Out with the ole

"Holy Shit," was my reaction on the second of January waking up next to my ex-girlfriend. "Holy Shit," I said.

I had gone up to Seattle kind of on the fly. It was New Year's Day and I was with Tabitha, a girl from work I had been seeing, when Steve called and wanted to know I wanted to ride with him and Katie, his girlfriend, to Seattle. I did and called back fifteen minutes later and told him I'd go.

First, though, I was going to pick up a desk from Tabitha's. It was in Beaverton and we were going to use her dad's truck to bring it to my apartment in Portland. We went there, took her bedroom door off, brought the desk down some stairs, picked up her dad's truck, put the dek in the truck's bed and drove the 25 or so minutes to my place.

Steve, awaiting with Katie at my place for the last few hours, came down, helped me unload the desk. I said goodbye to Tabitha and we kissed for the last time.

See, my problem is that I'm an asshole.

On the way up to Seattle I asked Steve and Katie how I could break it off with this girl. I liked her, but there was no love connection. "That sounds real," Katie said. It was. It was how I felt.

Before we left I called Lacey and she didn't answer. I knew she was in Seattle. She flew in that morning from New Mexico, where she was visitng family for the holiday. I knew she'd be there, but she didn't answer. She called me back and I told her I'd call her when I got there, but that I wanted to see her. She agreed to this but seemed surprised.

Now, maybe it was the buzz from New Year's, but I was feeling pretty good about which surprised too.

After two stops. Kelso and Lacey, Wash. (no relation) we arrived in Seattle. We met up with Katie's friends from Arkansas. They were in the band Aqueduct (Pistols at Dawn), and were gracious.

I called Lacey and she had a friend drop her off. We hung out for a bit and she wanted to leave, go back to her place. So we did that.

At her apartment there was wine. There was sushi. There were stories, memories, tears. There were cigarettes. Then there was sex. Then more.

We spent nearly the entire next day, laughing, telling more stories, eating and being honest.

We decided love changed and that seemed to be OK.

I left there feeling good and hollow.

Because there was Tabitha.

I mentioned that I was an asshole.

I had to break up with her because if I didn't I'd be living a lie. It wasn't fair for her.

She wanted her desk back. Briefly, she did. She called. A couple of times. She called telling me she wanted it, then saying I could keep it. Then called to tell me she wanted her quarter-filled bottle of whiskey and that she was coming over to pick it up in a couple of hours.

And so I sit here. Writing on her old desk. And waiting for her to come pick up her whiskey.

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