Thursday, April 22, 2021

A Conversation on Bubble

 A fifty-three-year-old woman messaged me on Bubble this week. Her profile says she is a widow. Her husband died four years ago. She enjoys college football, concerts, plays, travel, and hanging out at home with someone special.

Though she is three years younger than me, she looks older, and my photos are not filtered like hers. She is not an ideal match, but I go along with the conversation and give it a chance for the sake of being open-minded.

Katie: Hi, how's it going.

Bathwater: Hey, I'm good. Are you enjoying the snow?  :) I was hoping it would be 75 soon.

Katie: Good morning. Not at all! I was hoping to be lying in the sun soon.

Bathwater: I know! I get my second vaccine shot today. I was hoping to be all set and ready for summer.

Katie: I had my second one on April 13th.

Bathwater: So what are you looking to do this summer?

Katie: Everything! I'm hoping concerts and sporting events will be open.

(I read this as she needs to be entertained.)

Bathwater: It would be nice to see a concert again. I am looking forward to getting out on my bicycle. That is only weather-dependent, so it should happen soon.

Katie: Nice

(At this point, her answers get short. Not a good way to spark interest.)

Her profile says she works as an office manager at a dental office. So I say.

Bathwater: So you must be working in the office full time now. We haven't started doing that at my office yet. I'm not looking forward to going back to the commute. There is no point.

Katie: No, I am retired.

(I am thinking, 'At fifty-three? the husband must have left you a nice pension and life insurance policy.')

Bathwater: What do you do now that you have free time?

Katie: Anything I want.

(I take this to mean--nothing at all. She needs to be entertained. This conversation is just another source of entertainment for her, and I have lost interest.)

Bathwater: I am not ready to retire, but last year, I managed to take a 24-day road trip across the southwest. We visited several national parks. I wrote and published a novel and put in about 400 miles on my bike despite Covid.

Katie: Nice.

That is where I am leaving it. There is no point. I don't find her the least bit entertaining or unique.

Shots, Shots, Shots,

 It snowed Tuesday night. Just enough to cover the lawn. The temperature will only hit the low forties today. We won't see seventy until next Tuesday. I've been struggling with my weight these last two months. Seems like the more I workout, the more I want to eat. Hopefully, summer will stop that.

I jumped into the truck and headed to the county health building. I watched melting snow dripping from the truck in front of me at a traffic light.  This is April in Michigan. Unlike my first shot, there were no lines. My forward progress was as fast as I could walk. One of the volunteers suggested they were busy. It was just the time of day, around noon, that was a lull. I think things are slowing down.

People like Firefly are not getting the vaccine, claiming medical issues. I believe there are a lot of people with medical issues. Must are self-induced. On the radio, they were talking about a pill to cure obesity being developed in Australia. That would only create a bunch of unhealthy skinny people.

Monday, April 19, 2021


 My friends Alexis and Sam live together with Alexis' mother and teenage son.  Both are divorced women in their early fifties. I went to their house on Sunday to help with a honey-do list Alexis had.  I installed a screen over the door wall that allows the dog to enter and replaced the existing doorbell with a Ring doorbell. Those went well without incident. 

She wanted me to replace a few drop ceiling tiles in the basement. Several had water stains on them. I've never dealt with drop ceiling tiles, but I knew how to cut and shape half tiles from when I researched them when considering doing the same in my basement.  I am glad I decided to paint the ceiling black instead. 

Four tiles need replacing. Only one was a complete tile. One required cutting a round opening for a light fixture, and two others were half pieces. The circular hole came out perfect, but one of the half pieces gave me trouble. It didn't want to lay flat for some reason, but Alexis was fine with the results. 

After I went and washed the Gladiator. I am anxious to take the doors and top off this summer. I can't wait for a few warm days! When it hits 75 degrees, I will be striping them off. The wench I used for taking the top off my silver Jeep is not in the best position for removing the top of the Gladiator because of the bed, but the Gladiator's top is smaller and lighter, so I think I can make it work. I am eager to see if I can make it work without moving it.

I am trying to increase my posts. I'd like to get up to fifteen per month, so these might sound a bit more mundane. The truth is, nothing of interest is happening right now. I suppose that is a good thing. 

I had Max take photos of some of my lego creations while he was here Saturday. He has the ability to replace the green screen background with pure black. I will post them once he gets them back to me. I used to do this myself, but I cannot load the software on my work computer. I need to break down and buy myself a new home computer. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Saturday Walk

 T-Rex is still dating his girlfriend on my side of town. Saturday, Tinkerbell was driving him over to her house, and she gave me a call. "Hey, do you want to go for a walk?

I just stepped out of the shower after an hour on my bike downstairs. "Actually, yes, I need more exercise," I tell her.

She came over, and we walked the neighborhoods near me. The temperature was in the mid-fifties, but the sun was shining, and it made for a nice day. We chatted while we walked. Catching up on the latest news. Tinkerbell works at a workshop for disabled adults. She told me Covid is running through the classes. Her bosses are reluctant to tell the parents and guardians. The company needs the money. 

Tinkerbell teaches over zoom.  She is sequestered in her office all day and does not interact with the in-house classes. This is a good thing because she has not gotten her vaccination yet. She is afraid of needles.

Later, my son Max came over. We ordered carryout from The Detroit Wings Company. It has been ages since I've had boneless wings. 

