clam jam. june 29th.

for those who don't know, a clam jam is the female version of a cock block.

that is how my evening can best be summed up.

to get into the story of tonight is what i'm most determined to do, despite the ten hours it will take.

because those are the details that are already slipping from me. and they are the ones that i don't want to forget.

i am shockingly numb right now.

i'm sad, but it's not real. i'm not crying. i wanted to cry. several times tonight so far. and i got choked up talking to him once, and once i walked out for a smoke because i was fighting tears whlie he was on the phone.

but mostly, i am numb.

and a few times tonight i have had laughing fits. the sun roof. the key in the ignition. talking to aubree.

from the moment i tried to sleep last night, and the moment this morning when i woke up and knew that there was no way in hell i was going back to sleep, i was nervous.

i did not eat anything today. retraction: i ate one tootsie roll.

i couldn't even have a second cup of coffee. it was all too much.

twice today, i really honestly almost threw up. i gagged twice.

all that anticipation.

and just as i knew it would, the second i saw him, it was gone.

i felt immediately at ease.

he was sitting at the bar when i walked in. there were only two other people, so he wasn't exactly hard to spot.

he was having a beer, only a few sips were missing.

and he stood up and smiled and said hi, and there was a hug.

he looked too cute for my own good.

unlike in december, when i could tell that there was some effort put into his ensemble, this was the opposite. it was easy and comfortable. he was wearing a fatastic grey american apparel tee, fitted. and jeans.

he looked so skinny to me. i noticed his arms. where the sleeve fell on his arms, and how perfect they looked to me. it was effortless. he looked great. and a hat that i could have lived without, because i love his messy hair. he kept lifting and wiping his forehead throughout the night. those little peeks were sufficient.

i wanted to tousle it.

so. there was a hello. he was showing off his ipad, sitting on the bar, because he was working before i showed up.

i was aware of how incredibly dehydrated i was. how badly i needed water. i drank a glass of water. asked him what he was having. and had what he was having.

a pilsner. the correct decision. i wasn't up for the double. i had to pace myself, and keep my wits about me.

so we talked with the bartender for a while. and then he moved us to the scrabble table on the opposite side of the room.

the deluxe edition. lazy susan. black tiles.

it was intimidating. the table was high, if i slouched, my entire bustier fit neatly under the table. if i sat up straight, it served as a rack for my rack.

i was shaking. nervous. but hid it very well.

the thing about depriving myself of things i love for two weeks isn't that i feel like i'm hot. but it's that i feel my best.

and there was something about knowing that tonight, i looked the best i've ever looked, that came into play much later.

in any case, i was desperately hoping for food at this bar. there was none.

so we started the game. and it was a bit awkward, because we should have been talking. but i felt like he was concentrating on this game, and i was also. and so it was, that we played in silence for a little while, during that first game.

and then it happened. something that would get to me if there was a future with him. and what's funny is that, right now, i remember that it's just like post-birthday world.

he's the beer guy. and this guy walks up to him, in the beginning of the middle of our game. and he starts talking all about his fucking bar and all the drink specials. all the nights of the week. all the specials they run. the guy's wife is standing there, too. and he wouldn't fucking shut up. and he wouldn't walk away. and coffee made no effort whatsoever to end the conversation.

because it's his job not to.

despite the fact that he wasn't at work. i guess his hat indicated that he was repping.

that, and our pilsner glasses.

eventually, literally maybe fifteen minutes later, he finally left us to our game.

and i asked him to tell me a story that i don't know. i was desperate to have conversation. and aside for shit kicking and trash talking, we'd had none.

i asked him about his day, and he talked about picking up over a hundred old trophies from someone about forty five minutes away. how he had to fold down his seats to make room for them all.

that he'd just gotten his brand new car. yesterday.

it was probably at that point that he dropped the initial bomb.

' girlfriend...'

i don't even remember what he said now. it was probably about her getting off of work. or something. but it involved his incessant texting at the table.

i hated it. i hate it when anyone does it. it is a pet peeve. i have written it before, and i won't write it again.

but it was rude. and i didn't approve.

i was there. i'd come further than he'd ever know to be sitting there. and he was only halfway paying attention to me.

then that didn't matter, because he was telling me a story and looking me dead in the eye. i stared him down, and neither of us broke the gaze. it was the phone that eventually broke the gaze.

exhibit a:

a mutual friend, let's call him oliver. coffee had tried to invite him out, despite me telling him that i'd handled it, in an effort to not crash our non-date.

so he was laughing, and said he'd just read the texts.

oliver said to call him in a bit, because he was on his way home from work. so coffee did. and he got a text back that said, check back in, and that he was going for a run. and then finally, that, who was he kidding? he wasn't going to make it. and to 'be sure to give tea a long hug, an awkwardly long hug, for him and tell him i say hi'.

to which he looked to me, and giggled. and i laughed back. thinking, 'i'm holding you to that'. but not saying a peep.

