The bartender told me, despite my name, I could not get free drinks 'cause part of their gimmick was you needed to bring friends. Did she think I wanted it this way? She was pretty bitchy, too. I didn't argue, but because I felt like it, I lowered her tip. I took out Dorothy Parker's Complete Book of Poems and read and sipped my vodka as the night filled with more people and I heard twenty girls with my name squeal because they were receiving free drinks.
Hello, I've waited here for you... "Everlong" came on the jukebox. ...Come down and waste away with me... ..good song.. ..Slow how you wanted it to be. I'm over my head. Out of her head, she sang...
I am laying in my freshman dorm room staring at my ceiling, where I pressed bottle caps into the shape of a star. It's 2 a.m. and all my roommates were at a Yonkers bar. There is a boy on the twin bed with me. A blonde, blue-eyed boy. We've been dating for a month but I am not sure if I really like him 'like that' because he is kind of a punk, kind of a nerd and does not drink or party with the same crowd as me. I am bored with the star so turning slightly, I rest my head on the boy's shoulder and my arm flops across his chest; it raises with his breathing which is uneven -- like he's nervous -- and then I heard something beautiful.
...And I wonder, when I sing along with you... he began singing, softly but on key. It was not showy, more like a whisper. It was beautiful and honest. It was a boy singing to a girl he knew could not sleep. ...If anything could ever feel this real forever. If anything could ever be this good again...
Holy shit, I am crying-- at the bar! How long has this been going on for? Did anybody see me? I grab the ledge and clumsily push my chair out. I grab a napkin, cover my drink, and place my book on the seat. There are more people in the bar than before. I stumble to the hallway and realize I don't know where the bathroom is. I end up in another room, frantic someone will see the tears on my face despite how dark it is.
I run into a stall, slam the door and start sobbing. ...Breathe out so I can breath you in, Hold you in... Will anyone love me like he did? At that moment, in my freshman dorm, I knew this boy would be a major part of my life. It was before the sex, before things got complicated. We were only eighteen then.
We dated for three years before I broke up with him. I know I hurt him. It makes sense that my punishment is always wondering if anyone will love me like he did. If anyone will sing, "Everlong," after knowing me for a month and mean it.
I leave the stall with a blotchy face and Rudolph-looking nose. The bar was so dark and busy no one noticed.