sometimes the tv is like a lover…

It’s not quite late yet, though the sky is dark and my memory is muddled; I can almost feel the gin oozing out from my pores. The television is on but I’m not watching, the commercials sort of all just flood together into a loud, colorful mess. However, there are people that are watching; that are being overtaken by marketing, the men in dark suits and expensive sunglasses with busy ties and women with ashy blonde hair and champagne-colored pencil skirts.

It’s the next big thing, it’s the song you don’t want to hear, it’s the lullaby for the lonely. And tonight I am lonely, thinking and over-thinking things. There has been much on my mind the past week, things I cannot seem to get over or around. I avoided a friend, a stranger of sorts, for no other reason but my own sloppy confusion— and it’s tough to take in a new person, a new man, with such expectations and ideals, with the feelings that a woman like me harvests. I’m illogical, irresponsible, lacking commonplace sensibility and even morality, in some particular instances.

Rabbit is getting married on Saturday. It’s going to be a hard day for me. It’s yet another door that’s closing. I’m tired of them. What’s worse, I’m afraid that the bar will soon become another; I’m tired of it, a thankless job if there ever was one. Sure there’s the standard lamenting ladies and gents that are gracious and even grateful for my mixology, for my open ears, but it’s not like they couldn’t get a drink anywhere else. There is nothing of any genuine uniqueness that lies within those four walls; it’s a dark bar with tattooed sailor-swearing drunks and scrabble players. Girls with too much eyeliner, men with too much gel. The music, which I reveled in at one point now invades my ears like a broken record; more of the same, more of the same. It’s normal now for me to drink at work so the dreariness subsides. Even Vincent hasn’t visited in ages. He says he’s outgrown it. I wonder if the same fate has befallen me.

I had plans this evening. Plans that fell through horribly, but for no horrible reasons, thank goodness. I was to see James, someone I never see anymore, for his reasons, for my own. Apparently, Firecrotch (a name I affectionately gave Shawna back a long time ago) had a flight coming in much earlier than originally planned, so he was to pick her up and coddle to her jet-laggedness until she was all better, which probably wouldn’t be until tomorrow morning, at the very least.

Not that I was all that surprised; he had become increasingly flakier as time had passed. He always had some reason or another for getting out of our plans; one day he’s spaying his dog, the next he’s visiting a sick aunt (which sounded like an excuse directly from Seinfeld, to be perfectly honest), and now it was a flight. It seemed like his intentions were always sincere and he just chickened out, perhaps for fear of unfaithfulness, of caring more, of controlling his own destiny. It didn’t matter. I barely remembered what he looked like, apart from the eyes and the sparkle below his bottom lip. I supposed it was better that those details eluded me. Each time our plans fell through, I thought less of making another.

But I was guilty of the same crime; there were constantly and consistently people trying to contact me, spend time with me, but I didn’t have the time or the patience to deal with them. It was a girlfriend with a boyfriend problem, it was an ex with a hard-on, worse yet it was Vincent asking me for relationship help with Camille, like I was the person to ask to begin with. Now I loved spending time with Vincent, all in all he was still my very best friend, but he had not been extremely relevant in quite a while, all wrapped up with their problems or lack thereof, and was (even!) considering moving in with her.

I had asked him how she cared for the black walls and the cigar ashtrays all full of roaches. He had rolled his eyes at me, like he often does when he knows I’m right. But who was I to piss on everyone’s parade? Rabbit was getting married, James was too whipped to even hang out at all anymore, Johnny was some sort of working-class hero happy, and Vincent had actually met someone he didn’t mind spending more time with than me.

I pursued Drew tonight, to try and keep myself sane. Even he confessed to having girl problems (which I soon discovered meant he was debating screwing his best friend’s aunt) but laughed and drank with me all the same, complete with all the typical Drew perks; the ass smacking, the complimenting, the ‘where did our love go’ song and dance he only brings out when he can’t think of something to say.

And I spotted the faux loneliness in his eyes when he stared too long, and the crow’s feet that lingered around them when he smiled, which did nothing but provide me with the friendly reminder that everything fades, from youth to love. And perhaps that was the mystery of the ages, perhaps that’s why we were always climbing from one job, from one home, from one relationship to the other; milk goes bad and flowers die and somewhere in the middle, we all did the same thing.

We spent about two hours in another dark bar pretending to watch the Olympics, listening to the horrendous choices others had made on the jukebox, lying to each other, in our own charming noncommittal manners. “There’s no one like you,” he had said, pulling a strand of hair out of my face, tucking it behind my ear. I was certain he’d said it before, probably to someone else; perhaps even to the fifty-year-old he was attempting to seduce. That was just his way.

Before we knew it, time had run out and neither of us was feeling particularly hurt or saddened by the fact. I went home, barely nursing a Tanqueray buzz, feeling empty. Parts of me thought I really should consider myself lucky for having, in a sense, multiple lives, slats of time with people that might never even be in the same room together, relationships that weren’t, time stolen, conversations had that made up many incomplete lives, or one quite full one.

That was the trade-off. We wouldn’t spend birthdays or holidays together, but there would be many laughs, secrets shared, kisses stolen. Then we would both turn around and go our separate ways. But more often than not, they went to other women, daft women who they barely respected, who couldn’t drink or spell or cook, who would be rewarded with those lovely things. They would blow out candles, hang ornaments and kiss when the ball dropped.

I, on the other hand, would be behind a massive panel of mahogany and obsidian, mixing drinks, taking shots, listening to the same Social Distortion album again and again because the same wannabe rockabilly couple would come in and drink Jack Daniels and play it every few days.

I would get the drunk dials and the confessions, the privilege of being someone else’s wet dream. They would get flowers, greeting cards and window treatments and hate me secretly, if they even knew about me at all.

It was a formidable existence. Somehow, sleep still finds me.


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