fucking OLIVER knows. and gets it. so why doesn't coffee?


alright. back to scrabs. so then we're playing. and i get my first bingo. he never recovered. i beat him. three-something to two-something.

it felt good to knock him around and take him down a notch right off the bat.

and he asked me what was new in my life, and i said that there aren't enough hours, but that i did have a story for him.

and i told him about dark sky park. he didn't know what a star party was, had never heard of a dark sky park before. that it sounded incredible.

and that he had to show me something. it's called star walk. it's an app for ipad.

it blew my mind. i literally was speechless at the brilliance of it.

it's a gps app. you can adjust the brightness or darkness of outside lights, and it will show you all the stars that are there, down to only the ones you can see in the center of a metropolis. and as you tilt it up or down, and turn your body left to right, while holding it, the view changes. and it tells you everything you're looking at. showing orbits, and patterns across the sky. and you can touch a speck on the screen, and it will tell you what it is.

just. too. much.

so we went back to scrabble and chitter chatter.

and then the next beer person came over.

how these retards can see two people playing a game competitively and not leave them alone is beyond me. entirely.

so next two guys are talking for another twenty minutes. no one is talking to me. but i'm smiling politely until i can't hold it any more. and i was trapped because i didn't want to seem rude to leave to smoke.

though it was probably around then that i had a pee break and a smoke. right after those two left. and the texting started.

and the phone calls.

my girlfriend is getting off of work.

my girlfriend's phone is dead. how she's so irresponsible with her phone. i asked if it was like the gas tank. he said he never runs his gas down, and that he's never run out.

I FUCKING GET IT. i don't need the play by play. and goddamnit can you please stop talking to everyone but me?

i don't know. i should be grateful. the conversation between and the smiles and jokes were great. i should have been happy. but i felt like i got jipped. quiet and fun was not at all what it was to me. it was his new favorite spot, where he goes probably every day. and so it also is that everyone knows him, as always.

fucking cancers, i tell you.

bomb two. in

he was supposed to clear a room for her today in the house, but got the trophies instead. and she was supposed to be packing things and starting to move in. tonight. and here he was, playing with me instead. and dealing with her via phone.

he called her darling more than once, but would leave to talk, so i didn't catch any of the conversation. where are kit's bionic ears when i need them?

i know that my face fell.

i was trying so hard to smile. and i couldn't force it enough, so i didn't try. i focused on my tiles, and hiding my cleavage under the table.

i said, 'i'm really happy for you. that's great. my life is heading in precisely the opposite direction.'

he asked what i meant, and i said that i had been in my apartment for five months.

he asked if i was getting a divorce, to which i said yes. and i somehow forgot to look in his eyes when i said it to gauge a reaction. i was already dull. i was already forgetting the rules.

he went on this tangent about marriage, divorce, and relationships in general. that everyone should do what makes them happy.

i said that i was completely uprooted and that i didn't know what i wanted to do with my life at all right now. that it's both exciting and terrifying, because i have every opportunity, and no tethers. but that i am on the fence about how to proceed.

he said something about just going for it. that people shouldn't let pride get in the way of 'coming home'. he said he wasn't insinuating that it was my case. but that you've lost nothing if you try it and if it doesn't work. because you can always go back.

i guess it was about that point in the conversation when he dropped this little nugget on me:

'i think you should come home. move home. come back.'

and then she called again. and he walked out for maybe fifteen minutes. it was the worst way to leave me hanging.

i went out for a cigarette. i didn't see where he had gone, but just went outside. i felt for about thirty seconds like i was going to cry.

how can he do that to me? how can he say that? for so long now, i thought that he would be the only thing to make me ever come back. and he's repeating to me that i should do it. that he thinks i should do it. that he wants me to do it.

and when he was back at the table, and my cigarette had been smoked, he didn't pick up where he left off. and i said, 'what were you saying right before you walked away.' and i refreshed his memory. he said he'd throw a party for me if i moved back.

that this place needs a coffee shop that isn't a starbucks because everything else is gone now. and that if my mom said she'd invest to make it happen, i'd be silly not to.

i told him that i'm burnt on coffee and that i don't even know if i want that anymore.

anyways, so i'm smoking and processing that conversation. and i'm looking into the store at the antiques through the windows. really studying them. seeing as much as i can see.

and when i first looked in, i could see a shadow in the store, but it looked like a girl with a pigtail, so i wrote it off as being another employee. i walked around the front of the building. i was looking at the back of his capped head, on the phone, pacing the store talking.

i was embarrassed for no reason. i left quickly and went back in.

i suddenly felt like i'd really missed the target with my non-date outfit.

it was embarrassing.

so he came back and played a word. and then initial beer dude came back again. talking all about his upcoming events.

it made me hate people. people who are shameless self-promoters. and who can't take a fucking clue.

i don't know. i had already started with the bathroom updates to kit and nina at this point.

i was bombshelled out. i went to the bathroom probably seven times during the night, and the first couple times were texting updates.