Max has two 3D printers now.  He has printed tons of figures.  I suggest he make some money off of them, but he is not interested. Still, I am glad he is keeping up with technology.  He has not gotten his vaccine yet either. He is just dragging his feet. TheEx is an anti-vacer, but I don't think her thinking has rubbed off on him.  I get my second dose the Wednesday.  I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, April 17, 2021


 Firefly laid around, healing, gaining weight, and being miserable for five days. I took her to a doctor's appointment. Her clothes remained packed in her car. I never offered for her to move back. We never discussed it.

Thursday night, she told me she was going out with a friend to eat. She showed me a set of text messages to collaborated the claim. They seemed contrived, and the ones before were deleted. I was against it but was not going to hold her against her will.

She wasn't out long, between two and three hours. If she did eat while she was out, it didn't make a dent in her appetite. She ate again when she returned home. Her persona changed upon her return. Firefly was restless and fidgety. She didn't fall to sleep. She tossed and turned and complained about nightmares. It indicated to me, she did something. 

Sometimes a lack of evidence is evidence. I search the few things she had in the spare bathroom. I found a half pack of dope or crack in a mostly empty make-up bag and flushed it. I didn't find a crack pipe. She would throw that fact back at me later.

Friday, I went to the office in the morning. "Don't go anywhere," I warned her before I left. 

"I'm tired," she complained. "I'm not going anywhere."

For being tired, she did very little sleeping. She was downstairs on the couch when I returned in the afternoon.  Firefly returned to the bedroom and watched TV but didn't fall asleep. She got up and took a shower around 5:00 p.m. It seemed like most of her actions revolved around avoiding me. "Are you going out?" I asked.

"I don't know. I am just taking a shower." 

Despite her words, it was obvious she intended to leave again. Later, she told me she was going to Applebees. "Take your stuff with you if you go out."

This started an argument. She maintained she did not do any drugs the previous night. I told her about the pack I found. It was not an empty pack. We argued over the situation. She insisted I've wanted her gone for weeks, and that was true. I never said she could move back. I feel bad when she has nowhere to go, but I feel like she doesn't make staying here a priority. She doesn't try to keep me happy, and she isn't pleasant to be around. The majority of the time is spent getting her clean.

She complains that everyone gets rid of her or that no one wants her. I thought to myself, if that is the case, at some point, you should be looking at yourself, but I don't say it to her. She tried playing on my sympathy. "I have no money for food and gas. I'm going to lose the weight I've gained."

"Firefly, you always have money." Indeed, some dude was always willing to give her money--whether for sex or for free. "You just choose to spend it on drugs."

She tries denying this, but we wouldn't be having this argument if it weren't true. This brings me back to my complaint. If living here was so important to her, she would make more effort to maintain the arrangement. She hasn't. This doesn't motivate me to continue putting up with her. 

She made sure to post images on her Instagram indicating she went back to the city to get high with the same dude she has been hanging around with lately. He doesn't have a car and uses her for rides to the city. he doesn't care about her health. Pictures displaying a false appearance of happiness.

I slept comfortably alone and enjoyed the peace.



Wednesday, April 14, 2021


I wrote the last blog post Friday morning. Later that evening, I went to my friend Jay's for a beer.  Firefly showed up at the house in bad shape. She smoked crack all day on no sleep. She was twitching and incapable of putting thoughts together. It took me a while to calm her down, including threatening to call the cops and have her committed.

It has been five days now, she hasn't left the house alone. I took her to the doctor's appointment yesterday for a refill on suboxone. She has not unpacked her things from her car, and I have not suggested that she should. 

She needs to gain weight and muscle. She needs to create a plan. I don't mind her sitting here watching TV and sleeping, but that is not a long-term fix. I will be going back to the office soon. I cannot watch her forever. She needs to watch herself.

Currently, I am working my way through editing Dave's book.  It is a good experience for me. Sometimes I fear I am heavy-handed, but I am not trying to be critical. I am editing it as if it were my own work while trying not to change his story.  

Friday, April 9, 2021

El Charros

 Yesterday, I made plans to have dinner with Firefly. The forecast called for rain, so I decided to make an appearance at the office before dinner. Why waste a nice day going into the office? There were few people there. I stuck around till about 4:00 and headed home.

On my drive, I received a text from Firefly. "Going to the city right now. Do you want to help me with money one last time because you love me oh so much?"

"No, I don't." She knows better than to ask but still does.

"Please, I am not going to be able to hold food down if I don't find money."

I tell her, "If you can't make dinner tonight, we can always reschedule. Just let me know."

"I'm coming," she replies, punctuated with a sarcastic eye-roll emoji.

We meet at El Charros. I arrived first and ordered us a table. Because of the situation, restaurants are only at half capacity, and you cannot wait inside for a seat. El Charros provided chairs spaced around the entrance for waiting customers. The rain had stopped, and the evening was still warm enough to sit outside, so we did. It didn't take too long, most restaurants are not busy.

Firefly wore a pair of high-waisted jean shorts that displayed her pale legs and a thin cream-colored long sleeve top. I wore jeans and a grey tee-shirt I'd picked up in Moab, Utah, during our road trip with an olive drab jacket.

"Your green jacket is in the truck," I told her. "You left it behind." The night was not cold, but it was damp and too chilly for her outfit. I retrieve her jacket for her.

She is thin but eats ravenously, declaring it is the first time she has eaten today. Food comes below money and drugs for an addict. Firefly tells me she is making plans, but she does not have anything solid yet. She wants to go back to a place she was in once before in California, but they won't take her if she is on Suboxone. She thinks she will detox her first then go there. She still has a lot of details to figure out.

By the time we finish eating, it has started to drizzle. We give each other a quick hug and a kiss in the parking lot and head our own ways. She is staying at a hotel nearby.