“Under no circumstances are you to go to your beach bar,” counsels my neighbor and friend. “Nothing is to be gained, and you will only put yourself in front of the boy, which is about as unhealthy as it gets.”
“When you want to go there tonight, think of what you would tell me about going to see my bad boy.”
“Just don’t, okay?”
And off she goes to fly an airplane.
I am on my own this evening. My Friday night date canceled at 8 a.m. this morning because he, too, has to fly a plane. Turns out, I am pals with pilots–captains–and they get called up at odd hours and for odd times. It’s work. It’s what they do.
I am fine with this because I get the last-minute work thing. I am also fine with this because I am in friend love with these people, because they are smart and considerate, and, well, they feel like the first real friends I have made down here. They just happen to work in the friendly skies, and given that these skies are not so friendly these days, I understand that they need to take all the work they can get gliding through those billowy clouds.
To fill time, I go to the beach. I run for miles along the beach. I turn up the music in my headphones to drown out all possibility of obsessive what-if-only thoughts. I grab multiple copies of the City Link newspaper in which RG was written up (as well as online) as one of the sexiest blogs in SoFla. This is the hard-copy issue I have to send my aunt-who-is-really-like-my-mom, because she is thrilled anytime anything I do is published–ever since my first newspaper byline at age 19. I am not sure how thrilled she will be when she sees said cover of “The Sex Issue,” but she is proud of me and my writing and will hopefully just smile at the irony of this latest RG moniker.
To fill more time, I take Rouletta to the dog beach. I take a chance and take her off her leash. She behaves great–running up to other dogs trying to bum smokes–until she realizes that these other animals are nothing more than mere dogs. Then she takes off running through a cut in the sand dune and prances right out onto A1A. Tires screech, onlookers gasp, and I envision her death before my eyes. I don’t even realize I have chomped down on my fist until she is standing on the sidewalk, ears back and her brindled body shaking, and I have to use my self-bitten hand to clamp her leash back on her harness.
“You almost lost her, you know,” scolds an older woman who witnessed the whole thing. “Maybe you should get her some training. You were really lucky this time.”
Yeah, I am one lucky gal. And maybe you should just give me a Goddamned break, okay? Because not only did I just watch my dog’s life pass before my eyes, I don’t have a Goddamned thing to do this evening and it is all I can do not to go to my beach bar and hang out, because now the boy who broke my heart is in town when he was supposed to be very far out of town, and I have to avoid him because I am still a stupid mess about him, and I am so embarrassed and incredulous that this shell of a man has rendered me such–STILL. So, yeah, I am just one f—ing lucky girl. Have a nice night.
I wrap Rouletta in a towel and brush the sand off her smooshed-in nose and head home. Where I assess all the photos and books and tiny china trinkets that once belonged to my 104-year-old great aunt before she died and passed them on to me, and I decide it is time to pack. I am, after all, moving next Thursday, and I have done nothing to make this a reality. Besides, I cannot, absolutely cannot, go to my beach bar.
My dancing partner pilot texts that his plane is delayed and he thanks me again for my understanding about having to break our date. I wish him safe travels. My friend and neighbor pilot does not text, but that is because she is willing a turbo prop to defy gravity in order to transport tourists to Key West.
It is just me, the bubble wrap saved from my initial move here, and a semi-decent bottle of cab. I pack what I can, sigh at what I can’t, and scrounge the cigarettes that my pilot neighbor and friend has left in my freezer–as if we need to keep smokes in a freezer these days in order to keep them fresh, as fast as we smoke them after 9 p.m. I only smoke four, and I only smoke them half-way, so I figure that’s the equivalent of two, as if that’s progress with this whole withdrawal-themed day.
I am a frickin’ mess. I am at the end of every loose end.
I call RG daughter to check in. She is painting her nails and getting ready to go out with a nice boy who is smitten with her. She sounds happy. She will be here on Wednesday to help me move, and I know I have to will myself to be semi-together by then.
I only smoked four cigarettes halfway tonight. I only drank two glasses of wine tonight. I didn’t go to the beach bar tonight. My dog didn’t die on A1A tonight.
Withdrawal sucks. As does feeling all the necessary pain before the healing truly and for once and for all sets in. Anytime now would be nice.