24 June 2007

I Dunno

It's been a pretty "lazy" Sunday since Cameron left this morning. :(

We went to a going away party last night for two friends who are moving to San Diego next week. We had to leave the party early (7:00) because Cameron's departure was very early this morning.

Additionally, as Northwest says, "It's a new day at NWA." Indeed. Apparently there were over 250 flight cancellations today due to pilot shortage, mechanical problems and possibly a few due to the weather. This might explain why our friend Russ, whose flight was cancelled last night, accompanied us to the party last night and subsequently stayed with us. He had to "layover at base" without compensation for lodging. He's based here but has been commuting from Springfield, MO, since he and Michael moved to Cape Fair last fall.

I put lazy in quotes above because I've been "busy," but not like I usually am. I've done 6 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and am about finished with one-third of the house's long overdue vacuuming. I'd planned on washing the VW, but it rained earlier in the day. I've been scanning in photos for archiving before we glue them to the bar counter outside to make it a sort of history of us up until now -- our friend and next-door neighbor Gene's idea -- which we think is awesome. Otherwise I wouldn't have been scanning photos since 7 A.M. :) We're basically starting from childhood and working our way up to when we met and continuing with the last 15 years. The shots will include family and friends both past and present, shots from our vacations, bowling tournaments, holidays, and of course, before and after photos of the house.

I've also been randomly picking up things that have outlived their usefulness here and piled them onto the dining room table for placement in "the yard sale box." To be more accurate the space should be called "the yard sale attic." While these items will most likely make the trip to Goodwill because I cannot stand dealing with "yard sale pros" I have some items that need to leave my attic that I am reluctant to place in any Goodwill drop box or display on a table in my front yard.

I am referring to "art films." I'll try to explain.

We have a friend (I think) who had been in transition in a lot of ways last summer, and he spent the better part of the season with us.

Rewind a couple or three years.

We met Jerry at bowling probably four years ago. He was a lot of fun when we bowled against his team, but that was the extent of our acquaintance. One night we invited him to join a few of us in the bar for a drink after bowling. Over the next few weeks we developed a friendship that continued to grow over the coming months. Summer pool parties, dinner parties, holiday gatherings, etc. are great environments to develop friendships, and Jerry was at every one of them both at our house and the homes of all our friends.

He had been living in Hernando for a couple of years with his roommate and coworker, Patrick, who we had known for several years through bowling as well. They traveled together for work so Jerry didn't really need a place of his own or a car. When he was home he would either borrow Patrick's truck or we would go get him so he could come up and stay when he was in town. It was a fairly regular thing.

I know you're probably getting bored, so I'll try to speed it up. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2005. Patrick suddenly became ill. He eventually went into a coma and subsequently died. Jerry continued to share Patrick's house for a while with their other roommate, but eventually needed to leave. Through some miscommunication he ended up leaving the company that he and Patrick worked for, which was owned by Patrick's brother.

We told him to come stay here for a few weeks because he had accepted a position in Oregon but wouldn't be leaving right away. In the meantime, Patrick's aunt started liquidation of his estate, yet nobody in his family had any idea what he'd invested in gay pride paraphernalia, Tom of Finland prints, long out-of-print collectible magazines (in the thousands), leather boots and accessories and "art films". Before Jerry knew it they had already thrown away all of the magazines and much of his leather, some of it never worn. He managed to save the Tom of Finland prints, lots of gay pride collectibles, thousands of gay greeting cards and the art films.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2006. Jerry's been living in Oregon for a few months now and his job is going well. He'd come home (here) for the holiday after a stop in Chicago. He apparently had a bad falling out with his friends up there -- ones that he'd known for many years when he lived up there -- and was in a pretty snippy mood, understandably. But, it seemed like he was trying to pick a fight with us and we just wouldn't let it happen. So when it was time for him to leave it was all hugs, kisses and one of Cameron's companion passes back to Oregon.

He gets home and learns that his father had passed away some time before and that none of his brothers or sisters bothered to contact him.

I can understand the myriad feelings he must have been experiencing because about four years ago my father didn't bother to tell any of us that my Grandmother had died. We found out nearly two months after the fact from a cousin we hadn't seen in fifteen years when he recognized my sister at some military function in Biloxi. But, rather than abandoning them during this time, I relied on my friendships to help me get through.

Not Jerry. He hasn't returned any phone calls or e-mails since January -- to any of us. Not even my other next-door neighbor, Lara, with whom he spent many a night at Raiford's, dancing. He stiffed my husband for the cost of his plane ticket. And because of the 40% paycuts that NWA employees endured to pay for Doug Steenland's $26.6 million bonus, Cameron has had to cut back and watch every dime. You can f*ck with me, but not my husband. So, guess who's pissed.

Back when we were planning on building a house I contacted Jerry about what he wished for me to do with his stuff in the attic, which includes four large boxes of nice clothes, boots and shoes, office equipment, small appliances and Patrick's "art films", fifty or so Tom of Finland prints and thousands of greeting cards. I haven't heard from him. Our plans for moving to Hernando may have changed, but we still need the attic cleared out so central air can be installed.

So, "I Dunno" what to do with any of it, let alone one small and one large box of probably fifty or so VHS tapes, the likes of which are titled "Dr. Good Glove," and "Drilling School."

It's dusk. I'm going out to wash the Passat.

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