So… this post may have taken a bit longer to get out than anticipated.
I swear I try to keep my promises.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and recant the things that have happened since I arrived home. My grandmother told me that this should all be recorded as it’s almost comical and could be a movie. I’m gunna break it down into chapters for ya’. Five short stories that are all completely true.
These are not, I repeat, these ARE NOT ‘woe is me‘ stories. I’m not looking for sympathy, or pity, or for anyone to feel bad for me. I’m not bitching just for the right to bitch. This is simply what’s happened.
Yes, from my perspective. And, it’s also worth noting that, of course, all stories and truths have at least two tales. And, yes, of course, I’m using this as an outlet to vent. However, these are all true stories. And I’m being completely honest in saying I’m simply sharing them, not looking for anything.
And, on some level, they’re equally as nearly unbelievable as entertaining.
Read them one at a time if you feel necessary. Take some time in between. Go for it at your leisure. But they’re all worth the perusal. Let my life give you an escape from yours.
Here goes nothing.
Who Needs Credit When You’ve Got Friends?
Upon my arrival back within the limits of the Twin Cities – particularly Minne after a brief ride through the State’s capitol Saint – I was blessed to come home to a lovely surprise. My complete and utter – and I don’t say this lightly – cunt (apologies if that word offends you – in this instance it’s the only thing appropriately fitting) of a roommate had evacuated my house.
Along with multiple notices from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
But, first, allow me to take you just a tad bit further back.
He was one of my best friends in a new state. And for someone that spends damn near the entirety of their first 25 years of life in another part of the country, leaving behind everything and everyone they’ve ever known, those newly acquired true friends are extremely special and few and far between. We roomed together in San Diego on a trip set up for a class we were taking together. We traveled to see a Packers game, had gone to concerts together, New Years’ parties, helped each other our with homework, and had become fairly close in my year and a half in a new state (which at times feels like a new world).
When he needed a place to stay, I offered my home for a very low price per month without a lease because he was just finishing up school, and I didn’t want him, one of my best friends, on a lease in case opportunity came-a-knockin’ for his first job that didn’t include him being stuck here.
I helped him move out of his old apartment. Borrowing my dad’s truck on three separate occasions, filling the truck to it’s entirety and helping him carry everything out, then down, then in, then out, then up, and finally done – again, thrice (did I actually just use ‘thrice’? And… correctly…? Can someone be any more lame?).
How little you really know about a person until you live with them.
On the very first night of him in my house, he had buckets and piles and overbearing overloads of excess accessories teetering on hoarding that my house simply didn’t need. I had already spent a lot of time, thought, effort, and money setting up my house as I wanted, and simply didn’t need many more things.
(He’s the kind of guy that at sporting events would stay afterwards and walk around the stands collecting as many free foam fingers, towels, t-shirts, cups, whatever as he could that were left behind just to stockpile them in his closet forever, and for no reason whatsoever) ((and now, he was bringing it all into my home))
We left all of his household chotchky, dollar tree, college kid, “Dude, but that’s pretty dope – you gotta admit” bullshit out on the contertops – including, but in no way limited to:
- nearly naked girl posters
- two disco balls
- mini gumball dispenser
- dollar store foam sling shot
- a ziplock bag of hand cut, printed from Google, square paper version of “Cards Against Humanity”
- metal/magnetic “throw your beer caps at this giant metal beer cap that doesn’t even work” darts game
- boxes of excess pots, pans, and tupperware ONE PERSON would NEVER need in an entire life
and I told him that it’s cool because we simply have to find a spot for it all, it’s late after we just moved all your stuff, and I have work in the morning.
The following evening I got home from a long day of work around 7:30pm to find ALL OF HIS SHIT still sitting EXACTLY where I left it, and he on the couch in his pajamas, with his feet up, swiping on Tinder. Remember – this is NIGHT ONE. I spent my entire evening putting everything away and reorganizing my entire kitchen to fit his shit, while he lay on my couch on Tinder. When I was done he HAPPENED to get off the couch at that exact moment, and I said, “finally – we’re back.” as in, to a livable environment. He retorts, “back to what?”
