Too Clever By Half

Heart colored pencils

Before I met N___, I was nearing the end of one of my periodical 3 month “I don’t want to go out and party now”, depression breaks. My cousin was telling me I should come out some weekend, a few of them have been partying after hours at this chicks house. He said I might like her, she reminded him of J___, (my last girlfriend)

I was sick of sitting at home and decided to start going out again. Her girlfriend A___ was trying to do the same thing for her. Get her out of the house to meet people. She had lots of friends, but you know? That’s how she met my cousin, A___ dragged N, down to the Seabreeze (that place is a story unto itself). N___ like to party a little but she wasn’t one for hanging out in bars. But she went to school with a lot of the people I was hanging around with so she felt comfortable there. After the bar closed about 10 of us went back to her house and squeezed into her tiny living room and hung out.

I don’t know why the hell she reminded my cousin of J___, she was nothing like her. But she was friendly and nice enough but most of all she was fucking funny. Original, on the spot, situational humor. My favorite. She would go to bed early though, so we would all leave and go over the bridge to Seabrook for the Late, Late, Show.

There were no sparks flying between us or anything. I don’t know how long that went on but each week A__ would make sure N___ went out to the bar. I didn’t realize until writing this but A__ always made sure N___ was near me and A___ always drove and somehow I always ended up in her car with them. I guess I should thank her for that now. Thanks A___! Back then I thought it was because A__ wanted my cousin, which was true but I never noticed if my cousin and I separated at some point in the night, It would always be me going somewhere with A__ and N___. Sometimes I’m clueless.

I do remember I spent a couple weeks in the hospital for mania and when I went out again she was the only one who wondered where I had been.

One night everyone was leaving N___’s place and outside in the driveway I gave my keys to my cousin and said I would call him in the morning. I walked back inside and said I’m sorry, my ride left me, is it okay if I stay here? (What do you want from me? You know I’m incorrigible.) She had another reason for kicking everyone out early. She co-owned the house with her mom. It was divided and they each had their own half. It was only divided by a doorway which was usually open except at night when we were all there.

The first night I “got left behind by my ride”, we were in bed in the morning and I could hear two women’s voices coming up the stairs and laughing. It was her mom and “Shirl” (I can use her real name because that is not her real name) the door opened, they saw me and screamed like two teenagers and ran back down the stairs. N___ told me who they were.

Soon after that she stopped hanging out at the bar and people stopped partying at her place but I didn’t stop hanging out with her. I was still going to the bar until it closed but instead of partying I would go to see her. Then I stopped going to the bar and I think you can take a wild guess what happened after that. It’s 20 years later and we are still friends and we have the most incredible daughter.

I forgot for a long time but I got to tell this to someone new this summer. S__ and his band mates took a sudden interest in hiking and camping together. They were gone for the weekend so the wives and girlfriends were having girl’s day at N__’s house. I didn’t know or I wouldn’t have stopped over unexpectedly. I stayed for an hour. N__ always had multiple dogs. Back when I started seeing her regularly, she had three. Two Boston Terriers and a Black Lab. Kelsey, Chloe and Blue.

Those dogs used to bark at everything. They would go nuts. Except for one thing. Me. They wouldn’t bark at me. I would walk straight in the front door and up the stairs the dogs wouldn’t even open their eyes. Weirdest thing.

A couple month’s ago I was sitting with my daughter and N___ on their porch and talking about how bad drugs and alcohol were. We weren’t lecturing, we were just speaking from our own experience. We both said the same thing though. Individually. If we didn’t all the fucked up stupid shit in our lives, we never would have met each other and our daughter would never be alive. I don’t know what kind of lesson that is for my daughter… I really hope she doesn’t get into drinking. Right now she is against it.

I’m writing this now because I just heard another guy say the exact same thing yesterday. Someone asked him he was able to go back in time somehow and not start using, would he. He said no and gave the same reason.

I’ve been crying and grieving today over the loss of my family, or my idea of what my family was supposed to be. But what would my life be like now if I was straight laced? Would I be married to someone else 20 years later who we’ve fallen out of love but stay together for the sake of two screaming kids and being trapped under a mortgage and both of us find out each of us are on Ashley Madison? I’m venturing into fantasy land now but I’ve heard stories that aren’t too far off the mark. This is no advertisement for the glamorous lifestyle of drugs.

It’s what I was thinking about the other day. “Euphoric Recall”. Am I just supposed to forget about all the good times? I would much rather be a full time parent but I honestly think my daughter is better off the way life turned. It hurts, but I’ll take the pain.

2 thoughts on “Too Clever By Half

  1. Being at peace with my past is a lifelong journey for me. “Everything happens for a reason” is comforting, to a point. Forgiving all of it helps with acceptance. Just my three cents of what came up for me when I read this. As usual, I love your writing. I keep saying “this blog needs to be sold in book form.” Seriously. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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