So long, so long, front foot leads to back one

I know you’ve been waiting on pins and needles, but I was in too good of a mood last night to want to do this again. The more I think about it, the worse I feel, which is kind of cruel.

So. I got done with work at 7pm, then changed into a flowy tank, skinny jeans and boots, and a black blazer (my sister fashion advisor approved this), plus a little foundation and some gloss, ya know.  At 7:30, I headed around the corner to this random bar between 17th and 18th. He wasn’t there, so I sat down at a booth and got a G&T, and fiddled around on my phone. I thought I might have a heart attack waiting.

He arrived. He’s beautiful. So so so beautiful. We hug, and we moderately awkwardly figure out that the waitress will get our drinks, we’re not eating, and we’ll stay at the booth. We chat about our mutual alma mater, acting, people we know, his life, his music, etc. etc. He spent a lot of time talking about himself, and I loved every second… He had me feel the scars and screws in his arms from his car accident. Needless to say, I asked to touch again. We talked about our exes– I know one of his, and he knows one of mine. He seemed curious about my past relationships.

Over two hours had now passed. We settled up the tab (he paid), and kept talking. He said, “I think we should get another round.” I was like, “Absolutely.” So another round in, three hours later, he talked about continuing to do stuff together… going dancing or getting tacos or something. I laughed, thought he was joking, a little, but when we left I followed him not to the subway, but to his car. He opened the side door as I admired his NYC car. He said, “Get in.” I got in.

In the car, he asked where we were going. I didn’t know… I told him that he was the driver and I was up for anything. He put on some old school Elton John– “You’ll love this. You listen to this and you understand why he’s famous.” I won’t lie, I’ve never been a huge Elton girl, but this was REALLY good. I told him so. Then, as we suffered through the stop and go traffic on Houston, he began playing me his own music (he’s the frontliner of a kid’s rock band). He sang along, obviously aware that I was dying to hear the songs. Sure, it was totally bravado, but I DID want to hear the songs, and he sang along, which was also ridiculous but also made me so happy.

We couldn’t find parking forever and were trying to decide what to do when he suddenly found a spot. He pulled in, we got out, and booked it a block and a half down to this cool music bar on the LES. We got in, got our hands stamped (there’s still a stamp on my hand, which obviously is really a great reminder everytime I do ANYTHING). We squeezed into the packed club and found two seats in the front. I never do anything like this, but I do love listening to live music. I’d feel like a jerk being there if he wasn’t a music guy too, but I felt really great and comfortable. Randomly, I caught eyes with a girl I’ve known since I was a kid. We hugged, chatted for a second, then I went to sit back down. He’d gotten me another G&T, and pushed it towards me. I grinned.

The band played for a while, then the set ended and we chatted for a while. When the next band started playing, he got up to go to the bathroom. When he came back, he started dancing and reached out his hand to me. I leaped up, and along with a few other people in the front. We danced side by side for a long while. Every so often, his hand would slide around my waist and we would dance face to face for a bit, then slide away again.

Again randomly, I saw three people I worked with at a theatre festival two summers ago. The boy saw me see them too and asked, “Are those your best friends?” My response was mostly, “Well, sometimes things happen to you with some people and they just sort of have to become your best friends.” Basically, Williamstown Theatre Festival is going to be another post for another day.

The final set ended, and I went to chat with my WTF friends for a bit. We all were endlessly thrilled to see each other and embraced enormously. It felt great. One of my friends asked, “Is that your ‘boi?'” I said, “I’m workin’ on it.” We chatted for a bit more, and then I saw that my ‘boi’ was out of the bathroom and chatting with some people we were dancing with. I told my friends, “Alright, I’m gonna go try and seal the deal,” and they laughed and we embraced again. I really realized that there are certain groups of people that go through things and can’t help but be friends through the distance.

I went over to him, and chatted with the girl he was talking to. We introduced ourselves to everyone together (i.e. he’d say “hi, I’m X,” and shake hands and then I’d say “hi, I’m B” and shake hands, like we were obviously there together, which we WERE). I felt really cool. Then we left. As we left the bar, he called his music producer (he was meeting him at 8am the next morning in the studio– p.s. it was 2am then). He didn’t excuse himself from talking to me but I didn’t really care. Then we got in the car. “Tacos?” he said. “I mean, we’re already right here.”

So we drove a bit, parked across from this tiny taco shack called SnackDragon. We waited in line behind two very drunk, very ridiculous 30-year-old men. We half-chatted with the wasted dudes, and half looked at each other amusedly. He asked me what kind I was getting. I said, “Well, fun fact we haven’t discussed…” “You’re a vegetarian.” he said. “Pescatarian,” I responded, “So I’m getting the sole.”

