Chapter 86: “Broken Windows, Broken Relationships”
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This apartment was a surrealist breeding ground. Who knew that Travis and I could keep an apartment together? It was refreshing to have a roommate that did their share of cleaning, dishes, and trash removal. He even got the mail– without prompt! And we used to be at each other’s throats constantly!
Our friends, of both the former roommates and neighbor varieties, would also frequent our apartment. I remember one night, Shawn and I had been drinking a lot and I had seen Derek (the mutual friend that landlord, Trevor, and I shared) walk up our driveway. I thought it best to moon Derek as an innocent goof. Our windows were terrible at retaining any heat and were to be replaced soon; thus, I felt the cold exterior of the elements from outside upon my bare ass.
As soon as I pressed against the frigid surface, and without any pressure, CRASH!
My ass had cracked the plate glass window behind it, and a large piece tumbled outward to the driveway below. Derek couldn’t help but restrain his shocked face, and I looked over and saw Trevor on the stairs ready to greet him.
Instantly, I received a knock on my door and – no shock here – it was Trevor. “What just happened out there?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I went to say hi to Derek and the glass split under my hand.”
I only lied because I was so drunk and embarrassed. I knew Trevor probably saw me, but I couldn’t escape the lie I had just fashioned. I doubled down. “I’m not sure what happened.”
“Jamie, I saw you. Your ass was sticking out the window.”
“Okay, I was mooning Derek, but I didn’t know it would shatter! I barely put any pressure on the glass!”
“Why did you lie about it in the first place?”
“I-I don’t know. I’m sorry.”
“Well, you’re going to have to pay for it now.”
I understood. As I shut the door, I marveled how the glass didn’t shave off my ass cheeks as it cascaded downward like on Carl at the end of Ghost.
In the next few days, I got the bill for the window, $440 bucks. I was going to be paying this off forever! That was one month’s rent! What’s worse is that Trevor was going to replace the windows soon anyway! What timing! These old windows were my financial ruin.
I told Deirdre, and she was rightfully mortified to call me her boyfriend at that point. Aside from the aforementioned drunken shenanigans, however, we were doing well in our relationship. We spent nearly every night together, whether or not Kaitlyn was with her Dad or with us.
But as the months went by, I felt us grow gradually distant. There was some unspoken thing that was dividing us, and I couldn’t figure it out. As Maine spring emerged (mud season), I found a way to earn most of the money that I still owed.
I had decided that I had too many physical possessions and held a yard sale at our shared driveway (with Trevor’s permission, of course). I offered to sell stuff for them, and they ended up selling what they could, but the lot was comprised mostly of my junk.
I made the hard call to fire sale all of my childhood in an effort to attract younger people to the yard sale. I sold all of my old video game consoles, accessories, and games. I tested every system to ensure I could properly discuss their condition upon dickering, but as I replayed the games that shaped me, I felt a strong urge to keep them all. These pieces of plastic had represented thousands of hours of entertainment.
But I knew that this broken window had to be paid (and soon), so I went ahead and added them to the assortment.
Kaitlyn wanted to sell lemonade while we sold our stuff, and for a few days, she did. She made a few bucks but didn’t like the waiting around. On the third day, she skipped her entrepreneurial duties and instead played in the park with Momma.
The first day of the sale prompted two older video game collectors to pay me a visit, and they cleaned me out. They bought all of my game consoles and most of my accessories and video games. My plan to use these items for an extended period of time as a divining rod proved to be premature.
I also pawned off most of my DVDs to people at work for $5 a pop. This actually made a lot more money than I had expected and this combined with my three-day liquidation earned me enough money to pay off the window.
I did it!
After I sold everything of “value,” I felt free. At first, it was difficult to part with my childhood, but as each piece of plastic left my folding tables, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. It was cathartic in the purest of forms, and I felt mature enough to make up for the yard sale’s sole purpose.
But soon after, Deirdre decided that we weren’t working after all, and called it off once more. I was devastated more than any other breakup before it. Was I cursed to never be a part of a relationship that exceeded half a year?!
For the first subsequent week, I only saw her at work. I tried to hold my head up high and be an adult about this, but it was killing me. I kept thinking back to that night we listened to “Nowhere Fast,” and the lyrics spoke to me:
Will I ever get to where I’m going?
Will I ever follow through with what I had planned?
I guess it’s possible that I have been a bit distracted
And the directions for me are a lot less in demand
Will I ever get to where I’m going?
If I do, will I know when I’m there?
If the wind blew me in the right direction
Would I even care?
I take a look around
It’s evident the scene has changed
And there are times when I feel improved upon the past
Then there are times when I can’t seem to understand at all
And yes it seems as though I’m going nowhere
Really fucking fast
Was she trying to tell me something? Or was I reading into things again? She was a distraction in my goal, and we both knew that. But I loved her, and I wanted to spend my life with her. Couldn’t I do both? Be happy at work and in a relationship?
Clearly, I had a lot of questions about this relationship, and so, I inquired about my predicament to the IGN dating show segment, Knockin’ Boots. I wrote my question as the break-up happened.
She had come by a few times after. It was hard for me. I had all of these framed pictures of her and Kaitlyn that they had given me for Christmas. I didn’t know if I should have thrown them away or not. So I kept them but put the ones with Deirdre, and I face down.
When she came over, I didn’t know how to feel. I wanted her in my life, but this wasn’t the way. To me, it was all or nothing. The last time she came over she had asked me why I had put the photos down.
“I couldn’t stand to look at them.”
She simply lifted the fallen frames and propped them back up. And with that, we were back together. We never said another word. Love has a weird way of affecting people.
Then, the guys at IGN responded to my question about a month later. I laughed at the question now (even sharing it with Deirdre), but more so when Daemon, the host of the show, connected me to a porno he had watched about a nurse. The phrase “F My Nursehole” had been intrinsically tied to me.
But was this the death nail in my career or could I still ensure both will work?
This is an ongoing story of my personal battle with Cancer. My hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.
The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a publically available first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. The only reason I’m doing it this way is to get the story out as soon as possible for someone out there who needs a survivor to visit them during their own treatment. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, tweet at me and I’ll give you a call. No questions asked. This story is for you and I’ll help any way that I can.
Stay tuned, as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.
And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.