So last night I walk up to the bar were my 1o-year high school reunion is taking place and the first person I see of the night is RS, basically my bus stop bully. He asked me for a cigarette. I don't know what I really expected last night, but it was a lot of hollering people's names, just to prove we remembered each others' names after all these years, and having very little to say to each other. I think I was one of less than a dozen sober people in the place, with five other people being the two valets, the coat check girl, and the bouncers.
Detox counselor was concerned about me going to this "high-trigger situation" but I told him it would be okay. When I got there, I was kind of glad I wasn't drinking because I'd prepaid $60 to go to this tequila bar, and I could have easily put down $150 worth of premium tequila and made an ass out of myself proclaiming eternal love.
I'd say that about 45 percent of my reason for going was to seek out "Calvin," this guy who always reminded me of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. He was a goofy kid, kind of a troublemaker with the longest eyelashes known to mankind and a perpetual smirk on his face. We never had common friends or hung out but we lived close to each other and rode the bus to school together. I always had a soft spot for Calvin, but after we both got our drivers' licenses, our interactions were pretty much limited to waving to one another when we drove past the other on the road. I never really thought about him much until this past year when I read something I'd written about this weird day when I found him standing outside in the rain at school, kind of frozen and unable to speak, and I brought him inside to the warmest spot I could think of, the pool, and sat with him for a while, not talking. I have always had a severely soft spot for troubled souls.
Someone told me he was there last night. I spent about a half hour looking for him. I pushed my way through the tight-packed bar, avoiding the same people, looking at the faces over and over again, wondering if I was seeing him without seeing him. Finally I gave up and decided to go home. I felt like an old crotchety lady. The bar was loud, everyone was drunk, and I was sick of yelling the same thing over and over again, losing my voice, and so I'd begun to just give nonsensical answers and decided to leave. I was retrieving my coat when I looked up and there he was, sitting at a booth by the door with some blonde and some assholes I vaguely recognized. He wasn't the cute, sweet, slightly vulnerable looking boy that I'd remembered--surprisingly, a lot of guys still looked exactly that way--he'd gotten a lot bigger and meaner looking, but I approached them unafraid and he graciously rose to talk to me, to give me his full attention for the first time we'd laid eyes on each other in ten years.
The little exchange we had, the hugs we shared, made my night. Just by being there, by getting up and being there, Calvin made my night.
I couldn't live up to my expectations last night, which was tough on me. My current drug cocktail is making me a little spacier than usual. Combine that with PMS, stress, sobriety, and home-induced nicotine reduction and you've got Serious...Something.
The funniest moment of the evening was when this guy stopped me and called me the name of one of the four other Asian girls who were in my class. "Emily Lee," he said. "I got your message on facebook and..." I just smiled pleasantly and corrected him: "I'm Seriously." He went on. "Emily, I didn't expect to see you here." And I said again, louder, "I'm not Emily. I'm Seriously." And he slapped himself in the face and said, "Oh man, I'm so sorry! Seriously Serious! I'm so embarrassed! That's awful! And you were one of the people I actually respected and liked! I remember the last time I smoked pot with you and Chuck Smith. That sucks! Man! I'm so sorry. That's awful. I'm so sorry. I'm so embarrassed."
I said, "If it makes you feel any better, I have no idea who you are at all."