Chapter 36: “Fump”
“Once I ran to you.
Now I’ll run from you.”
– Soft Cell
Witnesses would tell me that I stood calmly and walked to the exit with a demeanor cool as a polar vortex. On the way out, I grabbed a slice of pizza plus one for the road. I evidently felt a broken heart was no excuse to go hungry, so a tip of the hat to my pragmatic nature.
Sadly, I was denied the dignity to walk away and had to take a mandatory ride back to Charles place where my car waited. Made sense, since I’m certain 95% of the participants were half in the bag. Right about then, I almost wished I was too. At least then I could have an excuse for my upcoming behavior.
Once dropped off I chose to spend some time sitting in my rusty Dodge coping with a complex banquet of emotions while listening to the car stereo with one broken speaker. Almost mockingly, Reo Speedwagon is telling me to take it on the run.
I was in disbelief how the night could have gone south so quickly. Although when you think about it, my plan was executed flawlessly. The only changed variable was that Dante pulled it off. Pretty sure he owes me royalties or something.
Dante, despite not being in my good books at that particular moment, was actually a desperately needed savior. I shudder to think what would have happened if he had not cut in and prevented me from making a catastrophically embarrassing mistake. Seriously my friend, I think of you with a sense of gratitude for saving me from myself that night. However, in the drivers seat of my car back in 1991, I wanted to burn you at the stake and piss on your ashes.
I wanted to drive home immediately, but was worried my 1.5 drinks would cause an issue if I got pulled over. So instead I chose to responsibly wait since I didn’t think there was any reason to hurry away. By now Celeste and Dante were probably busy choosing rings and booking the caterer.
Compounding the confusion was my spanking-new faith. Barely a month earlier Celeste was a key component in my newfound Christian walk. Now she had unknowingly placed my heart in a cooler and sent it off to the Chinese crime syndicate. I couldn’t make sense of it…she was a nice Christian girl and that meant she was supposed to like nice Christian guys. What I mistakenly meant was, she was supposed to like me. Heartbreak turned to adolescent anger. Anger at her. Anger at God for what I felt was a cruel joke.
It soon dawned on me that it might be a good idea to at least park further away lest anyone return and see me brooding. I was about to start the car, until I saw headlights pull up behind me. The complimentary car-service has delivered another party-goer. One person gets out.
It’s her. Ugh.
Ever see one of those half-wit sports reporters ask a player what he was thinking when he screwed up the play? The player’s response is usually a death-stare. In similar fashion, this girls timing really sucked.
“It’s locked. Can I come in?” Celeste is tapping on the passenger side window. I was in a state of confusion and honestly could have used a little space, thankyouverymuch.
But like that persistent reporter, she just keeps tapping away, hoping I’ll give the big interview. For a brief moment I imagine her stopping me on the way to the locker-room after a botched play.
“John, John! I just ripped the still beating heart out of your sunken chest like a Mayan shaman by making out with another guy! What are your thoughts?”
The microphone is stuck in my face and burning lights illuminate my dumbfounded mug. Millions of disappointed viewers wait to see what this unfortunate dope has to say before he’s kicked down to the farm team. “I, uh…I guess the other team gave 110% and I, uh…”
“So tell me John, any plans to further humiliate yourself?”
“The, um, other team just wanted it more and…110%…more pucks in the net…”
I snap from my daydream and she’s still there. I guess a sensible person would step up to the plate and talk this one over. For a brief moment I ponder the wisdom of unlocking the door.
While I ran through a myriad of possible scenarios, Celeste patiently kept tapping on the window of my rusty Dodge. Now, I could handle this like a mature man and speak words of kindness to a girl who was also very much confused. I mean, in all fairness to her, it was the clone of John Stamos. I could just accept the three-count life handed me and move on to greener pastures.
Or I could be a perfect ass.
There was certainly regret in her voice and the fact she was here shortly after I departed, showed she left Dante hanging in favor of seeking me out. Or maybe she drained his blood like the man-eating parasite she was and had a craving for seconds. Hard to tell with some women.
But again, I’m not bitter.
I took one last look at my goddess and it hit me like a ton of bricks. She was never my angel. Or anyone’s for that matter. Everything I had told myself about her was a lie, and I had very little time to process this revelation.
Kids, you can take a loss like a champ or a chump. As a hot-headed teen with a broken heart, I opted to place all my chips on chump. So when she wouldn’t leave, I deployed the nuclear option.
The exact word I used eludes me at the moment, but I think it was fuff? Frak? Fump? Yes, most assuredly it was fump. And for some reason I requested she take this fump concept and apply it to herself.
Welp…so much for that friendship.
Of course, if I was thinking with the big head for more than five seconds, it would have been easy to see that there was no way me and Celeste were ever going to fly. If I actually had gone ahead with my insane idea of making a pass at her on the dance floor, she would have recoiled in horror like I had a dick for a nose.
While it took me a little time to accept this reality because I hadn’t quite got the hang of not being stupid, it did indeed finally click about a year later when it mattered most. It was then that I realized it wasn’t a hot turd the universe handed me, but rather a life preserver.
But still… John friggin’ Stamos.