Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Same story, different viewpoint

Here is a rare moment to witness a story from a different perspective, a kind of "Rashomon" writ small.

My sister Tara delightedly — and delightfully — took up her side of The Story, the misadventure I wrote about last week in which Nancy and I began our relationship for certain, 29 years ago.

The climax of the story took place when I had to call home from Monterey and let my parents three hours south in Lompoc know I wasn't spending the night nearby at a friend's house on a mid-summer trip, as they might have been led to believe. 

Instead, I had been up to the northern end of the state, and floundered two long counties and a couple of winding roads away from home, out of gas and money, and needed rescue.

I called home to reveal where I'd been and beg for help.

"Monterey, California?!??" she blared, when I revealed where I was and what I'd been up to.

Tara and I predicted alike what would happen next — and we were both wrong: Here's her spin.
"Oh! I can remember this day! With steam coming from mom’s head and dagger eyes, mom came marching over to me as I stood in the neighbor’s yard. I thought, 'Oh, gawd … which lie has she caught me in? What did she find in my room? Which class assignment did I not turn in, and which teacher ratted me out? Oh, mother of gawd! What have I done?! I didn’t mean to spend my lunch money on candy!'
"As we stood face-to-face I had my rebuttals prepared and ready to be issued. Whatever was about to come out of mom’s mouth, I was prepared.

"And then … she barked the sweetest words that I have ever heard in my entire childhood: 'Your BROTHER … is in Monterey… and WE have to go get him!' All I could think was, I do not know where or what this Monterey is… but it will be known as my little slice of heaven. For TODAY is the day that I, Tara Turner will witness my parents verbally punishing my goody two-shoes brother! A day that I will revisit forever!

"As soon as mom told me this glorious news … I smiled from ear to ear and skipped if not danced a jig all the way to the back seat of our parent’s car. My smile remained way past Paso Robles.

"Why play the radio when I could enjoy the beautiful music of our parents' conversation in regard to the amount of disgust that they felt by being deceived by their son. 'What the hell was he thinking? Auburn? Why in the hell would he drive all the way to Auburn? And with no money!? Ya know, WE are not going to get home until 4 in the morning…I cannot BELIEVE this!!?'

"Ah, blast that music! Turn it all the way UP!

"As we approached your VW in the Hilton parking lot. I thought I should have brought some popcorn because cause this is going to be quite the scene. We all get out of the car and walked over to you.

"And then there was  … nothing? Nothing?! No harsh words? No tongue lashing? Come on!? You guys were all pumped up on the car ride up here, what happened?

"The fizzle had faded … the spark was gone, the passion lost. My moment of joy had been taken away. What in the Sam hell just happened? I had been tricked, fooled to believe that I would witness a great lashing. My smile had changed to the look of confusion. I had waited three hours… three hours … actually, my whole life!"
The same reputation I had … the goody two-shoes image that let me let out hundreds of miles of line until my whole plan tangled up in the works … should have ended my misadventure before it even began. Who would I have known somewhere in the county, where my parents thought I was going? Maybe they thought I had met a friend from college. It was completely out of character for me to go anywhere overnight.

What was I thinking?! What were they thinking?!

I'm thinking we would have missed out on a good story.

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