Monday, April 16, 2007

Bowing Out

I never made it to the birthday party yesterday. I called my father in a panic and told him I would be staying home. I was adamant that he not argue with me about it. He complied.

“I just want you to be okay,” he said, understandingly. “We will bring you over some cake and a meal after the party.”

Dad showed up much later in the afternoon with some chocolate cake, a gift card to Belk’s for $500 to buy me some new clothes, and a supper plate. Dad had cooked chopped sirloin wrapped in bacon, baked potatoes, barbeque bread, and a salad with homemade blue cheese dressing. The meal was delicious and I shared my good fortune with Maggie.

Rosa then called me late last night having a hard time. Sometimes, when I am having a tough day, it is easy to get lost in another’s problems and I threw myself to the lions so to speak. I drove over to Rosa’s rundown house to pick her up. We then swung through the drive-thru at Wendy’s late last night to get a frosty and went for a long drive. Rosa was having a terrible go with her addictions.

“What was crack cocaine like?” I asked her, curious, as we drove way out into the country far beyond the city limits.

I was hoping by us talking about it, it would dispel that spell of the drug that had a hold of her last night.

“The first time was like the best sex you’ve ever had,” she said. “The last time was like the worst sex you ever experienced. You keep using hoping to experience that first time, but it never happens again.”

“My drinking was the same,” I said. “Except it took years to get that way. I got to where I drank to feel better, but it didn’t actually make me feel better. I felt worse. It was just a habit.”

“And a hard habit to break, it is,” Rosa replied, forlornly.

Midnight found me pulling up into my driveway with Rosa sound asleep in my passenger’s seat. I woke her and we both went upstairs as I turned on some lights and turned on the central heating and air. I pulled back the covers on the large king sized bed in the back bedroom for Rosa.

“You sure you don’t mind me staying the night?” she asked.

“I think we have both had a tough day, today, and I would welcome the company,” I replied. “Think of this as your safe house.”

I walked downstairs to get Rosa one of my XXL cotton t-shirts to sleep in and told her good night. She gave me a hug and told me thanks for being such a good friend. Rosa just doesn’t realize how much and how selfishly I need her as well. It is easy for me to forget about my own problems when I get entangled with hers. I finally retired to my own bed comforted that another soul besides me and Maggie was in the house. I thought wistfully of calling this house on 4th avenue the lonely hearts club. We misfits and societal deviants need a safe place to hang out as well. Good day.


manolin * said...

hehe! welcome...i am a cuckoo too...take on other people's problem to not think about mine..its quite sad actually when one comes to think about it..

Dorid said...

Good morning, Andrew!

You know, even though for some reason you don't generally think of you and Rosa romantically, at times it seems like a pretty classic love story with an unusual twist ;)

Whatever it is, lately it seems the two of you really work well together to keep your demons at bay and to fight off some of the loneliness.

austere said...

That lunch and icecream sound nice.Rosa is lucky lucky lucky to have you around.
Will not get into feelin sorry for you mode no matter what you say.

Terri said...

Good day to you too! Hope your weather is nice today.

Melanie said...

i'm glad your dad was understanding about it all, at least that was a load of stress you didn't have to bear. Saturday was my dad's birthday, and although he's been having a rough time lately and thus avoiding all human contact, i called him on the phone anyway. i guess my logic was that even if he couldn't cope with talking to us, at least he got the message that we were willing to talk to *him*, you know? he was feeling pretty deer-in-headlights though, so we kept it short, everyone just passed the phone around and said hello. i didn't want to talk too much because i didn't want to risk saying something that would make his situation worse, so i just repeated my oft-said phrase to him about not feeling guilty about things he can't change, and let him go. sent him an e-card later, as i figured he could easily look or not look depending on whether he was feeling up to it or not. i hope that worked ok for him.


You did what you needed to do. You should be proud of yourself. Be proud of the loyalness you have towards Rosa and be accepting in the fact that it's OKAY to need someone around when you yourself are having a really rough moment.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's called empathy and sympathy..and we ALL need it regardless of what cross we have to bear in life.

Hope you didn't get slammed too hard with the weather that's hitting up north.

Enjoy that cigar.

KYRIE said...

Hey Andrew, I hope you are feeling better today. Your birthday meal sounded scrumptious! No comments on the sirloin though cause I dont eat meat.
I know wht u meant about getting lost in other people's problems whn we hv a lot to deal with ourselves! I always do tht! I guess it is a cathartic feelin to concentrate on helping another and avoid facing my own mess of a life for a couple of hours!
Take care!

Cheryl said...

I'm glad your birthday plans turned out as they did. It's what I was hoping for for you. The meal sounded so good! The rest of your day was spent with your good friend. I'd say it was a success.

greglo said...

Hi Andrew,

What a wonderful post... how truthful and honest.
Makes one proud to be part of that human family!

Take care!


Eric Valentine said...

I think Dorid summed things up quite well Andrew. It's good to have a buddy system in place in times of need. Have a great day my friend.

Nicole, Graeme and Janel said...

Friends like you are one in a million... Glad to hear you had a calm day and a wonderful meal - I'm sure Maggie loved you for it! Hope today is even better.

The Beast said...

I sent you an e-mail. Did you get it?

Trying2BMe said...

Sometimes the more shattered we are, the harder we try to put someone else back together.

You both are lucky to have each other. A true friend is difficult to find but worth so much more in the end.

Dave said...

Nicely thought and nicely written.