That and This

Winter’s rush hung around like that so-called friend who never gets the hint to leave. You know the type; you’re trying to give out hints that you’re going to retire for the evening because you’ve already withstood this person’s presence for more than 6 hours. They revert back to the same repetitive conversation about so-and-so but you can’t seem to get them to understand that you couldn’t be bothered. The statement “well, we’re going to cook dinner now!” doesn’t escort them to the door, rather, they invite themselves to join. Using the tablet just to appear busy doesn’t quite do it, either. They simply just won’t leave until finally … you turn a little rude and say “listen I am really tired and I have a headache, get out!” Yeah, that friend. We didn’t see the projected blizzard though the advisory is hanging around until mid-day Monday.

Saturday crawled in quietly without so much as a whimper. For the sake of exhaustion, I did manage to sleep in until noon or thereabouts which is extremely rare. Normally its all-night classes and study and back up in 3 ½ hours to prepare the school-goer for her day. Maybe if I am lucky, I catch a short nap while she’s at school but usually the phones ring or some other disturbance pronounces its presence. The fiance woke shortly after I did so out of loving courtesy, I prepared a late-breakfast/early lunch meal that consisted of gourmet hamburgers and chips. We had the normal conversation of to-do and then went on to watch a 70’s sci-fi flick called ‘Blackula’ – the music was more amusing than the show. We laughed a little at the one-liners and costume choices until it was time for him to get ready for work. To ease my separation anxiety; I went up to my computer and bounced around through the school website to view when our 2-week holiday vacation starts and to observe my current grade point average. It was pleasing to see that I am still holding a 3.75 GPA.

He rushed around in his usual momentum and packed his pant pockets with tools, tic-tacs and his mini notepads. He said some funny comment about the woes of being in IT and how he sounds like a walking tool box when he receives a call and then graced my lips with a loving kiss before rushing out the door. The fiance is what I would define as an angry commuter. Its funny to observe because he is otherwise calm and collected. I swear it’s the area we live in; these people out here really do not know how to drive and its worse through the Winter months. When someone is holding up the exit ramp for example; the fiance will start getting uneasy and talk all commando like “the whole fucking three lanes don’t have to be open for that idiot to pull out!” He tries acting like a tough guy and gets impatient but I can’t help but laugh because it is the only time I see him get unhinged. Otherwise he is laid back and calm. Total night and day situation for sure.

After I am done with the school website, I check my email to discover that a woman from the online sale got a hold of me about the school-goer’s gift. She explains to call her home phone to retrieve the items from her husband because she is at work. I’m a little upset because I have been trying to get over to her house since Friday but got stalled due to her last minute decision to go out to dinner. I almost gave up on her, but the deal was too good to let go. She was offering two life-sized Barbies, still brand new in the box for much cheaper than what the store offers them for. I call the number she gave me only to get an answering machine. I wait about ten minutes and then email her back about this. Some time later, she replies stating that her husband stepped out but that he is home now. I call back again, and get the answering machine. I email her again and a while later (about 40 or 50 minutes) she replies that he had gone out to shovel knowing I was going to stop by for the dolls. She then follows this email by stating that maybe tomorrow would be better. I am now frustrated because I wanted to go out to the store before the next wave of snow fell but sat here in limbo waiting for her. I write to her that either they do the sale now or I am not interested. She replied to that email faster than the others and gave me the address for their house. My luck however was once I headed out, the snow came down heavy. We do the transaction and finally, that is out of my hair. I realize then that I have the rest of Saturday evening in silence and that made me smile.

Once I was settled at home again, I got out the ITC device and went into the kitchen to prepare a spaghetti dinner for the fiance and I. While cooking up the sauce and browning the meat, the spirit box finally began to make sense. Now I am thinking like a scientist because the replies are a little too accurate. I’ve been the biggest drum-beater shouting to all the paranormal scammers that “ghosts do not come out on command” and have always made sure that the people buying into the scam had a broad perspective of that very fact. So. Do I now listen to my own words? Maybe nothing relevant was present in the past during the ITC sessions until this point, and moreover, maybe it is because there is complete stillness considering that I was here alone. No distractions. The responses were matter of factual to my fiance’s family. It named his sister, her husband and son. It then said “December” and then “hike” and after “dangerous” and from here it cocked an attitude about who was speaking to me. I gave it a break, and then asked it once more and it said “goodbye.” To be careful, I am still holding any validity with a grain of salt – in case there is some sort of truth, I did text my fiance to tell him what was said about his sister and her family. What he does with that information now puts the ball in his court. I don’t like to place too much into something where I am not certain of the programming. As far as spirits and their existence, I do believe and that’s an entry for another day. The spaghetti preparation is finished so I head back to the bedroom.

Amused by the ITC spirit box, I remembered that Ghost Adventures is looping on the Travel Channel so I turn that on and lie down for the evening and patiently wait for my fiance to return home to have dinner with me. Zak Baggans comes on the television and he’s talking about the Brothel in Butte Montana – I saw this show last week and thought that the brothel owner looked like he hit a peace pipe a little too much in his day. I thought about my idea for an illustration book that I want to create so I sit down with the sketch pad and begin doodling for a while. My focus is a little off from the groaning and yelling coming from the television but I manage to spit out 3 pages of authentic sketch work before deciding to put the pencil down for the night. Now the Ghost Adventures are in a desert examining Quonset huts where supposed satanic rituals took place. Disinterested I thought.

