I won’t bore you with the details of my angry walk home. While I was doing that, Albie was angrily picking up Scott LaMountain from his house.
I sat in my living room, doing some more seething. It was something I was getting pretty damn good at. I was also beginning to regret my decision. I wanted to camp. I wanted to stand in the lake, feel the sand between my toes. My anger brought me high, always did. Now, however it was bringing me down. I was alone, when I should have been surrounded by friends, old and new.
It was as I sat in my stew, thinking over all the wonderful things I would not be doing in the coming days, that my doorbell rang. Standing at my door; lanky, dark-haired, with an overly eager smile, was Scott LaMountain. He waved and offered his hand, “Hey, Matt. Why don’t you come camping with us?”
A glance out the door showed me that Albie was waiting in his car. He was staring straight ahead, his hands gripping the steering wheel, white knuckle tight. I turned back toward Scott and smiled. It was a broad smile, baring my teeth, and it took him aback. “I don’t think I’m going to go camping, Scott.”
“C’mon. We’ll have a good time.”
“I’ll tell you what.” I paused, I wanted to savor what I felt was a great moment. One often tricks themselves into feeling that way when they’re behaving like an absolute ass. “You bring Albie over here. You have him apologize to me. Then we can go camping.” I closed the door, hard. Then I walked over to my kitchen window. I watched Scott walk across the driveway, open the enormous door of the Mercury Cougar, and climb into his seat.
I couldn’t hear what was being said, but I knew Scott was delivering my message. A smile crept across my lips. Scott finished speaking, and Albie reacted. There was a furious explosion of words, none of which I could hear. His fists pounded the forest green steering wheel and I believed for a minute he might actually strike Scott. Now this was fun.
I went back to my door, waited for the bell to ring. I opened the door before the bell finished chiming, and faced down one of the few men shorter than me. “Hello, Albie,” I spoke first. I could see he was just as angry at me, and it gave me a great thrill.
“Matt,” he spoke through gritted teeth, “I want you to know, I’m sorry you misunderstood about this morning’s plans. The plan was always for me to pick up the supplies, then pick up Scott, and you.” He smiled, a forced smile, as if everything was now ok.
“That was not the plan,” I slammed the door.
I moved back to my window and watched as he returned to his seat behind the driver’s seat. There was more yelling. Scott’s sunny demeanor fell. His head sank, his shoulders shrugged. He opened his car door, made his way to my door and rang the doorbell. I waited a moment before opening the door this time.
He sighed, deep. “Hey, Matt. Just,” he paused, “Just come camping.”
“I can’t do that until he apologizes.” I could almost see the weight being placed upon his shoulders as he trudged back toward his car.
This time Albie practically ran to my door. “Matt,” he growled, “Time is wasting. I”m sorry I wasn’t here when you were expecting me. You are right, I am wrong.”
“OK,” I grabbed my bag, “We’ve got ourselves a camping trip!”
To Be Continued…