30 May, 2008

The Story of July

Location: around Boston, 1997
Mood: almost nostalgic?

So, I think I promised this story at some other point in time, and since I am sitting here, and somewhat sick, and bored, I thought it would be as good a time as any to relate it to you. Of course, according to my new "directive", this is not really a story about someone named July. I have picked that name as a substitute, to protect the identity of the person, in case someone does an internet search.

It goes like this.

When I lived in the house in Waltham with the fraternity guys, one of the guys (Ted, we'll call him - though, I am pretty sure if you go back to an earlier blog, you'll find his real name until I go back and change it) was dating this girl, July. Actually, in hindsight, I now realize that I either dated, or came damn close to dating TWO people that Ted once dated. That is absolutely in violation of my housemate's edict of "one per household" and probably explains why I didn't really keep in touch with those guys after moving. I think I violated "the code".

In my defense, I will say that I didn't really date July, and that she only briefly dated Ted, so that's not a bad one. It's Dina that was the problem - because Ted really did date Dina, and then Dina went after me in the aftermath, and I took the bait (I realize I am phrasing that in a very blameless context, which it is not, but I am telling the story, so give me a liberty or two). We can talk about Dina some other time, though I'll plant this seed by mentioning that she was a dead ringer for Courteney Cox, and she was eleven years older than me (and 13 years older than Ted). She liked the young guys.

So, Ted I guess dated July for a little bit before we met, and it was not particularly intense, and not particularly painful in any way. They sort of just dissolved into friendship, and they were very good friends. Ted had lots of girl friends, and probably lots of girlfriends too. He was Armenian, and he was perceived as very good looking by most people, and he was also quite suave with the ladies. So, Ted I think actually introduced me to July - so maybe he thought we'd be good together? I don't know.

As I said in an earlier blog, Ted and I met while working together at Raytheon, and that's how we ended up moving into the house on Goldencrest Road. And July also worked at Raytheon, but in a different department than us. I think they met through Raytheon also, but I am not sure how. So, at some point, July and me started hanging out periodically. We'd go to dinner, or to the movies, or things like that. July was not very attractive, but not completely unattractive - she sort of looked a bit like Suzanne Vega, but with lighter hair. And we would talk about work, and talk about relationships, and talk about all sorts of things. On one occasion, at a big party at our house, July and I found ourselves kissing briefly. And it was not a very passionate kiss, and there was not a lot of physical chemistry. But it happened, and we discussed how we would not pursue that any further. In spite of that proclamation though, or maybe in light of it, we did flirt quite a bit. Maybe it was "safe" for both of us.

One of the things about July that was rather curious is that she took MANY sick days from work. I have never met a human being who used more of their sick time than July. At Raytheon, we were granted an incredibly generous 40 DAYS of sick time, and I'll be a donkey's testicle if July did not take every single day that she was granted. She worked in the drafting department doing technical drawings (just remembered that). The main reason that she took the days off was because of "migraines". I put that in quotes, because I have a sneaking suspicion that July didn't even know what a migraine was. But maybe I am being unfair. She claimed that a) there was no medication that helped her, and b) that she needed to just stay in bed in the dark when she had them. But the thing that struck me about July was that she also seemed to be quite a depressed individual, and I had a sneaking suspicion that her "migraines" were actually the cover story for major depressive episodes, because nobody is going to question you for taking work off due to pain. The converse argument, of course, would be that she was depressed because of the migraines, and I grant you that possibility, but it just didn't ring true to me. Sometimes she didn't seem to be "suffering" other than just the lack of will to do anything.

July was not particularly nice, or sociable - unless she drank, which was rare, in which case she would become nicer and more sociable.

And we hung out a lot. The escalation of our friendship to "frequent get-togethers" coincided with the latter half of my relationship with Sarah, whose name I will not mask because I already wrote an entire giant blog about her, and I don't really want to cover up her name. It isn't like I told you her last name or anything. But I promise I will change all the other names. I guess I don't care if Sarah's people ever find her on here, though it is unlikely. Anyway, digressing.

