Spent the rest of the day worried about SBX's fragile state [after Weds. nights battle] and whispering cyber sweet nothings to her. What with her parents arriving and playing host, I suspected that this week will bring much needed family respite for SBX. Something she does not have in the USA. Having grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, and the sort, certainly eases the super-duties of a single parent and SBX has none of that to lean on accept for the very rare help from Mr. Ex's side of her children's blood. Otherwise, it's strictly babysitters and the kindness of friends that allows SBX any social life, if at all. I guess that's a lifestyle I'm preparing to look forward to?
I spent the rest of Halloween night strapped to the art table. Drawing THE THING, while SBX and her family went trick-or-treating on 7th Avenue.
My swell assistant, Fiffe, came in Friday early afternoon and started in on doing the final pass on my pages while I scurried and drew a cool birthday card for SBX's older daughter, The Haze, who's turning 9-years old on Saturday. Got a call from SBX and was invited to eat lunch w/her parents. We met up a few blocks from my pad [kept Fiffe chained to the art table, erasing pages/filling in blacks] and walked to her Park Slope abode with the two of them. Made a few pit stops while I warmed up to her mother and, more importantly, bat a romantic wink or two between me and my lady. SBX's "appropriate" and "proper" demeanor, especially when around her parents, stifles any notion for romantic interplay, and this is one of SBX's personality traits that bothers the hell out of me. I know it's normal to squash randy behavior around authority [genetic and/or otherwise], but, unless you're a cold fish, why clam up around anybody, ever? Okay, so you're attending a funeral service, maybe you don't make out behind the casket. That's rude. Sure, you're at a business meeting, chew with your mouth closed. It's polite. Come spending time with family & friends, shouldn't it allow freedom to be what you want -- when you want? I'm not talking about the inevitable bouts of static and ugly family-tree politics but more so, the daily promise of spreading harmony. Am I psycho to think this should be?
Shook hands with SBX's father and we scattered about preparing a semblance of a lunch. Anxious by the meet & greet, taking a half-hour walk to Park Slope [pushing my bike the entire way], and promising Fiffe I'd be back in an hour, time was slipping and I was getting antsy. SBX's parents are VERY English, ergo, their reservations and station. I can't get a peg on people who don't wear a little something-something on their sleeve. I've got nothing to work with and I make a terrible detective. Of course, her parents have had to deal with 10-years of her bad marriage and they're probably looking at me with radioactive eyes. Magnified pressure. The air got thicker as I tried to wrap a POWERPUFF GIRL CD gift for The Haze, only to get slammed by SBX. She wondered if I had listened to the music -- if it was any good? I hadn't a clue. It was a token, and acknowledgment of her daughters birthday. The Haze had enjoyed the POWERPUFF GIRLS comix and DVDs I had stealthily snuck to her via SBX, and I figured the CD would complete the collection. SBX would have none of that. She thought it was a stupid idea and that The Haze had most likely grown out of her POWERPUFF GIRL phase. Fine. Great. Whatever. My music inventory now owns a brand new POWERPUFF GIRL CD. Plan B, which was really Plan A, purported that I would get The Haze a blue lava lamp. The Haze loved the red & gold lava lamp that I had gotten her mother, and I suspected she would cherish one of her own. SBX kicked that idea to the curb, telling me she didn't need more items in her home. That she was trying to rid of stuff. Dumbfounded, I asked SBX if she was okay. She was berating me in front of her mother and burning my integrity. SBX maintained a stoic position and would not budge. I told SBX that her daughter was probably going to get a bunch of items that the house didn't need, but that I would succumb to her policy and not get The Haze a gift. Maybe I should buy her food? Something that could consume and expel from SBX's precious home? Bankrupt, I gave up. Lunch was tense as we all made small talk and her parents barely looked me in the eye and never asked one question about me. Not one. I bid adieu and split bitter.
