As I've said before, I like to go and read through my old entries. It reminds me that I used to be a better writer than I am now. These were originally three different entries. I have combined them for your convenience.
This is kinda cool to me.
I was sitting at The Hard Rock in Louisville for lunch. I usually go to The Pub, but it was too crowded today, plus I wanted some potato skins.
Anyway, I was sitting at the bar, and down about four or five seats from me were two hot girls. A short-haired blonde and a long-haired brunette. Both pretty, but in very different ways. One sexy and sultry, the other perky and vivacious.
So I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out which one was the hotter of the two. I know, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.
I kept glancing over there, getting no closer to making up my mind as to which was hotter, and eventually the blonde caught me looking. She kind of smiled. I smiled back, then turned back to my food, 'cause I'm all shy and shit. I could see out of the corner of my eye that both girls were now looking at me, though I couldn't hear what they were saying. Probably arguing over which of them was hotter, I figured.
I'd just about decided to stage a kissing contest between them when the blonde spoke to me.
"You kept looking over here at us for a half-hour, and now you've suddenly stopped. What's up with that?" she asked in a not very nice way.
"Well," I said. "I was trying to decide which of you would be my new girlfriend, but now I've made up my mind and I don't have to look any more."
"Oh really?" the blonde said. She was smiling, so she was at least slightly amused.
"Yep," I said. "You're both very pretty, but I'm thinking that you're not very nice, so I choose your friend."
"You sure know how to hold a grudge," the blonde said.
Hold on a second. That didn't make any sense.
"Huh?" I asked. 'Cause I'm all eloquent and shit.
"Don't you remember me?" the blonde asked. "Look closely. Don't you know who I am?"
She then got up and walked over to me and stuck her face right in front of mine.
After a couple of seconds, I guess a little tiny sense of familiarity crept into my head. I began to feel that I should know who this cocky loud pretty girl was, but I had no real chance to investigate that feeling because that's when her friend finally spoke.
"What are you doing?" she asked the blonde. And then she said her name.
She said her name, and a door inside my head creaked open, and I remembered.
I remembered a party, in Hancock's field, a long time ago. I remembered waking up in the back of my parents' Mercury Comet, wearing only my underwear and a jacket. I remembered digging through the trash on the floorboards, looking for my keys and my shoes and my pants and my shirt. I remembered finding all those things, and I remembered also finding a little blue sock, and one of those hair barrette thingies, and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels, and an empty condom wrapper.
I remembered going to a basketball game at school a couple of weeks later, and being greeted like an old friend by a cute blonde girl wearing a Providence High School Jacket. Being greeted like more than a friend actually.
I remembered confessing that I didn't remember meeting her, being with her, at all. That I'd woken up in the back of my car alone and confused and unclothed. I remembered how she laughed that off, and how she'd said that she'd have to try harder to be memorable the next time.
I remembered that the next time started about fifteen minutes later, in my cousin Jeff's station wagon.
I remembered countless nights after that, sneaking out of my house with my friend Eddie. I remembered that he'd drop me off at where she worked, or to where she lived. I remembered lying on her bed, holding hands and listening to Pink Floyd. I remembered doing a lot of other things in her bed.
I remembered the night she told me that she loved me, and how I'd echoed those words right back at her. I remembered how we started to tell people that we were engaged. That as soon as my basic training was over, and I was stationed at my first base, we'd get married and raise kids and we'd always laugh about how, on the night we'd met, I was too drunk to even remember her.
I remember how everyone said we were crazy.
I remembered how she'd come to the Air Force induction center to see me off. I remembered holding her close and telling her that I'd see her again in a few short weeks, and that we'd be together from that moment on.
I remembered that I'd never seen her again.
Not for more than 23 years.
Until lunch today.
So once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I just looked at her. I had no idea what to say, what to ask, what to feel. She saved the day by doing all the talking. She's been married for a long time. She has two grown children. She still loves Pink Floyd, and she still has most of The Wall memorized. I stammered out that I do too.
She said that I hadn't changed a bit, which was a beautiful lie. I said that she hadn't changed either, and as proof I offered up the fact that it had taken me so long to remember her.
We didn't discuss what had happened, back in 1983. Why she'd moved. Where she'd gone. There wasn't time for any of that, and there wasn't really a need for any of that. We were each others' distant past, and that was all that we were.
As I gave her a hug and said goodbye, I wondered if it would be another 23 years before I saw her again. I wondered if I'd do a better job of remembering her in 23 years. I wondered if I'd even remember my own name in 23 years.
Anyway, I guess that makes it official. I have officially run out of women. Time to dig out that little black book from high school, and start over.
Not that it really matters. I'm just a little surprised. But I found some stuff out today.
You only knew each other for a few months before he joined the Army. And as far as I know, after your fumbling attempts to date, the only times you saw each other were when I was there with you. Shit, I think Eddie was screwing that one chick non-stop for about six months before he left. What was her name? Linda or Lindsey or some shit like that? I can't remember, but she works at my bank now. She did the paperwork for my home loan. She didn't remember me from the old days.
But I digress.
I'm pretty sure that you two never hooked up when I was still around. It must have been after. After I'd left for basic training, Eddie must have come home on leave or something. He must have looked you up, or maybe he just happened to run into you at the floodwall or at some party.
You probably got to talking about the good old days, and something happened between you two. I wonder who made the first move. Probably you, I'm guessing.
And now you've been married for over 20 years, and have two grown children with him.
Pretty weird. But it explains why I never saw either one of you again. Because you were ashamed.
I'm not sad. I'm not even angry. It's not like I just lost a friend and a girlfriend. I lost you both a long time ago. It's just that now I finally know why. So that's good. Mystery solved.
If anything, I'm a little miffed that I didn't get the chance to find out, to be angry, back when it first happened. That's a lesson that, had I learned it a little earlier in my life, that might have sent me on a completely different path.
Plus, I had you first, and that's hilarious to me. I wonder, back in the beginning, when what you did with Eddie could still have been seen as cheating on me, I wonder how many times you called out my name by mistake.
I wonder if you still call out my name, every now and then. You know, just to keep him on his toes.
'Cause he needs to be on his toes. He married a whore, after all.