my poor imitation bukowski-esque story of heart break, worthless trash
|I remember our time together. Although we were often drunk. She never remembered our conversations the next day but I did. I remembered them all. It was one of the signs that would make me eventually realize the differences in the way we felt about each other.|
I met her at the bar. I was the bartender. She came in alone. A small thing, cute, with those nerdy looking glasses and dark hair and eyes but the palest skin. I teased her about her fake glasses but it turned out they were real. I tried them on and couldn't see a damn thing. She must have been half blind.
She had a class about her, despite her drunken slurring, she had a charm. It took me a long time and some thinking to realize what it was. There was vulnerability behind her tough girl act. I got her number and she left. Nothing unusual, I got plenty of numbers when I worked at that bar. My coworkers and I got drunk and closed the bar down. I went home and drink some more in my room. It was always quiet by the time I got home, which was usually 2-3AM. My roommates were morning people, they had real jobs, 9-5 Monday-Friday, weekends off.
I had never had anything like that. My whole life up unto that point I had wandered. From state to state, from job to job, with no real purpose. I drink a lot to hide the pain of living a life without living. Relationships never worked for me. I either grew tired of the girl and cheated on her out of insecurity issues, (I know, scumbag move), or I grew too attached to the thought of living the rest of my life with them and they left me from fear of insanity.
My heart had been through plenty enough and I knew better to fall for another girl.
I called her one night and we talked a bit and set a date. I could tell she was into me. I took advantage of that and blew her off for another girl that I was chasing. After all I could always come back to one that was interested. The first girl went nowhere though so I fell back to her. She showed up at the bar one night and I got her buzzed then I got off shift, drink a couple with her and her roommate, who always kept showing me tons of signs then left with them both. All my coworkers and the regulars were winking at me. They thought I was going to have a threesome.
Once we got back to their place, which was only a walk down the street the roommate said goodnight and immediately went into her room and shut the door. So much for the threesome. Oh well, I could definitely settle for the original idea. She was pretty enough, she painted, played violin, and worked for a small start up as a graphic designer. She got drunk once and wrote rap songs about taco bell. Her favorite show was Always Sunny In Philadelphia and she loved playing her nintendo 64 and gamecube.
She had something that many women lack now of days. Wit. We appeared to have the same nihilistic viewpoints on life, love, and people. That was enough for me. I rarely met people as cynical as me.
Anyways, we began to kiss. She had soft, puffy lips and although she was quite drunk she managed to hang in there. I wanted more but I had a rule that I didn't have sex with girls who were obviously intoxicated. (I know right? Suddenly I'm chivalrous? Don't be naïve, it was to protect my own ass of possible accusations.) So I told her I wouldn't have her that night. I told her if she still wanted me in the morning I would fuck her. She pulled my cock out and started blowing me instead, gagging on it. Then she threw up on my cock. Her last drink, a fruity, bright purple cocktail. I was stunned at my purple cock. I ran to the bathroom and washed off and when I came out she was crying.
“Well”, I said.
“I'm so sorry”, she sobbed.
“Hey it's okay. You drink a little too much”.
She cried some more and began to fall asleep, or pass out. She kept whispering over and over again as her eyes slowly fell and her breathing became softer and softer. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry”.
“I'll go”, I said and left as she passed out. I walked home and took a shower.
We texted the next day and I reassured her. She said she would make it up to me if I saw her again. I told her we probably would. We didn't text for a while and she didn't show up to the bar. I figured she was embarrassed, especially if I told somebody at the bar. I texted her and asked to see her and she asked me to come over after work that night.
I went over and she was very happy. She said she was sure she would never see me again after last time. I told her I wasn't used to that but I would forgive her. We played gamecube and I beat her on smash brothers because I played that shit every day for years when I was young. After every match I would lean over and give her a little kiss and touch her. After my 4th win I yelled, “I'm the champ” and pounced her. Her body in her sweater and tights was just amazing and I couldn't contain myself.
