Phish Lot Foreplay

Divorcee and I laugh about how before I agreed to even go on our first date, at 22, I had actually written and showed him a list I had made, the top ten reasons why the two of us could never work out. I wish to God I still had that list. I have no doubt in my mind what I wrote for number one.
Before I reveal that, funny, I kind of feel like David Letterman, I do recall somewhere in there I wrote that he could never come to my home. I lived like a gypsy anyway, mostly from couch to couch, my lovely beach cruiser with basket and my border collie attached to my wrist were my only means of transportation.
I lived in a beautiful three story Charleston classic with hardwood floors and stone walls. The only problem was those lovely floors were covered in dirty hippies, some not so dirty, just barefoot with dreads, while others, well, they were pretty dirty. I loved the girl who invited me to live with her, who I knew well, but I saw her maybe twice. I could not imagine him driving over, nine years older, all mature with his Ethan Allen furniture, being greeted by four or five dogs, and me unable to even name the people living there.
He was kind of clean cut, kind of my boss, and kind of well, anal retentive. He also sometimes reads this, so I will also state he would disagree, about being anal retentive.
He files in alphabetical order every instruction booklet he has ever used, just in case, even for high chairs, remote controls, and labels them all with his label maker.
You be the judge.
It is still unimaginable to me how we ever made it past one date, much less years of marriage. The hippies were greeted politely, a fact I would not have sweated if I had known then he was far more irritated with me putting my bare feet up on his dashboard.
His top ten list would have stated no toe prints on car windshields.
I could get pass the house, the dogs, the age, the personality differences and quirks, the circles of friends, his obsession with filing.
It all came down to number one, a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from, a battle inside me, breaking me down.
He hated the band Phish.
It wasn’t just that he hated Phish, but he hated everything it represented. He hated all my tapes and cds, all the handwritten set lists given to me by close friends. I couldn’t talk about a concert or a time surrounding my most favorite jam band without him tuning out, or walking in the room to turn it off, and even worse, he liked to argue for his favorite band at the time being, “Creed.”
Yeah. Are you kidding me? “With Arms Wide Open?” This was more than a dilemma, it was a fight or two, and in the end, down right war.
How on God’s name was I ever going to listen to music with this man, take road trips, the fact being I played my music 24 hours a day, as loud as the speakers turned up, living for the next live show. Not only did he not want to go or ever go, the real problem was that he didn’t want me to go either.
I chose him. I thought it was time to grow up, to move away from the beach, a feeling that felt nothing like a compromise, but more like a betrayal.
It was never about Phish or Creed, and we both know this now. It was how we betrayed ourselves, how I sobbed putting my tapes into boxes, how the resentment built, how unfair we fought, two sides pushing and pulling, never a team. We did not know we could keep ourselves and each other, a lesson we both suffered to finally learn.
Still, I would do it all again. I love who I am, the children we brought here, the friendship we have fought for, the lessons I needed in order to find who I was and am, finding what we want from living through what we don’t want.
Having said this, ten years later, I have in my hands, a Phish ticket, for lawn, on the fourth of July.
I fought ten years for this ticket.
Two of my best friends from college are going, girls I love like they were a part of my own soul, my sisters who have seen me from hell and back, friends who no matter how long it has been can find and meet me right where I am, again and again.
I found it on Craig’s List, payed twice what it was worth, from a dude in a high rise Buckhead condo, a place I had been given the address by text. I was more dressy than usual, so relieved that I had not worn my mom rags, having to be let in by security, wearing a tube top dress with sandals, high heels, shiny lip gloss reapplied, my favorite silver bracelets with matching earrings dangling.
“Who in the hell puts Phish tickets on Craigs List that lives like this?” I wondered.
He was tall, clean shaven, about my age, maybe wearing a suit but I was too distracted by his baby blue eyes, waiting for me in the lobby.
I almost fainted he was so freaking hot.
He introduced me to the man at the front desk, who was laughing into his hands, probably because he was as surprised as me, expecting God knows who, clearly stating early he did not like to do business by Craigs List.
We met eyes, and it was more than my heels, his Buckhead palace, the polite adult conversation.
I could give a damn about his money.
It was the way he groaned handing the ticket over, the hesitation over having to miss out while he began a new job, the Charlotte shows he had not anticipated having to miss, the way he talked, like he knew how to drive barefoot, the music all the way up.
I imagined his fine ass dancing on a Phish lot, and instead of imagining him naked, I thought he could definitely make a mean grilled cheese, a foreplay that meant I had better take the ticket gently, control my breathing, and slowly but carefully, begin to walk away.

2 thoughts on “Phish Lot Foreplay

  1. i never cared a whole lot for creed, very generic band in my opinion…..i also felt like i need to be female to understand some of that, but enjoyed!!

    ps i make real good grilled cheeses, especially for breakfast!!

  2. im only 17 but love phish the 4th was my first show. stay strong woman-much love

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