"Have a good time," I'd said when she left, "and call if you're going to be really late, will you?"
"I don't think I will be," she said as she kissed me goodbye. "I've got a lot of school-work to do tomorrow."
"Well ..." I pulled her back towards me and kissed her again, "feel free to wake me up in a good way, if you're in the mood."
She grinned and blew me a final kiss as she walked out the door.
Saturday night was quiet, but okay. I fucked around on the computer, mostly ignored the hockey game, and was tired enough that I was only a little disappointed when deweyintoronto called to say she'd fallen asleep on her couch and wouldn't be able to make it out for a beer.
I took to my own bed relatively early and slept reasonably well.
Morning, though, took my sang-froid and hurled it into the abyss.
The sun was up, but Laura wasn't in our bed.
I staggered up and inspected our quiet apartment.
Like twin demons struggling for their satanic majesty's approval, worry and jealousy battled for neurotic supremacy within my emo heart.
Come 11:00 AM, hungry and strung-out on a nearly full pot of coffee, I donned outdoor apparel and cycled off to the Cadillac Lounge, my laptop, newspaper and various reading matter strapped to my back. A little writing, I thought, is what I chiefly need: breakfast and Steamwhistle besides, are very good indeed -
But (and, Gentle Readers, I know you've already guessed the ending), it turned out that Steamwhistle was not the help I hoped it would be.
Breakfast, newspaper, and four pints, found me three hours later, in a foul, self-pitying mood.
I wobbled home and, though Laura had returned, it was with pointless grief I greeted her.
"Why didn't you call?" I whined.
"Where were you?" I implored.
"What did you do?" I implied.
(The drama, folks, was all in my own head. To stop possible gossip: she'd gone dancing, come back to a friend's and gone to sleep. There was no betrayal, no hanky-panky, only the small sin of having forgotten to call. And truth be told, jealousy had long since won the upper hand in my paranoic mind.)
We stayed up a while, and talked, then watched most of The Big Lebowski until I found I had to turn in, drunker than when I'd arrived, guilt-ridden and knowing this sort of behaviour is exactly what - sooner or later - will drive from me that which I love most in this world, if I can't change myself. Controlling my feelings isn't an option. I have to learn to trust her in my heart - and to act on that trust - or I am going to fuck up the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Why am I telling you all this - friends, strangers and aquaintances alike? Laura and I have talked it out, and yet I am still compelled to type it, too.
I suppose as a reminder, to myself, that I must become more aware, that I must stop letting things pile up inside me like a billion feathers in a pillow-case. My habit of bursting is no good to me, no good to her and - god knows - it is no good to us.
(Incidentally, as I type this, I am feeling much better, so no need for comforting notes. If any of you have pragmatic advice, on the other hand ...)