Why is it that Monday holidays don't feel like Mondays, but neither do they feel like Sundays? It's like they exist outside of time. A free space on the bingo card of life.
Friday, I was out with my mom when my phone beeped. But I hadn't heard it ring. I get a lot of calls from "Unavailable" (I just found that funny on a whole 'nother level) so I checked the phone to see if it was more of the same.
But no. It was a text message from College Boyfriend David, asking for my street address, which he has. Or had.
I texted back with the info and asked, "Why? Are you coming to visit?"
Turned out, he was going to be heading right by my house on his way from Point A to Point B and he thought he'd stop by.
You know, because we hadn't seen each other in 7 years. Because he lives four whole hours away. How's that for insanity?
Anyway, I had no plans for Saturday, so sure, I said, come on by.
It was just what I needed, really, the knowledge of an impending visitor. Finally got me to clean the house. Not that I ordinarily live in squalor, but living alone, I don't really care if my coffee table is dusty. Nor, I suspect, would he care if my coffee table was dusty, but, well, we won't get bogged down in a discussion about expectations and appearances.
I went to the grocery store (living alone, I also don't often keep much in the fridge) and remembered that when we dated in college, he loved Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond, so I bought a pint, because I am the best ex-girlfriend ever.
He arrived around 4, looking exactly the same as the last time I saw him. There's still not a grey hair to be found anywhere in his head of long black wavy hair. He grows it out and the donates it to Locks of Love, year after year. Which is so sweet of him, but also just the tiniest bit of a shame, as he looks amazing with his mane. I've always been a sucker for guys with long hair.
When we dated, we went to a lot of movies. We'd alternate in choosing them. I'd drag him to arty, idependent fare, and he'd drag me to sci-fi, action-y stuff. Saturday, David, being funny, said, "I think it's your turn to pick."
We checked the local theater's listings, and based on the times, our choices were "Spider-Man 3" or "Waitress." I wanted to see both, but figured "Spider-Man" would hold more appeal for him. But David, being David, said he'd see either. (David also walked around to my side of his Humongo Toyota SUV and opened the door for me every time. He's that kind of guy.) I told him that I'd make up my mind by the time we got to the theater.
And when we got to the multiplex, we noticed on the big red board that our options were "Pirates," "Shrek," and "Spider-Man." Three movies. On 12 screens. So much for the listings on the computer.
The next showing of "Pirates" was 45 minutes away, and we didn't know if we could get tickets anyway, so we stuck to the "Spider-Man" plan.
We should have seen "Shrek."
It's not that "Spider-Man" was bad, but, well, it just wasn't as good as the first two. And my God, it felt like it would never end. And there were lots of parents there with young kids. I know this because David and I sat in the first row of seats behind the aisle separating the regular seats from the stadium seats, and all through the movie, parents walked by with their kids, headed to the bathroom. And then there were the people who brought babies. What's that about?
After the movie, back in his Humongo Toyota SUV (it could be a Sequoia), he said, "Well. Usually, after a movie, there's something to talk about." He thought for a moment. "The action sequences were pretty cool."
Yeah. That's about what there is to say for it: The action sequences were pretty cool.
We headed back here and ordered pizza and watched "The Final Cut," a little-known Robin Williams flick. If you haven't seen it, you should. It'll make you think.
After that, we started "One Hour Photo" (it was the Dark Robin Williams Film Festival) and I started falling asleep so I headed off to bed and left him to finish the film. David is one of those people who needs about 3 hours of sleep a night, so I figured he'd be up late.
I woke up at 3 a.m. and realized that the lamp was still on in the guest room and there was TV glow emanating from the TV room. "There's no way he's still watching TV," I said. I peered around the corner into the TV room to find him asleep on the couch, propped up on a couple throw pillows and covered with my afghan. I clicked off the TV and DVD player and went back to bed. Then realized that he must have had his glasses on yet. So I went back to the TV room to take them off of him, which woke him up.
"What are you doing in here?" I asked.
"I fell asleep. I was starting another movie," he said. He was. The "Swimming with Sharks" menu was on the TV when I turned it off.
"Well, you'll be more comfortable in bed," I said. "Come on."
So he went to bed a little after 3 a.m.
And got up at 7:30 a.m.
"No way you got enough sleep," I said. But he seemed perfectly fine. I'd have been a zombie.
We chatted while I had coffee and then he got ready to hit the road. I think we should strive to see each other for more than 18 hours every 7 years.
The remainder of Sunday can be summed up in one word: yardwork.
Today, I invented a pasta salad and shopped for the ingredients, prepped said ingredients, then went to English Teacher Dave's house in Beverly that he shares with his lovely wife Gail for their annual Memorial Day cookout, which is attended by a remarkable contingent of interesting people, all of whom I see this one day a year.
I was worried about the cicadas. I don't do bugs. I mean, I really don't do bugs. So sitting outside, amidst a lot of bugs, is pretty much one of my nightmares. But, I figured, if worse came to worst, I could stay inside. Luckily, the cicadas were kind enough to be heard but not largely seen. I saw a couple but was able to not freak out.
Until PEOPLE STARTED EATING THEM.
Yes, people at the cookout. People I know - people who seem entirely sane in all other aspects of their lives - were eating bugs. Dave was grilling them. At one point, I turned to him and said, "What are you doing to these children?" (Yes, many of the cicada consumers were kids.)
"I'm just a witness," he said.
"You're manning the grill," I said. "You're an enabler."
I went inside. Gail turned to me. "I can't continue to witness the carnage," I said. She was trying to get a grip on all the dishes. I volunteered for the duty, suggesting that she should be enjoying her own party.
That's what we Serbs do at parties, we clean up the kitchens. Especially if the alternative is sitting outside watching people eat large bugs impaled on skewers.
I got home and thought I should go for a walk. And then I realized that the sidewalk wasn't going anywhere. I can walk tomorrow.
Tonight, I'll turn in at a decent hour and hope I don't dream of kids crunching on cicadas.