We ended up staying and drinking at Scott and Amber’s apartment until 1AM. We had finished your bottle of Irish whiskey by then. And it was only Scott and I drinking it. So you can imagine how drunk we were as we stumbled out of the apartment and made our way downtown.
Scott and Amber live in Sty-town, so we had planned to go down to the East Village. (A good thing since you pretty much own Hell’s Kitchen. I have to avoid that part of town now. I can’t risk running into you. What if I did and you and your friends ignored me? Or even worse, I saw you making out with another guy? I can’t take those chances. Not yet. Not one day into our break-up.)
Our first stop was Boiler Room.
How can I describe Boiler Room that night to you? Well, for starters, I guess it was like all the other nights I had been there. Actually, with you was the first time I had ever gone. They have super cheap drinks ($4 for a bourbon coke! How ridiculously low is that?) and a nice amount of space. Though it’s dark and has a grungy, seedy kind of aesthetic. There isn’t really a dance floor and the guys tend to be on the younger side. (It’s really close to NYU, so I guess that explains it.) Despite the bar’s faults, I had high hopes.
When we got to Boiler Room, we met up with two of Scott’s friends. I had pressed him to invite them back when I was still with you. They both wanted to hook-up with Scott and I had wanted to exploit that, be a good wingman as the one taken guy in our group. But then your Friday night announcement threw off those plans. Now I didn’t want two extra people in our group, two guys who I had met a few times but didn’t really know all that well. I wanted to sulk with Jeremy and Scott as listeners, maybe even flirt with a cute guy if I saw one. But even that was pushing it for me. I’m sure I had the worst bitch face of my life last night. And you know how serious my bitch face can be.
No one came up to me the whole night. And then I had to watch these two extra guys flirting with Scott, and Scott ignoring them because he doesn’t have any interest in hooking up with either of them. I think I knew this before I pressured him to invite them. But I didn’t listen. He had wanted to hook-up with them at some point, so why couldn’t he just flip that switch back on and do it now? They had both clearly come that night thinking they were going home with him. If I were in their shoes that’s what I would have thought, at least.
Blessedly, Boiler Room is a blur. In fact, the whole night pretty much lives in this hazy fog of memory. Things I do remember: sitting on the pool table sipping my drink out of a tiny straw as I stared blankly out at everyone else in the bar, ignoring them all as I thought about you and how devastated I was; the super awkward attempts at conversation between Scott and each of the boys he’d invited; how I was jealous of Scott for getting so much attention from these guys and mad at him for not doing anything with it; thinking that there wasn’t a single good looking guy at the bar who I’d want to talk to even if I weren’t nursing a freshly broken heart.
Then we left Boiler Room and headed a few blocks around the corner to another bar called Eastern Bloc. (A bar that I’ve been to before but never with you, oddly enough. The last time I was there was for a boys’ night out when you were on vacation. I accidentally ended up giving my number to a guy that night and then promptly ignored and deleted his message when he texted me later. It isn’t even what you’d think. He was unattractive and I was trying to give him a confidence boost by talking to him. He came up to me first and gave me a sad, puppy dog kind of look. Apparently he’d noticed me earlier in the night and had wanted to say something but hadn’t worked up the courage. How could I shut him down when he approached me? I can be a nice guy sometimes. But then he asked for my number and I panicked and gave it to him. Not responding to his text probably did more harm than my Good Samaritan talking to him. Oh well. That’s life sometimes.)
Again, Eastern Bloc was a complete blur. Even blurrier than Boiler Room. I didn’t even bother getting a drink. They do have a dance floor there, though, and I tried to get into the music. But I couldn’t. I’d find myself shutting my eyes and bouncing around a little, attempting to forget myself and just go with the music. But each time my eyes closed it worked in the opposite way. It focused my thoughts, drowning out the swaying, shadowy figures and throbbing lights of the bar so that all I could think about was you.
And then I’d snap open my eyes and it’d only depress me more. A sea of guys surrounded me, and I didn’t find a single one of them attractive. I don’t know if it was just an off night or if in my fragile state I couldn’t recognize good looks anywhere. I certainly didn’t feel attractive. And it’s probably for the best that I not throw myself at some new guy. I still need to process this break-up. And I’m not the type of person who finds comfort in a random stranger’s arms.
About this time, I felt completely overwhelmed by the whole night. By being apart from you (forever, most likely), by being stuck in a dark and claustrophobic bar where I was overheating, by expecting that I could let loose and have fun just one night after you broke up with me and my world tilted on its axis.
I felt tears prickling at the corners of my eyes and I looked at Scott and told him I had to get out of there. (It turned out he wanted to get out of there, too. But for different reasons.)
Scott walked with me outside and we found a stoop for me to sit on. That’s when my tears started to flow. (I’m so good. I’ve only cried once or twice since you ended things. I’m usually very strong and stoic. I always joked that while you’d use botox to get rid of your wrinkles, I just use stoicism to prevent them now. It’s true. I’m not a very emotional person.)
By this time, Jeremy as well as Scott’s two friends had followed us out. It was 3AM already. I knew it was time for me to go home to bed. And Scott was more than happy to take me there. I said goodbye to Jeremy and the other two guys, apologizing for ruining their nights, and Scott and I hopped in a cab.
Though it was funny because Scott didn’t stay in the cab. He rode with me up a whole block and then jumped out. He had wanted to ditch the other two guys. I guess he really didn’t want to hook up with either of them that night.
I continued on in the cab, half wondering where Scott had bolted off to, half thinking about what you were up to. I’m sure you were out as well, having the time of your life, meeting guys and laughing it up with your friends. While pathetic me couldn’t even get through an evening without breaking down, ending the night an emotional wreck an hour before closing time. My imagination is very pessimistic right now.
I hadn’t spoken to a single guy all night. And this, more than anything else, depressed me. In my drunken stupor I wondered if I’d ever get my single legs back. I used to be so good at this going-out-to-bars thing. I’d even go by myself sometimes. I don’t look forward to starting over from scratch. Not if it’s going to be this hard every night.