Thursday, June 21, 2012
No Fancy Car
In March of 2002, Merkus’s sister Karah from called to tell him about a work friend of hers named Stacie. She was a college-educated, independent professional, while
he was a long-haired college dropout, the lead singer of an obscure band
According to Karah, however, they had a lot in common…interest in Tom’s of Maine products, Crystal Deodorant and yoga. Hmm.
At the time, Merkus was living in Los Angeles and working in a series of bad jobs. His band was doing great, but no one gave a shit (and, in his words, they still don’t). Karah asked him if he’d be interested in meeting Stacie.
“Yes!” Karah replied.
“Have her shoot me an email.”
Karah contacted Stacie telling her all about her wonderful brother. She added that she might enjoy gabbing with him since they had sooo much in common. Merkus also wrote to Stacie saying his sister thought the two of them might enjoy gabbing with each other since they had sooo much in common. Merkus and Stacie exchanged emails and they planned for her to visit him that September.
Even though Stacie had seen a picture of Merkus, they both felt they were meeting each other largely sight unseen, and taking Karah’s word that they’d hit it off. The two agreed that even if they didn’t, they’d at least have a good time.
Merkus picked Stacie up at the airport in his 1993 Honda (a recent upgrade from his previous 1983 Honda). She was wearing a long sweater and, true to Karah’s word, she was hot. Stacie, in turn, thought Merkus was cute despite the fact that he was wearing a mustard-colored women’s sweater that was given to him by a lesbian co-worker. She particularly liked his long hair, which extended the length of his back.
Being a little nervous, Merkus grabbed her bag, threw it in the back seat of his car and simply said, “We gotta go!”
Knowing that Stacie liked wine, he had bought several bottles for her, but being a beer drinker, it wasn’t until they got back to his tiny studio apartment that he realized he didn’t have a corkscrew. As a solution, Merkus pushed the cork into the bottle and wound up spraying red wine EVERYWHERE.
Despite all this, and the fact that Merkus was largely a hermit and had no idea how to entertain anyone (let alone a woman), the two of them still had a good weekend. Stacie wanted to ride the Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier, so Merkus, wanting her to have a good time, didn’t make any mention his fear of heights. He managed to hold it together until he freaked out at the top. Once safely down, they had dinner in Koreatown, drinks at Barney are Beanery in West Hollywood and found funky places near the beach that he had no idea even existed.
Merkus’s typical Sunday morning had been purchasing a 12-pack of beer from a nearby 7-11 and a copy of The Los Angeles Times from McDonald’s. That Sunday, though, Stacie introduced him to Starbucks. At the time, he didn’t even know where one was! (These days, however, he’s a changed man and regularly drinks a specialty latte concoction that he created for himself.).
That Halloween, Merkus took a trip to Chicago to see Stacie and Karah. Stacie returned to Los Angeles for Christmas.By the end of the following year (2003), Merkus, who was fed up with Los Angeles and burnt out from trying to make something of the band and his music, decided to move to Chicago. Stacie flew out that Christmas to help him pack, and the two headed back to the windy city to move in together. Eight years later, Stacie and Merkus were married and had the European honeymoon of their dreams. Happily ever after they are back again in LA.
Their Relationship, Their Love, Their Words
He: What could she ever do that would make me leave??
I would be the one to mess this up.
She: He will do what’s right because it’s right.
No fancy car, six-figure job or mansion can ever buy that.
Terrence Moss is a short fiction writer and media commentator with original stories featured on www.thenewgay.net and www.frontiersweb.com as well as articles on Associated Content and Suite 101. He contributed the story "They Call Him Beethoven, I Call Him Piano Man" (1/29/11) for How Did You Meet Anyway. Terrence operates a blog called "Terrence Moss Presents" that can be found at www.terrencemoss.blogspot.com. He is active on the twitter, the facebook, the tumblr and also highly googleable.