02 Oct Author Update: October 2, 2019
October 2, 2019
This week I wrote a piece for my writing group. The topic: Weekend
I wanted to write about a weekend and instead, I ended up writing about a couple in a BMW I saw on a recent road trip.
“It’s only a weekend.” When he put it like that, there didn’t seem to be any harm in it. Really just Friday night, Saturday day and by Sunday night we would be home again. Considering the fact that I didn’t really want to go at all, it was still a lot to ask and I thought about refusing, but that would cause other issues, trigger the see-saw of emotions that would erupt again. So, best to just go along with it.
Would it really be so bad? Well, not bad exactly, but just awkward as the last time we went on one of his work vacations, I ended up insulting his partner, wrongly assuming his pivotal role in the digitization of the data that ran the company–turns out he had lobbied against it– and calling his new star acquisition, a Labradoodle, a freaky abomination. It was just the wine talking; the availability of it, made me think it was totally acceptable to start at lunch and just carry on through dinner.
Really, everyone else was drinking, too. “Yeah, but they don’t spill their poorly informed opinions all over the good china” he had shouted at the end of the night last time I accompanied him. You would think he would take somebody else to these weekend blasts as I was such a disappointment to him, but, he reasoned, that everyone already know me as his significant other, the love of his life and bringing someone else might just get tongues wagging. He was right, of course.
So on Friday afternoon, I waited for him on the front stoop of his grandmother’s brownstone. It was one of the reasons I stayed. It’s not easy to find a guy with his own deeded brownstone in this town and having discovered this delicious fact, I just let the rest of his little indiscretions go.
Perhaps it was his generosity that was his best quality. As one of the founders of Allied Iron Works, he was a key player in the city’s building boom and he had invested well. I suppose you could say I came along just at the right time. He had been reading some trash about money being the root of all evil and and lucky for me, he believed it, so I helped him leave some of that guilt behind. He gave me a big hug and opened the side door of his weekend BMW. It humbled him to do these little things for me: open a door, ask if I wanted to stop at Starbucks before the bridge, let me choose Guns N’ Roses over Kacey Musgraves, anything at all. I suppose it made him feel like he was serving somebody for once, like maybe he was on track to sainthood or middle-aged modulation of a misspent youth, either way, it worked in my favor and all I had to do was play along.
He didn’t take any calls, but wanted to know all about my week, had I had any run-ins with the other secretaries? Was the manicurist nice to me this week? He had remembered a little story I had made up about a mean Korean woman who had practically stabbed me with one of those little silver utensils they spread out in front of you as if they are getting ready to carve out your liver and paint it pink, if you just tip them a little extra. Truth be told, my manicurist is just the sweetest young lady with a flashy smile and a willing nature. I had to tell him something, something that would make him rally to my defense. I sensed that he felt the need to save me from some injustice, and a manicurist with a weapon and a temper just came to mind.
“So, so considerate. That’s just what you are. I can’t even believe you remembered honey.” I reached over to give him a brief kiss and he turned around just in time for our lips to lock. So incredibly sublime. Things like this happened all the time, and he just assumed it was serendipity that made us giddy and frothy around each other. It was neither, but I was as prescient as an oracle and made the relationship flower as I knew his weaknesses, yet he assumed he could save me from mine. As we passed the high grey mounds on both sides of the road, I noticed the netting that held in any little rocks, slivers, slabs that might become dislodged. The netting would prevent passengers in the cars below from getting smashed. It was a good idea to have a net, to prevent accidents and I always thought of him that way too. A good safety net, so when I fall from this pedestal he will have the good sense to use his net to save me.
“Listen, about last time, it was…” I didn’t let him finish.
“It was the most boring, damn time I ever had. You can’t expect me to feign interest in aluminum fixtures.”
“No, of course not, but if you could just be yourself. The beautiful, stunning you.”
I laughed and turned away from him to look at a woman hanging on to her boyfriend’s leather jacket as he kept the motorcycle in furious motion. They were so vulnerable out there in the wind, so exposed. In here, we were like zoo animals discussing the behavior of the attendants who would take care of us.
“All I’m saying is that if you could just, you know, not drink so much.”
I laughed again and said, “It’s the weekend. Weekends are for good times. I plan to have a good time.” I sensed that he needed to hear this too. He would have to save me again and he would, of course. Weekends like this just brought us closer together, in a sobering way.