No Day for Shakespeare – Part Two

          I caved in yesterday. I don’t really know why. I had a hangover that made me want to plunge my head into ice water and hold it under until I didn’t need to hold anymore. I had been drinking with Pete. It was usually the same when we went out. He was trying to get me to stop thinking about her and move on. I wanted to, in a way. But his way out of the hole was to fuck your way out of it. I’d done that before. When I was a lot younger. I didn’t think it would be all that smart. I mean, it would probably help to take the female form off the pedestal it seemed to occupy in my life at that point. But I knew that I would just end up wishing it was Julie that was lying next to me. And that would have been counter-productive.

          We went out on the Friday night. I was very much in the mood to get shit housed. I got off the subway I was met with him. He had the whole night planned out. Dinner. Drinks. Couple of bars. Club. Women. Home. Sex. I just kind of feigned enthusiasm and tried my best to sound like I felt I ought to. He was full of beans and seemed excited to have someone to act as a genuine wing man for him. I missed Julie more at that moment than I had since we had broken up. At least when it was the two of us we could be his wings and just enjoy helping the old bird take flight. We just found it funny. I guess having a genuine role in the proceedings made it all seem futile.

          We stuck to his rigid plan all night. We had been talking to a few girls in one of the bars. Well, I say ‘we’ were talking. I was listening to them talk. He had clearly found his match for the evening. She was a very pretty girl. But nothing like my type. Estelle I think her name was. A horrible name, but it seemed to suit her. The other girl kept trying to talk to me. She was pretty too. But I just didn’t want to say anything. I went to the bathroom a couple of times. I sat on the toilet seat and wrote a couple of messages to Julie. I didn’t send them though. I couldn’t bring myself to press the little green button. That tiny ejector seat for my feelings. I’d made the mistake of sending messages whilst drunk before. Thank god I was sober enough to stop myself that time. Julie’s worth more than that. I read them yesterday morning while I lay in bed listening to that torrid rain beat down. “i lov u darling. Cnm we plese work dis outr? xxx”. The rain sounded like a faint applause. Clapping down in support of my better judgment. I was so glad that I didn’t send it. Even though I meant every word.

          I don’t remember much after getting into the club. I got a text in the morning from Paul saying that he’d gone home with Estelle. He asked me where I’d gone. I vaguely remember leaving the club. I know that I just left that other girl waiting at the bar. I felt bad about leaving her there. I didn’t feel bad about leaving Paul. I was in one of those moods again. I needed to talk everything out. That would have shit all over his chances of getting laid. It would have been a bit lousy of me to wreck his chances because I hammered the self-destruct button on mine.

*

          I lay in bed for most of the day yesterday. My place was such a mess but I couldn’t muster the energy to clean it up. As far as I was concerned, no one was going to be coming round anytime soon. I read those messages I almost sent. I started to cry. Those were the first tears I’d shed since we broke up. I cried a little bit the night I moved out. But then it was only because I felt like I should have. They were almost forced. A couple of rogue tears coming down my cheeks after I saw the stream coming down hers. But I fought yesterday’s tears. I tried my hardest to hold them off, but they poured down like the rain outside. I read the last messages she had sent me on that day. At the time the seemed a little desperate. Like she knew something was wrong and was trying to convince me not to succumb to the inevitable. But reading them over again, they were just full of love. They were the words of someone who cared about me deeply. Not the words of someone who didn’t know how to live without a crutch to lean on. 

         I watched TV for most of the day and tried not to look at the mess that surrounded me. It made me feel like a slob. There were cigarette butts stubbed out everywhere. There was a McDonalds cup on the floor that had a little bit of Coke left in it. It had been there for a week or so. The Coke had seeped through the paper walls of the cup. My head hurt when I thought about it. My clothes from last night lay on the floor next to my bed. My jeans were in a perfect heap, like some kind of denim accordion. I had clearly just undone my belt and let them slide to the floor, stepped out of them and fallen onto my bed. The plant that Julie had bought me had died of thirst. The poor thing had been neglected since I’d started hitting the bottle. I had loved that plant as well. It brought a brightness to the room.  But I hadn’t really been in that room much recently.

          I found myself looking at photographs of her late in the afternoon. The rain was still pelting down. I clicked through the album of us when we went to our friend Carlos’s DJ night. All of our friends were there that night. It was a great night. I just quickly clicked through. Julie had the camera most of the night. But every now and again there would be a picture of the two of us. I stopped on one picture of us doing the arm-locked-wedding-drink-thing. Some of her red wine had dribbled down my chin. I laughed before I started to cry again. I immediately scrolled down and clicked on the link to her profile. I wiped my eyes and smiled to see that she hadn’t changed her relationship status. I know that sounds a bit sad. But at the time, it meant an awful lot to me. In my head I believed that she was probably doing exactly the same thing as I was right now, to the soundtrack of the driving rain.

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5 thoughts on “No Day for Shakespeare – Part Two

  1. katja says:

    I’m sorry. All is clear now. As I’ve said before I like stories with different perspectives very much. It is very interesting and I want to know why they broke up. While I was reading I wished that he would press the green bottom.

  2. Susan says:

    “wrote a couple of messages to Julie. I didn’t send them though. I couldn’t bring myself to press the little green button. That tiny ejector seat for my feelings.”
    This line “tiny ejector seat for my feelings” such an apt description for how I have used those not-in-person forms of communication. brilliant.

  3. Kristen Macatangay says:

    Dear Ross,

    I wonder if you’ll read this. Anyways just wanted to say that I love your work, but there is one problem. Every time I read your work I always feel guilty. It makes me feel as though I’m reading a journal or diary. Yeah just wanted to say that. Briliant work!

    – Kristen

  4. DD says:

    “In my head I believed that she was probably doing exactly the same thing as I was right now, to the soundtrack of the driving rain.”

    made me want to cry.. so bad!

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