Simply put – he’s a taker. He takes everything he can for his own convenience, and never says thank you, or gives back to the world. He takes, and then takes some more, and if you allow him – he’ll take you for everything you have so he doesn’t have to do anything at all.
So, naturally, this progressed.
Dishes never done. He would leave them FOR WEEKS until someone just decided to do them.
Pissed all over the toilet seat and never cleaned it (and me and my other roommate both knew it was him because it had a certain BLOOD ORANGE hue – no joke)
Never cleaned the common areas of the house
Always asking for rides/for help buying something new off Craigslist/too and from work or the bus station.
— Now, I know what you’re thinking. Bitch this kid THE HELL out. Put him in his place. You can ask anyone that knows me, I have no trouble calling someone out, or being the confrontational guy that says inappropriate things because I feel they simply need to be said. Honesty is the way to go. But he’s the kind of guy that anytime you say ANYTHING to him, or blame him at all he freaks out and stomps his feet up the stairs without the conversation finishing and doesn’t come out for 3 straight days. …Impossible. —
I would spend an entire day cleaning the house, and the first thing he’d do is open a snack pack and leave the chocolate side of the lid down on the countertop, and his dirty dishes in the sink. Anything else ya wanna vent about, there, Will? Well. Since you asked:
- drank my liquor and wine and never replaced it
- filled the dishwasher with dish soap – after he told me a story about how that’s cool to do, and I told him “No, dude, it makes a huge mess. Please don’t ever do that here.” I came home to my kitchen flooded with water and bubbles, which I had to clean with our other roommate. While we still had a full tub of dishwasher pods.
- increased the electric bill from an average of $97 in the three winter months before he moved in, to $230 in the three winter months he was here (yes, there are 6 months of winter in Minnesota)
- using more than an entire house’s worth of electricity in his room alone
- constantly left empty boxes and containers (cereal, milk jugs, cans, bottles) just out on the counter instead of reaching directly below him to put them in the recycling
- while I was sick he asked me to borrow my dad’s truck to help him buy a futon for his room – which I drove him to, helped him load, and unload up into his room (fucked up my walls immensely – which I had to patch and paint – while sick)
- The very day I came back from my mom passing away the dishes were dirty in the sink, trash not taken out, back gate of the fence left wide open, tupperware drawer a bombshell He continued to leave the back gate open 5 more times in the next week. We live next to a highway. If my dog got out and died right after my mom died, there is a very good chance I would have murdered him.
- While on the bike ride, I received email notifications that he rented ‘Jumanji’, ‘Dumb and Dumber’, ‘The Humanity Bureau’, and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ from my Sling Account. He was literally spending my money, while I was on a leave of absence from work not making money, and raising money for charity.
But the coup de gras:
On the day I discovered I would have to travel home the next day to pull the plug on my mom, he happened to come home with a friend. Of which I was happy to see. We were trending in the right direction at that time, and learning to cope with each other. I was glad he felt comfortable enough to bring someone home to hangout with.
Unfortunately, I was obviously not myself. I went to my dad’s for dinner later that night and texted him to inform him that I just found out I have to return to Maryland to pull the plug on my mom the following morning, but that he and his friend are more than welcome to drink from the bar, and his friend can stay as long as he like. My only request was that he and his friend were out of the house/at a bar by the time I got home at 9pm so I could have my own home and space to grieve as I felt necessary.
Knowing he’s a complete shit-piece I returned home at 9:45 to give them some time. When I walked in the front door not only were they still there, they were still in their sweatpants, sitting on my couch, playing Forza on my Xbox. I asked him what their plan was and he said, “Oh, yeah, we’re just about to get ready and get outta here.”
I never knew a single human being could be so utterly and completely disrespectful.
Aaaaannnddddddddd we’re back. I hope you enjoyed your time travel, the present is presently awaiting.
He was gone. It was lovely.
Until I realized that he never paid me while I was gone on this bike trip. To this day he still owes me $1,000. He’s unfriended me on Facebook, talked shit about me to all of our mutual friends, and, after everything I’ve gone through, he proactively continues to treat me like a shit-spewing, lying leper. I’d be remiss to say I’m sure that there are things that I’ve done to him that made him angry – but I sincerely, truthfully have searched myself to ask that question, and cannot for the life of me think of a single one.
