After Rick was a no show yesterday after work, I tagged along with Sam to a game of pool. A friend of his leaving town. Let’s get together. Celebrate. Yaletown, home of the tax-bracket enabled. Thread count, thread count and pool halls with clean floors and flat tables. Prettier people, better teeth, nicer shirts. Barefoot, I walked in and looked around. I made a three, not enough for another set. I looked around and wondered. I should be at the hospital. I should be finding busses, climbing hills, breathing sterilized air. Pressing twelve, the elevator button lighting red under the pressure of my finger.
Matthew, Sam’s actor friend from L.A., was paired with Francois, a SFX make-up artist from Montreal. They were the cats. Graceful, fun, the polished easy flirts. In this situation, the social strata lattice-work puts them on top. I barely exchanged words with them, but species calls to species. When it was time to leave, I railed a little at Sam, as if by sheer force of will I could change his community DNA into something that would be helpful to me, some sort of chaperone who was in on the game, but he was left behind. A secondary player, uninvolved in the double-meaning conversation of glances and inconsequentialities. When it was time to go, I railed and gave up. I gave in. Francois left first and I followed, confident I would find him on the corner. We drifted out like smoke. Matthew would follow. This is all part of the scene. Leaving behind everyone else in such a way they don’t think there’s more of a party. Tag, you’re it crowd.
Now I’m in the clothes Francois’ was wearing yesterday, low slung dark blue jeans and a long sleeve black shirt with ZERO written on the front, (my mind is now pronouncing it “zehro”), that I stole from the hotel room floor while he was sleeping because mine had been too spattered with chocolate and strawberry juice to wear to work, wondering how to create a break in my chemical fall-out refusal to go back to the hospital. I know I went playing pool out of avoidance. I agreed to hang out after out of avoidance. It’s clinging Monday depression like a wall, thick and cloying, turning my thoughts away, making me think twice. I went in Monday needing to feel cared for and walked out feeling like I’d been shot. Not his fault, I didn’t say anything. I never can. It’s not my place.