A Tale of Two Garths. Chapter 23 – Stolen Hubcaps and Pissed Off Parents.
After the Pig Roast I had jumped back into my normal routine in LA and Garth jumped back into his in San Diego. My acting classes were going really well, I was auditioning regularly, and my job was good. But I was starting to have a little trouble on the home front.
Claire and I had begun butting heads. Actually I should probably rephrase that, Claire had gone completely crazy and I was trying to figure out different non-traceable ways to kill her. She had turned 21 right before I had moved in and had started off the year with a bang followed by a DUI. So by the time I had moved in she was already in hot water with her parents and was attending court mandated AA meetings. I don’t think she actually learned anything from the meetings, but she did get an opportunity to hang out with some really cute guys and smoke a ton of cigarettes. So she was pretty happy on that end. I loved Claire. Still do. Actually out of the three of us she is the one who is probably the most motherly. She even belongs to the Milk Mafia now. If you would have told me that she would become a card carrying member for the booby brigade back when I was living with her, I would have laughed so hard I would have shot vodka infused breast milk all over your face. But you never know what people will do. And that’s what made her so damn frustrating.
For the most part Claire was just Claire. Fun loving, dancing in grocery stores, falling off of podiums, trying to embarrass Hung and I Claire. But then she started dating Garth’s friend Scott, Claire started to unravel a little bit. Claire had lived a sheltered life her whole life. I’m talking sheltered. She was always the good girl. The perfect daughter, the pretty blond girl in school everyone wishes they were, and the always faithful, loving, dutiful girlfriend. She had the same boyfriend for years in high school, Garth’s brother. And while she was being loving and faithful to him he wasn’t showing her the same respect. So when she eventually came to terms with the fact that it was time to move on she did. Right into the arms of a convicted felon, his name was Ramon. When I first met Ramon I was open to him. Hell let’s be honest, if you’ve been reading my stuff you know I’m far from being an angel. But Ramon was in a whole other class. He had done time. Like real time. The people I knew had done small time. Like 24-48 hours. Ramon on the other hand had been in the clink long enough to have made a couple of license plates. Seriously, if you’re from Cali go out and touch your license plate and thank Ramon. He worked hard on that.
So Claire and Ramon were an item. Awesome. And Hung and I are hiding our valuables (which for me was my weed) whenever Ramon came over. One night I was sitting in my bedroom minding my own business, when Ramon sauntered in.
“How’s it going Stacy?”
“Good. How are you Ramon?” What does he want?
“Good. I’m good.” he said just standing in the middle of my room with his slick black hair, white wife beater, dickies, and covered in tats. I just sat on my bed and watched him as he made his way up to my dresser (Oh no, he’s located the pot!) and leaned over and started looking at the photographs I had there. Whoa that was close. I wasn’t really irritated as I was curious as to what he wanted.
“Hey, I know this picture,” he said excitedly. “I was at this party!” he said pointing to the picture of me and one of my best friends Kristina sitting on our couch in San Diego.
“That was in Pacific Beach. I don’t think you were there,” I told him.
“No really, I was at this party,” he said again with utter conviction.
“Why would you be at my birthday party?”
“I don’t know. But I swear I was at this party. Your house had a back yard that was fenced in with some banana trees. And you had some beach cruisers by the window and somebody lived in a loft…” And he just went on describing my house. Oh my God! Criminal Ramon was in my house and we were all so busy partying we didn’t even notice him. That probably explains what happened to the three rolls of toilet paper and duct tape that went missing. After we had put two and two together Ramon and I found out that he was a friend with our old neighbors who ran a clothing/ tattoo business in PB. Not the nicest of guys but a good guy to have on your side. And luckily he had always been on our side. I was actually starting to warm to Ramon. You know he’s not such a bad guy after all. I thought as he stood in my room.
Before long Claire had come to my room to retrieve her felon, I mean date, and they went out for the evening to steal some hubcaps or do a drive by. You know, just your usual Friday night. After they left I kind of felt like an asshole for judging Ramon. He was actually a nice guy. Maybe he had just gotten himself in a jam. It happens to all of us from time to time. And then Hung walked in my room to let me know my dickhead radar was not only still intact but that it was working perfectly.
“So did Ramon hit on you?” she asked with a huge smile on her face and mischief in her eyes.
“Because he told me he could totally have you if he wanted.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yep,” she said barely able to contain her laughter.
“He bet me he could seduce you, and I told him to go for it,” she continued in full on hysterics.
“What an asshole! I would never bone that guy!” I told her. But the problem wasn’t with me. It was with Claire. She was with an asshole and he was going to have to go.
After that night I never saw Ramon again. I don’t know exactly what Hung said to Claire but it was enough so that Ramon not only didn’t get to try and see what my panties looked like, he wasn’t go to get to see Claire’s either, and that was good with me. That’s when Scott came into the picture. Something about Scott made Claire go off the deep end. And I think I can tell you why. There is just something about Scott that drives women wild. Insane really. They will do anything for him. And I mean ANYTHING! He has never used his powers on me personally, but I have heard of them. I still hear talk of him today around campfires and in legends. He is the kind of guy that will run you a hot bath and take care of all your needs. He is the kind of guy that will hang on your every word and make you feel like you are the only woman he has ever, and will ever notice. He is the ultimate destroyer of women. I have seen him lift them up and I have seen him tear them down.
