LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): You can skip over at least some of the details today — they aren’t nearly as important as the big picture. It’s a good time for you to make sure that you’re focusing on the right goals.
Bought a new outfit at Hill’s of Kerrisdale right after the interview. Too pricey, but so cute. What else was I supposed to do with all that nervous energy? Had a big celebratory dinner at Grub with Marella, Tamara, Nadia and Bradley and Gabriel. It was more nerve-racking than the actual interview! Gabriel meets everyone. Marella attempts to be cordial to Tamara and Nadia. They, in turn, attempt to ignore her—not an easy undertaking.
Marella didn’t seem phased by the cold shoulder. She’s always more focused on the men. Bradley got a mild grilling—the why-the-hell-are-you-with-Nadia angle, not so subtle—but zoomed in on Gabriel for most of the evening. “Hot!” she whispered to me when he got up to say hello to a friend at another table. Nice to have her approval. And then: “How’d you ever get him?”
Sisterly love is a prickly thing.
And then there’s Bradley. Just a prick. At a table of women, he latched onto Gabriel and tried to butch up the conversation, opening with a crude Tiger Woods joke, then making a lewd comment about the waitress (which Nadia pretended not to hear; I noticed her face redden before she took cover behind the menu) and going into a five-minute diatribe about how the no head shots rule was going to make the NHL a sissy league.
Poor Gabriel. He actually welcomed Marella butting in to question him about whether he’d ever been engaged (“Once”) and why that had fallen through. (Bless Gabriel for his raw, honest response: “She didn’t think I was good enough.”)
As everyone dispersed after dinner, Gabriel and I were left standing on the street corner. I looked at him. He crossed his eyes and pantomimed being choked. Yep, it had been a brutal Meet the Piranhas session. I said, “I owe you—”
“Big time!” he chimed in.
“What then? Dinner with Chris?”
“Heck, no. You’re going to meet Hal and Tobias.” There was something ominous about the way he said it. Friends as a weapon. How was it that we even have that ilk in our social circles?
Back at my place, we had I Got a Job sex. Definitely good. But on a time clock. A solid night’s sleep is essential before the first day.
Of course, we might as well have shagged all night. Would have been much more fun than my tossing and turning. I even got up and moved to the sofa at 3 a.m. as Gabriel let out a huge sigh/groan, peeved by my restlessness. (“No way!” he claimed come morning. “I slept right through.” Sweet Gabriel.)
Off to a new job. A little tired, but I can make it through the first day on sheer adrenaline. Must. Not. Bogart. The. Coffee.
GOT TO WALK BELLA & RUDY TO SCHOOL THIS MORNING. A FIRST! WLD’VE GIVEN TRAVIS A LIFT TO SCHOOL TOO, BUT NO WAY HE WANTED TO BE SEEN W/UNCLE KEN. HE DIDN’T SAY IT; JUST GAVE THE LOOK: TEEN SCOWL. OUCH. AT LEAST BELLA & RUDY WERE EXCITED. EACH OF THEM SHOWED ME THEIR CLASSROOMS & INTRODUCED ME TO THEIR TEACHERS. BELLA WENT ON TO GIVE ME A FULL SCHOOL TOUR. THE HIGHLIGHT WAS “THIS IS THE WATER FOUNTAIN WHERE MY BEST FRIEND HONEY THREW UP.” (SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY: WHEN YOU HAVE STUPID PARENTS WHO NAME YOU “HONEY”, NAUSEA’S GONNA COME OFTEN.)
BEAUTIFUL MORNING FOR A WALK. WHEN I GOT BACK TO SARA’S, ETHAN WAS STILL THERE. HE’D THROWN A FIT OVER NOT GETTING TO GO TO PRESCHOOL W/UNCLE KEN. HE BOUNDED OFF THE SOFA AS SOON AS I RETURNED. YOU GOTTA FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU CAN LURE A KID AWAY FROM THE 268TH VIEWING OF “THE LITTLE MERMAID” W/O SAYING A WORD.
BACK @ SARA’S, I WAS SURPRISED WE WEREN’T HANGING OUT FOR COFFEE. “GOD, NO!” SHE EXCLAIMED, KEYS IN HAND AS I WALKED UP THE DRIVEWAY. “I NEED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ANY CHANCE I GET.”
WE DROVE TO KITS. “LOOK @ ALL THE CIVILIZED PEOPLE,” SHE OBSERVED AS WE DROVE DOWN 4TH. “PEOPLE W/O KIDS. REMIND ME WHAT IT’S LIKE.”
I GOT AN EARFUL B/F WE EVEN ORDERED @ CAFÉ ZEN. “I CAN’T GET ETHAN TO STOP WATCHING ‘THE LITTLE MERMAID’,” SHE FRETTED.
