I stared at the phone as it rang. I didn’t quite know what to do at first. My friend’s advice: ‘don’t answer it. fuck that bitch.’ I remained silent because I have to be honest: I wanted to hear what she had to say. How was she going to justify dumping her friend head first into a lot? I guess I can say I was more curious than angry or appalled. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. I mean, at least she called.
I gave a weak hello and she launched into a tirade about how glad she was to hear my voice and to know that I was okay. An awkward moment of silence. So she continued. ‘You were so drunk.’ She was actually laughing. After that, all I heard was ‘blah blah blah…funny…blah blah blah…dancing…blah blah blah…didn’t know…blah blah blah…dropped you off…blah blah blah.’ I had to take a deep breath. If I hadn’t, I would have had a tirade of my own. Instead, I calmly asked, ‘so why did you threaten to kick my ass?’ It was her turn to be silent. Finally,
‘Well…you puked in my car…blah blah blah…it wreaked…blah blah blah…everyone was screaming…blah blah blah…I didn’t know what to do…blah blah blah…’ She finally ran out of steam. I had to take another deep breath. ‘I’m sorry I puked in your car. I’ll pay to have it cleaned.’ Jen said that it wasn’t an issue anymore, it had already been cleaned. Good for her. I thought about everything that had happen the night before and that morning. I was angry, but Jen was the type of person who wouldn’t necessarily get what she did wrong. She would just get defensive and nothing would be resolved. I knew then that the best thing to do was to never see her again.
Okay, I said. ‘Thanks for dropping me off.’ Again, silence. She was definitely expecting a stronger response and my calm was throwing her off. I said goodbye. She said goodbye as well and I could detect in her voice that she knew that we’d never hang out again. How could we? I’m no masochist.
My driving friend couldn’t believe I let her off the hook. What else was I supposed to do? Yell, cry and berate her? Sure, she deserved it but I just didn’t have the energy. I was so tired and not the hangover kind of tired. I was really just drained. I didn’t want to hear any more of her excuses or how drunk I was. I knew what drunk was like and to go from completely sober to not being able to see, speak or move…but completely aware of what was happening…that wasn’t drunk. Just ask my nurses. They knew it wasn’t alcohol that landed me in their ER. But trying to explain that to Jen would have fallen on deaf ears. She didn’t want to hear it or believe it. Truth be told, it could have been her laid up on the sidewalk of Ybor City. And I guarandamntee that I wouldn’t have dumped her in a lot somewhere. I have much more class than that…I don’t care how much puke was involved.
I decided that letting her stew in her own guilt would suffice as punishment enough. If she had any kind of compassion for a human being, there was no way she could justify what she did, even in her own mind. To her, it was easier to accept that I was simply overly intoxicated. Fine.
Within a month’s time, I moved to Tampa. I decided that I couldn’t stand living in Orlando. Sure, Disney’s fun, if you’re a tourist. But living there and still not being able to work there was a whole nother beast. Plus, I was just tired of driving. I was making good money, good friends and it just seemed like the most practical solution at the time. I was careful not to become too embroiled, though. I found some dance classes to take and eventually joined a small dance company. Plus, with my make-up experience, I was making sure my skills didn’t wane so I’d do make-up for fellow dancers when time permitted.
About a month went by and things seemed to be moving right along. I had a really cute apartment in a nice area, I was taking dance classes and I had a bit of a social life: dinner with friends, shopping at the mall…I was feeling good. I wasn’t really trying to date, but the thought kept creeping into my head. Yeah, I can say that my loins were very interested in what I was going to do about that situation. My brain on the other hand…I had an issue with dating while dancing: I really felt it wasn’t fair of me to expect someone not in the industry to accept my job. Whether that’s right or wrong I don’t know, but it’s how I felt. I guess because I wouldn’t necessarily date a dancer and then after my experience with Jen, a former stripper, I was even more convinced that it wasn’t a good idea. Who in their right mind would subject themselves to that kind of risk? Thank goodness there were some, otherwise I wouldn’t have all that much to write about in that department.
I went out for my birthday one night with a few of my friends. Don’t ask me which birthday it was, I don’t remember. No, I didn’t get drunk (haha), I became enthralled. You know the expression, ‘double take’? Well, that’s what I did. It was almost out of a movie. I was laughing with my friends when the crowd parted just long enough for me to catch a glimpse of the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen (up to that moment in my life of course, just in case my girlfriend reads this one day :-)). She also caught a glimpse of me. People walked through again, obstructing my view. When it cleared again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was also still looking at me. I approached her at the bar where she was seated. Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. She pulled her gaze from me long enough to acknowledge something that the woman in front of her was saying. I stopped. She must be on a date. Or married. Or cheating on her girlfriend. Whatever. My imagination went with it and I sullenly returned to my friends.
I was having a good time and then another movie moment happen. I rounded a corner and there she was, right in my face, smiling like she just discovered something…or it could’ve been guilt. She was on a date, actually a 4th date. It was going okay, but not super hot or anything. But she didn’t want to be disrespectful. And her date was coming out of the bathroom. So…we organized a number hand-off. One of my friends took my number (written on a napkin – seems so archaic nowadays) and went to the bathroom. She (let’s call her Theresa) went into the bathroom as well. They came out a few minutes later. Mission accomplished. I felt bad for flirting with someone while she was on a date with someone else, but I was so intrigued and her panties obviously weren’t on fire for that chick. I was hotter than her, too. As far as I was concerned, I was doing a public service. Life is too short to have a mediocre love affair. Plus, all’s fair in love and war…especially with lesbians.