Monday, September 24, 2007


Tonight was one of those nights where I realized that you can manufacture your own village (I hear that in the voice of that one couple in When Harry Met Sally) and manage to do extraordinary things without your historical problem solver.

A word (or a thousand) on that. When we first got together, B was absolutely the problem solver in our relationship. Hell, I was 21 then and just beginning to understand real problems, and B had styled himself as a fix-it guy, so we were a match made in heaven in that regard. Over the years, those roles reversed in a sense, as I was called upon to solve our problems, while B solved those of others, but this is a "then" story.

Story telling time, and this one speaks volumes about other people's perceptions of B, back in the day. He had a friend whom he referred to as Big Sue. I had met her only a few times, but knew her to be a great girl. I am momentarily having some random memory about her wedding and a Faith Hill song, but cannot quite connect the dots. She and B had been close friends in the post-high school-quasi-college haze, and although their respective lives had take them in different directions, they had a shared history that kept them connected. She lived in the suburbs and we saw her maybe once a year, tops.

One night, we got a phone call in the middle of the night. I think I answered it, but I cannot remember, as I sleep so hard and am completely nonsensical when half asleep. I probably just handed him the phone. In any event, I heard him groggily speak to her and react in one word bursts. "No!" "Fuck!" "Sue!" I slowly regained consciousness and tried to parse his reaction. When he got off the phone, he told me that Big Sue's brother had just been killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling. I had only met her brother once, at her wedding, but immediately thought of my brothers and how positively inconsolable I would be if something happened to them. I became instantly empathetic and sort of melancholic at her loss. B hugged me close as I shuddered at the idea of losing one of my brothers. I then found focused on something else.

Why did she call B in the night? He had probably spoken to her once or twice in the preceding year, so it wasn't as though they were in daily contact. I wasn't jealous by any stretch of the imagination - just wondering about the human condition. What would make her call an old friend, whom she rarely spoke to, at 3am, hours after finding out her brother had just died?

The answer became obvious to me. B, back then, was the person you called when you needed someone to solve a problem. However irrational it was, she knew she could always count on B to solve the problem or make a bad situation better, which was a role he used to fulfill quite amazingly. I told this to B as we were lying in bed that night, trying to get back to sleep. I told him that with pride - that I thought it was truly spectacular that he had so many people who thought he could almost raise the dead because he went the distance for his friends and loved ones.

Fuck, too long of a story, and here's a jarring segue back to recent events. P and I went through this clusterf*ck of an ordeal this weekend to move a piece of outdoor furniture to my condo. We saw it at Home Depot last weekend and, on an impulse buy (it was $350, discounted from $700 in light of the changing season), I became the proud owner of a perfectly delicious outdoor daybed/couch with canopy. It was the last one and it needed to be disassembled in order to get it in here. We had to rent a truck (trust me when I say this was more complicated than necessary), drive all over town to get it done, and when when we finally unloaded it, we realized we had about an hour before meeting my folks for dinner (story for another post).

So all of that backstory lead up is to this evening, when P and my brother Keegan put that shit together. I confess that my brain simply doesn't work that way. Never has. I was useless. Sure, give me a single task and I am fine, but I have no spatial skills whatsoever. After about an hour, and after reading the directions closely, I fully understood the logical steps, but by then, I had a new outdoor daybed. To wit:



1 comment:

Talix said...

Can't wait to chill on it!