I don't know why I keep forgetting that this exists. It seems like I only remember it when I feel like garbage. I guess I'm ok with that. There's something cathartic about typing out how I feel and sending it into the ether of the internet. It's almost poetic to know that practically nobody will read it. However, it's out there... And, more importantly, it's out of my head.
I'm not going to waste time with a long, drawn out update of the last year. Here are the bullet points. I moved back from St. Louis in March, dicked around in Southern Illinois until August, and moved back to St. Louis. I managed to get back here thanks to a good friend who got me a job and let me stay with him for a couple months. I owe him. He's a good dude.
The last two months or so, that's where things have gotten a little shitty. See, while I spent six months back home, I became friends with this girl. Bet you'll never guess what happened. Yeah, ol' Patty Boy caught feelings. It wasn't immediate, but I'll be goddamned if it didn't happen.
I had seen her at a couple of the local bars for a while. Always thought she was cute and there had been multiple times I tried to get the nerve to say something, anything, to her. Your typical "why the fuck should I even bother? Look at her! She's gorgeous!" One night, I'm sitting at the bar with a friend, and we decide to walk outside for a smoke. This particular bar has little cardboard-circle-things to put over your drink to indicate that you're out for a smoke, and you're coming back to that seat. Bar etiquette dictates that, if you take said seat, you're a fucking asshole. I come back in to see that my seat is taken. By Her. She's just sitting there with some scrawny, pale, long haired guy and her back is to me. So, of course, I start making a lot of assumptions. At this point, I believe that she's some recently 21 cute girl who has no idea how to behave in a bar setting. I spend the next thirty or so minutes complaining to my friend. "Who the fuck does she think she is? Fucking entitled little bitch, thinks that just because she's pretty she can do whatever the fuck she wants. Fuck that." Sure, I overreacted a little, but it's not like I said it to her face. Eventually she also goes out to smoke, and I take my seat back. Goddammit, am I proud in that moment. I create this fantasy in my head where she comes in and makes some kind of rude comment about how I stole her seat, maybe throw in something about how a real man wouldn't do so such a thing. I had my monologue prepared. I was going to take a stand for all the other unattractive men in the world who feel slighted by the aesthetically pleasing opposite sex! None of that happened. She came back in, glanced my way, and found a spot where she could stand and listen to the band. That was my first encounter with her.
A few weeks later, I'm hanging outside of another bar. A place where I used to run an open mic. I'm outside, smoking, waiting for the usual crowd of five people to get situated at the bar and not pay any attention. A guy I know comes around the corner, so we start in with the small talk. A few moments later, I see Her walking our way. I haven't forgotten about the incident, but I think it's kind of funny in retrospect. As she's walking, I'm trying to think of a funny way to bring it up. I'm having trouble doing so, because I noticed a big smile on her face as she's walking over. I can't bring myself to focus on anything else. She had a look on her face that told me that she had something to say, and I wanted to listen. She bounds onto the sidewalk and says something to the effect of, "Hey! I see you out all the time! I'm Emily!" I was taken back. I realized that I was wrong. She's not some entitled bitch. She seems so... sweet. After a beat I blurted out, "I'm Patrick. You stole my seat." I guess I was going for confusion. It didn't work. She told me that she realized that after she came in from smoking that night. Not only did she realize it, she felt bad. She's fully aware of bar etiquette and was disappointed in herself for breaking it. It was after an hour or so of reading body language between her and the other guy that I came to the conclusion that they were dating. Or an item, or a thing, or something. I asked him at one point, "so... are you guys dating? Talking? Fucking?" I made it sound playful and like I was just curious. I now know that I wanted to see where they stood before I made an attempt. He nervously chuckled and said, "eh, all of the above I guess." I nodded with a fake smile and said, "cool." The next weekend I ran into them again. She seemed way too happy. She told me she was on acid then called me by the wrong name. I gave her the appropriate amount of shit and then we exchanged numbers. It would be another three weeks before she had a last name in her contact info. Until then, she would be "Emily - Bar Girl."
