Spitball Army

Somewhere in America, there’s a street named after my Dad.

Spitball Army random header image

Once a week is best for me, I think.

May 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

About one afternoon a week, I go to local cafe-market V. Richards and have a meal.  Their food is so good: they use all fresh ingredients, the specials change daily, and there is an outdoor patio with a calming fountain.

Today, after a really invigorating swim, I went to V. Richards for a late lunch.  I ordered their signature club sandwich and some broccoli salad, got myself a glass of iced tea, and found a table outside.  It was about 4:00 p.m. and I was the only person on the patio.  I opened today’s Birmingham News and started reading, as I waited for my order to come up.

I wasn’t even two pages into the front section of the paper when a man and a woman, aged mid-twenties, I’d guess, came out the door and sat down at the table nearest to me.  Out of all of the tables there, they chose the one that allowed me to hear them breathing.  And then she started talking.

This woman had a lot to get off of her mind.  As she snacked on her plate of sushi, she poured her stories forth full volume at her dining companion.  I didn’t miss a word.  At first, I thought of getting up and moving either across the patio or inside.  But after a couple of minutes listening to the conversation, I decided to stay for the entertainment.  For the majority of the time that I was listening and she was talking, her companion had his left hand up, shielding his face from the sun.

As you read my reconstruction of the overheard conversation, imagine her words at an enthusiastic pace, with lots of excitable arcs and plenty of breaths at the most theatrically-advantageous places.  When he speaks, his words are like steady, purposeful footfalls.  In a monotone.  You might even enjoy reading it aloud, just for the fun of it.  And calling it a conversation is a bit generous: the scene more closely resembled two ships passing at night in the fog, where each ship can hear the other one sound its horn but never truly knows where it is.

She name-drops three well-known celebrity names that I found out (after a bit of Google Fu) really do share the relationships she describes.  Good thing I’m not a freelance reporter looking for some dirt to dish…or am I?

Here ’tis:

She:
So, he posted this gnarly comment on my page, I mean, I should have expected it but I didn’t want to post something nasty on my page as a reply. That’s how I got into trouble in the first place, by putting all that personal stuff up on my page. I need to be less honest, I should learn to keep things more to myself and stop exposing my soul to the universe. You never know who’s gonna see it if you post it on your page like that. So there was this really cruel thing he had written on my page, and I just deleted it and took him off my list of Friends. And do you know what he did then? Well, I used to be down at the bottom of his Friends list, but after I took him off my page, guess what he did…he put me at the top of his Friends list. I mean, not at the very top of the list but like at number two or something.

So I posted this funny song about it on my page. [She sings a couple of lines from a song.] And I didn’t like that one so much so I wrote another one and posted it too. [She sings a couple more lines from a different song.] I’ve written better songs, but these were just jokes, you know?

I just didn’t want to get into it with him, you know? It was really hurtful, and I’d opened myself up to him a lot. Like I told him about [famous musician]’s bass player trying to rape me, it was so disturbing. Like, afterward, it was like “no big deal,” but he was just so evil.

He:
Oh, so how did they know each other?

She:
He and [famous musician] lived in the same building, I think. But now he’s married to [other famous musician], you know she’s a musician too. Her Dad’s [other famous musician’s father], and she’s a really popular artist on her own. She probably doesn’t know that he tried to rape me. And her brother, he’s a musician too, I think.

He:
Are you still seeing [name of therapist]?

She:
Well, he doesn’t get paid, so he’s been seeing me for free, so I only go at most once a week. I should probably go more, but he doesn’t get paid.

He:
I’ve been going maybe two times a month, or three times a month. I really like it best when I’m going once a week. Once a week is best for me, I think. Yeah, it’s the best. I feel really good when I’m going once a week. It’s good for me to get out of my apartment and talk to people. Otherwise it’s just me in my apartment and I never see anybody.

She:
So, my Dad still won’t let me have any money. He said he didn’t have any, but now he’s saying that I can’t have it, so that sounds like he actually has some, which means he was lying about not having any money because if I can’t have it that means there’s some money there, right? And my Mom keeps telling me not to lose it when I talk to him, because if I get mad then I really won’t get any of that money. Anyway, she’s pissed off too, because she knew he had some money, and now all I have gotten in the last few weeks is that check for $1,700 and that’s supposed to last me for awhile. He says that if he gives me all his money now, there won’t be any left after he dies, ‘cause he won’t be around to earn any more so I won’t have any money to live on ‘cause he’s already given it all to me, and to my Mom.

He:
One cool thing that’s been happening with me is that I started to love my apartment. I mean, that’s a good thing, because if I love my apartment then I don’t want to move, so it’s like my home, you know? I’m really liking how everything is set up in my apartment now, and I’ve got my artwork all just where I want it. Like, I have this picture on the wall that, when I look at it, reminds me of San Francisco, Montana and Santa Fe all at the same time. That’s pretty cool. It makes me like living in that apartment.

She:
So it’s all the places you’ve had to live all in one picture.

He:
Yeah, it…

She:
But it’s really been a drag dealing with him, you know? Like, after the whole thing when [famous musician]’s bass player tried to rape me, I was just so angry and weirded out, and he wasn’t being very kind. Not as kind as he could have been, I mean, he had his needs too. But I was so angry. Even talking to [therapist] wasn’t a lot of help. He’d just say things like, “[She], you’ve got to either find a way to overcome it and just calm down…,” but that’s not much help. Not after you’ve been through something like that. And then this guy is leaving me mean comments on my page. You can’t deal with things like that.

He:
I’d just go to my apartment.

Tags: food · language · music

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Elisa M // May 7, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Wow. That is what I call a ‘drive-by’ conversation…it doesn’t matter who the person is talking to, anyone in the area is at risk of being shot by it.

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