Claire and Scott started out of the gate hot and heavy and before I knew what was happening I was running into Scott in the mornings.
“Oh… hi Scott how are you? I…um should probably go put some pants on,” I said to him one time as I stood there in my underwear making coffee in the kitchen. And of course he was such a gentleman his eyes never wandered below my waist. As a matter of fact he kept eye contact with me the entire time. Impressive! He wined her, he diner her, he…..her and she was loving every minute of it and Hung and I were happy for her. That was until their relationship started creeping into our lives.
The first sign of the Scott/ Claire virus was around three in the morning when I was attacked by three drunks in my bedroom. Fuck! Why don’t I ever lock that door? Was all I could think as Scott’s friend Ryan laid down next to me in bed.
“Hello Stacy!” he smiled with his Hollywood producer smile. All he was missing was a smoking jacket and don’t think he didn’t own one, because he did.
“What are you doing?” I asked to no one in particular.
“I have to be up tomorrow by 7 because I have an audition on the morning.” I informed them. But their drunk asses didn’t care. It was party time and apparently my room was the place to be. I was laying in my bed holding the covers over my half naked body just waiting for the disco ball to fall from the ceiling so we could get our groove going. But they didn’t give a crap about the audition that could made me a giant pile of cash and solve a good portion of my money problems, teeth included. They just stayed in my room giggling and having a good time.
“Please get out.” I finally said almost and hour later totally defeated. It was all I had left. The eye rolling and subliminal body gestures where wasted on the wasted.
“Hey, let’s go jump on Hung!” Ryan yelled enthusiastically as he jumped from my bed and ran for the door followed by the other two who I had expected to see on a future episode of Cops. Drunk In Public!
The next morning I was tired and pissed off. I was drinking coffee by the cup full trying to pump some life into my veins so I could look and feels somewhat decent for my upcoming shampoo audition when Hung walked into the kitchen.
“What the fuck happened to you?” I asked looking at a huge gash in her chin.
“Claire,” she hissed.
“Did they do that?” I asked pointing at her bloody chin.
“No, they were in our room last night and wouldn’t leave so I got pissed and went to the Gym at about 5 o’clock this morning. I was so mad I just ran on the treadmill trying to work it off and that’s when I tripped, fell, hit my chin and then to top it off the treadmill shot me backwards off into the wall and I hit my head. I’m going to kill her when she gets home.” When Hung told me this story I could see the wheels turning in her little demonic mind. I didn’t know what she had planned, but I did know that Claire might want to think about moving to another state for her own safety. I of course sucked at my audition. It wasn’t like it took a rocket scientist to pretend to stand in the shower and wash my hair, but I did have to look good doing it. All the casting director could bring himself to say to me was “Thank you,” and send me to the zombie auditions down the street. I hate you Claire.
Claire’s behavior became more and more unpredictable as time wore on, and Hung and I never knew what to expect from her or when to expect it. We pretty much just enjoyed her when she was around and feared her when we slept. It was 5 am when then the Scott/Claire virus struck again. This time the house phone rang.
“Hello,” I said into the receiver.
“Is this Stacy?” a woman’s voice on the other line asked me.
“Yes,” I answered back. Who could I own money to that would call me at 5 am? It doesn’t sound like Dr. Chin. If she calls me a pancake I’m hanging up on her.
“This is Susan. Claire’s mom.”
*Silence. I had no idea what she wanted me to do with this information.
“We are supposed to be going to Belize for a month and Claire was going to pick us up and take us to the airport. She’s 20 minutes late.”
“Hold on,” I told Claire’s mom. I got out of bed and went into Claire’s room and sure enough, no Claire.
“I don’t know where she is Susan, but she’s not here. Maybe she’s on her way to you right now.”
“If we don’t leave now we’re going to miss our plane,” she told me panicked.
“Susan, I’m sure she’s fine. You get a cab and I’ll page her. I promise I will find your daughter,” I told her. I had an idea of where Claire was and who she was with but in the back of my mind I was still a tiny bit worried. I didn’t think she would ever ditch her parents. I hung up with Susan and began frantically paging Claire who never returned any of my calls. I spent part of the morning on the phone with Claire’s parents who were now at LAX encouraging them to go on their trip, part of the morning paging Claire, and another part of the morning on the phone with Susan’s best friend assuring her that Claire was alive. For now.
It was around 10 when Claire casually walked in our front door. I was so far passed mad that I couldn’t even yell at her if I had wanted to.
“Did you get any of my pages?” I asked her with no expression on my face and no emotion in my voice.
“Yea,” she said looking scared.
“Why didn’t you answer them?’
“Because I…” and she started in on a long list of excuses. I held my hand up to stop her.
“Your parents almost didn’t go to Belize because of you. I told them to go. They are worried sick Claire.”
“You need to get away from me right now if you know what’s good for you,” I told her. I didn’t know what I intended to do to her but I had a feeling it might involve some slapping and hair pulling and I didn’t want it to come to that. I went back into my room and I called Claire’s moms best friend back and told her I had located Claire.
“Where was she?” she asked me.
“She is going to have to explain all that herself,” was all I could say. I had done my job. I had located the fuckup. And it only took me a little over 5 hours to do it.
After I made sure Claire had picked up the other line so she could explain herself to her mothers best friend, I crawled into my bed to catch up on some much needed sleep before my shift that night. As I closed my eyes I saw the future. It was me, in an apartment, and I was living alone. And the future looked good.
To be continued…
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