“When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.”
~Unknown (Maybe Dog?)
Try to stay with me, here. This is going to sound convoluted (it is) but I swear its the truth.
Where is the best place to have a conversation about the conversation you are going to have with your mother regarding leaving your wife (which apparently the family loves) to marry your cousin (who also is currently married)?
Why, I believe the correct answer is the Metro Bus.
I listened to this guy because that is what you do when people are talking on their phone 12 inches from your ear, with their back to you. What is probably, and admittedly, more amazing to me is what was going through my head during this tell-all. Very public tell-all.
Beginning with discussions of wedding rings. Sounded nice, sort of sweet, you know, newly-wed gibberish.
And then talking about "the conversation" and "are you ok with me saying this..." which included some discussion of "well when she asks 'what about Beth' I will just remind her how she has heard me vent about her so much and I just have made the choice to be with someone else..." Followed by a short discussion comparing the two women and really what good was marriage when all you could think about was this other person who was FAR superior in every way. Oh, and so much better in bed, too.
My attention was clearly locked in on this conversation now. I couldn't actually believe I was hearing these things out loud on the bus, but it got better--much better. Or worse, depending on how empty or full your cup is.
"Well, when she says 'But she's your cousin...' I will just tell her I can't control how I feel..."
SCREEECH goes the record player and everyone on the bus turns and looks, mouths gaping, eyes wide in shock and awe.
That's what should have happened, anyway, after that part. Instead no one reacted although everyone heard it. And why not react? This is great stuff! Now we are really getting somewhere!! A guy on the bus talking to HIS COUSIN about the conversation he is going to have with his MOTHER about leaving his wife for her. Wow. Rich. And I thought the bus ride was dull.
The next thing I heard was "What, that time in the closet?"
"So you have had sex three times in the last 8 years?"
Pause. At this point, I thought maybe the cousin on the other end of the phone was single. Until this:
"Oh, so you have had more sex with me than with your husband in the last 10 years?"
Woah, daddy. This is no longer PG-13. Kids, you better go now.
Remember, this is on the bus.
And there is more. Much more sordid, icky details (apparently the Mother with whom the conversation is to be held is very detail oriented, so they had to get specifics straight--barf). However I don't want to share those. What was I thinking during all this? It is kind of an interesting thing to share. Do not worry, I won't be detail oriented. For you business types (the one of you reading this) I will keep it at the 30,000 foot level and use broad strokes.
I started out thinking it was kind of a cute conversation about newly-weds.
--Nice. Flowers and honeymoon and happy new couple getting married,
I was shocked and seriously curious when the fact came out that this guy was discussing the discussion he would have with mom re: leaving his wife.
--Morbid curiosity, voyeuristic weirdness. But stronger still came the searing feeling of why on EARTH is he discussing this in public? He clearly has been having an affair and lying to is wife and others. And he is sitting here talking about it on the fucking bus! And then... it was strange. I dissociated my personal feelings from it and thought of it another way. And please do not read this thinking I condone this sort of behavior. I feel certain people who know me will know this, but I just want to make sure there is NO mistake, I don't like it. However, I started thinking something like 'wow, he doesn't care who is hearing this. He is sitting here making obviously a difficult choice and about to have an intense conversation and he seems so committed and accepting of his choice that he can sit and talk about it freely, with a bus load of people around. And while still in revulsion to the whole concept, I suddenly had this hint of admiration for someone who truly did NOT care for what the people around him thought. And I realized, then, that I have always had that admiration for people who, regardless of the popularity of their choices, can stand up and say what they think.
Its his freakin' cousin.
That conversation (mercifully) ended. He quickly scrolled through his contact list and found someone, a guy, and started talking to him. It sounded very businessy, talking about making deals, working deals, options still in the works, who can swindle who---this guy sounded like a big time business guy. And then I heard the names of several NFL stars.
He was talking about trading fantasy football players as if it was a big time business deal, at 6:50 in the morning, fresh off a conversation that I would have been sick to my stomach about for MONTHS. Well, let's face it, my life will never be in a position to have that sort of conversation. If it was, I would be such a wreck I probably would take a swig of some of the fine chemicals we have here in the lab. But I wouldn't hang up and then talk FANTASY FUCKING FOOTBALL.
Head spinning, I got off the bus at the medical center to go through my day of writing and analyzing, this guy walking in front of me. I wondered what he did during the day. I wondered what on earth his life had been like. I wondered, also, what the other people obviously hearing this conversation on the bus thought. I wondered if they thought like I did.
Eventually I stopped feeling unnerved by that guy and settled into work.
I can't help but wonder how that conversation with his WIFE is going to go.