The tale of two Garths. Chapter 29. Just go away voice of reason.
With the new boobs in place I had found a level of confidence I didn’t even know had existed.
“I feel amazing!!” I told my dad over the phone after I had moved back into the apartment I shared with Garth. My dad and stepmom had taken great care of me, but it was time to let them get back to their lives. I was able to drive myself back and forth to Dr. Semel’s office so he could check my progress and take what had become the customary boob mug shots.
“Turn to the side. Turn to the other side. Face forward,” he would tell me. I couldn’t help but wonder what was next on the agenda. A line up maybe?
“Sir, can you please point out the breasts that attacked you? It’s okay sir, they can’t see you through the glass.” But all in all, both Dr. Semel and I were very pleased. He got in the Medical Journals, and I got into the tube tops and spaghetti strap tops I had long been dreaming of.
With my new found confidence I felt it was time to take my non-existent acting career to a whole new level.
“You have to introduce me to your manager. Pleeeeeease,” I begged my friend Eddie, who had been booking national commercials and some small roles on TV. “I need representation!” After the tiniest bit of pleading, (I really didn’t have to beg at all. Eddie loved me☺), he set up a meeting with me and his manager, Sheryl.
When I first walked into Sheryl’s little office in Studio City, I was nervous. I had headshots in hand and was ready with my professional button switched into the on position. She called me into her office and had me sit in a chair directly across from her and before I knew it we were both laughing and hitting it off. I actually enjoyed myself so much it didn’t feel like an interview at all.
“I’ll take you on,” she told me. “I already have quite a few female clients, but none that you should be in direct competition with.” I was so excited. Now I had one of the largest commercial agents in LA and a great manager. I was on my way.
But before I could become famous I still had to pay the rent so off to work I went. It was a weekend day shift, and Garth and I were both scheduled to wait tables at the same time. My station was relatively easy. But waiting tables to me usually was. Garth, however, didn’t really have the temperament for the job. Before long he got sat with a 15-person party. I could already see it in his eyes. That look of panic that all servers get from time to time. That “Oh shit make it go away” look. But it wasn’t going to go away. All 15 of those people were going to want to eat and drink and he was going to have to be the one to provide that service for them. It didn’t take long before he got behind and the stress was emanating from his body. I was trying to do my best to not only take care of my already full station, but to help him with his as well. As his tension grew so did mine. I could feel my shoulders move towards my neck as my muscles tightened. I could feel his anger as he walked past my body. I was literally a sponge for all his emotions and I couldn’t stop it.
After he got all of his drinks out and orders taken I helped him drop off his appetizers to the table as well. I had served parties this size and more without freaking out. Why couldn’t he just calm down?
“Why are those girls just standing the kitchen talking when I have food up?” he snapped at me complaining about the other waitresses giggling and henning it up in the kitchen. He had a point, they were just back there talking, the way they were always back there talking. That’s just what they did. But instead of asking for help nicely, I let his anger affect me, and then transferred it onto them.
“Do you see all the food in the window? Do you think you could stop talking for one minute and help Garth get his food out?” I snapped. I could tell by the size of their mouths hanging open that they were in utter shock at my outburst. I was always the happy waitress. I was always the nice waitress. Hell, I was always the stoned waitress. Nothing bothered me. One by one all three of them grabbed plates, carried them out to Garth’s table and delivered them to their owners. I could feel the energy shift in the restaurant. Now not only was Garth pissed off, but all three of the other waitresses were as well and they had a target. Me.
After all the food was delivered and Garth calmed down, he was feeling much better. Good, I’m so happy for you. I thought to myself. He was going to be just fine. I was the one who was going to have to face the blond firing squad in the kitchen. I took a deep breath and made my way through the swinging doors.
“I’m sorry I snapped at you like that,” I told them. Tanya just looked my way and the look she gave me told me my apology wasn’t going to be good enough, I was probably going to have to spend some time in waitress exile for a while.
“I don’t like you when you’re around him,” my overly honest friend Kirsten told me. The thing about Kirsten is, she can piss you the hell off sometimes, but she will never lie to you. And that’s why I love her. So when she said these words I felt it cut through me like a knife. She was right. Him working with me WAS affecting my mood and my attitude at work. And I secretly wished he would quit.
Work aside, things between Garth and I were really going well. We got along great at home. But that’s probably because I would do pretty much anything and everything to please him. We started spending more time with Becky and Ashley who we not only worked with, but he had also known since he was 16. It was nice. I was starting to make some really good girlfriends. I had started to become so close with them that I even hung out with them sans Garth. Life was good.
Until one night roughly three months after we moved in together. I had worked the night shift at Stanley’s and got home around 11:00. Garth had had the night off and was having a boy’s night out. He was out in the world with Scott and three-balled Paul. Exhausted from my shift, I sat on the futon, drank a glass of wine, and watched some TV. I must have dozed off because before I knew it, it was 2:45 am. Considering the bars close at 2:00 I was getting a little worried about Garth. You know how the mind works. Oh no, what if he got drunk and got into a wreck? What if he got pulled over and got a DUI? What if there was a giant earthquake and the earth sucked him up and buried him alive? Too bad number three didn’t play out. So I paged him. He didn’t return my call. 3:20 am. I paged him again. No return phone call. 4:00 am. Page. Nothing. I laid down in the bed we shared and tried not to let my mind wander too much but no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop it from going places I didn’t want it to go. 4:45 am, 5:05 am, 5:12 am….. I couldn’t stop myself. I had to know where he was. But he never called back.
It was a little after 6:30 when the front door opened and Garth walked in the house. I had been up all night. I was visibly tired and my eyes were red and swollen from crying.
“Where were you?” I asked him. My heart already knew the truth.
“I was at Paul’s new place,” he told me with no apology in his voice or words.
“I paged you but you never called me back.”
“He doesn’t have his phone hooked up yet,” was his excuse. But I knew better. I knew that if he really wanted to call me back he would have found a way. I just stood there looking at him with tears in my eyes willing myself to ignore what I knew. Just go away voice of reason. I’m not ready for you yet. I felt so alone at that moment. I had given up the black and white tiled floors to live there with him. I had put my money into our bills and furniture. I had put all my eggs in one basket. All I had to hold onto at that moment in time was that one basket. Because I just couldn’t bring myself to let go.
To be continued…
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