Monday, April 9, 2012

Catching Up

Well, that was an extremely full weekend. Not one of those weekends after which you feel like you need another, but one of constant, refreshing enjoyment. It all started Friday night. I left work early in order to meet the other cast members of Separate Checks so we could ride up together. We performed at a small theatre in a renovated church in Bonners, a town north of home. We made it to theatre about 5:30 and curtains opened at 7:00. Friday night’s show was a bit rough, but our audience and our director still enjoyed it.

After the show, I got a text from my friend Ben who’s been living in Texas for the last nine months. Ben was my roommate when I was living in Moscow, ID and last came up to visit for New Years. Apparently he’d been sitting outside his mom’s house for a while. He showed up without notice and they weren’t home. I invited him to come up and have dinner with the cast.

Dinner was hilarious. Put six actors at a table right after they get off stage and you’ve got another show. Before we were even seated three of us guys cornered one of the actresses and serenaded her with “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. I can’t imagine why she tried to hide. At some point the radio in the restaurant honestly played “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” As you can imagine, we sang along.

Once we left dinner we drove back to our hometown and headed out to a local dive bar. It was around 11:00-11:30 when we got there so we just hung out, socialized, had a couple beers and left in time to get home at two. Ben crashed at my place, since he couldn’t get a hold of his mom or her significant other. The only memorable thing that happened was an invitation to a bonfire the next night at a friend’s dad’s place.

Saturday was awesome. After getting breakfast at my favorite coffee shop/organic café, Ben and I headed to the Employee Fitness Center at work. We played eight games of ping pong, two games of pool, and some foosball. I tried to call it a game of foosball, but Ben disagreed. I guess that had something to do with my 33 points to his 10 when we decided we had enough.

From there Ben went to see if anyone was home at his mom’s and I went back to my apartment. We have a pool there and I made a new goal recently to use it as often as I have time. I was going to try for once a day but decided that having a goal of writing 1,000 words a day is enough “once a day” goals for one person. If I go swimming as often as I have time, it’s not such a big deal when I don’t do it and I can’t beat myself up for it. It’s nice to have it there for when I do have time and it seems like a low impact, high yield activity. Builds muscle, burns calories and doesn’t seem to place undue stress on anything. I’m not pushing myself, either. I’ll do it for as long as I can/feel like it each time and keep doing it for a longer session as my strength builds. Honestly, while I’m a bit sore, I feel better than I have in a couple weeks. It’s the good kind of sore that you get when you use your body, as opposed to the ache and tightness of disuse and old injuries.

The day’s not done yet! After I got done swimming and got ready for the evening, I caught a ride up to Bonners with my friend Liv. It was the last night of the show and everyone just took it up a notch. We had about 40 in the audience and our performance was as good as it had been rough the night before. Everyone was on top of their game. I threw in a couple of good ones I’d come up with and got the laughs I wanted. That’s always a good feeling. After the show we cleaned up the venue, put all our stuff away and headed home. Ben came to see the show, so I caught a ride back with him and we headed out to catch that bonfire to which we’d been invited.

We arrived at about 9:30, the time our friend had told us it was going to start. He wasn’t there. Ben and I, almost strangers to the four people there showed up and the guy who had invited us had already left to dye Easter eggs with his girlfriend and her son. In spite of that we stuck around, had a beer and enjoyed the fire while we chatted. Right before we decided to move on, our hostess brought out a floating lantern like the ones on Tangled. She managed to get it going and we watched as it slowly filled with heat. When the paper walls had gently rounded to their max the escaping heat lifted the tiny vehicle from the hands holding it and it floated gently into the sky. It really was a magical sight and the lantern turned into a tiny floating star before it winked out and, we assume, returned to earth a long way from where it began.

Eager to avoid overstaying our welcome, Ben and I left to see what was happening downtown. Once again we dropped by the local dive, intending just to see who was out and about. We ran into more old friends and joined them for an hour and a half or so. I had another beer, bringing my total to two for the entire evening, told and untold. We were still hanging out with five people I knew from work showed up and I joined them for a bit. One of the women I met when she still worked here, but she quit and works for a smaller start-up fashion company nearby. Also, she’s engaged, which brings us closer to the evening’s conundrum. No, it’s not as bad as the conclusion you might leap to.

