Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sommersaults and Jumping Jacks

Alright, so it’s time for a light bulb moment! I can tell that you are just jumping out of your skin for this one! My best friend (or friend that has been there for me when I’ve really needed someone) this week has been the Joker! Wow, who saw this one coming? I haven’t posted anything on the Joker yet because he has been somewhat out of the picture lately, but I think after this crazy week, he deserves a gold star.

My cousin, Ryan*, is getting married in a couple of weeks and has been, well harassing, for lack of a better word, our family to convince us a) he’s a changed man and no longer a lying, stealing, crackhead, and b) since he is all changed and “clean” we should come to the wedding so we can buy him wedding presents and give him money (okay, so maybe he didn’t mention the presents/money part, but we know better). My uncle asked him the other week why he is getting married. Ryan answered that he is “in love”. What he failed to mention is that his girlfriend is six months pregnant. I don’t believe a word Ryan says, since he has lied to my parents many times and is eight years older than me so he wasn’t around much. Jail will do that to you, I guess. Now that he’s allegedly clean, he’s coming down to visit. Yippee. I’m happy on the inside. Not. He has been calling and we’ve been avoiding. Just because he’s
left messages does not mean we’ve got them. It is very possible our answering machine has been broken for a couple weeks now. Maybe it’s mad at Ryan too! Caller ID is the best invention ever, and even if you block your number, we’re still not going to answer or call you back. Get a clue! We don’t want to talk to you!

Since Ryan failed to interpret these tell-tale signs, he was determined to meet with us for coffee. We had heard through the grapevine (thanks Opa!) that he was coming down on Tuesday and wanted to come over to our house for coffee. Ryan hadn’t even told us he was coming, or who was coming for that matter. Okay, so we never returned his calls. Big whoop! He could have said something about that in the message instead of just asking us to call him. Tuesday was truly a day from hell as I dreaded going home. I’m imagining the worst possible scenario (besides him showing up at my work): they’re parked on the driveway when I get home at five but mom and sis won’t be home until six-thirty. Luckily, that didn’t happen and we met them for coffee at Tim Hortons. (My uncle’s ex-girlfriend (LONG story) had suggested we meet them at her place instead but my mom persisted: “I don’t do warm and fuzzy with these people.”)

I don’t believe a word Ryan told us about being clean. His eyes were still bloodshot and he was wearing sunglasses when we got there. It was getting dark and the glasses were unnecessary. It was a “pleasant” visit, and short enough that we didn’t have to fake our niceness too much. The only thing Ryan wanted to know was if we were going to their wedding, but we continued to put off the question. I hated it. Every minute, having to sit there and pretend that I believed what he was saying. Honestly! I haven’t talked to him in about four months, and I haven’t seen him in eight years! But no, now that he is all clean, sober, changed, and in-love, he’s supposed to be a different man? I don’t buy it! I’m not that naive and after everything he’s put my family through, put this in your juice box and suck it!

Obviously dreading this night, I wanted to talk to someone about it but it seemed as though all of my friends had other plans. I don’t tell many people about my screwed up family because it’s none of their business. I had planned on talking to T-Rex about it and did somewhat, but he seemed pre-occupied when I tried bringing up the subject. Wise One has four kids and a husband home from Afghanistan, so I didn’t want to be bothering her with all of my family crazy. My other friend, VWBug, has no clue what my family is all about and it’s a long story. I didn’t want to catch her up on it all, and although I could have I don’t feel comfortable enough to tell her everything. That part is odd considering I’ve known her since I was eight, but I guess I didn’t trust her enough to tell her what was happening.

How does the Joker tie in to all of this? I work with him, and a while back I had a crush on him. Turns out, he didn’t feel the same, so we’re friends. From the outside (and inside too actually), you could say we have an odd relationship. We park beside each other every day in the parking lot furthest away from our building. (I have yet to figure out why we park here but we do. It’s weird.) Since the Joker and I work on the same floor and have the same hours, we walk out together every night. In a four minute walk, you can find out a lot about someone! At the beginning, I did most of the talking and he kept everything in. We are eight years apart and he’s a private person; it just so happens that I’m not. I had no problem opening up to him, but after a while I had to stop. I was telling him all sorts of information but not finding anything out about him which made me wonder why he wasn’t opening up yet. It’s taken some time, but I think we’re finally getting there.

On Monday, I mentioned to him about the coffee date from hell and he advised me to skip it. I told him that I couldn’t do that; family was involved. I gave off bits and pieces of information (I am getting very good at keeping the important information to myself: add mystery!) After work on Tuesday, he asked if I was ready (for the family). I told him that “my stomach is doing jumping jacks and somersaults!” He took that as a “no”. Luckily, he changed the subject but he asked me on Wednesday how it went. I told him we were fed a bunch of bullshit and that I couldn’t even look in Ryan’s eyes because they were full of lies.

Later that night, I text messaged T-Rex and told him how it had gone. He was “out and about” and said we could talk on msn the next day. I agreed but felt humiliated. Here he was, out with his friends, and I’m spilling my heart out and he can’t even talk. I know that he wouldn’t have had anything important to say back, but I wanted him to listen to me. He didn’t get how important this was to me and how badly I wanted him to say something nice to comfort me. This was a big event in my life that had brought a lot of drama lately and I wanted to share it with him.

Today I had my light bulb moment! After everything that had gone on, it was the Joker who truly listened. Okay, so I didn’t tell him everything about the family, but I did tell him enough. He didn’t have great advice or words of wisdom for me, and no, “skip it” is not great advice. None of that matters though. He was there for me. He remembered on Tuesday that they were coming that night, and then he asked me on Wednesday how it had gone. He listened to me. He, dare I say it, cared! His personality has done a complete 180 lately, but I am so glad and I can honestly say that he is my friend now. It’s about time!