I FAILED TO SEE THE PROBLEM. SOMETIMES MOMMIES FAIL TO KNOW WHAT A REAL PROBLEM IS. (LIKE GETTING FIRED AFTER GETTING DRUNK @ WORK.) BUT I PLAYED ALONG. “IT’S A GOOD MOVIE. THAT CRAB IS COOL.”
SHE SIGHED. “IT’S NOT THE CRAB HE LIKES. IT’S PRINCESS ARIEL.” I LOOKED UP FROM THE MENU. NO, NOT—. SHE READ MY MIND. “IT’S NOT A CRUSH THING. LAST WEEK, HE SAID, ‘WHEN I GROW UP, I WANNA BE A PRINCESS, TOO.’”
“OH. SO WHAT DID JERRY SAY?”
SHE LAUGHED. NOT A HA-HA LAUGH; MORE LIKE AN IRKED, EXASPERATED CACKLE. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! JERRY’S IN DENIAL THAT TRAVIS SMOKES POT. HE CAN’T EVEN GO THERE ABOUT GENDER IDENTITY.” THEN SHE IMPERSONATED JERRY: “‘MAKE HIM PLAY W/THE DUMP TRUCK. STOP LETTING HIM PLAY DOLLS W/BELLA.’ AS IF I CAN CONTROL THAT. I SET THE DAMN TRUCK IN FRONT OF HIM & HE JUST PRETENDS IT’S BARBIE’S LIMO. TRIED TO DRAW FLOWERS ON IT W/CRAYON.”
YEAH, I’D WONDERED ABOUT ETHAN. SIGNS WERE EVERYWHERE. ON THE WAY TO PRESCHOOL, HE TALKED NONSTOP ABOUT WHEN BUTTERFLIES WLD COME BACK, ADDING, “I’M GONNA BE A BUTTERFLY FOR HALLOWEEN.” JERRY’LL TRY TO TALK HIM INTO SPONGEBOB AGAIN. MONTHS TO COME UP W/A PLAN TO SELL IT. I WAS BETTIN’ ON THE BUTTERFLY. HOW EARLY IS GAY IDENTITY ESTAB’D? ETHAN IS WHO HE IS. I SAY LET ’IM BE.
BUT THERE WAS A BIGGER ISSUE. AFTER THE WAITRESS TOOK OUR ORDER, I PIPED UP. “TRAVIS IS SMOKING POT?”
“EVERY DAY. IT’S LIKE A MARIJUANA CLOUD IS SWIRLING AROUND HIM WHEN HE WALKS IN THE DOOR. HE’S GOT THESE NEW FRIENDS & THEY’RE ALWAYS WASTE CASES. JERRY JUST PUTS HIS HEAD IN THE SAND. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT W/THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR THIS AFTERNOON.”
THEN SHE BROKE DOWN. A WAITRESS BROUGHT MORE NAPKINS AND, IN 5 MIN, SARA’D SOBBED OR BLOWN THRU THE WHOLE STACK. WHEN SHE PULLED HERSELF TOGETHER, SHE SAID, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. HE’S 13. HE’S FAILING HALF HIS CLASSES. AND LAST YR HE GOT THE MATH AWARD. OUR FUTURE ENGINEER. NOW ALL I THINK ABOUT IS, HOW’S HE EVER GOING TO MAKE IT TO 12TH GRADE?”
IT WAS A JOYLESS MEAL. THE BLUEBERRY BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES OFFERED NO COMFORT. HER EGGS BENNY SAT IGNORED. WE TALKED—WELL, I MOSTLY LISTENED—& FILLED OURSELVES W/BOTTOMLESS CUPS OF COFFEE.
I WASN’T SO WORRIED ABOUT ETHAN. TRAVIS, YEAH, A BIG WORRY. BUT, MORE THAN ANYTHING, I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT MY SISTER. SHAKY, EMOTIONAL, TOTALLY FRIED. SHE’D ALWAYS BEEN STRONGER THAN ME. AND NOW SHE WAS CRUMBLING. NO, SHE WAS BEYOND THAT. I TOOK HER HOME & MADE HER GET INTO BED. “I’LL CLEAN THE HOUSE,” I SAID WHEN SHE PROTESTED & LISTED EVERYTHING THAT HAD TO BE DONE B/F JERRY’S RETURN.
“I CAN’T SLEEP,” SHE SAID. “NOT AFTER ALL THAT COFFEE.”
I TUCKED HER IN AS SHE GAVE UP THE FIGHT. 5 MIN LATER, SHE WAS SNORING SOMETHING FIERCE.
I WAS THE BUG-EYED ONE.