I know you’re still reading. Mostly, because I got your text message. I didn’t think you would read anymore after December. But you do. I did 1 of the 2 things you asked me to do… I did delete your comment before too many people could read it (I think) but I somehow, accidentally read the comment a little. Is ‘oops’ still cute at 21?
I realize I kinda pulled the rug from underneath you there on Christmas. And I am sorry. I know I probably should have said something a long time ago…maybe before our first date, maybe before our first conversation. Maybe I shouldn’t have even taken your card so many months ago. But I did. And I’m glad I did. Sorta.
So I’m babbling and talking in circles, yes, which you have come to know means I am vastly uncomfortable. But I’m pushing myself through anyway-
By the way how upset am I gonna be if I have to work next Sunday? I can’t miss Grey’s Anatomy. Did you see that friggin’ cliffhanger?!? I know you were watching because you turned me on to the show. But COME ON THOSE IS GOOOOOD TV MOMENTS RIGHT THURR!!! Ha ha. Remember that?
Anyway, I digress. After we got off the phone last night, I heard the little chime my phone makes when a call is connected and I felt…sad. It made me think about the conversation we had about waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that the person you fell asleep with has left the bed. What did we call it? Detachment? I can’t remember. Sometimes that night felt like years ago. After you said that you might be moving, I panicked on the inside. Had I said everything I needed to say? Would I be ok if I never saw you again? There was a part of me that felt like I wanted to cry and I haven’t cried in months. I felt horrible because you said all this wonderful stuff to me on the phone and all I could muster past the extreme cotton mouth I was experiencing was, “Uh huh.” You didn’t deserve that at all. You deserved a thank you. Many thank yous in fact.
Thank you for truly being so “wonderful”. Thank you for letting me like you at my own pace, which, if I am to be honest, made me like you even more. Thank you for talking me to sleep last night even though I know that you had to get up early this morning. Thank you for knowing how I like my coffee and that I like sauteed shrimp but not fried shrimp. Thank you for putting up with my neurotic behavior and for even telling me that my random cleaning fits in the middle of the night were “cute”. (You’re a terrible liar by the way…) Thank you sending me flowers just because my day started out shitty…and some of my favorites nonetheless. Thank you for coming to my job, bringing me a smoothie and charming the hell out of my co-workers. Thank you for bringing me groceries when I was working way too hard and way too much and was way too busy to shop. Thank you for making me go to the doctor even when I swore I didn’t need to, for making me slow down and just be 21 for a change, if not younger. Thank you for laughing at my stupid jokes, for telling me I was beautiful even when I had a stomach virus, for sending me random text messages when you were thinking of me, for staying up with me nights I couldn’t sleep. Thank you for making me take my lazy ass to the gym and for driving all the way to Baltimore to a club just because it made the best sangria and had the best Salsa night. (I’m still a better dancer than you Hector!! haha) Thank you for bandaging my feet for me after I’d hurt them in dance class, for letting me watch Meet the Barkers when you wanted to watch ESPN. (You’re SO HOOKED now aren’t you… ADMIT IT.) Thank you for coming to see me perform even when I told you that you didn’t have to and for understanding when I just can’t talk to you because the Heat game is on. Thank you for listening to me complain when things were hard and never making me feel like I was being lazy, ungrateful or spoiled. Thank you for telling the RUDEST and MOST OBSCENE joke I have ever heard IN MY LIFE after I’d thought my friend’s dad had died. Thank you for letting me play with your puppy like it was my own, for letting me sleep in your bed while you crashed on the couch, for having deep and real conversation with me, for making me play Hide and Seek at 3am, for introducing me to your friends. Thank you for listening to me curse and yell in frustration for 2 hours after my mother left town and for even telling me that you think the fact that I curse worse than most sailors is “endearing”. Thank you for listening to my inane stories about Joy and I growing up no matter how small and pointless they must have seemed to you. Thank you for calling me Ashleigh because I offhandedly mentioned to you that I preferred my middle name to my first. Thank you for telling me that my impulsiveness wasn’t stupid it was “spontaneous”, that my emotional irrationality wasn’t crazy it was “passionate”, that my bullheadedness wasn’t negative, it was “self assuredness”, that my ambition wasn’t fueled by fear but rather was “brave”. (You sure you don’t wanna be my PR guy? Pay ya lots of money…) Thank you helping look for job openings and auditions when I was so scared of what was coming next. Thank you for listening to me constantly dissect things with my ex, for putting up with me when I tried to push you away, for making me laugh when I was certain I could never entertain the thought of laughter again, for trying to teach me how to throw a perfect spiral in the park. Thank you for letting me drive your car, for encouraging me to be me, for telling me stories about you. Thank you for midnight walks, for fried spam and cheese sandwiches (SOOOOOOOO KUNTRY) and for telling me that I don’t have too many pairs of shoes. Thank you for taking me to church just because I felt like I needed to go and for not judging me when I laugh at people. Oh and definitely thanks for letting me be Lola (LOL!!!). Thank you for being patient and for making me believe. Thank you for giving me faith and peace of mind.
Maybe those things seem trivial, but not when your entire frame of reference is fucked up. Not when your life feels like you’re holding it together with bubble gum and paper clips. Not when you’re realizing that you’re entirely distant from people and it’s mostly your fault. Not when your emotionally irrational and impulsive behavior has caused you to do some really stupid things. And not when it comes from you.
I guess I should have told you that. Anything, I guess, is better than “uh huh”. Anything is better than acting selfishly and childishly, operating under the pretense that I am alone in the world and that my decisions do not radically affect others. You have shown me that I’m not. So thank you for all that. And I’m sorry as well because maybe I should have never let any of those things transpire between us. Maybe that was selfish on my part too. I truly am sorry if all of this is too irreparably broken, even to salvage a great friendship, which I think we could have. And now, you may be leaving and I honestly don’t like the thought of you not being right down Seventh street. Maybe I took for granted that you always would be. Maybe I took for granted all of the things I should have been thanking you for all along, out of fear and mistrust. I asked you last night if you felt like I had used you. “Not at all, Ashleigh. I think I served a purpose,” you said. And I’m fairly certain that you did. I’m sorry if I didn’t see that before or if I took you for granted in anyway.
So let me make it up to you. How about I buy you a cup of coffee? There’s this great place in Dupont Circle. I went there once with a guy and we had to be kicked out because we’d stayed until long after they’d closed talking and giggling way past the limits of normality. I had a lot of fun with him. Anyway, it’s right on Connecticut, green awning. I hear they make the strongest coffee in the city, almost like they put crack in it. You know the place?