He bought the tacos (um, YUM) and the place was getting a little rowdy so we stood outside on the street. He said, “Are you okay? Are you cold?” I responded, “Actually, for some reason I am okay… maybe because I’m eating a taco.” He finished his in record time and then said, “Okay, so we’re going to a club. I mean, we’re already out. And it’s right here. Finish your taco!” And he started walking. I stuffed some more taco into my face as fast as I could, saying, “I’m working on it, I’m working on it!” I dumped the rest of the taco, feeling a wee bit fish-breathed but giddy.  Inside the club, which was a little bit crazy-swanky, and I think he had to say a bartender’s name in order to get us in. But he did know a bartender, who greeted him and then hugged him.She looked at me, and he introduced me (or I just shook her hand and introduced myself? Whatev). We all talked together for a bit, and she treated me as though aI was a legit friend… like if I was with him then I was obviously a person. She got us free drinks– we both Blue Moons– and then told us to go downstairs to the club and “dance our butts off.”

We went downstairs to the club, which was just such a CLUB. I’ve never actually been to one. The girls were in short skirts or tank tops, the boys were in button downs and gelled hair– and there was a hired dancer in a bikini on a table. I paid for us to check my bag and his coat, and we headed inside.

I was giddy. It was just us, and I’m not a great dancer, but neither is he.  We laughed, sang along, moved around, danced together, closely entwined, giggled endlessly. I found a crown on the floor that was pink, silver and sparkly, and read “Party Girl.” He took it from me and put it on his head. “This is a weird thing to say right now,” he said, “but what I’m doing right now is called peacocking. When a guy picks up a girl in a club–” “You’re drawing attention to yourself,” I interrupted. “Yeah,” he said, “I’m standing out from the crowd.” We danced.

Even now writing about it, I feel a rush of emotion in my throat. I wasn’t thinking too hard, but in my body I could feel that what I’d been dreaming of was slowly coming true. Then, at some point when we pulled together, his hands on my waist, his fingers inched under the bottom of my tank top, just on the skin of my waist. I laced both my hands around his neck, our pelvises together. Then our foreheads touched. My eyes closed, and we breathed together, head to head, nose to nose… and then my head tipped and his head tipped, and we kissed. I’m not sure I’ve felt as fulfilled as in that moment in years. Seriously, even writing this my neck is hot and I feel my heart pumping. It sounds cheesy or silly or crazy, but guys, I have dreamed of this for almost a year. Literally. It was only a moment, perhaps 20 seconds of lip/tongue action (lord) and then we pulled away. I laughed and touched his head and the crown. “It worked!” I said. I glowed. He smiled.

We continued to dance for a while, didn’t kiss again, but danced and danced. At some point, he looked at his phone (he had his all night– I left mine in my bag and never looked at it). “I don’t even want to know what time it is,” I said, holding my head with my hands. “It’s 3:30am,” he said, laughing. “No way,” I responded. He showed me his phone. It was. “I have to go home,” he said. “Me too,” I agreed, and I slung on my jacket and we went to get our bags. I gave the woman the coat check tag and got our stuff– my bag, and his coat, which I handed to him.

We headed out the door, still laughing, and headed to his car. In the car, he clarified where I live and I said, “So you’re going to take me home?” He laughed and said, “Of course I’m taking you home! That would be awful if I just dropped you off at the nearest C train.” I thanked him. “So, did you ever think, when we met up at 7:30, that we’d be driving home at 3:30am?” “Yes.” he said, looking at me. I laughed, relieved at the answer, and responded, “Oh, good, because so did I.” And I did, I sort of dreamed that this would happen.

In the CD player was a burned CD of his producer, a jazz/house musician who is REALLY good. “I want you to listen to this part of the song,” he said, turning up the music. “The first time I heard it, I cried.” So, for about five/seven minutes, we drove in silence, my head back against the back rest, listening to the music. It was, truly, incredible, and I just sat there meditating on how wonderful I felt, how fulfilled, how I went from feeling not good enough to special in (get this) 7 short hours. The song finished, and he asked me how I liked it. I told him the truth, that I really adored it. “To be honest,” I said, “I could just sit here in your car listening to that music while you drove me around for a number of hours.”

He changed the music then, to a good “end of night” track. He asked me if I knew what it was. I DID– it was Guster. Though I hadn’t heard the album in a while, I still knew many of the words. I told him that I could probably count on one hand the people that I knew who listened to Guster. We continued to listen, singing along, as we drove uptown.

