BACKGROUND: Elvis Costello "My Aim is True"
This was fun. This was good. It started out as the most painfully uncomfortable night of my entire life, a night of pain and sadness and drama and possible violence and it ended with Elvis Costello and me feeling happy, feeling positive, finally feeling like I did something good, something right, and all because I made someone feel like shit.
Set the scene for you.
It was this past Saturday and Jay was going to be at the bar. This was going to be the last night that he was going to be in town before he reported back to his prison/base in San Diego and everyone was set to show up to hang out with him and party with him one last time before he gets locked up again.
And this bar, this shitty little bar of ours, is a small little crappy hole of a bar. It's small and smokey and dark and cold and it's frequented by the same old people every night, ever week, and they are all friendly and inviting. I say that this place is a shitty dive in only the nicest of terms because I love the place and everyone there has taken me into their lives as a member of the family. All the same people day and night and they will all get to know you and care about you. It's a shitty dive but it's a nice shitty dive populated by nice people and everyone was set to be there on Saturday to support Jay.
We were all there - Jo (feeling better since being attacked), Dawn (Joe's girlfriend), Kat (pregnant), Cas, Sandman, Sky (trying to hook me up with someone), Big Dave, Barb (always ready to smoke you out), Crazy John, Chee-low. Everyone was there buying Jay drinks, singing with Jay, talking to him, letting him know how much he meant to them. It was HIS night, Jay's time, and it was a night based on positivity. And me with my coffee and my journal, I was laughing and writing and singing and being positive and having a great damn time.
And after an hour or so the lovebirds stroll in, hand-in-hand.
That was painful.
Now, way I see it, I figured a long time ago that this was pretty much inevitable and that it was going to happen sooner or later. So I was ready to be a man about it, to be quiet but not silent, friendly but not clingy, and to just suck things up and move on, trying slowly but surely to interject these two back into my life without letting my guard down like I did so carelessly so many times past. I was breathing regularly, trying not to shake or sweat, and I was ready to take it like a man and do this right.
I ask the Big HIM for a light. He leans toward me and, right off the bat, says "Steve, I'm avoiding you."
Jesus fucking Christ. I'm sitting there, smiling, being positive, ready to move on with my life, ready to be a man, ready to live life, and I'm met by that creepy, bitter little bullshit. Jesus fucking Christ. I want to honestly move on beyond all the bullshit and the heartache and the drama and all I wanted was a fucking light. If you don't want to be a man about this, then that's your problem and it isn't mine.
Of course I didn't way any of this. I'm a sober pussy now. I sat down, smoked my cigarettes, wrote my thoughts, and did my own thing. We usually all sat down at a round table in the back, all whatever of us, and I noticed the little things. The hands on knees. The little kisses. the fact that she refused to talk to me or look at me and although the Big HIM never talked to me after his angry first sentance, his looks of death were in rapid succession like machine gun fire.
On one occasion, I was just done singing and the only free seat was between Joe and Collyne. I sat there and began talking about Star Wars with Joe and everyone else. Within five, maybe ten seconds, Ricky had moved his seat from the bar between Collyne and us, holding her hand, and staring at me as if at any second he was ready and willing to kick my ass. Shortly after that, they started sitting down at the opposite end of the bar. That was their side.
And I'm not saying that he's in any way an asshole for doing that. He's completely in the right for being a bit concerned, a bit trepidatious, a bit on edge. Maybe he took it a bit too far like the overly-angered a-hole I know that he is and can be, but I'm not saying that he's the bad guy here. I just wish he knew that I'm not the bad guy, either, that maybe the bad guy is the person that left him for me, then left me for him, then left him for me, then left me for him, then left him for me, then left left me for him YET AGAIN, then comes to the bar I frequrent and walks in hand-in-hand with HIM and looks at me like I'm Hitler and not just some guy with his heart broken and just expects me to walk on eggshells for the rest of my life because somehow I get my heart broken and I'm the bad guy here.
Just wish that he realized at least for one split second that in reality I'm the victim and he's the victim and she's the bad guy and that I'm just as confused and angry as he is but unlike him and unlike her I just want to mellow out, be positive, and move on with my life, and that maybe after he realizes that, then maybe he can stop breathing down my asshole for a few seconds.
There was no unterior motive as to why I decided to sing Elvis Costello's song "Alison" other than it honestly is a beautiful little song that expresses heartache and loss really well and I had heard it on the way to the bar and now I just felt like singing it. I sang it a few feet from Collyne, my ex, who had to stand there inches from her ex-boyfriend and hear him sing the saddest song in the world about a woman leaving you for someone else. This woman couldn't bear to look at me, let alone look at me eye-to-eye, and the next thing she knows I'm just a few feet in front of her singing "Alison" with passion and feeling and pain.
And when I got to the second verse, the one with "Well, I see you got a husband now" I realized that this was going to be painful, that this was going to look really fucking bad. I can see her from the corner of my eye freaking out emotionally and it's then that I start to shake, start to sweat, start to realize that every single solitary soul in attendance is going to think after this last verse that I decided to sing this song for her, that I want her back, that "my aim is true" and that this song is in some way being sung so beautifully and righteously just to make her feel bad.
I only looked her way about four, five times the entire night. The last time I did, a few minutes after I sang my song and a few minutes before the lovebirds decided to leave, she was outside seemingly crying, the Big HIM holding her in his big, tattooed arms.
And I'm such an asshole that all I could do was laugh. I'm not sure why, but I knew that it got to her, that she felt bad, that she felt in that song, in my voice, at least a tenth of the pain that I've been dealing with these past few months, hell, this whole damn year falling in and out of love. And me having the cojones to be able to get in front of her and sing that song and not waver, not stutter, not get scared and run away like I used to do at the sing of confrontation, says that maybe beyond all the talk perhaps I am ready to move on, to be myself, to be a man and not let myself get trapped in all this stupid, idiotic, high school drama bullshit and move on with my life.
Sorry, mamacita, but that shit was fucking funny.