yesterday was really a rough one. i think i’m getting better and then, damn, i have a day like yesterday. it’s unfortunate that i met Tread-Lightly at work. now i find myself looking out the bar window (a characteristic diamond shape—this is a baltimore vernacular architecture thing i wish i knew more about) and remembering (always!) that he took a nice picture of it and it was the screensaver on his phone for a while. standing there trying not to cry (we do not want a crying lovelorn bartender) i feel like a reprehensibly foolish woman but i tell myself that my feelings were big significant feelings, i’m allowed to be foolish for a while. i’m not foolish. this kind of thing happens to people. etc. (i try to give myself a little speech like this.)
and then funny or annoying things happen at work and i wish i could tell him because he knows all the players—like yesterday was particularly rough because i had to work with Johnn—yes, his name really does have a double N like that, apparently because his father was a hardcore obsessive-compulsive who believed that everyone in the family had to have five-letter names that started with J—but Johnn is the only child, so i’ve never understood this explanation—in any case, this is the only interesting thing about Johnn. he’s oddly austere and humorless, especially for a bartender. he’s perfectly nice, but. but but. we have no camaraderie. i’ve worked with him for over a year now (!) and we’ve barely had one conversation. he is not interested. though sometimes he feels the need to take me to the gun show. (i don’t like going to the gun show.) i was talking about him the other day, comparing him to another colleague: ‘i know he’s a good bartender, but i hate working with him. and i know Petey is sort of a terrible bartender—but we have a good time. we even hang out outside of work sometimes. Johnn doesn’t even talk to me—Johnn is all about Johnn; Johnn is the star of the Johnn show. well, and that makes sense, everybody should be the star of their own show—but on the Petey show, i’m a recurring if minor guest star. and i know what the show is about. i don’t even know what the Johnn show is about! i don’t get a copy of the script! i’m not even in the credits, i’m like the assistant to the 2nd grip or something.’
anyway, working with Johnn is always dreary. and working in a bar shouldn’t be dreary. but he brings me down. with his indifference and his big ugly horsey face. (i’m a very shallow person.) Tread-Lightly and i laughed about his big horse face on our first date*—well actually we laughed at how mean and shallow i was for talking about it—and laughed about the spelling of his name, too—and he always commiserated with me about horse-faced Johnn.** i wanted to text him yesterday and give him funny johnn updates. to share some of the ridiculous things i was overhearing! (example: ‘i went to so many bar and bat mitzvahs when i was a kid, i actually learned the torah.’)
see! it’s not just the physical and the intimate that i miss. i miss the banal stuff. i miss the conversation stuff. Tread-Lightly was a friend and i’m in dire need of those lately—it’s getting lonely up in here. in a weird coincidence, in the past two weeks, my two best friends here moved away. i mean, apart from The Gift Horse, these were the two people i spent most of my social time with. and (very) lately i’m trying to spend less time sitting around in bars pissing my life away—so i’m not seeing so much of my not-so-best friends either. and the poor Gift Horse, whose string of bad luck continues, he’s been in the hospital all this week! and and i was kind of dating the local record store guy, Meyer Lemon, who gave me an impassioned speech about what a fool Tread-Lightly was, who really gave me the hard sell—i was certainly spending a lot of time with Meyer Lemon—but he apparently has a very jealous british fiancée. who suddenly turned up to visit two weeks ago. and and and of course my grandparents remain dead. it is a very lonely random world right now.
and i have to work with Johnn again tonight. and overhear more inane things. and think about aging. the rain, the loneliness, the regret! though the sun is stupidly shining. maybe it won’t be so bad. maybe i’ll buy a kinks record on the way to work. maybe from Meyer Lemon.
* the ending was so beautiful. we kissed. that was beautiful. i was so surprised that this guy i’d thought was kind of goofy, who i thought would be a pleasant diversion, had turned out to be such a compelling person. we kissed again. i kind of burrowed into his shoulder and he played with my hair. (we were in his car; he was dropping me off.) and that went on for a while. ‘as much as i don’t want to, i guess i really do have to get out of your car sometime!’ ‘as much as i don’t want you to,’ etc. then he texted me right away: ‘that goodbye was too sweet and lovely.’
** in case you think i’m being too mean: horse-faced Johnn is an ex-marine; he’s very athletic and has a girlfriend who is much younger than he is. he does all right with the ladies. he does all right in life. he doesn’t need my endorsement.