My toilet broke last night. Yes, just the stupid floater thingie, but I have some uber toilet (low flush? who knows?) that didn't lend itself well to quick repair. I hated to call a plumber, so I called D, who is (one of several of) B's assistants and someone with whom I have a curious relationship.
By way of background, B "discovered" D in a supermarket checkout line. D is a quality human being. Son of a D-list celebrity who is batshit nuts, D has managed not to turn into a train wreck of a human being. After B discovered him and hired him, B sort of groomed him. Gave him a job and D has a work ethic. But B took advantage of him over the years and treated D as our errand boy. Not my errand boy, to be sure, but looking back, I can remember a few weekend days where he was washing my deck because he felt indebted to B. Sure, we lent him a down payment for his condo, but he paid it back. Sure, we got him back in college and paid his tuition, but he paid that back, too. Just a great guy.
During the separation, B would dispatch D to wash my deck or do household repairs. It always made me uncomfortable, as the relationship was between B and D, not me and D. I felt not unlike a user -- using him for menial tasks -- just distasteful. I always left money for him and he never took it. That made it worse -- me offering money, him rejecting it -- was I wrong to offer it?
In any event, D is just good people and we have developed our own friendship. He was here shortly after I called him, asking him about the toilet situation. Tonight, he came over, assessed the situation, realized it called for better equipment, then gave a temporary solution. As I said, I am helping him with a legal issue, but felt unsettled that this seemed like quid pro quo. I don't operate that way. I give favors without expectation and expect the same in return. No one keeping score or thinking entitlement.
I said as much to him and that just sort of released a floodgate for him. "K, you have gone above and beyond the duty for me so many times and I am so grateful." I responded that I hated every time he did a favor for me at B's direction, as it reeked of quid pro quo (e.g. "we've helped you, now help us"). In any event, the things he said tonight? Wow. Definitely an independent friendship of B. I was stunned. Wow. I had assumed many casualties in the great B&K breakup and he is not one of them.
The part that made me write this post was when he told me that "K, you were B's soul. You really were. He isn't the same man anymore." My instinct was to protect and defend B, as that is what I did for over a decade. But I know he is right. B is not the same guy -- I get glimpses of him, to be sure -- but he isn't the same guy D once knew. Nor the guy I married.
Right before I left work tonight, a family friend sent a couple of old pictures. One, which I am posting because I love it, is of my mom and my bio dad. It is easy to look at the picture and think I resemble my mother, but I really look like my bio dad. It made my smile and miss the bio dad like I suspect amputees miss their limbs. My bio dad was one of my best friends and I have missed him like no other since January 9, 1998. I miss you, sir.
The other picture, which I probably won't post, was of me and B about 6 years ago. That provoked an entirely different reaction.