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:

�Oh my God, I�m on a date!�

�Oh my God, I�m on a date with someone I met online.�

�And I�m sober.�

�And I�m wearing pastels.�

�What alternative universe is this?�

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.

It�s hard to describe the relationship that Cee and I had. Well, in one way, it�s 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 �And why do you gotta be so drunk all the time?� 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 he�d 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 didn�t understand why each other was living the way we were, and as a result didn�t have much respect for each other.

Anyway, there he was, standing alone and inexplicable in a park on the other side of town. I hadn�t seen him since I�d 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 I�m not really who I seem to be, that I�m not really this pastel-wearing, Internet-dating, small-talking sober woman that I�m pretending to be.

At least, that�s 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 � unless I was trying to force it to mean more than it really did.

And why would I try to do that? Well, it�s obvious (my mind working fast now, staring out the bus window at the pouring rain): It�s because there�s a part of me, a strong and sneaky part, that still thinks my old life was more interesting, more enticing, than my current one. There�s a part of me that would still rather be sprawled on Cee�s 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.

Ain�t 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