Friday, August 15, 2008

Past, Present, Future and Family...

So last night we're all sitting around watching "Vanishing Point" after a wonderful dinner of homemade Fried Rice. In the movie the car chase is going up and down and all around, cars hitting curbs and medians full speed and not having a problem. I laughed and absent mindlessly said "Last time I hit a curb I blew out a tire." Mark laughed and said, "Yeah, I was there for that! It was the night of your bachelor party, boy did we catch woo for that!" Val, who didn't know either of us then said "Oh, what were you two up to?"

Later October of 1997:

I had four groomsmen and my late brother John as my best man. Mark and Lloyd flew in from Colorado for my wedding and John and Tony both lived in jersey. Because of timing, and everything else going on, my "bachelor party" was about as laid back as it can get and still be called a party. No, truth be told, it wasn't even a party. Mark, Lloyd and I went to a good Chinese restaurant on the island, sat, ate and talked until we closed down the place and were driving back to the Hotel in the rain. Mark was driving and all three of us were completely sober (yeah, some wild party eh?) so it should have been uneventful.

Like I say, it was raining, and the roads were just wet enough that all the surface sludge has risen to sit onto of the thin layer of water. I mean it had only just started raining as we were driving back from dinner kind of rain. We were on the ramp between the highway and the hotel when the car started to hydroplane. Mark tried to correct and get control of the car, but all four wheels where hydroplaning, so we augured in, hit the curb hard and one of the tires blew as we hit the curb.

Took sometime to sort it all out, and honestly it was the highlight of my "bachelor party" because it was unexpected and got all our hearts racing for a moment. Then and now I think it was more fun than loud music and strippers. Honestly I think Mark and Lloyd would have preferred the strippers, in fact Mark had suggested the same, and came prepared with a list of good strip clubs in the area. But it was my "party" so we did what I wanted. Yes, lame as "bachelor parties" go, but I was hardly a "normal bachelor" at the time.

In the past I'd gone to strip clubs with Mark, wasn't a big thing, we both in our own way enjoyed it. He'd sit there dreaming about sleeping with the girls dancing, and I'd sit there dreaming of BEING one of the girls dancing. He always made out better in the deal that I did, because in he'd managed to date many of the really good looking women there. But that late October day, the last thing I wanted the night before my wedding, was to be reminded of what, who, I wasn't. The pain would have been a bit too much for me.


So last night we all had a great laugh, and it brought all of us a bit closer together, especially when I said "You know, I wasn't even going to mention that night Mark, since you were driving... I was thinking of the day I was being ditty and in broad daylight missed the driveway and hit the curb. I wasn't even going as fast as those cars are..." Which of course got us all laughing that much harder.

I look back now at the person I was trying so hard to be then with some wonder and thankfulness.

Back then I was an old, slightly dour, grizzeled ex-cop who still tended to "get involved" when I saw something going wrong. Back then, if someone had told me I'd be sitting here, sharing this, I'd have told them they were crazy. If someone had told me I'd be ME, I'd have really given them whatfor... The Future for me then was going to be growing old with Earl, watching our grandchildren playing in the yard while we sat on the porch in a swing. I'd have still been that guy I was pretending to be, and he'd (Earl) still have been "faking life" as he always put it.

Now, regrettably, he's dead, and I look half my age and nothing like the "Starfleet" officer I was pretending to be for so long.

I'm closer to everyone these days than I was back then, family especially and I like being able to enjoy and share those bits of history with people who were there for it. I really enjoy all the inside stuff that speaks to a history rich in sharing time together and not have it encumbered by the present. The track my family (and I know I'm blessed, yes) and I have taken it: Yeah, I was sort of a guy, now I'm a girl, and on the inside is the person we all know and have shared things with.

Little things like when I got there I looked at my brother and said, you know if anyone had been in the car with me on the way over, they'd have thought me insane when I looked at the speedometer and started laughing. I mean I was only 10% over the speed limit. Mark gave me this incredulous look and said "10% over the speed limit?" The implication being "only you would notice it was 10% over" and then the little light went on over his head and he too started laughing really hard. Then with his imitation chinese/english accent he said "Oh, 10% seem very high!"

Back in the mid 90's before I lost my friggin mind and married Earl, Mark and I were sharing a house in Evergreen (CO) our back yard was the Arapahoe National Forrest and there was NO food delivery service in the area. So, Mark being ever enterprising decided to create one. In negotiations with some of the local resturants, one of the owners balked at the surcharge that the service would add to delivery their food. Given the terrain, and the distances between places and where people lived, and what was normal for the market, 10% was generous on Marks part, certainly lower than he could have asked. But this one owner, in the same kind of chinese accented english said "Oh, 10% seem very high" and it's been a running joke since then.

So, yes, I'm lucky, and have people, family in my life I share history with going back over my whole life. In the future, I see these relationships only growing, and you know, that makes me happy. Them too... After all I had family members in five states fighting over where I moved closest too in my most recent move. So yeah, I'm a lucky girl and I know it. I don't take them for granted, and I work on keeping the relationships healthy. My brother Mark, he brought Val and my namesake into my life, and I'm very grateful. Val and I get along really well, and we have built our own friendship, our own relationship and are growing that. It's really cool.

Okay, enough gloating... I don't set out to sound so chipper and overly enthusiastic, it just kind of happens. I have my down days too, but I try not to dwell on them...

Acceptance my friends, finding it within ourselves, and each other is a form of compassion. It's all the key to any big changes in our lives. Well, now I have to run out to the store and get another clock or two... I found the perfect clock finally, so I want one in every room. More about that in a subsequnet post...

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