Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring break....kinda sucked

This has truly been "the good, the bad, and the ugly."

I first saw Greg on Sunday. He looks really unhappy. He's changed his hair and beard again. Looks like he tried a goatee, but is growing it all out now. And he has a flat mohawk, too. But it looks like he's growing all of that out, too.

He was distracted and down, but he was still attentive to me. Joked with my friends. Touched me as he went past. He wouldn't be able to come see me after work, but would the next day.

On other fronts, my ex has been a nightmare. I made a mistake and talked to my ex about the travel arrangements for the kids while on the phone. I broken my rule about him putting everything in writing, and it's biting me in the ass. Dumb Blogget! I think his wife got mad that they are coming, and so he's telling her that I booked it without his permission. He's denying the conversation happened and that he told me to "go ahead and book it." So, he's denying that he owes me his half of their travel. Jerkwad. Asshole.

Of course, for him, that makes it open season on me. He's been berating me about all kinds of things, born of his own paranoia and his wife's dislike of me. She does the thinking for him. I can go through his emails point-by-point and disprove it all, but he calls that me being "controlling" and "needing the last word." So, I've been fending this off daily.

He spent much of Sunday obsessed with finding out where I was staying. He even had my daughter text and ask. Sunday night, my phone rang and it was from my daughter's phone. But it was him. He called from her number so I'd answer. He had me on speakerphone with the kids there. He starts in on me about all these things he's been saying in email. With the kids sitting there!

I got mad. This was over the top, and I said so. I could hear my daughter crying. He started SCREAMING at me. I told him how wrong he was, how he couldn't do this to them, and.....then my phone lost the signal. I'm sure he thinks I hung up on him. Honestly, I'd considered it, but the phone decided on its own.

My daughter called back, wanting me to come get her. So, I did. I drove across town, and picked her up. She was still sniffly when I got her. I was about to pull into the hotel lot when my phone rang.

"Blogget, this is Jane at the front desk." This was my favorite clerk at the hotel. I'd spoken to her earlier about not giving any info on my reservation to anyone, anticipating my ex calling hotels to find me.

"A man came by looking for you. He went down where your room was, then asked if I could ring the room. But you're not there. So he asked for your cell number and I said I couldn't give it. I just thought you'd want to know."

Oh crap. I'd just left my ex's house, so it couldn't be him. That left one person. Greg.

"Was he tall?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said. "He was really polite and nice. Kind of a mohawk."

Ah shit. "Yeah, he's all right. His name is Greg, if he comes back. You handled that fine. How long ago did he leave?"

"About 10 minutes."

"Okay, thanks." I took a quick detour to the restaurant, which is literally less than a block away. His car was in the lot. Whew.

My daughter waited in the car, playing with my iPod and the car's sound system. I stepped in the door and he spotted me. He walked outside with me.

"You came to see me," I said.

"Yeah, I'm here for a bartender's meeting. I wanted to see you before, but I can come by afterwards and we can have some time together," he said. He was smiling ear-to-ear.

I laughed and looked towards my car. His eyes followed my gaze.

"What's wrong? You don't want me to come by?"

"That's not it," I said. "My daughter is going to be with me." I explained the whole situation, the hatefulness of my ex. Looking up into Greg's eyes, he had an odd look. I can't really describe it, but it was almost emotionless. An edge, a hardness I've not seen before. Things have been too rough on him lately, I thought. It's a look that has no hope in it. I felt worried and sad for him.

"Can she get her own room?" he laughed. "No, it's okay. I still want to come by and visit, if that's okay. We can just step out to visit." He grinned. "And if the mood strikes, the seats are out of the back of my van. It'll be like being in high school again."

I laughed. "Okay, we'll see how she's doing when you get there." No way I would leave an upset kid alone.

My daughter and I headed back to the hotel. She settled in immediately, and started returning to normal. She chatted, and drew, and watched TV. About the time she started playing on my computer, emailing her friends, we heard a knock on the door.

I opened it for him and he looked around. "Where did she go?" he asked. Her hand shot out from around that corner and waved. He stepped in and said Hi to her. She likes him a lot. I told her we were stepping outside to visit awhile, but to call me cell if she needed anything at all. She agreed and happily returned to her email.

We stepped outside the door. He stopped, brought me close to him, and kissed me. "I have to have you now," he whispered. His blue eyes turned intense, and I melted. He held my hand tightly as we walked. He walked quickly, his long legs taking much longer strides than mine, and I'm not short. I'm 5'9", but he is 6'4", and I have to step quickly to keep up.

Yes, it was like high school again. Hot, desperate, quick, with the edge of the fear of discovery. He laughed as he watched me struggle back into my jeans in the cramped quarters.

We walked back to the room, slower this time. He took my hand, then pulled me to his side, wrapping his arm around me and holding me very close. He sighed. "It's just not fair," he said. For a moment, I thought he was talking about his "quick" climax habit.

