Adventures of the 18 year old boys continue . . .
It's Like Eating Cereal with a Fork
David's birthday barbecue bash this year, turned into a twenty-five hour road trip. It was fun. Nobody died. The worst part was that David wasn't able to go. We had just about enough fun for him too.
About midnight, Monday morning, Gabriel, Chuck, and I left Dallas--destination: sunrise, Galveston, Texas. Leaving was a spur of the moment decision. The gas tank of my '95 Cougar was full, but I didn't have much cash. I trusted my credit card could get us there and back.
I needed to get away from my daily grind for a little while. Neither Gabriel or Chuck had jobs yet. There's never enough money, and those without jobs seem to have less, but still get by fine. They bum smokes a lot.
My part-time job money only comes in part time, and not nearly often enough. But vacations decrease my necessity to visit with a shrink, a mental health thing, you know?
Sometimes home is much more appreciated when you've been away from it a bit.
The three of us had a Monday to kill, and I wanted to feel the sand between my toes. It's a personal spiritual thing. I do my best work as sea level.
The guys were likewise thrilled at the thought of just up and going to the beach. Gabriel knew me to be that compulsive, but I'd only known Chuck a couple of weeks.
Gabriel and I met from being neighbors, and five years later I'd come to the acquaintance of many of his friends. Being a single gal, and not dating much, my house was a place to sometimes hang out, drink sodas, watch cable television, and smoke. Boys of eighteen carry on interesting conversations, and David always showed his colors as an artist and philosopher.
David said he had "prior commitments." I didn't know if he was referring to the new used car he was getting for his birthday, or the ongoing love relationship he was having with Gabriel's older sister, the stripper. At any rate, the three of us would be making this road beach trip without him.
Chuck called his mom on his cell phone, out of my hearing, but he said, "she said it was cool."
Since he's 18 anyhow, that was good enough word for me. Eighteen year old boys who still live under their parents' rooves fall in a weird realm of responsibility. I try to do right by the parents and the kid. It doesn't always work out.
Unfortunately, it ended up being very uncool. Chuck was supposed to call her his mom, once we got on down the raod. He forgot. I didn't know he was supposed to call.
Chuck's mother and step-father, with a reputation as an angry Texas drunk, had just separated their residences the day before. Chuck didn't even have a key to his Mom's new place.
Chuck's mom undoubtedly envisioned her son being held hostage, revolver to brain, by his drunken step-father. All Chuck had told me was that he and his mom just moved to a new place. Things do get lost in generic translation.
Chuck's mom had a fit, and called David's mom several times looking for Chuck. I think David's mom considers me a bad influence. I hoe not.
I don't mean to get in trouble with parents, but it's difficult to run around behind the boys' trying to whisk broom virtual responsiblities onto them.
I did make sure Chuck took the collection of sea shells he'd gathered, during our hour walk along the surf at San Luis Pass home to his mom. I didn't know anything was amiss until we got back.
An offering of penance can go a long way sometimes. I hope his mother's kind who forgives.
Gabriel's father, at first, told him he couldn't go. I wasn't willing to go with just Chuck, partly because I'd just met him. Also, under the circumstances, it helps to have a third party as a witness to what actually happened.
Gabriel and I knew how it would be in the hotel, because he and his friends had crashed at my house before. The rules were: sleep in your clothes, find an available sofa, and don't move around a lot because the big bad baby German Shepherd will bark at you.
David, Chuck, and Gabriel's sister sat with me around the hibachi, watching the last section of baby back ribs sizzle over the fire. Gabriel had been turning the racks and brushing barbecue sauce on ribs for literally hours by now. The sun had been out when we started.
"You never get to go anywhere, dude. You're always having to do stuff for your dad," Chuck was quick to point out.
"Yeah," I said. "You're his transportation since he lost his foot to diabetes. I understand that he really needs you when he needs you. But what does he need you for tomorrow? We'll be back the next day. Tell him that I ask "please!"
Gabriel called his dad back. I didn't even think of making the plea myself. I think I'd had three glasses of wine by then.
Gabriel left his chef position next to the hibichi, and went back in the house to call. He came back with a very sad look on his face.
I tried real hard to make eye contact with him, and he busted into a laugh.
"He said okay. I just need to go by his house first." Gabriel had such a handsome look when he smiled. Three huge smiles beamed in the party crowd now. The otherd were winding their way slowly out the door.
Having along a couple of "big dogs" to keep any unwated wolves away seemed like a good idea. They are both eighteen now, over six feet tall, and stout in at about 225-250 pounds. I brought a one piece and a two piece bathing suit, and an appropriate night shirt, as we got one room at the Flagship Hotel, over the water, with two beds. We managed to respect each other's privacy fine.
In one way, this trip was better than going with a boyfriend. Although I'm a good bit older than the guys, in many ways I have never grown up.
We have a platonic friendship that I probably couldn't have with a guy my own age. It's the old "When Harry Met Sally" theory. I haven't found my happily ever after yet. We all have found ourselves on the path of life, enjoying adventuring the world together.
We did see the most beautiful pink, lavander, and dark purple sunrise from the balcony of our room on the sixth floor of the Flagship Hotel.
To watch the sun rise above the waterline from the horizon, casting shades and shapes and even shimmers from illumination on the water below, can be such an awe inspiring and consuming experience. Feeling the salt breeze against my face as the sun continued its ascent rejuvinated my soul. Despite being tired from a five hour drive, we enjoyed the coming of daylight in a unique bonding way.
Then the guys crashed. I don't fall asleep easily, and I was really quite jealous. I soaked in a bubble bath for awhile, then ventured downstairs to check out the layout of the hotel built on a pier.
It's not a new hotel anymore; it's not shiny and pristine like it was when I first stayed there in the 1970's.
Draft note: go back and add--
"I kept telling the guys if they didn't keep up, I'd go find myself a sailor."
To be continued. . .