Swingers

brick
My water cup, and Natalie’s water cup.

 

I have never been so grateful to work in a bar. This, particular bar. They really are like a family to me.

I come into work the night after being rejected by the boy. And I just feel shitty. I’ve felt sorry for myself all day and I’m so fucking annoyed with myself but that’s just the way it is. I’m giving myself one day to be sad, and then I’m moving on (sure).

I’m terrible at hiding my feelings, so when Leo (my manager, a complete dick from the first time I met him – which was two weeks after I started and he acted like he never saw me before and was offended that I was standing so close to him – who talks to you like a child and thinks everyone around him is completely incapable of normal, human tasks…but is also usually always right in whatever he gets annoyed with and respects you if you act professional enough, and he’s so quick fucking witted that it’s hard not to respect him, and he’s actually the best manager I’ve ever had, ever, and I would say we’ve grown to have a mutual respect for each other, that’s turned into a friendship, although he might deny that, depending on his mood…actually, no, he wouldn’t) asks how I am and I respond with “eh”, he wants to know. I tell him no, like I’m not going to actually talk about it. “You know, Stets, it really hurts my feelings that you feel like you can’t confide in me.” OK, twist my arm. And he genuinely seems interested, like he can help me with my “terrible state” (get over it, Lindsay).

Now Frankie is here, my other manager. Let me tell you about Frankie. He is a God send (and I know I’ve mentioned him before). From the first time I met him, I felt like I knew him from somewhere. I felt like he was like an older cousin looking out for me or something. He’s always looking out for us. After I emailed Frankie a while back about booking the play, he called me. I was nervous, because I requested off all these dates, but all he had to say was, Congratulations and you better become famous. He was so accommodating. He always says how happy he will be when we leave Brick+Mortar because we’ve booked some big acting gig (I say we because a few of us are actors – shocking, I know). Now that I’ve booked this other play, my schedule is ridiculous. But Frankie just brings me into the office to look at the schedule together, and he asks, When can you work? And that’s it. Like how amazing is that? I’ve never worked in a place that was so flexible with my schedule. I feel pretty damn lucky.

So I tell Frankie and Leo my boy troubles. Which they can do nothing about, but I really do feel less crazy when I talk about it out loud. Especially to dudes. Leo, who is eternally sarcastic and cutting, says simply, “If he didn’t jump at the chance with you, Stets, then he doesn’t deserve your time.” I mean, honestly, I was sure he was going to make a joke, and then he says that, and I love him. Thank you, Leo. That might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me. Frankie just shakes his head. “Stets, you don’t even know what you want. You’re too wishy-washy. I don’t get paid enough for this. I need a raise.”

Then there’s Jimmy and Juan behind the bar. They always have advice for me. I try to explain it to them. I mean, it was set up from the very beginning that this was going to be casual, that he was my rebound, that we were not dating.

Jimmy responds first. “I gotta meet this guy. He’s good. Don’t hate the player, Stets, hate the game.” Juan disagrees. “What exactly did he say?” He said he didn’t think we should sleep together anymore because he felt like it meant too much to me. “And was he right?” Yes. “OK, so he actually sounds like a stand-up guy.”

Whatever.

Jimmy tries to rationalize with me. “You were in a relationship for eight years and this was the first guy you liked. How many other guys have you met?” Like, three. “OK, so 1 in 4 guys. Do you know how many awesome guys are out there that you will have a connection with?” No. But yea, I get it. “This guy probably isn’t as cool as you think he is.” Juan chimes in. “You just need to go to pound town.” Oh, Lord, OK. Great. Thanks guys.

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