A Tale Of Two Garths. Chapter Ten. Leather Handbags and Lost Inheritance.
The next morning came way too soon, but luckily our twenty something year old livers were there to help us greet the day. It was wedding day and I had a feeling of sadness as I thought of my dad growing into manhood and taking a wife. Why I remember when he was just a 6’5 card shark who would laugh out loud as he would school other men in the game of Texas Hold’em. I remember it like it was yesterday. Probably because it was yesterday. But now it was time for him to leave my comforting nest of caesar salads and full tanks of gas and walk hand in hand with Violet off into the sunset. Well, at least off into the local Florist/Wedding Chapel.
The four of us entered the Florist/Wedding chapel and I wanted to kick my dad for not taking Violet to a nicer place. I mean come on, he’ll spend a fortune on one steak but when it came to getting married we were going to do it in a back room with some guy named Earl? But this was what they both wanted. She was dressed in a baby blue pants suit and my dad was dressed in a suit without a tie. Hung and I both wore dresses and realized pretty quickly that we had over dressed for the occasion. Well now I just feel like an ass. But to be honest the wedding was really beautiful. Violet asked me to be her maid of honor and Hung served as guest. As Violet and my dad exchanged vows I found myself crying. Odd thing was, I was the only one crying. I wasn’t even the one getting married and I was the blubbering idiot in the group. Who knows, maybe it was because I was watching my inheritance get cut in half. Maybe it was because the ring my dad placed on Violet’s finger could feed a third-world country and I felt sad for the poor starving children. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because for the first time in my dad’s life he had actually found a woman that he could love and commit himself to. It’s been over 16 years since that day and they are still going strong. I never thought there was a woman alive who could tame that man.
After the ceremony we all went out to a nice lunch where Hung and I ate packets of sweet n’ low and some lemons. And then my dad and Violet did the most romantic thing I have ever seen any newlywed couple do. She hit the blackjack tables and my dad went to play cards trying to recoup some of the money he had spent on the ring.
With minor hangovers and nothing to do, Hung and I braved the Laughlin summer heat and went out to lie by the pool. We just sat there drinking water and piña coladas, sweating out all bodily fluids faster than we could replenish them.
“It is so hot out here. How do these people stand it?” Hung asked as she sat up in her lounge chair and surveyed the pool.
“Look at them, It’s like they don’t even notice the heat. Something is wrong with them,” she continued, gesturing towards the old people who had become so wrinkled from constant exposure to the sun that they doubled as leather handbags.
“I’m trying not to think about it,” I told her as I wiped the sweat off my upper lip and neck with my t-shirt that was lying beside me. But she was right. She and I were literally melting and the older, leathery people were just laughing amongst themselves almost daring the sun to try and finally do what age and disease had not yet succeeded at.
“I’m going to go into that little store that’s inside. I’m going to buy a soda or something,” Hung said in a voice that told me she was close to defeat. Don’t let them beat you Hung. You’re young; they’re old. You can’t let them win! But as time passed, and passed, and passed, Hung never came back. Where the fuck is she? I peeled myself off my lounge chair and walked toward the doors that led to the pool. Once I opened them the Hung mystery was solved. There was my friend, on the floor, not looking good. Not looking good at all.
“Hung, are you okay?” I asked her as she sat on the floor with her back and head propped up against the wall.
“Stacy, I don’t feel so good. I think I have heat stroke. I think you should call 911,” she told me in her “I’m going into the light” voice.
“Hung, I think you’re going to be alright. Just stay here.” I didn’t even know why I bothered saying that last part; it wasn’t like she was going to go anywhere. I went into the store that Hung never made it into and bought a couple of bottles of Diet Coke and went back to Hung and put one of the unopened bottles on her forehead and the other one on the back of her neck.
“Just stay here, I’m going to go get our stuff. You’re going to feel better soon. I promise.” By the time I got our stuff and got back inside she had already started drinking the diet coke that was on her forehead. She was going to live.
The rest of the time we spent in Laughlin was pretty uneventful. We did some bowling. Ate some pancakes to prove to my dad that we did in fact eat. And actually won a little money. Of course we were driven by greed and soon lost it all back to the same casino. Stupid slots. Their shiny bells and whistles are just so damn mesmerizing. While I was driving Hung and myself through the desert towards home my mind began to wander. I looked over at my sleeping friend and couldn’t help but think, Why didn’t I sell her? I could have gotten a good price. I also thought about my acting career or lack thereof. And last but not least on my list was my relationship with Garth. Truth be told, I was starting to get lonely. I was having fun with my friends but was tired of always having to say, “I have a boyfriend” when a guy asked me out. Did I? Did I have a boyfriend? Or was I just putting myself on hold wishing and hoping for something that wasn’t really there? But before I could delve too far into assessing my life and it’s current circumstances I heard a very rare sound that made me smile every time. My pager had just gone off. I had an audition.
To be continued…
Love it? Hate it? Let me know! Send questions, comments, brownie recipes or random brainfarts to: firstname.lastname@example.org