and it was the third trip when i'd had about a beer and a half on an empty stomach.

i stared myself down in the mirror. i went through what i wanted to say and gave myself a silent pep talk. go back out there. i don't care how you do it, but you have to do it. just SAY it already.

so i brought up thinking about coming home. and said that this trip was about closure for me. i told him in about three sentences that i'd had lunch with brownies, and that we'd cleared the air and he asked how she was about it, and i said great. that she'd introduced me to my husband, but hated who i became when i was with him, because i wasn't happy and that she couldn't watch it happen. and that it cost me our friendship.

and i'm not even kidding. i was talking about being home and closure and the other two lunches i'd had.

and a girl walks toward our table and sits down.

i was face to face with that asshole from his pictures. the one who looks like his girlfriend, but that look in his eyes that doesn't communicate a girlfriend, the expression on his face that looks more frightened than anything.

this was the girlfriend.

and without any warning, she was THERE.

i was suddenly trying to keep my shrug closed and tits under the table.

it was so awkward and horrible. she wasn't nice. she wasn't smiling. she wasn't warm or welcoming.

i mean, i didn't blame her. but at least she knew i was there. i didn't have that warning. he didn't tell me. if my boyfriend had been out with some girl wearing what i was wearing, i would've been all over him to make a point, and dragged his ass out of the bar at that moment.

but she stayed. and that was somehow worse.

i panicked, but only inside. i lost the game quickly after she arrived. my concentration was cerainly broken. but more than that, i wanted out. i ended the game with 'run'. for three points. he beat me by thirty points.

i wanted to go home. i needed to get in the pool. i needed beer at home. i needed to get OUT.

and i was stuck in the end of a game with all vowels. it was painful.

i should write about the soundtrack. kit will shit her pants when she hears that bartender boy had it on phantagram radio. which made a torturous mix of mirah, phoenix, lily allen, feist, miike snow, and many others. he sang only the shins. i sang the rest. it was like he'd plugged in one of kit's road trip mixes. it was ridiculous.

i wanted to die. it was breaking my heart to hear all those songs. because it wasn't supposed to be like that. it was supposed to be playing while he tells me that he can't stop thinking about me. not five minute updates about his girlfriend.

exhibit b:

the surprise birthday party. a scrabble tournament party on his birthday that he continually invites me to and then realizes i leave that day and won't be there for.

he said something about gf thinking he was such an asshole because another friend told him about the surprise party. and that she was really mad that he found out. he said she thought he was an asshole more than once.

exhibit c:

mowing the lawn. some random story about the lawn service guy not doing a good job. that he fired him because he got into trouble with the homeowners association over it.

that gf is bringing a lawn mower and that she's happy to mow the yard for him.

it is 415 am.

i will post this as is. i will have to fix it later. it's better than nothing.

i promise that it is more painful writing all this out than it is to read it in all its scatteredness.

the exhibits are important.

the text from oliver was important because when gf showed up, she said, 'where's oliver?'

and i watched him squirm. he said the thing about him working and running and that he ended up saying he wouldn't make it. left out the part about the awkward hug and added some other part that wasn't in the text.

it made me feel like i'd gotten him into trouble. that he'd made less of his night with me to make her okay with it.

it was awful to be in the middle of.

she got up and got a glass of champagne. which she kept calling bubbles.

then another guy came up to talk beer business while the three of us were there.

if ever there was a disaster, this was it.

maybe tomorrow i can write about how she asked me to have a cigarette with her, without him. how awesome that was. (dripping with sarcasm)

and then the three of us talking until the bar closed early.

how they invited me to the club with them.

and how i didn't go.

how he handed her two keys to his place while she sat between us at the bar.

how one of the keys he'd made for her was a ladybug printed key.

(personally, that one KILLS ME. deader than dead inside. ask me to see my keys. kit was there when i had my ladybug key made a week ago)

how i was two blocks from lake highland the entire evening.

how i left at midnight on the dot and tried to go to the lake. but had to pee too bad.

how i tried to drive home and went the wrong way. how i passed the place where i'd had my first date with the sun. and then the place where ever and i were married. before stopping at a 7-11 to pee.

how i headed all the way back to the lake.

and how i wrote a few lines though flying ants were landing on me and biting me.

and how i left and made it home in record time.

how the dark sky mix suddenly sounds different to me. even more fitting that the perfection that it's been these past few days.

how aubree waited up and listened.

how we swam.

how confused she was.

and how it is that i can be so confused right now. how i didn't get to ask my question, because his girlfriend crashed my conversation as i forced it to progress to the point where i could say that i never had the timing right with him, and why didn't he kiss me.

how heima and my camera sat untouched in the car during the whole night. with my contact lens case and saline. just in case.

how my heart is just starting to break right now, because njosnavelin takes care of what used to be numb.

tomorrow i'll write about the good parts. so my confusion is understood.

for now, the five am naked swim has lulled me to sleep yet again...

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