Rock 'n' roll.

I am dumbstruck with gratitude for life’s whimsies and serendipities.

Grateful for butterflies, lemonade stands, tulips in bloom, for biscuits and gravy, for coffee and cigarettes, for unexpected, starkly delineated cold fronts and patches of warm sunlight through the clouds.

I’m grateful to know that sometimes an old flame can get in touch and say he wants to catch up…and that’s really all he wants.

Don and I met for brunch today. I was late, but I believed him when he said he didn’t care. He was halfway through his first cup of coffee when I arrived, and despite the almost year and a half that had passed since we split up and almost immediately stopped speaking, it felt as if we’d never parted ways.

We barely had time to get to know each other, but we…I think we get each other.
No. I know we do.

 

By our vague calculations, Don and I dated for about two weeks. It was the fall of 2010, and it was doomed, of course: I was still hung up on the Knight — whose nickname just slays me at this point, as no one with an ounce of valiance would still refuse to make eye contact in a café after more than a year apart, but that’s neither here nor there — and in the end, Don was still hung up on the woman he’s just now separating from.

But it was a courtship of 3-D glasses and Crystal Garden kisses, of coffee breaks and midday cupcakes in the Loop. Our time was split between his basement apartment full of stage props and framed photos, and my Wicker Park studio that never stood a chance against my love for Lincoln Square.

It was over in an afternoon. I don’t remember whether I cried. I do remember spending an hour barefoot on the sidewalk outside Don’s apartment, screaming through my phone at the man I hated and was still infatuated with. (I haven’t come very far from there, to be honest.)

I left and it was done. Down the rabbit hole.

 

I assumed I’d lost him forever.

It’s thrilling to watch someone else emerging from that shadowy place where you’ve lost so much of yourself that it seems impossible to recover…but you fight for it anyway. In dealing with a new breakup, Don’s embracing the vices he can control and reclaiming himself through a series of tiny rebellions. I love him for that.

I love him for a lot of things. Ranking high among those things: He was never scared to proclaim love, even if it seemed too soon with me. He loves deeply and completely, and in a lot of different ways. To the point where this world alone can scarcely contain his heart.

To the point where he’s kind of stupid about it.
Which he readily admits.

One of the reasons we get each other: We’re equally stupid in matters of the heart. We are idiots who trust one too many times that things can get better; he talked about his savior complex today, the feeling that he alone can be enough to fix it. Whatever “it” is.
Yes.

We finished eating and walked down Leavitt to Roscoe Village. We sat on a bench and drank more coffee while I waited for the bike shop to finish replacing an inner tube on my bike. We talked about “The Hunger Games” and Mike Daisey and our respective relationships and the gorgeous stereo he gave me to celebrate my three-year anniversary in Chicago. We’d only just met. It always reminds me of him, but it was almost too much on the weekends I’d hear him shilling on air during the WBEZ pledge drive.

 

I didn’t realize how much I’d missed him until we said goodbye on the corner of Irving Park and Damen. I could have stood there and stood there and stood there, wrapped in the arms of another chance at friendship with this man.

I’m grateful for my cold-front-frozen fingers on this keyboard, writing the beginning of what I hope is a lovely new story.

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20 Responses to “Rock 'n' roll.”

  1. d* Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I always have found it awkward to be friends with exes afterwards, but this sounds so much like my first major relationship–so much of it. I’m glad I’m not alone in my love idiocy! I look forward to hearing about this story develops!

    @lilnerdette

    • paigeworthy Says:

      You got it, lady. I can hardly even think of Don as an ex…we had such a short time together. But yeah, it IS awkward for the most part to be friends with exes. Oy.

  2. Sean Day Says:

    Wonderful. 

    I am also an idiot with love, and remained in contact with exes afterward, but it was never as wonderful as you described. The brevity of the original may have helped, but whatever the reason, I wish you many more delightfully un-awkward afternoons with Don.