But, you know, at least everything else still in tact and going well, right?
That’s when I called Wells Fargo. It appears something went awry when I attempted to enroll in auto-pay for my Mortgage right before my mom got sick, and in the two months that I was gone I never paid my mortgage.
I immediately paid those months, and the upcoming month, and asked them to take the hits off of my credit report – which I was informed they would.
Well, they took one off. However, the damage had already been done. My credit score dropped roughly 100 points. It’s an ongoing battle of which I’m still fighting.
But, hey – who needs credit when you’ve got friends?
Back to Work!
After my time in Maryland, I had a meeting scheduled with my boss (he also happens to be a friend of mine – not the main boss, the guy who brought me into the company) to discuss the logistics of getting back into work. What my projects would be, where I would sit, how to transition back, all of the necessary details.
Now, it’s a small company. There are about 5 total employees. The owner, the VP, and about three others. Wearing a lot of hats is a necessity, but we’re all extremely close. We’d work 60 hour weeks, to then only work 70 hour weeks. And, as anticipated, they had been incredible throughout this whole ordeal. Extremely supportive. Even more so flexible. They actually came to me with the idea to take the leave of absence which turned into the Breathe for Mom Ride. “We think you need to take some time to heal. Your job is safe. Take however long you think you need, you’ve got nothing to worry about, we’ll handle your projects, and, again, when you come back your job is safe.”
Well, I eventually came back. We met on a lovely mid-June Minnesota day at Caribou Coffee. One of those Minnesotan days non Minnesotans (if you even know where it is) hear about. The “perfect summer” day. I was feeling about as victorious as possible. I was just returning from raising over $15,000! I successfully navigated halfway across the country on a motorcycle when I had never sat on one prior to that!
It was lovely to see one of my closest compadres, and I was looking forward to hearing about how everything was going with the company, and all of my coworkers/friends.
That’s when it happened.
You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
My job… yeahhuhhh… turns out my job wasn’t so safe.
It was no secret they aren’t the most responsible with their money, and they’d been going through some turmoil since I’d been gone. They needed to show investors that they could make lasting cuts. And the guy that’s not there during the off-season when the others have obviously shouldered my load while absent is the easy, obvious, first choice.
Go figure. They come to me with the idea for a leave of absence, and in doing so promise, twice, verbatim, that my job is safe when I return. Every employee they have is at-will. So, legally, they did nothing wrong. It was truly a business decision. Morally, however, I’ll let you be the judge.
Working that hard, spending almost all of my time at the office, and not being from the area the only real support and friends (outside of my father – which I in NO WAY underestimate) I had were the ones at work. Not only did they take away my job, but they chose to take away my only real daily support I had.
In all honesty, though. I wasn’t convinced I’d be staying there long term, and if there is a silvering lining (which there is in everything), this provides a 27-year-old man to actually take a second to ask himself, “What is it that you really want to do with your life? What makes you happy?” Most 27-year-olds are on a career path, doing something they’ve never really had the chance to ask themselves if they love, and are stuck in a life of a monotonous mildew. Unsure if the money they’re making is actually worth not achieving what, or who, they think they could become.
So… from square, I don’t even know, zero(?) here we go. Back to work indeed.
The Washington Capitals Won the 2018 Stanley Cup
I mean… I just like typing that. Saying that. Hearing that. I still can’t believe it’s real.
But, you know what else I did. I was a part of that.
I’ve been a die-hard Caps’ fan since I was about 6-years-old. I moved to Maryland at the age of five, and one of the all-time great Capitals’ players, Calle Johansson, was my neighbor. He kindaaa got me into hockey. And his daughters, at age six, kindaaaaa got me into Mary Kate & Ashley.
Peter Bondra lived a few streets away, and Olie ‘The Goalie’ Kolzig – Godzilla himself – elsewhere in the neighborhood. I would water Bondra’s plants for him during roadtrips for $10.
As soon as I found out that I was getting let go, I maayyyy have made a snap decision.
Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, in Las Vegas, was the next day. Around 4pm after my meeting with my, now former, boss, I scoured the internet for a reasonable enough ticket, hopped on Southwest.com, and booked myself a 5am out to and 5am return from flights to Vegas so I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel.
