9. eight: destiny’s denouement.

Post 9, that’s more than one too many blogs about a guy who I never did date, not really, but multiple months of my life were spent, in a strange way, together. But in the interest of story telling, and taking up my time in a more productive manner, you got all the dirty deets and now we’ve come to the end. Towards the end of eight and I’s brief nothing every single day had become increasingly confusing and frustrating. I don’t know what changed but I don’t really care enough to ask; I know this one is not my issue.

One night after asking me how my day was, the normal chat turned sour. Eight said he was chirping me for fun and I told him “if he’s going to chirp, to do it nicely, fucker”. He doubled down on the nonsensical one liners. I tried to soften just a little “to be honest I don’t know what is going on”. He tells me that’s OK and he’s going to bed. I really do hate misunderstanding someone more than I hate confrontation, so I just picked up the phone and called him to clarify. I’d never called him before, he’d never called me. He ignored the call of course, he’d only texted me that a minute before, but the next morning, sometime on his break I assume, I get a text from him “Hey you called last night? I put my phone on silent when I go to bed.” I think I told him that was smart of him and wrote it off as I was going to ask him to come for a smoke walk with me. He says that would have been nice.

Ten days later he snap-chatted both to me and to his story: a video of a fancy cottage he was staying at, videos of the wake of a boat full of dudes, a photo of steaks marinating, and another video of him walking to a tennis court. I only replied to the steak photo because duh steak. What did I say ? I sent him TWO steak emojis, it’s friendlier than one steak emoji, after all.

What was interesting to me was that our last conversation, spanning over a few days, is basically us tying up loose ends with each other, and that gave me a lot of peace.

I was out shopping and see that eight had sent me a snap of an earring that I had left in his apartment on my birthday. Side note: I always wear “disposable hoops” when I’m going out to a bar, a fact that I shared with eight during our patio drinks. “Oh haha, just chuck it, disposable remember?” He replies back, “I didn’t know if this was a tactic to see me again.” I’m direct so of course I just blab out, “Yes I would see you again. But I don’t need a tactic.” Then, ding, an SMS comes through:

8: “Much rather talk on here. I didn’t think I asked any questions but I like the way that sounds.”
Me: “Talk eh? How’s your week been?”
8: “It’s a 2 way street. My week has been good thanks. I’m hurting today though. And yours?”
Me: What do you mean? Aw gnarly what’s wrong? I took a day off the gym because my ribs are shot. Work is insane this week for me.”
8: “I tied one on last night. Self inflicted. What did you do to your ribs??”
Me: “On a Wednesday? What a trooper! Oh some stupid gym class. I’m jazzed – I ordered a pink skipping rope.”
8: “Yea it was my bday so I got into it a bit. Still went to work today though.”
Me: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”
8: “Thanks yo!”
Me: “You should’ve told me I would’ve bought you a drink.”
8: “I like keeping my bday lowkey.”
Me: “Lowkey is good too!”
8: “Yea I like it way better than going over the top for the bday.”

All of this honestly felt like a knock against how messy I had been on my birthday and to be perfectly honest fuck him if that’s what he was saying. But I don’t know for sure – I’m coming out of a 10 year relationship where I wasn’t allowed to have male friends and was discouraged from spending any time outside of my home – when I say this is new to me – this is NEW to me. I had been waiting to say what I type next until him until I saw him in person because I’m an adult but I was over whatever he was playing at:

