Saturday, Dec. 27, 2003 @ 11:39 pm
We're sitting in the Av drinking some mapley creamy microbrew. It's a weeknight but the pub is lightly packed and buzzing.
"Jack Johnson?" she asks, folding the wrapping paper into a pile, "Who's he?"
"You'll like it; I know you," I reply. I look at our reflection in the mirrored walls and I wonder when I will stop feeling like the sidekick. It has been like this so many times, with so many different friends. I become the mousey hanger-on, the good for a laugh, the quiet one. And hell, my nickname is Buckaroo.
I remember camping one year and there were three of us and two bikes. We wanted to go out to the store for candy. They made me jog beside them because I was the smallest.
I also remember the day they decided I was to be ousted. We were standing in a circle on the football field and one girl turns to me and says bluntly, "Why are you following us?"
I asked myself the same question and never followed them again.
"I'm disappointed that Dan isn't wanting to see me," I tell her. "I was calling him but I decided to test the situation and he hasn't called me in two weeks. He's the only dateable person I know. How do you do it, how do you push for something without pushing them away?"
"You should call him." It's her answer to everything.
Shaking my head I unwrap her gift to me. The Eiffel tower rattles onto the tabletop. "Ha! This was one souvenier I regretted not buying! Did you get this from one of those guys who are perpetually righting their towers?"
"I did. And you should call him."
"That's not what I want." It's not, it's not the way I want things to go. I'm not like that, I push just a little and then fade away hoping they will pursue. I refuse to cling.
Later, on the sidewalk, we stand together and the wind from the passing cars blows our hair and scarves up and around. Into the red and white traffic she proclaims, "I resolve to have fun this year."
I hug her and say quietly, "I resolve to find a job that doesn't require rubber boots."