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Back on the Road, A Tale of Three Cars, A Voice From the Recent Past, What in God’s Earth am I Doing Now?

Back on the Road

Drivin’, drivin’, drivin’, 

Got my troubles on hold 
Just drivin’ down that highway 
My fossil fuel’s good as gold 
I’m lookin for that long lost road 
No sign of man, no sign of life “

— Sammy Hagar, Privacy
Well, it’s time for my next trip to Kenosha, WI.  As usual, I’m looking forward to it, though there’s a part of me that really wants to stay behind.  But that’s OK, it’s only a 7 day trip (9 after you count the day up and the day back).
Fun part is I’ve got a second trip to Kenosha in June – this time for 10 – 14 days!  Now, that’s some serious paycheck, so I definitely ain’t going to avoid that trip! 🙂
I’m planning a different sort of approach to my trip this time – usually I take off late, and plan on getting to Kenosha in the early morning.  This time, I’m trying to take off early in the morning, and drive through the day.  I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to see – I’ve seen one of the Covered Bridges of Madison County, and I’d like to see a couple more and take some pictures of them.  And there’s a Frank Lloyd Wright house along the way on the trip I’d like to get a couple of pictures of to.  Basically, I’m gonna slow the pace down just a bit.
Along the way I’m going to finally get my podcast / blog back up and running – I’m using the iPhone as a recorder to record probably something like 5 podcasts on the way up, and possibly do it again on the way back.  That’s 10 weeks of content to slowly dribble out over the next couple months, plus if it works, I’ll do it again on my way up and back from Kenosha for the second trip, allowing the MidnightRyder.org site to have quite a bit of content in the queue 🙂
After Kenosha’s second trip, I’ve decided I’m going to do something reallllly outlandish.  I’m taking a vacation.  OK, so it’s only a two day vacation.  I’m going to drive out to Colorado, visit Darlene and Larry and whoever is around up there, take a trek through Estes Park, then probably swing down and visit Clayon and Tisha if they are around (I don’t have travel dates yet, and won’t until the end of this trip.)  Devvi said she’d like to go with me for the Estes part of the trip, so I might have someone in tow with me (and a less boring trip.  Well, and it’s Devvi.  Pretty much a win-win thing.)
Balance.  Even with traveling, I’m determined to find a little balance in my life.
Oh, and for the hell of it, anyone who’s on Facebook, I’ll be “live blogging” my trek with pictures as I head down the road.  Just something interesting for me to do along the way.
A Tale of Three Cars
Car repair seems to have suddenly become a big time sync in my life.  Devvi’s car ended up burning five days of my time.  Erin’s car has had multiple trips, that have all resulted in… well, total confusion.  And then there’s the Caddy.
Doc’s Caddy has been in my posession for quite a while.  Doc had said something about buying parts for it, but since I was driving it I figured it was my responsibility.  Except no one pays their goddamned bills on time these days.  So I needed to drive it to Kenosha (so I can keep as much profit as possible from my trips), which means major restoration on it.  
Oil change, filter, plugs, air filter, wipers, repair the passenger wiper arm, new tires, new brake pads and rotors (never seen rear disc brakes THAT bad before!!!), new fuel filter, repair major oil leak (which ended up being a loose oil filter), and… well, there’s a couple more things I did that I’ve forgotten.  Doc paid for parts, and except the brake job, I provided all the labor.  WOW.
I’ve worked on a late 80’s Caddy before – it’s a fucking pain in the fucking ass.  ’97 Caddy?  They fixed all their fuckups.  I no longer view working on the Caddy as a potential time sink.  Everything but the rear brakes was a dream to fix – an engineer somewhere actually THOUGHT this stuff through!
So I’ve got two successful car repairs (even if one took quite a while): Devvi’s and the Caddy.  But what about Erin’s?  Well, I finally had to do something rare – set up for a mechanic to work on it.  It ended up mystifying me, Dad, Lance, and anyone else I could think to ask.  Fortunately Erin’s uncle Kenny happens to be a partner in a car dealership, and his partner is an ASE certified mechanic.  Cool 🙂  But it does mean I’ve shown more than my usual wisdom – I’ve given up on doing a repair myself, and let an actual expert handle it.  I’ve got some limits.
A Voice From the Recent Past
Maha Al-Emam called me out of the blue the other day.  We haven’t chatted much in a while – a couple of Facebook messages, and that’s about it.  She called while I was headed out to Devvi’s house, and we talked for about 20 minutes.  Honestly, I figured she had half forgotten about me after the Diio project was done – even our Facebook messages were pretty short things. 
One of the interesting things she told me was TV production work?  It makes her miss web development A LOT.  Really doesn’t pay THAT well, and it’s 18 hour days from the beginning of a project to the end. She’s freelancing, so it’s not full time work for anyone, so it’s a matter of taking anything she can get.  So she’s gotten some cool projects like working on the pilot of MTV’s “Building the Brand” and some Disney stuff, but right now is stuck on one she described as a cheap piece of shit.  Oh fun.  
Given that my goals involve producing video content, it’s cool to have some connections, no matter how minor (one of the kids from the camp I used to be a counselor at works for MTV also 🙂
What in God’s Earth am I Doing Now?
So I mentioned Devvi fairly extensively as part of my car repair story in a previous blog (my last entry, I think?)  I’d sum up the parts of the post concerning her and I as “interesting, comfortable, but ultimately leads nowhere.”
There hasn’t been a day since then that I haven’t talked to her for at least an hour on the phone or in person.  Most days I end up treking out to Cheney about the time the sun goes down (this week I was feeding horses for a few days again while Doc was at a conference.  Oh, and Doc got Physician of the Year from the prison system.  Cool.)  Usually I end up spending from like 9 PM to 2 or 3 AM with her, then trek back home.
