And then, it was Sunday. I knew that as the day wore on I would become more and more melancholy, because I was having so much fun hanging out with Overg and really did not want to leave. Plus, his cats are awesome - who would ever want to leave them?
Sunday morning we got up at the respectable time of 8 a.m. Woo, sleeping in! Gah. Curse this northern latitude that makes the sun come up so early . . . back in my professional sleeping days I would have been done until 2:00 in the afternoon. We did the shower thing and agreed that neither of us were all that hungry for anything breakfast-y. I think I might have had a piece of cold pizza, but I don't remember.
I warned Overg in the morning that I would probably get quiet and introspective as it got later in the day, and if I did to just hit me in the face with something. Because I didn't want to waste time being mopey or sad. I baked a bunch of pies just for the occasion. But then Heewig went “look over there” so I looked and she hid them all so I couldn’t hit her in the face with them. Damn her clever bones.
The one thing I did want to do that day was go take photos of the windmill. Also, we were specifically going to go out and see the buffalo farm that Overg had told me about. Because Overg is all about the buffalo.
So we hit the road, with the first stop being the buffalo farm. Except that when we headed in that direction, Overg suddenly remembered that there was a buffalo RESORT right there in town. Well, maybe it was a resort for people that just had buffalo in it. Or nearby. Something... Brilliant me. I was planning on taking her about 15 miles out of town until I recalled the one that was about 3 miles from my house. And for the record, the resort is just right next to the farm . . . I don’t believe they’re actually related to each other in any way other than location.
Anyway, we whip into the parking lot of the resort and Overg nearly mows down a family of six. We find a parking space and then traipse off to find the buffa-buffa-buffalo. There's a pack (herd?) of them up on this hill, and Overg thinks we should go up the hill at its steepest point and then I have to break it to him that I'm not quite (or at all) wearing hiking shoes. He keeps insisting we can make it but ... no, I'm not trying it. So we walk up the end that isn't steep and then over to the buffalo. *Sigh*. Silly Floridians, thinking anything larger than an ant hill is some sort of mountain. And don’t even get me started on their grass.
So! Many! Buffalo!! There was a big herd of around 25-30 or so, with adults (including one HUGE GIGANTIC MOFOBUFFALO), juveniles, and wee li'l baby buffalos. I took lots of photos. Buffalos like to mug for the camera. The big buffalo right beside the barbed-wire fence started grunting; I think it must have really liked Overg. Then a baby buffalo walked over and checked us out. Sooooo cute.
Once the photo op was finished, Overg and I did somersaults and cartwheels down the steep part of the hill, all the way down to the car.
Then I think we saw more rich people houses with great views. We also drove around a different part of the city than what I had already seen, passing the Best Buy, an Old Navy Outlet (he's been holding out on me!) not really, it blows, the mall, and PetsMart. We were driving down some random road and then suddenly Overg whipped the car to the left and turned into a lakeside park-type area to "show (me) something." We pull into a parking space and then I see what Overg wanted to show me:
DUCKS AND GEESE EVERYWHERE!!!
How cool is that? Most people wouldn't care about seeing this at all, but Overg knows how much I love the little duckies and birds and stuff, so he brought me to this special magical place where ducks and birds and geese and swans all live together in peace, love and harmony. Just don’t approach them, they’ll bite your freakin’ kneecaps off.
There were mallard ducks and big white geese and Canadian geese (I think, eh) and other stuff that I don't know the names of. Oh, and laughing gulls, who were REALLY noisy and kind of annoying, but they were the ones Overg really liked. UNSURPRISINGLY. I love all of God’s creatures.
We scampered down to the edge of the lake and Overg pointed out that his office was just on the other side. So I was enjoying the toxicity from a whole other perspective.
We considered - and quickly dismissed - the idea of going to church.
Then we started driving back in the direction of his house, but Overg faked me out by driving a back way and then SUDDENLY we were upon the windmill again. I made him loop around a little bit so I could get a good angle from which to take my photo. A little? I think I had to circle the whole damn city 4 times just so you could get your perfect windmill shot.
While we were trying to get into position for that, Overg pointed out the "bottomless barn" and of course I HAD to take a photo of a barn that wasn't wearing any pants. As I was leaning out my window, a trio of cyclists was waiting diagonally across the intersection, watching me. One of them yelled that "you can take MY picture!" So I giddily yelled "Okay!" back and I took his photo, too.
The windmill wasn't moving on Sunday, though, so I implored Overg to go hang off one of the spokes and get it moving for me, but he claimed he wasn't tall enough. Which is a lie. But I got a decent photo anyway. Then we were set to return to his house, but I really wanted to find the trio of cyclists again so Overg and I could flash them. But they were sadly nowhere to be found.
Sooooo, back at Overg's house, and I think we then spent a couple of hours on the deck reading more of Bluebeard and drinking Woody's (Overg is now a convert). We came in to get out of the sun and finished reading the book on the couch. Overg got a little bit choked up at the end, which was sweet. I think I actually liked Bluebeard more than Slaughterhouse Five, though. I told you Bluebeard was his best book. You never listen to me, because you hate me and everything I stand for.
Then we caught up on HT a little bit and checked out the online menu for Outback Steakhouse, since I wanted to treat Overg to dinner for being such a great host and not hating me and stuff. No chance of that. We called in the take-out order (ribs with french fries for him, the Queensland Chicken Salad for me) and splurged on two slices of cheesecake. Because cheesecake is of the lrod.
