Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to Boil Water

D and I never had a mountain of things in common. The bulk of it centered on entertainment. We both liked dancing our asses off at Luca's, a lounge/club in downtown Oakland. We both liked eating new types of food. We both liked to shop, and we both liked The Office. For some reason that crazy little hour long NBC show brought us together every week, even in the midst of trouble.

When we broke up the first time and I moved to Brooklyn, we both stopped watching. Maybe he stopped because the introduction music reminded him of my "Office Dance". Maybe I stopped watching because I missed his overly-boisterous laugh that tromboned out causing us to miss major plot points. Things fall apart.

So we ended up being about a season and a half behind, and mutually decided this month to rectify that with a running Office marathon (via Netflix). Season 4, disc one came yesterday.

D picked me up after I'd had time to come home from work and change. For a while everything felt normal. Everything felt untouched and aside from his new car, nothing seemed different at all.

"You hungry?" he said.

"I could eat."

"Thai Cottage?"

"Hell yea."

Without words we both already knew what the other wanted to order (tofu chili basil for me, spicy wings of paradise for him). We started towards Pearland and as I saw the traffic speckled horizon my stomach began to drop. Oh yea I thought, we're going to our house...his house...The House.

The house where truth was rudely shown down on every single existing flaw in our relationship like over head lighting on a room full of trannies. The house I left incomplete and half empty while our nosey neighbors watched...surely whispering to one another.

"I should tell you right now," he mumbled, "The grass looks like shit."

I laughed.

I can only say that walking back into that house after 2 months felt like walking through an old neighborhood. I felt the same way when my mother and I went back to 68th avenue in East Oakland to the house both of us grew up in and realized someone else now lived there. I looked around and saw the small touches he had added, the gross addition of bottles of alcohol at the bar in the dining room, his collection of vintage 70's TV show and movie posters he'd hung in the game room and of course he had inched the red leather sofa we'd picked out together closer to his plasma TV. I hated when he'd done that before. "This room doesn't have to center around the dummy box, ya know." I'd say. He'd nod.

We watched a few episodes of the Office, although I didn't do my Office Dance. He still laughed boisterously and I still forced him to rewind it and "shhhh, so we can hear." Some things were very much the same.

Still, I can't help but feel nostalgic and a little left out, as I'm sure he does every time he notices small changes in my life take place without him. It very much felt like a pot of water I'd walked away from and revisited to finally find a few tiny bubbles making their way to the top.