Lovin' in a lonely land

Continued from last week-

We continue with talk but I'd not call it small talk.

"My boyfriend and I are all through, I'm going back to New Jersey, "she said.

Bam, she landed that clinker like ton a bricks.

Do I assume she's just conversationally hung out a vacancy sign? Or do I read a note of sadness in her tone from which she's trying to milk sympathetic council? Hard to say, when you're in the moment, and you're clueless.

Ignoring her relationship status update I ask, in a way not unlike a doctor asks a patient when they might have first noticed the swelling, what she plans to do when she gets home to New Jersey.

"I have no idea. No plans. I don't really know."

Mmm. It wasn't an-I have no idea, I have no plans, I don't really know, because I'm heart broken over my break-up.

It was more like an-I have no idea, I have no plans, I don't really know, so if you ask me to go for a ride right now, I'll go.

Was I savvy enough to read between the lines? No. So I played her cue with boring sincerity-"Well, you don't have to know. You'll figure it out."

Hello, operator? Yes, I'd like to place a call. I'm looking for-uh, the family jewels; I seemed to have misplaced them.

Ah, the pain of a skinny white boy bred in the lap of a sturdy, warm, solid Christian home that oozed goodness from every pore; a clean home from which the F word never flew. A home where parents clinked tiny glasses of orange juice over breakfasts of cereal with fruit, buttered white toast, and cups of coffee, every morning. A home that hosted cozy, chocolate chip cookie-themed, tradition steeped, Jesus-based, cold-snowy-jingle-belled family only holidays, the likes of which singer Andy William's late 1960s-era Christmas television specials couldn't hold a candle.

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