Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gimme Shelter...

I swear to god, these things come in waves.

I woke up this morning fully aware that it was Roxanne's birthday & prepared to have to ignore that all day. I didn't wake up at all prepared to receive an e-mail from Veronica, telling me that she just wanted to know if I was "doing ok". Well, I was doing better....

I wrote her back a short, but polite letter that said I was fine and hoped she was, but still didn't feel like we should be talking; I guess we'll see if she leaves it at that. Still, it bothered me just to know that she's thinking about me, as it always does, and I had to try and shake that off all day.

Then, for the kicker, my friend Jerry (Roxanne's brother) calls & says that he needs a big favor from me, which turns out to be giving him a ride to the stupid skating rink where they're holding her goddamn birthday party...and where they probably have signs & guards posted to keep me away for a six-block radius. Still, I did it; he would have done it for me. I dropped him off a block away, though. Then I went & got drunk. Alone. And that sucked.

And I got home & sat down here just a little while ago thinking that I felt like doing just about anything but thinking about another ex today, but the more I think about it, I figure that if I'm writing about J.C., at least I won't be thinking about the others for a little while, so what the hell...

(sound of Wayback machine)

The next Monday at work, I remember seeing her as I walked in, but we both had our hands full that day & I remember being really frustrated that I didn't have a chance to talk to her. After work that day, everyone was gathered around the front room, and after they all cleared out, I hung back a few minutes to try and steal a moment with her. We talked a little bit as we walked out & somehow, we started talking about television. She mentioned that she hadn't gotten cable hooked up in her new apartment yet, but that a friend had lent her a stack of movies to watch, and that night she was planning on watching The Stunt Man, which, no bullshit this time, happens to be one of my favorite movies. So, I mentioned that to her, and she asked if I'd like to come over & watch it with her. She was going to do laundry after work, but she told me to come by around 8 or so.

I showed up at her house a few minutes late, because I remember realizing on the way over that I hadn't trimmed my fingernails & they looked pretty ratty that day, so I had to turn around & head back home (which was only a couple of miles away) to take care of them. When I got there, she gave me the little tour of her apartment that we hadn't had time for the other day, and then we sat down to watch the movie. We barely got 10 minutes into it, though, before it was totally drowned out by our talking. We did the whole getting-to-know you thing some more & found that we really had a lot in common. And I remember noticing the way she laughed for the first time; it was this really goofy, yet adorable kind of gasping chuckle, and when I noticed it, it made me aware of how much she was growing on me. I got the sense she was on the same page, as well.

The movie eventually ended & when we finally noticed, she picked out another movie from her stack for us to watch...but I don't remember what it was. Yes I do! It was Romy & Michelle, and for some reason, we actually got sort of caught up in it. While we were watching it, we slowly & gradually both relaxed on the sofa, until she was basically leaning her back against me, and I remember wrestling with whether I should put my arms around her or not, and thinking that was an awful high-schoolish thought to be having at 26 years old. But, by the time I decided to go for it, I looked down & she was fast asleep, with her head resting against me. It was almost 11 by that time, and we both had work in the morning, but I remember sitting there, looking at her for a minute or two, just studying her face & watching her as she breathed. I remember noticing the slightly-odd yet totally cute shape of her nose & how nice her skin was, and I remembered wondering if she was a snorer (turns out she was, big time). After a few minutes, I slowly moved to get up while trying not to wake her, but she popped her eyes open as soon as I stirred.

She giggled & apologized for falling asleep, and gave me a big hug before I left. I drove home that night wondering if I should have kissed her; I was pretty sure I could have pulled it off, but I still hadn't gotten to the bottom of this whole psuedo-boyfriend thing, so I figured I'd just see what happened.

I don't remember what happened at work that day, but the next night, she called me at home. It was a little after seven or so, because I remember I had already eaten, and I was a little surprised to hear from her; I don't think she had called me before. She asked what I was doing & when I told her nothing much, she asked me, in what I remember was the shiest, cutest voice ever, if I'd like to come over for a while. I remember distinctly thinking Jackpot!, but I didn't show my cards yet; instead, I asked her "Well, what do you think your boyfriend would say about that?".

She got quiet for a second, and I could hear her searching for words before she said "Well, I guess we need to talk about that, don't we?".

"Well, I don't we?", I asked.

She sighed. "yeah, we do....just come over & we'll talk about it. I'll explain it all to you, I promise."

So, I did.

When I got there, she had some candles lit, and a really sheepish look on her face. I remember we hugged each other, sat down on the sofa, and she pretty much jumped right into it, so I just sat & listened.

"Well, about this boyfriend thing...", she began.

"You mean the boyfriend you don't know if you have or not?", I said, raising an eyebrow.

She sighed deeply, as that was one of her things to do, before she said "Okay, technically, I don't have a boyfriend..."

"Ok, so what do you have?"

"Well, nothing, really...I mean....well, it's a long story...."

And it kind of was, but it went pretty much as she had explained it before. There was this guy whom she used to date about three years ago, and at the time, she had wanted to get more serious than he did, so they had broken up. Apparently, right before she had moved back to town, he had called her up from where he was living a few states away & tried to re-kindle the relationship. At first, she said, she was excited about it, but after talking to him for a while, she had begun to realize that maybe he wasn't what she was looking for. They hadn't even seen each other yet since they had started talking again, but he was coming through town in a couple of weeks & they were supposed to meet up & talk. She had already decided, however, to tell him that she had reconsidered.

So, I asked her what it was that had made her reconsider, and she got quiet for a minute before she said "Well, I sort of met somebody....or at least I think I did."

You don't say?

"So, then you don't have a boyfriend, after all?", I asked.

