Archive for March, 2008

Many Happy Returns

March 27, 2008

Well, I don’t have much to update about last night. I did see JetBlue, along with a bunch of other committee people. I have hardly seen her lately and it was nice to catch up–especially since she was 1) in pleasant conversation mode (which is all too rare); and 2) looking really cute (which isn’t always the case). But, really, no fascinating stories to tell. Then I made a semi-triumphant return to the bar up the hill. The Jilted One was bartending and gave me a big greeting. And, as I had hoped, there was a two for one special on the beers, if you know what I mean. She also told me the story of losing her other bartending job, in classic The Jilted One fashion–talking really quickly and then not stopping the story when she walked away to serve another customer. Yeah, just like the good ol’ days.

But, all in all, an uneventful night–oh shit, I almost forgot–earlier in the evening I was hanging with the kids at their house. I hear the cat make a strange meochy sound as she came up the basement stairs. So, I say to her: “What’s wrong, S.?” And, holy shite, she drops a baby mouse on the floor. That was quite the shocker, to say the least. Followed by the second shock of watching the little mofo scamper under the table. The cat followed it, content to give the little thing a couple of half-hearted swats. So, anyway, once I got over that momentary “live wild animal inside the house” shock (please note: I still suffer from PTSD related to a “live squirrel in the house” incident some years ago) I decided to try to save the cute little baby mouse. Luckily this part of the story has no drama to it. I put on a glov, carefully picked him up and put him safely outside.

It was a few minutes before it sunk in for me that I pretty much sent him to a different doom–can a young mouse care for himself outside? i don’t know. Does he know the way back into the house? Eh, don’t know. Why is that owl smirking? What stray cats will run into him? Will they show him the way home?

Oh well.

Not much else to say except that the current chapter of my life has a working title: “My Guardian Angel Carries an Icepick”

Catchy, isn’t it?

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Dumbshit Puppy Dog

March 26, 2008

It’s been over a week since I posted and a busy week it’s been. Unfortunately, that’s both on the homefront and at work, so I’m hard-pressed to even give you a skeleton outline of my week. But, that’s all I can do for now. Maybe I will fill in some stories tomorrow, but, for now, this is all it is.

Last Tuesday–super-fun night with my new “friend” Ms. Hold ‘Em and the rest of the pool team. Like, to a totally weird extent–we decided that indeed we are just friends, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t have the occasional “date” as long as no relationship was implied. She even gave me a long kiss, just to check that the reason she broke up with me wasn’t about us but was just about not being in a place where any relationship seemed like a good idea (this was the reason she had finally come out with).

Thursday, poker night, the weirdest thing was that MHE came in a made an overt point of saving a seat for Mr. Asshole right next to her–the better to flirt with, I guess. That didn’t faze me but when Mr. Asshole’s girlfriend came in and sat on the other side of him–and they were all squeezed together because the table was crowded–L. the bartender and I began to laugh uproariously. I SO wanted to get a photo. Oh well, I thought, as ye sow so shall ye reap…or something like that.

On Friday, MHE and I were both at the bar (and the secret bar), mostly together, but just as “friends”. We listened to music and played pool and we held hands and got real close and she told me that she loved spending time with me…oh, but we’re still just friends.

And you wonder why men often wonder about women…

Saturday and Sunday night I had time with “The Other Option”, as I’ve now dubbed her, and it was good real good. The question I have–and this is because one of MHE’s friends said I should–is do I tell MHE about The Other Option at this point while it’s just a casual side thing? I didn’t think so, in part, because MHE dumped my ass. Oh, and I also don’t want to be seeming to be throwing it in her face.

Monday I had a meeting and a fun meeting after the meeting. D. was there with The Bank Teller, a woman that I knew previously strictly from the bank. The two of them weren’t getting along all that well so, in my pleasantly drunk state, I totally hit on her and gave her my number, all in front of D. Luckily, he doesn’t have any lasting emotions toward women, so he pretty much didn’t seem to care. I, however, felt good. She is wicked cute and probably has no interest in me, but it was nice to be flirted with for a while.

