Saturday, May 18, 2013

Balance

I get so excited when I open the front door, step inside our purple living room, all this art we've created together, through the kitchen to put my stuff in my room but where's JoAnne? I left a message saying let's go to Bertucci's when I get back, my treat, and everyone loves Bertucci’s, even Sean. I guess I'll take a shower — planes always make me feel gross.
None of JoAnne’s toiletries are in the shower, not even the oatmeal soap but I guess that makes sense since she’s been at Tina’s. Yes, this shower isn’t as nice as the ones at the hotels in Florida, and definitely nowhere near as nice as Ned’s blue-tiled paradise, but at least it’s mine. These towels are kind of ratty — I should get better towels. I’m dry and dressed and every hair is in place andthere’s still no sign of JoAnne, let me check the messages. Oh, a note.
Dear Matt:
Dear Matt?
Dear Matt,
Okay, it's a comma, not a colon — that makes more sense.
I can’t keep depending on you like this.
Why not? I told you it was fine. I'm depending on you too.
I'm moving in with Tina.
You’re what? You're moving in with your sponsor? The same person who you said was as creative as a doormat? You're moving in with Tina?
I'll call you when I'm ready.
When you're ready? What do you mean when you're ready? When you're ready for what?
Love,
Love?
Love,
JoAnne.
Yes, there’s a period at the end, just like that. I keep looking at that period. This is not happening, I keep saying. This is not happening. It's not happening. This is not happening.
Wait, what is happening?
Maybe I'm overreacting. Why am I holding my breath? Breathe — yes, JoAnne, I’m breathing, I’m breathing, let’s breathe together. Maybe there's a message — okay, yes, a message. Oh — it’s just Sean, she wants to go out for cocktails when I get back. She wants to hear all about it. Sean, I've already told you, I don't get cocktails unless I’m eating! And you're never eating — are you ever going to eat?
Okay, I need something to eat. Let me read this letter again. There's nothing to read. I don't know what to do. I call Sean.
Sean, you won't believe this.
What, you're pregnant?
Yes, I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant with twins.
Who's the lucky father?
My asshole.
That's not what I heard.
What? What did you hear?
Relax — I'm just kidding. Sounds like your trip wasn't as relaxing as Daddy Warbucks said it would be. Did your asshole get tanned?
Girl, I was waiting for you.
Let's get cocktails.
I thought you would never ask.
Don't worry — we’re at Bertucci's. Heavy-handed Wendy is working. Sean is actually hungry. No iceberg lettuce salads. I show her the letter. She says is that all?
What do you mean is that all? This is my best friend.
What about Abby?
What about Abby? What about Abby? Really — what about Abby?
Mattilda, you're taking this too hard. It was obvious that she was using you.
What do you mean she was using me?
She wasn't even looking for a job. You were her sugar daddy.
I was not her sugar daddy.
Okay, sugar mama.
I don't think you understand.
I do understand. I just don't think you were paying attention.
What about Abby? You were going to say something about Abby?
She's working at Filene's.
That's ridiculous. She's not working at Filene's.
It's true. Elana Del Monte saw her there. Filene's in Burlington.
Elana Del Monte?
Yes, she's back. She was back. And then she went to rehab. But anyway, I called the store.
And what did they say?
Men's underwear.
I don't believe you.
This pizza is good. You were right. I'm glad I can eat again. I was losing all my baby fat.
You do look better. What happened?
Marinol.
Where did you get Marinol?
I have my sources.
Well, I guess whatever works.
Want a bump?
A bump of what?
A bump of you-know-what.
Sean, I'm not doing coke right now. You know that.
I thought that was for JoAnne.
Sean, you are such a piece of shit.
So you want a bump?
Dinner’s on me. Let's go to Luxor.
Now you're talking.
Speaking of talking, Sean's right, this coke is good. I don't know if it's because it's been so long, or if Michael's connection is a really good connection.
Michael's gone, Sean says.
Gone where?
Jail time.
Are you serious? How long?
No one knows.
Is anyone in touch with her?
Not that I know of.
I always thought she was kind of hot.
I think she had a thing for you.
Really? You didn't tell me that before.
I didn't want you to end up in prison.
Oh, right – you're always thinking of me.
And, speaking of you, if you want to know where to get coke.
I could use another bump right now.
I mean any time.
You mean you want to sell it to me.
You're awfully pretty, but I don't do trades.
When did this happen?
Mattilda, you've been gone for two months.
I guess I'm back now.
Welcome back — tonight it's all on me.
Sean, you are awful.
Speaking of awful, let's go to the bathroom.
Oh, honey — let's go dancing. What’s tonight? Thursday — yes, Paradise, I haven't been to Paradise in so long.
Man Ray.
Man Ray? Don't even say that — we are not going to Man Ray.
The music’s better.
You did not just say that —Michael Sheehan is at Paradise on Thursdays. Michael Sheehan. Are you really telling me that listening to Starship or Huey Lewis or Michael Jackson with a bunch of twelve-year-olds is better than Michael Sheehan. The taxi’s on me. Both ways. You’ve got the coke, I've got the taxi.
Mattilda, they do not play Huey Lewis.
And the News. Don't forget the News.
Or Starship.
What does Starship even sing? I can't remember.
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
Oh, honey — they totally play that.
They do not.
Anyway, the Mass. Ave Bridge, give me the Mass. Ave bridge, day or night or whenever, here we go. Another bump before we leave the taxi? Oh, of course — Sean, you're a new lady.
And then that snotty bitch at the door who acts like she hasn't seen me a hundred times, asks for ID. But then Sean says Kelly, Kelly, it's Winona, and Kelly looks up and says Wi-no-no-NO, and she waves us both in, says oh, you're actually cute as a boy! Sean leans over and says let me know when you need a bump. Oh, Miss Thing is moving up in the world.
But the music, yes the music, that's why I'm here – oh, it's been so long. Rush to the DJ booth to drop off our coats and then I'm in the back corner with the dancing freaks like I never left, yes for a second I think oh, I wish I didn't do drugs, I mean remember Paradise on Thursdays without drugs, but I guess the tradition is over and I'm flying in the air with all my old friends and yes, friends is an overstatement, but friends right now oh how I'm shrieking with that new mix of “Walk for Me” so fast you can't possibly walk which is better here with the sweat children, Jon B giving me the usual glare but that's friendly for her, then there’s Elana, a kiss on both cheeks and oh, honey, how are you, I guess she's back from rehab, and then my favorite, Marc of the flying feet and I do a quick spin on the floor right under him, I can't believe that actually worked, he gives me high five, really, high five, can't you do better than that, I kiss his hand and then we’re twirling around and he actually leans on me, I take his weight on my back and lift him in the air and his weight feels so good, now he’s back on the ground and maybe something’s changed or maybe nothing until he swings around and and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him lose his balance until we’re almost falling into someone's arms, who is it, doesn't matter, we're all here, we’re all here together.

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