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What a strange week it has been.  As I mentioned before, I wasn’t too shocked with the news that I got on Tuesday, but it’s still an adjustment.  Wednesday, I was at Gentleman Caller’s house for a while, eating dinner, and distracting him from school work, then I left to meet friends for drinks.

I got outside, and couldn’t find my car anywhere.  I walked the length of the street over and over, eventually punching the panic button repeatedly just in case I had forgotten what it looked like.  The car was gone.  I called Gentleman Caller and said, “I feel like I’m losing my mind, but my car seems to not be here.”

He came outside, looked around, and announced, “Well your car can’t have been stolen, this is the East Side.”  I gave him a dirty look for that comment, and then he called his cousin who lives across the street, to see if she knew anything. “The white car?” she asked, “yeah, it got towed.”

It seems that I was blocking someone’s driveway, and they had my car taken away from me.  Let that be a lesson to everyone out there– don’t do that.

Gentleman Caller and I went to the police station a couple blocks away, where we found the door locked, and a tiny, blonde policewoman affixing giant sanitary napkins to a parked car.  I pretended not to see what she was doing for a moment, and asked her where my car would wind up after being towed.  She gave me a phone number, pulled the backing off another giant pad (with wings!) and slapped it onto the passenger’s side window.  “Are those adult diapers?” I asked her, “or just giant pads?”

“Just giant pads.” she said and then started telling a story about revenge.

The person who answered my phone call inquiring after my car, promptly muttered something I couldn’t understand then transferred me.  The next person looked up my plate, told me that yes, they had my car, and muttered that I would have to go somewhere to get it.

“Well, where is that?” I asked.

He sighed heavily, and muttered “hfjh.lf.lknmlEWR Washington Street.”

I cannot understand anything the police in this state say. It’s uncanny how ALL of them seem to have the thickest Rhode Island accents ever.

Gentleman Caller is really supposed to be using this time to write a paper that can determine the fate of his academic career, but I persuade him to drive me across town using the reason that I would rather not pay to have my car held overnight, and I cannot drive both his car and my own.

It has started raining heavily by this point.

Finding the proper building is a bit of a challenge since I couldn’t understand the number that the man on the phone had told me, and once we found the building, I had to make a phone call to Jewish Friend trying to figure out which door to go into.  After I got the release for my car, I had to then call the tow company and arrange to meet him fifteen minutes later after he finished cleaning up an accident.

By this point, Gentleman Caller has become anxious, “I don’t have time for this.  I’m sorry to be an asshole, but I really don’t have time for this.”

My agreement that I too, do not have time for this sounded a bit hollow since I was merely missing a night of drinking with friends.  Jewish Friend was called upon to relieve Gentleman Caller in the “get Andria’s car back” adventure, and he went back home to achieve.

45 minutes, and $125 dollars later, I have my crappy Malibu back, and Jewish Friend and I are eating pastry.  I mentioned to the tow-truck fellow that I had been laid off the day before (which I will be telling everyone who gives me goods and services for a good long while), and he talked the police officer out of ticketing me, saving me a cool $30.  He also informed me that I was barely blocking the guy’s driveway– he could have easily gotten around me– but apparently this guy is a total douche.  Speaking of revenge…

Then the following day, I rode to Kingston with Jewish Friend to work on my finals, forgot that I had driven to her house in the morning, and when she brought me to my place, my car was not there.

My heart stopped, and I was certain that the tow-truck guy was getting revenge on my for some imagined slight– I hadn’t been gracious enough about the ticket, I hadn’t looked properly horrified when  he told us the story about his niece being molested, I hadn’t said anything nice about his dog etc.

Since I locked my keys in my car the week before this, and now I keep misplacing my car, I will be fully paranoid for at least three months, perhaps longer.  At least now that I don’t have that job in Newport, I can almost stop driving completely– except now it’s cold out, oh bother.

My cousin Brad is a homosexual, always has been, since that’s how it works. Immediately after graduating from High School, he fled to Iowa where he worked a series of unglamorous jobs, but everyone in the extended family was very happy for him because he left his screwed-up homelife and never looked back. I haven’t actually seen him in over a decade, but remember him fondly because he was the cousin who was closest in age to me, and we used to have a lot of fun together.

At my brother’s high school graduation party, I was looking for any excuse in the world to not be there, so I volunteered to drive out to the Pamida and pick up film for my mother’s camera. My cousin Sara chose to ride along with me and about midway on our journey asked, “Do you think Brad is gay?”

“Who’s Brad?” I asked.

“Brad, our cousin, Bradley, do you think he’s gay?”

I pondered this for a bit, but all I could think up to say was, “I really haven’t thought about Brad in years. I know he used to be a janitor. Do you think he’s gay? What are you basing this on?”

“Well, I was just talking to his grandmother, and she kept going on about Brad and his “roommate”, and how well they get along, and what a nice boy he is, and how they’ve lived together for 4 years now…”

A couple years later, my brother saw Brad and his roommate at Brad’s sister’s wedding, and erased all doubt, “Brad is a gay man, and a little bit fabulous. Also, he asked about you, said you were sassy.”

It seemed to me like the entire family must have figured this out, but Midwestern Lutherans can turn a blind eye to almost anything that seems out of the usual. Brad’s roommate is from a small town close to where my parents live, and last time the two of them were visiting, Brad stopped by to say hi to my mother.

“He has grown up to be the nicest young man.” my mother gushed on the phone one night, “Especially considering what he grew up with. He is thoughtful, and polite, and I’m pretty sure he’s gay.”

She said this in a somewhat hushed tone, like maybe I didn’t know, or she shouldn’t say it out loud because that would make it real.

“Brad is gay, Mom, everyone knows that.” There was an awkward moment of silence and just to make sure she knew that this was not a bad thing I threw in, “and good for him!”

“Yes, he’s a good kid.” she admitted, “I really do like him.”

Now Brad and his roommate have purchased a home together, and Brad has made the career change to flight attendant. His grandmother could not be prouder, but still doesn’t have a clue.

Last weekend was the annual family reunion. I was unable to attend (and no one even offered to fly me out for it), but I guess fun was had by all. My mother’s cousin Mark was there, with a “friend”. Mark always brings a “friend” to family events such as these, and he has a penchant for short-shorts and tank tops with gold chains. Of course, no one seems to have figured that one out yet.