Hotels are overrated.
Backyards are much more convenient.
It was a dream come true. Like…literally. A moment that I have literally dreamed. Potentially even wet dreamed. Actually I take that back. You didn’t read that. Let’s just say I needed that victory more than you could possibly imagine.
I was against the glass while the team celebrated with the cup. John Carlson skated over to me to take a picture. Being there. Being in there. Inside of the T-Mobile Arena in it’s first ever season, watching the Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and the rest of the crew that has suffered through so much was an other-wordly experience.
(In Ovi’s post game ESPN interview with Barry Melrose and Steve Levy you can see me right behind them holding my poster!)
Words can’t express.
However, the evening ended (after meeting up with friends from my hometown in Maryland I had no idea were there) about as blacked out as I’ve ever been. And the next morning began with:
- a lost phone
- missed flight
- in someone’s backyard in a gated community
- with the cops on their way
The owner of the gated community, after hearing me out, eventually felt bad enough for me that she helped my locate my phone, called off the cops, gave me a donut and a coffee, and helped me continue surviving.
I bought the cheapest Spirit flight home I could, and spent the next 14 hours, with two layovers, either in the airport or on a plane, about as deathly hungover as anyone in the history of the world has ever been. Still. THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS WON THE 2018 STANLEY CUP. And I was there.
A Girl and Her Flower
Throughout this time I had been talking to a girl. We matched on Tinder. There was one of the rare Tinder sparks. But I was out of town, and upon my arrival home, ended up taking an impromptu trip to Vegas during the day she was available to meet.
It’s now been over two weeks since we’d matched, and had yet to meet. Tinder matches tend to get stale fairly quickly if you go beyond a week without ever getting together.
One night, I get a completely random text from her at 10:30pm asking me if I wanted to go tubing the next day (like – string tubes together, and sit inside of them while you get shitfaced going down a river kinda tubing).
I thought to myself, well, uhhhh, this is kind of weird timing, and an unusual first date, but I’m down for whatever. So I told her I’m in!
She responded with, “Cool. Meet me at Haley’s house tomorrow afternoon.”
Whiiiccchhh is when I responded, “Are you sure you meant to invite me, and this text wasn’t meant for your close friend, Wilma, or something? Because I have absolutely no idea who Haley is, let a lone where she lives.”
She let me know that Haley is her bff, where she lives, and swore the invitation was for me. So here goes nothing, right? I showed up to meeting this girl for the first time with her best friend going to get shitfaced down a river together.
When I arrived I came to find that she is an absolute smokeshow. One of the very rare (what I would’ve SWORN to be impossible) instances that a Tinder match is much more attractive in person than in their pictures.
We had about a 45-minute drive to the river, and naturally produced incredible conversation on the way there. I mean, we all really hit it off. Her best friend is a super cute, open minded, fun girl who was a talker, and we all continued the conversation throughout the entire day (including the truth that she texted the wrong Will in her phone, and in no way initially intended to invite me). Crazy how things work out like that.
Her best friend’s dad had just passed away, as I had just lost my mom (wild, right?). Another other-wordly esq thing to happen, and an unusual connection to make. Don’t get me wrong, I was all about the girl I was there to be with, but I really liked her best friend as a friend.
They decided that they wanted to go dancing and continue the day. So we went to the girl I was with’s place so they could change, then to my place so I could, and finally downtown to one of the bigger dance bars. When we walked in, the girl I was with (good lord did she look INCREDIBLE – sporting a very short green, spaghetti strapped dress that was tight, but left enough to the imagination) made every. single. guy. in the entire bar just stop. As if Adam Sandler in the movie ‘Click’ pressed the pause button. Their heads’ moved simultaneously like a collective single head being controlled by one larger brain as she walked by, as if it were some sort of synchronized swimming scheme that was being practiced before getting in the water.
Now, I don’t think I’ve EVER been out with a girl like that. I mean, I’m an attractive dude, I’m not Brad Pitt in ‘Fight Club’, but I’m not a bad looking guy. I’m charismatic and confident, so I’ve been out with good looking girls, but I can say that she may have *almost* been out of my league.