Tuesday, MHE and I had another Totally Awesome Tuesday. More feeling of we’re the most amazing (not a) couple in the world. Except there were a few twists. D. overtly flirting with MHE (payback from Monday perhaps?), D. mentioning that The Teller might be there last night in front of MHE (helping to let her know that I’m not sitting around waiting for her? or maybe another attempt at payback?), MHE getting pissingly jealous for a few moments when I was talking to Tina Feylike girl outside last night:
tina_fey_glasses.jpg
Two weeks ago, MHE suggested humorously that she could set me up with this woman, last night she said the exact same words but with such rancor that I was scared. But not so scared that I didn’t say: “No, thanks. My dance card is already pretty much filled.” Asshole comeback, but I decided not to appease her jealousy or to make things weird by saying “No, I love only you, godammit!” She stormed away to a corner of the deck at that point. I followed a moment later and asked her if she was okay and she said: “Oh, I was only kidding!” It wasn’t too convincing, but I let her save face. Why would she be jealous after all? She thinks this freedom stuff is great!

Anyway, let’s see, what else…oh, after that she overtly flirted with one of the pool players–sorry MHE but if I put up with that when we were together, now it was no problem at all. Oh, and at the end of the night she paid my tab. All in all, just another beautifully effed up evening in my world.

I’m really thinking I’m not going to be able to handle this type of friendship for long. Although I can talk about the chaotic part of her that recklessly does what it wants with no regard for others’ feelings for hours, I can also dwell on the amazing 90% of her that is wonderful and fun and so clearly in love with me too. And though she can be cruel and heartless if the mood suits her chaotic side, we’re just too perfect together the rest of the time. I still love her (really really deeply in my heart) but I fear that that means that I have to let her go. I don’t for a moment doubt that this is not a good time for a relationship for her and more and more I’m thinking it’s not a good time for me to get into the rut of being in this kind of love.

I don’t know. I’ll see her tomorrow. Thursday’s, even with Mr. Asshole around, though, are so much easier to handle. Well, so far at least.

I know, I know. I’m probably doomed to keep being the dumbshit puppy dog, taking the smacks and slaps because I know that every once in a while a treat will be thrown my way. Yep. That’s quite the update…

No Update Will Keep You Updated

March 18, 2008

Well, it’s been a busy few days, so I’m not sure how much justice I can do to them. But I’ll try to at least give you an outline. I wish I had more time to write, but whatever I can pump out will have to do.

Let’s see, Thursday I went down to the secret bar. Ms. Hold Em showed up eventually. It seemed a bit awkward for her at first, but over the course of the night we had a few cigarettes together and were certainly friendly and at the end of the night we played the video game a bit. But it was fairly low key. Nothing wrong with any of that.

At one point in the evening I went down to the scary bar with the owner and another guy. I think he invited because he figured it would be good for me to have a change of scene, plus, now that I’m single again I can once again be his wingman when he’s desperate for one. It was rocking down there and a lot of fun except for this moment when the other guy we were with and I were outside having a cigarette and some guy hanging around out there asked us for money for a drink. I had noticed him hanging out outside all night so he seemed particularly sketchy to me. So, my pal gave him $5 and told him to be sure to tip the bartender. Then the guy just kept standing there. And, instead of ignoring that my pal started to harass the guy about not going in for a drink. I was so happy when the owner came out right around then and we got to take off. I was just wondering what the guy was going to pull outof his overcoat.

And, despite it being a work night, I ended up staying until closing. MHE had left early, as well as the owner and C., so I didn’t want to leave the bartender there alone with the couple of poker players who were lingering behind–you never know when they might be desperate for cash and the secret bar is back in an alleyway so it has that element of dangerousness. And, you know, I’m a good guy like that. Anyway, L., the bartender and I were talking and the subject of MHE came up. And I was heartened to hear L. make several comments about MHE’s behavior when we were dating that I had noticed too but that MHE had always made me feel like I was being paranoid about. Just further confirmation that on the whole I’m better off.

Well, anyway, on Friday I had a date. Dinner, drinks, and a Celtic-y concert. It was a great time and a great change of pace. It may just turn out to be a one-off deal but it was a satisfying evening. And, I still managed to have the chance to visit the Young One and C. down at the secret bar at the end of the night. That was a pleasant end to the evening. I got quizzed several times about my date, which, I don’t know, for some reason made me feel good. One of the Young Ones “followers” was there–yet another of one of many young guys who will spent their whole night sitting and talking to her. On our respective ways home we texted back and forth a bit and joked about her groupies. You know she eats that shit up.

Saturday evening was pretty messed up. First I spent time with the kids and their beloved mother at an Irish night (that wasn’t the messed up part, oddly enough). Before that C. had called me to tell me that he and L. had had a screaming match and he needed to be out of the house. We met up at the secret bar (while it was closed) and hung out awhile. And he said he wasn’t going down there that night (L. was working) so if I wanted to meet up, call him at 9.

