Tuesday, January 10, 2006

stop calling me. i look like a punk in front of the guys.

This crazy life, the Bubba once said to me, you never know where it's gonna take you.

Yesterday morning I was minding my own business (which I am always doing, let me tell it) when there came a knock at the door. Any knock at my door when I am minding my own business is ominous, because, I believe I've so far failed to mention, I live in a production studio. When I heard the knock, I was hearkened back to the night before, when:

There I was, minding my own business, doing a little cleaning and a lot of wondering what to do next. Giving some serious thought to going to bed even though it wasn't yet 10pm and I try to hold out until at least that hour so I don't feel so geriatric. So there comes this knock. I move to the door and cautiously open it. In doing so I am faced with Rod, the resident wannabe rock star. Rocker Rod holds out a bowl of cereal and says to me, I was wondering if I could maybe borrow some sugar. And some milk. I look at the cereal and say to Rocker Rod: I don't have sugar (which I don't) and I don't drink milk (also true, though I do drink and did have soy milk). Any normal person I would've gladly shared my soy milk with but we're talking about Rocker Rod. In just a few brief meetings I've pulled his card. What I see is a level of wannabedom so high that he floats along in his Lenny Kravitz cast-offs while people who are practically strangers are expected to provide what sustenance his 120 lb rock star frame needs to keep going. When Rocker Rod knocks on your door and asks for milk and sugar, even if you're standing there holding a bowl with sugar dusting the sides and a milk mustache decorating your upper lip, you still gotta say no. Because Rocker Rod is the gift that keeps on taking. Rocker Rod, I have seen, is an opportunist of the highest order. Anything at all can be an in. How do I know this?

Because three nights ago I was minding my own business. I was sitting at my desk and admiring how cozy the Bubba and I have made the little nest. I was surfing knitting websites, er, I mean earnestly working on one of my writing projects, when there was a knock at the door. I was playing my music pretty loud and I figured perhaps my next door neighbor had ratted me out to the building manager. Although this is hard to imagine because I do live a production studio where meetings, auditions and shoots sometimes spill out of the apartment next door, which a bunch of my neighbors rent and have decked out with the state-of-the-art video and editing equipment, thus making the entire building a part of the effort. What this means is mo' noise than a lil' bit, so who cares if sometimes I be jammin' at night? Plus, did I mention? The building manager is one of the heads of the studio (and a friend of the Bubba's which is how we got back in after a three year hiatus, but more on that another time, maybe). Still, I'm paranoid and figured The Man had come to get me. I opened the door, ready to defend myself, and there was Rocker Rod, who I recognized as crashing with another of the building's colorful characters, Acid Andy. And so Rocker Rod says to me, pointing across the hall, I was going to knock on this door here, but I heard Muddy Waters and thought, who is playing "Mannish Boy"? Rocker Rod knew where to hit me. I was immediately flattered that somebody had the good sense to be impressed with my musical taste, especially someone in cool hip huggers and a crochet hat. I said he was an opportunist, and when he spied my knitting needles and asked about the possibility of me knitting him a Rasta scarf (I kid you not), I was still floating on the Muddy compliment (Rod had, after all, just gotten back from rockin' out with his band in the desert. Is this not a man qualified to judge music?) and straightaway agreed to whip up the scarf. Hot damn, I even contemplated buying the yarn myself. And then I slapped myself and woke up.

When the knock came yesterday morning, I was prepared to offer Rocker Rod a serious tongue lashing, and I don't mean the kind he'd like. I threw on a skirt, marched to the door, flung it open and who was standing there but --

Bubba. The Great.

So not Rocker Rod. And there is God to thank for it.

Because he is my best friend, my solitude, my beauty, my earth, Bubba likes to play tricks on me. I'd called him at least five times yesterday morning, leaving him messages about this and that: my indignation over Rocker Rod and his undressed bowl of cereal, what I'd decided to do for my friend Steven's 40th birthday gift (he's my friend of 25 years), how I missed him and hoped his Macbeth was coming along swell. All the while I'm thinking I'm talking to somebody in Utah. My eyesight is about 220/220, but the whole world became clear when I opened that door and there stood Bubba. I mean, just look at him, swaddled in a hat and scarf made for him by yours truly. He's my favorite person to knit for, because he'll happily wear anything I make, sometimes even things I originally intended for other people.

We had a day of negotiations and love songs. Not good enough, I thought. And when I said this morning that since he was leaving today I wished I could take yesterday back and make it something better, Bubba said to me, Yesterday was everything we are, loving, eating, fighting, laughing, it was perfect.

I miss him when he's gone. The moment he leaves, I try to take my mind off the days and distance between us by knitting. It always goes the same: I knit a few rows and call him up, usually crying. He soothes me, tells me he loves me, I hang up and knit a few more rows. I try not to call back but can never help myself. This afternoon, through a veil of tears and cramps, I called three times while he was heading back to Utah. He wasn't alone, having driven three other guys here, and when he answered he sounded jovial and free. Me, I sounded whiny and bound. Each time, he cooed to me, told me he'd miss me too, talked much love and promised surprises, regarded me like the fragile thing I am.


Stevie G. said...

I cry too much! This is beautiful. I feel like I am there being bothered by your neighbors! Marvin loves it, too, he told me so! He a crybaby, too, waaaah.

What I need to know is, after reading this entry is, what do you plan to get me for my birfday?

My toes are a-tapping.


Oh, and I put a link up from my site to yourn. :)

sappmama said...

You can't be reading where it says birfday! Nonayuh. You'll just have to wait. But thank you for commenting. You and Marvin make me cry more tears!

laurie said...

I adore you. This is gooooooood stuff.

afrowalking said...

okay wellin-up alert! you pulled an anne lamott on that one.

beauty without question and love like it ought to be.

Ellen Bloom said...

Hey Carla, Thanks for commenting on my blog! Who knew you had a blog too? I agree with Crazy Auntie...this is good stuff! You are an excellent writer! I'm waiting for the next installment and more pix!

Natalie said...


First things first...LOVE IT!
Second...you've been holding out on me! All this time I have been sitting across from you staring at the same paragraph for a week and you don't even tell me about the blog!! The indignation!
And thirdly...you are an inspiration to step up the dissertation prose!
rock on!

sappmama said...


You're too kind. If I'm not careful, while you're on Oprah talking about your diss turned pop nonfiction, I'll be sitting in Chez Hotspot, posting to my blog and watching library DVDs. Here's to our partnership. I really NEED it.