Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The return

I have this great baseball post almost ready to go but strange and bloggable things keep happening to me.

I feel like I got paid for my last post. I know that's not how karma works but as soon as I show my contented single face, the past knocks on my door. Literally.

Monday night at 11:30pm, I sat on the red sofa, comfortably ensconced with the computer, ready to watch yet another episode of the Sopranos. I hear something that sounds like it might be a knock on the front door of the building. I have the windows open and I hear, faintly, what sounds like my name, "J…"

I turn off the light so I can look out the living room window discreetly. Guess who I see? Kansas.

Kansas! You could have knocked me over with a feather. We haven't had any contact at all since our final email exchange, three months ago. Not a peep, not a whisper--not an email or a phone call--in three months! Damn. Not to mention that they don't come back; they never come back.

He says, "Are you going to let me in?"

I go to the front door and open it a crack. "What are you doing here?"

"I don't know. I thought I'd say hi."

"C'mon in."

He comes in, sits on the couch. I go back to the computer. I don't look at him but I say, "So, what do you want?"

"I just, maybe this is stupid, but, you know, I missed you."

"That's not stupid. I missed you too…a little."

"A little. Yeah. I can go. I should go."

"I'll tell you when you should go."

"I'm sorry, I should go. I'm a jackass."

"Are you here to apologize for being an ass? Are you going to give me that money you owe me?" (He owes me $39 for cab fare/groceries when he lost his ATM card.)

"Yes! Yes, of course. Should I apologize?"


"I was a jackass! But you were harsh."

"Was I? I felt bad."

"You know, I'm sorry, I wanted to be friends. I liked being friends with you. Then you cut me off."

"I liked being friends too. I like you and you're really hard on yourself. I don't like to see that. You were pretty bad with me but much worse with yourself."

"That's true."

"You think you're more fun when you're drinking, but you're not. I wanted to spend time with you when you were sober. I like you better when you're sober."

Please note that he was drunk. He showed up at my house, again. Drunk.

I told a friend about this and she said, "Wouldn't it have been great if he'd shown up and said he was in AA?"

"Yeah, I never thought of that. I never thought I'd see him again. I never thought he'd stop drinking. That would nice, wouldn't it?"

"Maybe, someday."

Never once did I imagine that he was busy getting sober. And he wasn't. No fantasies here!

Want to know why the late night calls stopped? He deleted my number from his phone. He said, "I don't have your number."

"Why not?"

"I erased it! I had to! You told me to!"

"No. What? Gee whiz. Oh, wait. I get it." And I got it. The only way he could be sure not to call me in the middle of the night was to make sure it wasn't an option. Good lord that's sad. And, oddly, flattering. I am irresistible! Well, not really, but a little hard to resist anyway.

I kept asking him what he wanted. As in the past, he said he wanted to be friends and then he made a pass at me. Kansas wants to be friends and he wants…more…he wants it all. He's just not capable of actually being in a relationship. He's got a full time one going already, with alcohol. It's super depressing.

When he kissed me, I didn't resist. I wondered, "Will I be able to stop this?" After one or two (or three or four) kisses, I said, "I can't do this with you. I'm sorry." I stood up and, after a long hug, I moved him to the door and out of my house. It was 2am.

Many more things of interest were said than I can record. He said, "You remember the last words I said to you?" I told him I did--you know I'd just read them the other day. He talked about how he's been, we joked, and we sat outside and smoked. He said, "Remember college basketball season? That was our best time." I said, "That was our only time!" He repeated himself many times on many topics (drunk) and asked a dozen times if I was going to kick him out.

When it finally came time for him to leave, he tried to wrangle an invitation to spend the night. That was never going to happen. I told him he could email me but I didn't give him my number. We didn't make any plans (duh) and I have no intention of contacting him. I suppose I can go back to his bar now if I want to, so it's up to me to decide if there is more hanging out in our future. Probably there isn't but I like that we're back on a friendly footing.

I'm happy he came by--I was glad to see him. Sure, I'll be upset if he starts dropping by at all hours. That's not ok. I have turned him away before and I'll do it again. But this time, I didn't want to. My guiding principle here is: do what makes me happy. Seeing Kansas again did make me happy, and a little sad, but I don't regret it for a second. It was nice to know he missed me. It was sad to know he hasn't changed. I did what I could do by calling him on it. And he heard me. He took it seriously. Maybe, someday, it will help him realize that he needs to go to a meeting. Anything is possible.

Grateful for: good will.

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