We kissed ferociously and got to business pretty quick. Except for some reason I couldn't perform. It was my turn to apologize. “It usually works, I swear”. I hadn't had much to drink. What gives? Later I realized it was anxiety because I actually liked a girl for once. I wanted it to be good and because of the worry it wasn't, ironically.
“It's okay”, she said and I got her off with my fingers instead.
Over the next couple weeks we saw each other sporadically. It started working for me again and it worked well. We both attacked each other whenever we could, ripping clothes off and feasting on each others body. She liked to be choked, spanked, slapped. I gave it all to her. She started coming over to my house too and spending the night with each other became the norm. We drink a lot. Soon we began to fight a lot too.
I was jealous that she was seeing other men and she was jealous that I was seeing other woman. We both refused to stop seeing other people. We wanted our options for fear of our insecurity. We terrified each other. I realized that is what two people falling in love feel first, the emotion of terror. Terror that another person can affect them so deeply. Terror that they don't feel the same way. Terror that it may end before it's begun. After all our nihilistic talk, our beliefs that love didn't exist, and our threats that we cared for no one, trusted no one, here we were... terrified of each other.
I saw the hickey's on her breasts one night and lost it. We were both drunk, as usual. “I've had enough of you being a whore”! I said, “Why can't you be satisfied with me”?
She retorted back, “You have your women”!
“Yeah but I always want you first, if you'd pick me first I wouldn't have them, why can't you want me that much”?
She paused for a long time. “I do want you.”
“Then call me instead! I fuck better anyways”.
She turned her head away from me.
“Well, don't I”?
“It's not that”, she said.
“Forget this”, I said, standing up and getting dressed.
“Where are you going”? She said.
“I'm out of here, I'm done with you”! I yelled.
“Wait”, she cried out, her bottom lip trembling, “Please”.
“Fuck this”, I yelled, drunkenly searching for my stuff and putting on a piece when I could find it.
She grabbed my hand and I stopped. “Stay”, she said quietly, looking into my eyes.
Stay. A powerful, deep word.
So I stayed. We had sex again, this time slower, with more feeling. “I'd never hurt you”, I whispered to her as I ran my hands across her face. She came almost immediately but looking back I knew it was the wrong move. I had played my hand too soon. She had me.
Time went by and we saw each other more and more, slept at each other's house more often, she would show up at the bar after a couple days if we didn't speak and my coworkers would tease me that she was here checking up on me. I began to see my other women less and less as we spent more time together. After all, I was immensely busy with work and training. Even if I had other potentials or regular girls at the bar I would go sit with her and we would drink and eventually go home together. She had a spell on me and she knew it.
Because she was always alone in the bar waiting for me guys would often try to buy her drinks. I made my territory known by giving her free shots, winking at her, and even walking the floor sometimes to step between her chair and the guys and talk to her with my back to the guy. I was fearless. It was my bar after all, a second home, I had spent more time there than everywhere else in my life combined, I was beyond comfortable. I also worked out 3-4 times a week and did brazilian jujitsu just as often. After a couple shots I was invincible, at least I felt so.
It got to where I would even kiss her in the bar when I was off shift and sometimes pull her in the back on shift. One time while I was on the clock and I was feeding her drinks and drinking along with her I even took her to the bathroom and we got at it, her bent over the toilet. “I'm such a classy lady”, she yelled as I pounded away. We laughed about that one later. I told my coworkers and it became a meme in the bar to say “I'm a classy lady”, or in regards to a girl someone had hooked up with, “But was she a classy lady”?
Over time I realized she was having a negative effect on me. Despite our feelings appearing to be mutual I knew I felt more strongly about her than me. I also sensed she was still seeing other people while I had cut mine off. I threatened to leave and she seemed to have zero feelings about it. As if she didn't care anymore. Maybe she never had. Her lack of passion created an imbalance. What's the saying, the person who cares the least in a relationship has the most power? She had it over on me.
I drank more than ever and was constantly depressed, even when we were together. On my days off I laid in my bed with a bottle of whiskey and a book. I would read for hours and hours in a half drunken stupor. I pissed in empty bottles and only left my room to eat. My appetite began to fall off and I began to lose weight.
