Today I was forced to face a fear. Something I have been avoiding for months.
At work, Sunshine asked me to go for a beer. I agreed… reluctantly. I knew she wanted to go to the dive bar where the old man hit on me.
I had second thoughts, but then talked myself out of the concerns. I told myself, ‘I’m sure the old man won’t be there. It’s early and it’s a weeknight. right?’
We pulled in and parked and met each other in the parking lot before going in. We were talking as we walked up to the door and I saw something out of the corner of my eye.
Against my better judgement I looked to the left, and caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye. It was him. Great.
I kept talking as best I could, I have no idea if it even made any sense all I could think about was talking and walking through the door.
If I could get inside I was in the ‘safe zone’ if only for just a few minutes.
Sure enough, once inside we ordered our beers and I proceeded to drink. I didn’t want to chug, but I wanted to.
Before long, I heard his voice. The low, mumbling, almost slurred words coming from his mouth. I recognize it from a few months ago when he hit on me the first time.
Although I didn’t know he was hitting on me, because I felt like he was old enough to be my dad.
I turned closer to Sunshine and pretended to be deep in conversation with her. I knew I was in trouble. He walked behind the bar and walked right past us and looked dead at me.
Crap! I looked at Sunshine and she saw him look over too. I knew this was a bad idea. It’s a good thing I was so tired, because if I had been more coherent it could have been a lot worse.
I kept my attention focused on Sunshine and we continued our conversation. Before long I had to use the ladies room, and against my better judgement I went for it.
I knew leaving her alone was a bad idea, knowing she was a target, but I had to go. I left and came back as quickly as I could when I sat back down, there she was… talking to the old man.
I tried to ignore him once again and it seemed to work. Before long, he was gone, and she felt like she had smoothed the ice and we were good to come back into his bar.
I am still not convinced he doesn’t remember me. I can’t tell from the look on his face whether he remembers and is pissed I didn’t agree to watch a football game with him, or if he just can’t figure out why I look so familiar.
I’m just glad I faced the fear. The next time I walk in the easier it will be, although I’m sure I’ll have to belly up to the bar to make it bearable.