Spike on the River
Neal in Antarctica
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June 06, 2005 - Monday, 8:36 a.m.
I walked in and stood by the door. The place was packed. It was one big room with a bar along the left wall and tables scattered across the floor and to the right and at the back was the band playing. It wasnít terribly smoky and there was an interesting mixture of people in the bar. Phil was playing the guitar, but seemed to notice me when I walked in. I listened to the music, which was much more bluesy and more to my taste then the last place. I looked over the room as I listened. There were all sorts of different people here, older couples, casually dressed people of all ages, and again a number of people in leather with tattoos. There were also a fair amount of musician, many of which Phil later pointed out to me.
Believe it or not this place was much more comfortable then Iíd expected. Iíve been in so few bars in my life, and have never really been comfortable in any of them. This place I liked. Itís an Irish-English pub. A number of futbol (soccer) jerseys up on the wall. Perhaps if I knew something about soccer I might have recognized some of the names on them. Though a table freed up near the door after Iíd been there a while I never did sit down. It was too hard to see the band, even from where I was standing. Phil finished up the set and I figured he was done when he walked up to talk to me. However, guitar players were in short supply for the night, so he was up for the next set as well. We stood and visited until the next set started.
I wasnít bothered by anyone. It was wonderful. I could just enjoy the music and people watch. By nine, Phil was done playing and the crowd was thinning some. I waited as he packed up his guitar and then went around to say good night to a number of people. I watched him move around the room, comfortably speaking to a half dozen people before he was done. We walked out to his truck and dropped off his guitar and then he walked me to my car.
We stood by my car visiting for a while. He went to make his parting comments, ďSee you tomorrow.Ē I said, ďReally, are you sure?Ē I then gave him a hug and we stood at the foot of my car for a while just hugging and I laid my cards on the table. I told him that maybe heíd already guessed it but that I liked him. He said, ďI figured.Ē We stood there and talked much longer. I said all the things that I wanted and needed to say, and he honestly responded to anything I said or any questions I asked of him.
He figures he wouldnít be good for me, and perhaps not for anyone. Until he knows exactly what direction he wants to take his life there really isnít any place in it for anyone or me. I told him what I thought of him. I told him that I am a really picky person and rarely find anyone that I even want to pursue a relationship with. I told him I usually figure out in the first hour if it ISNíT going to work (or if I am not willing to try), but it takes longer to figure out if the person doesnít get cut in the first hour. I told him there must be something to him or I wouldnít still be there. I told him my impressions of him. I honestly said everything that I wanted to say. I didnít hold anything back. He is probably the first guy in my life that I could do that with. Not that it matters at this point in time, unless his life shifts in the next few months, things wonít change. I told him he is going to have to tell me if they do change, because Iíll never figure it out on my own.
How do I proceed from here? The more time I spend with him and talk to him, the more I like him. What does my summer look like? My guess is Iíll be spending a couple evenings a week at bars listening to music. Iíll not disappear. I figure Iím going to get hurt, but itís worth the chance. Itíll be all me. Heís been straight with me. Heís even told me that I probably shouldnít hold my breath that things will shift. And I wonít, but I hope to be around in case they do. By the time school starts up in the fall, my evenings listening to music will probably come to an end, and Iíll lament that I wasnít worth meeting half way, and then Iíll go on. I also know that nothing is going to come to me unless I take a chance. And I know that taking chance means taking a chance of being rejected or sad and alone. But, to take no chances means to never have hope that the loneliness might come to an end. What choices are there? This springs has been a lot about living, and being alive. Iím tired of feeling only half alive. I feel alive around him.
I could have stood there and been hugged for the rest of the night and it would have been okay with me. At least someone wanted to hug me for a while.