Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Gwen 3: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Ted and I were getting along famously. I'd met his wife, Dee, who had cooked a rather miserable meal for us, and seemed quite happy to have someone to talk to. She was plainly very lonely, and very, very pregnant.

Ted, for his part, talked endlessly about RPG's and SCA events, and their entire house was decorated in a combination of her gypsy/crystal healing/unicorn stuff and his...axes.

Yes, boys and girls, Ted collected sharp things. Morning stars, flails, 12 or 15 examples of four different types of swords, a crossbow, a couple of compound bows, and all manner of knives, hatchets, and ugly looking pointy things. Most of the house was crammed with this stuff, and if I'd really been into this I'm quite sure I could have spent the rest of the year in there, fiddling happily with crossbow bolts and whetstone and the like. I wasn't that into it, though, but it was hard to keep Ted's enthusiasm for things medieval from exciting you in turn.

I took to visiting them fairly frequently, and making the occasional foray over to Jamie's place to hang with the Rome crowd, which was really more my type (and age) anyway. But I enjoyed being with everyone, even when Dee and Ted would get into arguments while I was hanging around. She seemed like the dishrag type, and I noticed he took to bullying her as I got to know them better. I didn't like that, but I also didn't think it was any of my business.

The BBS was going pretty well--I was getting ten or fifteen visitors in a night, and people were actually beginning to call me on the phone like normal humans. My old roommate had flunked out of school, and taken Maryann with him. My new roommate had lasted about 2 weeks, then fled, so I was left with the Uhura-dude in the next room. He pretty much kept to himself, so for the spring semester I had the run of my room.

One of the people I met via the BBS was an older woman I instantly liked, and counted as half-friend and half-mother figure. Her name was Beverly, an after a couple of weeks of talking, she decided she enjoyed the BBS scene enough that she wanted to set up one of her own. My first tech support job, I guess. We did it over the phone, or actually over my roommate's phone, so I could help with her machine from mine.

Shit, I can't remember what hers was called, but there was a genuine blossoming of WWIV boards going for several months there. Ted set up House of Ill Repute 2, which never really took off, I had Midian, Beverly had hers (DREAMSCAPE! That's it!), and some other dweeb started something called "Heart of Gold," which never really did much other than get him flamed, which he loved. Anyway, there was, in retrospect, a community being built, and for a couple months, it was great.

I had decided to quit school sometime in early March, and asked Ted to help me get a feel for Oklahoma City. We spent a couple of hours driving around the city in his car, while he spouted off Oklahoma City COC bullshit and I tried to get my mind around what has to be one of the simplest cities in the nation through which to navigate.

It was midafternoon, I remember, when Ted looked over at me with a strange eye, and said "hey, you want to go somewhere?" "Yeah," I said, "what do you mean?"

"To meet someone," he replied. "Someone you haven't met yet."

We drove for a while in silence, me wondering what the holy hell I'd gotten myself into (he was acting WEIRD, and I don't like weird antsy guys with knives), him driving faster and faster, cursing traffic the whole time.

We drove through a rural area and into a sort of suburb of Oklahoma City (Mustang, I think), and parked at a Braum's restaurant. Ted positively bounded from the car, then ran back to grab my elbow to hustle me inside.

Seated in a plastic booth, at the back of the restaurant, was a gorgeous young Asian girl. She saw us, got up, and threw her arms around Ted. They held each other for some time, long enough for me to know that they were a little more than friends...and then she took my hands. She looked at me for a long time, it seemed like, and then pressed her nubile little body against me, and...sighed. I don't know that I've ever heard a sigh convey so much happiness, kids, right there in that beige plastic dining room, with pink ice cream spoons stuck to countertops and the sound of fries being dropped in oil back in the kitchen.

I also didn't have to look at Ted to know he was watching my movements very carefully and counting the milliseconds until she let me go, which I hastened somewhat by asking Ted who she was. I already knew it was Gwen, but my head was spinning and I needed as much time to recover as possible.

We sat and ate icecream, and Gwen bubbled endlessly about how happy she was to finally meet me, and about school, and my school, and books, and everything under the sun but what I was concerned about, ie, the fact that Ted was cheating on his wife with her. This really blew my mind, and I spent the majority of the conversation smiling and nodding and allowing the odd looks and sudden changes in conversation topics of the past few months to fall into place. Dee was lonely, but she also suspected her husband was cheating on her. Their whispered arguments, her immense frustration, all of it clicked. I suddenly liked Ted a lot less.

Ted spent the majority of the short time we had together with one hand on her thigh, staring at me meaningfully. I tried to eat my ice cream.

The ride home was quiet. We make minimal small talk about how "nice" Gwen was, and how "happy" she'd been to see me, but my immediate concern was how to extricate myself from the whole situation. I couldn't stand looking at Dee, knowing what I did, and I knew right away that if I blew the whistle on the whole thing I'd better do it from a payphone on the way out of town. I understood one of the reasons why Ted insisted on showing me every weapon he had, and I had no doubt he'd use one on a human being of he got mad enough.


At 3:57 PM , Blogger Beardking said...

DREAMSCAPE - Hah, been there too. That's funny man.

Oh, and the dude is scum.

At 10:31 PM , Blogger Dylan said...

Yeah. It's one thing to have a nice axe over the mantle to spruce up a room, but as soon as you can start calling it a collection, you're talking freaky. (Unless of course, it's a collection of said person's ancestral weapons and armor, then it's cool.) But it sounds like this guy's about thirty, I think Gavagirl and I both know someone else like that.

At 6:57 AM , Blogger Jefe said...

No, in retrospect, much of this stuff was picked up in either flea markets or SCA events, which I'll get to in the next post.

At 7:48 AM , Blogger Gavagirl said...

Huh? We know people like that HERE?

Refresh my memory. I've known several Teds, but I think they all live in Norman and OKC.

All pretty screwed-up guys though. Yech.

At 11:29 PM , Blogger ~dee said...

That is a jacked uo situation to find yourself in...I can't blame you for wanting to split that scene!

At 10:47 PM , Blogger Dylan said...

I mean old and sleeping with people way too young. It's like a goddamned epidemic.


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