Saturday, May 11, 2013
just when I thought I could go solo
"So, you said you wanted to see my place." Honestly, Mitch felt a little foolish inviting Derrick over. Not that he was expecting anything. And he hoped Derrick wasn't expecting anything, either.
He'd made his one pot meal, which was a hearty soup with a loaf of French bread. Derrick said he wanted to talk. Mitch guessed they could talk over dinner.
Derrick wasn't saying much at the moment as he was looking at the thrifted couch with a gray comforter and a gigantic crocheted granny square in colors of the rainbow on top of it. There were Mitch's books. His laptop. And of course a keyboard in the corner.
"I'm impressed." Derrick said, ever so kind.
"Oh, but aren't you though." Mitch cracked up thinking this was really funny. It wasn't that he lived in the most rundown apartments in town, but he didn't really have a lot, and he wanted to keep it that way.
"Just what did you, want to talk about?" Mitch asked as he got a bowl ready for Derrick
"Talk?" Derrick set down at the little dining table off the galley kitchen.
"Yeah, that's what you said. Is it about the band? I think its coming along great." Mitch served Derrick and then sat down across from him with a bowl of soup.
"I think they're cool with everything." Derrick nodded.
"And? And you're settled at the new place?" Mitch asked who would rather watch Derrick eat instead of eating, but he shoveled it in, not quite as much as Derrick did, of the hot stew.
Derrick only nodded and dipped a slice of French bread into the tomato based dinner.
Mitch couldn't help but smile. He guessed the way to a man's heart was like his grandmother always said..through his stomach. He sipped at his glass of milk while Derrick didn't stop to talk.
"I haven't exactly had the best year. I mean, last year was bad enough. And..and before then.." Derrick said later after the meal, while he was sitting on the couch with Mitch. "..just horrible."
Mitch nodded, but he didn't say anything. He listened.
"This thing with Sunny."
"You mean, the concert?" Mitch kept his eyes on him as if this concert was really important.
"I want the concert to be what she'd want, you know." Derrick bit his bottom lip. "The truth is...its all my fault... all my fault, what happened to her." He couldn't bare to look at Mitch.
"It wasn't your fault. You, have to stop saying that. She died in a carwreck. A drunk driver hit the car she was in," Mitch said matter a fact.
"But." He looked back at Mitch. "We got into this..this terrible argument. OK, I did all the arguing. I never even gave her a chance to speak." He felt so grim. "I think something's wrong with me."
"OK. Like what?" Mitch wanted to know.
"I dunno. I think my Dad's bipolar." Derrick nodded. "I mean, I'm pretty sure that's why he never wanted to be around us." Derrick looked at Mitch, thinking this was the first time he'd ever told anyone this about his Dad. "I just don't want to be like him."
"At least you're talking about it. That's a good sign." Mitch was optimistic, as if Derrick wasn't a total failure.
Suddenly, the front door opened. Derrick looked up startled. There was a girl with her blond hair on top of her head. She looked a little tired.
"You, didn't think I lived, alone, did you?" Mitch smiled.
Derrick pressed a smile even if he were a little confused.
"Don't you, remember my big sister, Char?" Mitch caught Derrick off guard.
Char barely said hello, she went down the hall to her room.
"Yeah, she keeps getting all these degrees she can't find jobs for." Mitch shrugged with his arms crossed. "So she's stuck at Wal-Greens, at the moment."
Derrick felt a little shy now. Just when he thought he was alone with someone who'd out grown him, he guessed they were more in the same boat than he thought.