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T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o

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When What You Assume is Junk Mail Isn't

2008-01-16 1:46 a.m.
You know whats awesome? Getting a letter from an out-of-state collection agency, saying that you have an unpaid parking ticket.

Theres my old license plate number, the correct make and model of my former vehicle, and the date. Right there in black and white.

What stands out on this is that the date is nearly three months AFTER I moved to Chicago. That would be when my ex decided that instead of selling my car (as agreed) and giving me the cash, driving it was preferable to driving his own vehicle. This must have been about when he also crashed the car into another on a rainy day, deploying the airbag. It was also before the door handle ripped off and remained unfixed.

Nearly a year and a half after these incidents occurred, I figured Id never see any of the $6k my car was worth when I left it in his hands to drive back to Texas. I added it to the tab of what that split cost me (rent and bills suddenly doubled when I packed him a box to aid in his couch surfing), and repeated to myself that I could always make more money. Most people dont get such a quick and easy stab at regaining ones dignity, and that alone was worth what was lost monetarily.

But when homeboy decided to send me a couple snarky emails about a joint financial matter we later encountered, and I decided that I wanted what I could of those six thousand clams. I reclaimed about half that, then resettled on that part about the tab being worth what I gained from the split.

Now, this isnt an entry to rip on the ex. Despite the drama that went down and him doing some really awful things that would deserve me telling him to rot, Ive since attributed his behavior to being a retarded 22-year-old. If we talked about it one day, Id thank him for fucking things up so royally that there was exactly a 0% chance that we could get back together. I have no complaints, and nor have I for years.

Hes now like a cousin I used to be close with: theres that familial familiarity that comes from sharing an abode for nearly five years, the straight-up fact that we essentially grew up together (ages 16ish-22ish), and this odd understanding of knowing exactly what and how the other person is thinking during any given conversation or situation.

I spent an afternoon with him when he was in Chicago for an interview, and it was so odd to see his exaggerated mannerisms -- mannerisms I had since attributed to belonging to my younger brother. Having been around during Kyles formative years, its only natural that there would be some things picked up here and there.

I got an IM on my phone over the holidays that I can only attribute to him being drunk, since the timestamp was quite late and I cant discern what he meant by his tangled words. Im choosing to ignore his ramblings, laughing at the odd bits and pieces of contact we have. Case in point: The last time I called him I was ass drunk, laughing it off in a restaurant bathroom because of the date I was on. The guy brought up a movie that the ex and I used to rip on for being so fucking stupid. In my drunken state, I thought hed find it funny too. Who the fuck knows what he thought of my call, but Im pretty sure we talked about genetically engineering yeast to glow before I had to go back out there, finish my shiraz, and avoid getting mouth raped by this guys curious tongue.

The good: a backwards Fed Ex hat, peas galore, moose horns, shiny Toyota Supras, being patiently taken care of for several months as I searched for a cure, this glance that unquestionably screamed I adore you, spiced rum in Coke and wine coolers, and ghetto apartment after ghetto apartment. The list goes on and on.

I choose to hold onto that instead of the last months of us and the following year that was like breaking up over and over again. If we let the bad overshadow the good, its not too long until you find yourself bitter and jaded. And when Id love to be writing a list in present tense of good things about someone new who makes my heart beat all funny and my stomach turn in that oh-so-wonderful way, being angry about events from years, months, weeks, and days passed would hinder that.

Getting a ticket in the mail over five years later, I cant help but jokingly shake my fist toward the west coast as I write out the check. And then I smile. Everyones happy, healthy, and well on their ways to being where they want to be. If it takes a letter from a collection agency to remind me of my past, where its taken me, and where Ive since taken myself, so be it.

City of Austin, here are your 39 dollars.



Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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