Wednesday, September 08, 2004

and reminiscing... Part 1

What follows recounts the details of the faithful winter of 2000-2001 which took place in my hometown of Austin, MN. Thinking back, if these events hadn't taken place I might not be where I am today.

I thought of it today as I listened to a cover of "Boys Don't Cry" capably done by Oleander. I flashed back to a low point in my life. The weird thing about all low points, the usually start on a high note, this one is no different.

It all began not too long after I moved into my first apartment. To properly set things up, I was 21 years old. I had moved out of my parent's house after more than likely overstaying my welcome and was doing alright in life in general.

There was a girl who lived in town that I was interested in and would later become my girlfriend after some time. I had enough friends to make the time pass and a decent paying job which wasn't terrible to work at.

The friends thing is where the correlation to the song I was listening to comes in.

A friend of mine who had been dating this girl who was younger than him by a couple years was having a rough time in the relationship department. Their relationship had never been the model of persistent happiness but they made things work. All was well until one day she decided that she needed a break from things with him. I'll call him Drafting Guy and she'll be known as Busty Blonde.

Busty Blonde begins stopping by my place to talk with me. She found time between her night job at a store in the mall and her overnight job at a mentally disabled care home. I had no problem with her stopping by as it broke up the monotony of my routing nights during the week. It wasn't a long conversation each night but it gave us each something to do with that usually boring 9 o'clock hour.

Busty Blonde eventually began stopping by regularly on the weekends - Saturdays in particular as she only had her mall job to work at and that was done at 5 PM. We would hang out for a few hours and eventually I would head to the bars with a couple of my other friends. Busty Blonde would do her thing with one of her good friends and after the bars closed we would all end up back at my apartment.

One night, about three weeks into this routine, Busty Blonde asked if she could stay the night. I agreed and drunkenly stumbled to my bedroom. I mumbled something about that being my side of the bed and she moved over. This marked the change in things that could have potentially gone in a variety of different directions. I, however, respected her as a friend and knew that she was just spending time with other friends as she took a break from her boyfriend and my good friend, Drafting Guy.

Eventually, it was commonplace for her to spend the majority of Sunday at my place, too. We went to dinner a few times and she even occassionally picked me up from work on my lunch hour to eat somewhere.

We eventually were seen together at parties and my Saturday nights at the bars became less common. She still spent her night off (Saturday) sleeping at my place and hanging out with myself and friends. I even went as far as to ask her if she wanted to go to my company Christmas party in mid-December. She said yes and, for once, I had someone to go to the company party with.

The same routine continued as we would party the weekend away and sleep in way too late on Sunday.

One night it was brought to my attention by Drafting Guy that, in his eyes, it seemed like we were dating. I assured him that we weren't. We had never taken things beyond a few drunken makeout sessions and even after those I felt guilty. I hadn't even initiated them. I never told Drafting Guy this but I am sure that by now he has heard these facts.

Another friend, that same night, pointed out one of his observations. He stated that Busty Blonde was using me. Looking back, he was partially correct. I told him that after my company Christmas party, I was going to set things straight with her. We were only friends and if she wanted more, it was going to be a while before anything would progress. I wasn't going to be that type of guy who snatched one of his buddy's girlfriends. It just isn't right. There's an unwritten code in guy to guy friendships that states just this fact.

Soon, the Friday night of the company Christmas party came around. I remember it being one of the coldest days I could remember. That morning, it took my car about half an hour to become remotely warm.

I arrived home from a hectic Friday of work and took a shower and got ready for the night. It was the typical company party. Semi-formal type of thing where a sweater and khaki pants was acceptable. The whol evening on the company and I was ready for it. I dashed outside to again warm the car at about 5:45 that evening. I darted inside to wait for Busty Blonde to show up. One of her close friends had called before I ran outside to start my car and said that the two of them had talked earlier in the day over lunch if I remember correctly. Busty Blonde had bought some expensive new outfit at the upscale clothing and home store in the mall and was pretty excited about the night.

I flicked on the TV and leaned back as my car warmed up outside.

Check back tomorrow (Thursday) for the second of three parts of this epic story...

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