My small little worries and anxieties kept drumming along the last couple of weeks while the world kept a-spinnin'. After three days in Memphis with my girlfriend that frankly couldn't have gone much better, one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind after I returned was, Wow, all this happiness and feeling good and feeling confident about myself and thanking my lucky stars that I have this woman in my life--I went through all these same feelings with "Karen" after our first few dates. This was after I felt very depressed for the three days leading up to labor Day weekend and couldn't figure out why, then I realized that I responded to Karen's personal ad on Labor Day three years ago. But all is well. I could have gone into a tailspin and started ruminating about everything that happened again, but I refused. This is what time and having a supportive person in my life has done--instead of brooding and stewing, I've developed the ability to breathe, find something to do that takes my mind off things, and if that's not enough, I can call my girlfriend because she actually likes talking on the phone with me and doesn't mind helping me through my episodes. The last episode I had was maybe a couple of months ago, when I was already having a shitty morning and I heard one of those songs that remind me of Karen, and instead of turning it off, I figured I was already in a foul mood, so why not go down the well and see how deep it measures. Still pretty fucking deep, as it turns out. But when I got home that evening, I talked things out with my girlfriend, and we had a great conversation about everything we both were feeling. She didn't just pooh-pooh me and say it will all be okay. She actually conversed with me and helped me work through things. It's really awesome how open and honest our relationship is, not just because she's not a lying whore but also because I'm not a lying whore, either. This is how I always wanted a relationship to be like. And in a way, the best part is, I can realize that it may not work out for various reasons, like the long distance between us or one of us being unhappy with the pace, but whatever the reason, it's not going to crush my soul. I'm truly giving it my best honest effort and if it doesn't work, then it wasn't meant to be. But there's no hiding anything, there's no game-playing, and I'm not going to go insane if she and I can't make it. I will snap if I find her secret website, however. :)
The three days in Memphis started six hours later than it should have because I have a very nasty procrastination habit, which is to say that I missed my fucking flight again. That same toiletry ban that I railed against in my last post got me. When I got to the area where they scan my body, I only had about 15 minutes to make my flight, but they told me that those toiletries would be allowed in my walk-on luggage if they were 3 ounces or less each, so I tried to go through because I thought everything I had was 3 ounces or less. I forgot about my big can of aerosol deodorant. So that was five minutes wasted scanning myself because I had to turn right back around and take my luggage to be checked. By the time I did that, it was 10:48A, and the flight took off at 11A. So the woman at the counter wouldn't even let me throw the toiletries away and check my bag as a walk-on because she said that due to the location of my terminal, I could never make it before they closed the doors to the plane ten minutes before take-off. The news only got worse: The next flight was for 4:55P. It really hurt me to call my girlfriend and tell her this, and it was extremely painful to hear her voice when I told her. She sounded so disappointed. But after snapping at my waitress at a restaurant because she was trying to serve me while I told my girlfriend the news, I realized that I needed to calm the fuck down and cope because I was going to be at O'Hare Airport for the next six hours and it was nobody's fault but mine. So after walking for a few minutes, I came across a bookstore, I called my girlfriend and got a recommendation for a book, and I passed the time reading a frightening memoir that made my childhood look totally normal, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. ( I also got her an Oral Sex for Dummies book, so that she's not completely in the dark when we do it for the first time.) Before I knew it, it was time to fly, and I was hugging my girlfriend and eating at Applebee's and checking into a Drury's hotel that had a long black hair under one of its pillows and a bed so soft in the middle that I thought I was going to fall through.
My girlfriend left a couple of gifts sitting on my hotel bed for my arrival. She kept hearing me talk about how much I was looking forward to the week off so that I could just soak in a bubble bath and relax, so she bought me a bottle of bubble bath, and a box of chocolates to enjoy while I soaked. She also got me a card that said in part: "If I sounded disappointed this morning its because I savor every minute I spend with you! Here's to a hundred delicious moments." I sent her a text message when I saw the gifts and the card and told her how awesome she was. But she wasn't the only one with a surprise. I mailed her an early Sweetest Day card because I knew I wouldn't see her when Sweetest Day came around at the end of October, and it was sitting in her mailbox the day after I arrived in Memphis. Talk about timing. That same evening, we had dinner with two of her friends, so now they don't think that she made me up or something. The next day we tried to have a romantic walk along the Mississippi, where I wanted to lay my first kiss on her, but the wind was cutting us in half and making my eyes water. So that evening we had a great dinner at Texas de Brazil, which had the exact same endless-cuts-of-meat concept as Pogo de Chao here in Chicago, and after that, she decided to scratch me under the chin on my neckbeard because "I just wanted to do that," and I decided that there couldn't be a clearer signal for me to move forward than that, so we had our first kiss that night on her couch. The next day, my flight departed in the evening, so we had time to have pizza at her favorite pizza place, watch a movie, and discover more joys of kissing. We could have made out for another half-hour, as it turned out; my flight was delayed 28 minutes.
As if to give me something to laugh about for the whole trip, the morning after I arrived in Memphis, the news of Terrell Owens's "attempted suicide" was all over. All I could say was, this is so T.O. No one had been talking about him for a while, he just got dumped by his fiancee, and the trick publicist he's banging probably wasn't giving him enough attention, so he staged a scene where she got home and he had pills hanging out of his mouth. Pathetic. And all she can say in her press conference a couple of days later, after she had been the one who called the cops saying Owens was trying to commit suicide, was that he had 25 million reasons why he wouldn't kill himself, referring to his contract. Real quality ladies you're choosing there, buddy. But hey, if she wasn't a drama queen, she wouldn't be attracted to T.O. in the first place.
Like I said, the world just keeps turning...