I cared about nothing when I drank. Although I was making good money at the bar I knew the bar scene was not for me. I was destined for greater things. I felt trapped. Trapped at the bar, trapped with my feelings for her. So I escaped the only way I knew how to. I would often finish a pint to a 750ml bottle every 24-36 hours. I'm a different kind of drunk. I don't binge drink. I drink steadily. I would drink steadily throughout the night, finishing one book and starting a next, and I would fall asleep at times, waking up to pull at the bottle only to pass out again.
On my days I when I had to work I would ease off and drink a couple shots that morning to keep me going and ride the bus into work. I drink at the bar while on shift, more often than normal. I still worked hard so it went unnoticed by customers but a couple of my coworkers joined me and we would drink until we ran to the bathroom, threw up, then go back to work. I pretended to be happy for them but inside it felt like I was already dead. I wrote tons of awful poetry, something I always do during my regular bouts of depression and wish I didn't. I didn't sleep well most nights. I rarely ate.
Meanwhile I still saw her regularly. Even more so lately, as it seemed the further I put myself away from her, the more she was interested in me. Girls always want that aloof guy. I knew this from watching pick ups in the bar. So I played the part. I remained aloof and rarely text her, sometimes putting off our meetings. I always rescheduled for the next available night because in my heart, I wanted to see her all the time. She probably thought I was seeing other people and I could have been but the truth was I was lying in bed drunk. I was tired of playing the part. As I drink more around her I became more open. I began to tell her how I felt, knowing it was a mistake from past experience but making it nonetheless.
“You're special to me”.
“Thank you”, she replied. It was not what I wanted to hear. I had hoped she would say the same but she dropped the bomb on me instead.
“Can't we be just really good friends with benefits”?
“Sure”, I said, now afraid of pushing her away further. I also knew that lets be friends in girl talk mostly meant, 'your not good enough for me'. I was fuck worthy, but not date worthy. Something I was used to. I was a primal fuck which women loved, but I clearly had no future or resources, which they did not.
The drinking got worse. I began to get belligerent at work. I drink constantly. In the morning, at night, I even began to fill my cokes at work with whiskey from a flask. Sober became a foreign concept to me. The bottles disappeared faster and faster. With an awkwardness between us, I saw her less and less. Our dates became more infrequent.
Her absence and the thought of her with other men drove me insane with jealous grief and despair and I would drink even more when those thoughts appeared. She saw it too when we were together. I was cold and sullen sometimes but when she asked if I was okay, I lied, put on a fake smile and held her. I would bring it up every now and then. The thought of us becoming exclusive. It wasn't that I wanted her to commit right then and there to being my “girlfriend”. Personally I hated labels. I just couldn't stand her acting like a whore.
I became aware she lived another lifestyle from the quiet, shy girl she had me initially believe she was. She liked to dress up and go out more than she admitted. She had friends when she constantly told me she had none. Some of her outfits were skimpy, even for today's standards, and I knew in my heart she was getting really drunk and letting guys take her home at times. She'd produced an image specifically designed to pick me up and attract me, it wasn't the real her. I came to find out later this is something almost all women did.
Yet she was like me in a way. She had a hole in her heart and she was trying to fill it. She claimed she loved a man once and he broke her heart. I tried to relate as my last relationship, a girl I was head over heels for, left me for someone else as well. I tried to make her see that it wasn't over for people like us, we had hope if we had each other.
I told her I would stop fucking other people if she did. She would never come right out and say no, she would always somehow indirectly reply she would not do such a thing. I started to wonder what was wrong with me that woman only used me as a sex object. Men think wow that sounds great, but it's not. Had she lost interest the more interested I became? Had she been playing me all along? Was her whole persona an act to charm me? Who was she really?
Had she ever cared for me, did she now? That thought in particular I tried to escape from but could not. I numbed as well as I could with the bottle but now the drinking was causing problems at work.