I’m a fucking idiot.  Seriously.
I really enjoy her company – hell, there’s not a lot of women I can have a discussion on quantum physics with who are also funny and cute all at the same time.  But if I had a single fucking working brain cell in my head, I’d keep it like that – just enjoy the company and keep looking for someone to eventually spend my life with (or at least a couple of months of good rolls in the hay).  Yet for some reason my heart keeps drawing me towards her, to pursue the situation.  
SHE’S GAY GODDAMNIT!  Otherwise, I really wouldn’t have too much of an issue with the idea of pursuing the situation for a while at least.
Yet, there are anomalies here.  And after some of the discussions I’ve had with her, being a lesbian might not be as much of an absolute as I originally thought.  Obviously I’m not going to share her stories here.  When we ended up curled up together in bed, I was a bit astonished at it – it wasn’t a normal situation to say the least.  After some of the discussions we’ve had this week, I’m now downright shocked that it happened – that took a lot of trust on her part, one of those things I didn’t realize at the time.
After working on Erin’s car until nearly 9 PM, I realized I probably shouldn’t head over there – it was late already.  So I called her, and said as much – she says it’s not too late, I can come on over.  Hm.  “Well, I’m covered in grease at the moment.”  “You can borrow my shower if you want.”  Hrm – OK, what the hell, I head over there.
Tonight, for example, I give her a call (since we haven’t seen each other, so at 10 I give her the typical call that usually ends up being at least an hour long.  We talked for 6 hours one night on the phone – thank ye gods for ear buds.)  About 20 minutes in she mentions that she has to drop off Alex (one of her daughters) early in the morning and she’s tired, so I tell her if she needs to get off the phone, no biggie – I’ll give her a call while I’m on the road tomorrow.  “No, I’m not ready to get off the phone yet.”  We end up talking for another 50 minutes.
She calls me a couple mornings ago, and says “Well, I just thought I’d call and tell you how my day was going, and see how yours was going.”  I was working at the time, and had a very distracted conversation with her which only lasted about 15 minutes or so, that she ends with “I can hear that you’re busy, I’ll just see you tonight.” and we said goodbye.  That night I apologized and explained that one of my goals in life was if a…
This is where I just realized something.  In my mind, she’s become a significant other.  I was about to say a girlfriend.  She’s not my girlfriend in any way, shape, or form.  Oh dear god what the fuck!?
But I sidestepped a bit (and I know she heard it) and explained that well… one of my guilts from when I was married was that if Heather called, often I didn’t give her my complete attention, and there’s somethings I can do and carry on a conversation just fine, but tasks I can’t.  It’s a matter of respect – if you call and I’m in the middle of something, then I’ll step away from it and give you my full attention.  We talked about it a bit, and how much she had hatted that in previous relationships she had been in – playing second string to whatever the other person was doing.
A day later she ends up apologizing to me for the same thing – can’t remember what she was doing, but she was multitasking and talking to me.  She apologized, and I asked “Were you able to hold a conversation with me?” “Yeah.” “Were you distracted by what you were doing?” “No, not really.” “Then there’s no problem hon, don’t worry about it.  If you can’t hold a real conversation with me, as was the case when I was busy the other day, then it would be worth worrying about.”
So it’s obvious we enjoy the heck out of each other’s company.  But she’s isolated – until Friday, she didn’t even have Internet access there at her house (now fixed, thankfully.)  Maybe now that she can reach out to her friends again, we’ll end up chatting less, until it finally fades away again like our previous friendship years ago (in fact, that’s exactly what I had expected to happen anyway, just much sooner.  I had planned on helping her get setup here in Kansas, since she was doing it under extreme circumstances, get her introduced to a few new social circles like Twitter, but really hadn’t planned on spending this much time with her.)
Sunday something sort of when “sproing” in my brain – I slipped a gear.  The lesbian thing came up quite often, almost to the point of being a sort of way of putting distance between us, or driving a point home, IE, “I’m a lesbian, no barking up this tree please.”  Yet… there’s all of this other stuff that just keeps adding up in a way that doesn’t match that.  We did our goodnight hugs, and I turned to leave.  Then I turned back around.  “OK, look, here’s the deal – in about a minute, I’m going to kiss you.” I figure, what the hell – either she completely blows me out of the water with a “We’re just friends speech,” or we end up kissing.  Either way, I get my answer and things move on in either direction, and I don’t feel quite so confused.  Stupid really, because if it’s something iffy, I’ll end up putting it down the toilet quickly.  If it is on the friend only side of things, then I jeopardize the friendship.  Not one of my best moments.  But either way, the question would be answered I guess.
We chatted for a minute or so, and she paused then said “I’m not ready yet.”  Hm. Well, I had basically expected a yes or no sort of thing – the fact that there was yet another possible grey area sort of answer wasn’t really on my list of possibilities.  Oh well.
The next day I didn’t call or txt until she txted me – I figured if I screwed something up, I’d give her an easy out.  Nope, about noon she txted me, and things continued like normal, and I ended up over at her house until 3 AM again.
In the end, I’m just left with a big ol’ “What the FUCK am I thinking?!” in this situation.  Maybe after I get back, I’ll actually get my head together and act reasonably.  

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