Saturday, February 12, 2005

4:12 AM

and why the hell am I thinking about her so much? Not Cuddy, not Cameron, not the woman at the coffee stand, or any of the other women I see every single day. Her, that girl -- that woman -- the one I haven't seen in six years and who I'm never going to see again. I don't want to see her and I'm damned sure she doesn't want to see me. She doesn't want to see me. I don't want her to see me.

I'm pacing through the apartment. My right leg is begging me to lie down, to sit down, to just get off my feet -- my knee is close to buckling -- but it's just going to have to wait, I can't sleep, I can't, I can't lie down, I can't sit down, I can't stop moving. I grab my yo-yo and try a couple of throws, but I'm too tired to keep at it and just clench it in my hand.

Aquarium, fishbowl, Borg cube. So predictable. It's just a damn conference room. I'm not going to think about her. I'm not. I'm never going to see her again, and we're not friends, we weren't even really friends then, she was kidding herself then and she's kidding herself now (or she is trying to be polite?) and I just can't stand it. She doesn't know, she can't know. I'm not who I was when we knew each other. She's surely changed, too.

What would I say if I called her? Hi, it's Greg, I was just calling to say hi, no, nothing's new with me... Oh, that's great! Yeah, I'm so happy for you! ...well, since we last met? Well, let's see... not a whole lot. I walk with a cane and I take four to eight -- well, eight to ten -- okay, maybe as many as sixteen Vicodin a day and I've just about trashed my professional reputation and I look like I sleep on a grate and my boss hates me and my staff hates me and sometimes I think about washing down lots and lots of Vicodin with lots and lots of Scotch and the only thing that stops me is fear of just getting some kind of acute liver toxicity -- or of just throwing up....

What it would be like to see her again? Has she cut her hair? Has it started to go grey? She probably doesn't need glasses to read yet... or does she? What kind of jewelry is she wearing? What kind of rings? Does she have wrinkles yet?

"Greg!" she would say, and she would beam, and then I would have to watch her sweet smile melt away as some new expression come into her green eyes... shock? Disdain? ...Pity?

I stand in the hallway, banging my cane against the floor. I can't let myself think about her any longer.

I stagger into the bedroom and open the closet. I shift my weight to my left foot, grab onto the closet door, and reach my cane up to hook onto the box on the top shelf. I clench my teeth as I scoot it along. Finally I give it a good yank and the box falls off the shelf. I'm not quick enough to catch it and it falls to the floor.

Damn it. There's not a chair in the bedroom, and I'm in too much pain to even attempt bending over to pick it up. I can't even kick it. I end up leaning on the closet door and viciously jabbing it back into the closet with my cane, as if I'm fending away some kind of animal.

I sit on the bed and start getting in, but all I can think of is the box on the closet floor, looking at me in mute reproach. I grunt in frustration and push myself back up. I pause for a moment to collect myself, and then make my way back to the living room, grabbing my Vicodin on the way out. I take a Vicodin, drop myself onto the sofa, click on the TV, and grab the first printed matter handy. It's a medical journal. The TV is showing some kind of infomercial. It'll do. I start flipping through the journal, forcing myself to follow the cases while some unnaturally chipper woman gushes about a kitchen utensil, until at last sleep finally promises to approach.


Blogger Sanlin said...

If she's "the one," nothing you've experienced would prevent her from being with you. But, you don't know, because you haven't let her know what's happened in your life. And, you don't know what's happened in her life. Are you strong enough to find out if what you see in her eyes isn't pity, but love? The longer you wait to find out if it's too late, the greater the chance that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But, one thing I do know, if you don't love yourself, first, there's no way you can love another person--not in the way they need and deserve to be loved. Do you possess that kind of strength? Because, otherwise, you're just going around in circles inside your head, Doc.

You have to decide if the pain of not knowing is greater than the pain of never finding out. It's been six years... Do you want an entire lifetime of this, kicking around boxes in the dark, or do you want to do something about it?

My money's on you, Doc... I know enough not to bet against the House.

February 12, 2005 6:41 PM  

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