Drinking with shadows

When it rains like today, I feel like I’m being baptized, even reborn. Even though the leaves are dying and drifting from the trees, I still feel like there is much goodness to be discovered, produced, executed. I think my optimism, sadly, has much to do with Drew and little to do with Vincent.

The mystery woman has become revealed. Her name is Camille; she runs an art gallery in Los Gatos. He seems to be rather taken with her, and I’m unsure how to feel about it. I met her this weekend. She’s a tall slender woman, in her mid forties or so, with ash blonde hair I doubt the naturalness of. And she was wearing pearls. Pearls, I say!

She seems very nice. But she is nothing like me. I have a hard time understanding how he can spend so much time with her. She only drinks wine, for chrissakes. I don’t think he’s been drunk in a week. I asked him over for dinner tonight, hoping to get some alone time, some serious updating, but he actually declined! Just to have coffee with her! Coffee! I told him to come over after (how long can coffee really take?) and he said that their coffee conversations often turn out pretty lengthy. I winced, longing for our talks. It’s certainly been awhile. Although I now understand how frustrated he was with me since Drew emerged. Parts of me think he is doing this just to spite me.

I spent a good deal of the weekend with Drew. We stayed in, drank hot buttered rums and watched The Great Gatsby and Bonnie and Clyde. The longer we stay together without being apart, the more I feel that I know him. It’s interesting in an unpleasant way when we are apart for very long; by the time we are together again he almost seems a stranger. The jokes aren’t familiar, the touch isn’t the same. I wonder if he sort of resets himself somehow, so he doesn’t grow too attached to anyone. That thought does not make me sad necessarily, but determined. I want to break him of these ugly habits, bring him back to life.

He calls me his Janie Jones. I have to smile and turn my head so he doesn’t see my eyes well up with tears.

He has a miniature tree on his patio. It’s the only trace of life in his apartment. He waters it diligently, talks to it, has undying faith in its potential. He says he wants to put little tiny ornaments on it when Christmas comes around. He treats it almost like one would a small pet, and although I snickered upon seeing it all happen the first time, it’s really quite sweet. He claims he can’t take care of things. But he seems to be doing a good job with that damn tree.

Johnny came into the bar on Friday night. It was a night that I had been drinking a bit on duty, which rarely happens. But it was not half as uncomfortable as it could have been. He came in with a girl, a short girl with short hair and the slightest bit of a pug nose. She was one of those girls I call pink girls. The kind that never tan, always burn and perhaps grow flush at inopportune times. I wasn’t impressed. He could do better.

It had been a little over two years since we had spoken, but upon seeing him the oddest thoughts emerged, awakened. The two rivets on his back, perfect little spots for thumbs. The way he couldn’t go to bed without the sheets, blankets and comforter just so. The way he would eat tomatoes like apples and put hot sauce on everything.

I watched him at the end of the bar, drinking Jim Beam with this girl (who was opting for Sierra Nevada), while I wondered if she had yet discovered the many secret quirks about him that I always adored. Quirks I thought I had forgotten. It’s funny what entertainment a few drinks and an unexpected encounter provide.

Interestingly enough, however, it didn’t make me miss Drew. It didn’t really make me miss Johnny, much. It made me miss myself. Well, perhaps the self I used to be. I wasn’t half as cynical and jaded back in those days. Nine times out of ten you would see me smiling. I wore more white. I drank 40s. I danced outside in the rain.

I owned the world and yet did not feel its weight on my shoulders.


1 Response to “Drinking with shadows”

  1. 1 gimble
    October 22, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    If I had your guts, your good looks, and your intelligent inner guidance system, I wouldn’t be writing haikus. I’d be writing out loud in complete sentences and long involved paragraphs, like you. Thanks for the connection. And don’t sweat over Camille. Trust me on that one – I know a lot of Camilles, and he’s just another pearl on her string. When the lustre dulls, she moves on.

    The reset image is brilliant. You’d better be writing stuff for someone other than yourself, because YOU HAVE IT. I write for a living. I know.

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