June 17, 2007

The Croquet Player and I reach an impasse

Come June and October, The Croquet Player habitually stays chez moi, with the happy exception of our time last year in a posh hotel room. He may have to look for new lodgings this fall.

I don't have great expectations of him -- after 27 years, I know just about all there is to know, and I've made my peace with it. Sexual favors as owed from last week have been collected.

However, I do have one tiny standing request: if you're not coming home, leave me a message. It is not too much to ask of a house guest, regardless of the state of the relationship. I live in Wonderland. Shit happens.

Yesterday morning, TCP left my house around 6 am. I stirred in my sleep by way of acknowledgement, then resumed my unconscious state. Last night, I took my medication, and its sedative effect worked its magic. TCP was out celebrating, I think. The end of the tournament he was running usually finishes with a "croquet ball," of some sort, and he usually returns in the wee hours, considerably worse for the wear. That, I expect. That is no surprise.

In any event, I wasn't planning to wait up for his return.

Today I woke up, alone, and realized TCP had not returned last night. Depending on my mood, he may never be welcome here again. Then again, he may never return for reasons that are beyond me.

I left a cell phone message and page at around noon for him: "I hope you just got drunk and passed out somewhere last night. Please call to let me know you are breathing.

"Today is Father's Day. My dad's been gone 16 years now, but when he failed to return home, when he went missing, disappeared, the year I was 28, I called every hospital in the New York metropolitan area to ask if anyone had seen my Daddy.

"I cannot and will not do the same for you."

In March of 1989, no one had seen my father -- not a hospital, a police station, a morgue. He returned to my mother's house within 24 hours of my phone-a-thon, our relationship indelibly altered.

This year, I think my father is sending me a message. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what his spirit is telling me. Yet so many of the messages he conveyed in life have been twisted in the years since his death, their meaning become opaque and baffling. How to interpret this one? They say when you hear hoof beats, think horses. In my life, however, sometimes zebras share those sounds.

I hope TCP got loaded last night and is hungover in the sunshine today. I will be sorry if that is not the case. I'm fairly sure that is now it will play out, but after 27 years, I am numb.

Numb for the moment, but, alas, I know myself too well: with The Croquet Player, I never say never again. It is the history we share, my emotional downfall, but there you have it. TCP and I seem linked for life.

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Blogger The Misanthrope said...

Frankly that is just rude. It's always tough to say good-bye, but maybe this time you should.

2:21 PM  

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