", I don't", she said.

"Well, what about this other person you've met", I asked coyly.

I remember she looked up at me for a second & smiled shyly. But then she kind of freaked out on me...or 'spazzed out', as she would have said. I don't remember exactly what she said, but all of a sudden, she was a little ball of neurosis. She started going on & on about how, yes, we had met & we had obviously been flirting and we obviously liked each other, but that she was nervous about getting into a new relationship and she didn't know what it was that she wanted...and yes, she had been thinking about me a lot lately & wondered if I had been doing the same, but she was apprehensive about getting involved with someone from work, and on & on & on and yadda yadda yadda until I just figured this was the time...

So, I pulled my trusty old move: the ol' dramatic, mid-sentence, grab-by-the-shoulders & plant one firm on the lips kiss. And she went for it. Big time.

We kissed for a moment, and I remember reaching up to brush the hair back from her face as we pulled away & she smiled at me as she blushed, turning bright red. "I've wanted to do that for a long time, now.", I said.

"Me too", she said.

So, we did it again. After a few minutes, we parted again & she looked me right in the eyes.

"Ok, if we're gonna do this, there's some things you should know about me...", she said.

"Well, good, 'cus there's a lot of things I want to know", I told her.

"I'm not the type to just casually date people here & there; I just can't do it. I don't mean I expect us to be exclusive right away, don't freak out or anything; I just mean that if I'm dating you, I'm going to be dating only you...I don't know how you feel about those things, but that's just the way I am.", she said.

Somehow, during the last minute or two, we had ended up holding hands, and I noticed her rubbing my finger with hers. "Good, because If I'm going to date you, I want to date only you...I'm not one of those guys who can go out with a different girl every night of the week, either". At least, not anymore...

She smiled at me. "Well, that's good to hear". I remember we just looked at each other for a long moment. I also remember feeling like something important had just happened, and it kind of freaked me out a little bit, but in a way that I was vaguely familiar with, but couldn't quite place. In any case, it was a nice moment.

She looked down at my hands in hers & I think she was still blushing, which I thought was about the sweetest thing I had ever seen. I tried to break the ice & asked her "So, what do we do now?"

She looked up at me & said "I don't know...."

I scooted a little closer to her & said "We could do that again?", and I kissed her. We made out there on her hard, uncomfortable sofa like a couple of teenagers for what seemed like hours before we were interrupted by her phone ringing. I remember being almost relieved, because I had no idea how far to try & take it....and also think I secretly wanted her to not let me take it too far; I wanted her to be a nice girl, whatever the hell that means.

She talked to who I think was her mom on the phone for a few minutes, and I remember walking around her living room while she did, checking out all her books, pictures & stuff. She had just moved in, so there wasn't very much in the way of decoration, but I remember there were no pictures of any guys that looked like ex-boyfriends anywhere to be seen,and I took that as a good sign.

After she got off the phone, she walked over to me & we kissed again for a minute, a little less passionately & more...I dunno...I want to say tenderly, but that sounds so wussified. In any case, we were both a little nervous about how far to take things, and I'm sure we both knew it. So, we agreed that it was getting late and that it was best we call it a night, I remember her telling me that we'd have plenty of time to pick up where we left off later.

So, I kissed her goodnight, told her that I had a wonderful time, and that I'd see her in the morning. She watched me from the doorway as I walked to my car, and I remember smiling all the way. Until I got in the car, thought about what I'd just said, and realized Holy fuck! I'm gonna see her in the morning! I freakin' WORK with her! This could be bad! And this is ME we're talking about...this could be REAL bad! What did I go & do now?

But that lasted about eleven solid seconds; I was far too excited to let logic bring me down. I cranked up the Queensryche & drove home floating on air, not giving a good goddamn that I had just violated the cardinal rule that my grandpa had told me when I was just a buck: Son, you don't shit where ya' eat....

(sound of Wayback machine reversing)

Ya know...that didn't really help. Happy freakin 'birthday....


Blogger Romancing Simplicity recalled...

Oh, Ex, I'm sorry about the birthday thing. No matter how great things sound like they were going with JC at the beginning there, it sounds like you're really upset about the birthday thing.

And I'm sorry. I wish there was something we could do to help.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:35:00 AM  
Blogger jkrunning--Just Keep Running recalled...

I'm sorry. I know it's hard not to think about our ex's on special days, but I hope your doing alright.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger pookalu recalled...

ok, i know this is completely personal, but reading something like this totally reminds me of how much i miss that "butterfly in your stomach" type feeling.

am i jaded? or are there no quality men in new york? ok, i'm exaggerating. or maybe not.

and regardless of how you feel about the birthday, i'm glad you handled the situation as you did. sometimes it's better to just avoid, like talking about J.C.!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger pookalu recalled...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jamy recalled...

Sorry you're having such a hard time.

But thanks for keeping on with the story. Your audience appreciates it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn recalled...


Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger PAINKEY recalled...



Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger ExBF recalled...

Well, she doesn't drink, and it's sort of been a tradition since she was a teenager that he & her friends have kept up...I think it's sorta cute. Shocking, I know...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger True recalled...

How adoreable.

The "ball of neurosis" part is what I fear worse that I will one day do.

The Queensryche playing - classic

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Charlotte recalled...

oh wow. dating the co-worker. not good. but we all make mistakes, i dated my 23 year old manger when i worked at k-mart ... but i'm pretty sure no one wants to hear about that ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger BiblioTECHa recalled...

What's that saying about events happening in threes? Roxanne's birthday, Veronica's email. . .next?

Love that "stop the ball neurosis" move! A bold call! Very cinematic.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 7:49:00 AM  

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