The first day of my new attitude is going far better than I could have expected. I kept it together, smiled, and meant it. Tonight, I have to celebrate. Matt comes by and picks me up. We decide to go to Bone Daddy's since it's the type of place where the silverware wears more material than the waitresses. On the way up there we smoke cigarettes and talk about our current relationships, or lack thereof. After much analysis we decide being single is definitely the way to go.
About half way there we're reminded of the number one reason not to trust 635. A massive traffic jam. We take the next exit which leads us to nothing but residential areas. After a half hour I realize I have no idea where we are, although it looks familiar. Suddenly, a landmark reminds me I'm two minutes away from Rotaquip. This was a job I had working with -----'s mom. It was great when her and I were together, but, take it from me, never work with an ex's mom. It did bring back some memories though...
Her coming up there on random days, and we'd go out for my lunch break. We'd always go to Chili's, and get lost in each other. It was nice til I faced her mom at work one day with hickeys all over my face and neck. None of which came from her daughter.
I'm brought back to the present by yet another familiar landmark. The Super Target ------ and I used to come to for groceries...
Sitting in on Friday nights, ordering pizza, and curling up next to each other on the bed for some late night television. The slow, painful realization that we were just there because the other one was a warm body. Too scared to let that go away, because loneliness seemed worse somehow.
A turn into another residential street. Jesus Christ, this can't be possible. We drive right by ------'s place. I ask him, " Are you the fucking ghost of relationship's past?" What's next? A visit to the parking lot where I popped my cherry? Then, we pass by the playground where her and I spent an amazing night...
A relationship consisting of smoking lots of pot, amazing sex, and listening to music. Then we found out that there wasn't really much more to it than that.
Hunger finally kicks me out of my nostalgia. We've been driving for over an hour now, and I'm starting to believe this place doesn't exist. My fears are soon put to bed when we finally find the highway, and reach the restaurant in minimal time. And everything he said about the place was true, it's awesome. The girls are all smoking hot, with each one looking better than the last. Until the obligatory old broad came out from the back. I prayed to any god out there that really existed, don't let us have the old broad.
Our table gets called and we're led to our table. I get so busied with the menu I don't hear the waitress come up. She asks what I want to drink and I look up at her. She's beautiful, and smells nice. She smiles, I smile. Life is good. When she comes back to our table I make a few jokes and she laughs. After that, I don't really speak to her. Baby steps, and all that. I look to my right and start to crack up at the sight of a table of disappointed guys. They got the old broad.
We have a conversation about how growing up without a decent father figure really screwed up our relationships with the opposite sex. He lost his father 14 years ago, and mine, we won't delve into. This meant we had to rely on the advice of our peers for any information dealing with women. I found out years later they didn't know anything more than I did.
The drive back is mostly in silence. Knowing where we are also cuts the time of it in half. We watch an episode of UCB and he heads home. I sit down and do something I haven't seriously done in ages. I write. It feels like I've finally found myself again. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. (you can throw in your own cliché there, too. they're all interchangeable)
It's funny. When you're down, all anyone tells you is that 'it'll get better'. After awhile, you finally face your problems and get past them. The second they see you smile they say, "See? I told you so." As if some arbitrary comment they made weeks prior was the sole cause of your emotional rehabilitation. It cracks me up. That's like me standing next to a guy on a beautiful sunny day, and saying to him "It's gonna rain." Then, a month later when it does rain I say to him, "See? I told you so."
Right now, I'm just happy that this feeling has stuck with me. The ache is still there sometimes, but it's manageable. I guess it's all about being thankful for small favors. Today, I didn't let myself fall back down, and that makes it a very good day.