A close encounter with the Smiths.
Wednesday, 09.15.2010 - 9:47 pm.

I'm going to tell you the story of something that happened this afternoon. I'll do it as orderly as possible. When I heard the story, it was a puzzle. I was presented a piece, then I'd ask for another one, and so on and so on, until my stomach closed and I couldn't eat my dinner. But also, it had me in stitches. It didn't quite bring me down, except physically, when I leaned against the wall and slid down until I was squatting, with a hand on my forehead.


Victoria and I were chatting online and she logged off, saying she had to take her dog for a walk. Some 20 minutes later, I get a phone call from her. She was agitated, clearly she'd run to grab the phone and was breathing heavily, hyperventilating. And I knew. God, I just knew. Even before she said "guess who I ran into", I said, "no, no, no". And THAT'S when I leaned against the wall and ended with a hand on my forehead.

She was at the park at the end of her street and saw a car, a truck, pull over in front of Joseph's in-laws' house. I saw something coming out the window, I thought, "oh, they got a new dog". But it was Joseph's arm sticking out. And he got out of the truck. He was coming with his wife and baby. His mother-in-law was driving the truck, for it was her truck. She was giving them a ride.

Victoria, being acquainted with Joseph's in-laws, and as curious as she is (haha), came over to say hi. Joseph's wife seemed more "mature", she says, and a bit prettier than she remembered and had seen in recent pictures. Very fit. Second blow to my ego, the first one crashing into the reality that is Joseph out and about with his family. She was very nice to me. Surprisingly nice. I think she is like *a friend of ours from school*...very sweet in front of people, but could turn hostile quickly.

Joseph hasn't changed a bit, physically. He made an expression when he saw me, like, "fuck". He noticed me approaching but acted like he hadn't seen me. Then said hi to me nicely, too. I started talking to his in-law and we had quite a trip going on, chatting and stuff. "Oh, they [Victoria and Joseph's wife] grew up together", said the old lady. Then she went back in the house to try to bring her husband out, and it was just the three of us.

Joseph commented on Victoria's crazy dog and talked about how much he wanted a cat, while looking at some cats walking around, that belonged to another neighbor.

Wait, wait, what about the baby? What does he look like? How old is he? The baby -I still don't know his name- still can't walk, apparently. He must be around 8, 9 months old. He's cute, a bit odd looking in the face. White skin. He was sitting in the back seat of the truck, in a baby seat, but it didn't have the seatbealt on.

The baby looks well cared for. But they never took him out of the car. Joseph seemed more interested in the cats. The baby was behind the driver's seat, the two [Joseph and wife] were on the opposite side of the truck.

I told Victoria that, while she told me all this, didn't sound like there was a baby present. They barely acknowledged his presence, she said, like it was enough for them knowing he was there, sitting in his baby seat. I felt the obligation to say something about the baby. I said he was cute and all. She [Joseph's wife] said that he eats a lot and is hungry constantly, and pointed out at how he was sucking his fingers. "One finger isn't enough, he needs to stick two fingers in", Joseph said mocking. He repeated that and inside I was thinking, "yeah, I got the 'joke' the first time".

I had to ask, how do they all look? Well...they don't look what you'd call "happy". They seemed more like resigned. As in, this is what it is, this is your life now. Like, your mother-in-law is the one who drives you and your family places.

Perhaps this last bit is what's kept me from breaking down. Even though I couldn't have dinner and I was shaking and laughing incontrollably at some point, it didn't affect me that much. I didn't feel like crying, anyway. It hurts, of course, thinking of Joseph...you know, married. With a wife AND a baby. Like I said yesterday, I haven't entirely recovered from that, I doubt I ever will. I felt thrown away like an old toy, replaced by a novelty. By the person Joseph realized should have born the title "love of my life" instead of me.

But fuck it. At 25, I'd still rather be free than settle down. I wanted to be free WITH Joseph, but tough luck. I'll be free on my own.

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