Monday, August 17, 2009

Arthur/Penny: Our little community

After all the mixed connections and other things in New York, Saturday was blissfully scheduled. Ray and I hadn't seen each other much all week - associates who play hooky have to make up their billable hours in bulk, apparently - but Saturday night we had tickets to Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal at the Bank of Boston Pavilion. It's a nifty venue down by South Station, picking up outdoor-friendly shows that won't fill the bigger venues. It's great for folks who live in the city and don't have a car, too - the bigger venues around here are out in Foxboro and Mansfield, and while there is technically public transportation there, it doesn't run on a concert-friendly schedule. Apparently, if you can afford tickets, you can afford a car.

I can walk to the Pavilion from my place downtown, so I told Ray to just meet us down there. I wasn't exactly busy, but I wanted some time to speak freely with Jessica, who was coming into town to see the show, one of her last big outings of the summer before heading back out west for her junior year.

She was wearing a Bonnie Raitt t-shirt when I met her at the train station, and gave me a big hug. We told each other we were looking good, and that was the case. She got her hair cut short for the summer, and the more grown-up look suits her. She's dropped a little more baby fat, and didn't have much trouble keeping up with me when I occasionally forgot about her shorter legs. I ask if she's been working out, and she says a little; she and Dana spent a lot of her truncated freshman year hanging out, and had shared some holidays and vacations afterward. Since all the original Jessica does is play ball, she found herself whipped into shape catching up. I asked if that was all they did, and she stuck out her tongue at me before sighing.

"I don't know if we should or not. We're friends, I think he's sexy, he likes me a little, and sometimes people assume we're dating, but every once in a while Mom or Parker will say something about us being like brother and sister and that just kills that idea. And... I don't know, i'd just kind of like my first time as a woman not to be tied in with all of this. But I want it to mean something, as opposed to being something I just get over with. Arrgh!" She let out a little yell and then folded her hands under her chin in "let's dish" position. "So, enough about my mother-pleasing non-existent sex life. Yours sounds much more exciting."

I couldn't argue with that, so I told her everything I've talked about here and then some. She lapped up all the details, and by the time I was done, she looked at her watch and noticed we were starting to cut it close, and after what I'd told her, she definitely wanted to meet Ray before the show.

Ray was a little surprised by her, asking how she became a fan upon seeing the t-shirt. Jessica choked back a remark about having been a fan before Luck of the Draw, instead playing up the young girl thing and saying that you don't, like, have to be ancient to like the blues, and how many women do you see that rock like her? Even if she was old enough to be her, like, grandma or something, she was way cooler than any of the Idol girls. Oh, and, yeah, Mom liked her.

He just shook his head at that. "You sure know an awfully wide variety of people despite only coming to Boston a year ago. Lyn, Ginessa, Jessica... I have trouble imagining what you all have in common."

Jess and I shrugged. It was a mystery.

The show itself was pretty impressive. Jess had a lonely single at the end of a row, but she didn't mind - it was just close enough that she could watch the stage as much as the projected image. We were closer - the firm had purchased a season pass - and had a great time. Not necessarily getting up to shake things around so much, but it was quality blues, and the pair spent a fair amount of time on stage together. Combine them and their too bands, and that's a lot of sound.

Jess found us again after the show, running up to us as Ray was kissing me and there was something nice going on between his hand and my tush. "Hey," she says, "I don't mean to interrupt, but if you're going to go out for drinks or something else us poor underage kids can't do until November, could you give me your keys?"

Ray's hand left my bottom. "I didn't realize your friend was staying."

"I wasn't going to - I was going to take the overnight bus to Montreal - but something came up and I can't go for another couple days, so I kind of need a place to crash, and I won't be able to get hold of Ashlyn until her late shift is over..." She shrugged. Ray sighed. "It's just... Liz hasn't found a new place, and I was kind of hoping to..." His gaze shifted to look down my cleavage, and he sighed again.

We did go out for drinks, and he escorted me back to my place before taking a cab ride home. I sympathized; it's not like women don't get grumpy if they thought they were going to get laid, but it does seem to be worse for men. And he was going to have to deal with Liz when he got back home.

I did have a nice morning hanging with Jess on Sunday, though she went to hang out with Lyn for most of the afternoon, and I wasn't really feeling up to that. Jess frowned, saying I really should forgive Lyn, that she's had it rough, and I kind of lost my temper a bit. We've all had it rough, I say, but we stuck together and tried to help each other when we could. Lyn, on the other hand, sold me out. Jess dropped it then, and didn't mention it when she got back to my place Sunday night, but when I dropped her at the train station, she did say that it didn't seem right for me to condemn Lyn for what she did while enjoying the fruits of it with Ray.

She's right, of course. But I still can't bring myself to pick up the phone and call Lyn.



fulg said...

There's a couple of references to "Liz" here where you seem to mean "Lyn."

But beyond that, I'm just wondering, and maybe this is too crazy...but have you thought about the possibility that Ray isn't Ray?

I mean, he disappeared for a couple of weeks. You know that Liz knows about the inn...seems like something worth thinking about, at least.

"Penny" (Art) said...

Not anymore. :)

You can drive yourself crazy worrying about people not being who they say they are, but it doesn't get you very far if you don't have any way to prove it. Let me just say that I'm not just dismissing things because of what the Inn does.