Lloyd Part III

If you ever want to do a fast-track relationship check, go on a road trip. There is nothing like being in a confined space trying to navigate around unfamiliar territory looking for another confined space to sleep in that really makes things crystal clear. My first and only road trip with Lloyd ended on a Sunday and I broke up with him on Monday.

Even though Lloyd was fairly recently divorced, paying child support and living in an apartment, he thought it was a good time to buy a piece of property in Eastern Washington. He was an avid fly fisherman and there was a rare spot opening up right on the river. He wanted to go check it out in person and thought it might be fun to make it a trip and take me along. I should have known things would not end well when part of my pre-trip planning included getting a fishing license. When the guy at the outdoors store asked if I wanted a ‘salmon endorsement’ I almost turned around and ran. Fishing was so not my thing but, what the hell, I would try anything once. Somehow it also worked out that I was driving since I had the more reliable car. Yep, signs everywhere.

Lloyd met me at my place and told me that he was bringing his lunch as he could not afford to stop and get something on the road. This was a bummer because he knew an ‘excellent’ burger joint on the way, but, oh well…I felt kind of bad the guy was going to miss out on some good beef so I offered to treat us both which Lloyd quickly took me up on. This was not a good sign since he had made the room reservations. My fears were confirmed when we pulled up to the Rest-A-While Motel. The room was very clean, granted, but it was a little sketchy, too. We arrived in the early afternoon so – yay! – there was still time to fish except that Lloyd had forgotten his fishing license. We were able to run into town to procure another one which also afforded us the chance to get some beverages. Lloyd had brought along a huge cooler and bought enough beer to fill it up. I don’t like beer so I got a vintage $5.99 screw-top white wine to enjoy by the water. Luckily I had remembered to steal a plastic cup from our fine motel room so I didn’t have to drink right from the bottle. Classy.

Fly fishing in September is cold and boring. Really boring. I didn’t bring my hip-waders like Lloyd so I just had to sit on the rocky beach and watch him cast over and over and over and drink my wine. Luckily it was almost dark so we weren’t able to stay long. We headed to a fun little local brew house and had some good eats and drinks. By this time Lloyd was about 10 beers in, at least. His bar tab was twice the cost of our food but he still politely offered to split the bill with me when it arrived. How kind! We headed back to the room and were watching a movie when I looked over and Lloyd was asleep. I am thinking it was more like passed out since he didn’t flinch when I took the remote from his hand and turned the light off. I discovered I don’t like wondering if my boyfriend is asleep or passed out at 9 p.m.

It didn’t get any better from there. There were moments of fun at some of the local eateries (popular, it seems, with bikers) and the scenery was beautiful but Lloyd was proving to not have a lot of financial sense or interest in sobriety. He drank the whole time and also brought along a little pot to even out the drinking. It didn’t seem to faze him that I was obviously not too hip on getting stoned and fishing. I was trying to be a good sport but it just was not my idea of a good time and I was concerned that he didn’t seem to really mind if I was enjoying myself.

We headed home and made it back in time to my place to watch some football but not before stopping so Lloyd could buy more beer. It was 8:30 p.m. on a work night and, when I looked over at Lloyd and he was ‘falling asleep’ again, I was done. I knew when he left that night that a future together was not going to happen. This guy had a lot of growing up to do and I didn’t feel like being the only adult around.

I mentioned to my boss, a criminal lawyer, later about Lloyd packing some weed for our trip. He looked at me, aghast, and asked, “Wait – he drove, right?” It is a testament to my cloudy judgment at the time that I somehow seemed to forget that Lloyd was required, by law, to only drive with an ignition interlock device which, funny enough, my car doesn’t have. If we would have gotten pulled over while Lloyd was taking his turn driving, WITH POT IN THE CAR, my vehicle could have been impounded and Lloyd put into jail. That would have been just fabulous. Again – is there an adult around?

There is a reason why someone wrote a song ‘Breaking Up is Hard to Do’. Like a bad cold, or a venereal disease, Lloyd was hard to get rid of. Next up, the final Lloyd chapter – The Breakup.

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 8:52 pm  Comments (8)  

Lloyd Part II

When I look back at my brief yet thrilling whirlwind of a time with Lloyd I can’t help but think that the whole thing was about getting my ya-yas out. Everything about him and our time together was the exact opposite of how I usually did things and I needed to rebel. That is the only explanation I have for my behavior.