So, July gave me lots of counsel on what to do, what not to do, how to salvage my relationship with Sarah. She coached me. She listened to me whine. And when it ended, she supported me, and also went with me to do that final pick up of all my stuff. She was a spectacularly devoted friend. Or so it would seem.

Then, spring came, and I was ready to move out of the house with the fraternity guys - not sure what my reason was. I really cannot recall. They were cool guys, but for some reason, I think I wanted a better place, closer in to the city. And July and I got to talking and decided that we should be housemates. So we did some looking around, and we found a house in Watertown, very cool, and rented it. If I remember correctly, I think the rent was about $1100 for the first level of a big old 2 family house. That same house is probably $2000 now! Actually I just checked and it looks like it's only about $1600... so the market hasn't gone that crazy for rentals. So, July and I decided on the place and then we were shopping for furniture, and shopping for dishes, and all that. And it started to feel a lot like we were a married couple - which we were not. And we did not fool around at all, but we flirted. And I don't know what was going on.

So we moved in together.

And the week we moved in, it just so happened that a friend of mine, Elaine, was visiting from California. Elaine is someone that I dated extremely briefly, and she was an alcoholic, who was now recovering. When we dated, she was drinking a lot, and she was not very nice at all. I remember one time Elaine got in a huge fight with me because we were making pasta, and I put salt and oil in the water - she started yelling at me, "What are you doing!" and then she told me to leave.

Over salt and oil.

Elaine and I didn't last very long. Interestingly, or not so interestingly, Elaine was also a former girlfriend of someone that I knew. There was a period of my life, fortunately not now where I did a lot of getting into mixed up situations with people's ex-girlfriends. And I think it had to do with me not knowing what I wanted, or how to look for it, and therefore I just thought that maybe I should want what worked for someone else. I have no clue. It was not something I am proud of, and I do not go there anymore.

But... Elaine had been coming to town, and part of the reason that I think she wanted to see me was because part of her 12 step program involved her making amends with me. Elaine and I had been talking on the phone a lot, and actually she's the reason that I got into the band Uncle Tupelo, which then led to Son Volt and Wilco, and probably led to a lot of my musical interests of today. So she may be formative in my life in a way greater than I could measure in simple terms. Or not.

Elaine was coming to town, and she was going to arrive and depart somewhat on her own schedule, and I think I had some type of plans the day she was coming, and I wanted to let her stay anyway because she was a friend of mine.

And July freaked out! Completely!

"I don't want you letting some STRANGER into the house!"

During that entire time, July and me didn't talk. Then July put a lock on her bedroom door, on the inside so that I couldn't come in - as if I would have!

Elaine was only around for a couple of days. We stayed in the same bed, but we weren't fooling around, just platonic. But nonetheless this tweaked July in a big way. And she would not even make eye contact with me. So it was starting to become evident that maybe July had some other type of master plan for us moving in together, which she had not discussed with me, but maybe assumed to be the case.

Then, only a few weeks beyond that, Edna and I started spending a lot of time together (we'd been friends for 6 years, and she had come back to town about 6 months earlier, but it was around this time in early summer that we started getting close to "seeing each other"). I am not using a pseudonym for Edna either, because I really cannot hide from you the identity of the longest term relationship I have had to this point, and you're all going to know who she is anyway, so let's skip the charade. If she writes me an angry message here, I will comply and change her name to something like "Edna" (I did).

Edna and I started hanging out more and more, and this tweaked July to the brink of insanity. She would storm through the room, and slam her door, and not speak to me at all. And all this was within the first 2 months of living together. And then, out of nowhere, July informed me that she was moving out. Just like that. The landlord had no idea if July and me were a couple, or what, but it sure seemed weird to them, and it was weird for sure.

And then, due to mutually convenient circumstances, combined with a new romance, Edna and I ended up living in the Watertown house together.

I never spoke to, or saw July again after that. Not one single time.

1 comment:

  1. I like the notion of "Sarah's people."