Angered by SBX's lunch antics, I decided that she needed some room. Down time to sit back and deal with some serious issues that has nothing to do with me yet I reap with wonderful backlash. When you don't confront your enemies, when you don't murder your demons, you take it out on the ones you love in a desperate attempt to test the promise of unconditional love. Caveat is: you must have a lot of love in the bank or you're in danger of breaking that bank. Hate to put love into economical terms, but when you're not getting what you want and need, unconditional love starts to tally up the price on a romantic spreadsheet. A knee-jerk reaction that one either matures and swallows pride from, or pings a radar blip the size of Tokyo and brings permanent damage, Godzilla style. Either way, the jury in your heart pleads the fifth amendment.
SBX convinced me to meet up w/her at Old Navy in Manhattan so we could discuss our anguish and help her buy The Haze some birthday gifts. I scored The Haze a funky shirt while SBX bought her pants and a bunch of other items. You know "items." More STUFF for the house to hold. Bah! I guess gift giving need to pass the SBX muster? After shopping we walked the east village streets and argued. I told SBX that she was shitting in my mouth, testing my fortitude with obnoxious antics. I told her that the difference between our outlooks were this: whenever she hands me a rose she warns me of the thorns and the danger. Whenever I hand her a rose I say smell it's beauty and bask in its glory. For a chick who needs to create grounds for success, what's the point of putting on a poker face if you're not playing a game? The fronts of those buildings better have rooms and people inside them because this ain't no Hollywood frame. I'm not a client that she is taking out to lunch to score business. I will always foil a facade.
Settled, we bumped into Chilean cartoonist, Marcela Trujillo in Soho and said 'hello.' Our recent melee had wiped the glow of a Friday night off our faces and we trying to hop back on that ride. We went to a bar called GASLIGHT, in the meat packing district [right around the corner from my Halcyon days with Larrondo], and loosened up at SBX's pals, Lori W and Doug's engagement party. Whiskey unhinged a hip for me while Gin relaxed SBX's shoulders. We parlayed and cracked much needed smiles. Her hands were on me. Mine on her. We were on our way back to normal.
We took the L-train [where I tried to spook SBX with my rubber fright clown mask, only to creep commuters out and make SBX laugh] to the G-train and got out at Clinton-Washington where Jason & Myla were throwing their annual Halloween party. Myla was dressed up as a naked, upside down woman giving birth to her head! Gag. Notable guests included: Gabrielle Bell, Ariel Schrag, Matt Madden, Jessica Abel, Heidi MacDonald, Jim Higgins, Megan Kelso, Dame Darcy, Michael Kupperman, John Keen, and Highwater publisher, Tom Devlin, whom SBX had a long and rigorous debate regarding getting comix packaged for the Barnes & Noble book market. Fiffe showed up late with his pal and I split w/MacDonald back to my pad where she went online and scoured the cyber comix night life and I watched bad tv. MacDonald crashed my futon and I dreamt of a happier SBX while cuddling the cats under the red hue of my lava lamp.
Morning brought coffee as we cruised through a few choice scenes of BRING IT ON! MacDonald was out and I took in a lazy Saturday afternoon. Got SPIDER-MAN DVD in the mail and watched the 'extras' while intermittently reading comix. I cleaned house for the evening's launch of my MOVIE CLUB! Vanessa W., Juliet, Chris H., Mike & Marie, and Doug B, congregated, ordered food, and we watched THE EXORCIST 3. Many a chuckle filtered the living room as George C. Scott gave it his gut-wrenching all. I'd forgotten how hilarious and over-the-top yet well written the script was. Inklings of David Mamet stylings poked fun at the dramatic seal making for much needed relief as Brad Dourif played a pitch perfect schizophrenic as Patient X [Father Damien Karras from THE EXORCIST] cum resurrected Gemini Killer. We pontificated silly stupid situations as portrayed by THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS, while watching the psychedelic DESTROY ALL MONSTERS classic. Pizza, beer, and horror/monster movies had numbed our brain waves. The evening was over half-past twelve and that was alright.