Then he said, "I mean, it's just not fair all around." He meant us. He meant more than the sex. We kissed goodnight, and he left.

The next morning, my daughter was back to her normal self. She was ready to try again, another day with her dad. I picked up donuts for everyone there, and took her to his house. Then, I went to my old office and visited my friends there. They asked about lunch the following day, and I agreed.

I already had arrangements to meet another friend for lunch at Friday's. When we get together, she calls us the "Bad Girls Club." She made me a member of this club when I was talking about Greg one day, and she said, "Would you just get it over with and tap his ass." When I said I already had, I became a member.

We have a great time. Her name is Mandy. Greg is bartending, so we plan to sit in the bar and dish.

When we arrive, Greg has us seated in a section a little out of the way. Away from prying eyes. My friend and I set up camp. She loves to hassle him.

He brings sodas and straws. She looks at the straw on the table and then back at him. "Something wrong with my straw?" he asks, with mock offense. "Fine." He reaches in his apron, pulls out a large handful of straws, and tosses them on the table in front of her.

Mandy looks at the straws. She gathers them up in her hands. Looks up at Greg and says, "Bitch." Then, she stuffs all the straws in her purse. He blinked.

"Is she really taking my straws?"

"Yes, she is."

"Hm." And he's gone.

A short time later, he's back. He leans on the table and looks at Mandy. "You need to go to the bathroom," he says.

"No, I don't. I'm fine."

He frowns. He waves his hand around her face, looking like Obi-Wan. "You want to go to the bathroom." She stares at him, so he does it again.

She looks at me. "Is he serious?"

I nod. "Yes, he is. But, dear, Jedi mind tricks won't work on her."

So, he stops. "Please? Just two seconds. Please?" She relents and scoots out of the booth.

"Okay," he starts, looking at me intensely. "So, I get home last night and she's having an episode." He makes that circular "crazy" sign by his temple. "And it's bad. I took her to the hospital. They transported her to Abilene this morning. So, I have to drive there after work today. But I'll come see you first. We'll have a little time to hang out."

I look up and Mandy is peeking around the corner. I wave her back to the table. "Is everything okay?" she says. I nod.

Greg shoots me a look, a question. "Yeah," I say. "She's cool. She knows the whole story." He relaxes.

As we visit later, I learn something new about dear Greg. "I used to weigh 382 pounds," he said. "About four years ago, I decided to stick to three meals a day, not eating after 10 at night, and walking A LOT. I mean, I'll always be a big guy. Six-foot-four, with a size 17 shoe." He held up a hand. "Look at this. I can palm a basketball. So, I'll never be a small guy, but I'm smaller than I used to be."

He left to help another table. Mandy stared at his feet. "Size 17?" she said. "I wonder if the wive's tale is true...."

"Yes. Yes, it is."

She turned wide eyes on me. "You're such a naughty girl! I'm so impressed!" and she high-fived me.

After much hilarity, we got out of there. We had time for an errand, then I went to the hotel, to wait for Greg. It didn't take long. He came in looking like he just needed to crash, the weight of things on him looking heavy indeed. He stripped down to his t-shirt (a Trix t-shirt), and stretched out on the bed. I watched him for a moment. He's truly beautiful.

I stretched out beside him, resting my head on his chest. My fingers drew light circles on the shirt fabric as we talked. He grasped my hand, and guided it elsewhere. "Do whatever you want," he said. "I love how you touch me." So, I did. We did.

But this time was different. It was longer, but he was rougher. Almost a frantic desperation to lose himself in me, in our physicalness. Not like the gentle man I've known.

And let me give some words of wisdom, the fellas. If you don't know if a girl likes having her ass slapped, don't try to find out while she has your ability to father children between her teeth. He's damn lucky I have the control I do, because I do NOT like the slapping.

But the gentleness would still make an appearance. Kissing my neck, my shoulders....he still did that.

He made a new habit this trip, of dropping by to see me in the mornings. So, he's now very familiar with the Blogget-In-The-Morning look. Ratty ponytail, no makeup, bathrobe. These weren't "physical" visits, though. The most he'd do is hold me and talk, as he headed to work. There's a underlying dejectedness to his demeanor that makes me so sad for him. He's working out daily survival, but it's just that -- a daily struggle, in so many ways.

I told him that if I could take the burden from him, I would. But it's not mine to solve, and I wouldn't even if I could. It's not my life to fix. If he wants a different path, he'll have to make it.

I told him that I've been there. He knows he doesn't have to be alone in dealing with this. I'm someone he can say the things to that he feels guilty for thinking. I can be there for the frustrations that will come.

And that's what I told him. That was before he stood me up. But I digress....

Wednesday morning, I'm standing in his embrace. He's quietly holding me to his chest, warming me. I wrap my arms around his back and say, "There's something I have to tell you. My ex -- he's moving to Houston. So, I won't be bringing the kids here anymore."