So anyway, at first I did that but then thought of L. all alone down at the secret bar so, instead of going out with the guys, I went down to the secret bar and kept her company and talked her through her feelings. And to be honest, of the two she is the one that I agree with. But, besides some heavy discussion until the crowds arrived, not much happened. At one point I did go upstairs with C. and discovered that it was some sort of unannounced “chubby girl night” going on. Talk about being the king hog in hog heaven! But, anyway, I digress…

Sunday was super-secret-super-scary bar for a score of us after our meeting. Once again it was an unusual and crazily wonderful time. Let’s just say we went through 4 rounds in the first hour and only a few people slowed down after that! I ended the night up at the usual bar (above the secret bar) and by 8:30 s-0called “Blackout Sunday” was done for me. There’s more details there but nothing so interesting that I have time to cover it. Sorry, dear readers.

On Tuesday morning I woke up to an interesting and (for me) confusing email from MHE. To sum up briefly, in it she said that she had used me for a reference for a scholarship because “you were the first person I thought of” and, after a bit more she added: “If you could help me out I would really appreciate it…Okay I will stop begging now…. but just picture me on my knees begging…. Oh wait that isn’t the image I was going for. (I swear wasn’t trying to be dirty) : ) ”

That’s interesting…the old “I didn’t mean to say something sexually suggestive but instead of deleting that and finding different words I’ll just qualify it afterwards” trick. We’ve all played that one!

Oh, and she also invited me to stop by during their pool league tonight (it’s an away match which I hadn’t anticipated going near or her even thinking of inviting me to hang out at).

Yes, poor Mr. Setback is awash in some mixed messages here. This is the woman who dumped me unceremoniously a week ago. And now, there’s all sorts of stuff out there. Luckily, I think I’m doing a good job of managing my emotions and going into it with a clear mind and no expectations.

But I’ve said that before…wish me luck.

It’s All Good in the Twilight Zone

March 13, 2008

Let’s see. You’re due for some updates.

Friday night I went down to the secret bar to hang out. It was a quiet night. They did have some free pizza which was cool. Apparently they were expecting more than the six or seven people who actually showed up. But it was fun. I won a nice bit of money on the “for amusement only” machine so that was great. The bar ended up closing early and we went down to the scary bar. It was cool. I got to hang out with Friday’s bartender, the Young One, for a while. That was cool. I’ve (okay, like every guy in the universe) always been attracted to her so it was fun to be out together. At one point at the scary bar, one of the scary bar patrons made some sort of joke and I responded to it–I don’t even remember what it was–and then she said to the Young One: “You’re lucky. He’s a 120% man!” So we went along with the idea that we were together, just for fun of course. At one point I even put my arm around the Young One and told the scary bar patron that “She tells me I’m 130% man!” Another evening for the annals. We even stopped back at the secret bar for a super secret post-last call drink. Nothing like a sketchy 3 AM moment with C., the Young One, the owner, Runaround Sue, and the scary bar patron (mentioned above).

Saturday, Miss Hold ‘Em and I ate in at her house and then headed down to the secret bar. We had a nice night–had some drinks, played pool, watched first a bar crawl come through quickly and then some crazy Russians. C. asked me at one point if I had hooked up with the Young One the night before and, obviously the answer was no. Not that it isn’t something that every guy down there has dreamt of. I mean, come on, we’re only humen. But, anyway, the night went on relatively uneventfully. Oh, except that at the end of the night MHE broke up with me. You know, a typical Saturday night.

On Sunday I got to go down to Worc’ster to be a part of their St Paddy’s day parade. It was a fun day but it was wickedly, bitterly cold. Luckily I was numb to begin with, plus a friend gave me a wool hat that had been given him. So I managed to survive the elements.

Oh, yeah. As I mentioned above MHE dumped my sorry ass. Her only explanation was that “I had a feeling and I went with it.” On Tuesday we talked it over and–though like any couple I know we’ve got small problems–she really couldn’t pinpoint any reason other than it’s the way she was feeling. Oh well. As it turned out we had a great time Tuesday night. We spent parts of the evening together hanging out and haven’t laughed so much and been so at ease–I realized later that it was the most fun time I had felt with her in a long time. It was nice to not have to worry about relationshippy stuff I guess. But it still begs the question of why, in her (I increasingly realize) mind-boggling thought processes, the thought of actually talking over issues never came to mind. I’m thinking it has something to do with never having had a healthy relationship (that’s her own assessment of her past, not me being bitter) before. Do you have to learn to think of the option of working through problems? Perhaps.