As we turned on 110th St by St. John the Divine, he turned down the music, and said, “Before I drop you off at home, we have to talk.” “Okay,” I said, thinking, “oh this is never good.” “So, I have a girl in my life,” he said. “Did you know that?” I wasn’t sure how to respond– I thought maybe he did before (facebook stalking, ya know), but after an hour of talking about exes, KISSING, etc., I was pretty sure I was in the clear. I fumbled for words, “uh, no, no I didn’t.” At this point my memory gets foggy. I don’t really remember how it went because I could feel myself floating away… feel the joy slowly draining from the heat in my neck.

“I don’t want you to think I’m a jerk.”
“No, I don’t think you’re a jerk.”  (uh, I think maybe you are)

“There just was never a good time to tell you. It never came up.”
“No, I get it, no totally.”   (maybe when we were talking about exes and maybe when you kissed me?)

“I think we can totally dance, I had a great time.”
“Yeah, totally.”   (I had a really great time but now I feel really sad)

“I thought I was just going out for a drink to talk to this girl, but…”
“No, sure.”  (um, are you an idiot? what’s going on?)

“I mean, that club we went to was called ‘Affair’.”
“Oh my god, haha, of course.”   (I hate myself but I should hate you)

“We’re totally friends now.”

We pulled over on my street, and he asked if I was going to be okay getting home. “This is a tough neighborhood.” “No, I’ll be fine,” I said. “They love me here. Especially when I wear skirts.” “Skirts and boots?” he said, referencing something I wrote on Facebook. “Haha, totally.”

I had had enough. I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek (was it just me, or did it linger, or maybe I just really didn’t want to move my face away from his face??), and thanked him for the night and taking me home. When I pulled away, he leaned back and looked at me, sort of sighing to himself, sort of apologizing to me, and said, “You’re cute.” At this point I was getting back into my body and so I laughed audibly and looked at him somewhat dryly and said, “Well… thanks.”

I got out of the car and began to walk down the block to my apartment. About halfway there, I looked back for the first time. His car was still there. I turned quickly and kept walking, fixing my eyes forward. I felt like I was moving in pudding… everything was slow and deliberate and hard. I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t anything really, I was just drained. I got ready for bed, going through all the steps (which at 4am I usually just skip, like face washing, pajamas, etc). I laid in bed on my side, feeling more weighted and still than I have in the while.

Unfortunately, this feeling is familiar. The last time I really liked a guy and he told me that no matter how much he liked me, it wasn’t going to happen, I felt the same way. Weighted. Drained. Empty. Still. Staring. Is that what rejection is? A slow seeping away of emotion, starting at the top of your head and slowly, over the course of days, your energy and life just drains out, and your heart pulls and aches but can’t seem to move. That’s how I’ve felt the last few days.

And confused. Lost. I don’t know how to handle the next week. He texted me when I got home, thanking me for the “adventure” and telling me how close he lived. I responded neutrally, and he responded with the adorable endearment “kid” (FML). He texted me at work yesterday, too, asking how I was feeling. I responded neutrally again (i.e. without exclamation points, making texts sound super serious), and let him be the last one to text. I think that’s what I have to do. I have to remove my desire for him from me. I can’t lift my heart and expect it not to be dropped down into my toes again. It was a confusing end to things, but I have to take it as a “never again.” Or else the next heartbreak will be worse.

So, unfortunately, it’s not getting better really. My heart is stilly literally aching and straining at my throat. I still listen to music and stare into nothingness on the subway. I guess you can’t actually protect your heart completely. I mean, at least I’m feeling something and I can put my finger on what is causing it. Oh, and at least I have friends who love me ceaselessly and will never let me drip all the way down.

More on that later.

But after this epic post (which legit probably took me over an hour over the course of this morning), I will leave you guys be. Mystery readers, don’t trust the kids musicians. You’re in for trouble.


This was the last Guster song that he played, and also SUCH an appropriate one for the night:

“Yes I heard all that you had to say
That’s when it all fell apart
Might be hated, but I can’t pretend
I liked you better before

So long, so long, front foot leads the back one
Go on and it won’t be too soon
I’m gone, I’m gone and on to the next one
So long, and I won’t be back soon

Yes I’m blue, but from holding my breath
Like I have from the start
I’m the villain and I should confess
I liked you better before

So long, so long and on to the next one
Go on and it won’t be too soon
I’m gone, I’m gone, bet you saw this one comin?
So long and I won’t be back soon

It’s hateful to say, see it this way
Don’t even know who you are
But in my defense I’d do it again
I don’t need to know who you are

So long, so long and on to the next one
Go on and it won’t be too soon
You’re gone, you’re gone, are you waiting for somethin?
Go on cause I won’t be back soon

It’s hateful to say, see it this way
Don’t even know who you are
But in my defense I’d do it again
I don’t need to know who you are

So long, so long, front foot leads the back one
Go on and it won’t be too soon
You’re lost and gone and on to the next one
Don’t need to know who you are
Don’t need to know who you are.”

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