Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When I moved, it took me awhile to get my phone hooked up. So, as far as many were concerned, I disappeared off the map for awhile. Now, when I finally did get a new phone, I shared the new number with everyone I ran into.

This, of course, explicitly - and unintentionally, I assure you - made me unreachable by many people I had once called friends. Oh, not that there was drama or fighting or anything. I moved downtown, I moved on. These were people who knew me with M. I don't see them much anymore, and when I happen to run into them it's pleasant but a hair awkward. This is how people drift: they get new phones.

So imagine my surprise when, just a few minutes ago, Coffeeboy's phone rang. "Hello?" he said. "Uh, yeah, she is. She's right here."

He handed me the phone. On the other end, a voice I hadn't heard in a long time: "Hi. It's me."

It took me a minute to place it. It was Drama Boy, a considerable ghost from my single past. When things were at their worst with M., I found myself falling for Drama Boy, who on one or two occasions got very drunk and confessed that it was mutual. Actually, scratch that. Drama Boy had very little idea how much I really felt; I was afraid that, should I admit it to him or myself, I would do the unthinkable while still with M.

By the time I broke up with M., Drama Boy was in a relationship. It tortured me. She was such a nice girl. Drama Boy and I are very much alike: we're both dominant, opinionated - often in very different directions - and a veritable pain in the ass to date. As such, we both date more passive people. Balance, ya know. I kept my mouth shut while cursing him for not being able to 'handle' me. This, of course, was utter bullshit, but it made me feel a whole lot better.

I did a lot of things I'm not proud of during that time. We partied together every weekend; ironically, mostly above the bar where I now live. Then we'd stumble back to my place, and because the beer had clouded our judgement, quite often share my tiny bed and hold each other. No, we never had sex. He tried once or twice, but I never let it go that far- but looking at that man's abs, you'd wonder why.

The next morning he'd go out for breakfast with Her and I'd cry in bed all morning.

Finally, the day came when they broke up. To say I was excited was an understatement. There was a halter top, there was way too much beer, slurred confessions, and finally, finally, the back seat of his car.

Romantic? Uh, no. Trashy. And a disapointment. I don't know what was going through his brain, but I can tell you I came quite violently to the realisation that I had simply been trying to fill a void left by M., with the closest thing nearby. Neither of us ever called the other again.

That is, until tonight.

We exchanged 'how are you's and made small talk. His little sister's baseball team is having a beer and burger night two weekends from now. Would I like to come?

I said yes - put me down for two tickets.

I had hoped that by the time I had reached the end of the story I would know what it was all about. I don't. He will look damn good when I see him, but I don't think I'll feel anything at all. I think - I hope - I will realise that I've moved on, learned a thing or two, and don't make such silly mistakes any more.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

For servers, Valentine's Day is not the candy-coated, pink-heart-shaped day you probably think of. Like a lot of things, that day is reserved for customers. Just like you enjoy the clean, atmospheric dining room while we see primarily the greasy kitchen with two years of dust under the fridge, it's my job to take a section of ten in a rush that goes all. day. long. And, of course, to do it with a smile on my face -- gee, aren't we all just so goddamn cheery today?

(Waitresses, too, look very different depending on whether or not you've caught them in the dining room or kitchen. Dining room: houseplants and smiling waitresses. Kitchen: greasespots and snarling bitches.)

It bothers me a bit that no one seemed aware that yesterday we were celebrating something much, much bigger. You see, as of about 8 a.m. yesterday, we had a peculiar cosmic alignment: yes indeed, the moon was seen in the seventh house, and jupiter lined up just nicely with mars. It would seem that the age of aquarius is here at last. For those keeping track, this only happens about once every 2000 years.

At any rate, I found myself sweeping the rather disgusting floor after a long day yesterday. A six-hour rush will leave some dirt, I tell ya, and we didn't make it home until well, well after closing. But as I swept under each little cafe-style table, I went over all that had transpired there throughout the day. A few got stood up. A few were asked to leave, or at least reminded that this was a family establishment. A few went smoothly. I saw two breakups.

Coffeeboy waited patiently with - what else? - a coffee for me to be finished. We took home the remaining chocolate-covered strawberries, but I had warned him well in advance that we weren't acknowledging the dreaded V-day that is not only a ridiculous Halmark holiday, but looks even worse from the inside. So we didn't.

He did, however, make me the single best fettucine alfredo I've ever tasted. And he did wrap his arms around me and dance with me in the kitchen, which may be in a crowded apartment but has no grease spots I can see, and we celebrated just us, the collective us, swirling around out there in space trying to make something out of the stars.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When things are hectict and crazy and all-around shitty, I sometimes wonder why I bothered changing, oh, everything about my life. Leaving M., starting fresh on my own with a new life, blowing my student loan getting on my feet, yada goddamn yada.

Today was one of those days: oh, yeah. This is why. Life is simple. Just breathe it in.

Nothing unsually great happened, and maybe the great part was that it wasn't unusual. It feels like spring today. The cafe was steady but not too busy - just enough to have plenty of regulars to chat with and friends stopping in. Time for coffee breaks, a fun staff to hang out with all day. After work, a glass of wine with friends who happened by on the patio, people watching, waving to more neighbours and friends. The good feeling that always comes with walking home with a bag of fruits and veggies from the grocery store, to roommates who are more like family, one big dog who is SO. EXCITED. to see you, and the best boyfriend a girl could hope for.

And, now, going to help chop up said veggies for a wonderful dinner we'll share.

Oh, yeah.