See what I did there?Anyway, in addition to being written by two of my favorite authors – who I’ve been reading for close to 30 years each – these books are boomerangs. I gave them to someone and today, I got them back.
I had been to lunch with a friend from HS and after we caught up and recapped our 30 year HS reunion from the prior weekend, I stopped at my PO Box to pick up a package. I had been told it was being shipped a few weeks back and today got a “How’s it going text?” from the sender – a prior social friend and current boyfriend to The Broken Poet.
I never know what to expect on the rare occasion that he texts, so I just try to be open.
“Good. On my way to meet a friend for lunch. You?”
“Thought I would have heard that you’d received your books by now.”
“Been busy with work, planned on picking them up on Sunday since I’m off” which – after chiding myself for not going two blocks out of my way on my way home to or from work since the anticipated delivery date two days prior – I amended to “I’ll stop by the box after lunch and grab them.” Truth be told, though, I had been thinking if he wanted confirmation of receipt that he could send them in a manner that requires an in-person pick up. When I had originally sent them off I sent them USPS Priority Mail, guaranteed two day delivery for about $19. Further, expecting that my thinking and processes are generally fairly commonly what are simply known to be the better way of doing things, I was a little dispirited to check my box two days after he said he’d convinced The BP to return them to me only to see that they hadn’t arrived. Nor had they the third. Or fourth…so two weeks later I was no longer chomping at the bit to get them.
I guess my ramble so far is lacking some context. I’m sure the long version is buried in the blog archives, but I’m just knocking this out on the fly and don’t know how to insert links on my cell phone, so…here’s a Readers Digest version:
Last summer – as Facebook memories recently reminded me – I dated this 25 year old kid who had pretty solidly been beaten down not just by the tiny village he’d been raised in outside of Albuquerque which essentially consisted of his entire extended family; a beat down which was then compounded by his own poor life choices. Y’know, drugs and bad influences…your basic nightmare. Well, confronted with me, your general emotional handyman type fixer, he strove to get himself and his life on track – with a lot of support from me, his boyfriend. But my expectation of him taking the symbiotic steps needed for him to actually participate in and contribute to an emotional relationship with me sent him packing back to his hometown. Well, not packing…he left one afternoon and texted me from the airport.
Did I say this was the short version?
Ok, so in his hurry toward self-exile he took off with the clothes on his back. He had left several prescriptions at my place, where he’d recently been waking up frequently, so it made sense. Unlike taking off without a plan.
In a demonstration of what caring for someone looks like, I sent them off to his dad’s PO Box. Or “mom’s”, I forget which – along with the two books pictured above.
The Mayfair Witches because it’s the first in my favorite series by Anne Rice and the first of the Tales of the City omnibus by Armistead Maupin because I think it gives great context on how a young gay man breaks out of a conflicting family life to become his own true self.
I don’t know why I thought that would be useful to him.
So, back to recent history.
Knowing my history with the BP, a young friend of mine in the ABQ decides dating him would be a good life choice. And to hide it by untethering from me on pretty much any social media site you can think of…now there’s a way to tell the world you’re proud of your actions!
I wish him the best of course, because people change.
A few weeks later he reaches out for my address because he’s convinced the BP to send my books back to me – a request that is made last year that had gone ignored which Jed me to think that he’d destroyed or disposed of the books. I provide the information, leading us back to my Charlie Brown style checking my PO Box for a week after.
The continued absence of a package led me to believe that the forgone conclusion had happened and they’d broken up.
Me being simultaneously sensitive and a bastard sent a text “checking in”. Turns out, the BP is still living in his little dysfunctional family village – seriously, Jonestown had the decency to implode, but these people just keep giving! – and my friend is living in the ABQ, an hour away. He was seeing him that upcoming weekend and was gonna pick up the books and send them back to me the following Tuesday.
Since Tuesday + 2 = Thursday, I start my Charlie Briwn mailbox checking again and get nothing.
That weekend, I get a tracking text saying that I’d have my books in about a week and a half. I actually didn’t know that you could still send something 1000 miles through the mail and have it take that long to deliver. I think I could have cycled there and back to pick it up in less time.
But, it’s the thought that counts, right?
That said, is it the obvious or subconscious thought that phrase refers to?
My recent mental exercise has been trying to figure out if the motivation for my friend returning my books was guilt for his social behavior toward me – y’know, guilt – or convincing himself that if he persuaded the BP to do the minimally right thing by me that maybe the BP wouldn’t treat him so shabbily when their relationship did its own Hindenburg thing.
No, wait…people change.
Here’s me sincerely hoping that people grow, at least.