It finally came to a crescendo. It was my 27th birthday and I was miserable. I hadn't requested off work because I never thought birthdays were big deals. One year closer to your death I used to always say. I avoided people mostly but deep down I wanted company that night. I wanted a friend. I got drunk at work, my fellow bartenders kept pouring me shots. I said, “I have to clock in soon”! but they said, “it's okay, it's just us! It's your birthday man”! The new supervisor, Maria, seemed like one of us so no one worried.
The following events was my demise. My coworkers continue to feed me beer in the open. They slapped a sign on my back that said, 'kiss me, it's my birthday', I took it off and they replaced it so I gave up. I began to get noticeably drunk but I continued my duties. I jokingly told a regular, “I'm surprised I haven't been fired”. Maria told me I could go home, eventually. I made sure she was fine on her own and she assured me she would be. I clocked out and went next door for a change of pace. I drink whiskey there alone until I was extremely drunk and in danger of getting into a fight with several other drunken patrons. I paid my tab and left back to my bar where they were closing up. I was blackout drunk now. I had no way home, the last bus had come and gone two hours ago so I went upstairs and laid down on the floor near the office. I vaguely remember Maria asking me to get up. Then she was gone.
I got up and went downstairs after several minutes. I poured myself a beer and Maria showed back up suddenly in the night. “I like your style”, she said. “I forgot something”. She left again and I was alone again. I went up stairs and laid down, reading my book and sipping the beer. I passed out quickly, unable to focus. I woke up and it was early morning. I got up and finished my beer. I had discovered that drinking in the morning completely cured hangovers and then it was just a manner of tapering off to avoid feeling bad altogether. I went downstairs and cleaned the bar up, rinsed my glass, made sure the doors were locked, and left.
A couple days later I was called into the office at work. My boss explained to me that a customer had sent an email to corporate complaining about me as she had over heard my joke to the regular about being surprised I was still employed and complained about the sign on my back as well. Worse yet, Maria had told someone about me staying over night and having a beer after hours. I was let go.
The manager cried as she told me I was done for. After all, we had worked together for nearly two years and it had been like my second home, my second family. I told her not to cry. I felt both distraught and free at the same time, it was a weird feeling. Tears welled in my eyes too but I held them back. I walked around and shook the hands of the regulars and my coworkers. They could see it on my face. Something was wrong. Why was I saying goodbye as if I wouldn't be back? I walked out the building and down the street to another bar. I sat down. The bartender came over with a smile and shook my hand. I knew everyone in this neighborhood.
“What's wrong”, he asked. He could see it on my face too.
“I just got fired”, I said. I still felt a bit in shock.
He brought me drinks for free. I drink until I was drunk, tipped him, and left to catch the next bus home.
I went over and saw her the next night. I told her about losing the job at the bar and she seemed to take it harder than I did. “What are you going to do”? She asked.
“Pursue my dreams I guess, I've been trying to get my shit together anyways and make a move for personal training. This changes nothing”. I put on a brave face for her. Any sign of weakness and I knew she would be gone completely, she was already half way out the door.
In the end it didn't matter. My social status had been compromised. I was no longer the cool bartender desired by women. Her attraction to me seemed to wane over night. She had run out of money for her apartment and could no longer afford to live there now that her roommate had moved out. She moved to a town almost an hour away. I knew the distance was going to be the final blow.
I tried my best to show her I still had value. She was worried about moving as she had no money but I called a friend up who owned a moving company and he cut us an amazing deal and we moved her in for nearly nothing.
Without a car it was difficult to see her. I might have been able to buy one but I was dealing with A DUI at the time and my license was revoked anyways. Having no car had made my life hard enough but now it was separating me from someone I wanted to see. I felt helpless and angry. Also at this time my roommates had begun to fight more and more and it wasn't long before one of them moved out. With one roommate gone the rent up. Without a job I was hurting. I searched for a gym job so I could pursue fitness. I knew if I could get a gym job I would quit drinking, I just would. Eventually my other roommate and his girlfriend moved out as well, leaving me in a large, empty home I could not afford. The landlord also came by to tell me he was raising the rent even higher now that the lease was up and Denver had become the most highly demanded area to live in as of late.
