[Originally written on 1.15.06]
The second date I had with Jon in the last week was this past Friday, as it happened to be the thirteenth and he was in the mood to go out. Here would be a good time to note that our relationship is developing nicely – he has called me at least once a week since I spent a few nights with him at the Shore earlier this month, and will send me little notes through e-mail to give me boosts of confidence when I need it, as the hostility and tension seem to be rising around me. It’s not worth getting into, but there is definitely resentment of the fact I am living here though not a part of the family, yet the only person qualified to make the call of whether or not that’s alright hasn’t complained once.
Getting away from all of that to spend time with Jon reminds me I need to keep looking for a place to live and worry about getting a job after I move. We are definitely not at the point where living together has even been brought up, as I suspect he is not ready for such a level of commitment yet and that’s fine. There is plenty of confidence things will progress as they are meant to, and I need to appreciate that we have gotten to this stage.
The ride down to Philly was rather pleasant, mostly due to the fact there was minimal traffic. What, were people too damn paranoid to go out on the 13th, with a full moon and B-movie perfect fog drenching the atmosphere? Having someone you trust behind the wheel tends to put you at ease though, as does the joint you smoke as the metal machine you’re riding in screams across the highway.
Our destination for the evening was Abilene’s, a club I read was supposed to be having some sort of Friday the 13th dance party. The venue was quite small and packed with people, but we agreed to attempt to make the most of it. Well, no one was really dancing and the party aspect was certainly lacking, though the people reminded me of those who attended a certain Jersey club I used to frequent. Complete with half dressed bodies awkwardly gyrating on stages around a mostly empty dance floor while cretins drooled nearby.
Neither of us were really interested in the scene, so we hit the bar for pints of beer accompanied by shots of whiskey. Perched on the tall stools, we had a decent view of our surroundings and it reminded me of the early days of our relationship, where we would get shitfaced and talk trash on everyone for kicks. The intent was never cruel, more like a childish game we engaged in for some cheap laughs at other people’s expense, but we thought it was harmless fun and were rarely serious about the things we said. Jon would put on a stoic expression and adjust the rings on his fingers while scanning the rubes before nodding to one, reading them as the southern accent got heavier with each shot of whiskey he had. How he could gather all of this insight just by observing behaviors for a few minutes was part of the charm to the feat, and a showman certainly did not reveal the secrets to one of his greatest skills, even though I know better than to ask. Will certainly take credit for my part in encouraging him, holding back laughter despite my sides aching and wanting to burst.
A few hours later, we noticed that more and more people were filling the venue, which had been crammed from the beginning due to its small size. Seeing as how we had consumed quite a few drinks, I suggested we wander somewhere slightly less crowded, if that was even possible in Philly on a Friday night. The temperature had certainly dropped, though Jon kept me close as we walked South Street and made our way to Tattooed Mom’s. We were relieved to find only a handful of people inside, which made it possible to actually get a drink from the bar without having to take up residence there. He bought us another round and then led me upstairs where we proceeded to hog the roller coaster car. This was something I had wanted to do since he brought me here for my birthday, and there we were, pints of beer in hand with his arm around me, his position slightly awkward to accomadate the extra length of his legs.
Old school punk music swirled into the conversations around us, and though we chatted from time to time about random things, the drinks we continued to consume were having an effect on our words as they became less comprehensible. He politely excused himself to the bathroom for a moment, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s not gone for more than a minute before these two dudes randomly approach me. Whatever they were trying to say wasn’t registering, so I just stared at them while watching Jon approach them from behind. In the sweetest southern drawl he could spill from drunk lips, he politely requested that they ceased harassment of his lady and removed their prescence from sight lest they find themselves in a painful way. Their faces suddenly turned rather pale as they stammered an apology and nearly tripped over each other while shuffling away.
Moments later this guy comes over to us and asks if there was any trouble, to which Jon replied everything was handled, his composure changing completely as he offered a friendly smile. The stranger’s name is Chris and he came all the way up from fucking Maryland to check out South Street on account he heard there was some kind of alternative scene there. He hands us a demo CD and engages in conversation with Jon about his band and other general music stuff. Seeing him comfortable enough to let his guard down and chat in such a casual manner was rather refreshing, and I could tell that he really was trying to make this whole thing work.
Leaving the boys alone for a moment, I made my own stop in the bathroom and felt compelled to tag the wall AARON + ANGEL = ANARCHY!!! in large Sharpie letters, which now makes two places I have left this mark in Philly.
When I returned they were making last call; Jon and Chris had now been joined by his girlfriend and fellow band mate. He asks if it would be possible to drive them to their hotel over on 12th, confessing they are pretty wasted and didn’t want to try and navigate a city they were unfamiliar with. Jon actually smiled and said he’d be more than happy to help them out, and the two were quite grateful for the entire ride. Showing random acts of kindness towards others is something he has always done, as he spent many years on the streets homeless and struggling for survival, where even the smallest gesture of spare change or a sandwich could keep him from killing himself that day. They thanked us profusely when we arrived at the hotel, and Chris even tried to give Jon some money for the trouble, but he would have none of that and insisted it was purely a friendly favor.
After ensuring they got into the lobby safely, he drives over to a diner though I express being too tired to eat. He chuckles while kissing my forehead and stating that he needs coffee so he doesn’t crash on the way home, though he purchases it in several travel cups in order to avoid sitting inside. That’s the last thing I remember since I passed out shortly after departing Philly, though whether that was due to the alcohol or the fact I tend to fall asleep during long car rides [especially at night] is hard to say. When I woke up, Jon was carrying me into his bedroom so I figured that superstitions aside, we had made it safely and enjoyed another wonderful evening together.