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Sam Who?

October 18, 2012

Friday night. Festival Weekend.

“Downtown in 15 minutes”

I looked at the text from Sam. OK. What was I supposed to do with that? I was already at Downtown Alive with Liz. We were having fun and dancing.

We were standing next to each other talking to a friend and laughing when he walked up. He looked good, I’ll give him that. He sauntered up to us with arrogant confidence. He was expecting a certain response. He was wearing a tight shirt, jeans and the new boots he had smugly displayed on facebook.

“Oh, hey Sam,” I said. “Look, Pickle, It’s Sam.”

A polite hug followed and we kept talking and laughing with our friend. The band played their last song and Liz said, “Let’s get out of here before he asks us where we’re going.”

When Sam walked up to us it was the first time I had seen him in person since the awkward hug goodbye after the purple room experience. That was three months ago. Since then I had been nursing a terrible crush on him. I had dreaded seeing him. I was sure it was going to hurt no matter how it played out. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Ambivilance was all I could muster upon seeing him.

After that weekend months ago, we had continued to talk to each other every day. I got to know him better and I liked what I was getting to know, for a while. Then the layers started to peel away and there wasn’t much underneath except an arrogant, self-centered child who hasn’t even begun to heal from the pain and damage of his own destroyed marriage.

It started with little temper tantrums and hot button issues. “Don’t be such a baby,” I teased him once on the phone when he was being particularly whiney. “No offense, but don’t EVER say that to me again,” was his reply.

“That’s our boy,” Liz wrote in a group chat box after a typical-Sam response to something. Then we were subjected to a treatsie on the offensive racial overtones of the use of the word “boy.” This from a man who gave us our nicknames, Kitten and Pickle.

Over the course of a few weeks, the bloom was fading from the rose.

What once was welcomed attention became annoying melodrama.

One weekend we were all out, separately. Sam was in NOLA. I was on a date with a little French asshole who was studying in the US for a semester. We were having drinks when I got a text from Sam, “This crazy bald chic thinks I’m going to go home with her.” This sort of thing was typical of him. When he’s out drinking he’ll text one or all of us and start these little ongoing conversations. I usually find it charming and amusing. Sam will pour out lots of attention on you as long as he knows you will respond and engage. But it’s not about the recepient. It’s not about you. It’s about him. I took up the game and played along, “Well I’m having drinks with a French 22-year old. Top that mutha fucka!” I joked back. “And it’s not the one I thought it was.”

OK. Backstory. One night these two French students were hanging out and one of them said to me, “You could kill someone with those eyes.” I thought it was a bold and sexy thing to say and told him so. They both started talking to me and sort of collectively asked for my number. I gave them my e-mail address and one of them asked me out. Despite my best efforts to figure out which one it was, I was expecting the other one when I got to the bar. Hence the text to Sam, “It’s not the one I thought it was.”

Well, for some reason Sam took this as some kind of cry for help. He thought I needed to be rescued. Now, why I would tell him, in NOLA if I needed to be rescued from a date, I have no idea. He called me. He rarely calls. So I answered. We had both been drinking at this point. “Why are you calling me at midnight on a Thursday,” I asked. “Why are you answering the phone at midnight on a Thursday,” he replied.

He was in one of his “on” moods and being very silly. He asked to speak to Frenchie. I gave the phone to him. God only knows what he said, but Frenchie looked at the phone in confusion and I took it back. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” I said to Sam.

Then the wheels fell off and I started getting a rapid succession of texts. “I thought you needed to be rescued. Now I feel like an ass.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I replied. “It’s all good. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

“No it’s not ’cause I feel like an ass, ” he replied.

Then out of the blue he texted all of us, “I’m out. I quit. I don’t get the pack thing. I just don’t get it.”

The next morning I tried to get him to tell me what happened. I thought he was mad at me. “WTF, FYCM. What the hell happened?” I texted him.

He didn’t reply for days. This, from the guy who showered me with texts and links and facebook posts and two hour driving home phone conversations. No matter what I said to try to get him to talk to me, I got radio silence. At one point, I wrote, “Please call me. Your friendship is important to me.”

“Abdicated,” was his only response. (A reference to his nickname, King. See Splat Pack) Wow.

His reaction really hurt me. I didn’t think he was capable of shutting me off like that, so suddenly and for such a stupid reason. Who cares about the little 22-year old French asshole anyway? I never saw him again after that. No loss. But to lose what I thought was a strong friendship over it. Really?

Finally, several days later he messaged me. “You haven’t been posting much on facebook. You alright.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Just busy.”

He sent me a link to a scene from The Avengers. It’s the Bruce Banner, just before he turns into the Hulk. One of the characters says, “Now would be a good time for you to get angry.” Banner replies, “That’s my secret. I’m always angry.” Then he turns into the big green Hulk.

I know Sam well enough to know that this is his sad, childish way of trying to apologize for being an asshole. I ignored it. Later, he texted “On the causeway if you want to talk.” I took the bait. I called him. We made small talk. By then I was past being sad and hurt and felt angry and disappointed instead. Finally I asked him, “So, what was with that link? Are you trying to tell me something.”

“Yeah, that’s me.” he said, “I’m always angry.”

“And you just hope the people who care about you deal with it?” I asked.

“There’s no hope,” he said, “they either do or they don’t.”

Right. Well that pretty much sums Sam up. We’ve kept up some mild pretense of friendship, but it hasn’t been the same. That incident along with a few more ridiculously juvenile temper tantrums have cured me of what seemed like an incurable crush just weeks ago.

And then there was my trip to Mexico. lol My night with him made it so much easier to see Sam.

Liz and I left downtown, got somehting to eat, freshened up and went to the Blue Moon. It was Friday night. What a far cry that night was from that wonderful Friday night when Sam and I had first kissed.

I was sitting on the back bench, observing the dancing when Sam walked up onto the platform with Joseph. He looked over at me. “There she is,” he said to him as he looked over at me, the implication being that he had been looking for me. He didn’t come over and talk to me. Didn’t ask me to dance. After a minute, I got up, walked past him and stood on the dance floor until someone asked me to dance.

Later, I grabbed Sam to dance, my first of several attempts to allow an opening for at least a renewed friendship. He did his usual thing and I said, “Oh boy, here we go.” When the dance was over he said, “That was your best one yet!” Weeks ago I might have melted over such an intended compliment. That night I just looked at him and smirked and thought to myself, “What an arrogant prick you are.”

Later, he was with a friend and I walked up to say hello, “You two are playing muscial dance partners tonight,” he said. I had no idea what he was talking about except that Liz and I were not attached at the hip, we weren’t fawning over him and we were dancing with a lot of people. “What do you mean?” I asked.  He dodged and changed the subject and I walked away.

That was pretty much how the whole weekend went. A few words exchanged here and there and him left looking confused and disoriented. I think we really threw him for a loop. I think he was expecting to reclaim the throne, to find me still fawning over him and Liz eager to be in his company. What he got instead was two girls who barely gave him the time of day and avoided seeing him. The last time he saw us we were Kitten and Pickle, still insecure, still figuring things out and welcoming of his vivacious entertainment. He found us, a different Kitten and Pickle, confident, secure and changed, while he remained static.

He put it best, the people around him just deal with his bullshit or not. Well, guess what? Kitten and Pickle aren’t dealing with your bullshit anymore.

I feel sad at the loss of what I thought I had in his friendship but the truth is, it was never what I thought it was. He was never who I thought he was.

I haven’t had a single, personal communication with him since the weekend of blow-offs. And guess what? I’m fine with that.

Sam? Sam who?



From → Rantings

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