Who gets the dog isn’t the typical question you ask a friend unless you are a divorce attorney and even then, I doubt it is a starting point for discussion.
But then again the first words you hear from another man aren’t things like “she called me her soulmate and the love of her life..”
I told him to put down the bottle and take a breath.
“What am I supposed to do?”
“You could get a bunch of friends together, rent out a big hall and sell tickets to your rendition of The Full Monty or try to redo that final scene at Rydell High. Pick a good Sandy to sing ‘You’re the One That I Want.”
I heard a chuckle followed by a long swig of whatever it was he was drinking.
“I made a list of reasons why she is no good for me alongside reasons why she is an idiot for not being with me.”
This time I chuckled.
“Women love being told to relax and hearing why they are stupid. May I suggest you enhance the message by sending it via singing telegram or barbershop quartet.”
He surprised me by suggesting he egg her house.”
“Now you sound like the asshole who went to high school with us. That is a good way to waste some perfectly good chicken embryos on some chick.”
“She wasn’t some chick to me and I wasn’t some rooster to her.”
I thought he was going to say something else and waited but all I got was silence.
“If you egg her house she might call you a rooster but she’ll use the four letter word and it won’t be the way you want it to be.
I waited for a response but instead of words I heard the not so soft snoring of a drunk man.
“Brother, if you snored like that when you lived with her I have to imagine you woke up alone more than once.
About Days Gone By
A few days passed and the phone rang again.
“I may still be hung over, but I am certainly not drunk anymore.”
“That is good, some of us may want to buy some booze someday and we can’t have you sucking it all down at once.”
We engaged in more of the traditional silly male banter before we got into the personal stuff.
“I remember when you were on the other side of this and you were all torn up over that girl.
But I don’t remember you using the singing telegram or barbershop quartet. It is not so funny when you are on the other side, is it.”
I didn’t answer, not because I had nothing to say but because he was clearly angry and I saw no upside in saying anything because I didn’t think he would hear me.
“C’mon, funny man, cat got your tongue. No smart remarks.”
“Be angry with her, not with me. Not interested in listening to you yell at me because she pissed you off.”
“I am serious. I seem to remember you being torn up, where were the funny remarks then.”
“Clearly you don’t remember my wanting to hire the Irish Tenors to go sing Danny Boy while holding a picture of me in a coffin.”
This time the silence was on his end.
“Dude, you are sick and twisted. You didn’t really want to do that did you?”
I laughed and told him I had just thought of it on the spot.
“I won’t say I never said or did anything stupid because I am sure I did.
What I remember is telling her she’d regret seeing me married to someone else.”
“And then what happened?”
“I think we both got nasty. She said I was a mistake and I said I was happy to be another notch on her belt or something like that.”
He asked me if I could sum it up in a few words and I said Norwegian Wood.
“Like the Beatles song, ‘I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.’ Or something like that.”
“Dude, I can’t decide whether you are really deep or full of shit.”
I laughed and told him to get in line.
“I am just one of those people, some get me and some don’t. Sometimes it is easier being single. I don’t worry about what I say, if I am too intense, too quiet, too verbose or too anything.
I just live my life.”
Do You Think She Still Loves Me?
“Maybe your way is better but I am not ready to find out. Do you think she still loves me?”
I didn’t think he was asking a question so I didn’t respond.
“Hey, are you still there? I asked a question.”
“I am here and I have no idea how to answer it. She might still love you and she might not. You need to ask her.”
“I did and she didn’t respond. I told her silence is acceptance.”
“Don’t paint her into a corner and don’t paint yourself into one. She might still love you and refuse to accept or admit it for a million different reasons. She might not and refuse to say so because she doesn’t want to hurt you.
The best thing you can do is accept her silence at face value and move on. Life is short.”
“J, I don’t know when you got to be such a hardass. What happened to the eternal optimist?”
“Life happened. If you get punched in the mouth enough times sooner or later you decide you are done getting beat on. Got better things to do than ask for a kick-in-the-ass.”
“I guess I understand why you are single now.”
“It is all by choice. You either make one or it is made for you. This is me today, tomorrow may be different. It is all by choice.”