(This poem is relevant to the story)
This story begins with my journey to my friend's place, he is ample to the story so let's call him Armchair. On my way to his apartment I have a momentary flash, not a visual thing but more so like an emotional flow over my body. I ignored it, as I do most of my moments of random intuitions, and turned the left into his complex's parking lot.
My friend is a Reiki Master, which means he gets paid to speak wise words and massage people in specifically coordinated ways. Armchair has an amazing mediator attitude towards living, one which I envy since I would enjoy regarding myself as a 'middlist'. But, this story isn't about Armchair, it is about the night I experienced with him....
Upon entering the apartment, we have some whiskey and a few packs of the bowl. There is Laurie and Lips, as usual, hanging out at the apartment. Everyone pretty much sitting around the table and listening to music. Armchair does his dishes while we begin to talk:
"So, tonight I am going to present poetry at this open mic night! Kind of excited and fucking afraid at the same time, I cannot get up there sober; let's drink!" Talking loudly, as I handed Armchair a drink with his soapy hands. "You'll be fine man" He takes a sip "what is your poem about?" "Well, it's called either/or - brother vs lover paradoxes. The conflict of the poem is what is the moral situation concerning a man's interest in a woman who is not available" half way smiling as I take another chug of my drink. "That sounds really cool man, so like..." (door rings) "...oh you mind buzzing them in?"
As I buzz the door, a new conversation instantly came up with Laurie and Lips, involving Armchair (whatever, we'll talk later). Then two more people come in, Jose and Orlando. Orlando was performing later that night also, an acoustic set with lyrics. The light bulb in my head turned on! "Hey Orlando, you think you can do a jazz guitar while I do some poetry? Make a little def jam?" "Let's try it" he said in an accepting and calm voice - like the black bartender from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
We begin... and it's fucking solid! Let me tell you! As someone who never raps or claims to be musically talented, it sounded awesome. I stop reading half way through.
"Dude, we so have to perform together! Did you like it?" "Yeah" he said softly again "I liked it, we should do it." My excitement and fear got all the more high, but at least this way I am not the only one up there!
We all keep having a few drinks, smoke a little Buddha, as the bar hour is slowly creeping up. "You know Armchair" spoken as we are getting ready to leave "We have something very important in common, we both want to find women who are into the nerdy shit we are into - like spirituality, religious talk or philosophy." "Yeah but there is a fundamental difference, you can't wait for her to come to you and I just came to accept that I have no choice but to just wait" spoken as he smiled at me, as if this discussion is settled... "You always have a choice my friend, but while I wait for Miss Right, I will happily file through a bunch of Wrongs. You do indeed have more patience though, saint worthy, although you should be getting out there and slaying women!"
At this point the alcohol takes heavier affect and the next thing I know I am in the backseat of Armchair's car heading to the bar. Talking about how we shouldn't talk about relationships with Laurie present, because the possibility of talking about titties and asses to the point of materialization is plausible. As I went in and out of consciousness, we arrived and the cold air sobered me up a tad.
"MARTIN!" I scream as I see our good-good friend.
Martin is an accomplished young writer, who like myself, discusses topics involving psychology and philosophy as being mutual practices, or at least should be regarded as such. Tall, long hair, looks like a viking, and huge smile. Martin, if we weren't friends, would be huge rivals, as we both want to figure out the same shit within academic realms.
"What's up man?" Martin screams over the music "drunk! and ready! when is my set?" "Uh, I don't know man. Go ask Macy" As I stumble away from Martin I find myself looking at someone, I rather not be looking at for a hand full of reasons....
The primary concern of this certain somebody's existence being bothersome.. she is some of the inspiration for my poem. The secondary concern she brought with her is her new fiance. I know she read the poem because I sent it to her and she believed it was me trying to make advances, when it was me... You know I don't know 'why' I sent it, but I think it was because the experience had given me a very refined creative outlet. No matter, what happened, happened, and what was happening, was happening.
"Martin, what the fuck is she doing here?" "I invited her" "Dude, I told you the background behind her and I during that awkward moment us three shared at school." I said wanting to slam my drink into his large skull. "So what man?" "I am presenting the poem I wrote and sent her man!" "Oh... You can't do that poem then, it will make her uncomfortable." he said now realizing he is a partial cocksucker."Dude, I want to do this poem, it's nice and it is my main thing" "Write something now" ... a good solid 2 second pause... "Get me pen and paper..." "Haha awesome, alright" said Martin
I begin just spewing out words... I thought consonant-based poems are the easiest...
