If you know Anthony and I, then you’re well aware that baseball didn’t end after the 2013 season, as expected. Then again, since I had met Anthony nothing had been “as expected” in my life anymore. I literally couldn’t plan three days in advance without wondering what would change before then. When he shared the news with me that in just a couple short weeks he’d be joining an independent league team in El Paso, Texas, I just kind of rolled with the punches on this one. Really – I was overwhelmed with joy with the massive wrench this kid kept throwing in my plans to just get a damn house, get married and have some babies. Then he told me this team would pay him $800 a month to play for them, and that really eased all my concerns about the financial hardships we faced. So heading into the three year mark of our relationship, I threw my 1500th temper tantrum, told him he was ruining my life, cried in one of our empty bedrooms for an hour (or three), then proceeded to dust myself off and start packing for our next adventure together. And by together, I mean via phone calls and Skype since together was a very, far-fetched concept for what we would be.
Somewhere between cook-out-less Fourth of July’s and fourteen-inning-thirtieth birthdays I made the decision to transfer my job to Tucson, Arizona. In some sorry attempt to make a decision based solely on my needs, I drove there one weekend while Anthony was on the road and picked out an apartment and signed a lease. That little move was sort the of the ripple effect that caused Anthony to rebel and make his own decision to keep playing baseball. We were a real solid, working unit as you can tell. My master plan for regaining some independence of my own got me exactly what I bargained for – independence. Well, it was more like loneliness, but independence is ultimately what it would become. For starters, Anthony’s 800 bucks a month was about to propel me into some serious financial independence right off the bat. Get it? “Right off the bat.”
So with the Mexican season over and El Paso just a couple of weeks away we feverishly started packing up the Yuma house. Which took fifteen minutes since all we had was a bed and a Direct TV receiver. We sold the gifted washer and dryer from Anthony’s parents since the new apartment came with them (sorry guys!), and loaded up the smallest UHaul truck available for rent. I imagine that clawing out my own eyes is more enjoyable than shelling out $800 in moving costs for our six items, but we had a shortage of acquaintances who were offering their pick-up trucks to us. The silver lining was that Grandma was not going to make the cut for this move. We were leaving her behind in Yuma once and for all. All we needed to do was drive her back to the original RV park from two years prior and leave her in storage. That’s it. Just drive fifteen miles and dump, I mean drop, her off. Simple, right? Wrong.
The only thing standing between us and getting out of Yuma was Grandma. And wouldn’t you know it, that stubborn bitch was not letting us go without a good fight. Anthony climbed in and gave the keys a crank. Nothing. He pumped the gas, probably flooding the shit out of her, to no avail. I stood there in our little RV alcove with my Coach purse on my arm and glared at Anthony sitting behind the enormous steering wheel. “This is not my life,” I kept thinking. He hopped out and lifted up the hood, which nearly came unhinged and fell off, and looked around like he was an RV specialist. After sixteen seconds of an intense diagnosis process, he carefully set the hood back in place and looked over at me. “We’re going to have to push her out of here onto the road so I can try to jump her with my car.” I literally wanted to just bomb her and leave, and seriously started looking around to see if there was a ravine we could just roll her into. But no, of course there wasn’t. Plus, my soul just wouldn’t let me abandon a hunk of metal that we so fondly called “Grandma” – it seemed a little sacrilegious – so I dropped my purse on the ground and got ready to start shoving.
The driveway was on a small slope, so one of us had to be behind the wheel to guide her into the street, and one of us had to push. Since I wanted no accountability for crashing the RV into the house across the street when the brakes ended up not working, I decided to push in the 110 degree heat. Turns out, they made RV’s out of solid lead in the 80’s. No matter what angle I tried, I couldn’t even budge her so we moved on to Plan B. Anthony and I would push together until she started rolling down the driveway. Then Anthony would run and jump in the front seat fast enough to steer Grandma safely into the street. Not exactly ideal, but we didn’t have many options, slash any other choice. Mid-pushing, the rickety hood finally busted off one of the hinges and hung there, lopsided, by a single bolt. We had to stop and laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. Was there any possibility that anyone else, anywhere in the world, was doing the same thing as us? Not a chance in hell. With only minimal damage to the neighbor’s brick flower garden we got Grandma safely to the street where we hooked her up to the Buick for some juice and just waited. When she still didn’t start after half an hour of charging, genuine thoughts of blowing her up set back in. Anthony called one of our old neighbors from the RV park, who actually was a specialist in RV repair, and asked for help. He showed up about forty-five minutes later, repaired the flux-capacitor, and fifteen minutes later she was purring like a kitten. A kitten with the croup, but a kitten nonetheless.
I went ahead of Anthony and Grandma on our way to drop her off, and within three minutes of driving my cell phone started ringing. It was Anthony calling to tell me Grandma had blown a back tire, but not to worry because he was still driving – just at an incredibly slow rate. He showed up at the RV park almost twenty minutes later than me, but I had to laugh at the sorry sight of his arrival. He sat up high in the driver’s seat and waved frantically through the dirty windshield. Grandma’s front hood swung around by its one effective bolt as he surged over the bumps of the all-dirt RV park. With Grandma parked in the furthest, out of sight corner, we gave her a good pat and said sayonara to our first shared home.
With three hours between us and our next home in Tucson, we headed out on the road. We had one full day to move in and get “settled” before Anthony had to report to the El Paso Diablos. When he left, I had a bed, a 60-inch TV, and an echoing apartment. The plan when we moved back to Arizona was to start a life together, not a life apart, and definitely not a life centered around baseball again. I went ahead and did what any distraught, financially challenged, thirty-year-old would do in this scenario – I bought a Starbucks latte, got my nails done, and went shopping.