“Summer 2014”

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Hi, hello, hey. How are you doing?

I went through my old Dropbox account today and I had to delete a whole bunch of photos because I was going to lose them anyway if I didn’t upgrade my account. I went through them and I deleted them, one by one, but let me tell you something …

Heartstrings. Were. Tugged.

I’m currently going through a folder titled “Summer 2014“. I’m starting to wish I hadn’t looked. The summer of Jock and I. The summer of the big storms, in more ways than one. The coffee date we had in the historic town, and *that* Instagram post that upset his ex so much, she started a vicious argument with him via text message. The ripples of that argument spread far and wide, destroying any hopes we’d had of a romantic afternoon stroll / coffee and cake date. Our time together seemed so limited at that point, both of us working our asses off to afford a place together. I hated it when her arguments ruined it. She did that day. Once again, she ruined our limited time together. He was a grumpy fuck. I kept asking him what was wrong and he kept telling me “nothing”. I knew. I knew it was her. It was always her. She’d put him in a bad mood and it had ruined our date. Again. It’s okay, it was only like, the hundredth time it happened.

Summer2014 1

Then there was the photo of Jock and I lying on my bed. I’m pretty sure it was just after I moved into the house I shared with Bestie. Jock’s beautiful big blue eyes looking right at me again, it was almost as though he was standing right there in front of me. It’s been a long time since I looked into those baby blues. For a brief spell, I almost missed them.

I’m just being nostalgic though. I don’t long for him now. Not like I once did. Those silly faces he pulled though, they sure did make me laugh. I guess, by the way I’m laughing, they still do. Gosh, and now the photos of that night we went out drinking that was definitely the worst idea we ever had. I’m looking at those photos now, marveling at exactly how ugly I am when I’m drunk. Because, trust me on this, I am an UGLY drunk.

Laughing and joking, generally being fun and frivolous, I was wearing that cute black and white dress he loved so much that night. It should have been the best night out, but I’m pretty sure I ruined it. Or someone did. Someone said something, and I said something in rebuttal, and that started it all. The cunt-fest. You know – the series of c-bombs that fall out of your mouth when you’ve decided you hate everything and everyone after one too many glasses of fizzy pop. I’m so glad I don’t drink now.

For the record, it’s been 10 months. I haven’t had a single drink in 10 months. I’m not celebrating. I was never an alcoholic or anything. But I think that *IS* something to celebrate. It was definitely the smartest decision I ever made.

See – I HAVE grown up!

Different photos now, but the same album, this time it’s Bestie and I on a walk home from work. He was off that day but it was beautifully sunny and he was bored, so he came down to meet me from work. I’m pretty sure we went for coffee. Then we had the most wonderful, sticky walk home and as we crossed the big field, we rolled down the hills, recording ourselves as we did so because we’re bloody idiots and the way our friendship has gone downhill is an utter fucking travesty.

God, the times we had, Bestie and I. We really did have the best times. I miss him so much sometimes. Like right now.

These photos are making me a little sad. Summer 2014 was a really good one for me. Where did it all go wrong? Not wrong, that’s the wrong word. I wouldn’t give up my position right now for anything in the world. I love my Bear. I love us. I love how happy, how content I am right now. But I still miss Bestie sometimes. Maybe even Jock too? Just sometimes? At least I can look back over our time together and smile now. It no longer hurts my heart.

Shit, now I’m at the photo of the chap who kindly followed me to work one morning on his pushbike, creeping me out so much that I called Bestie to “phone-chaperone” me all the way there. The creep tried to talk to me at the traffic lights, both of us waiting to cross. I had headphones in, music on loud, and I couldn’t make out what he was saying. It was also 8 o’clock in the morning and I was not awake. Nor was I happy.

He kept cycling a little way in front of me, and then waiting for me to catch up. When I did catch up, he would smile or laugh and then cycle a little bit ahead again, repeating the process. I was terrified, especially as I was getting to that big field I was talking about earlier. I was going to need to cross that field, alone, with just that creepy man on the bike to accompany me? No thanks. I took a very obvious photo of him and he soon cycled off. I later reported it to the cops. A few weeks after that, they got back in touch, asking for the photo again and for more information. I then saw a piece in my local paper of a serial “assualtist” (is that a word?) who went to prison after a string of sexual assaults on women in my local area. The photo in the paper looked scarily like the man who had tried to make contact with me on the way to work that day.

Taking that photo might have saved my life.

More photos of Bestie and I hanging out now, and my sister and I chilling too. What happened to my social life? I don’t do any of those things now. Did anxiety take over my life so much, it literally stopped it? Why don’t I do these things anymore? Why don’t I go and sit in the sun, smoking a spliff and loving the fact I don’t have a 9-5 job like I used to? Why don’t I sit in the sun at all? I seem to just work all the time. I think that needs to change. I live by the sea now. I can’t let that pass me by.

It looked like I had the time of my life in “Summer 2014”. Perhaps I did have the time of my life? I think maybe I’ve been sitting at home and working for too long, waiting for the next guy to screw me over. It’s funny how they’ve all had a funny way of doing that. Although, in Bestie’s defence, at least took him 15 years. Perhaps he just got pissed off with me never putting out? Perhaps he started to realise it was never going to happen? Meh, I’m just being bitter now. That’s not the point of this exercise.

I don’t actually know what the point of this exercise was. I just know that something tugged on my heartstrings when I was going through that photo album – “Summer 2014”. I felt happy, sad too, but mostly happy. I’m glad I had those memories with those people, even though those people are no longer in my life. I’m glad they were there. I’m glad Bestie and I had the best of friendships for as long as we did, and maybe someday we can salvage something from that. I’m also glad that Jock and I had those fun times that we did.

I think that I need to re-start my life again too. I’m happy with Bear, but I’m still not doing things. I’m not going out there and facing my fears. I didn’t go to that Vape Expo I wanted to go to. Or the tattoo convention. I haven’t done that for a very long time. My anxiety wins every time I try to make plans,  I end up not doing them, using work as my excuse to get out of it. It’s been going on for so long that I’m starting to feel like working 24/7 is actually normal. It’s not. I know it’s not, and I know Bear’s starting to get pissed off about it. If not pissed off, a tad concerned. I guess I just work as an excuse to get out of social activities, but I can’t do that for the entire summer. My “Summer 2015” and “Summer 2016” albums are considerably smaller in size. My “Summer 2017” can’t be.

I’m starting to crave adventure again. But what? What’s next?

Oh, Summer 2014, thanks for the memories. Thanks for the kick up the ass! 


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