Friday, August 8, 2014

Mr. Moon and the Outdoor Shower

I wake up late in the afternoon, which I do not like. It's a real nuisance, starting the day with an enormous dent in it. For a few minutes I lie there, unmoving, wondering what it was that kept me up so late the night before.

Dave and I had been at a baseball game with his friends. Our local team is called the Tourists. Their mascot is a balding geriatric with a balloon face named Mr. Moon. The Wellness bumble bee shows up from time to time, handing out pamphlets advertising Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Center and pretending to eat popcorn. It's one of my favorite things to sit behind first base and watch as Mr. Moon and Wellness Bee wobble about and interact with children.

I didn't know this before, because I never attended a sporting event in Seattle, but minor league baseball games are not really about the game at all. They are about watching all the little things that go on between innings. Three legged races. Eating dippin' dots ice cream of the future. Two high school girls racing to pull a frozen T-shirt over their heads. Things like that.

We got home around ten and I took an outdoor shower. Then we went to bed and I lay there for hours, watching the ceiling fan spin in the dark.

Last night was my third night in the new house. The place still smells like paint and wood varnish, and the bathroom is unfinished- you can stand on the slate floor and look down into the basement through the holes. But it's our place, that we live in together.  I've never lived with a boyfriend before, not officially. That could be one reason I stayed awake for so long, my thoughts too fast and too vivid for midnight. I know I want to be here, because I've wanted to live with Dave since we started dating. But do I know how? Does anyone?

I mean, which one of us does the dishes?
At the start of the summer I went out to Montana. It was my high school reunion; not for my class (I graduated in a class of two) but for anyone who ever went to the Academy. We met up for a long weekend at the Cinnamon Lodge, a cluster of wooden cabins outside of Yellowstone. We watched old movies from our trips, went kayaking on the Gallatin and drank Montana Mules at a roadside bar. One afternoon, we sat in a circle and talked- for the first time since the news became public thirteen years ago- about the charismatic man who started our school, the kayak team, the summer camps, the whole Adventure Quest world that we inhabited for years together. We call him PK, and he is slated to get out of prison this fall. 

He has a new title now. "High risk registered sex offender with a predatory history and reputation for manipulation." Officially. And he will most likely be furloughed to a county in Vermont. 

A beautiful woman who used to be our teacher urged us to write letters to his "caretakers". In those letters we were to express our strong opinion that PK should not be released back to Vermont. Couldn't he go somewhere far away from that little state, where many of his victims grew up, where their families remain?

"What about New Mexico?" said someone.

"How about Siberia?" asked someone else, and there was a murmur of agreement.

Apparently, the People In Charge of these things in Vermont are very good at listening to the concerns of victims and other parties involved. But despite this, the last I heard is that he will be furloughed to Vermont. And soon.

I'm awake now and sitting at the kitchen table. We painted the kitchen blue and grey, sort of by mistake. It reminds me of a Jetstream trailer from the 70s and we've both grown to almost love it.

The whole house evokes in me a sense of enormous pride. When it first came into Dave's possession, every wall had been punched through, and some of the doors, and a noxious grey carpet covered the floor, even the bathroom floor. Now, after a summer of hard work, it's clean and well lit, the walls replaced, and everything new and working well. Except the shower.  
People get pretty envious when they hear that we have an outdoor shower, and I keep the details vague. I only talk about how invigorating it feels to stand in the fresh air and bathe in cold water. I don't mention that our outdoor shower is actually just a green garden hose in the backyard. That I stand in the basement and rub soap on my dry body- Just like the Europeans! then step outside and hose myself off as quickly as possible.

It actually does feel really good afterward. Your skin tingles and you feel very awake and alert. And think of how much water we're saving! Dave and I look on the bright side, which is something we both excel at. That's a good thing, because we don't know know when exactly the bathroom will be fixed.

And while neither of us know how how to live together (who cooks? Do we have to make a chore wheel?) considering our temperaments, our tendencies to relish the little absurd things in our life instead of make a fuss over them, I think it's going to work out. And then there is the fact that I light up when he walks in the front door. That I am completely content and satisfied just sitting next to him at a baseball game, watching Mr. Moon.

A magazine contacted me. They want me to write the story of Adventure Quest. They're far more interested in the pedophile and the deaths than all of the trips and the love and adventures. I do not know how to do that, or why I would.

Everything is much easier when I focus on the good things and try to completely forget about the rest.


Anonymous said...

Your blog brings something fresh and surprising with every entry. This one is no exception. Each entry makes me want to read more. Thank you for the much needed break in my work day.

s. Maiolo said...

So happy when you have a new post. I don't know you in "real" life, but I have been following you for a while and it is so wonderful to see how happy you are . Don't worry about the cooking and the dishes all of that will fall into place...just enjoy being with your love.

Breanna Hanson said...

Over the weekend I saw that you had updated and I chose to wait until my Monday morning coffee to enjoy your post. Thanks for the great morning reading :o)

Anonymous said...

Melina - Although you post less frequently these days, I always check back and it is for exactly this. You are a wonderful writer, the way you weave different, disparate tales together to make a whole. It's just great. Thank you for being brave enough to share you little piece of the world with this big unknown and invisible readership.

Anonymous said...

You can do that piece. You have the clarity and talent to weave the beauty into the tragic. It's a good story, and it should be written.

colleen said...

I'll tell you who does the dishes, I do. Apparently you need to send me there weekly for a clean up sesh and everything will be honky dory. (; Congrats on someone finally accepting the adventure quest story, try to stick some positive vibes in it as well since I know that there were parts that were wicked fun. Also hope that man never sets foot in VT again, he should be banned.

Ann Tilley said...

GIRL no matter how long you live with a man you will never figure out who's supposed to do the dishes!! It's still the one thing that pisses me off about living with Adam! But everything has gotten easier since the first 3 months. Patience with everything and when you don't think you have a single ounce of patience left, find more. Honestly, the thing I love most with living with a partner is knowing that sometimes I can lose my patience and say how I feel and know that he won't leave me. That we can come out the other end feeling better. Also yo man is the sweetest, most-chill dude EVER (but I do remember the mountain of crap that lived in his Ford Focus so good luck with the cleaning thing!) So happy to find your blog!