Every weekend for the next month or so, I'd either run into them at the bar, or text Emily and we'd go to the bar anyway. It was with them that I tried ecstasy for the first time. It didn't take long for either of us to realize that we had a very natural chemistry. Aside from originally wanting to talk to her, I never really thought of her in that way. I was going to be moving back to St. Louis, anyway. I didn't see a point in letting my brain wonder in that direction. There are two events that changed that. First, they broke up. She and I had talked about him and their relationship a little bit, but not in that much depth. She called me that night to tell me about it. That seemed odd to me at first. Why tell me about it? As we're talking about it, I tell her it's probably a good thing and that it seemed toxic. She agreed, we made plans to meet up at the bar the following weekend, and got off the phone. Second, I started seeing somebody. Once it became "official" Emily's attitude changed toward me. She gave me shit for texting and was generally kind of an asshole. The relationship didn't last long, and I actually broke up with her over the phone while hanging out with Emily at work. I saw a small bit of relief on her face. I didn't really think much of it at the time. It was during a conversation via text where I named a few basic things I would like in a partner (not an idiot, gets my sense of humor, thinks I'm funny, supportive, all that shit) that she responded with four words that would change everything. "You just described me."
I talked to all my closest friends about this interaction. Most of them had seen the way we act around each other and they all wondered why I didn't try to turn it into more. I took two full weeks to think it over. Think about what exactly I was going to say, the tone I would use, my body language, every little detail. The day finally came. I met up with her and another friend for dinner. While we're outside smoking, she says that she did something stupid. This wasn't exactly a surprise. She's reckless and a little crazy, but I found it endearing. Turns out she slept with a coke head that we both know and now he's kind of crazy about her. Like, bad crazy. The same moment that I was going to take to ask if there was something more to our friendship, I get this dropped on me. Timing has never been my thing. I hold it in and resort to making fun of her for it, because that's how I show affection. That night, we go to the bar (shocker) and, of course, Cokey McDickbag is there. Not only is he there, he as all over her. Trying to hold her hand, kiss her, and she's not really digging any part of it. So, as an escape, she spends a lot of time with me. The night goes on, we get increasingly drunk, and end up at a friends house. Cokey is in the living room while her and I are in the garage. She's going on about how he's crazy and she doesn't know what to do. I, with my fucking masters degree in bad timing, blurt out while pointing back and forth between myself and her, "so, this is a thing, right?" I'm expecting a groan followed by her pleading that I don't "do this right now." That's not what happened. She smiled, laughed, and kissed me. We talked about it a little through our drunken haze, but it seemed mutual. I don't think I've ever felt real joy like that before.
We decided that we needed to talk about things while sober. The following weekend, I came back to town, got blackout drunk, and took acid. There's a whole story with that part, but I wrote a bit about it. Just come to a show to hear it. What I will say, is that her and I spent another night in that same garage. I know now that it wasn't really a conversation. It was me talking about how I felt, her also being on acid, and the acid letting her feel what I felt in that moment. There was crying, kissing, laughing... it was pretty great.
Things are different now. Much different. She doesn't want to be with me, which is ok. I can handle that. She just won't come out and say it. She's going through the typical crisis a 25 year old that parties a lot goes through. I'm trying to help her with that. Not because I think I'll win her somehow, but because she needs a hand. I want to help because I care. Part of her process of being a better person seems to include being on her phone less. As much as I understand it, I also really hate it. I don't get to talk to her much anymore, and it really bothers me. She already told me it's not anything personal toward me, and I believe her. I just don't have many people I want to talk to... And it sucks that the person you want to talk to most, isn't available. So, here I am. I live in St. Louis, I work full time, all my friends here have relationships and lives, and I'm more alone than ever. Maybe it's the perpetual self-loathing, or maybe this is true... But as miserable as I am, it feels right.