Sunday, June 16, 2013

Then and Now 69 - Nate and Annie

Then and Now 69 - Nate and Annie
Time: Mid-2007, single and at my apartment, and later dating my wife.

I've really dropped the ball talking about Nate and Annie, the ones who provided me with the apartment I lived in during the best time of my life. I've talked a little here and there about things we've done together, but now it's time to really let these two shine in their own Then and Now.

Nate was only a little bit older than me, and Annie was about my age. He was out of college and working as an engineer, and she was an office worker. Their apartment was a bit smaller than mine, but probably cozier: there was a huge TV against the southern wall and a sofa on the north, and the kitchen was attached to the living room on the east side. Annie cooked once or twice for us, but most of the time, I just came over to talk and watch TV, then go home. I did cook burritos for them once, and though Annie seemed to be a bit uninterested, Nate scarfed them down like mad.

I never went into Annie's room of course, but I went into Nate's once or twice: it was usually a bit of a pig sty, and his computer was always on and opened to different chat programs. I also learned that he used to play Diablo 2 about the same time I did in college. Because we were all so close in age, and because I was grateful to them for the great place I was renting from them, we spent quite a few days and nights together talking, watching movies, playing games and having a good time. I guess it's kind of odd for a tenant to make good friends with his landlord and girlfriend, but there it is.

One night, we played a local board game with each other, and though I was able to pick up the rules and strategies with a couple minutes of bilingual explanations, Annie was an absolute master at the game. Every time I thought I had her beat, and even when Nate was sitting next to me and advising me on what to do, she would win every time. Sometimes it seemed like I was going to win in a turn or two, but Annie, playing possum or something, would suddenly unleash the fury of hell and stomp me into the ground before I could deliver the finishing blow.

The two invited over some school friends one night, two cute girls, so we could all play together, and same story: Annie whooped all. What was kind of funny was at the end of the game, the girls went home and Nate asked me something odd: "Can I ask the girls if they like you?"

"Huh?" I answered, half-amused and half-confused. "Why's that?"

He laughed. "It'll be funny!" he answered. I said sure and let him ask later, but I never heard back from him or the girls. Bad news, I guess?

Another night, one of Nate or Annie's cousins was over and hanging out with them, and I made a sudden, surprise visit downstairs at the same time. The previously smiling and talkative guy suddenly shut down when he saw me come in, but it didn't stop me from warmly greeting him and carrying on a conversation with him in the local language.

We watched Lord of the Rings together, but I don't remember which one it was. I told him Gimli was my favorite, especially since I'm a big John Rhys-Davies fan, and he quietly answered that he was a Legolas guy himself. I wasn't terribly surprised; the elf is usually the number one to fans of the movies. We watched the movie for a good long while, and when it was over, I went on back to my apartment to give him, Nate and Annie some time together.

Another day, I invited Nate up to my house to show him the first episode of Sliders. I had to pause it a few times to explain what was going on because his English wasn't terribly good, but he seemed to enjoy himself and asked several questions about what was going on. He was really unimpressed with the CG on the ice tornado halfway through, though being an engineer and used to the latest tech in his house and life, I didn't blame him. While in my place, I taught him the difference between negative "s***" and positive "the s***," and he updated his away message on his chat program with that information later.

A final story I have is the time I went down to Nate and Annie's place, and Nate very happily and proudly showed me some airsoft guns he had bought on the internet. He even spent some time drawing up and printing out some targets to hang in the kitchen, and took great pleasure in showing me how to load the guns and fire them correctly.

He was much more experienced with real firearms than I was, but I had spent more time with air guns when I was younger, so it was an interesting exchange of ideas and tips between the two of us on how to load and fire. We took turns shooting the target from a distance with his rifle, and in the end, he ended up edging me out my just a couple of points to prove himself the true master shooter.

Nate and Annie were good friends, and just two of many reasons I enjoyed going home after work or travel to have a relaxing time away from everything. Since I got married, we only met up once so my wife and I could introduce our son to them, but other than that, I haven't seen either one in years. I still often think about them, and the times we had together.

As for today...

I woke up at 5:00.
I played video games.
My wife and son woke up, so I turned off the computer.
I played cars with my son.
I went to work.
I taught students.
I came home.
I took a nap.
I woke up to an empty house.
I played video games.
My wife and son came home, so I turned off the computer.
I played cars with my son.
I roughhoused with him.
I showered him.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I folded and put away dry clothes.
I did the dishes.
I slept.

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