True Story©... The Burden of TMI

     Sometimes I ROYALLY fuck things up, despite beginning with the greatest of intentions…
One time back in, what, 2009-2010ish?  I posted a status on FB with the intentions of posting some of what came back to me here.  I never quite got the number of responses I wanted, so I never managed to get a post up and going.

     I am having a hard time locating that post, but basically it asked “if you could write a letter to your 13 year-old self, what would you say?”
Some responses were comical (“don’t go to work on [day] so that bitch won’t fire you…”), some were poignant (“kids are mean, don’t let those boys in 3rd grade damage you forever…”) and some seemed to miss the point altogether.

     One time, three years later, I went back to the email I received from one person and thought over it.
[Phlip note: I removed names to protect the guilty parties]

(apologies, I normally downsize images, but this one needs to be seen in full)


     Look, I’ve known dude since we were kids.  Naturally, since I happen to have come across more people than anyone who is the introvert that I happen to be should ever claim to.  Hell I know her quite well too.
[Phlip note: but not in a biblical sense…]
What do you do when you are a recipient of information that you were not expecting, feel some type of way about and can’t get out of your head but can’t talk to anyone about?  It is a bit of a burden until you can do something with or about it.

     That’s right!  You take advantage of your position as the only one who knows enough of both sides of the story to try to fix it!  He was in some fucked up relationships with a surprise kid to show for it.  She had been in one fucked up marriage following another relationship and had THREE kids.  They were both doing decently, all things considered but it was a bit sad that he felt that he could have fixed BOTH of their lives by shooting that shot.  No, like seriously.  I was losing sleep over this shit.  One of my homies had trusted me with some heavy information and I was only able to assume it was done in confidence so I couldn’t talk about it.  This was a Sisyphean task in and of itself.

     Oh, but bet your ass I could do something about it.

     My “do something” couldn’t involve time travel though.  First, Stewie Griffin is a fictional character so I don’t have ready access to a time machine.  Second, butterfly effect IS a real thing.  It’d be just my luck to travel back to 1990 and all of a sudden have to take a shit.  Next thing you know someone comes into the bathroom after me and catches some disease that my (then) 2013 immune system keeps from classifying as any kind of a real problem but in 1990 it HAPPENS to cause some kind of fucking outbreak and the world ceases to exist before I get back home to my family.
So yeah…  No time travel.

     Pretty recently back single at the time, I was free to go hang with who the fuck I wanted to, gender be-damned, when and where ever the fuck I felt like it as long as my daughter was not with me in non-kid-friendly spaces.
I checked with him and her each to make sure we could sync a good weekend night without our respective children to go hang downtown and grab a few fermented beverages at whatever bar was open with enough room for the three of us and as many friends as I could get to come along.  I did not tell him she was coming, nor did I tell her that he would be there.

Big mistake…

     I naturally get to the bar first because I am a bit more than ridiculous about punctuality.  The other friends invited were next because they’re fucking degenerates who never bothered to have kids.  The unnamed girl from the letter was next.  Last was my homeboy.  The “oh, I didn’t know you knew [name]” pleasantries went around the circle and conversation flowed pretty well.
Eventually, as the drinks came, the conversation got looser, louder and less metered.  He apparently saw the moment after I kind of drove the conversations to discussion of what we had been up to and what everyone’s status was, so as for him to know she was not seeing anyone at the moment.  He may not have caught the cue as on purpose, but he definitely picked up what I was putting down and spoke more to her.

     Then it happened…

He excuses himself to the bathroom. Sufficiently loose on whatever fruity drink she was drinking, she used his absence to start roasting his ass.

“Known that dude since like 6th or 7th grade.  He was weird as FUCK!  Used to, like, stare a lot and then look away when he thought he would get caught.  Never said a whole lot to anybody.  We thought he was retarded for the longest, but overall he was a pretty sweet guy.  Boring, but sweet...”

Well shit...
It seems that his defeatist-ass assessment of his friendzonededness was more observational than defeatist.  I thought I was doing a good deed for someone but with the amount of liquor we all had in us, this shit was not about to get any prettier.  She’s known him since middle school and ME since elementary.  I know her well enough to know that she might not have let up even while sober, and I have inside expertise on how humans behave inebriated.  She continued, he comes back to the table and everyone there is laughing but me.  I had this mortified look on my face when I saw him coming up from behind everyone else.  She had to have known just as he was arriving, but DID NOT LET UP even when he sat down trying to re-acclimate himself to the conversation so he could laugh with the rest of us (or... well, them).
She went deeper and deeper.  Everyone laughed louder and harder.

“Please don’t make a damn scene in here dude,” I thought as he stood up and went to find our waitress.  We had an arrangement when we sat down that everyone was paying for their own poison.  He had, on his extended bathroom trip, agreed with the waitress to pay for hers.  He finally successfully locates said waitress and has her fully split the check back up, except this time it wasn’t in secret.  He pays for his piece and tips the waitress handsomely for the inconvenience and breaks out soon after, leaving a fog of uncomfortable silence at the table.
Night over.

I felt like shit.  None of this would have happened had I not tried to fix a problem I felt I caused.  Fuck, I caused a new problem trying to fix it!
The next afternoon, I got a text though…

At least he could be pleased with closure and move on with his life?

From now on, I mind my own fucking business though.


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