I remember that night pretty well because of long term memory. I remember it because Steve got me to do something that I would ask another friend to do for me at a later date, strange to me now that I just realized this. But its true.
That night on Friday, Steve privately told me that he didnt want Claudia mauling him through another night lol. He told me he was going to tell her that I would be sleeping in her huge bed with them two. The three of us put together were not even big enough to fill a full sized bed so it was no problem in a king sized bed. As the night wore on he drug me with him when he went upstairs so that we could secretly... sneak to sleep, before Claudia came upstairs. Good god, it all sounds so complicated now in the days when I would have just tell the silly wench to leave him alone myself... but then you didnt do that.... I have no idea why. Less then 6 months after Steves death I was using this exact same trick to keep my youngest sons father out of my new single life in Tinker Creek apartments.
I sat there with Steve that whole weekend. I was there in case he wanted to go anywhere, that was pretty much my purpose together in the eyes of all of our friends, and even us to a degree. By this point he wouldnt even let Susan drive his car anymore... remember when I said I stayed the most sober?..... yeah. So only Joy drives my car. Wow, and I enjoyed it. It was nice to drive a Mustang to my GED classes instead of my huge ass Dodge Dart birth year model car. That Monday night, the 16th of May 1993 I spoke to Cathy whom I hadnt seen in a bit and she wanted to come pick me up and we would go out and chill somewhere. I said it was fine with me and she could pick me up at Claudias. I checked and rechecked with Steve asking if he wanted to go with us. I so hard wished he had but Im sure he didnt go because he would have had to hear a world of shit from Claudia about taking off with 2 girls, even if one was me. @ haha at that even. I remember even now, something that I paid no attention to at all then. The view, the look, the motion of that moment wasnt right. Perhaps its just my fried out brain crackling electricity where it doesnt belong but Im sure now, that when I look back on that moment I told him good bye, it felt distant... and near at the same time. I have no way to explain it except that when my memory sees it now, it sees it as it does a fight or a severely traumatic incident. Slow motion, things off in time or order a bit, and clouded over almost physically with something that makes the entire scene just hazy enough to be eerie. So many days, weeks, years even to have gone by to still be able to gain that picture from a moments notice to my brain. Thats how thick and important the memory was I guess, and I didnt know that yet either.
"Are you sure you arent going anywhere?" I remember specifically asking.
"Nope, just gonna hang out here" I also remember.
That and the nod and wave of my right hand towards him leaning out of the upstairs window of the apartments, watching his hair blow in the wind as Cathy started and drove the car away and I was gone.
And so was he.