Saturday, October 27, 2007

"I feel like I've been asleep forever . . ."

Ever since Holly and I ended our little experiment at dating, which in all fairness can't be likened to real dating, I've been unconsciously phasing her out as a friend. Now I'm starting to realize this is partially because I needed space and partially because she's one of those people where you have to work at having her in your life and it's not like she brings a lot to the table when she is around. My words might sound harsh but time has granted me some perspective, mostly in the form of Oh my God what the fuck was I smoking??

In her absence I've moved on and made some of the best friends of my life, friends whom I hope will be in my life for a very long time. And I've also seen what a real relationship can be when someone is fully emotionally present even if not always physically.

When Holly asked to have dinner with me the other day I had to offer Friday as an alternative because Ms. K was going to be in town. There was a touch of nostalgia because there was a time when we were always meeting up for beer and dinner in the East Village. We went to a couple of our old haunts -- Brick Lane and Burp Castle (hmm, what an odd juxtaposition of names) -- and spent the evening catching up.

"It only feels like a few weeks ago that we went to Galapagos for Halloween," she said, our table full of curries and samosas to feed our growing intoxication.

"Holly, that was 2005."

"I know. It really feels like only a few weeks ago. I feel like I've been asleep forever and everybody has moved on with their lives."

Was she including me in this statement? She should because I've certainly moved on from 2005.

We chit chatted some more, drank our Kingfisher beers, and got ridiculously stuffed on dahl makhani, during which she referred to a boyfriend by the name of J.

J? Wait. That's the same name as her married boss.

"You're seeing him again?" I asked, eyebrows raised over the perch of my glasses in a way that Ms. K has come to dislike. "Isn't he married??"

"Only technically."

Good God.

You know when you have those moments in your life when you realize just how far you've come and just how far someone hasn't? Yeah, that was one of those moments.

I laughed out loud, my voice cutting through the sound diners and Indian music. I wasn't meaning to be cruel, but there was a air of the absurd to her admitting that after all this time and whatnot she was still caught up in the negative cycle of dating/fucking/whatever her "married" boss. I even think I laughed when Holly admitted that the boss wanted to get married when the divorce was final.

Comedy gold.

"Just so you know," she said, eyes full of emotion, "that when we were dating there definitely wasn't anything going on between J and I."

I laughed again. Don't worry, Holly. There wasn't anything going on between you and I either, mainly because you admitted on more than one occasion that you were still in love with J.

I sat back, patted my full belly, and thanked Christ for letting me get off the Carousel of Stupidity™. I even wanted to call Ms. K then and there and thank her for being super awesome.

Later Holly and I got a beer and things didn't feel so much like old times as they did at the start of dinner. I felt a little weird, especially when she introduced me to Random Bar Patron as her best friend. My reaction, albeit internal, was If I represent the high point or rather one of the most valuable relationships in your life then you have some serious work to do my friend. And to that I felt nothing but pity.

It's nice to move on.

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