Last week I alluded to the possibility of giving up the chase. Settling my tab and calling it quits. Which is why on Tuesday night I sent a special someone a very simple text message:
“Hey do you want to get dinner tonight?”
“I’m looking at apartments, I can’t tonight.”
And that was it. That was the only conversation I had with my ex last week. What the fuck am I doing? Was she just drunk when she said she wanted to talk about “us”? Does outer space have an endpoint? What is the meaning of life? Was there a second shooter on the grassy knoll? These are all questions I don’t have the answer to.
I’ve become what I rag on and criticize constantly: the overbearing person in the fling, relationship, or whatever you want to call it. I’m sweating response times. I get that combination of nerves and excitement and I overanalyze text messages. She’s got her read receipts on, essentially rendering my read receipts worthless. I have no upper hand, and for the first time in quite some time I care about what happens next. But I had to put my best game face on when I left work last Thursday. I’ve made some very close friends in the year that I’ve spent in Chicago, and one of them was celebrating his 25th on this night. We had bought tickets to a Big Wild show about a month and a half ago, and although I was stressing about the text messages and lack of talking I had done with you-know-who, I made it a point to keep my phone in my pocket this night. Big Wild is one of those artists who you’ve heard at the bar or club before, but for whatever reason you’re never sure who the artist is making the song.
It didn’t matter. We assembled to celebrate the big two-five. The end of innocence, if you will.
I very much feel that 25 is a time for self-reflection. A time to evaluate what you want out of this life. And I’ll be crossing into that discovery period in a few months, but for now I’m soaking up every second I can as a person who can still tell people he’s in his early-20s. We started the night out with pizza. Like, a shit load of pizza. Some pub that claims they have award winning pizza like every other restaurant in Chicago. It was okay. Pizza is pizza. My crew of eight drank several Two Hearteds a piece and topped the pizza off with a round of margaritas.
As it happens, there was a guy by the name of Lukas Graham playing a show next door to where Big Wild was playing later on in the evening. With two hours to kill before Big Wild’s set was even supposed to begin, we wandered into the Lukas Graham show with zero expectations. He had a few hype songs, but for the most part it was really slow stuff that I couldn’t dance to so I wasn’t into it. “Drunk In The Morning” is a banger if you want to check him out. But the reason I’m boring you with this portion of my weekend is simple: I got very, very inebriated prior to the main event of the night. What else am I supposed to do when I’m standing at a bar listening to some Nordic bro with his shirt off (Lukas Graham) talk about his dead dog? I don’t need to hear that shit. So I drowned it out with well whiskey and ginger ale. And as 10:30 p.m. crept up on me, I had an overwhelming desire to look at my phone. I resisted, telling myself it was better to be in the moment with friends.
The rest of the night is a bit of a blur. I was on pace for a blackout, but a few waters in between the two shows afforded me the opportunity to merely brown out. Sure, I remember dancing with a hard 6 for the first couple songs of the Big Wild set. And yeah, I absolutely remember unsuccessfully clearing an area out around me so I could breakdance. The kicker, though, which I don’t really remember, was a text message. A message I had sent at some point during the second show, but which I am still struggling to recollect. I woke up in my bed with a body laying next to me. I had an idea of who it was, but I rolled over to my bedside table to be sure. Checking my phone, I saw two things immediately. One, a text message that read as follows: “Bridg, sup”
Second, a phone call from Bridgette some two minutes after sending that text message. It lasted two minutes total, and I now find myself in a familiar, albeit precarious position. Summer of Bridgette? More like summer of uncertainty..
Image via John Naffziger