As a bit of background: I’m getting a divorce. This may come as a shock to some of you. Sorry for that? Many of you doubtlessly have questions as to the whys and wherefores, to which I say: none of your damn business. Those of you who are owed explanations* will get them, but certainly not in a blog. I may be tacky and insensitive, but I’m not that tacky and insensitive.
So, okay, that’s our backdrop.
Since leaving my house, I’ve been staying with my best friend Kris. It wasn’t necessarily my intention to come here and stay here, but she was the first to offer a couch and, well, one thing leads to another and here I am in the same place a month and a half later.
One of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed here as long as I have is Jake Busey. Yes, Jake Busey, star of Tomcats and Hitcher 2.
I probably need to elaborate on that a bit.
See, on Labor Day weekend, Kris and I went down to Indiana for HorrorHound Weekend. HorrorHound is a three day convention during which the who’s who of the Horror movie world rub shoulders with their fans. Horror fans, by the way, are mostly like comic fans—pasty guys in black t-shirts who are all either overweight or underweight, wear glasses and have creepy facial hair—so I didn’t have a very difficult time trying to fit in. And while I’m not the biggest horror movie fan around, Kris is. She’s as big a geek for The Devil’s Rejects as I am for Heroes. So being at a convention like this with her is a real treat. She absolutely comes alive—this is her in her element. Throughout the weekend, people actually came up to Kris to get their picture taken with her (and she wasn’t even wearing a Zombie Thor costume).
While I was just going to the con’** to hang out, schmooze and get away from the trials and tribulations of “real” life for a weekend, Kris was going to volunteer. By offering beard scratches to Bill, the guy in charge, she was able to land a gig as the Jason Mewes wrangler for the weekend (that’s Jay from Jay and Silent Bob fame, for those of you who are Mewes-illiterate). Unfortunately Mewes’ flight was delayed so Bill decided to send Kris to work Jake Busey’s table. When I heard that, I sent her a sympathetic glance in which I tried to convey the thought “Sorry you got stuck with Busey (read: douche), better luck next time.”
As it turns out, my sympathy was unwarranted. Jake Busey is awesome. There, I said it. Jake Busey is a great guy. In fact, almost everyone I met there turned out to be awesome***. Kane Hodder (Jason from Friday the 13th 7, 8, 9 and X) is both a hulk and a sweetheart of a man. Dee Wallace Stone (Mom from E.T. and Cujo), Derek Mears (the new Jason in the upcoming Friday the 13th****), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator and The Frieghteners) are all incredibly sweet and adorable. Joe Knetter (Zombie Bukkake) hides a tender heart beneath a thick wall of perversion. He and Mike Christopher (Hare Krishna Zombie from the original Dawn of the Dead) have actually become personal friends since the con. And, of course, Tom Savini (special effects wizard and Sex Machine from From Dusk Til Dawn) not only signed Kris’ arm, but was as excited as a school girl when she showed him that she got it tattooed over.
The weekend was a blast and provided a much needed escape for both of us. We got to kick back, have fun and just be ourselves for three days without worrying about divorces and kids and unemployment and everything else.
On the ride home on Sunday, the real world came crashing down . . . along with Godfrey, my beloved car. One moment we were driving past Anderson, Indiana marveling at the plumes of smoke from a house fire and the next moment, every light in the car came on and forward propulsion was replaced with simple momentum. I pulled over to the side of the road and, as is my typical response to car troubles, I decided to dive into oncoming traffic so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Kris calmed me down (luckily, unlike me, she took auto shop and knows something about cars). We popped the hood, she took a look, decided it was a problem with the cooling system and after relying on the kindness of a stranger, we found ourselves in a Motel 6 in Anderson while poor Godfrey was being towed (off hours on a holiday weekend) to a dealership in Muncie in the hopes that they would be open on Monday.
So we sat in a Motel 6 for almost 48 hours. There was a grocery store across the street, but no fridge or microwave in the room so we could only buy things that could be eaten and stored at room temperature. Of course, the fact that Kris has Celiac’s and therefore cannot eat anything containing gluten makes finding food a little tricky under the best of circumstances. Luckily, next door to the Motel 6 was a Red Lobster and seafood is something that both she and I can eat. Unluckily, it’s not the cheapest thing around and I had spent the last of my money buying a wasted tank of gas for Godfrey. But luckily, the manager at this particular Red Lobster had a daughter with Celiac’s so they were really good about making sure that everything they brought to us was uncontaminated.
We spent the day on Monday cooling our heels in the Motel 6 and doing some much needed laundry. I had a moment of terror when I pulled the laundry out to fold it and was convinced that I had shrunken all of Kris’ clothes. Turns out, though, she actually just is that tiny.
On Tuesday, after half a dozen calls to the dealership in Muncie it became clear that Godfrey wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. So, we rented a car (by the way, what’s with rental places that only do in state rentals? Screw those bastards!) and made our way back home, leaving Godfrey in Muncie with a broken engine and a $4,800 asking price to get him fixed. Thanks to friends far more generous than I could ever deserve, I’ve managed to pay off the expenses incurred while in Anderson and am working my way towards a solution to the car problems.
All along the way to Indiana, at the convention, and home from Indiana (including the 48 hour layover in Anderson) Kris and I talked. About movies and relationships, pasts, the present and the future. We watched the better part of a Dirty Jobs Marathon and ate rice bars. We were stranded, we were screwed and we were bizarrely happy the whole time. I’m not really known for handling stress well, especially when large sums of money are concerned, but somehow I never freaked out. Except, of course, when Kris discovered her ability to fart on command and nearly forced me out of the motel room.
When we got home, Kris had an email from Jake Busey. He thanked her for all of her work this weekend and then he added: “It was great hanging out with you and Dave. He’s a great guy and he loves the shit out of you.”
While this wasn’t really news for either of us, it was, and had been for a while, an unspoken secret between the two of us. Neither of us was looking for it, neither of us really wanted it or is in a position where it’s terribly convenient, but there it was. And Jake Busey was the first one to acknowledge it. Jake Busey put it out there. And he was right.
Even after a weekend of horror movies, dead baby dolls, zombies, serial killers and $4,800 car bills the most terrifying thing was the simple little truth that Jake Busey laid out for me: I am in love . . . the horror, the horror.
*Which is pretty much no one.
**That’s what us hip folks call “conventions.”
***With the notable exception of a particular comic book artist with a penchant for sending pictures of his genitals to the cell phones of women who are uninterested in them.
****It’s not a remake, it’s a duck.