Back in the day, when Phil and I were first dating and living at the Berkshire, Gavin was trying to get his Canadian girlfriend across the border. For whatever reason, Monique just couldn’t make it across. Even with an official letter of invite, she couldn't get it done. Every other week she’d tell her parents she was going to go across, and every other week she was turned back. We blamed her parents—like maybe they had sent pictures to all the border guards—“Don’t let this girl across”. It just boggled the mind how anyone could have so much trouble crossing the longest unguarded border ever.
Before we could get Monique down, Gavin moved out to California to live with his folks and his sister. During this time, Monique pulled a fast one on her folks and told them she was going over to a friend’s for the weekend. That Monday she called them from Gavin’s place in California.
Things were okay for them out there, I guess. They had an apartment in West Hollywood and Gavin was working for his father in the construction biz. We would talk to them through the occasional e-mail or phone call.
But living in California gets expensive and Gavin was hungering for the easier life Dallas has to offer. It seemed it didn’t matter how much Gavin was making. They could only save about $60 a month and that’s not really enough for anything. Add to that, Monique was afraid to leave the apartment at night. I can’t say as I blame her. After all, California—that’s where they have earthquakes, blackouts, and riots. I wouldn’t want to live there.
So, Phil and I conspired to bring them to Dallas and set them up in our spare bedroom. Amtrak was running a special in the summer of ’99 and so we got a two-for one deal on train tickets. I think it only cost about $300 to get them and their associated stuff from Cali to Dallas.
The first thing we did when we got them to our place was order a pizza. Rockyano’s down the street has a special called “The Big Momma” which is billed as “bigger than big food”. It is huge. I remember Monique gasped when we opened the box. “Everything is bigger in Texas.”
We didn’t live together that long, really. It was only from about July to October, if my memory serves me right. It wasn’t that bad. Not like Garland was.
But there were little things that created tension.
Food was a big issue. I had already laid down the law “don’t use the last unless you bought it”. Also, Gavin has a habit of eating soup/chili/canned beans right from the can. Phil and I got around this by making the food we had difficult to eat. We would buy items based solely on the amount of time they took to cook: dry pasta, flour, eggs, frozen chicken, etc.
Dirty dishes was another thing. Now, I’ll admit that I am a psycho when it comes to keeping things clean. Living with a hebephrenic will do that to you. Living in the roach motel will do that. But please, put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them. I don’t care. You don’t have to lovingly hand wash everything, just don’t leave it in the sink for ME to find. And don’t leave dirty dishes in your room. That’s just asking for it.
But that’s usual roommate stuff. No big deal.
Phil had his own rules for “the kids”. Because they weren’t working they needed to:
Any one of the above would suffice. It was a matter of not just laying around doing nothing. If there’s nothing on TV, don’t watch TV. If there’s something you don’t know or don’t understand, look it up; we live in the age of the internet—there is no excuse for ignorance. So on, so forth.
- clean the house
- produce one drawing a day
- read a book
There was one night Kris came over with some of the worst weed known to man. “This is worse than Wal-Mart weed. This stuff is so bad, I wouldn’t let you smoke it.” It was for cooking, like a bad sherry.
We made cookies—not brownies—that came out of the oven a distinctive green color. Then we invited a bunch of people over and everyone sat around eating cookies and listening to music. Kris and JR had to go down to the 7-11 for smokes and drinks at one point and the cashier couldn’t keep his eyes off that wondrous, green cookie.
Kris started jabbing at Gavin when he said it had been a long time since he smoked out. “You were in California and you didn’t smoke no weed?” Then Phil let it slip Gavin had been living in West Hollywood. “Punk!” Kris yelled. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
At one point, Monique got pissed off at Gavin about something and stormed out of the apartment (because you can do that in Dallas—it’s too dangerous to do it in West Hollywood). And after a made a house-cat/kitten joke, Gavin and Phil went off in search of her. At one point Phil was asking the dealer at the top of the hill, “Have you seen about five feet of white Canadian go by?” “No,” responded the dealer. “Just what kind of Canadian white were you looking for?”
It was during this summer that Phil and I got married. It was fun. For a wedding gift, Kristen offered to take Gavin and Monique over to her place for the weekend, “to give you guys some time alone without the kids.” Gavin and Monique were now officially “the kids”. Kris called them "the kids". Dart called them "the kids". I called them "the kids"; we had that kind of relationship.
Phil had originally planned for Gavin to join him at ASD, but that fell through. Gavin was looking for work and looking for work (which is hard in Dallas without a car). Monique was bringing in some meager cash with selling art-work, but it wasn’t enough for them to really live comfortably in our home, let alone move out into one of their own.
But, Gavin did get a job doing tech support a CompUSA and two weeks later they got their own place.
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