Once in a Blue Agave Moon: A Small World Gets a Whole Lot Bigger

 

Chapter Eleven

Elliott was overjoyed about the prospect of seeing Jed again.

Whether it was just a visit, or even possibly a longer stay, Jed was always welcome in Elliott’s world.

Jed’s arrival was a welcome surprise in a world where there was rarely any good news from the outside world.

It was the other voice that had completely unnerved him. Soft and feminine, Amy’s voice sounded slightly timid, perhaps even a little shy. She knew how to be coy; she knew men liked that…sometimes; and even when she was being completely genuine, she knew how to make the most out of what could pass for the most subtle nuances of voice, facial expression, and body language.

Elliott had told her once that she should have been an actress.

“Who says I’m not?” she replied. “The whole world’s a stage…that we’re all going through….”

“There are some people who are addicted to sensationalism and overacting just to be the center of attention…they’re just the kind of idiots that can give Drama a bad name.”

The Theater was in Amy’s blood. It was a part of her nature, and as she was trained in Method Acting; there was Method even in her madness.

What might have passed for pretense to the untrained eye was an instinct for angle, lighting, mood, setting and presentation, and she always hit her mark.

Even when she was startled, or genuinely terrified there was  a cinematic quality to it that guaranteed that you could not take your eyes off of her.

None of this was lost on Elliott, who was at that time a college professor who taught filmmaking, videography and photography to a group of students he affectionately referred to as the Gonzo Media Freaks.

Yes, she was beautiful. She was more than just pretty, but she was never able to see it in herself, and that gave her the unassuming vulnerability and genuine humility that made her so adorable…especially to Elliott.

She had always believed that it was Elliott who had “discovered” the beauty queen that had been shyly lurking beneath the Ugly Duckling she had been led to believe she was.

Her domineering father largely ignored her except to criticize and belittle her. She was the oldest and her younger sister suffered a similar fate. It wasn’t until Adam was born that he finally showed any genuine interest in any of his children, and even then, it was to the detriment of the girls, even as women.

When her mother died suddenly when she was only a teenager, she became even more withdrawn.

She stumbled into Elliott’s office one afternoon, looking for one of his students, whom she had promised a ride back to the stockade where he was being incarcerated while he was allowed educational leave until he finished his sentence for drug possession with intent to sell.

They had both gone to North Miami Beach Senior High School together a few years before, and she had dated him for a very short while a long time ago.

She was married now, and completely “over” Kenny, but he was also desperately trying to get “over” Ray, her husband, who had proven to be an utter disappointment, further reinforcing her feelings of inferiority and insecurity.

That morning, as he left the house, with his wife following him out to the street, screaming like a fish-wife, Elliott realized what a terrible mistake he had made and resigned himself to the fact that it was only a matter of time….

Only  few hours later, this total stranger, who had wandered into his office looking for one of his students seemed as captivated by every word he spoke as he was by hers.

They chatted briefly about filmmakers from Brecht to Hitchcock to Kubrick, Tarantino, and Oliver Stone as well as a shared a mutual fascination for the screenwriting of Charlie Kaufman.

They were soon marveling in how similar each other’s frame of reference was.

They shared interests in writers like Hunter Thompson, and Tom Robbins as well as Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein and Dave Barry.

Indeed, they did not seem to need to try to impress each other, but the growing fascination over their shared interests and points of view was nothing short of exhilarating to the point of being breath-taking as Infatuation was overcome by the Crush they seemed destined to develop.

Both had been wallowing in Sarcasm, Facetiousness, Irony and Bitterness for so long that many of their best friends had begun to regard them as jaded and cynical.

Yet suddenly it was as if it was raining Enthusiasm, Optimism and mutual Admiration right there inside Elliott’s office until they were both mud luscious and puddle wonderful right up to their knees.

Elliott turned both ways as if to look over his shoulders as he leaned forward as if he was about to share something he did not want anyone else to hear.

“Are you married?” Amy suddenly blurted, seemingly out of nowhere.

The remark so completely startled Elliott that he sat back, having completely forgotten what it was he had intended to say; after several very long seconds, he took a deep breath and said “Just barely….”

Two seconds later, Kenny burst into Elliott’s office, late and panting.

