A woman in my luxury apartment complex walks her dog every night at the same time. I know her. She is crazy. Certifiable. Insane.
My day-at-a-time boy would tell you I am insane, but I would tell you it is not the same type of insanity. The woman in my complex is very alone. She is bitter because of this, and she is rarely civil to anyone. I am nice to everyone. I am what you get, when you get to know me, and I let everyone know me pretty quick. Down here in Fort La La La Land, it is a huge mistake to put all of yourself out there so soon, so obviously. Pretty soon–with lightning speed, in fact–all that you willingly put out there will be thrown back at you, and you will be left being nothing short of a fool.
The lady in my complex, however, being insane, is simply ignored. Maybe she is onto something.
I am moving away tomorrow. I am gone from here tomorrow. I am starting over, yet again, tomorrow. Yes, I am terrified. No, I am not brave. I just am. Crazy.
Thankfully, all of the awful stuff of 2008 continued right up till the end of 2008, but it stopped just short of 2009. Thus far, I am happy to report, 2009 has been a banner year of no drama. So maybe I won’t be crazy in 2009. Who knows?
I have no idea when I will be able to post again, given Comcast’s sterling record of never getting it right the first 20 times when I move. It could be weeks. I hope not. But just in case, let me share with you my final moments of 2008. They were, well, quite remarkable.
Against my gut, I agreed to meet the Man for drinks at the beach bar. And all was good until I drank three drinks on an empty stomach, then smoked weed for the first time since college, and got completely trashed. (Yeah, just say no, folks.)
When a shadowy voice appeared at my side saying, “Now there’s a girl I need to kiss on New Years Eve,” I had no ability to connect the voice with a face, or with a person. In fact, in my giggly weeded daze, I thought it was my day-at-a-time boy, and I was, for a brief moment, lulled into contentment, because I stupidly still care very much for him.
It was a sweet kiss square on my mouth. It felt familiar, and yet not. And when I opened my eyes, and the blur crystalized into focus, I realized who it was.
“Oh my God, you?” I laughed, because I was so stoned. Yep, my boy from back in May–the Accidental Wedding boy. He always was a great kisser. Nothing about that has changed.
“Hey, my daughter is here and I want you to meet her before you get too trashed,” he said, even as I lost his face in a blur of alcohol and smoke.
“Oh, I guess you are already trashed,” he laughed. And that was the last I saw of my Accidental Wedding boy. His kiss, as it would turn out, would be the highlight of my 2008 New Year’s Eve. Uh huh.
The next highlight of the final moments of 2008 was the feeling of soaking wet bev naps being shoved into my mouth and all over my face. “If you think I am going to kiss you at midnight after the way you kissed that piece of shit, you are mistaken,” the Man said, as so many looked on, aghast. As so many looked on, while he did it a second time, with a rougher gesture, and as I died so many deaths of humility.
Somehow, I got home a mile down the road. Somehow, I shoved on Roultetta’s collar and clicked her leash to it. Somehow, I walked across the street to my dive bar, very carefully checking for my day-at-a-time boy’s car, which I did not see. It was ten minutes before midnight.
I’ll go in and wish the nice owner a happy new year, I thought, and then I won’t be alone when the year moves forward. If I am not alone, I thought, I won’t be as pathetic as the crazy dog-walking lady in my apartment building. Because, despite what the day-at-a-time boy for whom I still care so much thinks, I am not so crazy. I just wanted to know where I stood with him, in all his silence. And that made me crazy in his eyes, and then it made us over. Done.
I saw him right away as I stood in the doorway of my dive bar, Rouletta pulled tight beside me. He was dressed nicer than I had ever seen him–a yellow South Florida shirt over nice pants, a plastic yellow lei around his neck.
I jumped in a physically startled way from my doorway vantage point when I saw him sitting at the bar with a beautiful young girl. He saw me right away. He mouthed words I could not hear, much less understand. What? I shrugged. “Do not come in here,” he mouthed again, and yet I still couldn’t believe he was there, much less telling me with an angry scowl to go away. “Get out of here. Do not come in here,” he mouthed, one careful word after another.
And I was gone then, per his instruction, the air also gone from my lungs, my stomach, my brain. Wow. Just like that–hatred. Pure, no-questions-asked hatred. Wow. Wow. Wow. But I thought he…. Yeah, I so thought wrong. All along. Along and along and along.
“He’s a douche,” commented Upset Waitress as we drank mimosas at 9 a.m. this morning. “Always was,” she laughed.
“But he said he wanted to live with me here,” I told her, lighting a cigarette I am supposed to be quitting. “He told me…”
“He’s just a dude, a hair on the ass of an ass. He’s nothing,” she said, no longer laughing.
Shit, really? Just another Accidental Wedding Boy? Just another player? Duh, of course. Just another. Which I already knew. I just hated to hear it from someone who would have known better so many weeks before I did.
“Hey, did you hear?” Upset Waitress asked, changing the subject. “One of the oldest inns down here burned down last night. It’s still burning today!” she smiled.
Really? That B&B? The one at which I spent a first magical weekend with the day-at-a-time boy, the first boy I let myself believe and really fall for? That B&B?
“No shit!” I laughed. “How perfect.”
Because it burned to bits right before the toughest, most difficult, most eye-opening year of my life ended. Perfect, indeed. Out of the ashes, ashes to ashes, and all that, right? Nah, it’s just nice to have the only Keys memory of my day-at-a-time boy literally gone for good. It allows for a clean start, at least in my mind.
Which likely makes me crazy for thinking so. Call me crazy, then, because I am never looking back on 2008 again. Except, of course, when I need to be reminded of how crazy I never want to feel again. Never, ever, again.
My New Years resolution? To learn to carry a tray. To learn to carry a tray and not drop anything on guests. To learn how to balance a damn tray and not give a crap about anything else until I do. Yeah, who’s crazy now?
Happy New Year!