On Tuesday I also stopped up at the bar up above for a while with a friend. The Jilted One was excited to see me and gave me a big hug. I wish I could bottle that feeling, hehe. But things weren’t too exciting up there so we headed back down below.

At any rate, I’ll be honest and say that I both hope and fear that at some point MHE and I will give it another go. But, to be honest, the more I see how she’s capable of acting without ever feeling any guilt or responsiblity for her actions clues me in on the fact that there seems to be some kind of damage getting in the way of her maintaining a relationship in a healthful way. I guess it’s a question of whether or not it’s a major and permanent problem or just a lack of experience combined with some, um, quirkiness. I don’t know. We’ll see what we shall see.

Last night I met some friends down at the bar. Lots of fun conversations. Got to vent a little to C., the genious who set up MHE and I (just kidding, despite this sudden turn of events I do appreciate his efforts). But to be honest, the more I talked to him the more I realized that the small problems she reacted against were really nothing compared to some of the shit she pulled on me. So, I’m happy to be moving steadily away from any kind of pining. And the thing is, other than spending Sunday in a hungover haze of rejection and anger and confusion, I’ve been pretty damn fine. After a year of careening through singleness which followed losing a meaningful relationship to a really special person (and, as I’ve admitted before that one was very much my fault), this break-up was more just a ‘what the fuck’ moment than a defining point in my life. And it was certainly further evidence that I shouldn’t be thinking about retiring this blog. Just when I thought my life was “boring” and “happy” suddenly MHE showed me that beneath a really wonderfully placid surface there can be some caustic substances brewing.

So, anyway, on Wednesday (last night) I struck up a friendship with the bartender. She’s a really cool, heavily tattooed chick who does some really crazy (in a cool way) art. No, kids, this isn’t the start of something. She’s engaged and all. But anyway, we got to talk more last night than we have in months and it was cool to really get to know someone that I’ve known a while. Also, C. made an interesting comment: several of us were talking about the Young One and how hot she is–if our “guy” conversations were organized as a Google search, “The Young One” would definitely be the “I’m Feeling Lucky” result–and C. (who previously imagined that I was hooking up with her on Friday)–said to me “You should go after her, for those of us who can’t.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, I’m twice her age. Like that’s going to happen.” [and, dear reader, please keep your snide “Afternoon Girl” comments to yourselves] And then he said “I don’t know. She’s always seemed to like you. She talks about you a lot.” And, the thing is, in a strange sort of way I wasn’t surprised at his assessment. She has always–in a friendly way–shown me a lot of attention and paid me lots of compliments. (She even ‘bought’ me on one of those goofy Facebook applications. Heh!) But, still, I know it ain’t gonna happen and I know that even entertaining the notion is just setting me up for a world of disappointment, so, sorry C., you’re going to have to find someone else to live through vicariously.

And, so yes dear readers, it’s all good. Tonight I’ll be seeing MHE down at the secret bar. We may or may not get a chance to hang out. If we do, I’m sure it will be fun because we’ve never had anything but a good time together. And it’ll be weird because I’m expecting that it’ll be further proof that Saturday’s “events” really make no sense in a normal, rational world.

But, oh wait, I just remembered that one of the premises of this blog is that the secret bar is a place where what is “normal” and “rational” is turned on edge and inverted and twisted and crumpled up in a ball and then thrown into the river. And if it doesn’t float. It doesn’t float.

So, not only will “no setback set me back” but also “no surprise will surprise me.”

Keepin’ It Fresh

March 7, 2008

I’m glad that spring is finally showing signs of arriving. It’s put me in that “go somewhere on weekends with the one you love” mode. I’ve already found a quaint Maple festival happening up in a hilltown for next Saturday. I’m feeling that the coming of spring will help push MHE and I to that next level–nothing like a full day spent together as a “family” to start to solidify that part of our relationship. And when I mentioned it to her last night she not only sounded interested by she flashed that brief look (I call it her “inner smile”) that I know means that she was touched by me suggesting an activity together with her daughter.

Oh, and Wednesday night I finally got to see her after a three day lull. It was only for a half hour–spent having a cigarette or two, catching up, straightening a small issue out, and, of course, shopping for baby diapers. Anice time all around.

