You know how people always say, “Oh well, we learn from our mistakes?” Yeah. Well. Remember that the next time you want to say that to me.
In the beginning of 2005, Christina was as usual experiencing all sorts of psychotic foibles with Sylvia. On top of that, she was stressed out at her movie theater job. Yes, at her movie theater job. Not realizing it was Valentine’s Day, she called me that night and sobbed to me about it.
That’s how great her relationship was! It was Valentine’s Day and she didn’t even know it.
By the time we got off the phone, she was convinced that she should quit her job and break up with Sylvia. I didn’t necessarily tell her to do either of these things, but I did express my concern that Sylvia made her want to punch holes in walls. At the time, I thought I was being a supportive friend. I still think that’s what I was being. And all it got me was having it thrown back in my face years later.
Anyway, Christina was still “on the fence” about her sexuality. She had developed a supposed crush on one of her theater co-workers, Mr. Fithen. I think his first name was Steve. Considering I never believed that this crush was anything more than a scapegoat for her sexual identity, I never really bothered to concern myself with the pertinence.
She and I hadn’t spent any face time together since the fall of 2004, when she stopped at my house briefly while her best friend Steve attended a Gay Prom at Pitt with some boyfriend he had procured off the Internet. It had gone well, our hang-out session, and there hadn’t been any weirdness (at least, none that I could detect, but I am super unaware about these things) since all the love-drama happened that past spring.
So when I saw that The Used was playing on the Taste of Chaos tour that March, I decided it could be a fun thing for us to do together. Especially since she wasn’t being bogged down by Sylvia’s crazy ass anymore.
But guess who bought us the tickets?
Sylvia, that fucking dumb ass.
I don’t know. I think that if Henry were to break up with me and then, less than a month later, ask some other broad to a concert? I’m pretty fucking positive I would NOT BE ENCOURAGING THAT BY PURCHASING THEIR TICKETS.
I would instead be planting a bomb in her purse and prepping the jar of formaldehyde for the future residence of Henry’s scrotum.
Christina kept saying that this Mr. Fithen character was going to come with us, but I was just like, “Oh OK.” Because, really? Can we drop the charade yet? I think she felt that I would be more comfortable around her if she had her sights set on some dude. But it wasn’t like that. In spite of everything that had transpired in the early stages of our friendship, I never thought she was going to rape me dyke-style with a studded strap-on or something. I trusted her, and I thought she knew that, so the Mr. Fithen thing was a little annoying.
The show was in Dayton. Henry was OK with me going and staying over night. He had made peace with the “OMG I’m a lez” episode from the previous year, and even had come to a point where he began to consider her a friend (let’s just say there were some phone calls shared between the two of them, with me as the subject).
Christina met me at the Columbus Greyhound station so that I wouldn’t have to drive the entire way to her house in Cincinnati alone. Again, she always wanted me to be as comfortable as possible. That was just the kind of friend she was. The kind of friend she used to be.
We stopped at a rest area along the way and I was fixing my makeup in the bathroom mirror.
“Oh, getting pretty for Mr. Fithen?” Christina chided. I laughed, but realized that I was freshening my makeup for her, for some stupid reason. (Just typing that made me blush, I’m so goddamn lame.)
Not surprisingly, Mr. Fithen was a no-show, so it was just Christina and me attending Taste of Chaos later that night. It was our first show together, so it was sort of a big deal since music was the thread that entwined us. (Wow. I must really be getting old if I seriously typed a sentence that corny.)
When “Blue and Yellow” was played, she held up her arm to show me the goosebumps. That was the moment I knew, without a doubt, she was my best friend. Because I had goosebumps too, and now I wasn’t the only one. I didn’t think hearing that song live, with her next to me, would have struck me the way that it did. But it was a powerful feeling, like a kick to the face, and it woke me up.
It really woke me up. After the shitty 2004 I had, and the recent mediation I had endured that winter with my ex-employer and the EEOC, I was finally feeling alive inside.
She had lent me some shiny maroon pullover shirt thing to wear, I can’t remember why now. Probably because I was acting like I was going to the goddamn Prom and didn’t like what I had brought with me to wear. I do that a lot.
I wound up leaving Ohio with it still on.
Driving home, I listened to The Used while getting occasional wafts of her perfume that was still on the pullover; it really started to fuck with my emotions. When I got home that Sunday afternoon, Henry turned into a territorial Caveman and grunted, “Why are you wearing her shirt?” And it became a Big Deal, because I wouldn’t take her shirt off and I wouldn’t stop listening to the Used and I wouldn’t stop doing that creepy laugh I do when I have a secret or am confused or am just generally up to no good.
About a month prior to this, I had met Alisha for the first time. We became fast friends and she knew most of what had transpired between Christina and me the year before. So a few days after returning from Ohio, I sat in Alisha’s kitchen, nervously drinking coffee and pouring my heart to her about my feelings for Christina.
“You need to have boundaries,” she explained, and proceeded to tell me all the reasons it would be a horrible idea for me to tell Christina that I was feeling things for her again.
She was right, of course. But it was too late because I had already told Christina I had a crush on her. Oopsies.No tags for this post.