The O Zone and Beyond

Posted by dean balog on Jan 18, 2010 in Uncategorized |

I started to write about this pretty early on.

As I wrote earlier, after Rachel and I split up I lived in a sort of a trailer park. Not an official trailer park, it was sort of a causal trailer park. There were three trailers and a little house.

Marty and I shared the worst of the bunch. It had a propane furnace of sorts. I don’t know if it worked. Marty and I never bought the heating oil for it. The stove ran on propane. Well, I don’t think we ever bought propane for it either, but we started the summer with a full tank so it’s what warmed us as the weather got colder.

Marty was “dating” three or four young women at the time. He was gone a lot. I got to meet his girlfriends since I was home. I got really good at saying “I have no idea where’s he’s off to.” Most of the time I wasn’t even lying about it.

That’s how I met Joanne, one night when Marty stood her up.

At one point, as the weather was staying colder longer, Marty announced he was moving to Florida. This wasn’t exactly great news. The rent was cheap. Heating oil wasn’t THAT expensive. Neither was propane. The broken windows could be fixed. BUT THERE WAS NO WAY I COULD AFFORD IT ALONE.

On one of the several nights Marty stood Joanne up, we started talking about my situation. Joanne wasn’t too happy about her living situation at the time either. We decided that between us, we could make the trailer livable and affordable. And since Marty was leaving for Florida, there shouldn’t be a problem there. It seemed reasonable.

What probably doesn’t seem reasonable, or even plausible, was that Joanne and I saw this as a completely platonic relationship. But it’s true. I was not thinking of this as a “friendship with benefits”. That expression hadn’t even been coined yet. (Besides, at that point I still thought Rachel and I might get back together.) I will admit that I’m absolutely terrible at picking up signals from women, but I never got any from Joanne then.

When I mentioned this idea to Marty, he totally flipped out. He FORBADE me to let Joanne move in after he left. I tried to get a reason for this from him, but it never came along.

Marty did move out but only as far as his parent house in Dover proper.

Joanne did not move in.

I did not stay in the trailer.

The next time I saw Joanne was at Rachel’s 25th birthday party two or three months later. They were neighbors for awhile.

Joanne and I did become roommates eventually, about a year after that. We shared an attic. There were a total of eight or nine of us living in that house. We had our own rooms in the attic. They were maybe five foot square, with about four and half foot ceilings.

Good times.

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