My silence on the .67 mile walk back to my house was really starting to freak him out because he thought that the strong feelings I had for him at the time changed somehow. I was trying to figure out if that tear was real, if any of the feelings that he said he had for me were real, how I was going to break some reality to him when we got back so that he would still want to see me. These types of things weigh down the brain, especially when you care so much for a person. It doesn’t make for good conversation on a nice walk from the beach.
I felt like an asshole for not thinking that his feelings were real because that was probably one of the main reasons why he didn’t want to tell me he was an actor. And, that’s probably one of the things that keeps our actor brethren away from the little writers in shitty apartments in San Diego. We often forget that actors do not act all the time, and are constantly striving for a relationship where someone can see them for who their crazy asses really are. This man is fucking crazy, a good companion for the crazy woman from the Marine Corps who lived on the streets when she was 14 with a love for punk rock, violence, hard liquor, and good weed. I could tell that he knew I was thinking about these things because that’s one of the things that the people who control his contracts taught him to believe, and that’s why he kept what he did as a secret for so long. Plus, he always had a way of knowing what I was thinking.
“My feelings for you are real.”
“I know. I’m just trying to figure some things out.”
He sighed, “Are you sure? Because I feel like you’re thinking that they’re not.”
“Goddamnit, I know you think that but don’t worry about it. We’ll talk more about it when we get inside. We already made a scene down at the beach.”
That block to my apartment was a loooooong fucking block. We get inside and his phone rings. We both sighed.
“I have to go to work.”
“Yes, I already missed too much of it this week.”
“Well, you already missed most of today, and it’s a long drive back. Let me ask you something: is going to work with those assholes better than hanging out with me?”
“Fuck…….. I don’t know.”
Now the tactful approach that I had to address the problems that ailed him at work had gone out the window. He had given me a synopsis of what was going on when he was filming this movie, but he made it seem like he was working in an office environment, which I thought was very creative. He called filming, “doing the work,” and reading the scripts, “filing the paperwork.” He slipped up sometimes and didn’t have a code for some of the things that he did which made me know that those stories were half bullshit, but the interactions between the people were real. He was about to get a Cpl. Kerkman stern talkin’ to vice a Cassandra Kerkman tactful monologue now.
“You know, these people who you say ‘take care’ of you when you go to them with problems are really just trying to control you to make you think that you love what you do and you care about the people you work with.
Now he’s pissed.
“I was hoping that wouldn’t happen, but just hear me out. You say that this dude that you’re doing the movie with hits on you and slaps your ass all the time, and that you’re not sure if you like it or not. Then you talk about this woman who’s always trying to get in your pants and corners you when you’re alone and makes you feel like a piece of shit. That’s fucking sexual harrassment. You don’t like it when he hits on you and you don’t like it when she treats you that way.
“Then you go to these people who run the shit and tell them about how these people are making you feel uncomfortable, and what do they do? Fucking nothing. They just pat your head and say, ‘There there, you’re just being sensitive. Here’s another check so you shut your mouth and don’t tell anybody.’ And now you don’t feel like you can go to anybody about your problems and that’s why you’re always talking to me about it.
“Now it makes sense that you couldn’t go to an HR representative because YOU DON’T HAVE ONE! You know what would happen to someone in the Marine Corps if they didn’t report activity like that? Or if coworkers were treating somebody like that? The manager would 1. get fired. 2. lose his rank. 3. get moved out of the unit. The offenders would get loss of rank, reduction in pay, restricted to the barracks and KICKED OUT! Now, that isn’t to say that that happens all the time, but at LEAST you can try.”
“NOT EVERYTHING IS LIKE THE MARINE CORPS!” he yelled, “Everything is Marine Corps this, Marine Corps that, but that place is fucking crazy TOO!”
I just smiled, “That’s cognitive dissonance.”
“Cognitive dissonance?! What the FUCK does that even MEAN?!”
“Oh, so you didn’t read what I wrote,” I smirked.
“No, I did, I just didn’t fucking — FUCK!”
“Oh… You didn’t get it….
Now the tears started in his eyes again.
Baby, don’t get upset, I’m just trying to get you to realize something.”
“Is this what you did to your Marines?”
I laughed, “Yes.”
“You’re a dick.”
“Thank you,” I smiled and took a hit from the bong, “Cognitive dissonance is what happens when someone or something… Something as in a book or an article… Which I guess would technically be someone.”
“Sweet pea….. You’re rambling.”
“Oh yes, anyway, it’s when someone comes around and says something to you that makes you question the supposed reality that you’re living in by questioning what you already have made up in your mind.”
“Oh…. That is what you did.”
“Yes, and I’m very good at it.”
“Did you learn that from Adam Kokesh?”
That made me laugh really hard ’cause Adam is really good at doing that, and I had been working closely with him at the time. I told PJ about all of the shit we were doing together, how I was worried about him because the people he was hanging out with were pieces of shit, just using him for the work that he was doing to get some type of recognition out of his name. He needed a fellow Marine around, and that’s what I was.
“No, I didn’t, but he did help me with my technique.”
“Are you sleeping with him?”
