On a Saturday night in my somewhat recent past, I was out in the city with a bunch of my friends. We had a great night, drinking and dancing. By the time we were done and I was sitting in my car ready to drive home, it was almost 4 in the morning. I should have gone straight home. But instead I decided that it was time for me to take a ride to my former favorite bar in New York City and confront…the Bouncer.
This was not a spur of the moment decision. Even though I was really hurt and confused after the Bouncer disappeared back in December, I had gotten to the point where I no longer thought about him. But then a few things happened that reminded me of him, and for the past month he’d been back in my thoughts. Not in an “I miss him” way, but in a “What the fuck??” way.
It was annoying. I knew that the only way I was going to be able to completely move on from the Bouncer was to confront him. I had been tempted to do it a few weeks earlier, but that night I had managed to convince myself to go straight home.
Not this time. I figured that by the time I got there he would just be finishing work. So I drove there, parked across the street, and waited. It ended up being over a half hour before he came out. When I saw him emerge with a large group of his coworkers I felt my adrenaline start pumping. It was crazy. He split from the group and started walking alone to his car.
“Am I really going to do this?” I asked myself. “Yes, now go.” I got out of the car, crossed the avenue, and followed him for a half a block before calling out “Bouncer.” I was like a ninja, stealthy and quiet. (He told me later that I actually scared him when I called out his name.) He turned around, and when he saw me the shock on his face quickly turned to an uncomfortable smile.
“Hey girl, how are you?” he asked me.
Bizarrely, I hadn’t planned out what I would say when I finally saw him.
“I, uh, I’m fine, thanks. I just wanted to know, like, um, so why didn’t you ever call me?”
I don’t remember exactly what he said in response. I think he apologized, then said that he’s a bit of an asshole, plus he felt like a dick using the pay phones all the time, plus with all his drama he didn’t want to get attached to anyone. It didn’t seem like he was trying to makes excuses; he was just saying it how it was. Then he said, “I finally got a phone like two weeks ago. I had thought about texting you, but I figured you’d probably just curse me out. Here, give me your number again.” I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know.” He said, “Come on give it to me…it’s 347-123-4567, right?” He was one or two numbers off, so I corrected him.
He said, “So what took you so long to come back to the bar? Why didn’t you come inside tonight?” I said, “Are you kidding me? I was NEVER going to go back there.” He said, “But I thought you said it was your favorite bar?” I said, “It was, and you totally ruined it for me. I didn’t want to see you. But I don’t know, tonight I felt compelled to come see you.” He asked me why, and I said, “I guess I needed some closure.”
Then I laughed and said, “Yeah, I needed some closure…so I came and stalked you!” I described the night’s events, from deciding that tonight was the night I was going to confront him, to circling the block where he worked to find a parking spot with a good view of the bar, to seeing him come outside and hoping that he would split from his coworkers so I could confront him. He said, “That’s kind of awesome, to be honest.”
Meanwhile I was standing there in a light jacket, and it was FREEZING. As the adrenaline left my body I realized how cold I was, and my entire body started violently shaking from shivering. It was kind of ridiculous, actually. He said, “Let me drive you back to your car.” At that point we were about two blocks from where I had parked. I hesitated (but not really), and then we went to his car. We sat in his car and talked for about 20 minutes, and then he drove to my car, double parked, and we talked for almost another hour, about pretty “deep” stuff. We made out a tiny bit towards the end.
When I woke up the next morning (which was only two hours after I got home), I couldn’t believe that I had actually gone back to the bar and confronted him. That is SOOO not me! Even if I’m completely obsessed with a guy, I will never give him the satisfaction of knowing it. But I was glad that I did it. Otherwise I would have thought about doing it every single time I came into the city this summer.
He texted me later that afternoon, and we went back and forth for a few hours. At around 7:30 my phone rang, and I was surprised and pleased to see his name come up on my caller id.
But when I answered the phone, it was a woman. “Hello, is this Roni?” she asked. “It’s Rory. Who is this?” She said, “This is Gina, the Bouncer’s wife.”
To be continued…