Upgrade

I ended yesterday by christening my new, 19th century, claw footed, slipper tub with 21st century brass fixtures. While it was filling, I hung the shower curtain I found at Chase-Pitkin last week while I was waiting for the paint to be mixed. I stepped into my rejuvenation basin, swung the pinstriped linen curtain around to block out the peeling wallpaper and cracked tiles and sank down into bliss. Two hours later, a thoroughly relaxed, and wrinkled, Thisby emerged.

Today started early, with Gus and Bobby returning to finish the powder room downstairs while I cleaned up the mess I had accumulated over the last week and a half. The brothers finished up around 2:30pm, just as I was rechecking my packing to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything: suit for the meeting, check; #20 cap, check; swimsuit, check; toothbrush, toiletries, check; pjs, check. iPod, check; camera, check; toothbrush (I always seem to forget it), check.

I was pondering if I had enough time to grab food before heading to the airport, while taking out the trash, when my thoughts were interrupted by Logan's voice through the gate.

"You aren't cheating on my shower are you? 'Tubby' has a fragile ego, I'm not sure he could handle you seeing another shower."

"Actually," I replied "'Tubby' and I broke up Tuesday night."

"He hadn't told me, but I knew something was up. He has been dripping the last couple days."

We both got a good laugh out of the exchange, which was followed by a very awkward pause.

Logan broke first, "What are you up to the rest of the week?"

"I'm flying to Charlotte in a couple of hours. Got a meeting first thing down there."

"I thought you quit."

"So did I, but apparently submitting one's resignation and moving over 700 miles away doesn't mean you are out of the game."

"Sounds kind of fishy to me. Should I be calling you 'Dona Thisby'? When are you back?"

"Not until Monday morning."

"That must be some meeting."

"The meeting will only be a few hours tomorrow, the rest of the weekend I will at the track and hanging out with friends on the lake."

"I still can't figure out the appeal of racing. It's just a bunch of cars going in circles. Well, I should let you go...have a safe trip."

"Will do."

I went back in the house, made a quick sandwich, checked my bag again for my toothbrush, check, and headed out for the airport.

I got through security and checked in at the gate in no time flat; settled into a seat facing the windows, propped my feet on the baseboard vent, started my iPod up and shut my eyes. I am a total music junky. I have playlists going back to puberty. Shortly after I got my first iPod, I am on my third, I recreated all of my old mix tapes as digital playlists, making my iPod a pocket time machine.

Today I decided to revisit sophomore year in college, specifically my 1996/7 frat mix and chick mix. I know it sounds like a weird combination now, but at the time you know you were listening to feminist rock by day and cheesy techno/pop at night. Try to deny it, but I know you have an Indigo Girls album and one of those NOW cds sandwiched between The Fugees and Chemical Brothers.

I'm not sure how long I had the world blocked out for, but when I opened my eyes to check the time, Ben was sitting next to me.

"Hi there. I was wondering when you would return to the mortal plain," he beamed at me.

"Did I look like I was dead or something?"

"No, just like you had returned to Mount Olympus for awhile."

"That is the worst line I have heard in years! I might have to pretend not to know you."

"Then I guess I will have to tell them to un-upgrade you to first-class," Ben grinned nodding to the gate counter.

I recovered quickly, "I suppose I can overlook your tackiness this once...just don't let it happen again. Why the upgrade?"

"I figured there was no sense in us both traveling alone when we could travel alone, together," he smirked.

"Again with the cheesy! I might have to un-upgrade myself."

"Okay, no more clowning around. I promise. So...how you doin'?" he asked sliding his arm around me. After receiving a playful shove he continued. "So what are you heading back to Charlotte for so soon after moving? You haven't given up on us already, have you?"

"No, I have a business meeting tomorrow morning and then I am spending the rest of the weekend with friends and going to the race."

"Me too, except for the business part. I try to avoid suit-and-tie work as much as possible."

We spent the next couple of hours talking about this and that, but mostly argued the merits of Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson while enjoying the first class cookies. When we got off the plane, there was a town car and driver waiting for Ben and a Honda and Janey waiting for me.

"Can I give you a ride somewhere?" Ben offered.

"No thanks. Janey is waiting for me right over there. I thought you were just down here to go to the races and hang with friends, what's with the car and drive?"

"The family has a car service," he said meekly. "Well you and your friends are welcome to come up to the lake this weekend. The family has a house no one ever uses and a couple of boats up there."

"I will keep that in mind."

When I reached Janey's car she asked how I knew Ben. I explained the connection and countered with the same question. Turns out her family's lake house is three doors down from the Holitz's.