Saturday, December 02, 2006

Black back tires

Further adventures of a should-I-stay-or-should-I-go mid-20's individual wondering if he's been seduced & abandoned or just part of somebody else's casual comedy. Part I is here if you're not into scrolling.

Back to the 80's. Lord knows, you can't stop it. I saw acid-wash on a model the other day and acid-wash wasn't even a good idea at the time. I'm actually more disturbed at the not-quite-dead-yet 70's revival since the 70's are far enough away to have mouldered further than the 80's. Sort of like being given a choice between a meal of a 20 day old cheeseburger or 30 day old cheeseburgers that have been found in a dumpster somewhere. One can probably catch more exotic diseases from the older cheeseburger, and the bloom of fungus will be just that much more piquant. Really, lets just get away from the whole rotting concept, since it will eventually be lunch and we don't want that ruined.

Still, back to the 80's. The brief rundown on Zelda is that we had an English class together, she had a boyfriend named Tom who went to another school who she famously (and loudly) adored, and she had a fondness for me which I thought was weird and contradicted her famous and loud adoration of Tom. She also had a rocky relationship with another girl I knew, a friend who I trusted, lusted after (I thought it was subtle) and was frankly afraid to cross. So anything Zelda did/said was filtered somewhat with the following provisos:

1) She was a bit of a drama queen. This doesn't necessarily count as a strike against her. I went to a performing arts high school. There were a LOT of drama queens.

2) She could be mean-spirited (which I never saw, or at least it was never aimed at me).

3) She was weird.

'Weird' is a very broad word. Most - perhaps all - of my friends count as weird, then and now. And once again, since this was a performing arts high school, weird was often cultivated. The weird I'm speaking of was a lower level kind of background noise, which I attributed to difference in personality and development, rather than weirdness.

If you cast your mind back to a certain type of grade 12 girl who sighs and says "High school boys are so immature, I'm looking for a mature first-year University boy," you'll also be reminded that both 'maturity' and 'immaturity' are pretty broad, context-dependant terms. Zelda's 'weirdness' was on that level. She had plotted out her post-graduation years with boyfriend Tom in alarming detail, was a New Yorker cartoon kind of gal, and was well-versed with the American classics (had a special thing for Fitzgerald). We wrote volumes of notes to each other when class got boring, and I was in a deep Gatsby stage at the time. To wit:

Zelda: I wasn't here on Friday. Miss me miss me miss me?

Me: Everyone did. They all painted their rear left tires black as a sign of mourning.

Ha ha chuckle frightfully witty to high school students who have recently read Gatsby. Hit of the season and what have you. It made sense at the time. A lot of strange things make sense at the time during adolescence. I was also very much into Eugene O'Neil when I was around 14, since I'd been so impressed by the way Jack Nicholson played him in Reds. When one is walking around, assuming the Jack Nicholson drawl, and heavily influenced by The Iceman Cometh at 14, this can at best be seen as a good idea only at the time. I eventually grew out of the Nicholson/O'Neil stage when I realized that O'Neil wasn't really a happy sort, besides, Warren Beatty got all the girls and perhaps he served as a better role model.

I did mention that I was 14 or so at the time, I hope?

Back to Zelda. She had a beloved boyfriend, but was cozy with me. Not that cozy. I wasn't interested, nor was I offered. But I a way that confused me at the time. Numerous things confused me at the time. Adolescent traits and rules that make less sense at time goes by.

My example: I was invited to watch a TV program which featured Amanda, a girl I had been dating (and was alternately played by and dumped by) a few months earlier. She was having a party of the faithful and had invited me, probably because I was still staring at her with wide cow-eyes, and Zelda probably because of the English class. The party wasn't going to be at Amanda's place, it was at Chloe's place waaay out in the Beaches.

Amanda had called me 24rs before the viewing to explain in very adult terms that she wanted to be sure that I knew that she didn't want to get back together. Or end up making out on that couch in the sunroom like that time before. And that there would probably be other guys there that she might want to talk to, so I shouldn't get hurt or pissed off if she didn't talk to me all night.

"Why are you telling me all this?" I asked.

"Well, I was hoping we'd go together. Not like a date exactly but I need a drive," she said.

I don't know if I was stupid, or just impressed that she could go through all that with a straight face. Either way I drove her and skipped the cow-eyes. I picked up Zelda as well.

The program was fine. Amanda was charming. The other-guys warning was in vain since I turned out to be the only guy there. A few of the girls asked if there was any significance in the fact that Amanda and I arrived together whenever Amanda left the room. I rolled my eyes.

Amanda and Chloe got into cheap red wine in enough quantity that Amanda decided just to spend the night at Chloe's place and Zelda had gotten into enough wine that she really needed to go home.

I drove her home, she asked me in for tea, which was not a code. Wine notwithstanding, I thought she wanted tea. We never made it. We sat on the couch and chatted, before she took a long pause and said 'Stay right there' as she leaned towards me, put her arms around my neck, swooped her legs up onto the couch to get all comfy and...immediately fell asleep with her head sinking from my shoulder to my chest as her body closed down for the evening.

I thought it was the wine talking. I stayed for around 10 minutes, watching her breathe, seeing her smile fade only slightly as REM sleep got its teeth into the drunk and the late evening. It felt like she wanted to stay close enough to me to relax, to snuggle on a couch on a Friday night outside of the adored boyfriend and maybe it was something she'd want to do without the wine. I left her on the couch and went home amused, ever so slightly warm and fuzzy. She didn't mention it for months, but the issue was raised again.

More (and hopefully some kind of point) to come later.

Click here for Part III


Mr. Knight said...

I am proud to be among the weird! The company is good and the conversations always upbeat. Feeling like a bit of a voyuer...

Blogger Templates by 2008