After I pulled 5 or 6 people away from their conversations with others to keep the juices flowing... The result was this short poem which would of been read as slowly as humanly possible:
At this point, just nervous as shit, very little excitement left. I get another drink, and sit front row to watch my buddy Orlando spit red hot fire. Then, the fiance decide to sit next to me and have a chat.
The entire conversation was long winded... But, scary, as at any point a drunken (did I mention Air Force?) guy could start a bar fight with me... These are my friends around me, I would feel awful having brought my issues to everyone's attention.
"You're Nick, right?" "How do I know you know that already?" "I'm Bez, Chrissy fiance" "I know who you are, or else you probably wouldn't be sitting next to me right now, but please this is an environment of my friends, keep it civil" I said thinking if we did fight Martin would feel like a giant asshole for not notifying me of Chrissy's appearance. "I would like to think I am a rational man, but I am interested in the nature of the poem you wrote" he folded his hands. "I appreciate and thank you for talking with words, first off, and second that poem may have been inspired by my love for your fiance, but that is history. Remember the part where 'what about him? He must be a nice guy!' well, I know how it feels to be you, sitting there wanting to harm the guy who is possibly trying to get with my girl, I am sure it is tough for you." spoken on one breath of air. "It's actually that part, where I felt like it was me." as he stared into my eyes, I can tell it was entirely sincere. "Then I did a better job writing than I thought, because that feeling is going to be felt by a lot of guys, everywhere" staring back at him, emotions cooling down at this point. I open my mouth before him to say "did you like the poem at least? Now understanding the artsy value?" "No, I liked the poem, it was good and part of the reason why I guess I am a little worried about you" he said something like that, if not directly with subtly. "You are with an intelligent girl, one who I would have never fallen in love with if she was not THAT amazing. I could even wager to say, maybe she holds back with you at times because she loves you and does not want you to feel dumb or insecure about a certain topic. Again, she is brilliant." "I know, and I love her" he was looking more sad than angry. "You better love her, or a guy like me will sweep her off her feet, and maybe you should do something to stay ahead of her, read more about philosophy, science or whatever. Expand your knowledge dude, she is a genius. And no offense but maybe you aren't the academic like she or I am, but that's no big deal, that's not what is important. The important thing is to be moral. And, now that I met you, not that I would of, have less reason to be immoral against you, because again, I been you and that hurts more than anything" now we both look like normal people talking "So, you are saying I need to stay ahead of her a little?" "Essentially... Yes, she is amazing, and brilliant. Don't be afraid of someone like me, learn from me, be better, I am not special, you are not special, never stop improving! But, you shouldn't tell her I said all of this. Because like 'planting seeds' I may have already planted one, it's there. Use it, feed it, work with it... because as soon as you try to step on it, she may think about the value of what was lost. Not even ME per say but someone like me" at this point Martin tells me I am about to go on... which I could not be more grateful for... Chrissy walks by and I gesture to sit and walk away...
A few moments I turned around, she seemed down but later she would be fine...
Another few moments later, Laurie tells me I am not performing... What a fucking relief! Boy was I nervous to go on with a half ass'd poem.
But, then I remembered about the girl who currently had my heart.... I text'd her and told her to call me (not knowing what she was doing or where she was), she did...
The history behind our relationship goes as follows: I fucked up, twice.
I cried outside that bar for 15 minutes, not the first time for this particular girl, and begged her for the third chance... Her reason for rejection would be fear of me messing up a third time... I asked her if she still loved me she said "yeah, but doesn't mean anything."
In tears and broken voice: WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING TO ME THEN?!!? STOP IT! YOU ONLY ARE HURTING ME BY REMINDING ME OF WHAT I DO NOT HAVE ....
"Good bye Nick..." I deleted her number and text messages....
I still love her, but eventually it will be no different than the love I have for Chrissy. The love will always be there, but instead of dreading I will focus the energy else where (like writing!).
The night was almost over...
Armchair and I had a cigarette, my eyes still red, the bar owner saw and asked if I needed anything.
At first I said no, and he continued to offer. I walked inside, and after a few minutes and thought 'he owns the bar!'. "After all, a rum and coke would be nice man..." he waved to the waitress to get me a drink and continued to offer anything else he could... I laughed and said "a job!"
Armchair, at this point, is completely ignorant of the many events which will take place, but would somehow be able to give sagely advice in his drunken state of mind: "You know Nick...