Monday, December 28, 2009

Saga of Seattle

Reality Sinks In

So because our flight had been so delayed, it was decided that Johnno and his dad would reschedule their plans to drive out to visit his grandfather. The long story short, Johnno’s grandfather was sick and was possibly going to die in the near future so he planned to ride off and visit with him while I would be left to hang out with his mother one on one. I wasn’t looking forward to it-like I said, she had barely spoken to me in the past—but I understand how important it was.

But because all of us didn’t end up in bed till about 3am, it was decided it would be better for us to spend out day running errands for the upcoming week. Johnno’s dad would be taking us grocery shopping on the local Navy base (I KNOW!) so we could get the food we needed for the diet as well as pick up booze for Johnno’s special punch for a party later in the week. So after some hemming and hawing we finally pulled ourselves together and headed out the door once his dad drove over.

Being on military base is weird, mostly because I had only been on Fort Devens back East, but also because I didn’t realize how much of the area was really just a Navy Town. But we managed to run through our errands easily however, I started to realize that Johnno’s Dad wasn’t really talking to me but around me. I let it go as we checked things off our list but in the car ride back to Siobhan’s it was starting to become uncomfortable as Johnno struggled to keep me involved in the conversation but his dad wasn’t taking the bait.

It probably wouldn’t have bother as much as did except once we got to Siobhan’s Johnno left me in the car with his father alone. He ran the food into the house so that we could keep going about the town but not before he had to tell his father to ‘tell Rory the story since he has never heard it’. During this exchanged I shot Johnno death stares from the backseat of the car because the only thing about being in an awkward conversation is TALKING about being in an awkward conversation. But Johnno’s Dad and I managed to forced conversation about the film ‘The Deer Hunter’ (Of all things!) while I prayed for some type of freak accident to stop the awkwardness. No such luck.

After forever, Johnno, Dad and I were on the road to kill some time. Turns out that Dad had an eye appointment so we were going to drop him off so Johnno could show me the town for a bit—which I was excited about. I spent the ride to the doctor’s just staring out at all the scenery because I am a sucker for mountains and clear air which the town had in spades while Johnno debated what to do with our free hour.

Dropping his dad off, Johnno took me through to downtown Poulsbo and explained the history of the places we passed. It was nice to hear about his childhood and the neighborhood he grew up in as we drove by where Siobhan got married and the various stores that he used to shop for used books and pastries. We eventually made our way down by the water and parked the car and sat there for a moment, holding hands and alone in the silence. I never knew that there was so much water in Washington but it was beautiful to stare out at all the boats and docks—reminded me of Nantucket.

Taking the moment’s pause, we finally headed off on foot through the main streets down by the water. I knew that Johnno had said it was a town founded by Norwegiens but I wasn’t really expecting everyone to be so blond, blue eyed and pale like he was—it was kind of trippy. And then we made our way through the dowtown which was like walking through a hallway of cuckoo clocks with all the Alpine decorated buildings, pretty but strange at the same time. I have to admit I fell in love with it.

After a lunch at a local British pub, during which Johnno left to get his father back from the doctor’s, we made our way back to his parent’s house. I got a slight tour of the house and ended up making out with the boy in his childhood bedroom which was pleasant if awkward since his parents were down the hall. But then it was time for us to head out and try to change for dinner with Johnno’s grandmother, aunt and cousin.

The dinner was nice if a bit much—his cousin was awesome and quite a bit like my brother which was nice and familiar, but I wasn’t seated next to his aunt who was a bit strange. I got the vibe that she was forcing herself to polite to me which made me uncomfortable but his cousin’s one year old son made the meal a bit more enjoyable. That and Siobhan and I kept exchange looks of “WTF” through the meal.

Dinner done and it was time for Siobhan, Johnno and I to head out and hit the town. She had made plans with some of her friends to meet up at a local townie bar and so we were off. It is weird, because everything is so tied to the naval base, to be in a bar full of service men. It’s not like there were uniforms or anything but you could tell who was in the armed forces and who wasn’t. Siobhan introduced us to her friends Jay and Allie and the five us proceeded to drink which led to both Johnno and I get quite a bit tipsy.

What can I say? The drinks are very cheap.

And that was the saving grace of the day—hanging out with Siobhan and really getting a chance to know her. She is like a weird hybrid of my mother (At that age-25) and my brother (Townie drinker and partier) but a lof of fun and could see myself being friends with her away from Johnno. And even with all the awkwardness of dealing with service men, Jay was very friendly and nice—something that comes from moving around a lot for work. It was nice to relax and not worry about who or what was going on.

I slept well that night.

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