“Thank You” for Gracing me with your Presence

It’s a Friday evening and I am headed to a bar that I frequent to meet a friend for a drink. At least that is what I am hoping will happen. She tends to flake a lot so if she doesn’t show up, I won’t be surprised. I haven’t seen her in a while, so it will be nice to finally catch up, even though that is probably going to be a conversation of her telling me how “crushing” her life is with teaching and her husband and by the time she gets around to listening to me, realizes she needs to get going. I do try to keep our friendship going, but after a while, it gets really tiring when I am the only one who seems to care about it and not take it for granted.

As it typical, Tori is already 20 minutes late. I had waited a bit to order and finally my apple martini arrives and just as it does, Tori comes bursting into the bar. I am so glad my drink has arrived as I have a feeling I am going to need it or at least have something to hold on to with my hands rather than some weird fidgeting thing that might occur when I am sort of being myself.

​“Hey Jai. I am so sorry I’m late. I had the worst day and headache to boot. I got home and had to lay down. Then, I remembered I was to meet you. I thought about canceling, but by then it was like 10 minutes before we were to meet, so here I am! How are you? I can’t believe it has been so long. Oh, waitress, can I have a sparkling water with lemon?”

“Hey Tori. Sorry you had a bad day.” Gee, I should be so lucky and honored that Tori would grace me with her presence. My name is Jordan, but all my really good friends call me Jai. Although, Tori is slowly working herself off the “good” friend list to the “just somebody I know” list.

​“So, what was the cause of the bad day”? Not that I really care since I have my own problems, but somehow I feel obliged to ask.

“Well, my principal is being such a pill. He doesn’t understand what a music teacher needs to build a decent instrumental program in a middle school. And I am not even talking about great, just DECENT. Then some of the 7th and 8th grade teachers are complaining about kids missing too much reading and math for ‘stupid music crap.’ Can’t these morons see that music is a necessity for learning?? Hell, if the kids spend time in music then they will improve in reading and math! Guess they missed all the studies about music helping in ‘core learning.’ Then I got home and our apartment was such a mess. Jesse had all his bass crap everywhere and then the people working on the kitchen were around as well. I love Jesse dearly, but sometimes his practicing can be irritating.” Tori said with as much drama as one could imagine.

Jesse is Tori’s husband. He is a free-lance string bass player. They met in graduate school at Indiana University. Tori had a history of dating bass players and they usually broke her heart. I had to listen to her heartache of this or that bass player way too many times to count. Or better, so many times, that if I wanted to write a book about it, I’d fill at least 5,000 pages with all her drama stories of dating string bass players All I can say is thank god she met a decent one finally. Anyway, at the end of undergrad and before Jesse, Tori had sworn off string bass players and that she was going to try to date a “sensible” guy, i.e. someone not a musician. However, that was not meant to be and she found Jesse and is now hitched to a string bass player for “life.”

“Doesn’t he have a big audition coming up?” I asked her since I would think that being a musician herself, she could understand having music and stuff spread out in your practice area. At least that is how we both behaved in undergrad as roommates with music scattered about the room in addition to our other stuff (i.e., other class work, clothes, etc.)

“Yeah, which means I need to cut him some slack, but I have been feeling neglected by him, if ya know what I mean. And it isn’t going to get any better. He flies out tomorrow and won’t be back until Wednesday. Which really stinks because Thursday I am off for contest preparations and helping with that next weekend. And I really hope he gets the position with the orchestra. It would be mean lots more money for us. Of course, I’d have to get certified in another state, but the area has fantastic schools with administration that cares about music. And Jesse could do jazz as well. Oh and he could teach private lessons and possibly indulge his inner rock star as well. He is soooo sexy when he plays. So what’s been going on with you”?

I am sure he is “soooo sexy” when he plays, if you like that sort of thing. Sometimes, she totally makes me ill waxing on about Jesse, but that might be due to my not having anyone of my own to wax on poetically about.

Yes, I am feeling queasy to my stomach listening to Tori go on and on about Jesse. Probably because I am jealous that I am not with someone I can go on and on about. Tori continued, “I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever.”

I wanted to scream at her that she hasn’t talked to me in forever, which might explain to her WHY she feels that way, but I didn’t say anything other than to answer her question. “Oh, lots of stuff has been going on. A big cases are going to trial in a few weeks unless magically the parties come to their sense; I finally fixed my hair color, finally got over an idiot and my apartment is almost back to normal.”

“Wow, what kind of stuff is the battle over this time? Sorry about the idiot. Did I know him or about him previously? What was wrong with your hair and apartment? Oh my gosh, I need to meet Jesse in fifteen minutes so give me the short short version of stuff. We’re stopping by to see his sister and her fiancé.”

“Ok. Hair, I was trying for a richer brown and somehow ended up with red, but now am back to the dark dark brown I was born with. My bathroom flooded and wrecked the living room, but all is ok. The case is a covenant not to compete with a real big wig, meaning when you leave our company, you can’t work for these people. And no you don’t know or know of the idiot.”

As I was giving my super short version of my life to Tori, Jesse walked in. So much for having 15 minutes to talk.

“Hey baby,” he said as he leaned over to kiss Tori. “Hey Jai, how’s it going”?

“Well, it looks like I have to run. I promise I will call you tomorrow and you can fill me in with details. And I WANT details, especially on the last thing,” said Tori as she and Jesse left. As they left, I just sat back, smiled and sipped my martini. I should be pissed, but all I could do was smile and laugh. Tori’s behavior just now was typical and classic. In fact, I could have written a script of it before she came to the bar and it would have been almost identical to what occurred except for Jesse coming and the reason for Tori’s abrupt departure.

Well, another Friday evening off to a fantastic start. I finished my martini and then gathered all my files (as if I will actually work this weekend – I hope to) so I could go home. But first, I need to stop by a favorite Italian restaurant by my home for dinner before going home to veg on the sofa and calling it a night so I can get up to go work out aggression in the morning. With the week I have coming up, I need to start getting aggressive quickly.

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