We went to pick up my friend Rob from the train station on the fourth. My father wanted to know why he was spending money in gas to do someone a “favor.” He calculates every expense, like every time I open the cupboards, or the shower water is running, or the car is being used for something other than his needs. I reminded him that Rob took care of Vito when we were on the cruise. Rob really should have paid me for that. Turns out he got some action as a result of parading Vito through town. Apparently Vito is a chick magnet, too. He enabled Rob to break his celibacy streak. “If you ever need someone to watch Vito again…”
When Rob got in the car, my father roped him into coming over for our 4th of July barbecue. As we drove through our neighborhood, my father was joking with Rob about all the neighbors who were coming. He kept pointing to the different houses and saying, “They’re coming. They’re coming. They’re coming. And they’re just breathing hard.”
Well, only three other people showed up. But to them, it was like a grand fiesta. People were over and they needed to be entertained! So, my mother was talking about the economy and how bad it was. “Myra spends all day on the computer and not one response for a job.” A chorus of empathetic disappointment. Yeah, if only you all knew I was working on my blog, not my resume.
I was feeling, I don’t know, friendly, or maybe it was the beer, “He-Brew” that my father put out for the guests that made me amenable, but I told my Dad that I could train Vito to tear holes for him to keep his pool-lining business lucrative.
I can’t stand to see my parents berate each other in front of a crowd, Is it any wonder that only three people showed up? So, I went to the camper with Rob to get high. Vito was, of course, in tow. I should learn by now not to let Vito get a secondhand high, but my mind has never really worked properly since I moved back home. A lethargy mixed with numbness or is it dumbness?
An hour later, we reemerged for dessert. One of my Mom’s really nice friends brought Dunkin Donuts as a gift. To me, there’s nothing better. I ate three of the chocolate cream filled ones. They are my favorite. If I am ever afforded the miracle of becoming famous, I hope that my personal assistant sees to it that I am kept in fresh supply of these. Vito and I then walked Rob home, the white powder still all over my face and 5-days-and-counting t-shirt.
After dropping him off and walking down the street in slow motion, I sat down on a random curb, watching the sky fall to night and some fireworks in the distance explode into it. As has become customary in my marijuana-induced states, Vito spoke. “It’s like we live in Baghdad.”
“That’s what I was thinking,” I belted out.
He continued, “But we’re luckier.”
I was waiting for him to explain, but he didn’t. I hate when he does this. Philosophizes – says something simple and profound – yet doesn’t complete it.
“Well, why? What were you going to say?” I said.
“Finish your thought, please. Why are we luckier?” I pressed.
Nothing. He just looked at an explosion of pink stardust in the sky.
I was frustrated. “You really have some balls, you know that?”
“No, I don’t. You cut them off, remember?” He said.
“Touché,” I said.
And we sat there, my arm over his back like the boyfriend I don’t have, and watched the fireworks erupt into the suburban sky.