29 May 2005
Lori had finally agreed to move back into her apartment when I offered to let her keep the key she'd been using. She chose a number of things to leave behind for when she was spending the night, and I helped her carry the rest of her stuff home this morning. I'd been home, staring at the tv with Rick, for about an hour when I decided to start putting things back to normal. There was food I would never eat to check on, supplies in the bathroom to find homes for, a room I needed to make sure was clear for Jackie, books I had rearranged to make room for-
"Rick?" I called, looking at the books. "Have you seen my books on possession?"
"Why the hell would I have seen your books on possession. Are they exciting?"
"I guess that depends on what you want out of them."
"That's a no, man. Just say no when people ask you something like that."
"They're all gone! The ones on possession, a couple on ghosts, one that wasn't really about either but had a relevant chapter, everything!"
"Are they important?"
"Well, they're mine. But also I figured I should brush up on the topic, you know, since Jackie is gonna wanna talk about it."
"Oh, right! Hey, weren't you doing some of that research at your dad's place? Maybe you left them there?" I had been carrying stuff back and forth, I had to admit to myself, and it wasn't a completely unreasonable suggestion.
"Yeah, alright. I guess I'll check there."
"Speaking of, how's Lori handling the idea of you living with a woman?"
"I haven't really mentioned it yet." I heard the tv turn off, and then Rick walked into the room.
"Run that one by me again."
"Well, she isn't living here, it was hardly her decision."
"Are you fucking kidding me? You invited some hot Latina chick-"
"I never said she was hot."
"You showed me pics from that Halloween party. And you invited her to live here, in your house, where you live, and it never occurred to you that your actual real-life girlfriend might like to know about that?"
"What's your issue here?"
"She...you...you're so dense sometimes! You spend too much time worrying about what dead people think about you and not enough dealing with the living ones! Look, she's gonna feel threatened, and she's gonna feel hurt when she finds out, and only you can stop this particular forest fire."
"He's right," Kastor said, sitting on my armchair. I pointed at him.
"You stay out of this!"
"Yeah!" Rick yelled to, what I assume to him was, an empty armchair. "Unless you're agreeing with me!" He turned to me. "Is it agreeing with me?"
"Is there any good way for me to answer this?"
"Probably not," they both said. I put my face in my hands for a moment, then looked between them.
"Okay, okay! I'll talk to her later. I just, you know, she was pretty occupied with everything going on, and Jackie isn't going to be here for a bit yet, I figured I had a little time to wait for an opening."
"Do what you want, man," Rick said, leaving the room, "just know none of us you leave behind can talk to you after she kills you."
"I can," Kastor said.
"Greeeaaaaat," I muttered as I returned to my work.
17 May 2005
I woke to a phone call from Lori, who was crying as she told me about the police coming by. I could barely make out what she was saying, except that it had to do with Mark and she felt terrible. I told her I'd be right over.
When I got to her place she was sitting in the living room, still crying, and holding a VHS tape. I held her for a while until she was ready to talk, and she began to explain that the tape was from a school play in second grade where she and Mark had met after being given parts that mostly appeared in the same scenes. I didn't understand why that was important enough to be bringing up at this point, and she freaked out at me when I asked. She got up and stormed to the middle of the room, where she started pacing. Something really weird was happening with the ripples she left in the world, but I couldn't quite place them. It wasn't like anything I'd really seen before, almost like multiple very strong emotions were trying to cancel each other out.
I explained that I couldn't understand what she was saying on the phone, and she finally calmed down enough to tell me that Mark had died the night before. It seems he had arrived drunk at her place some time after I dropped her off, got inside the apartment, and started some fight with her. She said she saw him run off, and didn't hear anything else until the police came by to ask about a noise complaint from a neighbor. She told them what she knew, and when they realized she was talking about him they informed her that he had been in a fatal crash just a couple blocks away, and she broke down again while telling me about it.
I comforted her for a while, then let her go clean up and change so we could go to his mom's house. While she was in her room, I noticed a cup on the floor that had apparently spilled a while ago and put it in the kitchen for her. I offered to clean up the apartment for her, but she said it could wait, so instead I just waited for her and we headed out.
Mark's mom and stepdad already knew, as the police had called shortly after finding him. Lori spent some time talking with them while I tried to just be supportive and made phone calls to people she told me should know, and we left when they were due to go talk to the funeral director about plans for the ceremony. She was reluctant to go home, saying that all she could think about there was the fight they had as their last interaction. I brought her to my house, made sure she got some rest, and once she was asleep I went back to her place to grab some things she would need for the week. Jackie called while I was there, to talk about Alethea, but I didn't really have time for that. I suspect I won't have time for much of anything for a bit.
12 May 2005
Tony was tuning his guitar and Courtney was adjusting her amp while Mandy was doing her warm ups and we brass were running scales. Tony had finished clearing out his garage and we could finally hold practices somewhere larger than my living room, which I'm confident my neighbors and roommate appreciate. With all the noise, I didn't hear Lori enter, and was startled when she wrapped her arms around me from behind. She had started coming to our practices about a month earlier, to be an encouragement and to hang out. It was weird at first, having someone there that wasn't really involved, but people seemed to have gotten used to it. The question was whether that was because they were fine with her being there or because we were practicing at my place.
"Lori!" Mandy yelled, setting down her sticks and running over. The rest of the brass set their instruments down and started talking among themselves about a new song we were working on. When she got close enough, Mandy stopped and rested her hands on her hips in a mock show of authority. "I heard this bum finally asked you out for real."
"That he did," Lori answered, laughing. She pinched my side and rested her head on my shoulder. "Took him long enough."
"I'm right here," I said, "and I thought you had plans with Mark and Beth today."
"Yes," Mandy replied, before pointing to the rest of the brass, "but instead of here, you should be over there working on 'Fly.'" Lori kissed me on the cheek and then let go of me, walking around toward Mandy. "Come on, I wanna hear all about it."
"They'll live without me. You have fun," Lori said, rubbing my arm. "I'll be right back." I smiled and watched them scamper off toward the drums, then picked up my trombone and went to join the others.
The blog of John Matteson.