There are not enough adjectives to describe the amount of fun I had over the 4th of July weekend. All it took was my best friend, her cabin, and two small town bars for me to say Jake…Jake who?! When bow tied beckoned philosophers say laughter is the cure for almost anything; specifically a broken heart, they really are speaking truth…well laughter and whiskey let’s not kid ourselves here.
It was a colder day in Siren, WI and we went up to the nightly meat raffle – yes, meat raffle; although a strange tradition, it is quite fun and I won! My first time and I won the meats! After sitting at the bar chatting with the locals and the bar owner, Shannon, my best friend leans over to me and says, “Jessay…isn’t that Mr. Klingsborn”. I was like WHAT? What did you say?! Then I looked at this guy and I was like…excuse me sir, are you Mr….did you teach at Tartan? Then he put his head down in shame and then said “yes, it’s Mr. Hickey”. Then L and I looked at each other with excitement and screamed Mr. Hickey!!! As if he wasn’t already shamed enough, we had to yell in excitement. We have not seen this guy in about 15 years; he looked exactly the same. How strange, right? Running into your high school physical education teacher in a small town bar. If you think the weirdness ends there….you’re sadly mistaken.
The next day it was finally nice out…sun was shining and it was WARM! We took the pontoon out and it was glorious. As we were driving around Clam lake, drinking, enjoying being free…we hear a noise “dummm dummm dummmmm” the engine just dies. “welp, we ran out of gas”. So, there we were…just sitting there, and being me I start calling places with the words “gas” in the name. Then I am the one getting yelled at because I am asking where on the lake we are. “I don’t know nautical directions, Jessay!” Then I was told I am too sensitive, then I didn’t talk for awhile. I am not sensitive! Well, I am…I was just trying to help! Who runs out of gas, though, seriously? Some nice gentleman and his family saved us, but the entire ordeal took about two hours and we ran out of booze right before it happened.
As if the day wasn’t already a wee bit stressful, we go up to Jeds the other small town bar; there are only two. We ordered our drinks, sat outside and L told me a story about her youth, it was probably the only time I was not with her, and we belly laughed for about 10 minutes straight. We ordered a pizza and then this horrid music started playing. This awful heavy metal music and then Sinead O’Connor…Nothing Compares 2 U; are you singing? I had to leave the bar because 1. Sinead made me miss Jake and 2. I cannot listen to heavy metal.
We got in the car and L said, “alright what do you want to do? Should we go to the cabin? Go to Gary’s? Go to The Narrows (the other bar)?” So we went to the Narrows (The Narrows is where we saw our high school gym teacher).
We show up at the Narrows and it was empty except for some really drunk locals, but there was a bonfire and that was pretty neat and warm. We ordered some drinks and then sat by the fire…and then things got real weird real fast. So, these two guys show up on their custom Harley’s, then some other guys show up, and then L and I find ourselves intertwined in toothless hillbilly hell, literally. I didn’t know where I was for a good majority of the evening.
Anyway, as I am sitting co-mingling with these hill people, this attractive man drives up to the bar in this really nice truck. My eyes follow him from the moment he pulled in, to the moment he sat his butt on the bar stool. I just stared at him, probably with my mouth open and drool coming out. He was so attractive…scruff on his face, shaggy hair, sweatshirt, ripped jeans…just a mans, man. He was drinking Coors Light…but I let that slide. I mean, not everyone is perfect.
I go to the bathroom and Shannon, the bar owner, was in there and I cornered her. “Shannon! Who is that attractive man at the bar?”
“Which one, the one with the gray sweatshirt?”
“Oh, he’s married darlin”
I go back out to the fire feeling defeated and I make eye contact with Lola, “he is married” and then start fake crying. Lola being the little spark plug she is, went to the bar to order more drinks and she sat and talked to this fine, attractive man. She talked to him for about 10 minutes, leaving me in my own personal hell with these other…men. All of a sudden, I hear Lola say, “Jessay, it’s T!!!” I literally almost fell out of my chair and I ran to him and he gave me the biggest hug. I have not seen this man in 17 years. Let me tell you something about T, he was my first love…my first, you know. HOW FUCKING WEIRD IS THAT! I started crying when he hugged me. I could not believe it.
So, there were about five of us that stayed up until 5am at the bar. Singing, dancing, talking, laughing. T played this country song, and I hate country, but he played Blue Ain’t Your Color by Kieth Urban and he put his arm around me, sang to me and rocked me like a baby. I cried. These tears were cathartic tears. Almost as if I was letting Jake go through my eyeballs, and T was helping me. T was there at the exact moment when I needed him to be.
This past weekend was more than just booze and ghosts of boyfriends past. It proved that I am going to be okay, and that I am a smart, successful, beautiful woman and I don’t need no man. It’s time to focus on what Jess wants.
T, if you ever read this, thank you.