We had a really nice talk on the drive out to the restaurant to pick up the food, and while we were waiting. Just about average, ordinary stuff. It's funny, I think that's one of the things people are usually concerned about when they meet people they've been talking to online. I wasn't all that worried about it with me and Overg ("me and Overg?" Aren’t you the woman who used to mock my grammar? Oh my how I’ve corrupted you), simply because we'd basically been a daily presence in each other's lives for more than two years. But even so, it was just a really nice feeling to realize that nothing was different between us in person. There's almost never any pauses in our conversations. The only difference is that we could look at each other while we were talking.
We decided to watch Donnie Darko while we were eating dinner, and damn is that a strange (but very good) movie. I got a little choked up at the ending, when I realized what was happening. The Mad World montage gets to everyone. I couldn't stop thinking about the movie all the next day, too, and I eventually had to buy it myself so I could watch it over and over(g) again and try to figure out how the plot is woven together.
After the movie we just hung out on the deck and talked some more. Again about nothing in particular. Jobs, where we live, what we dreamed we would do with our lives. Just stuff like that. I was starting to feel kinda bleh, because I suck. But Overg always managed to cheer me up and make me smile.
Overg then let me watch him vacuum!! Urm, I did that the first thing in the morning, mostly while you were in the shower. You are obviously so dizzy from meeting me that you have become unstuck in time. And THEN he let me watch him IRON!! It was like watching a master at his craft, no lie. After that we went out into his front yard to walk around a little bit (Overg cannot stand still for very long) and while we were out there looking at the sky, we saw a shooting star.
Back inside, we hung out on his bed watching a couple of things on TiVo, and by then it was time to try and go to sleep, since we needed to get up at 4:30 a.m. the next day. My plane was leaving at 7 a.m. and we needed to be out of his house by about 5:45. We said our goodnights and I went into my room to, again, pass out.
I woke up the next morning at 4:20, just ahead of the alarm clock. Jumped into the shower and then got dressed, and by that time Overg was up. We were finished getting ready by about 5:15, so we took some photos of us together in the kitchen, then I took photos of him holding Beaker on their fourth anniversary.Thank you, thank you, thank you for that. Overg managed to get a pretty good photo of me holding Beaker as well. If by “pretty good” you mean “awesome”, then I agree.
We hauled my luggage down to the car and then decided to kill time just hanging out on his driveway, talking, instead of going to the airport too early. But then it was time to leave, which made me sad. We got to the airport and through the check in process pretty quickly and then got into the line of people trying to get through the security checkpoint. It was about a 10 minute wait to get to the point past which only ticketed passengers could continue.
I actually held it together a lot better than I thought I would. I don't typically do well with goodbyes, especially when it involves someone I care about a lot (but don't see very often). So I teared up a little bit, but nothing too bad. Hopefully nothing that Overg found embarrassing. Not even remotely embarrassed.
And then I was up at the security checkpoint and Overg had to leave. Bluh. We gave each other a long hug, then I kicked him in the butt and told him to go away. I waved to him through the glass as he was walking back out to his car, but he didn't see me. I saw him looking my direction as he opened his car door, so I waved, and this time he waved back! Actually, I couldn’t see her through the glass which was being all mirrorlike, so I just blew a kiss in her general direction, hoping she would see it. Which confused me because he was much closer the first time I waved, yet he didn't react.
So yeah. Then I bought a magnet and some water in the airport gift shop and boarded my flight to Chicago and once I got to Chicago I had a two-hour layover so I got breakfast at McDonald's and called Overg back at work and he helped me kill the time before my flight back home to Tampa. And I came home to two very happy kitties and a great big feeling of emptiness.
Hmm, now I need a conclusion.
In conclusion - Overg is a wonderful person. Isn’t that what I’ve been telling you for over two years? I have always felt very fortunate to be his friend, and to have an important place in his life, and that feeling was reinforced after having visited him. It was very gratifying to know that our bond was no different in person than it has been online and on the phone. I don't think visiting him really changed anything between us, a least not anything momentous. I don't think we're any more important to each other now than we were before I visited. Although I think I do feel a little more "confident" in the depth of our friendship, and that it isn't just some online thing that could be easily let go or walked away from. Heh. As if I’d ever let you just walk away from our friendship.
Maybe the only thing that has changed for me is that now I can picture him doing all the things he tells me about, or the things he talks about. Like his cats and his house and his yard and his basement and his office and playing gitchu and Brunch flying around and walking around outside while talking on the phone and meatwadding and eating cheesy bread and chips with dip and modding HT and poking and ironing and vacuuming and napping and admiring his butt and laughing with each other while watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force and making him smile because I'm such a big gork (but he's a bigger one) and being total gaywads with each other and happily knowing what it actually feels like when he gives me a *hug*.
We really should be roommates.
And, because it’s all about me, I will take the last word. Julie and I have been damn near constant companions for over two years now, and she probably knows and understands me about as well as anyone in the world. So it was wonderful to have her visit and get to hang out with her and stuff. And meet the cats. It’s one of the very first things we bonded about (my love for Beaker, her’s for Caygeon and Dawsey), and she was the one who really encouraged me to get Thumper. So it was great that she got to meet them. Anyway, it was wonderful having you visit, Heewig, and thank you for being my best friend.