C l e a n

Not drinking.
First Date // Friday, Apr. 23, 2004

So, naturally, after my brusque disavowal of romance in my last entry, I met someone online and we decided to go on a date. The big date was earlier this evening, actually. As I had expected, he turned out to be sweet, a good talker, and not very attractive to me. Still, it was a big deal, and throughout the event I kept having these time-stopping moments of realization:

ďOh my God, Iím on a date!Ē

ďOh my God, Iím on a date with someone I met online.Ē

ďAnd Iím sober.Ē

ďAnd Iím wearing pastels.Ē

ďWhat alternative universe is this?Ē

That kind of thing.

We were walking in a park in a neighborhood far from mine, where I rarely go. It was just starting to rain. I saw a man approaching us. He looked familiar, and then the realization of who he was came over the horizon and hurtled towards me. It was Cee.

Itís hard to describe the relationship that Cee and I had. Well, in one way, itís easy: he was a drug dealer. But we were also friends, or at least pals. He lived near me and I would show up at his place at all hours or page him repeatedly at 3 a.m. He would periodically become disgusted with me. I remember one night in particular; he was yelling at me over some minor indiscretion. He finished with ďAnd why do you gotta be so drunk all the time?Ē He sounded frustrated and sad. I started to bawl and he sold me a bag.

He was a lonely guy, though, always being betrayed or ripped off by his ill-chosen friends. Sometimes heíd call me up and ask me to come over and hang out at his comically horrific apartment, where I would watch him play video games. I think we honestly liked each other, but didnít understand why each other was living the way we were, and as a result didnít have much respect for each other.

Anyway, there he was, standing alone and inexplicable in a park on the other side of town. I hadnít seen him since Iíd last bought off him. We said hi, and I did introductions (totally bizarre!), then I walked on with my date, my mind racing. How weird it was! That I would see Cee! Now of all times! Like a messenger from my former life, sent to remind me that Iím not really who I seem to be, that Iím not really this pastel-wearing, Internet-dating, small-talking sober woman that Iím pretending to be.

At least, thatís what I thought at first. Then, alone on the bus on the way home, I realized I was obsessing about my 30-second encounter with Cee and not even thinking about my long-awaited, much-anticipated, serious-props-to-me-for-finally-doing-it first date. What, really, was the big deal about seeing Cee? So I ran into someone I used to know. It happens to everyone, almost every day. There was no need to imbue the encounter with layers of meaning and symbolism Ö unless I was trying to force it to mean more than it really did.

And why would I try to do that? Well, itís obvious (my mind working fast now, staring out the bus window at the pouring rain): Itís because thereís a part of me, a strong and sneaky part, that still thinks my old life was more interesting, more enticing, than my current one. Thereís a part of me that would still rather be sprawled on Ceeís filthy couch, fucked out of my mind, licking snot off my lip and watching Girls Gone Wild videos, than walking sedately through the park in the springtime with a slightly pudgy, not particularly stylish, perfectly pleasant man, discussing our respective alumni clubs.

Ainít that a bitch.

prev // next

Visitation - Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2004
Tired of This - Monday, Jul. 12, 2004
Watershed - Thursday, Apr. 29, 2004
First Date - Friday, Apr. 23, 2004
Online Dating - Sunday, Mar. 28, 2004