Just the Way I Quit Smoking Part IV of Several
Mr Wonderful sported a half-sleeve tattoo, a work in progress, of characters from the childrens' book Where the Wild Things Are, which was important to him. Something metaphoric about the darkness. He named his cat Max.
I believe it was that Friday after Superbowl -- he took the day off to have work done on it. Then he delayed our time meeting up, saying he needed to hang with a friend who he kept putting off.
I came over at my Newly Assigned Time, and he explained how he'd stopped at a Nearby Sportsbar and showed some of the bartenders the work he'd had done.
"My friends, Amber and Sarah, They both love the tat. I'm something of a local celebrity at Nearby Sportbar, apparently. Oh, and they both asked about meeting you."
See, here's the thing about Other Women. There was always someone.
1) Papardelle Pasta Lady. Explained. Written off.
2)The Facebook Commenter. Her name was Haley or something. Once, off the cuff, Mr. Wonderful was showing me some funny comments on a post he'd written, (i.e. Look at Me I Get Attention) and this gal Haley's comment stood out like a sore thumb. I can't remember the details, but the innuendo was obvious. I didn't ask questions, didn't say a word.
"My cousin is so weird." He told me this with a bit of an eye-roll. (More on that later. Not his cousin.)
3) The Crazy ExGirlfriend ("If she ever tries to contact you, to tell you anything bad about me PLEASE just talk to me first. I've tried to block her from all my social media, but no matter what I do she seems to find me and interfere in everything good I've ever had since.")
4) The Aforementioned Sportsbar Staff. We drove past The Sportsbar late that Friday night, and Mr. Wonderful had to mention, "Oh, Sarah's car's still there. She probably had to get a ride again. She's young, but just such a hot mess."
At this point, I was swimming in names of his alleged friends. I don't even think I felt like I was storing in the information, but I asked for her last name. He told me - let's say it was was Krewson. And he went on, "Once, she and I kind of had a very short-lived thing. She was so wild, too wild for me! Wanted to have a threesome and the whole thing."
Hrumph. It occurs to me that this has to be the same Sarah of the Sarah and Amber who he went to hang with before meeting me. Was I just being jealous? Was there even really a friend who he needed to meet, or did he just go up to the bar to show those girls his arm? On one hand, he's being honest about his past, the best I can tell. On the other, why does he overshare? Some small seed of doubt is sprouting in my belly, and it's giving me a stomachache.
Yet, there's all the good. The way he looks at me. The inside jokes. The poems we both compose and email back and forth to one another.
We decide not to "do" anything for VDay, but he offered to cook for me -- my choice -- so we went to Whole Foods together for Grass Fed Hamburger and delicious tater tots.
We weren't supposed to exchange gifts, but I couldn't resist. I'd taken a picture of Stella reading The Book, posed so the Cover Art showed just right, knowing it would be meaningful to him. And it meant something to me, too. I never even posted the picture on social media. It was just for us.
And I printed pictures from our texts and stanzas of our emailed poems, and made a cool collage. And I wrote him a poem, filled with our inside jokes and ending with the line, "Dammit, I'm falling in love."
He opened it. Said he felt the same way. All This Giftiness reminded him of the way his sister in St. Louis and her husband treated one another, and they had a Really Good Thing Going.
He cooked for me. We talked about our plans for the next day - he was coming with me - with Stella, with my parents! - to meet my sister. An hour long drive, to her small town right outside of Lexington.
The next morning, he canceled. He couldn't go - he was sick again.
The next day was a Sunday, and he asked me to come over. There were flowers for me on his bedroom dresser. Belated V-Day flowers? "I'm Sorry" flowers?
I couldn't tell.