~ Semisonic's "Closing Time"
Remember Heath, my original stalking victim and one of my most popular blogposts to date? Here's a little story about what happened after graduation.
It was the summer of '97 and the Red Wings were in the play offs. On the night of the final game, I was on the rooftop of Woody's Diner watching when suddenly my heart about hit the floor. Or would it be roof because I was on the roof? Either way, my heart was no longer in my chest but somewhere in the vicinity of my feet.
There, for the first time since I'd left Kimball, was Heath, not more than 30 feet away from me.
Even after four years and several drinks, Heath still had the capability to cause me to become tongue-tied, a rarity as you can imagine.
I stared at him for long brooding periods of time that night. He glanced my way a few times. My friend Michelle made me a bet that if the Red Wings won, I should ask Heath out.
The Wings won, I called Heath, got his brother instead, and rather than ask Heath out became "20 Questions" buddy with the brother instead.
When it comes to guys, I am invariably a chicken shit.
Six years later, I was married, halfway contemplating divorce, and living in Chicago. One night, while the guys (and by guys I mean husbands) were in Wisconsin playing Weekend Warriors, Kony and I went out for a night on the town. It started at a bachelorette party for a co-worker of mine, and ended at a little "dive" bar in the Rush and Division corridor called The Lodge.
Just for the record, my wedding ring always seemed to bring men out of the woodwork.
Maybe I need to dig that out of my drawer…. Just a thought.
Anyways, Kony and I were standing in a little corner talking amongst ourselves with our beverages when two yachters came over and began chatting us up.
"Oooooo, yachters, Mo! Look at you!"
Believe me, it's not that exciting. Rarely do yachters dress like Thurston Howell III or like the model on the cover of a Ralph Lauren catalog, but rather they dress like college frat boys in wrinkled khaki cargo shorts, Topsiders with no socks, and wrinkled long-sleeve oxfords. Having been in Chicago for many of the Chicago to Mackinac races, this is not a an exaggeration but rather a strict observation. They may also be older (by 10 or even 20 years considering I hadn't even hit 30 yet) and they may also smell sweaty with a hint of fish thrown in.
So says Mo in her "How To Recognize Older and Lecherous Men" guide.
After several excruciating minutes of conversation with a man who was bitterly disappointed when I didn't ask him if he was the Keith Moon when he introduced himself, we, that is Kony and I, were rescued by a trio of Englishmen from Liverpool.
Being somewhat drunk at the time, I did ask the Englishmen if any of them lived on Abbey Road. Luckily, they had a sense of humor and laughed. While their fashion sense was a bit questionable, they were good guys and we spent quite a bit of time dancing and talking and drinking with them. Which made for a very drunk Mo.
I was so drunk in fact that at 3:00 in the morning, I thought I saw Heath in the mirrors along the wall.
"Exschuse me, but I need to use the… fashilities," I told Kony and our new Englishmen friends.
Without going into minute unnecessary detail, one thing I can tell you is that the women's bathroom at The Lodge is not overly large and yet I still had difficulty navigating it.
Stepping out of the restroom, I was (drunkenly) pondering my experience within when I ran smack dab into a wall.
"Ohmigosh, I'm shooooooo sorry!" I said, trying to straighten myself out and apologize to the wall at the same time.
"That's okay, Monique."
The wall knew my name. I looked up. And realized as drunk as I was, I had been correct in the fact that it was indeed Heath I had seen in the mirror and he knew my name.
Let me repeat: HEATH KNEW MY NAME!
I never knew he knew my name. Drunken sot that I was, I wanted to shout across the bar, "Heath knows my name!"
Thank God even in my drunken stupor I realized this was a horribly bad idea. So instead I said, "Hey, Heath. Fancy meeting you here in a bar at three in the morning in Chicago." Long pause while I digested this information. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I just graduated with my Masters from DePaul. I leave for Australia on Monday."
Um, hello? Not only was he still hot, but he was a highly educated, globe-trotting hot guy. And I was married.
There were a lot of points in my marriage when I had regrets about being married. This was definitely one of those times.
"So what are you doing here? Are you visiting for the weekend?" And for the first time since that fateful yearbook interview, I had a conversation with Heath Bar.
It was nice, actually. I lied a bit about Dipshit being a helicopter pilot (he wasn't though it was one of his nine career choices he constantly considered) but other than that, I didn't have much to lie about. I had a great job with a Fortune 500 company, I lived in a vintage apartment a block off Lake Michigan, I was married…. He had just gotten his Masters degree from DePaul, was flying off to a job on a completely different continent, and life was good for both of us.
And at the end of our conversation, Heath hugged me.
Let me repeat that. HEATH BAR HUGGED ME!
I was in seventh heaven and completely doped up on far more than alcohol.
He gave a good hug, not going to lie.
I went back to Kony and our new English friends and continued dancing until dawn. Literally. By the time we went back to the car, the sun was coming up over Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful morning.
I stumbled into my apartment and picked up the phone to call my friend Liz. It was 6:30 in the morning here in Detroit and amazingly she picked up.
"You'll never guess who I ran into at the bar tonight."
"Are you in Chicago?"
"Yeah, of course."
"It better be Heath Bar otherwise I'm kicking your ass next time you're home."
"No need to kick my ass. It was indeed Heath."
I swear I could hear her sleepy smile. "Good for you. I'm going back to sleep now."
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