The stress level started rising as soon as I left my house. And it grew and it grew and it grew until I left Rich O's.
It was still too soon. It was still too much. I'd thought
it I might be okay with being there at night, but I was wrong.
Anyway, I got there at 8:30 or so. It wasn't too crowded, though what crowd there was had occupied those places where I'd wanted to sit. Places where I could eat and maybe be ignored for a while. I didn't want to get into any conversations. I certainly didn't want any damn encouraging words. I just wanted to wait for LaptopGirl. She being the entire reason I was risking my sanity by being there in the first place.
What I ended up doing was sitting on the sofa for a bit. I said hello to TremensGirl and MusicalYuppieDude. At about the time I ordered an NABC Flat Tyre (1029), this one dork left the bar so I moved up there and ordered a little pizza. But then this other dork left the sofa so I moved back there. I'd decided that having my back to the entrance probably wasn't the most brilliant thing for me to do.
Then the subject started being discussed by those around me, and I felt myself starting to freak out.
Then LaptopGirl emailed me that she wasn't coming to Rich O's after all. So I paid my tab and left, donating my little pizza to whoever might want it.