know, looking back on it now, I know I'm glossing over stuff, but that year was one of the best years of my life," I told Tim. "Really," he said, noncommittally. "I don't think we need to sit back in our rockers yet, though," I concluded. "There have been good times recently." I thought of the priceless story he'd told me on the way out to dinner of the acrimonious divorce of the parents of an acquaintance, and our recent excursion to Brandon's new apartment to Jamaica Plain where we sat in the living room and watched COPS the whole time. "Where do you see us in ten years?" I asked him suddenly. "I don't know. I don't look ahead like that," he answered. Just to be masochistic, I drove him by the apartment Steve and I almost rented. On our way there I commented to him how ridiculously upbeat I've been lately, and how I thought the thyroid medication I've been taking for a couple of months now has been part of it. "Could be," he said, taking another swig of his Arizona juice drink. "Yeah," I said, "because it really is ridiculous for me to be happy right now." "Oh, totally," he said, deadpan. "That's ridiculous." "No, really," I laughed, "I'm losing my job, I lost an apartment, I still live at home...what reason is there for me to be happy right now? But I am." "Well, that's what true happiness is. It doesn't matter what happens." "I guess. It's probably the thyroid meds. I mean, it's not like I could have actually, you know, matured at all." Tim chose this moment to let out a belch. Now, in case you are not familiar, Tim is the undisputed reigning international heavyweight champion of belching. He's been known to make windows rattle. He truly brings a craft and an artistry to the art of belching--without a doubt the deepest, most resonant, longest, and, at times, profound belches I have ever heard have emanated from Tim. This one, while perhaps not his ultimate masterpiece, was a fine specimen just the same, lengthy and loud; I swear it modulated keys a few times. "Right," he said.
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