Metamorphosis Diario

Friday, March 30, 2007 - I'm a neurotic nut, but you're crazy!

When I first came to the US in 1987 I needed an apartment, not having much money I had to share an apartment with a couple of roomates, one was a Mexican guy called Jaime, who I never really got along with, the other was an American called Mark.

Mark and I got along for the most part , being in our early 20's we went out drinking together and got into quite a few episodes, as well as the occasional disagreement as most roomates do I'm sure. Eventually Mark met a Scottish girl around the same time I met Elina, we went our seperate ways. Elina and I moved in together as did Mark and his wife to be. Mark and I still liked to party, however I gravitated more towards the Santa Monica English crowd, while he preferred the local American sports bars. I always got the feeling that Geraldine never really cared for me, I think part of that stemmed from my Northern Irish protestant roots in addition to me being English of course, and her being a Scottish catholic. I was called an Orange bastard on more than one occasion. There was also an element of her having the impression that I was leading Mark astray much like the Bob and Terry characters in 'Whatever happened to the likely lads'. Eventually they moved to Oregon and had a kid and we all moved on with our lives.I kept in touch with Mark occasionaly and last saw him about 10 years ago with his little baby son on a visit to LA.

 

 When I had my  first son 3 years ago I called Mark to tell him the news, Geraldine answered and informed me that Mark was in rehab due to alcohol and cocaine abuse. I left my number and never really heard from him despite calling a few times.

 

Last week Mark called me out of the blue, he was going to visit LA with his wife to see some freinds and take their son to Disneyland, he didn't want to go to Disneyland for 2 days straight so asked if we could get together which we did yesterday for the first time in over a decade. He's put on a lot of weight and looks a little older, but I'm sure he thought the same about me. We strolled down to the Sidewalk Cafe in Venice Beach, laughed and chatted about the old days over a few beers and some nachos, talked about family, finances, careers and old times.

Mark always was a penny pincher so I was left to pick up the tab, he asked me how much tip he should leave and I suggested $7 on the $40 bill that I paid, he left $5. On theway home we stopped off at the English pub, instead of Mark being courteous and reciprocating the favor  I was also left to pay for the bill there too. I just smiled to myself and thought how he was still the same old Mark I knew 20 years ago. It was a small price to pay to see an old freind.

 All in all a fun day reflecting on old times and freinds, bringing each other up to date,  two guys from different countries and backgrounds brought together by financial necessity just chatting and drinking beer like the old days............................


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The Protagonist

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