Cafe Hitch-hike


This next leg of life

I just got back from the fishing village tavern where I had an impromptu but late happy hour. I miss those, where I'd unwind after a workweek with friends to chat or bullshit! I met a friendly couple and then an elderly guy who opened the floor for it to happen. I enjoyed it more than I thought (though I felt a little bad for the old guy who probably thought he was gonna score, could you blame him for trying?). I then I made my way home after some Corona Lights and a crab sandwich.

One of the people wore a 'Dead shirt, and we had an amusing chat about going to shows. We also talked about Colorado, and the couple hoped to buy a second home there so they can stay when it's hot here and then rent it through VRBO for the rest of the year. It made me remember hanging out with Arthur 2 summers ago and also some of my other whimsical adventures. I then thought, Universe, I wouldn't mind having one of those adventures again in the near future, hahahah!!

I'm gradually inching my way back into the things I had regularly done before Rafa and I had our relationship. On this fine and humid evening, I talked to strangers and remembered my sense of openness and spontaneity! I still felt an edge of anxiety, but a bigger part of me was just glad to be able to congregate and mostly feel good about it.

Earlier this week, I talked with a visiting lecturer which was also very enjoyable. I sensed an attentiveness, not creepy but rather engaged, and I found that to be very refreshing. I usually get something like that from people I know for longer periods of time, but once again, I liked the interaction.

I continue to do things that draw me back into my own skin. Well, reverting to the things I done or being the person I used to be would be going backwards. Maybe I should just bring all I've experienced these past 2 years and allow it to co-exist or maybe integrate with the person I am now? Oh, that sounds more reasonable.

For some reason, I started thinking about a guy I dated when I was 17 and 18 years old. Evil Bob (what my friends called him) was drop-dead gorgeous and worked in my neighborhood, but it was a bad relationship. My mind knew better but something else in me didn't, and that was what called most of the shots. Evil Bob returned after a 5-month hiatus from our ill-fated relationship and extended it for another 4 months. After a particularly bad night, we knew we couldn't keep going the way we were going. We finally had a cold, hard talk about our relationship and agreed we used each other.

I left the conversation a little stunned, but everything in the conversation was true. It was probably the most real conversation I had at that point in my life. The talk made it clear there was no turning back for us, and that we didn't have enough between us to take things forward. I felt embarrassed for acting like such an idiot and being so reckless, but, I was glad we had that conversation. Everything was visible, there were no more lies or games between us at that point.

I then met a classmate who was working his way to his Bachelors and was, like me, going at it alone. We studied together and had very short-lived romance. Although he drifted out of my life (he was bi-sexual), his presence brought me a sense of focus. I stood in a shadow of romantic loss and thought, "well, what do I want to do now?"

I felt a dull sense of disappointment, but something in me wanted to get past that. It wasn't determination; I sensed something better was definitely out there. I wasn't trying to mask or run away from what I was feeling. I slowly gravitated toward some things that held my interest, and I felt a sense of momentum after a while. The disappointment slowly started to fade as the things I followed took a shape and a life of their own.

What did this look like? I gradually applied myself more in what was then my second semester of community college. I didn't date much, guys didn't hold my interest for long, and I kind of kept to myself. Thanks to my Mom's boyfriend, I got a job at a local party store and deli, and resolved to save enough money to get my own place. I couldn't think of anything better to do but to think about what I really wanted, and to just try a little something to get there.

I finished my second semester with respectable grades and a very kind comment from my English Comp professor about my writing; she also gave me some advice for my future. I left the deli and got a job in a hotel kitchen where I had that job setting food on fire. I got my own place just a few weeks shy of my 19th birthday.

During that second semester, Evil Bob tried reeling me back in once in a while. I felt a sense of disbelief, especially considering the talk we had and how terrible we were together. In a couple of other attempts, I actually had better things to do and think about! In a final attempt, my neighbor told me she had seen him parked near my house shortly after my family and I moved away, and at one point he knocked on the door. I guess leaving without a forwarding address and not getting in touch is a convincing way to say, 'yo, I moved on!' It also helped that he soon moved out west. Anyhow, my first year of college was when I had some experiences and kept walking once those were over. Hell, I also allowed them to be over! Eventually (and thankfully), I got to see many new things!

For the next 2-odd years of my life, I made very gradual steps towards the things I thought I wanted. They were not without roadblocks, but overall, they got me in a direction I preferred to had gone.

I guess I feel a bit of that now, what do I want to do this time? I think I may take some notes from that time in my life and others like it. Live with and accept the truths that reveal themselves, and own up to them. Feel the resulting disappointments and perhaps embarrassments. Be open to enough to revisit something I always wanted to do, or let something catch my interest and engage me. Allow those things take me to places I want to go or bring what I want to see.

I've done this multiple times in my life, but it happened the first time when I was a young adult. I now recognize I'm revisiting this again. I should probably give this a respectable sense of consideration and truly think about what I'd like to see in this next leg of life.

downwind | upstream