It's not about the house.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I’m going back down to the Bay State next weekend. Meaning this coming one. Meaning August 11-15. Or possibly 16. There’s been some confusion about the dates, so I thought I’d qualify. And yes, I know that’s technically more than a weekend. Technically, I know, it’s practically a week. But what was supposed to be a day trip won’t stop growing…

That day trip was to be to paint a fence – or bang a nail, or stain or screw something or other, I don’t know – in Spencer, MA, at the summer camp where I used to work. We had a big reunion a couple months ago, and instead of paying money to rent the place it was agreed we’d pay in sweat. Nobody's obliged – in fact, most people won't be able to make it – but I had more fun than I expected in the twelve short hours I was there, and I'm starved for social intercourse. So a donation of my bodily humor seemed to me to be the perfect trade.

My original plan was to leave Maine at some ungodly hour of the morning, bring the dog, and head straight back up here when the work was done. Easy-peasy. Less than 18 hours tip to tail. But then I decided to get my motorcycle license. And before I can get a license I have to get a permit. Since my current license is in Massachusetts, I have to get my permit there, so I might as well go ahead and do that while I’m down. And while the Registry of Motor Vehicles does appear to have Saturday hours, I'll be sweating through them, so I don’t.

That’s how my departure switched to Friday morning.

It would still be easy-peasy. Less than 36 hours, tip to tail. I’d get my workout in a little earlier than usual, shower, dress, and motor down. Drop the dog and Boy Cat at my dad’s in Oxford (don’t feel bad for Dad, he’s out of town), then shoot back up to the Worcester RMV and take my test. It’d be fine. Plus it’d give me Friday night in actual civilization, to see friends or, failing that, at least shoot pool with people who don’t rack ’em up in alternating lines...

But then I noticed my Rock Star hair getting a bit out of control. If I don’t do something about it soon it’ll be trashing hotel rooms, snorting my mother's ashes, and waking up married to Heather Locklear. So I should probably take care of that while I'm down there, too. But "down there" means something completely different to a Rock Star: my hairdresser is in goddamn New Haven.

So that’s how my departure switched to Thursday night.

It would still be easy-peasy. Less than 48 hours, tip to tail. I’d still work out earlier than usual on Friday, I’d just do it in Oxford. Then shower, dress, and be in New Haven by noon. Get a quick trim and be back up in plenty of time to hit the Worcester RMV before it closed. It’d be fine. Plus it’d give me a whole extra night in civilization. To see friends or, failing that, at least shoot pool with people who don’t take credit for the shot they double-kissed…

But then I talked on the telephone with Johnny. And although I’m not getting into the details of that, the point is I have some business to take care of at the house I wish I didn’t own. And since I have to go to Weymouth anyway, I can take the opportunity to have dinner in Quincy with the friend I Stood Up for the last time I was down (she’s Standing Up just fine on her own now, thanks for asking, and talking about getting Jolly Roger tattoos in lieu of the standard kind. Don’t I have the best friends in the world?).

So that’s how my departure switched to Wednesday night.

Deep breath…

Easy-peasy. Less than 72 hours tip to tail. Wake up in Oxford Thursday, work out, etc., be in Weymouth by noon. Get Business done in plenty of time to suck down an early raw-fish dinner with My Girl, and be back in Oxford to give the cat his 7:00 shot less than an hour late. It’ll be fine. Plus it’ll give me a whole ‘nother night in actual civilization. To see whole other friends. Or, failing that, to at least shoot pool with people who won’t ask if they can combo off my ball…

They can’t, you know. The answer’s no. Even when I’m trying to be nice. You can hit mine in the middle if you think you can pull off a three-way, but if you could do that, you wouldn’t ask. You have to target your ball first, friend. Them’s the rules.

And I just this minute decided to spend Saturday night, too, because after a week like that and a day of painting and banging and staining and screwing (and, hopefully, drinking), I don’t think I’ll be in any shape for nighttime driving unless I want to finally meet the Piscataqua up close for real.

That's pronounced piss-CAT-ick-uh. 
Don't ask me why.


So I’m up to 96 hours now, tip to tail.

Been trying for days, but aside from dinner with My Girl I  haven’t managed to make a single plan. (Don’t I have the worst friends in the world?)

Been looking on line for days, too, and can’t seem to find a local bar near Dad’s to shoot some pool. Every place I used to know is either closed, under new management, or relocated to South Carolina. And Google searches for “bars with pool tables in Oxford, MA” keep turning up dance clubs, sketchy street corners, or MySpace pages full of puking 20-somethings. And while I may be many different things to many people, to no one am I a sketchy, puking, 20-something exotic dancer.

Not in public, at least.

Not anymore.

Really. I'm not. The title of this post's just a coincidence.


12ontheinside said...

Can't you just arrive, and wander around till you find a likely looking bar?

EGE said...

Yes. And that's probably what I'll do. But I'm fed up with searching from being up here, and I thought I'd know where I was down there. There are three or four directions I could head off in search of, but if I do that then it's the same as being here...

atlanticmo said...

One time I flew 3,000 miles to Monterey to have the waiter tell me the soup of the day was New England Clam Chowder.
Sometimes you can't escape your fate.