Typically, when I try to explain the high-school hierarchy, people have difficulty understanding that this select group of guys has retained their everlasting adoration. The cynics call bullshit, thinking that after all these years they would have matured or grown out of it. The cynics would be wrong.

She’s The Holy Grail. The priceless charm worth countless amounts of time/energy in desperation to capture. The Holy Grail doesn’t change to not be The Holy Grail, but holds the position eternally. The guys will always want her – even if she has shown no interest in them for the past ten years. When she finally wants him, perhaps after knowing that another one in the group has gotten close enough to him to take international trips, she will get him. No sane male participant would reject such an esteemed prize. It’s the law of the land. As is any and all casualties are justified in the quest for The Holy Grail.

It sounds dramatic, but the rules were established in high school – the birthplace of drama. It doesn’t make it any less true.

I’m not delusional in knowing what she is. I was delusional in knowing who he is. I thought he and I were close, and even though she is still The Holy Grail, he and I had something where we would always maintain that easy, chill thing that made us us.

I, in company with the cynics, would be wrong.

###

The Firefighter was conflicted during the party. He needed to downplay our history to assure capture of The Grail, so he avoided me and gave extra attention to her. Not the behavior I receive when it’s a just-me-and-him-casual-hang-out thing. I avoided eye contact with both of them. She played oblivious, as if we were all so happy together and there was no back-story with any of us. My two friends who knew my internalizing kept shooting me sympathy looks, so then I started avoided eye contact with them, too.

Left me no where to look but the bottom of my glass (that statement sounds like a country song), which is misleading, considering I stayed relatively sober throughout the party, having the constant nausea act as an inhibitor.

Eventually, late in the evening, the party was down to four: him, her, me and my brother. While playing cards and finally catching up to the others’ heavy drinking, I turned into Chatty McFuckingMagoo while she sat there, poised and collected. Quite uncouth, on my part, but then I was insecure and anxious and overcompensating and really had no idea what to do, so I just talktalktalked like some fucking idiot. “Brother, did you know [golden retriever] died a year ago yesterday?” “I love these lemon bars! Lemon is amazing!”

Molly, get it together and shut the fuck up.

The talking was my coping mechanism. Had to play strong somehow.

We fell asleep in my living room, he on one end of the sectional, her on the other. I fell asleep on the chair, as we were still talking slightly. Or more likely, probably me talking while he was all, “fucking hell, I wonder when Molly is going to stop talking and leave us alone.” I finally did sleep.

I woke up three hours later, at five am, alone in the room.

Their shoes were still at my front door.

I found them in the basement, on the 4’x4’ floor space, spooning.

I tried to sleep after that but couldn’t. So I started my day. Was cleaning the kitchen when he left at 8am; I gave a weak half-hug with all eye contact avoided, and I went upstairs before she left 45 minutes later.

It hurts. A lot more than I want it to.

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