We sat there on her back porch. We talked about the past, the present, and the future. Just in case she couldn’t see it written all over my face, I made sure she knew right away that I was drowning my way through the most hurtful time in my entire life. She couldn’t believe that was possible. Both of us began showing serious Deja Vu like symptoms. I told her that it was complicated and that now was not the time to talk about any of that.
The reason I had stopped by to see her was because I had this deep feeling that it was the supernatural move to make. SuperNatural? Maybe that’s not the right word. Organic? Partly that for sure. On a superficial level, and it’s hardly that either, I had this desire to see her because I wanted to show her my new canine. I now had Quinn for about two months, and I was certain that this Dingo like Jackal was extraordinary. If you are a dog owner, I know what you are thinking, and you are not right. You are not right that your canine, as special as it may seem to you, is extraordinary. Because if I’m declaring my Quinnie as extraordinary, then unless your dog can do what my dog does, and can do it as consistently and as bionically as my dog can, then your dog is less than extraordinary. I’m sure it’s sweet and fluffy. Fair enough?
Lorna is her name. This woman. She is roughly my age, maybe a little older. We have a little history to say the very least. Back in college, and much like the rest of our circle, Lorna was a full time student and a full time athlete. Unlike the rest of us, she also was a full time dog whisperer. 20 year old Lorna whispered to Ashley. Ashley(RIP) was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, of the chocolate sort. And everybody knew Ashley because Ashley knew everybody. She would go to school with Lorna. She would go to the bars with Lorna. Ash was smart and dialed. She was big and beautiful. Consequently, she will always be remembered.
The past two weeks had presented me with a perfect opportunity to stop by and say hello. It had been awhile. I had been dog sitting for my dentist and his family in the Carbonera Estates area, which semi put me in perfect line with her house as I would regularly weave my way past her little property en route to the Pleasure Point area. I told myself that if I ever saw her truck out front that I would pop in and say hello. I was curious to know if her current dog Zeus was still alive, and again, I really wanted to show this lady my Quinnie.
So we sat there. Me and 3 year old Quinn. Her and 10 year old Zeus. Elliott was there too. Elliott is a cat. Lorna was drinking a Sierra Nevada. I was drinking a Sierra Nevada. Quinn kept one eye on Elliott and one eye on me. Zeus was sleeping with a ball in his mouth. Elliott was bugging Zeus, keeping both eyes on Quinn.
Lorna informed me that her son would be home any minute. We talked in depth about her son. He was doing very well. He had just turned 19 and had his life together. I hadn’t seen the kid since he was maybe 14. Part of me felt like telling Lorna that I had to go, and part of me was curious to see what had become of this kid. This kid Michael grew up without a father. I was told by Lorna that during the ‘high school’ years, the boy put her through a living hell, but when the California Conservation Core ‘came a knockin’ he answered the door, and it changed his life. No more partying. No more bullshit. Over the course of the last 12 months, he had completely turned his life around.
About 6:30pm, Michael walks in the door. I knew who he was, and he knew who I was. He knew that I knew his father. I knew that he didn’t. I stood up and we shook hands. We were face to face. He was a nice looking young man. He was lean. He was engaging. He was also hungry like any 19 year old boy might be. Lorna cooked him up some dinner while Michael and I did some talking.
I knew that he was a musician, and I knew that he was a soccer player. This gave us quite a bit of material. I remembered back about five years prior when Lorna asked me to paint her house even though I wasn’t a painter. One day while painting high up on a ladder, I was able to listen to Michael play his electric guitar. I think he was playing Jimi. The kid was good. These days, his instrument of choice is the banjo. He even pays for his own lessons.
I asked the questions, and let Michael do all the talking. I let him do the talking because he was beaming to talk. I could tell he was excited about life. I could tell he was stoked and appreciative of somebody like me wanting to know more about his life. He was polite. He was respectful. He was my kind of kid.
His phone rang. He pulled the phone out of his pocket, looked at who the caller was, and then asked me if he could take the phone call. I told him of course, and he stepped away for a minute.
Lorna came back outside and sat down. She and I finished up our talk and agreed to make arrangements. It all seemed so bizarre. All of it.