He thinks for a moment. "Maybe it's for the best."

"Don't say that. I don't like the idea of not seeing you."

He held me close again. "I don't like that, either."

Later, he explained his schedule for the day. "I'm working a section for lunch, so come see me then. Tonight, I bartend, and that's going to be busy. If you come by then, I won't be able to visit." Okay. Got it.

So, I make my appearance for lunch I'm working on some work-related crap. He drops into the booth opposite me.

"Why Houston?" he asked. "My family is from there, and I hate it." I explained that his job was taking him there.

"So when will you come back?" he asked. There was an earnestness in his tone. He definitely wasn't still thinking that not seeing me was for the best.

"I don't know. May, perhaps."

"That's a really long time!" he exclaimed. "I'll be sure to come by and see you tonight. I'm not off until 11:30 or 12. Is that okay?"

"Yes, that's fine. I'll be up late, anyhow. I might come by towards the end of your shift, to make sure we're still on."

"That's not a problem. I'll be there." He held my gaze. "I promise. I have to see you before you leave." He reiterated that he wouldn't be able to visit if I came in that night, since he'd be bartending. Those shifts are just too busy.

Before I left, I handed him another of my notes. I kept it short, assuming he wouldn't be able to keep with with a not-yet-ex and her mother in the house. "Yeah, that's true," he confirmed. "I had kept all of your other notes. I wanted to hang on to them. But once they showed up, I couldn't. I'm really sorry."

So, I went about my business. I had to touch base with a couple of people before the day ended. I checked email. My ex wrote to say he'd figured out where I was staying and would bring the kids to me in the morning. Fine with me. I was going to tell him where I was later that night, anyhow. The front desk clerk started apologizing as soon as she saw me.

"Your ex called!" she said. "He asked if you were here and I wasn't thinking, so I said, 'Is this Greg?' He got REAL pissed."

Well, that's how he found out. I learned later that he grilled the kids about who Greg was. He might know Greg's boss. If he causes Greg any trouble, I'll have his balls in a jar.

I was about to climb back in the car for more errands, when my phone rang.

"Hey, are you busy?" Greg asked.

"Not yet. What's up?"

"I'm working the bar, but it's slow. Come have dinner over here. I can visit with you some," he said. "Just you, though. No friends. Okay?" He doesn't talk freely with friends around.

So, I went. I decided to break with habit and change my usual order. On the drink, I told him to surprise me. He made a delicious peach-mango smoothie for me. Nice.

I'm starting to draw looks. Two servers came up to the bar and whispered to him. They sent looks my way. I saw him smile and answer, but didn't hear what was said.

A little Hispanic man scooted up to the bar, apparently a friend of a guy in the kitchen. One of the other bartenders came through, giving him a hard time. The guy's name is Joshua, and he made an effort to include me in the goings-on. He had many questions for me. Offered me a shot. Hit on me mercilessly.

Greg brought something to me, talking about some kind of crap the manager was pulling with his hours. Joshua watched. "You two know each other?"

Greg turned to him. "Yeah, we do," and went back behind the bar. Later, he came back and said, "Looks like you have another admirer here. If you want to go with him, it's okay." No, it really wasn't, for a lot of reasons. Joshua gave me his number, anyhow.

When I left, Greg said, "See you later." But I had an odd feeling when I left the restaurant.

I wasn't all that surprised when he didn't show up that night. 11:51, I called. He didn't answer. Each trip, he hasn't shown up for the last night I was there. I don't know what happened this time. I haven't called, and neither has he. I knew he was going into two days at the psychiatric hospital - a three-hour drive away.

And life marches on. What will be for us? I have no idea. At the moment, I'm pissed about a broken promise. He could have called. I think of the contrast this time. Sweetness sometimes, harshness other times. The edge I don't like.

In the meantime, other things continue to roll in my life. I'll write about that later. Do I love him? Yes, we do still have that between us. But at the moment, it solves nothing that needs to be solved. Only time will tell, if I even ever see him again.


Pixie said...

God relationships are so fucking difficult aren't they!
I've being going through hell, and i think it's getting to an ok place, bit your guess is as good as mine.
We find someone, surely it ought to be easier than it is??
Take care hon.

Blogget Jones said...

No kidding, difficult. I just about can't stand it. I'm so worn out from hurting!!

Take good care of yourself, dearheart. It's just gotta look up, right?

:o) BJ

Anonymous said...

I have been finding out a lot of things with men make me sick! I have tried to just take it one date at a time but, I think I am giving up on it for awhile! I am sick of all the mixed signals they send.

makes you think it is you that is crazy! or something is wrong with!

It is going to look up that is what I keep on telling myself!


Blogget Jones said...

Oh my gosh, Single....I know. I find it so disappointing when they do something dishonest or inconsiderate. Why? They've all been that way so far! Why am I surprised?

Then there's Karl, whispering "don't lose hope" in my ear, and I'm back in the game.