Good inside

So I went out for a drink after work on Friday. There’s a guy at work, quite a cool dude, who’s been at me for a couple of months now to catch up for a drink. He asked me again last week and I knew I couldn’t refuse him again, so I said yes.

My plan was one or two and then home. I’d been invited to a poker night later so it fit well, but at that stage I thought it would be an innocent brew and some inconsequential conversation.

As it turned out there were a group of people collecting for a drink, including the girl I’ve been having all these problems with. My heart fell. I’m at the stage that I’m happy to avoid her, so awkward has it become. I’ve done my bit trying to make it better, and now have basically parked the attempt. And so seeing her there was an inconvenience, as was probably my appearance for her.

I sat at an available seat away from her and soon fell into deep conversation with a range of people. Every time I thought to leave someone put another bottle of beer in front of me. One of the people I’m closer too had confided to a couple of the women there that I wrote on the side, news they received with fascination. For the next 20-30 minutes I was plied with questions that led to conversations about literature and writing. I love those discussions.

In the meantime the people sitting between me and the girl had left. We were sitting on a bench seat, with her at the end against the wall. I stood hoping that someone would come in and take the vacant seats, but in the end had to slide over to make room. I shouldn’t have been surprised, that’s how such things always seem to work out. I ended up sitting right next to her.

Neither of us spoke to the other. It wasn’t rude. I was busy speaking to the people on my left and across from me. She was busy talking to the person opposite her. Only once when the conversation became more general did her well-mannered instincts come to the surface as she explained who a newcomer to the table was.

I don’t know that it was particularly awkward, but it felt very obvious.

She left soon after, shifting the table away from her to get out rather than ask for us to let her out. I wasn’t surprised she left – it seemed inevitable. And I was glad.

Later I thought how utterly ridiculous that two more than usually intelligent people, both of us decent human beings, should descend to such a silly situation. It’s exactly what I wanted to avoid, but I guess all roads lead to Rome in matters like this. I wonder what is in her mind? Whatever it is she’s got the wrong end of it and unfortunately it’s only make it harder for her.

Me, I’m the happiest I’ve been for a long while, touch wood. Opening up as I have this year is close to the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel energised. I feel lighter than many a year, and free from the stuff that was dragging me back. It might sound strange, but I feel connected to an energy I’ve never been a part of before. She’s not a part of that – in other words, what I feel is independent of what happens between us.

That’s what most things boil down to in the end if you’re true to yourself. I can’t control things outside me, but if I’m good inside I can manage anything.

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