In the span of 72 hours I’d worked, drank, found love (sort of), lost love (sort of), had hangovers, recovered from hangovers, drank more and then died a little. All together I’d gotten approximately 8 of sleep (including a 30 minute nap behind the locked doors of a children’s store fitting room), and I survived those three days almost exclusively on coffee (to the point were I now have a pretty aggressive tremor in my hands that won’t go away). For the past few months I’ve been working 6-7 day weeks, picking up as many hours as possible. So, the dilemma has been what to do on my time off: have a life or sleep. Sleep lost, big time. Being that I have very little free time for said life, I tend to go pretty big when I can. It all finally came to a head a few nights ago on the side of the interstate in the backseat of my car around 1am. And no, this isn’t going where you probably think it is. And what did I learn? That I probably need to find a better work/life balance, but that won’t be happening anytime soon. What else? Very little. You should probably take this time to make yourself a cocktail, I’m pretty confident you’ll need it.
It was Friday afternoon, and I was grabbing happy hour with friends. Between the 35 days without a single day off (except for a quick beach vacation, but that doesn’t really count), lack of sleep and pink happy hour wine, you could say I was doing pretty great. Two bars later (one of which smelled like a rotten turtle pond) and one plant filled drink later, I was doing even better on the rooftop of a beloved restaurant and bar overlooking downtown Denver, with my gal pals and having a ball. And then it happens. You see, I have this super power that only surfaces once every few years, where I spot a guy and know without a shadow of a doubt that it’s on. And naturally, the night of many drinks and no sleep is the very night my powers decide to kick in. Obviously when you’re born with a gift, you have to use it – it’s irresponsible not to. This particular man happened to be a waiter, who I then followed to the kitchen and demanded his age, time he got off work, and phone number (in that order).
Much to my friends’ surprise (but not mine), this tactic worked, and shortly thereafter I was on my way to yet another bar with this gentelman, we’ll call him Glen. Glen possesses qualities that check off many boxes on my list. Non of these things really matter though, as I never planed on seeing him again beyond this night. He was good looking, tattoos, well spoken, funny, good looking, and really fucking attractive. Most importantly, he didn’t bat an eye when I said shit like, “I’m only wearing my glasses so I could see into [a stranger’s] apartment” or “I have an instagram famous dog.” You see, I’m a very self aware person. I can be extremely bizarre, but I also know this about myself and revel in it. I think it’s pretty hilarious sometimes. However, to people who don’t understand this about me, first encounters, especially unfiltered drunk first encounters, can be pretty uncomfortable. In any case, he was on board almost instantly, and as I already knew, it was on.
The next day, I was compelled to send Glen the uncomfortable testing-the-water-to-see-if-he’s-interested-in-hanging-out-again text. I didn’t expect much. But he was cool and I wouldn’t mind seeing him again. And anyway, being that I’d already seen his penis, I thought my chances were pretty good here. Which is where I was dead wrong. (by the way, my gift is also a curse). In the midst of some light conversation, he let me down in a way I’m sure he though sounded very respectful. I was disappointed to say the least. And so I found myself in the extremely conflicted place of ‘I don’t want to date him, but why doesn’t he want to date me?’ Which is a very tricky headspace to be in if you’re a girl who’s now had even less sleep, buzzing on 6 espresso shots, and hungover while trying to manage a children’s store and would be working at a second job later that day.
Glen had been on my mind pretty consistently all day, replaying the witty banter and other events from the night before. But, must move forward. So, when I got off work I met up with friends to celebrate Denver Pride Weekend. I wanted nothing more than to go home and sleep, but rallied and went out anyway. Which, yes, involved a lot of tequila and some questionable penis-shaped jello. I danced the night away with some amazing humans and experienced this overwhelming feeling of joy and love for the people in my life. Which you would think would have snapped me out of it. LOL. The next day I went to work and paced around, trying to make sense of all of my crazy, and if you know anything about being a girl and feeling crazy, there’s no way to make sense of it. Five o’clock rolled around about a million years later, which probably would have been a really good time to go home, sleep it all off and revisit my life the next morning, being well-rested. But instead I went straight from work to a show at Red Rocks.
(Disclaimer: This next part might be a trigger for anyone who’s every shit their pants or is sensitive to pants-shitting situations.)
It wasn’t my worst idea. I saw Local Natives and Portugal. The Man, and they were lovely. I didn’t even drink (I had one beer). But on my drive home, my exhaustion, likely dehydration, anxiety, resentment at myself for experiencing feelings for a human being, and just overall lack of self care caught up with me. (It’s important to know that I throw up a lot. Anyone who knows me even a little bit could attest to this quality. For this reason, I now keep a “vom bucket” in my car at all times – because sometimes, puking into an old paper cup or oil change receipt just doesn’t cut it. On my drive home that night, I’ve never been more thankful for my weak stomach and need for such a bucket). I started feeling this awful sharp pain in my abdomen, that at first was unrecognizable and then all at once I knew. My body was rejecting the the past three days, all of it, right that second. I swerved over to the right lane to get off the interstate at the next exit, pulled over in the dark of night (which sounds like the beginning of a horror story. And in some ways it was), climbed into the backseat, and let go of all the things that had been weighing on me, into the vom bucket (which was promptly thrown away). Let me just say, shitting in a bucket in your own car has the ability to change a person. However awful it was, I did suddenly feel absolved of all the stress.
I do feel so much better about everything now. When your body has such a violent physical reaction to a man, that’s got to mean something. And I feel like it means Glen is not for me. I’ve taken the whole thing as a sign that I’m not ready for anything no-strings-attached, and I don’t know if I ever will be. As appealing as living my life as an emotionless void sounds, and used to be, I just don’t think I’m up for it anymore. I spent the last four years chasing the real thing, and I want that again. So for now, I’m retiring my hoe jersey, and ignoring my so-called super powers. This is by no means a definitive declaration of my abstaining from sex, but I also don’t want to end up on the wrong end of a slasher film without a bucket.
That’s my story, not sure what it’s accomplishing. Sorry, mom. Sorry, God.