“Baby,” I giggled, “I’m not sleeping with that man. Although, I do think about it a lot, if you want me to be honest with you.”
“Are you sure?”
“YES! You’re my numba 1 ho, baby.”
“IS HE NUMBER 2!?”
“Ok… Is there a number 2?”
“No! Anyway, you weirdo. Cognitive dissonance creates a sense of anger in the individual feeling it. That’s when you freaked out at me about the Marine Corps reference because you knew that you hadn’t been served justice… But then again, a lot of times that doesn’t happen in the Marine Corps anyway, but you are afforded resources to try to get the issue resolved….. I’m rambling again.”
“Yes you are.”
“Here, smoke this.” I handed him the bong.
He took a hit, and sat back on the couch. I let him sit there and ponder the little nudge in the side I gave him, then I put my head on his lap and he calmed down a little bit more.
“I do hate what I do.”
“Is it that you hate what you do or that you hate being — ”
“I fucking hate being Jack Holiday.”
“Well, when you come down here, you’re PJ. When you go up there, you’re Jack Holiday.”
That didn’t make him feel any better ’cause he had to leave in a few hours.
“Shit…. Is there something else that you like doing that you could do instead?”
“I like working on cars, and I never have any fucking time to do it.”
“Be a mechanic.”
“It’s not that easy, sweetpea.”
I smiled again, “Why not?”
He looked at me with a frustrated you’re-a-naughty-woman smile on his face.
“You just don’t stop, do you?”
“Hehe, no.” I grinned at him and then had a thought which wiped it off.
“Baby girl, what’s wrong?”
“I’m not the only one who instilled cognitive dissonance who’s sitting here right now.”
“You told my my fucking husband was cheating on me!”
“Oh!” he smiled, “I did do that, didn’t I?”
“Haha. Yes you did baby.”
I straddled over him on the couch, and we started to passionately kiss with the touching and the feeling. Then I got an idea.
“Let’s go get coffee!!!” I exclaimed.
“You….. wanna go get coffee…. right now.”
“Yes.” I gave him the puppy dog eyes.
“We can’t go to that one –”
“There’s one right down the street! It’ll be fine. We can walk!”
“Ok,” he sighed, “you Marines and your walking.”
“You buyin’?” I laughed.
“You’re gonna pay for that.”
“Maybe I will.” I smirked.
“What are you thinking? You’re acting weird.”
“I’m acting weird because. I. Haven’t. Had. Coffee. Today.”
“Ok ok, let’s go.”
The walk to the coffee shop wasn’t as long as the walk to the beach, but this time I wasn’t the one that was doing the hard thinkin’. I knew that man needed some time to think, so I just held his hand and stared off into the horizon where the ocean ran free. “It’s awesome living next to the beach,” I thought, “if only it wasn’t getting fucked up by nuclear radiation and non-stop pollution.” These are the kind of things my mind goes to when I’m staring off into the horizon. For once, he wasn’t trying to figure out what I was thinking but rather what his thoughts were, and that made me happy. I did my job.
So, we get to the coffee place, and he gets pissed because the barista knew exactly who he was when we walked in, so I gave her the good ol’, “NO! He’s PJ!” and he liked that. She gives us the total, he pulls out his credit card.
“Nope,” I said as I pulled mine out.
“Hell no, sweetpea.”
“Come on! You probably buy that bitch things all the time. Let me buy you something.”
He hands the girl the credit card, so I take it out of her hand, put the credit card in my purse, and hand her mine. She swiped it. Now he’s pissed.
“What the FUCK?! WHERE IS IT?!”
“It’s in my purse. You’re not gonna be able to find it. It’s like a black hole. Don’t worry. I’ll give it back to you.”
“You sure get angry when you don’t have your credit card,” I giggled.
“You. Are. High.”
“Yes I am!!”
She was taking her sweetass time, and it was making us really mad. So, he told her “less shit, more coffee.” Which made her upset, and I laughed really hard ‘casue that’s what I was thinking. Then we finally got the coffee and walked outside. He stopped, and looked at me.
“Yes?” I batted my eye lashes.
“Baby girl…. I keep on trying to figure out if anyone has done this for me before and I can’t think of one fucking person.”
“That was the whole point in me wanting to go get coffee. I wanted to do something for you because one of the reasons why you felt that way about me is because nobody ever does anything like that for you.”
He sighed, “Could you even afford it?”
“No,” I laughed, “but I’ll figure it out.”
He stared off into the distance and I could tell he was holding back.
“Baby, I wanted to do this for you because I love you!
“Shit! I thought, that fucking slipped out. Now it’s time for me to smooooooth it out.
“But not –”
“Doooon’t you fuuuucking say that. I know what you’re gonna say,” he pointed his finger at me, “’cause it’s something I would say in your situation, but guess what?”
Now I’m blushing, “What?”
“I feel the exact same fucking way.”
Now the tears are welling up in my eyes as we go to kiss. I’m pretty sure that barista heard that entire conversation because I felt this stinging in the back of my head as we held hands and walked away. Haters gonna hate.
We got back to the apartment, made love, and waited around til my husband just barely got home. We were cutting it close. I was constantly trying to figure out how to leave him, but I was scared.