Saturday, March 7, 2009
Alex is home.
I took half a sleeve of Ritz crackers for Jenny and two oatmeal creme pies for me and placed them on the console between the two front seats of the car after I wiped my sweating face with a towel twice and changed my cardigan three times, and before I picked her up from the high school and hit the freeway. Big, Van Gogh-y, doughy gray clouds sprinkled the windshield with halfhearted dots of snow intermittently. There wasn't a lot of traffic, and I kept drifting to the left. The Radiohead CD moaning quietly up the road made me progressively more nervous, possibly because he sounds like someone in increasing amounts of pain. Like he's being Chinese water tortured or something. I usually like Radiohead, but not today.
We waited at the airport for what felt like about seven years, because his flight was delayed, and I passed the time watching a painful Sudoku match between Tim (Alex's big brother, 26, yoga instructor, tattoo) and Judy (Alex's mother .... 'nuff said) and trying to call Lily and Charles (younger siblings) off the baggage claim before it ate one of their fingers and before Lily's blue-and-white dress became even grayer
and then there he was, sheepishly tiptoeing out of the elevator with two other unremarkable elders. My hands were shaking and I almost couldn't take a picture. He looked exactly the same and suddenly I was a brace-faced sixteen-year-old on the pioneer trek smoothing my hands on my ugly ugly skirt again and trying to get this big attractive boy laying on the ground a few feet from me to help set up tents before the hurricane completely blew us away.
We eventually shook hands--oh, the terror--and his family only caught the end of it, so they had us do it again for twice as long and a picture while they all giggled their little pants off. That was fun.
I lost my parking ticket on the way out of the airport, because my brain had left my body sometime earlier, so Jenny and I got caught for about 40 minutes talking to the ticket money lady, and then it took us almost two hours to get home because of rush hour traffic. Alex's family was going to Gloria's Little Italy for dinner later. And apparently, I was going too, no question. On this long and torturous (Chinese?) drive home, I made up my mind that I would not go to dinner with their family. I would not. I don't care Judy, I don't care if you've invited me or even if Alex wants me to go--I will not inject myself into your family the second that Alex gets home. I will. Not. That will be awkward. Also, stupid. As in, I'll act stupid.
They ended up getting Chinese takeout, and I was at the house until two AM.
I wanted to go home at nine because I could feel my emotional bubble starting to pucker.
Fact: He brought it up already. Today. The two of us, about midnight, alone in the kitchen, over stale cream puffs and carrot sticks with that really good ranch that comes in the veggie trays from Costco. He got home today and brought us up. In the same day. Took me by no good kind of surprise. Too much. It's the first day. Can we wait a month? Perhaps a year, to talk about this? How exactly do you tell someone that you wish for them to come down off their spiritual high and gain their practical footing before you discuss a relationship you used to have and what's going to happen to it in the future, will it lie dormant or is there hand-holding involved here? Not that we held hands today, because we didn't. It wasn't like a reflex or anything. That would have been stupid and weird.
I did have a decent day, and the experience at the airport was now one I can chalk up as an equal to maybe wrestling with alligators or cliff jumping and not knowing if you're going to break your back when you hit the water.
I'm not brace face ugly skirt smoothing hands putting up tents girl anymore, ok? I'm not.
I'm feeling very overwhelmed here.
at 1:01 PM