Things start innocent enough. An arcade bar, a drink, a chair, and a couple of hours before the event starts. Simpsons trivia, and I had studied up on the Treehouse of Horror episodes. Before that I went to Rook. Rook is an interesting hip hop flavored Asian restaurant, and I adore it. They made me a believer of meshing what you love and, well, meshing what you love. I had a gin and tonic that was amazing, and ate like I was Anthony Bourdain for a few moments. I took some pictures.
Rook played hip hop. I was in heaven. Asian and hip hop? Who owns this place? Where’s Eddie? When Tribe Called Quest came on, I knew I was home.
Next door was the arcade, Tappers, a place where I’ve met friends before, and no, the intention wasn’t to troll for women, but there were women there. From the start I had a good conversation with someone that stimulated my mind, and I began to think once again of the religious upbringing I had. Then I slowly realized that it’s easy to fall back into those patterns of speech, especially when you talk to someone that is adamant about the understanding and revelation that they have, versus your intellectual grasp. I made some promises, I’ll keep them, but I’m still skeptical as always, because there are far more moments like Jonah than there are anything else in my world. Jonah and myself, where is my giant fish?
Simpsons trivia is a lot harder than you may think. It becomes incredibly hard when you look around the room and realize that everyone there is a couple, and everyone there has a team to play with. Some were dressed up. Some were dressed up so well that even a compliment was too much, as Uncle Moe reminded me a few hours after I initially gave him a compliment. It’s funny how people turn on you after a few drinks, and yet again, he didn’t even seem drunk, he just sure put me in my place.
I drank. I forgot to take my medication. I had full anxiety. I lost big time, the score wasn’t pretty, and while round 1 was fun, it certainly turned into a bad time with sour notes, but hey, I was there, I was flying solo, I told my dad I got divorced.
There was no response.
Throughout the night I was in and out of the internet, not even looking up Simpsons trivia questions to study, just saying hi to people, and reflecting on the night, and slowly going down a spiral of depression and anxiety, because of a few interactions that left me cold.
The two women that kept looking at me, weren’t looking at me, they were looking at the bouncer. The bouncer knew the owner, he got the job that way, I told him he’s living a dream world, and he agreed. I don’t have a beard. “We’re leaving anyways”, and well, I was told that if you shoot your shot, hope it goes in, I didn’t ask for their number or their time, simply approached and asked them if they would like a drink. The steadfast reaction of, no, and thank you and then run for your life took over with them as I stood there and saw the bartender look back at me and say, “it’s a rough place for that buddy”. I’ll show him. I’m awesome. I’ve been doing the work, I’ve been reading the books, I’m jovial, I’m conversational, I’m confident….then why am I basing this whole diatribe on rejections?
The night wore on.
It wasn’t even that late by the time I spoke with Ruth Powers. I asked if I could sit next to her, and of course Uncle Moe and Colonel Homer were there too. She said sure, and we were talking, while I was sobering up and drinking water, I just wanted to get to know her and told a few jokes, made her laugh, and that’s when reality hit me in the face. “She’s not interested bro, and why are you yelling? She’s not interested, you’re yelling, you’re a loser, and so annoying, she’s bored!”.
Was I yelling?
Did I do something wrong?
Why is he yelling at me? Oh, the alpha, he gets her right? Yeah. She smiled at him, he defended her, I get it. I drank my water, and paid my bill. I told them that my ex wife has a hearing issue, and she has hearing aids so my volume isn’t always a result of others but rather experience, and I apologize for ruining their night. Ruth Powers told me it’s ok, come back another time, but made it clear that she was not at all interested in being my friend, because after she said, “let’s be friends”, there was no way to do that, she didn’t give me her real name, didn’t give me a number, and stayed at the bar with Uncle Moe, the annoying person that put me in my place.
I paid. I walked out, I had parked across the street.
I cried. I cried because for the first time I felt something worth crying about, and it’s a reality of how much of a loser I had become as a single person, or so I told myself in a panic. I forgot my anxiety medication, now I’m going to get it. I lashed out, I reached out to friends, I was a loose cannon, some didn’t reply well, others were nice, and some took the kid gloves off and beat me with a tire iron. Not their fault, I deserved it, but what I was looking for was some compassion, or kindness, or sympathy, empathy, some positivity because I had lost all of mine in the bar. You can have fun without trolling, someone said, I wasn’t trolling but the mix of medication lapses, the yelling, the rejection, and the realization that I’m better off not going back there because it’s not a den of fun, hit me in the face. “You’re a loser, she’s not interested bro”, it will always ring in my head, because it’s like something out of a movie.
“She’s not into you bro” is a line that just seems so dumb, and yet she found it cavalier, she smiled, she had a shred of empathy as I walked away, and what do I say, “I wish you knew my story”, and he stood up, I walked away.
Is this the real life I’m creating? These are my choices?
“These are your choices”
A friend’s words ring in my head this morning, I think I burned that bridge. Friends I never met came through and told me to call them if I felt like ending it. I didn’t. I just wanted to lay down.
It wasn’t the worst night. It wasn’t the best night, but really, what did I expect? I had fun, I drank, I ate well, and I went home to two cats that love me. An empty apartment, a mattress on the floor, it’s all just a matter of a night.
Reflecting on such things, I realize my mistakes, I know what I must do, and it’s interesting how society’s nerds, geeks, and dare I say romantics, ostracize you if you’re not truly “one of them”. I didn’t wear a costume.
“Feelling like I need to fall down some stairs, maybe lay down in the river and float, perfect weather for a head wound….”
And yet, here I am. What happened? I’m a man that writes a blog, and is probably being laughed at. The definition of insanity is here in these pages, because it’s the same story from 1999.
All of this to remind myself:
“I’m Sick of Smiling
And so is my jaw
Can’t you see my front is crumbling down?
I’m sick of being someone I’m not
Please get me out of this spot
I’m sick of clapping
When I know I can do it better for myself
I’m sick of waiting
Sick of all these words that will never matter”
A new day. A new beginning. Moment to moment, another step to forever…last night took an L….