  3. Mr. Apron Says:

    Ha– you said “Oy”.  That’s funny.  Also, I love reading your blog, and I hate that there is so little time to do it.  And, yeah– that’s what she said.

  4. Megan Campbell Says:

    Was The Knight seriously in 2010? My, how time flies.

  5. Holly Worthy Says:

    +1.

  6. Coachalpo Says:

    I think I understand what happened here – even if it is buried under the usual self-absorbed, narcissistic, insecure, extraneous drivel posted by this “writer.”  She dated a married man two years ago for two weeks, and he told her during that time that he loved her.  Meanwhile, she was hung up on some guy she pretentiously refers to as “The Knight.”  Yet, somehow, there was some sort of deep connection with the guy she dated for all of two weeks?  Right, that’s normal.  And all of this emotion and this blog entry about cupcakes and flowers out of the ashes of something that lasted for two weeks two years ago while both parties were still emotionally attached to other people?

    You’re reaching.  If you’re going to call yourself a “writer,” then write about something that doesn’t focus on yourself and all your insecurities. 

    Hope this helps.

    • paigeworthy Says:

      Hi, and welcome.
      How on earth could something so condescending and negative ever be considered helpful?
      It’s my LIFE.

      • Coachalpo Says:

         Had you read it carefully and comprehended it, you’d know.  Stop begging for attention and validation and write about something other than the extremely embellished “drama” of your life.  🙂

      • paigeworthy Says:

        This is my personal blog. I choose to write about (and embellish) my life, dramatic moments and all.
        You’re proof that I don’t have to beg for attention — stop coming here and validating me if you don’t like it.

      • Coachalpo Says:

         So you admit to embellishing the “drama?” 

        Oh, and liking negative attention and having the perception that it “validates” you is bizarre.  I’ll be sure to notify my cabal of haters to come pay you more attention.  You’ll just love that.

      • paigeworthy Says:

        I embellish everything — not in the Mike Daisey sense of the word, though.

        And yeah, any time someone is reading my writing, I am validated.

      • Coachalpo Says:

         Okay, what I’ve gleaned from that post is that any and all attention, no matter if it is positive or negative, is validating to you.  So, if a person comes on here and simply calls you names, that’s validation?

        Wow.  Just wow. 

        I will hope and assume that this bizarre point of view doesn’t carry over into real life. 

        Here’s a challenge: write something that doesn’t have to do with your personal vanity or attempt to gain compliments or validation. 

        Go.

        I’ll wait.

    • Alpo? This Dog Ain't Worth IT Says:

      Um because it’s her blog you MORON. Also, where is your blog? Oh thats right, you don’t have one because your insecure drivel is only reserved for those brave enough to genuinely put themselves out there. I know your kind. I know them all too well, and the fact that your typing in your mom’s basement right now thinking of smartass comments to ruin other people’s days is fucking hilarious to me. Do us all a favor and get a job asshole. Then you won’t have to get your rocks off to the hatred your brewing up from your comments. DICK.

      • Coachalpo Says:

         You know, angry one, I’d address everything you just typed out in your post point by point, but I just cannot bring myself to do so because you, moron, cannot type proper English.  Go back and pass fourth grade English, and I’ll get back to you.  Now, you have a nice day, moron!

      • Your still a dick... Says:

        I will, because at I’m not the one being a complete asshole on a blog for no reason at all. : )

      • Coachalpo Says:

         You’re obviously very angry.  I’ll cut you a deal, asshat.  Tone down your extreme anger and learn to type English, and then I’ll address the substance of your posts.  Until that time, you’re typing to yourself, moron. 🙂

      • I'll be nice if you will? Says:

        I’ll tone down my anger if you tone down being a complete asshole on every post here. If you aren’t going to be productive there is no reason for you to comment here.

      • Coachalpo Says:

         That’s actually a reasonable request.  I’ll think about it. 🙂

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