Learning to Speak

Bob’s house had an almost hypnotic draw to it with clean white lines, wifi, and perpetual Starcraft II matches on the big screen.  Pulling away from the last nearly required a crowbar but my imperative to move on turned me into the jerk required to jump start the next leg.  We arrived at the hotel in the early afternoon and for the first time in the trip had a space to our own.  Suzie had a chance to luxuriate and do girly hair maintenance things while Mike, Chris, and I attempted to use the pool.  We found the pool, the towels, and the lightning that made the trifecta of attempting to enter a body of water in Florida and frowned as, yet again, there would be no pool visit on this trip.

Sometime in the deep dark long long ago of my semi-adulthood, Kyle moved to Florida.  We were fake good friends when we were together in Bucks County as we were both bored and under-engaged.  He moved to Florida and we took turns disappointing the other person in calling, emailing, or even notifying about the goings on of the others life except for semi-annual marathons.  The dam broke when Kyle moved back in 2007 and I decided that I was going to give this adulthood thing a try.  We both made a genuine effort and I think it paid off and it was with simultaneous joy and dread that I saw him off again this year.  He had a future that was not in Warminster as I should have had a future that was not in Feasterville and within months I had a visit date on the calendar.  I was doing it right this time, dammit.

The car ride to the restaurant, dinner, and the drive to our evening spot had the liquid grace of gravel in coal tar with a verbal staccato borne of fatigue.  I had forgotten the pidgin borne of a thousand eyebrow raises, smirks, laughs and eye rolls that formed a sort of linguistic secret handshake where each motion says “I know you”.  I didn’t know how to integrate the bottom-up narrative I had of Kyle with the top-down narrative I had of Mike, Chris, and Suzie.   I had forgotten how to talk to him.

After getting gas and act of sticker terrorism, we went to some site of golf potentiation and traded quips in the noisy quietude of an open cab vehicle.  Words began returning.

This shot?  Totally safe to take.

Chris in Praise

Chris shows/fakes joy.



Suzie Drove

Suzie drives.

I think there was a novelty to being in neither a car nor on foot that made the mini-adventure freeing.  The bugs became annoying and then mouth-filling around dusk so we left for ice cream.

Coldstone Creamery combined two things I love: ice cream and people who try too hard.  In this store, one could watch such awesome ice cream prep maneuvers as the scoop drop, the ingredient over-add, the stale cone pass, and awkward tip request.  Each of these moves was delivered with a practiced amateurishness, a phrase that I didn’t even think was possible until I just wrote it.

Mike, Suzie, and Chris returned to the hotel room and Kyle and I returned to his house for what turned out to be the real visit.  We asked each other non-specific questions with no definite answers and gave none and we were at peace again.  I returned to the hotel room, took a long walk, changed my cell plan, and turned in for the night.