The second time I met Lloyd I ended up making out in a car in a random restaurant parking lot. He was out of town for the weekend with his kids for a class field trip so we had to meet as he was on his way there. We chose a chain restaurant that was right near the freeway and a grocery store so he could grab his groceries when we were done. As I walked in to meet him I kept reminding myself that Lloyd was a dad. With kids. That he took on field trips. What was I thinking? Then, next thing I know, there is he is and I am attracted to him all over again. We had a couple of drinks and I decided not to ask how he was going to operate his interlock after he had a couple. Details, details. We had a great time with lots of laughing and I noticed that Lloyd sat next to me and made sure to touch me frequently and I was not complaining.

Lloyd still needed to get his groceries and get on the road so he asked if I wanted to walk over with him to the store. What is so fun about doing a mundane, everyday chore when you have had a couple of drinks and you are with someone you like? That shopping trip was one of the most fun that I have had. We chatted to other shoppers, giggled over crazy food items – it was a hoot. We walked back to our cars and Lloyd asked if I wanted to get in his car for a minute before I left. Hmmm… I think I could see where this was headed.  I must admit that I didn’t turn him down. There was something about him that was so dangerous! I had never had inappropriate displays of affection in a parking lot! Before he left he asked if he could see me Sunday when he got back from camping. Apparently that was the day that Jill, the kid’s mom, had the kids. It just so happened to be the day the NFL season was starting so we decided to watch the games at my house. My memory is foggy as to who suggested it but I am thinking it was probably Lloyd with ulterior motives. Either way – the date was set.

Lloyd was only gone two days but I missed him and his emails and calls. I had known this guy for about a week and somehow I couldn’t remember what it had been like before he had come on the scene. I thought it was exciting at the time but I now think that it was a giant warning sign. Lloyd called me on his way home and I gave him directions to my place. The football game was fun for about five minutes but then we got somewhat distracted. We decided later in the afternoon that we needed some sustenance so we walked downtown for some Mexican food. The whole time we were walking Lloyd was holding my hand, grabbing my arm, stopping to kiss me – I definitely felt like I was being wooed. As we were headed back from dinner he stopped me and asked what I thought about being exclusive. This was our third date! I wasn’t sure what to say. My socks were definitely being knocked off but that seemed to be a huge, huge step when it had been less than two weeks since I had even known he existed. Lloyd grabbed my face, gave me a big kiss, and said, “I just can’t stand the thought of you with anyone else.” Sigh. I am embarrassed that I gave in so easily.

Now that we had been together a whole two weeks, Lloyd thought I should meet his kids. I am all about making stupid decisions for myself but there was no way I wanted to be responsible for messing up kids. Lloyd assured me he had thought of this so we met for dinner at his place, with the kids, and I was introduced as his ‘good friend’, Kate. Kids are not stupid so I am sure they realized something was going on but we were pretty careful about showing no obvious affection. Stuart and Anna were charming and smart and they were fun to be around. It was like an instant family and I didn’t even have to get pregnant. Our first meeting went exceptionally well and I was giddy about this little lake of domesticity I had managed to fall into.

The thing that was intoxicating about Lloyd was that he had the responsible-dad side but he also had the drummer-in-a-punk-band part, all in one convenient package. The week after meeting Stuart and Anna, I was in a dark, dirty club in Seattle, watching Lloyd and his band and swilling drinks. That is where I met his sister and her husband, very cool, and his hip band mates. Of course, in true Lloyd-drama fashion, his sister’s husband allegedly had a fairly bad cocaine habit and the other band members were in various stages of addiction and joblessness. These people were unlike anyone I had spent time with before and my head was constantly spinning. I think I really started to worry when I noticed the two worlds of Lloyd colliding. He convinced me to stay the night at his place after Stuart and Anna had gone to bed. I could just leave in the a.m. before they woke up and they would never know I was there. That was a fine and dandy plan until 3 a.m. when Stuart had a nightmare and burst into the bedroom. A not-fully-clothed Lloyd jumped out of bed as fast as I had ever seen someone move and caught him before he saw me. After he got him back into bed, I headed to the bathroom just as Anna decided she needed to go, as well. I sat in the hallway, in the dark, quiet as I could, until she finished. As I drove back home that morning at 5:30 a.m., the real Kate, the one that usually governed how I did things, started to point out how not cool all of this was. It was fun acting like I was in high school but not when there was a family and kids involved. Irresponsibility can only be so attractive.

There was a road-trip coming up the next weekend that proved to be the end of the Lloyd tornado. The best I can say about it is that I got to eat with bikers, drink screw-top wine from a plastic cup by the river and managed to not get arrested. There is that.

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm  Comments (1)