Hot Box Blues 

Do you know what I miss most about my old friend? The ability to openly and candidly discuss anything. Ironically, my inability to do exactly that is what destroyed our friendship. And it is not just the conversations that I miss. The friendship I valued dearly is gone and the person I deeply cared about, and still to this day care about, abruptly axed me out of his life.  He’s one of those guys who thinks it is “cheating” if a woman with a boyfriend has male friends.

I still catch myself looking for a familiar scrawl when I sort the mail. Alas, there is no redemption for a woman who wants her cake and eat it, too.

PHOTO:  cake with grandchildren last Sunday.

Speaking of cake, today is my 57th birthday. My sister Dee treated me to lunch at Pandora’s and then we did a bit of shopping.  While I was gone, the old G locked the house down tighter than a drum and took off to the VA so when I came home, it was like walking into a frickin hot box.

LATER:  Well, plans for our evening cookout got hi-jacked while I was making beans and potato salad… the old G hopped the last bus downtown at 6:45 PM. His plan was to stop at his apartment to get his meds, then take the 7:15 nightline bus back down South Ave, get off at the store, buy some ears of corn, and walk home… total round trip ye maybe an hour. It’s now past 10 and I’ve no idea when he will be here. He did text awhile back, said his daughter is coming, so I assume he is still at his apartment downtown waiting on her to give him a ride.

This is one of those things that really matters when you are young, but age makes you more prone to be more understanding. He is a disabled vet, has metal rods in both legs, and walks with a cane. I know he dreads that 20 minute walk into our hood from the store on South Ave, especially in hot weather, so a promise of a ride is enough to detain him.

Am I mad?

No… just means that I got myself a nice quiet night home alone so I can do things that I don’t do when he’s here… like blog.

Well, he is on his way… he still plans to fire up the BBQ even though it is 10 frickin 30… he will be out there grilling way past midnight. Oh well. All I do is roll with what comes.

July

Fireworks lit the sky
Laced with little lies,
I’m too dry-eyed to cry
Contemplating good-byes.

Are you still mad at me?

~N.

It is hanging on, uprooted and replanted for a third time. I am like this vine, with the appearance of being half dead deceptive. Life still flows through the dried out twigs, follow the path to green leaves and blooms.

The plant went to my sister’s in Salem, Ohio, when I moved into a high rise apartment building without any outdoor space of my own in Youngstown. She later moved to Michigan, left the plant with her son. Then my mother dug it up and brought it up after I bought a house on the south side. The vet helped her plant it near the concrete angel that, I assume, marks the grave of an unknown pet. And it is, despite appearance, hanging on… still alive.

I’ve yet to plant Mr. Marsberry, his ashes still in a can.

The clock ticks. Thanks for reading.

Rainy Day Bus Ride

“That’s my husband,” said the woman on the bus as she gathered her things, nodding her head towards the man who was waiting on the curb, standing with an umbrella in the rain. “I just haven’t married him yet.”

That’s like me and the vet; only with us, there’s no yet.

Just the thought of marriage flashes “H-e-double-toothpicks-capital-N-O” in neon blinking lights inside of me and it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with love… there’s legally binding fine print on those marriage certificates that I object to, oft writ in invisible ink. I’m not signing anything that will make me financially responsible for the acquired debts of another full grown, independently minded, adult human for rest of their natural life, or the duration of the marriage, whichever comes first. Been there twice, not doing it again.

As for the Old G, he’s got his own reasons. He will tell people (usually other men) that I am his wife, but that is just talk. He has never been married and has no intention of marrying me.

So, that’s one thing we are in agreement about, one of those surprises of something in common considering that we are polar opposites.

We don’t take a lot of selfies together… this one was snapped downtown, good year or two ago as I obviously was not exactly sober.

I avoid being photographed.

He’s the one who is snap happy… he likes to take selfies, photos of grandchildren, flowers, birds, squirrels, toy cars, what’s on the grill, his plate, whatever.

I scroll down Facebook some days and say whoa… that’s my messy room in that photo and there’s my pink bra in the background of a shoe shot, and oh my gosh… that’s the inside of my refrigerator, a close-up of banana pudding with a one word description: GOOD.

We are good together. That surprises me as I thought our differences would get in the way, that he would soon tire of me, or I wouldn’t be able to handle being in a relationship after being on my own for so many years.

I don’t know what the future holds, life has a tendency to spin on dimes, so all we can do is live life raw, real, and right now.

Thanks for reading!

Photo credit: banana pudding shot swiped off his Facebook page.