At Joyce’s

Since there was no ballgame, I was over at Joyce’s Monday night.

“Well…,” she said, after I showed her the little bottle of Maya’s shower gel, “it’s nice enough, if you like lavender. I prefer warmer florals.”

That’s true: Joyce’s favorite fragrance is Jo Malone Red Roses, ever since I used it in the hotel room on Valentine’s day year before last. And I guess roses kinda smell ‘warmer’ than lavender.

“I thought it smelled great,” I said, a little disappointed.

“Again…it does smell nice enough, especially for something you buy on television…”

Everything I know about Bedrossian Body & Bath I learned from Melanie Kate, and it amounts to the fact that Maya has a line of products that she sells on a home shopping channel. Melanie Kate hasn’t tried any of them…although she did ask if I was getting any free samples to go with my new wardrobe lol.

Then I told Joyce about the filming, the spray tan they wanted to give me and the push-ups on the pool deck.

“You must have looked stunning for the camera,” she then said. “And your director was right: you’re plenty tan as it is. You know I worry about you and skin cancer.”

Yes, I know. My girlfriend is always buying me sunblock.

“Did you remember to put on the waterproof sunblock when you changed into your swimsuit?”

I didn’t. I put it on my face and arms and legs when I was getting dressed for baseball, like I usually do, but I had too many other things on my mind when I got to the pool house to put on my boardshorts.

“Next time I’m at Bloomingdale’s I’ll get another tube for you to put in your…is it a ‘gym bag’ if the gym teacher carries it?”

“I’m not a gym teacher!,” I said, kinda snapping, even though I knew it was a joke. “I’m a baseball tutor. Even if I am Matteo’s personal trainer…”

“I didn’t mean to upset you, darling.”

“You didn’t…it’s just that…well…I got to thinking.”


“I got to thinking that maybe being on TV could get me some more baseball pupils. There are probably lots of parents out there whose kids could use more physical activity and who want their kids to develop baseball skills for when little league and high school games start back up.”

“You’re thinking like an entrepreneur. I like it.”

“The only thing is that, well, if people see me being a swimming coach or personal trainer they’re not going to realize that baseball is what I do.”

“Would it be so terrible if you got hired as a private gym teacher by some other rich family that was home-schooling their kids during COVID?”

I took a really long sigh instead of answering that.

“What does your grandmother say? Work is work, right? And money is money.”

“It’s Dad who says that, but, yeah, I reckon you’re right. I’d just rather do baseball with kids. It’s what I know and what I‘m good at. I hope it didn’t show up on camera that I didn’t really know what I was doing with Jacob in the pool. I mean, I had him swim and then we had some fun splashing around…but it probably didn’t make me look like a swim coach.”

“I don’t think that’s what people are going to be thinking when they see you with your mask off for the first time,” Joyce said, quietly and almost to herself…but I heard it. Still:

“And I don’t know the first thing about being a personal trainer. I’m just following the Beverly Hills Institute of Advanced Bullshit’s plan.”

“That’s what you’re paid to do,” Joyce said, and, yeah, I reckon she was right again.

Then she got me a beer and I settled down. I didn’t realize until I was halfway through the bottle that I was pretty strung out from the day. Between being filmed and being Matteo’s therapist, it had been a long 2½ hours at the Bedrossian…at the Sharpman house.

Joyce said she was totally out of ideas as to what to feed me lol, so she made us breakfast for dinner. I’m always down for that…and Joyce has figured out this totally bombass way to make super crispy bacon. Then she made us popcorn and we watched what was on TCM, which turned out to be a super super depressing movie with Deborah Kerr (yeah, it’s gayass, but I’m starting to learn these people’s names lol) called The End of the Affair. Even Joyce, who usually likes sad movies, thought this one was too much.

I spent the night (Joyce: “so I guess you’re having breakfast for breakfast too.”) One of the things we learned from the quarantine is that working from home makes it possible to hang out with your unemployed boyfriend in the morning. Joyce didn’t have any Zoom meetings scheduled for the whole day, so we hung out until she sent me home at 11.

I gotta admit that, driving back to my place to change into baseball clothes, I felt way better than I did over the summer, since I wasn’t Joyce’s unemployed boyfriend anymore. I may not be working full-time, but I am working…and I had someplace to go. Joyce wasn’t just sending me home because she had something to do and I was in the way.

They’ve actually added more time to my schedule after Jacob complained that, on the days I have to work in the gym with Matteo, there’s no way that I can supervise him in the pool after we finish working on baseball. So now I’m at the Sharpmans’ from 2 to 4:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the extra half hour to give Jacob (yeah, and me) some swimming time.

Since I needed to be home in time for the game, I skipped the super cool shower in the pool house and showered off the chlorine after I got home on Tuesday. I take a lot less time in the shower when there’s only one ordinary showerhead lol.

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