Autumn in the Garden State

[Originally written on this date in 2004]

Driving down to South Jersey never seems to go fast enough – there is always traffic and lights and bullshit, but by the time I get there none of those things really matter.  This strange feeling overwhelms me, and that smile comes back to my face.  The salty smell of the ocean fills my lungs and I forget that I am even in the same state as I was just a few hours ago.  Sand and sea stretch for miles in front of me; all I can think about is how happy I am and eagerness propels me to his door.  He is always smiling when he opens it, and then I am buried in his arms.

The rain cancelled any outdoors activities we had planned, so we opted for a sit-down dinner instead.  Let me note here that going out to eat seems like the thing to do on a Friday night.  In all honesty, there are moments where we enjoy the comfort of sitting at home with a meal we cooked ourselves, as we find the whole ritual to be quite satisfactory and obviously appreciate each other’s company.  There are also certain things which are not exactly appropriate for public that are fare easier to do at home.   However, there are other times when we are just in the mood to make a scene, which is something that Jon and I accomplish without ever really trying.

Though I am not sure what it is, people stare at us pretty much every time we go out.  While we expect it on some level because we are modified and dress in what I suppose is considered an ‘alternative’ style, it can be sort of annoying when we just want to eat some good food.  Then again, the entire situation tends to amuse us, as do the people.

Our first attempt to join the masses was at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, but the wait to be seated was 45 minutes and our stomachs would have none of that.  Undeterred, we went across the way to a Mexican joint where there was still a 30 minute wait, but we decided to stay anyway.  We went outside for a smoke and it did not seem like it took that long to be seated.

Sipping on whiskey and nibbling on the free basket of house made tortilla chips, we placed our order and took to browsing the tables while making small talk.  Jon was highly entertained by the couple seated at the table next to us, mostly due to the fact that one of their sons was more interested in sleeping than eating his food.  One of Jon’s favorite games is to go around the room and tell me things about people he can pick up just by their appearance and watching them socialize for a few moments.  Not only is is fairly impressive because he has a high accuracy rating, but I usually find myself cramping from fits of laughter as he gives his impression of what they must sound like as they go about their day doing menial things.

Eventually, after much waiting and nearly throwing silverware at the waiter to gain attention, our meals were finally delivered.  Though the food was simple, it was incredibly delicious and gave us the fuel we had been seeking.  Headed back to his place where more whiskey and other things were consumed while watching a couple of horror movies.  Later on we made our way out to the beach and star gazed for several hours.  It might have been chilly, but I had my best friend to keep me warm so I did not mind.

The following day we rolled out of bed at two in the afternoon – I went into the kitchen to boil water for tea and toast some bread.  Was in the middle of cooking eggs when Jon wandered in, a smile twitching on his lips as he made a joke about me being a good housewife.  The sky was pretty dark, clouds hanging heavy and a very low rumble in the distance.  When the storm rolled in, we sat outside on his deck to watch the lightning dance across the churning ocean, which I found to be incredibly fascinating.  Spending quality time with Jon is definitely enough to make me happy for the rest of my life.  Just another half hour, I kept thinking to myself, trying to avoid glancing at the clock.

Several hours later, I realized that it would be wise to make my way back to E-town, lest the Asshole give me shit for staying out all night and day and night, again.   Not that it is any of his business, though he seems to think because we live together I owe him a detailed log of my activities, and I would rather keep the peace for the moment until I can come up with a solid plan for moving out.

No matter how many times I make the drive to see Jon, I always enjoy it and feel though I am absolutely spoiled by gorgeous Autumn afternoons.  With these brilliant colors splashed across the trees, swinging to tunes on the AM dial [those golden oldies, rockabilly, doo-wop and whatnot], I always seem to roll out in a good mood, ready for whatever adventure awaits.

However, before heading down to my destination earlier today, I had decided to make a little stop.  After failing to be able to do something with my hair, I went to Sparks in New Brunswick.  What else was there to do with this mass of hair on my head other than to cut it down?   That’s right – I finally got myself a decent mohawk.  Oh how happy I was too!  [Currently still feeling just as good about it!]

Though I am sure that I have efficiently mentioned how thrilled I am to arrive at my destination knowing that a warm embrace awaits me, it never hurts to make a note of it again.  Excitement filled me when I entered Jon’s house – the expression on his face when I walked in with the ‘hawk thrown up was absolutely priceless.  Needless to say he paid me a lovely compliment and I felt myself blush horribly while thanking him.  Then he says that he wants me to shave his head too and I laughed because I thought he was joking.

Moments later we are smoking a joint in his bathroom and Jon urges me to go for it.  The clippers buzz to life and I wanted to weep for those glossy dirty blonde locks as they fell to the white tiled floor.  Of course then I remembered that he has the sides of his head and face tattooed and that made me smile.  Now we have matching cuts, though his ‘hawk is slightly narrower than mine.

Jon suggests that we go see a movie, so we head out and stop for a bite to eat.  Our original choice was a quick slice of pizza, but the dining  area was closed and they were doing take-out only.  Was not happy stepping in that cheese substance on the floor – it could have ruined my boots.

We wind up with a table at a steakhouse instead, noting that not as many people dine out on a Monday night as they do on a Friday night.  Anyway, the decor of that place place was a hoot – taxidermied animals and western-themed items littered the walls, and no steakhouse would be complete without some steer heads mounted on them there walls!  We had an excellent dinner and were entertained by the people watching the baseball game.

Then we headed over to the theater for Team America: World Police.  The commercials seemed funny enough, and I was in the mood for some laughing.  Who knew puppets could be so hilarious?  It did not matter that you could see the strings, or that the panthers were really black cats.  Might I also mention that puppets having sex is just ridiculous, but in a good way.

That damn song is still stuck in my head.

Our good-byes are becoming notoriously lengthy, but when do I ever want to leave?  It would seem like the obvious answer is to just move in with Jon, but our relationship has always been more complicated than that.  From the very first moment I met him, he warned me that even talking to him could put my life in danger.  That is something I accepted and generally ignored as paranoia, not because I did not believe him, but rather because in the beginning I did not see any sort of threat.  Obviously that changed and we have both received various threats during the course of knowing each other, though none of them have been carried out.  Still, we take caution and just being out together in public could be dangerous.

The worst part is that I cannot talk to anyone about this, because I feel they would think we are out of minds and do not understand the things we have experienced.  While we definitely have developed an intimate relationship, it has not gone into the territory of being a long- term commitment.  That is something I know we both want, but he hesitates because he also wants to keep me safe, even if that means we need to have distance between us.  Then again, this is not a permanent situation, and I cling onto that hope because I am so desperately in love with him.

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One comment on “Autumn in the Garden State

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