There was always a fight. There was always a "Why don't you?" There was always a "Yeah but." There were all these things that I didn't understand.
Fall rolled around. We had seen each other in passing in the few months that passed and said hello but not much more. She started seeing someone else and I tried seeing someone else who I liked much more than she liked me. Our first dates ended up being in the same place on the same night which is something out of a bad movie or a bad book. And there's no bad writing allowed except for when bad writing occurs. What do you say when that happens? "This is my date. Date, this woman has seen me naked." Do you say that? No. You pull your hood over your head and invent an exit. At least that's what I did.
That date was the last date that I had with her by the way. It lasted 4 days. She told me she was sorry about her heart when I dropped her off the last time that saw her and I haven't seen her since. I'll never see her again unless I'm in an airport in London and it's 2028 when I'm traveling for work and she's traveling with her impossibly beautiful (as yet non-existent) children and her impossibly handsome (also as yet non-existent) husband. Because that's the way the knife works.
Fall passed and winter settled in. New Year's Eve. At home and some drunk woman kissed me on the mouth in the kitchen but she didn't remember it the next time I saw her. January became February and that became mid February and that became Valentine's Day. The woman from last summer asked me about getting her flowers for Valentine's Day. She asked me to get her flowers. She asked me. I didn't.
March. The Ides of March. Midnight. She got in a car, headed out-of-state, and eloped. She got married. 29 days after she asked me to give her flowers.
I got on a plane the next morning and flew to the Midwest. She and her husband were expecting their first child. I drank my way through the week, unsure if I had or had not dodged a bullet. Or, rather, a cannonball. I convinced myself that I had. I knew I had.
Other men had seen her naked. Another man since me had seen her naked.
Spring became summer. I went on a few dates. One of them asserted that I was only interested in sleeping with her even though I had never slept with her. One of them tasted like cigarettes. One of them said, "I don't know about dating you but I could introduce you to some friends." She was tall and very pretty and had an enthusiastic outlook on life. Almost can't believe that was the end of that. I haven't heard from any of them since.
Last week, the woman from last summer gave birth to a daughter. She and her husband announced it to the world. In love with me last summer to married, stepmother to three, and mother to one. Naked in my bed on a Monday night or any night that she and I wanted for that matter to domestica in 14 months.
I wonder what her life is like now. 3 am feedings and singing songs about how beautiful life must be. Elton John's "Your Song". Or Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." I don't know what mothers sing to their daughters. I wonder if the girl of 4 days from last fall ever thinks about calling me (she hasn't in several months which is a shame). I wonder if Cigarette Mouth is going to see me out one night in East Nashville and say "hello." I wonder if the girl who thought I was only trying to sleep with her is sleeping someone else. I wonder why that tall pretty girl never called me to introduce her to her friends like she said she was going to.
I'm going to two weddings in two weekends next month. And I'm going alone to both of them. Mother, 4 Days, Cigarette Mouth, Sleeping, and Tall Pretty all would have been good dates 14, 10, 4, 3, or 2 months ago. But they're not.
I wonder what it's like to not have to worry about having a date for a wedding.
I wonder what another beer tonight would do. Probably not much. One pint of Oktoberfest doesn't matter. I'm living dangerously by having this second one. I'm living dangerously. I'm half an hour from going to bed alone on a Monday. I've been typing this with my thumbs for an hour now. [I could drink a case of you and I would still be on my feet.]