Yes, Piksea is no stranger to heartbreak. No, I am not currently broken hearted. Mr. Handsome Honey and I have been together for 4 years and I wouldn't consider trading him for any other man in the world. It's just that I posted yesterday about Pickles and Sparky and the Sparky tale is quite the soap opera melodrama. I thought that maybe I would share it with you. If you are faint of heart, you may want to go instead to my book blog and read my commentary on the new Sue Grafton book, S is for Silence here. Otherwise, carry on.
Once upon a time there was a girl named Piksea and she and her ex-friend, now known as The Psycho Crack Whore (this is an accurate title, really quite literal, I'm not just being mean) decided to camp out for concert tickets. Why? Because Piksea had never done this before. Okay, not a good reason, but hindsight is 20/20. Now when I want to go to a concert, I just log into Ticketmaster.com and in a click or two I've got tix. However, then PCW and I made plans to go straight from work to the arena to get in line for tickets. PCW showed up at my house the morning of the camp out with no chair, no change of clothes, no cooler with drinks or snacks, nothing. I ran around and gathered up some stuff for her, packed my gear into my trunk and we were off. Instead of going directly to get in line, PCW wanted to stop off at a bar, making us hours later than we intended.
We finally make it to our destination and find the parking lot is filling up rapidly. PCW runs ahead to get in the line. I, of course, gather up the gear and follow behind. It takes me a few minutes, but not that long and when I get there, although I can not see the front of the line, the end of the line, or for that matter which direction is which, she seems to be in the middle of the part of the line that I can see. Apparently some guy let her in line. I was a little leery of this, but she wasn't moving and people weren't threatening our lives, so I just plunked down our stuff where she stood. As it turns out, the guy (who later bragged that he had given up beating his wife) let her in line... behind him. You can't do that! That is horrible. At least if you let someone cut in front of you, you are making some kind of sacrifice. To let someone in line behind you is really a crappy thing to do.
Once we get situated in line she starts. She's hungry, she's bored, blah, blah, blah. We knew we were doing this for weeks before we did it. She should have been prepared. But, no. Instead she amuses herself by whining and making me crazy. She wants me to go get her cigarettes, snacks, her jacket, etc. Finally, I turned around to her and said, "PCW, kiss my ass!" Just then, a head pops out of the tent of the people, who, we later discovered, we had cut in front of, saying, "I'd like to see that." Who was this disembodied head? Why, it was my future ex-husband. Yes, this was how we met Sparky. Like my title says, cute meet, right? Was I thinking I'm going to marry this man? No way. PCW, however, saw this little bit of attention and that was enough to get her out of my hair for a little bit. There's a male and he's speaking to us, so I know she will commence throwing herself at him immediately. And she did.
At first I just luxuriate in my tiny moment of peace and quiet. I only have to contribute minimally to the conversation, which is the way I want it and the way PCW wants it. It's a lovely evening, even from the parking lot of a Philadelphia sporting/concert venue. I know that she will be busy flipping her hair and propositioning this guy until he accepts whatever sexual favors she's offering (hopefully not in my car) and/or he blows her off. Soon, she needs someone to go with her to the car so she can change into sneakers and she asks her new potential beau if he will accompany her. I give him my keys, hoping that there will be no exchange of bodily fluids and only the changing of shoes. A couple of minutes later she comes back and does not look pleased. She tells me that when they got to the car, she was making her play and he said, "I really like your friend. Is she seeing anyone?" Yikes. This certainly is not a new situation for us, and it's never good.
We'd been having this problem since college. I made it my life's mission to avoid it. I say as little as possible to whoever she has set her sights on. I make a point of engaging in any meaningful conversation, no witty repartee, no extended eye contact, nothing that can be interpreted on any planet as flirting or an invitation to flirting. Now, it's not that I am this amazingly great beauty. I'm not, but in my defense I can honestly say, no one's ever run screaming, "Holy crap! Run for your lives! It's headed this way!" I'm smart and generally quick witted and actually, not too darn bad. I don't know if I'm defending my looks or trying to let you know that I'm not claiming to be a raving beauty. The whole thing has as much to do with PCW as me. She was always so abrasive and competitive, not just with me (despite my not being interested in competing at all), but with men, too.
Anyway, PCW goes into moping mode and decides to buddy up with guy in line ahead of us, the one who makes a point of letting us know that he doesn't beat his wife anymore and Sparky and I decide to take a walk. We walked around and around the arena, just talking as we passed the many hundreds of people lined up on the sidewalks. He wasn't even there for concert tickets. His friends, who, by now I had discovered we completely cut in front of, were camped out and asked if they could borrow his tent. He went to hang out with them for a while, set up the tent, have a few laughs with his pals. He wasn't staying the night, he wasn't going to the concert. He did, both.
I don't sleep well in strange situations. I don't sleep at all outside and on sidewalks. It takes most of a vacation before I can actually sleep through the night in a hotel bed. I'm not sure what they thought I was on (and I do know there were conversations about this), but considering that I didn't even have any caffeine in my system, I think it was just the newness of my little adventure that kept me awake and alert all night. There were little kids there doing gymnastics on the sidewalk. Sparky and I were talking and he saw me watching the kids and I told him that I did gymnastics for about 12 years. Somehow, I wound up doing a split (a full split, front, not straddle), not warmed up, at about 3 in the morning, on concrete, wearing sneakers. I just stood there and down I went to the ground. He always said that was what made him really fall for me.
By the time the ticket office opened, a huge wind and rainstorm blew through, it was April 15, the dogwoods had all blossomed and the petals were all blown off of the trees, and were stuck to the wet parking lot and sidewalks. Everyone in line was drenched and really tired. We got our tickets and headed back to my car. PCW was actually doing okay, Sparky was there with a couple of male friends so she decided to play "one of the boys" and she was feeling like she belonged. Sparky asked for my number and I gave it to him. We went our separate ways. By the time I sat on the edge of my own bed, I was already falling asleep. The next day Sparky called to ask me out.