|A North California friend, not Sally|
In my earliest blogging days there was a woman who posted and commented prolifically and introduced people so I made a lot of blog mates through her and got to know her well enough to phone her sometimes. Sally had a husband or maybe an ex called Rob. He was supposedly a one-time actor on Days of our Lives. I think they were still together when we first knew each other and at some point he went to live with his mother. Anyways, I knew Sally well but Rob was known to me mostly by what Sal said. When I decided to take a trip to the US I intended to stay with Sally but unknown to me, she was drinking heavily and ashamed of it so pulled out at the last minute.
I was to get an early morning train from Sacramento to LA so Rob offered me a bed at his place the night before and a lift to the station in the morning. The arrangements were made by email and there were a couple of phone calls as well. Everything was civilised and friendly until the day before I was to stay there when Rob called me in an absolute flap about something Sally had said. He was threatening to pull out of the whole arrangement but I needed the place to stay so I soothed his ruffled feathers and things carried on.
Another blogger drove me from her place to Rob's in the late afternoon. It didn't look like the trailer parks in the movies but it was a mobile home in what seemed to be a suburb full of neat prefab dwellings, a stark contrast to the affluent neighbourhood pictured in Sally's blog. Rob came out to meet me, he was considerably shorter and less good looking than he had been represented, I almost didn't recognise him. He hugged me for far too long as my other friends looked on, then they waved goodbye and left.
We went inside the cluttered house and I was shown to my room which looked more like an actual person's bedroom than a spare. Rob was insistent that I should book a room for my upcoming night in LA and sat me down at his computer to do so, then he wandered off and got involved in a text conversation with somebody while I attempted to entertain myself in his house. He mentioned that after dinner we might go for a drive.
Eventually it was dinner time and we went to some place to get burrito bowls. We chose one each and then drove back to the house where Rob emptied half of each bowl onto a plate and packed the rest away, never to be seen again.
Sally decided to make the drive to meet me and soon after we ate she arrived, a little worse for wear. She apologised for reneging on our arrangements and I said she would do well to sort herself out which provoked screaming about Rob's abandonment of her, which provoked him to shout at her to get out. My meeting with Sally, the inspiration for the whole trip, had taken a total of about ten minutes.
Rob retired to bed and I went to shower. Rob's mum had died many months earlier but her bra was still hanging on the back of the bathroom door.