Welcome to a new week.
I need to say a happy belated birthday to one of my favorite people. He is wise beyond his years, a truly excellent friend, and about the best bandmate you could ask for. Michael C. is someone I treasure and enjoy spending time with whether we are making music, talking about the world, hiking, kayaking, camping, or whatever we are doing. I cannot express how much I appreciate this man and if you know him, you know why.
The first week of getting ready for school was great. I am so lucky to be back online. I will write more on this later.
I will also post a review of the CJ/NA/7S show asap. I have a few others to post, too. I will also share the trip story here, but I want to keep "The Baseball Story" going. It is going somewhere, too, I promise. This is a bit longer than normal but it seemed like a good place to cut it for now.
“I can’t believe you told her all that.”
“I should have told her that you were wasting your true talent working at that stupid dealership, but she’ll figure that out on her own. I’m sure it will be the downfall of your relationship.”
Max had laughed when Amy originally said this and heartily. She always could make him laugh. In high school, he’d be stressing about a getting the words just write on one of his stories for the paper and she would know just how to help him relax and get out his own way. Amy was a good friend.
“So, you’re sure she will be there?”
“She’ll be there. You better be, too. See you next Saturday, Maxy.”
Amy never said “Bye” or “Goodbye.” She didn’t believe in it. She just hung up after she said the last thing she wanted to say. It took Max a while to get used to that. Anytime someone did something that didn’t follow a social norm or rule, it shocked him a bit.
He thought about what Amy had told him about Kate that day, too. She had said that Kate was smart and funny and that they had loads of fun together when they hung out. When Max asked about what she looked like, Amy just said he would have to wait and see, but he would not be disappointed.
“She’s your type,” Amy said, and left it at that.
When they met at Amy’s 24th birthday party, Max knew instantly Amy had been right. Kate was clearly confident, and Max loved that in a woman more than anything else. Her smile hooked him immediately and her dark hair and eyes drew Max like a moth to flame.
It was “like” at first sight for Max and Kate. Love would come later and the two decided to hang out again after talking for an hour or so at the party. Max asked Kate for her number and called her a few days later to see if she wanted to go to a Firebirds game.
The Phoenix Firebirds were the AAA minor league team in town. Max liked to go to the games which were at the old Phoenix Municipal stadium by the zoo. He had great memories of going to San Francisco Giants spring training games there, especially when the Dodgers would come to town on their way back to Los Angeles from Florida and play the Giants. He and his grandfather always went early and Max would go down by the bullpen area and try to get autographs.
One year, Max’s favorite player, Dusty Baker, hit a grand slam homerun to give the Dodgers a big lead and Max thought he might explode. It was only a meaningless spring training game, but Max didn’t care. He thought about that moment any time a grand slam happened when he was rolling his dice. They were just as rare in both arenas.
Max was very pleased when Kate sounded genuinely excited about the game. She even seemed to understand when he said he liked to watch the game from the left field bleachers. These were the closest to Van Buren which ran along the edge of the stadium and across the street from the zoo. They were also closest to where he used to collect autographs. Max liked seeing the kids continue to ask for them even though most of the guys playing in those games would never make the majors.
She later confessed to Max that she was a lot more interested in getting to know him than going to the baseball game but seeing it through his eyes opened her up to what baseball could be. Max had realized early on in that first date that Kate was not a sports fan, but she could talk the talk a little bit. He chalked it up to being in marketing and being able to talk about anything like it was the most interesting thing you had ever seen.
Max had picked up Kate that night and when he dropped her back to the house she shared with a few friends afterwards, she gave him a quick hug as she said goodnight before getting out of his car. Max had breathed a small sigh of relief because he was not sure if she wanted a kiss or not. He never knew what to do in these situations, although he had not been in too many of them.
Kate and Max had dated fairly casually for months. There was a spark there, for sure, but their relationship grew slowly. This suited them both as neither of them were the type of person who needed someone else to make them feel whole.
While Max had been living alone when he met Kate, she had her roommates. They were nice enough, Max thought, but he really didn’t enjoy hanging out at her house too much. He thought it was kind of a mess, but he was way too polite to say anything to Kate about it. She would complain about her friends being slobs sometimes when they talked, so Max left it alone and tried to be supportive when he could.
As their relationship progressed to a more physical level, Kate began spending more and more time at Max’s place. It was a one-bedroom unit in the same complex where they shared a two bedroom now. When they had the discussion about Kate moving in, she had wanted to move closer to downtown Phoenix, but Max was reluctant.
No matter how much Kate sold Max on how great it would be to branch out and live in a different area, Max did not want to do it. Eventually, he told her that he would love to wake up next to her every day, but he just didn’t want to live in a different area of town. One of the things Kate liked about Max was that he was loyal, and she couldn’t really fault him for being loyal to his home.
As a compromise, Max offered to keep paying what he was used to paying for his one bedroom which meant Kate only had to chip in $275 for rent each month and get them a nice bed. Being a practical gal, Kate saw the advantage in this and only somewhat reluctantly gave in on her desire to live closer to work and she loved the idea of having a king-sized bed.
As the two of them adjusted to living together, Max showed Kate more and more of his personality. He was not necessarily a neat freak, but he did keep the apartment clean and orderly. Everything had its place. Kate had a really wonderful desk that she had gotten from her grandmother, Rose, when she started college and they decided to make their second bedroom kind of an office.
While some men would have seen the opportunity make the extra room a catch all for their combined stuff, Max figured out a way for everything to have its place. On one of the first nights after they moved into the two-bedroom, Max spent about three hours getting the spare room dialed in after Kate went to bed. When she woke up the next morning and saw what he had done, she threw her arms around him and said, “Now this is why I fell in love with you.”
He thought that might have been the first time she had said something like that.
They moved Max’s old double bed in there so they could have guests (although this was only on the rarest of occasions) and primarily used the room to house Max’s computer. He liked to mess around with it a bit, play games, and such. Kate didn’t realize that one of the games he played was one of his own design.
See you tomorrow.
Bad quality, I know, and a day late, but whatever. Luke Perry is missed, for sure. Call me sentimental, but I loved watching these guys be dorks on TV when I was young. Sunday nights on Fox in the late 80s was something to behold, for sure.