Black Friday Art Show

[Originally written on this date in 2004]

A few weeks back I received an e-mail from Jon about this art show at Asbury Lanes, and we mutually expressed interest in attending because neither of us were really doing anything for the ‘holiday’ weekend.  It would be an understatement to say that things have not been the same since his accident, and I am frustrated because he is reluctant to open up yet I know there is something wrong.  The time we spend apart takes a toll on him in many ways which is evident in his appearance and actions, signs I am so familiar with but I have no idea what else I can do beside making it blatantly obvious that I am here for help and support.

Meanwhile, I have acquired a performing partner because Jon is in no shape to be doing anything of that sort, and we had a small show earlier this month that went pretty well.  Have decided that if I want to continue pursuing what makes me happy, I need to get out of this apartment and away from negative forces.  That is something I have to work on in complete privacy because I don’t want a certain someone to find out and make things difficult or whatever.

Was able to get away from E-town with a great story about seeing my relatives for the ‘holiday’ or whatever, and thatsuccessfully prevented me from being bombarded by useless questions which was such a relief.  While there was some traffic when I first got on the highway, the comfort of the ocean was waiting for me just like always when I exited it.  The afternoon was lost to lunch at a diner where Jon seemed to be much happier than the last time I saw him, but there was still a dullness in his eyes that I found unsettling.

Later on we cruised over to Asbury Lanes for a most excellent art show, decked out in retro attire and playing the role of the classic couple so often portrayed on 1950s sitcoms.  Chilled at the bar for a while, checking out the art on the walls and drinking colorful cocktails that had faint hints of soda among the strong flavors of whiskey and rum.  Jon finally loosened up and treated us to a round of bowling, though I have no idea who won because once the jokes started so did the laughter, and we weren’t really paying attention to the score.

We headed down to the beach and then situated ourselves on the ledge of a sidewalk that surrounds the casino, smoking a blunt and staring out at the moon-lit ocean.  It was quite surreal and reminded me of the last time we were there, complete with glowing full moon.  Passed a flask of whiskey between us while we continued to revel in the serene beauty of that moment.

Then we noticed a rather bright light in the sky, too big to be a star or planet.  It was a sizable orb, positioned above these two boats that were floating on the ocean in the distance.  We stared at it and Jon remarked that he did not think it was an airplane, as it did not move nor did it blink.  The orb was certainly odd, and we were just as puzzled by the fact that aside from the moon, it was the only thing casting its own illumination on the ocean.

We turned away to share an intimate moment, which I have to say caught me by surprise because of the way Jon had been acting earlier in the day, but none of that mattered and I was lost in the embrace of our kiss.  When were ready to head back to the Chevy, we had one last glance at the sky, but the mysterious orb was gone.  It had completely vanished and we felt creeped out enough to walk away quickly, but over all it was a fantastic evening.

The following day Jon announced that we were going for a drive, though first we stuffed our stomachs with pancakes and cups of Irish coffee.  He said he would take care of packing a lunch while I got dressed and then we were off.  As the ocean faded into the distance, a joint was lit and the stereo was turned up, twanging guitars and rhythmic drums filling the Chevy, mild air floating through half-opened windows.  Soon the scenery that whizzed by on the Parkway went from towering trees to urban landscapes, which then turned into rolling hills.  The leaves on the trees have browned and most of them are on the ground, but somehow their fragrant aroma still came swirling into the car.

After exiting the highway and briefly driving through town, Jon turned down a dirt road I am not sure we were supposed to be on, utterly curious as to where we were going.  When the Chevy came to a stop he smiled and motioned for me to get out – savory smells of the forest welcomed us as we wandered through the woods for several hours.  Eventually we found a small clearing, laid a picnic blanket across the ground and commenced to eat lunch.  Though it was fairly quiet, there were still sounds being made by birds and bug and animals scampering in the underbrush.  Sometimes I forget just how beautiful this state can be, but I am sure glad that I have someone to remind me.  The walk back did not seem as long yet evening had already begun to arrive when we climbed into the Chevy once again.

Darkness welcomed us by the time we got back on the Parkway and headed back to Jon’s house.  It had been a really great day of spending time together away from everyone and everything else, which I have to say was a lovely gesture on his part.  Though we instantly headed to bed after brief showers and a  change into comfortable clothing, we stayed up for a few hours just talking about random things and watching late night television.

The next two days were lost to smoking blunts and wandering the beach until we found ourselves several towns away from Jon’s house.  We had an amazing dinner at a Victorian style house with a fantastic ocean view before making the return trip and sleeping for twelve hours straight.

A weekend spent away from things that no longer feel like a part of my life was exactly what I needed, and it was also a reminder of how much I want to get away from here.  As soon as I am out of the apartment, I will be able to explain the whole thing to anyone who matters.  Until then, I am going to avoid those who might not understand what is happening and put on whatever front I need so as not to arouse suspicion.  The strength of my relationship with Jon is what gets me by, because it has lasted through so much and is a testament of what can be accomplished when two people share a passion.  If only he would trust himself enough to just tell me what is on his mind.

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