The pain held my skin as a warm palm and pressed into my forehead. I said I needed it to function, and here it was. It was a sickening feeling and I did my best to remember the internal outrage brought on by the pain. There was a girl with her left shoulder bare as the guy traced along her skin. Another person embodied several faces I didn’t like remembering and I wanted to put all this down.
Doing that reminded me of my dependence on things and people and I detested myself in that moment. It was a Polynesian restaurant and the bongo players began to play as the dancers shook their bodies with smiles. But the sounds accentuated my pain and I liked it, so it helped me bear through it.
I tried to remember the last time I liked myself. It was no one else’s fault. The decisions I made were my own and I lived with them. Sometimes I wish I never told anyone of them. But there were little moments that I thought made it worthwhile. “Don’t beat yourself up,” Allie said. “Ann fell in love with you. She’s willing to spend the rest of her life with you. It’s something and arguably it’s everything.”
No one had put it to me quite that way and remembering it made me feel a little better. The pain came back as the bongos returned, but I stopped thinking of the place and remembered my birthday on the beach. Randy and I had a bartender friend who made mixed drinks for us on the beach. We swam into the waves until we no longer felt the sand bar and I thought if I were lost out there, it would be alright.