Spouting explanations and apologies, he suddenly stopped short and remarked “…so I guess you two have already met….” followed by a gratuitously flattering introduction on the genius of Elliott Monroe, abruptly veering off onto an almost tersely marginalized hand-off to Amy which included an inappropriately familiar reference to their previous romantic relationship followed with “…by the way, how’s Jeannie?”

“As compared to what, Kenny?…the Lake of Fire?…she could make even make that seem like a bed and breakfast in rural Vermont…you saw how she acted two nights ago right before the Aerosmith concert….”

Amy winced, and then winked at Elliott. “We have to go…I’ll see ya in the funny papers, kiddo.”

They got not even a glimpse of each other for over two days after that.

In the several weeks that followed, Elliott separated from his wife, and he and Amy moved in together along with Joe, one of Elliott’s fellow faculty members.

They were madly in love with each other, and more than just a little bit mad in general.

As crazy as they were for each other, their general craziness was a breeding ground for quarrels, although in all fairness, it was usually over  Elliott’s behaviors, which had taken on an even more extreme quality that provoked Amy’s outbursts of anger, bordering on rage.

Truth was, they might have had a better chance of making it work if they hadn’t jumped right out of one marriage bed to another.

It seems to be an unwritten law that there needs to be an intermediate romantic fling that allows you to get over the previous relationship, and since both had gone “from one frying pan to another” they  both engaged in provocative and bizarre behaviors that would have terminated a lesser degree of commitment between two people.

Their fights often involved horrible emotional violence that seemed to be spawned as a test to see if each of them could forgive the unforgivable in each other.

Eventually Amy moved into a place of her own, and they dated for another three and a half years. It seemed as if the separation had revived their passion for each other.

God was alive and Majic was afoot.

But suddenly Elliott went on the road with a band that hired him as a guitarist shortly after he had decided to terminate his association with Jed, and Amy took off to go to the Pacific Northwest, which was about as far as she cold get away from Elliott. She sent a few letters, which he never answered, and they didn’t see each other for over a year.

They got back into Miami within a week of each other, and spent an entire weekend in bed together, only to mutually decide t was over, but for no real reason. It was Elliott who broached the subject, and Amy agreed, albeit somewhat half-heartedly. Elliott lived to regret that moment many times over the years and suspected it might have turned out differently if he hadn’t turned away from her the way he did.

In the years that followed, he sometimes referred to her as “the only ex-wife that I never married.”

That was years ago…several lifetimes and two more marriages ago.

Long before he ever met and married Chiana. Before his children were born and grown.

It was hard to imagine Jed and Amy together. They knew each other of course, but they remained aloof and somewhat distant in each other’s company, but there was a pretty good explanation for that.

Jed considered himself too much of a gentleman to fuck his best friend’s girlfriend, despite the fact that neither Elliott or Amy would have thought that to be a real deal-breaker with either of them.

Jed also made himself perfectly clear that he thought Amy was much too “high-maintainance” (which she was).

Because Amy felt rejected, she treated Jed dismissively and said she found him shallow, conceited, and selfish (which he was not) but Elliott did not bother to try to convince Amy otherwise because although he would be reluctant to admit it, he felt a slight twinge of jealousy at the thought of Amy and Jed having sex together.

Elliott knew that what would pass for jealousy in this case would be more due to insecurity; something he so despised in himself that he would embrace it with the same state of mind as a man who has decided to “stare down the train” knowing it will mean certain death.

In those days, he never backed down, and he could lay down a pretty good bluff, not to mention that he already knew he possessed both the greatest luck and the shittiest judgement of any man alive.

It turned out to be something of a self-fulfilling prophesy that tended to lead Elliot to believe that it made little difference what decision he made because it was usually wrong, which prompted him to act on reckless impulse, knowing that somehow despite all the odds, he would prevail…or at least live through it.

The longer he considered it, the more sense it made. Probably some sort of cosmic coincidence threw the two of them together, and inevitably pure curiosity would overwhelm their better judgement…just the same sort of circumstances that occurred when Elliott and Amy found themselves thrown together into an emotional maelstrom from which neither could escape;  both beautiful and tragic, that they undoubtedly would rememberer for the rest of their lives both fondly and sadly.

The few minutes that it took to remember and ponder this before Jed, Amy, Rebecca, and Leigh-Anne arrived seemed like the longest ten minutes of his life, and yet it seemed all too short to prepare himself for what was to come.

But whatever it was, he could hardly wait.

Chazz Vincent

03/12/2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: