Hey (yeah, I know. Hay is for horses. It’s still funny.),
This was a long weekend, you know? And how can that be? How can three days feel like a week? I guess it is relative. Like Einstein said (or should have), “put your hand on a stove for a minute, it feels like an hour. Kiss a pretty girl for an hour and it feels like a minute. All relative.”
That seems wildly down turn though. Like my entire weekend was a downer, which it wasn’t.
I had a check up on my stomach wound on Friday afternoon, so Caleb gave me the night off. I’m not sure why, but he just winked and said he needed to stay late anyway for some project or another. I did not complain.
So, after the doctor’s appointment (I’m fine), I swung by the comic book store The Long Box and picked up my books that I should get around to in a year or so if my current reading schedule keeps up. Its not that I don’t want to read them, I just seem to get backed up really easily. While I was debating on whether to get a few Sandman graphic novels, my friend Josh came in and convinced me to give him a lift to the bar.
We settled at the Honky Tonk and had a good long talk about the Oscars and our predictions. I haven’t really seen anything up for the awards but was surprised to see Argo get as much attention as it did. And congrats to it, from what the news said this morning.
Since I am still on the wagon and on a diet, I stuck to unsweet tea while we talked. Josh did not seem to notice, but the waitress kept asking me if I wanted anything else every time she came by. I had not had that type of attention in a while.
All that changed when Cassidy came in. Our red-headed children’s librarian glided into the restaurant in a dark purple dress with a band of sequin splashed around the waist. Josh said he thought she looked like a walking bruise. It seems he may be a victim of her rather malleable lifestyle.
Poured into that deep purple dress, I imagine Cassidy as a fine red wine. She is perfect in most occasions as long as you give her room and time to breathe. Too much, though, and she can overwhelm everything around you.
Josh and several other men in town seem to have gathered opinions on Cassidy despite her unwillingness to fall into any category they can come up with. She is a wild element in the dating world, the woman who does not wish to be caught and yet keeps tempting the hunters by stealing their bait.
That’s rather romantic view of it. Could be Cassidy simply does not like paying for her own drinks. And why should she? Shit’s expensive.
Anyway, I left around ten or so and went home. When I awoke I felt fresh and happy to not be hungover. I bounded out of bed and with a gurgle of my stomach remembered it was Saturday. Cheat Day.
I’ve been on a high protein, low carb diet recently. Lots of chicken and veggies and beans. But on Saturday, I can eat anything. Scratch that. I can eat all the things. It. Is. Awesome.
There’s just something about knowing there is this day out there where I can just go nuts and stuff my face that makes the other six days of the week worth it. Like the weekend is for work or summer vacation was for school. There’s just this day to say, “fuck it,” and pig out.
So, I throw on some clothes and head down to the little french bakery, “Jenny Says Quoi.” I could get into the background as to why the small town of Bannville has a resident professional French baker, but that may need to be saved for another entry. Let it simply be said that when Jenny Martin came back from the big city and opened the place up, the powdered donuts from the Shell Station started to taste like freeze dried poop.
I run down to the town square with dreams of fresh eclairs dancing in my heads, and as I am crossing the courthouse square to Jenny Says on the corner I see them in the window. The abruptness of it took me by surprise, that’s all.
I have not gone out that much since New Year’s. I run after work, around five in the morning. I sleep all day. Most of the regular people do regular things while I am just getting up and moving around and the regular people do not need the library at ten at night.
I do not get much chance to see my coworkers in their natural habitat and now in the space of two days I have seen Cassidy at the bar and now Natalie out to brunch with her boyfriend.
What is it about seeing exes with someone new that just hurts? And I have seen her since. Almost daily. We have talked. We are sort of in each others lives. Then... then I realize how much we are not. Have not been.
I stopped in the square and just stared. They were having a discussion, Natalie's face pinched and still in listen mode. I could see her clearly but he was obscured behind the lettering on the window, the J in “Jenny” resting on his shoulders like a character out of Sesame Street.
My heart filled with lead and fell, the hole I had covered opened and sucked in my breath and my feelings and everything. She smiled at something he did, he said, and everything broke.
I turned and went back home. I sat and stared at some the Netflix menu for an hour before I picked myself up and went to the supermarket. There I bought a six pack box of chocolate-covered, cream-filled donuts (a poor substitute for eclairs) and a pint of chocolate milk. I ate all six donuts within the hour. Then I grabbed the two books I had been reading, The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick (which I was almost done with) and Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore and went to the pub.
I finished The Nerdist Way over a hamburger and sweet potato fries. I ordered a pitcher of beer and sat until the pitcher was done staring at the pages of Sacre Bleu. The story is good, but the pages would meld into a window where she and he sat and did not see the man across the street looking in at them. They did not see him turn and walk away and stare again in his mind through the words of another into that moment in time when his heart would keep breaking and breaking.
I’m a grown ass man. I’ll get over this. I have gotten over worse. But sometimes, sometimes I just want to wallow in it so at least I know it is possible, that it is an available option to be discarded. So I’m done with that now. I steeped myself in it over a pitcher of beer for one night and now I am done. I am looking forward from here on out.
Time to go to work.