Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Mother of Twins

I met TMOT at Rubio's for lunch today. She's the same as ever: wide-eyed, effusively chatty, and as electric as a caged jaguar after two pots of industrial-strength coffee. TMOT at times makes me think she was recorded at 33-1/3 and is being played back at 78. It sounds scary, but I mean it in a good way. She's a really neat person.

TMOT and I talked (that, of course, is a charitable way of describing a conversation with TMOT — the journalistic way would be to say that she talked while I listened, smiled, nodded, and waited for her to breathe...which she rarely does, leading me to surmise that her mutant superpower is the ability to inhale through her eyelids) about our kids (her twins are age seven, doing well, and the proud new owners of my George of the Jungle 2 screener), our work (we have some remarkably similar projects going on, but her description of her office's political environment immediately drove from my mind any feeble throbs of nostalgia for Cubicleville), and, of course, JK. TMOT shared scoop about JK's mysterious new fiancé — none of it especially salacious, incriminating, or mirth-inducing, I regret to report. He sounds like a decent fellow. ("You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you." "You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.")

I wondered whether TMOT herself has such a fellow in her life anywhere, but couldn't find it in myself to ask. It's always been the unasked question. As I've written before about TMOT, for as well as I know her, I really don't know her very well at all in many ways. I've never heard her mention a "someone" in all the time we've known each other. Obviously, somewhere in the past there was her boys' father — always referred to only as "the boys' father," never as "[Insert masculine given name here]" or as "my ex-[husband, boyfriend, lover, mailman, cabana boy, whatever]" or even "that lying, cheating, no-good son-of-a-sailor." I have no clue what his name is, or what he does for a living, or why he is "the boys' father" and not something more current. I don't even know whether TMOT and he were married, or in a euphemistic "committed relationship," or merely ships colliding in the night (all right, pipe down — I didn't mean it like that, you nasty-minded trolls). And I still don't think it's a question I have any right asking, curious though I may be. If she had ever thought it was important for me to know, she'd have addressed it. Since she never has, I presume it's off-limits territory, and I respect that.

Fascinating new observation: TMOT reminds me a little of my college girlfriend, hereafter to be identified as MJD. They are nothing alike physically or psychosocially — which is probably why the similarity never occurred to me before today — but they share some personality quirks. Like TMOT, MJD was highly intelligent (which makes one wonder what she ever saw in me) and driven to succeed (she graduated with honors and put in a year in a European study program, despite losing both her parents within a year of each other just as she began college). Also like TMOT, MJD was, to quote myself, "wide-eyed, effusively chatty, and as electric as a caged jaguar after two pots of industrial-strength coffee." She could be incredibly difficult to get a word in edgewise with once she got wound up. She wasn't that way 24-7 — and at the time, I'll confess, it seemed mostly cute — but it was enough that a lifetime of it would have earned me space in the Charlie Manson wing at Vacaville. Things go as they go for good reason. (I wonder what she's up to, after 23 years? I hope life turned out for her — she went through a lot of hell. Some of which was me.)

But I digress.

In all, TMOT seems well and happy, for which I am thankful. She is, as I noted, a really neat person, and deserves a nice life. Seeing her, though, reminded me how isolated I am in my little 19-inch monitor world all day, every day. Note to self: Get out more. Interface with real human beings once in a while. (Music rehearsals and church don't count.)

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