In retrospect, my timing was lousy. Laura has been very busy, with school, with work, and with hanging out 'till all hours after working. I have found myself waiting up like some neurotic father while worry, jealousy and resentment played hideous, destructive tunes in my mind's ear.
Some of my complaints are legitimate, others much less so. There is the fact that I do the lion's share of the domestic chores around here; there is the fact that she has a tendency to say she'll be home at, say, 9:00 and then roll in at 1:00 in the morning.
But she is only 18 and she wasn't raised doing chores (our kids, if we ever have them, will be, by damn!). She is going to live in the moment more now than she will when she is 30, let alone 40. And we are, slowly, working out the balance around here.
Otherwise, I am not dealing as well as I'd hoped with the changes in her life and the resulting tensions those changes cause in me.
Anyway. Friday afternoon found me on a bench outside work. Laura was supposed to pick me up at 5:00. She arrived - running - at about 5:55. I was puffing what I intended to be my final cigarette, determined to ride off into the incoming evening without leaving a forwarding address (can we say "passive-aggressive", boys and girls?).
But she did arrive, properly apologetic (meaning: sorry, but not grovelling; these things happen) and patient with me as I grunted a greeting and proffered a perfunctory hug and kiss. We had planned on going to a movie (actually, don't click the link; it's one of the slowest, most annoying sites I've seen in years), but we clearly weren't going to make the 7:00 o'clock show.
"What do you want to do?"
"Are you hungry? Where do you want to eat?"
"We'll eat, then go to the 9:00 o'clock showing."
And fucking cetera. Yes, I was sulking, an ugly trait I can't seem to shake.
She did drag me out for a meal. And, in my over-tired (no, not drinking has not done anything for my recent insomnia), over-stressed state, I decided - fuck it! - and ordered the best reasonably-priced brew on tap at the Bishop and the Belcher - Alexander Keith's, which - let's face it - is only a decent brew when compared to Ex or Canadian. But I digress.
So, yes, I broke my fast a week early.
But strangely, I don't regret it. The alcohol did its job and helped loosen me up, to the point where I (I think - I hope!) was able to calmly lay out the reasons for my stress, ask for certain changes from Laura, and, mostly, get it out of my system. The situations are new to both of us, and both of us will have to adapt, compromise and work out ways to share one another's lives without one of us suffocating the other.
By the time we left I was in reasonable spirits - though still exhausted (Thursday night saw me get five and a half hours of sleep, possibly a record for the week).
And so we saw The Aristocrats, a documentary about an apparently ubiquitous joke in the world of comedians.
In a nutshell, it goes like this (and no, I'm not giving anything away):
Guys goes into a talent agent's office, says, "You've got to see this act! It's amazing!"
Agent says, "Yeah? Tell me about it."
"Well, it's a family act - father, mother, two kids and a dog..."
The guy then proceeds to describe the filthiest, most perverted and disgusting "act" any particular comedian can come up with - incest, foecal matter, vomit, are all common themes, the longer, more grotesque and elaborate the better.
The agent is not impressed, but still morbidly curious. "Geez, that's really quite an act. What are they called, anyway?"
So. Yes. It's a documentary, featuring comedians ranging from Phyllys Diller to Bob Saget to South Park's Cartman, telling what might be the dirtiest joke in the world. And there were times when I was literally having a hard time catching my breath, when tears rolled down my cheeks.
And meanwhile, Laura went out to a party last night and I was, happily, utterly comfortable with the fact she was going without me (in fact, I'd said no). I finished my review of Quicksilver, ate some Chinese food and read Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, only four years late. (It's not bad; but I fear superheroes are no longer something I can take seriously, no matter how well done.)
That's it. Pointless meandering over for the moment.