“I want it to have solar power….yes….yes…Yes it has to have solar I am going off grid and I don’t want a fixed address but I don’t want to be homeless either….yes the small RV. The smallest one it is just me and my dog but a NICE RV and ecologically sustainable…worried? About what? Hahahaha no…………………yes yes my dog is a Great Dane with a BIG MOUTH and I want her to…yes yes…get me an estimate. I want the thing to have full open windows and a sun roof. Yes…custom…yes yes get me an estim……………….OK OK. No. Yes.”
I watched him. I was rather amazed. He is a strange guy. Vegan like a Hindu. Smart like a Jew. Born Muslim. White Egyptian raised in Nigeria and a little crazy with a string of women he drove bat-shit crazy and then left. Better to be his friend. Better to let him be whatever it is he is and not pursue him as a life partner.
He looks like a homeless guy. He doesn’t have to be that way he just hates the idea of anyone being able to ‘look him up’ and he has figured out all manner of ways to ‘not be found.’ He flies aeroplanes on the side and takes care of retarded kids and has for years. He is not lying when he says that he really does that and where the money goes is as good a guess as anyone’s because he does not do drugs, drink, or buy floozies. He can usually get what he wants for free pretty easily, (thinks of the antibiotics), He probably gives all his money to his mother in Egypt. He talks to her on the phone sometimes but it does not sound like the Arabic I am familiar with…close but..like the difference between Urdu and Panjabi I guess.
He will say he is coming over for a week and then never show up and then show up once and be awesome and then disappear into the city jangles again and call about the time you have given up that he exists.
I think the road accident that almost killed him affected his thinking and he was taking me home from the Y. I had just got in my swim time and it was damn hot outside!
He has no A/C in his car and it looks like he lives in the car but he doesn’t. He and my mother share this trait of carrying every single thing they might use in a day ALL THE TIME in their respective vehicles. The windows were down and we were going to my home and he was trying to talk and drive and find where I live (he is no good with directions the same as I am no good with them) so between us both it takes twice as much time for him to drop me off.
Today was so hot I quit sweating on the way home and started to feel nauseous and very dizzy and sleepy. I had been fasting for Ramadan and he pulled an illegal U-turn, in the middle of heavy traffic, to get us to a place that had water and A/C.
One of those ‘quickie marts’.
He almost carried me in and got a bottle of water while I put all my weight on the counter top and tried not to hurl.
“Miss Mary Miss Mary what do you want? Answer me! Mary! Mary! Answer!”
I could not answer. I was busy making the place stop wobbling. He went off and brought back a bottle of water. He gave it to me and I drank a little bit. The A/C was starting to work.
“Not too much too fast it won’t be good the way you are right now…”
It was ice cold water from the coolers in the back. As I raised off the counter I saw a woman walk in and she stopped and stared at me for one eternal moment. Coiffed white hair and designer clothing and her eyes. Her eyes pinned me for a second as I saw her LOOK at me the way that people look at drunks, losers and homeless people. I have been with people like that and I have seen them look at people like that…
…no one ever looked at me like that. A curious mix of fear, disgust, and weird compassion like one might have for a dog dying in the road. Scared that the dog might bite if you tried to help or, Heaven forfend, give you FLEAS!
The moment burned into my mind like a strange lesson. I have seen that look directed at people from the OTHER SIDE and people do not even KNOW they do this. It is like driving a car: you had to learn it once but now you do it without thinking.
“Miss Mary Miss Mary come on Miss Mary!”
I let him lead me out of the building. He dumped the rest of the icy cold water over my head and down my back and I laughed and screamed and tried to hit him but he was too fast. He was then very serious,
“I think you almost had a heat stroke.”
“Maybe…I don’t know I feel better now.”
“Ok well let’s get you home and I will go and come back later.”
He had promised we would go out to eat but when we got to my house he phone rang again and it was on speaker,
“Yes I will come by on Saturday.” A really sexy sounding female voice answered and he muted his phone and I pretended I had not heard. They talked a short while and he said,
“Listen Miss Mary I am going now but I will come back tomorrow I promise.”
He left then and I knew nothing would happen the way he said it would happen again because he could never keep all his women straight in his mind and he liked me as a friend even after I told him, “No more sex.”
I know I will have to get someone else to put the boric acid behind the furniture and I know that we might never make it to a restaurant but I also know it is good to have weird friends and I am glad he is my weird friend.