Saturday, July 05, 2008

This is what happened...

When I started this blog, way back when, it was supposed to be a place where I could over-come my writer's block. I wasn't sure what I would be "blogging" about, but I wasn't going to do much personal stuff. But of course, even though I'm boring...personal stuff is a topic of discussion. The more people that I know that read this blog, the more complicated it gets.

I found out that Leah's sister Brenda READS my blog. I found out this out a few hours after leaving Texas on Friday night. Turns out she was a little pissed about me including her in my online thought balloon. I have no regrets, let me make that clear. Even though I'm 89.8% candid here...I do self-edit. I've said un-flattering things on this blog about just about everyone I know (including myself).

However, I try to not drag people into THOUGHTS OF A LIMEMONKEY that don't want to be here. That said, I feel like I must explain what happened on Wednesday night...and how I ended up driving a thousand miles with Brenda (and two dogs) to New Mexico. You see, Brenda came for a visit because she was having a tough time in her marriage. She brought her dogs with her, and for a week the apartment was full of too many living things. But that wasn't her fault--it's ALWAYS full of too many living things (silverfish...yuk). Anyway, the night before she was supposed to go home (Wednesday) I was playing Guitar Hero: Areosmith (which is awesome by the way) and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my 3-day weekend.

Then the girls came home. It seemed that Leah's sister had made a BIG, life-altering decision (I won't say what, but use your imagination). This decision was hard for her to make and she was worried about driving home alone (it was that big of a decision). But who could go with her? Who could keep her company (and help maintain her resolve)? Leah was the obvious choice, but Leah couldn't go because she had to work. All of Brenda's friends are successful, job-oriented people...and as such cannot just up and leave work. That left one person, they asked (both Leah and Brenda, pretty much at the same time) and I was left with only one response: "I can't I have to work." But Leah's Dad is my boss now, so that meant things could be arranged. See, he himself would have gone but he's wasn't really in any shape to cram himself into a small SUV and drive to New Mexico. So I went in his place (and Leah's place).

The Hollywood version of our road-trip: Reese Witherspoon (or some such young actress) drives home to flee her failing marriage. She visits her sister (the 1990's version of Janeane Garofalo) and her dead-beat boyfriend, me, played by someone like Jack Black. Hilarity follows when Black must accompany the fragile Witherspoon back home because everyone else is too busy. They hate each other, they love each other...he's a pig...she's not. Funny shit. In the end they all grow as people and come to respect one another. Complete only with a kick-ass-soundtrack of 70's singer-songwriters.

Not quite what happened, but close enough for the movies. The truth is I always feel like I have to be on guard when I'm around Brenda. For some reason she and her mother do that to me. They're intimidating people, who are different than me...maybe that's all there is to it. I don't know. I do know that like Becky, I only really liked Brenda when Leah wasn't around. I'm a jealous fuck (see, I write badly about everyone) and I guess I don't like having to share her with other people. Maybe that's why there has been some tension between us. It's funny because we each want the other to like maybe it's just a case of us both trying too hard. Either way, the trip was good for me because I feel like even though Brenda is really different from me, I like her.

We drove through four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Of these states, Oklahoma was the worst. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that the OK state is anything but "OK." Try instead, "mind numbingly boring." The insult-to-injury part of Oklahoma is that you have to pay to get in AND to get out. Genius. Pure, fucking genius. I drove from Oklahoma City to Amarillo Texas. I was excited about Texas, because I'd never been before. Well, turns out I wasn't missing much. The lone star state is pretty boring at the pan-handle. There were wind farms! And a giant 50 foot cross (made out of silo parts). That was about it...oh, there was a tacky steakhouse where you could get a "Free 72 ounce steak!" That is, it's free if you can eat it in under an hour. Yeah, I know...

We made the trek in like 12 or 13 hours (or so, I really wasn't paying much attention). In reality, the trip seemed shorter than my runs to KC from St. Louis. Brenda hypothesized it only felt like this because we'd never done it before. I'm inclined to agree, but still--for as long as the trip was (in miles) it felt pretty damn short. I guess it's because we talked, and listened to so much angry girl music. We heard the new REM album twice (in a row) then it was time for Hole's CELEBRITY SKIN. It was better than JAGGED LITTLE PILL (which also would have been appropriate).

We talked about a lot of stuff (mostly her personal issues) and I feel like we are closer now...but it's not like my Hollywood version. I don't really feel like I grew any as a person. I just feel tired (and my back hurts from being cramped up in a car, then in a tiny plane for the trip home). I don't blame her, or me, for this (the not growing part, that is). I guess it's Hollywood's fault--not everything is an adventure that changes your life forever.

I guess I did learn something, and that's this: life is strange and things that you're pretty sure will never happen (like driving 1,000+ miles alone with your sister-in-law on your way to end her marriage) CAN and DO happen. People that only operate on the fringe of your life (like me) can sometimes be thrust to the forefront, even if it is for a little while.

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