May 4th, 2016 (even though this all happened months ago, do I still use today’s date?)
Sam is a masseuse at a gym. When she’s finished, she calls, I pick her up and drive to where we park the car to spend the night. Usually Eartha Cat is waiting there for us on the side of the curb. Every time Sam goes in for a shift, I expect to not get a call. Someday I know she’ll think better of this life with me, realize that she doesn’t have to be here and then she won’t be.
I’m not saying I want to “make love” with her. I can’t even write “make love” without using quotations because… it’s ridiculous. And “fucking” can be a lot of things. It can be spontaneous, it can fun, exploratory. But the fact that every time we start fucking at some point she gets angry or wants me to get rough… it’s a little too…
Jesus, I don’t even know.
There’s something decidedly absent about her when we’re having sex. She’s participating but not with me. She’ll kiss me sometimes, and that’s when I really know she’s not there.
And sometimes, I know I’ve mentioned this, we’ll finish and I’ll just have to ask, “Was that about him or her?”
After she bailed me out of jail, we spent the night together.
We did not have sex. At all. We sat in the backseat and we talked.
We talked about the people who’d hurt us, about the people we failed. We talked until every bad thing that had ever happened or we’d ever done ran out. And some time around the sunrise, we were just talking about things that made us laugh.
We were just sitting there, broke and cold, watching the night turn from purple to red to an orange, toasty morning. It’s my favorite memory with her.
By the time the sun started to heat that backseat, I was ready to knock out anyone who would hurt her. Again, this was not romantic. This was a genuinely wonderful person and I couldn’t stand that someone would hurt her.
Now, we had a deal, “You beat up Dennis and I’ll kick Becky’s ass.” Be forewarned, neither of us got what we were planning from this deal.
Like you’re gonna shit your pants or something if I don’t “forewarn” you. I don’t know, if someone had forewarned me…
I met Dennis at the front door to their old apartment. She’d told me a lot about him. She hadn’t told me that he was some kind of MMA/male-model. I mean, I hated the guy. He just sounded like the worst kind of person. But I really would have appreciated a head’s up on the intimidation factor.
So, my presented role was I was there to accompany Sam as she got the rest of her stuff.
I’d stay in the living room with Dennis while she went through the kitchen, the living room, finally their old bedroom. We did exactly that, standing with me blocking the way towards her. She excused herself, making a trip out to the Bronco with a duffle bag, saying she’d be back for the rest in a moment.
He stared me down while I tried to make conversation.
Why did I try to make conversation? I don’t know, I’m an idiot.
In fact, just plug that answer in every time you have a question.
So, she came in for her “second trip” of stuff, headed back to the bedroom, me knowing full well that she’d already gotten everything. This was simply her opportunity to take his hockey stick and smash in the flat-screen screen he’d kept on their dresser while I sucker-punched him.
“I remember how much this cost,” was going to be her cue to me.
From inside the bedroom, behind me, she said loudly, “I remember how much this cost.”
I drew my fist. She shattered the TV. He decked me so fast I lost time.
“He may have known what that meant,” she told me later. “I think I may have mentioned something similar a long time ago.”
I was on the ground, grabbing his ankle to keeping him from making it to the bedroom. He was dragging me like toilet paper stuck to his shoe. I grabbed his other ankle and he turned and stomped my chest.
On the plus side, he didn’t immediately turn back to Sam. If he had, I would have gotten my ass kicked and failed at distracting him. No, I very bravely took an ass-beating long enough for her to split his hockey stick over his back, get me to my feet and run me to the Bronco.
“You really sucked in there,” she said to me.
I probably shouldn’t have been driving. Of the many times I probably have had a concussion, that was likely one of them. But I started the car and drove off, him running close behind us.
She’d already poured a two-pound bag of granulated sugar into his gas tank, so all we had to do was lose him on foot. We drove off into the night, listing all the things I should have done better.