Zonked Out

I was a big ole party pooper tonight. After shamelessly inviting myself to Pat’s Friday night, I showed up, drank a glass of wine, gabbed halfheartedly, and whizzed home. Earlier, I was so psyched to get out! I tossed the baby in the crib with one hand while picking up the car keys with the other.

But the hot drive over made me drowsy, despite the blasting AC and blaring radio. After I arrived, I flopped down on the couch next to an overworked and exhausted Rodeyo. We mindlessly watched a re-run of Shrek on TBS, feeling sleepier by the second. Chuck joined us a few minutes later, enviably chipper. He sat between Rodeyo and me, making pleasant conversation. I perked up when I recognized that his manner of speaking was oddly familiar. He spoke with an unusual clipped precision. His words were distinctly enunciated (especially the t’s and s’s) and the cadence of his speech strongly resembled–Crispin Glover! Joy!

I’ve run into Chuck about a half dozen times, but this was the first time I noticed him. A quiet, bespectacled member of the high IQ crowd (150), Chuck has amber eyes that coordinate unexpectedly with his orange hair, which he wears braided tightly to the nape of his neck. Lean, mustachioed, and dressed conservatively in chinos and a worn button-down shirt, I hung on his every word. Upon realizing I was scrutinizing him, he became embarrassed and flustered. I noted that his ancestors would have been Vikings, and politely moved my focus to the lovely glass of wine Pat brought me.

With wine bottle in hand, Pat and I retired to the back porch. She discussed her work as an accountant at NMSU, including the impending close of the fiscal year, complete with associated deadlines and psychotic co-worker reactions. Naturally, her work has been outrageously draining and included several hours of additional work earlier this morning and afternoon. Poor tired girl!

Me, well, I was so zonked. The baby is teething, and I am coping with the psychological effects of the dual loss of our television (broken!) and my computer (Egor hosted his Russian DVD festival on my computer)! Usually, the hub of great merriment, the back porch turned into a scene from Shaun of the Dead, with two tired girls replacing fine English actors.

Pat looked at me and I looked at her and we simultaneously agreed to get together later, when we had more energy. Sometimes you need to breathe the same air as your best friend and then go home and sleep. Ironically, we both perked up as she walked me to my truck, and we chatted amiably for several minutes. The subject of Chuck came up. She said, “You know what surprised me about him? He’s only 21 years old!” To which I replied, “Whaa?!” Maybe it’s the mustache or dignified demeanor, but I would have sworn he was in his early thirties. Whoa.

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