JOY part 42

The next day, still feeling like hell, I continued on my way to San Francisco. Normally, I would have let myself wallow in the misery that is me and just stayed in the Marriot for a few more days. But this was too important. I had to do this. I had to see Nancy. I had tried to call her and tell her I was in town earlier than I expected but there was no answer. Her and Josh were probably out hiking, or at the zoo, or having wild passionate sex on the kitchen floor…No, not Josh. Nothing passionate about that guy. Just “nice.” He was very “nice.”

You know the really sick thing? Well, I guess I’ve given you so many to chose from you don’t know which one I’m referring to. But anyway, the fact was, I rarely thought about Josh as part of Nancy & Josh. He was a separate thing. Complete and distinct from her. I had really never thought about her and Josh even having sex together until right then. And wasn’t feeling real happy I just had. It stressed me out and pissed me off. Which leads me back to the thing I wanted to point out. I feel like Nancy is cheating on me. How insane is that? Please explain.

Delusional…D..I..L…Why do you ask me that all the time? Yeah, I know you’re right. I know how odd it is to feel cheated on by a woman I have never even kissed. Yet alone, slept with. All because she’s having sex with her husband. I never said it made sense. But it was how I felt. I never used to feel that way. I used to have no problem hanging out with the two of them together. Well, that’s not quite true. Sometimes I just found the guy just so fucking dull it was painful. But nothing like this. This was nuts. Cheating on me. What the hell was my deal?

After fighting my way through some nasty traffic, I finally arrived in San Francisco. The hills were a bit of a problem. I was good with a stick (so to speak), but driving a manual in San Francisco is a bit daunting. If you’ve ever driven a manual, you know that when you have to stop on a hill you roll backwards. On a big hill you can roll backwards very quickly unless you get things just right with the timing. That feeling of going backwards used to give me nightmares. Literally. I would imagine I was in a car on a big hill trying to go. But instead, I rolled backwards down it, faster and faster, without being able to stop. What do you think that’s all about, Dr. Freud? Come on. You know you like to psychoanalyze me all the time. So, do tell. Anyway, as I was saying, this hill thing was a bit tough on my already jangled nerves. But I managed to get myself to The Clift Hotel.

The valet smiled as I stepped out and he climbed into the car. The Mini still had it. I walked in and tried to figure out where to check in. The Clift is a real old-time, grand hotel which had recently been remade into San Francisco’s hippist. A bit too much so, if you ask me. Lots of cool looking but highly uncomfortable chairs. However, it seemed like an experience worth having. So, I got myself a room with a nice view of the city. I thought about getting the penthouse, but realized that if Nancy came to visit, it would set off all sorts of alarms in her little head as to why I was spending so much money. Hence, the more or less standard room. A room that couldn’t be further from “standard” in the sense of the crappy chain motels I had been staying in, if you tried. I then grabbed a way-overpriced soda from the mini-bar and pulled the chair up to the window. I could see Coit Tower. It’s this slender tower some rich woman built at the Turn of the Century so she could watch fires. I think she also, supposedly, had a thing for Firemen. Wouldn’t surprise me. Everybody has their kinks and turn-ons. I wonder what Nancy’s were?

Not that I would ever find out. I really had to figure out what I was doing about this whole thing. I mean, am I really going to confess my undying love for her and try to woe her away from Josh? Not likely. Even if my love doesn’t die, I will. For all my determination to get here before even going to L.A., I had yet to figure out what the hell I was doing. I mean, I did want to thank her, as originally intended, but so much more seemed like it had to be resolved. Do I tell her? Do I tell her how much I think about her and how I really feel? I mean, I kind of did way, way back. In New York. At the bar that night. Man, that seems sooooo long ago. Before all this. Before The Grand Plan which really hadn’t turned out all that grand.

Well it did get me laid a lot. At least for a while. Remember Samantha? Dark haired with curves-that-could-kill, Sam? I was still so proud of myself for that one. If I could do that, pull off something that totally unlike me, maybe I had more options than I thought with Nancy. Maybe, I could convince her to have one night with me. One night of incredibly passionate, emotional, once-in-a-lifetime romance to express how I felt about her. Or maybe I should just leave town right now before I really did something stupid.

Aside from the fact I was worried about opening myself to rejection from her (which would kill me). There was the bigger question about what to do if she didn’t reject me. Let’s just say I somehow, by some miracle, get her to even kiss me. What would the ramifications be for her? How much guilt would she have to deal with every single time she looked at Josh? How delusional do I have to be to even be contemplating this shit? I need to go for a walk.

San Francisco really is a beautiful town. The hills, the water. It’s all just really nice. But it is not, repeat NOT, a city. It is an overgrown town on a peninsula. Why people that live here try to pretend it’s more than that totally escapes me. Or why they pay rents even higher than those in New York. I just don’t get it. But, it is a nice place. For a non-city with sky-high rents and a serious attitude problem.

I stroll down a giant hill and end up at some Italian place. I’m starving, so the food feels really good going down, even though my stomach is starting to do its usual thing after I eat too fast. For one terrifying moment, some middle-aged tourist chick tries to make small talk with me. I blow her off as curtly as I can. The last thing in the world I feel like dealing with right now is talking about the weather with some old, fat chick. She gets the message and bothers somebody else. As I’m having my coffee, I make a firm decision not to even call Nancy until I have a better idea of what I’m going to do. If anything. So firm, in fact, that not two hours later I’m back in my room and calling her to let her know I’m in town, still totally clueless about my plans and intentions.

She invites me over and insists that I stay with them at their place out in Oakland. I decline the offer to stay, telling her I’ve already checked in and paid for the room. But, if I end up staying longer, I might take her up on her offer. I guess it wasn’t a big deal being here earlier than I had originally told them. If it were me, I would have been a bit pissed off, but to them it really didn’t seem to matter one way or the other.

Anyway, she gives me detailed instructions how to get there and tells me she’s really looking forward to seeing me again. We’ll see about that one. She may be sorry she ever met me if I say some of the things I’ve been thinking about telling her. All of which leaves me feeling incredibly uneasy when I hang up. I have four hours to figure out how I’m going to play this.

Because I am such a kind and considerate person, I will not bore you with the details of the four hours between the phone call and now. Needless to say, it was a thorough exercise in circular reasoning and dead end thoughts. All of which left me more confused about what to do, or not do, than ever.


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