Last night was poker night and it was a good night for MHE. We spent the first hour there, before the game started, affixing labels to the chips–for the past couple of weeks someone had been slipping foreign chips in. That was fun, doing piecework. Sometimes mindless jobs are a nice break from reality. The night, overall, felt–and was–kind of long for me. It’s like having a second job on Thursday nights. And it’s an effort to find things to do sometimes: talk to friends (ooops, lost of them left early); play the video game (I now own the high score on most trivia whiz categories); play the “For Amusement Only” game (which I abstained from last night because it usually ends in me being out $20); smoke (did way too much of that);  and watch the poker game (which has interesting moments even when someone isn’t cheating). But anyway, it was nice to get the time with MHE, even if we weren’t together for most of it.

That’s my update. Hoping to see her tonight, but that’s only a maybe at this point. Fingers crossed.

A Long, Somewhat Sucky Week

March 5, 2008

I know, I know, posting frequency remains an issue for me. But again, I’m just riding the slow, cool buzz of a blossoming relationship. And,really, I don’t feel much like writing about good times. Sure I could share stories that I’ve heard, but I’m not really looking for this blog to have a total second-hand story buzz to it–although if you get the chance, ask me about the Sicilian, the fender bender, the bloody vest, and the Tide stick. Im think I’ve mentioned it here before but the full, full version is even better.

And, I guess it’s been kind of a strange week. Let’s see, pool night MHE (Ms. Hold ‘Em) somehow managed to get drunk, real drunk. It came on fast, let me tell you. This led to some much enjoyed affection but also the reappearance of MHE’s evil twin “Ms. Give Yer Phone Number to Random Guys For Pool Lessons” and “Ms. Did We Really Go Outside Five Minutes Ago? I Don’t Remember That.” Of course her lack of remembering any of the giving out the phone number business is both scary and amusing. I’m guessing that every week for the last six or seven years some new person has been added to the number list and then later deleted because she had no idea who the person was. But, anyway, we’ve been working on and talking about the evil twin syndrome. Oi.

Don’t let that last paragraph make you think that she’s a raving drunk or a bad person. It’s a pretty rare thing and kinda sneaks up on her/us. Most of the time we’re in a much happier, tipsy kind of place. Just thought I’d throw that in.

But, anyway…

Wednesday we had the pleasure of going to Chunk E. Cheese’s for her daughter’s birthday. And it was nice. Her daughter loved it. The pizza reminded one of cardboard that had been painted pizza color, but whatever, right? MHE’s father and uncle showed off their competitive side, trying to out-do each other on the basketball toss. Her father also commented on how well the daughter and I get along. It was the first sign of approval that I’ve heard, so that’s cool. Well, you know, other than not being shot at from a window when I stop by the house.

Hmmm, poker night–not much to say there. I left early because I wanted to be a good boy and get some sleep–and then couldn’t sleep. So I felt like I had ripped myself off from some quality Ms. Hold ‘Em time.

Friday I saw my kids and then had a late nightcap at the secret bar. After closing time the owner and I discussed the possibility of creating a new candle scent just for the bar, but you REALLY don’t want to know what it is.

Saturday was the little one’s second birthday party–this one with kids and other friends of MHE. The little one’s baby daddy was supposed to be there but didn’t show, so I still haven’t met him. And MHE’s father and uncle once again brought on the competition– this time with McAirHockey. MHE and I also played and I won, but just barely. I think she mighta let me win though. You know, to be nice.

That night we went out, but got a bit of a late start so we went to the 99 (yes, again) for a late bite to eat. Most interesting thing there was that where we sat at the bar there was a coloring book and crayons left over from the toddlers who had just be sitting at the bar. Yes, toddlers sitting at the bar. Then we went to the secret bar (toddlers not allowed, btw) and hung out. It wasn’t a particularly good night. Kind of boring. We did play pool against each other–I won, barely. Then we played a game together against some guys. The lead guy thought he was Joe Pool–on his first shot he tried a Masse. WTF? Who does that when playing a casual game at the bar? Especially when it turned out he missed it! Who tries that when you’re going to fucking miss the shot? Anyway, we ended up beating him and his partner fairly soundly. The night ended kind of blahly too. MHE’s “ex” the asshole showed up with someone he seems to be dating and I swear MHE kept looking over at them–maybe just out of curiosity, but I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder about her.

Again, I only mention these things to have something to write about. I wouldn’t be always talking about the bliss if I had any real doubts.

So, anyway, that’s the last time I saw her. Her daughter’s been sick; she’s had tests to study for; I had my Sunday meeting and of course the “meeting after the meeting” and on and on. And now she’s sick. Despite that, I’m hoping to stop over there at least for a bit tonight. It’s been way too long. Hard to believe that before Christmas we were seeing each other once or twice a week, if that. Now, three days is a long, sucky time. Oh well.

Here’s to a better week ahead!