Me:“Yeah about that, I was meaning to say to you I was sorry about the state I was in on my birthday. To be perfectly honest I blacked out that night. I actually don’t drink very often in my regular life. I legitimately had no recollection of speaking to you that night at all. My bad.”
8:
“You weren’t bad at all. You were speaking coherently but no worries. Not sure if you remember but we did have sex. Just wanted to throw that one out there.”
8: “I’ll take that as you weren’t aware.”
Me: “Ah sorry. I just got home. No, I pieced that together by the morning. I remember getting in your car and not knowing how you’d got there. You’d been texting Ashley all night. Not me. I remember you asking if I wanted to go to your house and me saying that I did. And everything else is hazy.”
8: “Nice, well that’s a bonus. I would have felt a bit weird if I just broke the news to you.”
Me: “No you didn’t. I honest to goodness meant to say something to you but texting that is awkward. Plus I assumed you’d bounce since I came off like such a trainwreck in that state.”
8: ” I don’t think you know what a trainwreck is if you consider that trainwreck worthy.”
Me: “Trainwreck for me.”
8: “Bah don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Me: “I’m learning to but it’s a journey man. I’m in the best spot I’ve ever been as an adult. It’s peace.”

The following day, after more nothing texts back and forth, I was as direct with eight as possible, using some fluffy astrology (it falls flat) to ease into my straightforwardness:

Me: I was thinking how funny it is that our birthdays are close.
8: Yea I know a solid handful of people close to mine. How was your evening?
Me: I didn’t mean coincidentally, moreso that your personality fits Virgo junk. Like analytical and blunt. I just got out of the shower, going to roll a few joints and walk shortly.
8: I don’t follow that kind of stuff but I’ll take your word for it. That sounds like a great plan.
Me: Oh I don’t follow it persay but it peaks my interest when its accurate. Anyway I wanted to say that I appreciate you reaching out about the sex and being kind about my trainwreck birthday. It’s all good. I’ve not gotten the vibe you’re particularly interested in me – and I’ve done the FWB thing with disastrous results – so I’m not sure what else there is to say really.

Two days later …

8: Hey! Sorry for the mia’ness, been max relaxing this weekend and sleeping a tonne! No worries. I’m not exactly sure what to tell you either. I don’t see why we still can’t smoke one from time to time, and if we see each other out or whatever and are both up for some fun then we can cross that bridge when we get there. Like friends with partial benefits.

Uh, partial benefits(?) whatever the fuck that means, from a ‘friend’ I never see. 

I wasn’t jazzed to send a response and it’s not that I care who gets the last word, but I don’t like to be misunderstood. It’s not that I want to burn bridges either. I think of it as I want some bridges marked as condemned/heritage property; they’re still nice to look at but they are decidedly retired structures from the past that we know can no longer bear weight safely and shouldn’t be crossed. 

I waited a day and then I sent this last message. The last message actually. 

Me: Sounds chill level 9000! And that’s cool, I’m definitely down for smoke/friends whenever but partial benefits isn’t at all what I’m trying to get into. I need potential in the air, its what pulls me in and excites me the most, if that makes sense. Anyway, hope your Monday is baller productive guy! 🙂

And that’s it. We stopped texting entirely.

For a while he continued to like my Instagram photos but eventually stopped that too. One day out of the blue he sent me a Snapchat photo while I was posted up in a Starbucks, coincidentally, I was writing these blogs, so it extra caught me off guard. It’s a mirror selfie of him shirtless in a change-room wearing a furry vest that was almost as hairy as his chest. I replied something along the lines of “Haha what’s this about?” He chats back something like “I can’t help myself when I see weird clothes, I have to try them on.”  I can’t remember what I said, if anything in response. I went on with my day, and the next, and the next. I never did get another SMS asking “How was your day?”

If eight texted me today, I’d reply. I was absolutely interested in him romantically and a part of me still is. But it was only potential that drew me in. I can’t say for certain that his proposition, if we see each other uptown and are both up for some fun, won’t happen in the future, because frankly, I want him. But that’s the unhealthiest part of me: wanting to prove my value, to a man who isn’t interested, with sex. So whats the last thing I can tell you about eight and I’s brief nothing? This is where were at:

Eight still watches my Snapchat and Instagram stories.
Every. Single. One. Of. Them.
We still have Snapmap locations on for each other.
Probably uptown rendez-vous reasons.
I still smile when I see his name.
I associate eight with a really happy summer afterall.

eight5
dad and I at eight’s last game.
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