I’d not been sitting with my co-workers long when one of the women, Breeze, decided she wanted to go dancing at the hick/top 40s bar across the street. Yes, that’s right. Two thirds of the bar is a dedicated hick bar and the rest of it is a dance floor dedicated to top 40s dance music. She demanded I join them, so I did. Normally I avoid wading through the mass of Carharts and heels, but I’m almost always up for dancing and I prefer to do it when there are people I know around. At least in a bar scene; I’m not so disinclined when I’m at a real dance. No one assumes that anyone at a swing or ballroom dance is just there for the meat market. I don’t want to go home with anyone from the bar. I just want to dance.

We hadn’t been on the dance floor very long when Sarah, the engaged woman, and I were the only ones of the people we came with left on the floor. (Ben, for the record, is the only person whose real name I’ve used.) Sarah was -very- drunk, but since we were just dancing, I didn’t care. I was a little confused as to whether or not she was still engaged, but again, I figured we were just dancing.

A little history, before I go on. I actually know Sarah through, not work. She sent me a wink about a month before I moved back up here. I wasn’t watching the site at the time, so I didn’t get the wink until I moved. When I did, I wasn’t paying for a subscription so I couldn’t email her. I assumed she was working at the same place, however, since there’s only one place like this around here and it matched her description perfectly. I figured we’d meet if we met and if not, c’est la vie.

I saw her around town a couple times before I ever got a chance to introduce myself and saw her with her fiancé to be at the same time. I shrugged my c’est la vie and moved on. I finally met her at work. In the cafeteria one day I stopped her and said, “I have a kind of strange question. Does the name “herusernameonmatch” mean anything to you?” And so we introduced ourselves and chatted briefly from time to time when we encountered each other out with friends or at work.

Which brings us back to our most recent encounter. There we were, dancing in this confused-identity dive bar. She’s a terrible dancer, as far as any swing moves were concerned. Regardless, I was just having fun and enjoying the fact that she was clearly enjoying herself. In the end, that’s all that really matters. The people staring and talking about us in the background were a little less enjoyable. The thumbs up and high five I got when she was doing what amounted to back bends were a little obvious. But let them say what they want. What confused me was the moment she kissed me.

I’ll tell you right now, kissing engaged women isn’t really something I’m big on doing. I’m the guy who had a married woman blatantly ask me while we were chatting on Facebook if I wanted to have sex and turned her down. I suppose I should have just stopped dancing and returned Sarah to the care of her friends, but I didn’t really know what the situation was and when I brought it up to her, she refused to answer. I did make that effort, three times. Not having an answer and being uncertain, I took the middle road. I kept dancing and let her kiss me. I made a point of not initiating.

I do not feel guilty about the event. In fact, I had a lot of fun and I enjoyed kissing her. I enjoyed dancing with her. I even enjoyed the moment when she suggested that it was fate that we met. But in the end, I wish that Breeze, who I’m pretty certain saw Sarah kiss me, had stopped her. I made eye contact with Breeze one time after it happened and she just nodded and smiled and motioned for me to continue. Not much of a friend, clearly.

The night continued and ended. Ben and I were able to make certain that Sarah got home safely, which is what really mattered in the end. She sent me a message on Facebook the next day apologizing, describing what she could remember of her behavior as “inappropriately affectionate,” stated that she loved her fiancé and felt she had betrayed him and hoped I understood. I did. I just wish she had made it that clear that she was still happily engaged eight or so hours earlier and I would have made sure it wouldn’t have happened. Still, I’m good with things on my end. I made a reasonable effort to be a gentleman in a confused situation. I showed concern for said situation and was ignored or encouraged. Not much to regret on my end. I just hope it doesn’t have any negative impact on her happiness. I hope she/they are able to write it off as a drunken mistake, move past it, and learn from it. Perhaps I was just the wrong right guy at the wrong right moment and if I’d been someone else it wouldn’t have happened. We’ll never know. Reminds me of that song, “It’s Alright With Me.”

It’s the wrong time and the wrong place
and though your face is charming it’s the wrong face
It’s not his face but such a charming face
that it’s alright with me.

That being all said and done, the night was over and I made it home at 2:40. Content from a very full day well spent, I crashed hard and made my way into Sunday. Sunday wasn’t quite as full as Saturday, which in it’s own way is good. I’m not sure I could have taken any more kissing from women I can’t have.

This is getting lengthy, so let me run Sunday by quickly. Breakfast and coffee with Ben and my dad, Hunger Games in the company of yours truly, swimming again, a bottle of wine and the fourth season of Eureka on Netflix. Hunger Games was underwhelming. I just read the book a month ago, I wasn’t ready to read it again. Still a great day, and a great weekend.

Tonight, I have auditions for Music Man. The adventures continue. Ah, life.

And two thousand words, goodnight.


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