So as I was reading through the earliest posts the other night (because as a dumb ass I broke my privacy of years and gave this URL to Brian… what was i thinking?!) I came across a post from 2002 where I mention considering moving to Rome with Shelly. Two thoughts struck me at once. First, who in the hell is Shelly? And second, I wanted to move to Rome? I hadn’t even visited for the first time yet!
So here I am thinking I want to write about Mike. Maybe Mike will be a meaningless name one day just as Shelly is, and if that’s the case I want to have record of how he impacted my life.
Tuesday of a week ago I was hanging around in Fremont waiting on Mat to get off work so I could apologize for ditching him the previous week. We had made loose plans (albeit when he’d be drinking and he’s not had a good track record of reliability) to hang out on Tuesday night. At about 7:30 I decided to give up as I hadn’t heard from him, and started walking back to my car parked in the usual locale in Belltown. I was hungry and realized I should take advantage of the choices before going back to the Eastside. This is how I ended up at Wasabi Bistro.
Side story: Incidentally, the day prior while I was at the gym, I thought of Josh McBride and how I should look him up to work out again, and hell, to hang out since I’m amping up my social life in the short time I have before school starts again…
As the waitress is leading me to my seat at the bar, who do I see but Josh sitting there with the most amazing looking model/actress like woman. I don’t know where he finds these girls! We chat for a few minutes, promise to call, and then I head to my seat. For some reason the waitress sat my things next to a single guy at the bar. There was an empty seat on the other side of him, and one at the end of the bar next to my menus. I debated quickly whether it was better to move the menu gracefully down a seat to the end, or just take where I was seated next to this guy. I realized that I would end up chatting him up as another solo diner, so sucked it up and took the assigned seat. We started chatting immediately and had a lot of fun with our conversation. (And I got my sushi first!) I didn’t have a drink, but at this point was still a little bummed from having lost my plans for the evening, so when he finished wolfing down dessert I asked if he’d like to join me at Black Bottle, making it clear that it was just a friendly invitation, and offered to drive him down to his ferry after. He accepted, and off we went. There was just enough time for one drink there, and then I dropped him off. He got my email so we could continue our “interesting” conversation as penpals and then he mentioned he’d be back in Seattle tomorrow either way, leaving it open for me to respond. I said if he’d be interested I’d show him some of the stuff we’d talked about, most being restaurants.
I was in a brilliant mood because I remembered this being like the amazing life I used to have. Meeting random people, and feeling as though I was sparkling. It was like I was back in Rome. Vitality restored. I called Brian, and he wasn’t home yet (phone went to voicemail) and then I got the great idea to drop by and rip the CD for him (I bought the new Brandi Carlile at Swerve on my walk to Wasabi from Pike’s). So I raced upstairs, popped it in, left a postit note and got the hell outta there. Johnny said both “hi” and “bye”, he was smiling at my sing-song voice and happy face. As I was pulling around the corner of Brian’s building he called… we must have missed each other in the elevators. It left an awkward conversation, where I didn’t know what I should do. The confident Angela never would have pulled to the side, I would have stuck to the plan, but unfortunately I’m not that girl right now. I’m dying for his affection, his love, his validation, his anything. I would give anything for him to smile on me, my own personal sunshine. Anyways, I don’t really need to remember the end of that portion of the story or how it made me feel, so moving on…
The next night I pick up Mike and we head to Lake Union’s Blue Water for drinks. Conversation picks up just where it left off… I don’t remember tons of details about what we talked about, but it was just fun easy going conversation like two young kids in grade school goofy to slightly more serious stuff. That night I tell a little of the story about Brian and I. We change venues to go to Thai Tom’s for dinner, and I learn that he’s a Republican. It strikes me as funny because I realize that that means something to me now. (Indication of how much I’ve changed in the past several years.) Dinner was good, then we head to the “cozy, like it gives you a hug when you sit down” place on Captial Hill, Bleu, for after-dinner-prior-to-dropping-him-off-to-go-see-the-boys-drinks. (Yaffe was in town.) I had one lemon drop, and then he ordered a second round, and then we bolted for the ferry. He missed the ferry, Brian told me that there was no reason to come over, and I had to pee. I killed time with him while he waited for the next ferry (which wasn’t until 12.50am!) and actually fell asleep. The next day we met up again (which only happened because I had my violin lesson) though I was feeling pretty miserable. I think I had an allergic reaction or something, because in total I had 4 drinks in 6 hours, with a big dinner. He headed to the airport, and I thought, well that was cool.
I was surprised, not entirely, but still, surprised when he called from Hawaii (this is all business travel) and each day since. I don’t think there’s a day we have chatted at least briefly. He’s this weird buddy who reminds me of a golden retriever while not in a way that makes him pitiful. He’s a solid single guy who’s attractive, dresses well, makes good money, and has a great personality. He’s also Republican and Baptist with an Alabaman southern accent living in Cleveland. He reminds me of how much I’m in love with Brian. Oh, sure, he thinks I’m a moron and he’s a big naysayer for my own good. But looking at him I know that I love Brian. Just as in Italy with Marano, I have no desire, and the thought of dating him. Yag thought he sounded perfect, and that’s when it hit me that it just isn’t. Brian’s the one for me. Sure I can see positive qualities in other people. I can look at people and appreciate “he’s hot” or recognize feeling fantastic like I should with Brian. But it’s not something I want, I want Brian. I love Brian. I want to find that again with him. It’s all I’ve wanted since we first went astray… when we first met and broke each others hearts before we could even admit that we were just right.
So that’s the story of Mike. I’m happy he’s in Cleveland, because I don’t need him getting any ideas, but somehow I’m sure that it’s not about that for him either. We’re two nearly genderless people who can provide a virtual shoulder in a hectic world. And he knows that I love Brian despite as much as he’s trying to kick me to the curb. And somehow I think he doesn’t judge me for that… he just does his best to understand and reason with me.
So I don’t know who Shelly is, and maybe 5 years from now I won’t remember who Mike was. But it’s nice to have people come in and out of your life to be there when you need them.
And Andrea? Well that’s another story. I think it kills him to see me in so much pain. I don’t talk to him right now because I think he can’t reconcile the girl he knew in Rome with the one I am here at home. Frankly I have a hard time doing the same. It’s just insane to see how insecurity wrecks the soul, your confidence, your self-esteem… your sparkle.
I can have Rome here. I know it. And now I know that I have to, even if it means that I lose the love I have sought for so long. Because if I don’t, why would he want me anyway?
It’s nice to know I have support, I have friends. They are friends I’ve known all less than six weeks, but they are my friends. And anyone who would question that, well, they don’t me.
This is my life. I remember this.
Now to meet friends for happy hour!