I packed my stuff into storage, took some clothes, and set out to find something new. I was forced into a liquor store job. I hated it and drank more than ever and became homeless, couch surfing but eventually knowing with my lack of a decent income I would eventually be living off the streets.
As if she could sense all this she stopped talking to me. It was at the bar later I saw her. I knew she had drove an hour into town to drink there and she didn't say anything to me about it. She was probably meeting someone else. She saw me and ignored me. I was drunk and asked to talk to her outside. I asked her what the deal was. She seemed more indifferent than ever. I lied and told her I was rich from training now. She saw through it. She talked about herself, saying she had a heart condition and might die soon. I saw through that. We looked at each other one last time, realizing we were both strangers to each other now and I walked away.
I cried on the walk back to my friend's place and screamed at the night a scream of pure grief. I threw my phone against the ground and it shattered. I hadn't felt pain like that in a long time. I had forgotten what it was like to let someone in that deep. The deeper you let someone inside the more damage they can do. I decided to not do that again, seeing as it always ended the same, I reminded myself I said this every time and eventually I would have to learn my lesson. (Spoilers: I never did. I'm the embodiment of the hopeless romantic). I deleted her texts, pictures she sent me, blocked her number. I had done this before in our fights but this time I deleted the number too from my contacts and all recent calls. I couldn't call her if I wanted to and she couldn't reach me either. She was gone, not even a ghost anymore, just gone.
I continued to work the liquor store at night, go home and drink a pint of whiskey and a bottle of red wine every night. I felt like I had good reason to. I hated where I was in life. I hated the liquor store, although I loved a couple of my coworkers dearly, I hated the fact I had to quit jujitsu and my dreams of being an amateur fighter. I had lost my car, home, job, girl, and even my fucking dog in the span of the last six months. My dog I had no choice but to let my roommate take. It was only fair, his girl and he had jobs, a place to stay. I had nothing to offer anyone. I couldn't blame her either I thought for leaving...I had nothing to offer anyone. That thought hurt me more than the others.
So I drank. Like a coward, I ran from my problems as usual.
Some weeks later I saw her for the last time. She was going into a Target store and I was walking out. She paused and looked at me. She knew I saw her too. It hurt me but I was surprised by my own resolve. I walked past her like she didn't even exist. Shortly after that I received some phone calls from an unavailable number every couple days or so but I never answered. To this day I wondered if she had been trying to reach me or if it was more debt collectors. I told myself that even if it was her she was only reaching out to me to make sure she still had a hold on me, there was nothing else. We had seen each other for eight months. My last relationship had been four years. Yet somehow it felt she had hurt more.
This is where the story comes to an end. I guess I wrote this as my final goodbye. I haven't seen her for nearly a year. Sometimes I still think about her. Sometimes it still aches when I'm alone. They say time cures all things. I'm still waiting. Every day it's better though. Especially since my life has improved a lot. We end on good notes. I eventually started working out more, drinking less, and saved up enough money from the liquor store to take my personal training exam. I quit the store immediately, studied my ass off for two and half weeks, and passed.
It took me another couple months to find a job but I finally did. During those months I quit drinking completely. It was easy. I was homeless sleeping in a park and had run out of money completely. It was either drink or eat and I decided very quickly that being hungry sucked more than being sober. There were hard times where money was so scarce I didn't eat either but I pushed on.
Although I was still pretty poor my clientele was slowly increasing. I had the potential to make more than I've ever made. I still didn't have a car and I still didn't have a home but I was much happier. I almost had enough to buy a car and the plan was to live out of it for several months until I could afford a deposit and first months rent on a place. Training was very rewarding, I loved the job just like I always thought I would. I loved helping people feel better, look better, and live a higher quality life.
The problem was the gym was taking most my wages and I began to stagnate...it was not long before I found myself rehired at the bar...but that's a story for another day.
In the mean time, I guess that's it.
Her name was Melissa. I hope she's doing alright.