I didn’t really know if Tabitha was her real name, she and I had traded only a few e-mails over the previous weeks. I never asked for her last name and mostly just talked about the details of my visit. I’d been introduced to her after mentioning online somewhere that I was planning to visit Cork on my next trip to Ireland and was hoping someone might have some recommendations. A few people suggested things to see or places to stay, and someone suggested I meet up with a friend of theirs who could show me around. The introduction was brief but as the date of my trip got closer we talked more frequently. Mostly loose planning– I’d email her once I was settled in my hotel and we’d meet up for drinks later that evening. It wasn’t a date, simply she and some friends often met up near where I was staying and I was welcome to join them in wherever the evening might lead.
My first job, the kind with assigned hours and a regular paycheck was at a crab restaurant out on Anna Maria Island. I was a dishwasher, and I’d either just turned 15 or was about to. I performed a bit of circular logic explaining that I needed to get the job so that I could afford to buy a scooter, which I obviously needed to have in order to get to the job without having to get a ride from someone else. Thinking back I don’t know how anyone bought that half assed story, but they did and I went to work. The job was a nightmare, and it literally gave me nightmares, but I got paid and saved up and was able to buy the scooter of my dreams. It was a red 180cc Honda Elite and it maxed out around 45mph.
I’ve been very guilty my whole life of spilling my guts in public. Initially it was kind of a self defense mechanism, I thought if I broadcasted all my dirty laundry then there was nothing anyone could ever pull out from my past and embarrass me with. I never had to live up to anyones expectations if I was diligent about making sure they had none. I couldn’t disappoint anyone if they didn’t expect anything in the first place. That was my plan and it worked pretty well for many years. I’d proclaim ‘my life is an open book’ and pride myself on answering any question at any point, and regularly over shared. I had dreams of being the front man in some band and writing beautifully vague songs that eluded to all these stories, but until then I’d have to settle for simply writing or just telling them to people on a regular basis. I was pretty mopey most of the time and thought I could get some good sympathy points by talking about how bad off I had things. I didn’t have any money for that thing everyone else did. I wasn’t cool enough to be a part of some scene. I wasn’t good enough at that thing everyone else was. I didn’t get the girl. I didn’t save the day. These were common themes for me and I’m sure there are some horribly embarrassing high school notes out there somewhere that I wrote to cute girls who I probably had no business bothering with my shit. I’d totally post them on my blog if I still had them.