Time To Say Goodbye

March 1, 2017 at 9:04 am (Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

hold handsYesterday was not my best day.

Money shenanigans from “friends” started the day. Small loans over the course of the month earn me bus passes from the indigent. When it came time for “the envelope please,” they are nowhere to be found. While scrambling to set up and pay for new bus passes, I get a call from Rain. “Can I borrow $20 until midnight?”

“Sure.” We do this all the time. I loan her my meager available checking account balance, and when her check clears at 10 PM I am standing there with her at the ATM to get it back. “Are you at home?”

“No, I’m in the Pearl, staying with a Frenn… Just call me when you get to 10th & Johnson, and I’ll meet you at the park.”

“Okay.”

Frustrated with the day, I looked forward to seeing her. We haven’t been spending much physical time together, but we talk constantly on the phone, and I usually feel better after seeing her. But she’s been alternating between being super vague and then referencing “her Frenn…” I figured something was up.

When I got to the park, she wasn’t there. I called. “I’ll be right down,” she said. I watched the doors to the buildings, soon I heard her calling my name, “Outie!”

I walked toward her. Got a hug, slipped her some cash. “Can I also get back the $30 you borrowed earlier this month?” After some reminding, she agreed to do so. “Cool, I will call you about 9:30, and we can meet up?”

“Sure,” she said. “I guess you’ve figured out by now I’m in a relationship?”

“Yeah, I kinda figured,” I said.

“He’s an old friend. We laugh and laugh…”

“What’s his name?”

“Herbert, but everyone calls him Bubba. Like my dad. Funny, huh?” She paused, “Don’t be mad, Charlie.”

I wasn’t. “I understand. I hope you are happy.” Fortunately the train came pulling up about the same time the tears did.

She kissed me on the lips. “We will always have each other, Charlie. That won’t change. You will always be my special friend.”

I bid her so long. She still had my $50…

When I returned by 9:20, she was “getting dressed, be right down.” That can take anywhere from two minutes to two days. I sat on the bench, looking for her other special friend who was meeting us. He knows her money habits as well.

I waited until ten, and then called. Got lots of screaming and yelling about stupidity. “I’LL BE RIGHT OUT!”

About fifteen minutes later she came out, with her overnight bag. She put down her stuff, wheezing, her COPD in full force. (I guess she’ll be dropping dead on someone else’s dime now.) She was cussing people, cussing me, then saying, “I’m up there in this man’s house, yelling and screaming at IDIOTS! I’m not mad at you, Charlie.” Soon a cab was pulling up, and we were on our way to the ATM. She will pull money out, hand it to me, and I will be down the road. Last trolley in a couple minutes.

“Hey, I can use the ATM at Safeway!” She left us in the cab and ran into the store. Shit. This might take a while.

After sitting with the cabbie for ten minutes, I went in, finding her testing scented sprays in the home department. “Babe, the cab is waiting.”

“I’ll be right there. Everyone always trying to hurry me.”

“Is there a bathroom here?” I got the code and left her at the register.

When I returned, she’d rung up $127 in purchases, “after Club Card $88! I saved $39!” Yes dear, but did you really need four pine-scented bathroom cones?

I wheeled her cart out to the cab and loaded its trunk while she talked on the phone. She palmed me $50. “Is that all I owe you?”

“Yes, babe, we are all even. Thank you. Now I have to get walking, because I have missed the last trolley.”

“Well I was gonna offer you a ride–”

But I’d turned and left, and when I stopped to look back, the cab was pulling off in the direction of downtown. “Well shit, if you were gonna offer!” I shouted silently in my brain.

I pulled out my phone and called Transit Tracker. Sixteen minutes to catch the Green Line in Old Town. The walk would do me good, and I will make it if I don’t get mugged.

I texted Rain one more time. “I made the train with four minutes and 3% phone power. I’m going to miss saying this, but Goodnight, Rain.” I used her given name so she would know I’m serious. It was a code of ours. Innie and Outie have become a retired memory.

I cut down alleys, cruised through the North Park blocks. I texted Angel first, giving her the news. She’s single too? Slow down, big fella, it’s only been a couple hours. I texted Dizzy, who offered feline hugs as well as human, but I was in no mood to be around people. I went home, ate a simple green salad and went to bed.

Yes, I will miss the shared intimacy of my friend Rain’s presence. I will miss telling her I love her, and will really miss calling or texting, telling her good night and good morning, like I do most days. It’s no longer my department, and an insult to her new man.

Six years ago, I was the new guy. When I finally met the old boyfriend, we recognized each other and got along well. The women in my life have had pretty good taste in men, which is both reassuring and flattering. I’m not running with a bad crowd.

I will miss being a boyfriend. I loved spending four hours riding trains across town to bring her candy, or a pack of cigarettes. I will miss her angular beauty in the night, and the smoothness of her cocoa thighs, but that part of our relationship died last year. I figured I would be the one to eventually get horny.

So it’s not the end of the world this time, but I do feel a bit gut-shot. I will stop feeling guilty when her friends flirt with me; in fact, I may just flirt back. But I’m not jumping into her end of the pool for awhile. The dust needs to settle.

Meanwhile, I need to work on finding some new female readers…

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