The fiance is now finally home from work and we settle in the kitchen to enjoy dinner together. He explained being upset at a comment I had made earlier in the night through texting; I expressed to him my thoughts about what would happen if we won the lottery. I explained that I would be afraid that he would leave me and take his ex back. He had left her once she inherited her father’s house. She is a hoarder very similar to the hoarders you have seen on the television show. 20 something cats, shit everywhere, and a smell to compensate the chaos. He asked me why and said that he wouldn’t go to her home she inherited because he couldn’t stand the way she lived. So I answered with the truth about my thoughts; I explained that if he won the lotto, he could buy her a fresh house that isn’t hoarded and then he wouldn’t have to worry about it. He shook his head and replied that he had cleaned that house up for her twice and bought things for it but came to see that she won;t change and that he was wasting his time and money. He finally said that technically he left her way back in 1999 but that she kept coming around and wanting things from him. Things that cost a lot of money. That it was hard for him to tell her no at first because he wanted her to snap out of it but that he concluded that she was really just using him all along. I wanted to ask him about the stuff in this house and talk to him about how I view it as a shrine but it occurred to me through this conversation that he’s been living like a single man in here since they parted ways in ’99 – she kept coming around pestering him and probably leaving the bric-a-brac as a cold hearted step to woo him out of his cash. He has told me about his previous job where he worked up to 16 to 18 hour days and was rarely home to begin with. So the reality actually is that he was never here and just never bothered to rearrange things and left the crap where it sat.

We went back to the bedroom and somehow talking some of that out made us a bit closer. We had gotten into bed and he began to say that I don’t understand just how deep he loves me that he actually worships me. I really didn’t know how to perceive the worship part but something inside of me told me that he actually deeply means it. We went to bed happy.

Sunday began as quietly as Saturday. It felt good being closer with him more than ever. We really enjoyed another and our morning routine of coffee and breakfast. The television was more entertaining with the X-MEN movie on Spike. Every so often I glanced over to see his reactions, and he was smiling. That made me feel good. It meant that he really was enjoying his time with me. Time crept up faster than normal for him to depart to work but that was okay, I had to leave soon to get the school-goer from her biological dad.

The transfer went smoothly, but the biological dad tried to hover like he was waiting for me to leave first. I purposely took my time with the school-goer to look for something in the back of the vehicle so that the biological dad got the hint to pull out first. In no way will I grant him a way to stalk or follow me; after every transfer, you would think that he would catch on that I caught on a long time ago. No such luck … The school-goer was chipper and excitedly told me about playing Minecraft. From there, she talked about Roblox and other app store game phenomena. To switch gears, I asked her if she wanted to go see Santa Claus and of course she agreed. Traffic was minimal as the Sunday commute always is so we arrived at the mall with issue. It’s hard for me to believe anything still goes on in the mall, it has been a ghost town situation for almost 9 years by now. This does however make it easier to maneuver through it to reach a destination without the hustle of a large crowd. The school-goer skipped about singing about the Trolls movie that we had taken her to see a few weeks back and told me about her favorite schoolmate’s favorite colors and why they were. We reach the booth where the Santa is supposed to be but the worker told me that they closed 15 minutes ago. The school goer looks sad about this. She shrugged and kind of bit her lip so I said “hey! We have that gingerbread house, let’s go build it!” This immediately made her night.

We left the mall and continued home to begin preparation of the gingerbread house. In typical fashion, the school goer had hundreds of questions about why can’t we eat the ingredients of the gingerbread house. I fabricated it just a little by stating that the frosting is really glue (I have no idea how long that stuff sat in the store in this box. A friend once told me that what they don’t sell a year before, they will stock next year. In case there’s any truth to that, I thought it best to scare her away from consuming something that could upset her stomach.) After I place the bigger pieces together and frost the roof, I sat back and watched her put the candy pieces on the sides and the roof. She insisted that she does it herself because she can make it pretty. It was joyful just watching her randomly put different pieces in different places. I have always felt that a child grows when we allow them to do things with us or themselves while we watch and guide them. It instills confidence and security in knowing that they can do things themselves. After she is finished, I take a few pictures of her with it and then I get her ready for bed with a bath followed by story time. It wasn’t long before she fell asleep. I’m sure she had a long day having most of it spent with the biological father. He always tries to win her over by buying Dollar Store gifts and trying to tell her how evil I am. He’s such a childish asshole and doesn’t understand how unhealthy it is to tell a child bad things about the other parent. As much hell he has put me through, I have never once said anything bad about him to the school-goer and I never will either. She can decide for herself about the truth of him when she is older.

Now I am wrapping this up and going back to construct more doodles for my concept. I have a few ideas of how I want my characters to look – after that, I will probably go look for sleep, because I miss him.

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