The future is a funny thing, isn’t it… it’s not concrete by any stretch of the imagination. As humans we have the past, which doesn’t exist in any way except in our memories. We believe there will be a tomorrow, but we have absolutely no guarantee of that. All we really, truly have is the present. And the moment that we’re in, for better or for worse. Even those of us that are fortunate enough to possess a certain degree of… what should I call it… foresight? Intuition? We don’t always know what, exactly, tomorrow will bring, and we know that even the things we “know” can change… the waters can shift, different choices can be made that take us down a different road.
I say this, because I knew when the year began that my world was going to change. I mean, I guess that’s not too far-fetched of a prediction since my world tends to change a lot, and often to the extreme. I didn’t know how, though I had my assumptions, based on the stuff that happened at the beginning of the year. I figured that by the middle of the year I’d end up where I thought I was supposed to be at the beginning of the summer of 2013. And at first, that’s the way it looked like it was going to go. But then May came. And those changes I saw at the beginning of the year began to manifest themselves. They weren’t what I thought they’d be, but they were eye-opening.
Funnily enough, they started in Kentucky. In May. When I flew up for my sister’s wedding. Just as a reminder, I hate weddings. They are, at least in my experiences, excuses for every single family drama, every little bitterness, to rear its ugly head – and since it was my sister’s, it was the reminder, constantly, that she was (and had always been) the golden child and I was the black sheep. And, of course, let’s not forget that all of this is a reminder of my own – the one I did not want, the one I’d prefer to pretend never happened. So when the plane touched down in Louisville that day in May, I was less than thrilled and I would have given anything to have been back in Florida, at work, suffering through the webinars.
Oh, I’d tried to make the best of it. I’d made plans with Mary for that Friday night. I’d made plans with Lord Ormsby to go to Kentucky Kingdom. But other than that, I did not know what there was to do… for the rest of the time I was in Louisville, I’d be on my own, in a hotel, because I did not want to stay in my parents’ house this trip. Too much drama. And I was excited about my plans with my friends; they alleviated the anxiety a bit. But it didn’t change the fact that, the next day, like it or not, I’d have to be in my hometown, suffering through this thing that I hadn’t wanted to attend at all.
I got off the plane, grabbed my luggage, got my rental, sent a text to Mary and Lord Ormsby and told them I was here (and that I was freaking cold already – seriously, the air conditioning at the Louisville airport is MORE than sufficient). Then, well, there was nothing. Lord Ormsby was working. Mary was working. I could not check into my hotel until three (and that was still three hours away). I did need to eat, though, and run errands, and so I headed to a Fazolis (and you have no idea how orgasmic food can be when you haven’t had it in years – we do not have Fazolis in Florida), then Wal-Mart to pick up the razor blades I’d forgotten, and next door to Kohls to find a bikini for the water park at Kentucky Kingdom on Sunday. It took just under two hours to find these things, and I still had time to kill, but I headed to my hotel anyway – maybe they had my room ready. And I was in luck. After checking into the room, I waited. I watched TV. I did push-ups in the floor (seriously). I changed clothes, put on some makeup (for a change) and waited for Mary.
She arrived after work, we had barbecue at Famous Dave’s… another joint we do not have in Florida. See, when I go home to Kentucky, I go with a list of places I MUST VISIT and eat at before I leave. There are many, many places up there that we don’t have here (and it’s really a shame). I was thrilled to see her, we had a lot of catching up to do, and we did that over pulled pork (because God loves when we eat pig). I had decided that, that night, I was going to get royally shitfaced. There would be no alcohol at the wedding tomorrow (no dancing at the reception either) and I figured that maybe if I got drunk tonight, it wouldn’t be so awful tomorrow. So I started drinking then… the bartender made a strong drink. I left happy. And then I had the idea that maybe I should go find Lord Ormsby before I got so shitfaced that I didn’t recognize him… I mean it had been like nine years since I’d seen the man. There are photos on Facebook, of course, but when you are drunk, you don’t want to have to pull up Facebook on your phone to verify that you aren’t going to run up and hug some random stranger. That’s tacky as hell. So I sent him a text. He was still working, but invited Mary and I to drop by if we wanted.
I talked to her about it. She was game (Mary’s cool like that) and so we went. As we drove to his location, I told her a little bit about the past… well, not a little bit, like everything about the past. And then some. I admitted to having had a crush on him. I didn’t know how I felt about it now… it didn’t matter… I was waiting for Botboy, that was that, it wasn’t changing. But if anything were to happen, I told her, she was to say nothing if she witnessed it. Not because of Botboy, of course… Botboy didn’t seem to give a shit what I did… or if he did, he had a funny way of showing it, having said nothing to me for months.
She laughed, “You know what happens in Louisville stays in Louisville.” I grinned. There’s a reason Mary and I have been friends for so long… and it’s because both of us know, simply, to keep our mouths shut.
When we arrived where he was working that night, we were lucky to find a parking spot (we hadn’t anticipated needing to worry about it… it was, really, providence that we found one at all). I glanced over, didn’t see him anywhere – or anything that looked remotely like him. I sent him a text to tell him we were there, and waited for a response. There was a lot of chaos… it was a bikini contest or something that was going on that night, and people were walking all over the place. It wouldn’t have surprised me if I simply didn’t see him at all. When he didn’t text back for a bit, I got out of the car to stand behind it… see, I’m kind of weird this way… group things are fine sometimes, but I’m not one to just infiltrate one to find one person that I know when I don’t know exactly where they are. I figured I’d watch awhile from this vantage point, maybe he’d text me, and that would be that.
Then, I don’t know what happened, the crowd cleared. And there he was… dialing his phone… and I knew he was calling me. I was right, my phone started to vibrate. But before I could pick up, he spotted me and waved. I grinned and waved back, and we met just outside the event. It was good to see him again. I introduced him to Mary and we hugged and chatted for a bit. Of course, he was busy, and we were heading to the bars, but I invited him to meet up with us there when he was through. He agreed, and went back to his event.
Mary and I walked back to the car, talking about which bars to go to first and where we’d park. “He has nice teeth,” she said, out of the blue. I laughed. He does have nice teeth, but that wasn’t what I’d been thinking about at the time. I couldn’t really put a finger on what was going through my head right that second – other than the curiosity over whether he’d actually show up at the bars that night or not, the men in my world are characteristically flaky and I did not know, yet, whether he’d join their ranks or surprise me. I hoped it was the latter. I wanted to see him again. I wanted to hang out with him again, now that I could do so properly, without someone waiting for me at home. I could do that now. And although I didn’t anticipate being able to do that for long, not after Botboy was back, it would be a shame to let that go to waste while I had it.