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February 01, 2004

Weird Guilt.

I got a call from my friend The Astronomer the other night.

He had called around Christmas and my attempts to reach him since had been unsuccessful. As luck would have it he caught me first.

We were chatting and catching up when I mentioned Fabulous Babe's pregnancy like he knew. I instantly remembered that I hadn't had a chance to tell him yet. There were a couple of reasons: I had spoken to him preciously when FB was pregnant but it was still early in the pregnancy. The other reason?

He's in the middle of the final chapter of the book of his marriage. There aren't any kids involved but its still an unpleasant experience.

I was in their wedding in Baltimore. Some of the highlights: I walked his grandmother in law into the wedding and someone okayed spike heels for this southern matriarch for soggy Maryland turf. Every step I had to lever her out to the sucking sound of mud underfoot. Meanwhile his soon to be wife, now soon to be ex-wife, got tanked before the ceremony and by the time the reception started they needed the Hubble just to see her in orbit around Pluto.

With far more evidence as time has passed I'm now of the opinion, shared by most of their friends, that she's a self centered, emotionally crippled, manipulative witch.

But I digress.

So I hadn't said anything and let slip. What does he say?

"I'm so happy for you. The last I saw you were single, lonely and working and just living by yourself in your apartment. Then you moved to Canada and met Fabulous Babe. You fell in love and you got married. You followed her to Seattle and now the Twin Cities. You have a great house and now you're having a child and I couldn't be happier for the two of you. I want that and thought it was going to happen. It still will just a little later than I expected."

I was speechless at first. I stammered through an admission of feeling guilty. That of the two of us I thought he would have been the one to have kids first and that with everything going on in his life I hadn't told him. He just shut me up and said nice things about me, FB and Junior.

I still felt guilty. How did I ever wind up with friends this great?

So here's my resolution:

I had some serious surgery in Baltimore. When I needed a ride from the hospital his (then) wife gave me a ride back to my apartment while he drove my car. Before we got in her new Eclipse she emphasized that I was not to be sick in her new car. I remember spending the entire ride praying through clinched teeth that I wasn't sick. Head swathed in bandages I clutched a plastic bag with all my might and when we got to the apartment I stumbled / ran to the bathroom and threw up like there was no tomorrow. I remember between my gasping for breath she thanked me and then left.

He was so decent on the phone the other night that if they ever develop time travel I'm going to go back and be sick in her car. I told him this Friday night and he laughed. A lot.

It's the least I can do for a friend.


Posted by Jim at February 1, 2004 11:49 PM


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