But I wasn’t about to screw this up. We danced the entire night away like Shwayze (RIP) and Baby. I really liked this girl after the first day. And I’m, well, for those of you who don’t know, I’m a bit of a romantic.
Through all of our casual conversation she happened to tell met hat her favorite flower was a Sunflower. And the next morning I went to four different places to find the best Sunflower that I could, and wrote her a super subtle, sweet note:
I had a really good time with you last night. I was wondering if you wanted to maybe get a beer, and catch the fireworks later.
P.S. – I know I could’ve just texted this to you, but who doesn’t like getting flowers and notes?”
I left her single Sunflower and her note at her door that morning, and waited patiently for a response.
1pm – nothing
2pm – nothing
3pm – I start to ask myself, what are you doing? You have to say SOMETHING to this girl and not just let last night go to waste.
So I texted her, come to find she was at her parents house all day, and wasn’t sure if she’d return to her place. She asked why I was wondering, I told her her it was nothing, and continued to drive back to her place to water her Sunflower – it was a very hot day – because the first flower this girl ever got from me had to be as perfect as it could. I went by her place the next morning, and the flower was gone. With no text, snap, or any acknowledgement (weird, because we had been talking and flirting ALL DAY).
The next day was Father’s Day. And it was the first Father’s Day her best friend would have without her Father. Seeing as I had just gone through my first Mother’s Day without my mom I wanted to reach out to her best friend to show some love and support. I asked for the best friend’s number, and was side skirted. So instead I wrote her one of the most honest, supportive, heartfelt notes I’ve ever written to say that I know what it’s like, I’d be happy to be a shoulder if you need it, you’re awesome and I’m so glad I met you, and to keep your chin up kinda thing. I remembered when my stepdad, brother, and I received flowers on Mother’s Day how much of a pick me up it was. So I went to the local flower store (the ladies there had quickly become some of my best friends…), and bought her a small bouquet, and had it sent, with the note, to her house.
I heard nothing from either of them all day.
At midnight that night I texted the girl I was talking to and said, “Hey, I’m obviously the single worst flower giver of all time. I don’t know if I just came off too strong, or what I did wrong, but I wanted to apologize.”
Which is when it all came out.
The girl I was talking to was “deeply devastated” all day that her best friend had received flowers from the guy she liked, when she (according to her) had never received flowers or truly felt appreciated by a guy in her entire life.
I left her flower and her note at her neighbor’s door.
The only flowers and note that actually meant anything to my heart… yeahhhh…
She never got them. She never knew.
After explaining everything she told me that something very similar to this has happened to her and her best friend in the past, and although this was nothing more than a mistake and simple miscommunication, it reminded her why she was on the fence about getting back into dating at all.
Her wall was up. That was that.
I did put up a valiant fight, but it was all for not. I couldn’t win back the heart of a girl and her flower.
A tinge of sad, a hint of scared, and a dollop of “fuck this”.
My stepdad, and all of his incredible golden-hearted glory, was willing, and wanted, to host a second and final memorial service for my mom, mere months after the first, in her original hometown of Buffalo, New York. Both to have an official burial next to her mom (our grandmother), and for the family that weren’t able to make the first service.
Personally, and I know I wasn’t alone in this mindset, my thoughts were – fuck. that.
Why should we host a second memorial service, and have to go through ALL OF THIS all over again, just for the family members that obviously didn’t find it important or convenient enough to their schedules to make it down to Maryland for her real funeral.
— Including my grandpa. My mom loved him more than the world itself (like us). And he claimed that he couldn’t make it because of health issues. He had a pacemaker put in a couple of years ago, and has struggled mightily to be able to breathe at fully capacity, but he’s also been able to move to and from his winter home in Arizona, back to his summer home in Crystal Beach, Canada —
I suppose one could say I was … salty? We shouldn’t have to spend money on flights and inconvenience ourselves to go out of the way for a small amount of family to feel better about themselves, and like they cared/were there for us.
So I put it off.
And then I put it off some more.
And then I put it off.
And then I finally looked at flights (two days before I was supposed to leave) and they were $400.
So I put it off.
I woke up the next morning, and the flight prices increased to $900.
I called my stepdad, and we agreed to go for a rental car.
