Stages: A Handbook on Men and Relationships – Chapter 17

Chapter 17
Stage Three amendment: When a man has come to a fork in the road, he can’t sit and take his time. He has to choose and accept what may come. No turning back and going to look down the other road. Keep straight and accept it. Allow God to do his job and all things will turn out fine.
I thought long and hard about what had occurred. I knew that I’d made a mistake and that I’d blown my chance at stepping up. What I didn’t know was that I’d blow it in an attempt at moving up to Stage Three. That could’ve caused a bigger problem in the long run if I would’ve acted on my emotions and called Ros or Laney. The thought had crossed my mind. But I knew I had to reconsider. I wrote in my journal and it finally came to me. I had to get Janice back. I knew if I got Flip to talk to Tina then I could get back in there, but I had to fix this one. I had to take responsibility.
I didn’t talk to Janice for a week. That next weekend I had to help Flip move to his new place. He didn’t have much stuff, but the things he did have weighed a ton. We rented a truck and started with the living room. He refused to put his CD player and stereo stuff in the truck even though he still had the boxes for it all. There is nothing like a man and his music. Without a good stereo system a man is only half the man he could be. The same thing holds true for a man and his car. Flip saved all of his stereo equipment to move last. He put all of his stereo equipment into his SC. We filled the truck with all of the stuff and began cleaning the apartment. We didn’t have much to do considering Flip had stop spending the night at his house. He was staying with Tina at her crib, which is normal I guess. It’s that whole process when you start dating seriously. You spend one week at her house she spends the next week at yours. It eventually gets to the point that you question why you both have a place to stay. The normal progression is to make the next jump, moving in together. I guess that’s why Flip was asking me about it that day.

While I vacuumed, he cleaned the bathroom. We hadn’t said much all morning. It wasn’t that there wasn’t anything to actually talk about, we were just tired as hell and we both wanted to get the stuff out of the house as quickly as possible. So we whistled while we worked, but we didn’t do much talking. I finally finished with all of the rooms, and Flip had cleaned both bathrooms and the kitchen. He had a little portable radio playing by the door. I had left my car down at the other house earlier that morning when he came to pick me up. Tina was at the other house cleaning and getting everything ready. She had bought new curtains and a big sandy brown and green rug to cover the floor in what Flip said would be his music room. She had also taken all of the bathroom stuff, the stuff that wasn’t bad looking, and began hooking up the two and a half baths. He had definitely struck gold with Tina. She had done most of the miscellaneous stuff before we left to start picking up the stuff from the old house. I figured that she would be finishing up by the time we got down there to unload the furniture from the truck.
“Man you got a good lady,” I said.
“I know this.”
“Don’t be cocky.”
“Not cocky just sure,” he said laughing. “Janice asked about you yesterday. Of course she told us not to tell you. She should be at the other house now. Act surprised when you see her.”
“I can do that.” I wound up the wire on the vacuum cleaner and moved it by the door. We gave the house another look over to make sure we weren’t forgetting anything.
“I think that’s it,” I said.
“Yeah I guess. Have you ever noticed the sense of closure there is when you move?”
“You think about all the shit you did in the old house, both good and bad, and you close the door on it all.”
“I guess you can really close the door when you’ve moved in the right direction. Like you have Flip.”
“You know the best thing that has happened other than getting adopted by a good family and meeting Tina?”
“You man.”
We knew that this was the end of an era. Helping Flip move was closure for me also. He picked up the box of cleaning stuff and I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and we closed the door on Stage Two together and walked out to the truck. He jumped in his car and I drove the truck, a new beginning and a new life.
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