what men do.


i told him i should've come out drinking with him more often, especially that year i was home and unemployed. but when i think about it, it probably wouldn't have been the best thing to be an unemployed drunk. he agreed, though, and he said, "finally." he said he had been drunk for about two years now, and he had all his friends with him, so it really looked like he was having a good time. we downed some beers, some drinks, little bit of this and a little bit of that. i was starting to have a good time, and i wished then that i hadn't left california.

california was all sun, after all. it was late november, but the sun was out, and i had forgotten what that was like. i could wear a t-shirt outdoors and play basketball outside at 5 in the evening. i ran around the block and listened to music. it was a rare thing i'd taken for granted. i stayed in bed and listened to records. i watched sitcoms on demand and i ate food that my mom cooked. i knew if i stayed it would've gotten old, but damnit. just damnit.

we talked with some people, some strangers, and i couldn't believe it had taken me twenty-six years and a couple of beers to stop caring about what other people thought. nobody was watching, nobody cared, anyway. i don't know what it was that always made me feel like i was being watched. but i said things like, "hello," and "what've you been up to tonight?" and i felt like a normal, social being. this is what people did when they weren't just at home listening to records or typing on the computer.

at one point, i was so out of it, so not who i usually am (or thought i was) that a girl, tracy, said i was being too "pushy." that put me in a mood, but i backed off anyway. her friend, courtney, was telling me about her ex-boyfriend and how his current girlfriend had slashed her tires for no good reason. i asked what that was about, and she said she didn't know, and i said that was crazy, and she agreed, and then her friend told me i was being pushy. i didn't get women, probably never will.

but either way, i was probably being kind of desperate, pathetic, and creepy. i'm sure i was obvious about what i wanted, but i'd been out of the game so long, that i didn't really give a shit. i sat at the bar and feigned interest in a basketball game. my cousin gave me some advice. he said that when a girl starts talking some heavy shit, that you're supposed to change topic, maybe talk about hobbies or other things instead. some people get emotional when they're drunk. me, i just start to finally feel something.

i ate wings at 3 in the morning and slept on the floor with the tv on. when saved by the bell was on at 7 or 8 in the morning, i watched it. i remembered what it was like sleeping with a woman in a bed, and then there i was on the floor, and it didn't even matter. people did this all the time. this was what the single life was all about, passing out on floors and eating greasy food in the wee hours of the morning.

this is what men do. this is what men do.

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