I spent the next day driving through the heart of Friday Chicago rush hour in a rental. It took me 17 hours just to get to Cleveland (I stayed with my cousin once again – same one that helped me fix my side car during the trip! Whata guy). Then woke up at 6am to drive another 3 hours – straight to my mother’s second memorial service.
But a weird thing happened in my dizzying, ready to crouch over and pass out, tired of driving and even more tired of being tired state. My mindset changed after experiencing the service. It wasn’t for them. It was for us. It felt so good to have an actual burial service and one final day of closure at the place we knew she would rest. And the fact that we had family there to support us that I haven’t seen in years only made it that much nicer.
I also came to find that my grandpa wasn’t lying when he said he didn’t think he could make it. He really isn’t doing all that well. I haven’t seen him in a couple years because he always cancelled trips claiming his doctor advised against it, but he always sounds great on the phone. He needed help standing up every time he tried, and both my brother and I had to walk him anywhere that was over 25 feet in distance. One of those little life lessons and reminders to not judge a book by it’s cover. Read the damn thing, then decide.
I spent that weekend seeing family, going to another cousin’s wedding, getting on my uncle’s boat, and hanging with my brother. It can be such an incredible life refresher when you haven’t seen your family in a long time.
My brother and I had plans to get dinner with our grandpa since we didn’t know the next time we’d see him. My grandpa resides in Crystal Beach, Canada. And, while, yes, it’s in another country, it’s only 20 minutes away from Buffalo and where we were having dinner. We were meeting him at 5:30pm.
We arrived at 5:25, and we can’t spot his beloved bright blue Volkswagen Eos. We knew he would need help getting out of his car when he arrived, so I told the valet that if he sees him to come let us know.
5:45 – nothing
6:00 – nothing
6:15 – we’re starting to get a little worried. We inform the waiter of the scenario, and try to call our grandpa’s cell phone (off – of course), and, all of a sudden, a call from our grandma:
“Hey guys! Just called to make sure your grandpa is there, and dinner is going well. Sorry I couldn’t join, I’m feeling a bit sick.”
“No, Grandma, he never made it. When did he leave?”
“About Five O’clock…”
Our grandmother hurriedly hungup the phone to go searching for him before I could exclaim loud enough to take my number down.
- He left for dinner, and my grandmother VERY questionably let him drive by himself
- He’s been driving around (hopefully) for an hour and a half
- No one can get a hold of him
- We have a sick grandmother with no phone out driving around looking for her husband that, well…
For all we had known…….
I don’t even want to say it.
So my brother informs the waiter of the scenario, and I take the car to the Peace Bridge border to see if there is any traffic update, if they’ve spotted his car, or if there is any sort of information to be gathered.
There were no crashes on the bridge. Thank the lord. But, there was also no traffic.
They told me to drive to the Canadian border and explain the scenario, and they might be able to tell us if he’s entered the USA or not. I called my brother, picked him up, and that’s what we did.
Now…. after explaining everything to the officer at the border, he told us to enter Canada, pull over into their parking spaces, and wait. He would go inside and see if he could muster up any information.
It turns out that our grandpa had JUST re-entered Canada no more than five minutes ago. And he allowed us (now that we were technically already in) to venture on into Canada to track him down and make sure he’s OK.
Things really do happen for a reason.
The memories roared back like an avalanche that lasted into the summer and became a tsunami that crashed into the jungle which was only survived by one King Lion that roared as loud and proud as any lion ever has that he was indeed the King of the Jungle.
My brother and I spent EVERY fourth of July for probably six straight years at that cottage. We’d go visit him in the summer, and spend at least two+ weeks there every year. He’d always be hosting his Summer Strawberry Festival for the entire neighborhood, would teach us to walk across the street barefoot to the beach over the rocks (and that “it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt”), how to spell Mississippi as fast as we can front and back, treat us with THE most incredible home made Frazzleberry Pie from the local pie store, play tennis with us, take us on the boat, take us out for ice cream, watch the six total stations they got on their television, introduce us to that summer’s two week crush on the neighborhood girls, and… I mean, my god, as my now grown brother and I continued to drive those roads we haven’t touched rubber to in over a decade, it was like we never left.
