Monday, January 3, 2011
When alone, do as the loners do.
Walking to my car, the chilling air tasted faintly of mint. The wind began rustling my cropped hair, jarring it from its perfectly messy style. Thank God for my new winter coat. As I parallel parked my car (perfectly, I might add) I wondered if I would see anyone as I entered. What would I tell them? Would they be able to see the heaviness that I felt all over me? I decided it didn't matter. I needed it.
After being led to my seat, I scanned the menu. "Do you still offer the chili?" I asked.
"Yes, the vegetarian? We do."
"Great, I'll have a bowl please. And a cup of hot chocolate."
As she walked away to place my order, I scanned the restaurant. Couples sat across from me. Old friends caught up over wine and appetizers. The rest of the tables were vacant, and I was in the corner, sitting at a table next to the window; a window that looked out on to Main Street.
Did I really need him? It felt okay - almost empowering - to fly around all day without feeling like it was time to check in with anyone. I returned some clothes he got me for Christmas and bought myself a rose colored vest instead. I took the dog for a walk on a path we'd both never been on and enjoyed the silence of our time together, enjoyed watching her adorable feet pad the hard pavement so delicately.
Why is it that life seemed so serious? I remember years passed, whenI laughed off situations after my then significant other had hurt me. "He doesn't know who he's messing with," I would say to myself, and then vow to find a back-up plan in case my beau continued to disappoint my expectations. But I can't live that way anymore. I don't take commitment lightly. I actually care enough to treat my significant other like a gift I've been given. And when the gift doesn't want to give himself to me at the most inopportune times, well...
Well, then I'm left to fend for myself.
The hot chocolate arrives and I dive into the whipped cream, knowing that I probably have a white mustache along my upper lip. I drink the hot cocoa, knowing it will burn my tongue, jolting me, but making me feel more alive.
Finally, she serves me my chili and I realize I ordered a bowl instead of a cup and thinking of him as I eat only a quarter of what I was given. If he was here, he'd either eat it all for me or ask that we bring it home; not because he's hungry, but because he hates to see food go to waste. He feels bad for it. But he left me without finishing our conversation, and he didn't ask to take me home. He didn't feel bad for me.
I pay my bill and leave abruptly, wondering if we'll speak tonight.
I do know one thing - I will not give in first.