Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Last Night, He Said
It can be difficult to eschew cliché when writing about a night like last night. A night alone is, in itself, a cliché. But that is where I was. I dropped off my son with his mother and had a decision to make. Home or bar? Either choice would have resulted in being alone. I just knew.
I stop first to pick up some smokes and then hit the bar. It's slow, even for a Tuesday night. Maybe a dozen people in total. I wave at a few regulars and order from the bartender. She forgets who I am all the time. She always does when I’m out of context. I'm not wearing my green jacket; the one with all the patches. Siouxsie And The Banshees. Blur. The Dresden Dolls. All gone, replaced by a plain black hoodie. I'm blending into the bar.
I sit there, staring into my drink, occasionally taking a sip. A loud noise to my left catches my attention. “It’s my birthday! Don’t you know? It’s my fucking birthday!” The man looks early-30’s, and is dressed like a smooth R&B singer. In all likelihood, he's a used car salesman or a banker. He chats up the bartender, an older woman with no time for his shenanigans. He’s looking for a free drink. It’s his birthday. He gets one.
I start texting. I lose track of the room. My drink is refilled. I’m looking for someone. Anyone. “I shouldn’t be alone tonight,” I thought. Some people are busy. Some just don’t respond. I just assume everyone’s watching American Idol. They pity me. I pity them. My drink is refilled.
The night becomes a blur of colors and shapes. I’m longing for the infinite. My mind wanders to dreams half-remembered. “Leave your towns. Leave your lives. I’m waiting.” I’m positive that I’m going crazy. Generally, I’m a mellow drunk. Tonight, I’m low. I’m feeding myself expectations. I’m looking for what isn’t there. I’m looking for you. I’m staring down at an empty glass. My drink is refilled.
I got home, but don’t remember how. I check out my phone this morning. I was texting the whole night. A lost evening. I open the fridge and grab the orange juice. I pull the vodka out of the freezer. My drink is refilled.