Yet another other wordly experience.
When we arrived to his cottage (almost entirely off memory once Google Maps no longer worked for us) we pulled up to find him getting back into his car to pull out of his driveway. He bore a look of shock. He was scared. Baffled. Dumbfounded. Lost.
We stopped him, helped him out of his car, and he handed us a few bottles of liquor (which was incredibly odd because he’s been sober for “33 years now! I know, it’s incredible. I don’t even miss the stuff. Just one day I said no more, and that was that. 33 years.” as he reminds us every Christmas).
We sat on the porch, overlooking the sunset on the beach.
And in that moment lived another in which I will never forget. As a child I never understood just how nice of a place his condo really was. That single sunset was the first time I had ever grasped the incredible beauty he, and his hard work, surrounded us with. It was the first time I ever appreciated how magnificent that place was. And it was the last time I’d ever be there.
We asked him what happened, and he told us some story about how he was running late, and this and that, and he couldn’t find us and then went to the Duty Free for cheaper alcohol. He then excused himself to go to the bathroom.
My brother then turned to me and says, immediately, “He forgot.”
And he was right. He forgot what he was doing. As our grandma told us – he had left on time, he then drove around for about an hour and a half unsure of what the hell he was doing or why he was driving, went to Duty Free because he thought that must have been why he went out, bought those bottles, and returned home. The truth he was trying to hide from us is that he had absolutely no idea what he was doing.
It was a hard moment to swallow.
We talked and waited on the porch for the wrath of my grandmother to return, and after about an hour we come to find that she got lost. ** SIDE NOTE ** Isn’t it wild to think that there are people out there that don’t know how to utilize the GPS systems that we all seem to collectively have at our fingertips whenever we want. The world outgrows the people within it. What an incredible world all of us young people will eventually be living in, right?
We were collectively starving so we all went out to dinner together (…I drove).
Afterwards my brother and I returned to the bridge where we would attempt to reenter America – neither of us with passports, and I without a license as I awaited my new one to come in the mail while I switched over from a Maryland to Minnesota license.
We pulled up to the border, and… wouldn’t you know. We got her alright.
We got the “I’m not fucking around”, sassy black lady border police officer that was in no mood for a story.
So I told her the story.
And when I handed her my Minnesota Yellow Papers (don’t even get me started, people from out of state – it’s a sheet of paper they write on and fill out in pencil at Minnesota DMVs that is supposed to suffice as your legal license while you wait for your real license to be printed and shipped to you in 5 WEEKS!), she wasn’t even in the ball park of having it.
Luckily, my brother calmed the storm, presented her an actual license, answered every one of her now annoyed and angered, prodding, grilling questions without emotion in a concise and honest manner; and she … somehow … let us go back into the land of the free and home of the brave.
It was quite a moment for the two of us to team up in a way that reminded us of how equally great we are, and how even more so incredible we can be together.
My brother was beyond fearful of entering Canada initially, knowing they don’t fuck around and there was a chance they wouldn’t let us back in. But I, the confident, sometimes stupid, but have to do what’s best for others even if it means putting yourself at risk guy pushed us to venture on into Canada and find our grandpa. In doing so spending one final incredible evening at the Cottage.
But I, being the overly confident, sometimes stupid, a bit extra and emotional one, pissed that border patrol officer off to her fullest, and my brother saved our asses with his wonderful way of honest simplicity. Allowing us to return home.
Together we illegally ventured into Canada, stopped my grandpa from continuing to drive to no where, spent an excellent evening with our grandparents, and made it back to the USA safe and sound.
That about wraps up the ridiculousness that is my life. For now.
If you managed to get this far – damn you’ve got some time on your hands. But, please, let me know! I’m always open for reconnecting with old, and new, friends. Maybe there’s something in your life worth sharing. A story, a scenario, maybe just a hello. But so often it never seems like anyone would care to listen. By writing this I’m going the route of “fuck who cares to listen, I’m going to say it anyway – and whomever catches wind can do with it as they please.” So, if you please, follow my footsteps and say hello! Even if I don’t care to listen (which I will – if I’m not a fan of you it will, at a minimum, be as a gesture of returned gratitude).