So yesterday started out like most of my days lately; I had set my alarm clock to PM instead of AM and the sun woke me up an hour late. I'm wondering if some/all of my sleeping problems stem from the sun being all weird and southerly lately, it being winter. I can't discount the possibility. But I woke up and yelled at myself, anyway.
Got to work an hour late, too. this is one of the reasons I really like that job; I can show up an hour late and not be fired. And I get to do enjoyable things: work with my hands, do a little photography, talk to people. But yesterday was slow as shit. Jen (my boss) and I were painfully bored all day. I did what needed to be done in about the first hour, and from there on in it was siting at my desk killing time on the internet. Which would be easier if I were an internet game kind of guy, but I like to read blogs. So I did, which can only be done productively for so long.
Eventually, even the most boring days come to an end, and then it was home for a minute. Alex had found the blog yesterday, of all the ironic timings. so I spent a while chopping up ice in my driveway with the sharp end of a hammer. Still didn't find the damn keys.
Then I messaged Andrew, who had been down in the hospital to see his sister last I 'd heard. I get a call back about 20 minutes later: "My sister's dead," he said. "She didn't make it." So I told him, anything I can do, let me know. I went to the school to look for the keys again, but the ice was stilll there, still thick, and I didn't feel like explaining myself to security. So I went home and had some food, and about half an hour after I'm done Andrew calls me back, says I should come over to Rob and Jason's place. So I do, and I bring my bottles of liquor.
When I first got to the house, he was holding his shit together really well. Like, so well I couldn't really believe it myself. Rob had music going, and Andrew just needed someone around, which I was more than happy to do for him. His sister was 34, she was a biker girl, full sleeve tattoos, and she died of viral meningitis. Her brain swelled and died and they took her off life support. Lemme say it here and now: If I'm brain dead, pull the plug, I'll see you in the next life. I didn't say that to him, that'd be a little callous I think, and he needed someone to not be callous but to comfort, of course.
And luckily for me Rob was here too, because all that grief is a lot for even two guys to deal with; Rob lost his father-in-law under similar circumstances, and was really good talking to Andrew, talking him through a lot of what he was going through. There were moments where we were up dancing, and there were moments that we were on the couch, holding Andrew crying for his sister. We had MTV on the TV with the sound off, and house music over the stereo. It seemed a good way to mourn; with dancing and drinking and good memories. Andrew did his share of crying, I did my share of hand holding and hugging and that was the evening, until about three AM. Rob cooked some food (fried chicken and grits).
In and among this, in no particular order, there were some things I learned about Rob. He's flamingly gay, first of all. I knew this; I met him with his 15-year partner about a week ago. But he's also a traditional Republican. I thought those two things exploded when they collided. Learn something new every day. He's nuanced about it, though; he doesn't necessarily follow the party line, which is good. I can respect that, even though I still think it's dumb to trash talk social programs.
On the plus side, he seemed impressed that I was taking pictures, and we talked about that for a little bit. He said that I should get him some samples, that they desperately need someone like me at the paper. I was really happy to hear that. They need a photographer who will listen to the writers, and conspire a little to make good pictures that go with the text. So a guy like me would be perfect. Pictures that go with text. Right.
Other than all that the night is a blur of Andrew crying, dancing, lessons in music history, and talking about whatever came up. I'm writing this on Rob's couch, it's the next morning, and I need to get some food in me soon, and get the photos off the card and edited. That's all.