Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Can someone cut this kid a break?

No, not me. Greg.

I spoke to him yesterday. That was our first conversation since I left Lubbock. When I heard his voice, my pissedness left.

"How are you?"

"I'm actually good," he said. "I got her out of the hospital yesterday."

"How's she doing?"

"I think she's handling things better now."

"That's good."

"I need some rest, though. I've either been working long days or spending the day on the road, from here to the hospital. I was late to work this morning because I had another flat. Of course, I get in about 15 minutes late, and it's the day after St. Pat's, so they ask 'Were you drinking?' Like I can afford that."

He was in the middle of setting up the bar, though, and had to go. "Can you call me back in an hour?" I told him it would be longer than that. I had a meeting to get to.

I got to call again after lunch. The person who answered the phone said what Greg usually says, but his Texas twang was deep and pronounced. So, I asked for Greg.


"You didn't sound like you!"

"No, I was playing around with an accent. Did you like that?" He was laughing. It was good to hear him in an "up" mood.

I had to pause, though. There's a guy on Bravo's "Workout" who looks very much like Greg, except with brown eyes instead of blue. But the guy has a deep twang. Now, Greg had one, too. Well, when he wanted. It made me laugh.

"Yes, you're very talented," I said.

"What are you up to?"

"Headed back to the office."

"Oh, I hate to hear that."

"Me, too. It's tough getting back into the swing of things here. How's your day?"

"Good. I've had good tips. I have rent saved up, and then some."

"That's good news!"

But I had to go. A short conversation, and I felt okay about it. Except he hadn't acknowledged standing me up.

"I'll be in early tomorrow. Can you call me then?" I said I'd try, but I had meetings all day.I didn't really. My morning meeting was canceled. But he needed to know that I do have other things going on.

I called this morning, but later than he'd asked. He answered the phone.

"Hey," I said. He knew it was me immediately.

"Hey you." He sounded different. The jovial attitude was gone.

"How are you?"

"Bad." He gave a derisive laugh.

"Oh no...what's happened?"

"Oh...I got pulled over last night on my way home. And the thing is, my license is suspended right now. I've been saving money to get that fixed, and just about had it AND rent. So, I spent the night in jail and spent all but 20 bucks to get out."

"Oh, sweetie, no."

"Yeah. I just can't catch a break, you know? I get ahead and crap happens. I hate it."

"I wish I could help."

"I know. But you don't need to. There's nothing you could do. Don't worry, I'll be okay."

I laughed. "It's me. I'm going to worry."

"I know. I appreciate that, really. How about this -- if you win the lottery, you can send me a check. Okay?"

"Yeah, okay."

"And I so want good news to tell you when you call. I want to talk about good things, happy things, but it seems like every time we talk, it's 'Guess what shit happened this time?' I don't want it that way."

"It's okay. I just can't believe how many things can go wrong."

"Yeah, I know," he paused. "And I feel bad, too. I wanted to see you that night, but I worked too late and I was so tired, so I thought I'd come by in the morning. But you were already gone. They said you'd checked out. And the phone died the night before, and I accidentally left it in the car, so I didn't even know I'd missed your call. And I felt like shit for it, because I don't want you to think I don't want to see you. Because I really do, always."

"I see. I understand." And I did. I could hear the edge in his voice. He's exhausted, and keeps yawning. He didn't sleep much, not surprising.

"But you might have called that guy, the one whose phone number you got," he said.

Ah-ha. There's a clue to his thinking. He saw the Hispanic guy give me his number. And I know the guy left right after I did that day. He suspected I'd taken him up on the offer.

"No, I won't do that," I said. "He not my type."

"Yeah, I thought so."

"Well, once a guy starts talking about having a rap-sheet a mile long, I kinda lose interest."

"Yeah, I bet. I can understand that." He was quiet for a moment. "Things are going okay for you?"

"Yes, it's starting to be my busy time here. What I need is help. I'm waiting to hear if the budget will be approved for me to hire some people."

"Some workers to do your bidding?" he laughed, between yawns.

"Yes! Exactly! I've never had that and it's what I need!"

He needed to get to work, and so did I.

"It's good to talk to you," I said."It's really good to talk to you," he said, and asked if I could call again later. I said I'd try, but I have a long afternoon with meetings.

He said a low, tender goodbye....and I could hear him listening still as I hung up.


The Mama Bear said...

Here comes the mom in me...
Look ate your title, see the word "KID"
That's what I want you to focus on, in your mind, concious or not you see him as a child..
And while there is a physical connection I think there is more of a mothering, want to fix things for him thing running too...
You deserve something better love. You deserve some one who calls just to say hello, how are you, I miss you, I'm thinking about you. You deserve surprises of the good kind and happiness.
Now, you can ignore everything I say, that is your right, but as a pal I hope you can respect me for wanting to protect you.

Blogget Jones said...

No, no, Mama Bear...I know that. What's happening in Greg's life is nothing I can fix. And even if it was in my power to do so, I wouldn't. That wouldn't really help him.

He has some tough choices to make, and he's living with the consequences of other choices. Some choices just keep on giving!

I still care for Greg. I'll be there to be his sounding board because I've been in at least some of the situations he's in. But that's all I can be.

The more powerful vibe is coming from Karl. Greg is a difficult path, with a lot of heartache. Karl....isn't. There's forces beyond me at work with Karl. And those forces aren't making things harder...they're making things more brilliant and beautiful.

So, don't worry, Mama! My focus is to the east, to the sunshine. I see what's good for me there.....

:o) BJ