Jumping the Gun
Usually when we hear the term, “Jumping the Gun,” we are usually referring to the athletic world when a runner begins the race before the gun is shot or sometimes it is also used when talking about the finance industry when trades are happening before it is made public. Personally, I have never really used the term, “Jumping the Gun,” until last week when everything I was doing and experiencing were all based on things happening before they actually got started.
When I got back from Feather’s country house last Monday, I went to bed that night thinking how lucky I am and grateful to be able to spend weekends like that with such close friends and how excited I was for the week ahead. I had no real reason to be excited for the week ahead but I was looking forward to seeing what the week had in store for me. Perhaps I wanted to jump from the week to the weekend in order to be with friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile or the fact that I wasn’t sure when I would be seeing Mr. Engineer again but I knew that I was looking forward to experiencing that.
Communication between Mr. Engineer and I wasn’t exactly the best, it had always been on the hot and cold side and usually it was me having to take the wheel of every situation. I knew he had been sick over the past weekend so I decided to let it go and he even called me last Tuesday to prove to me that he was in fact sick with a sore throat. I told him that I hope he got better and that if he needed anything to let me know for I could always bring him soup or something. He didn’t take the offer and maybe that was best since I didn’t want to catch whatever he had. Despite him being sick, I was actually getting sick and tired myself of always being the one to reach out, to set something up, to pick the places we went and granted; the last time we did see each other was on Valentine’s Day where I was so happy that I got to spend it with someone. But it dawned on me that had I never suggested we go somewhere that night, would he have even made the effort? It is a path that I can’t even be bothered going down now but it certainly got me thinking a lot about how this relationship was going. Maybe I was getting a little ahead of myself with thinking that there was something going to happen between Mr. Engineer and myself.
On Wednesday, I decided to see if he would even reach out to me and I got my answer…he didn’t. Later that evening, I went to a friends’ apartment to catch up for we hadn’t seen each other in so long. I also confided in him what I was thinking of doing for my financial future and being the great friend that he is, he encouraged me not to go down the path but understood my reasoning for a least checking it out. I told him the next day I had a meeting with the lawyer just to see what my options were and that I wouldn’t sign a thing until I ran it by him. When I left his apartment that night, I couldn’t help but think how nice it is to have friends that really do have your best interest at heart.
It was bitterly cold on Thursday morning and as I was walking to work, I felt excited to think that my potential financial messiness might actually be getting cleaned up. I thought about what I would do, how I could start saving for the future and what new and exciting things could come my way. I walked down Fifth Avenue and all I knew of the address of where I was going was that it was on 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. When I got closer to the address, it suddenly occurred to me that I was going inside the Empire State Building. My entire New York life I had always wanted to go to the top of this famous building to see the city from a view that can only be described as magnificent. As I sat in the office filling out some paperwork I thought of how depressing this entire scene was. Here I am sitting in a building I had always wanted to go in, I am on the 46th floor trying to clean up a mess that I created. There was nothing romantic about this entire scene. When I sat down with the lawyer and she reviewed my paperwork, she pulled her glasses off her face and said, “I am so sorry to say this Mr. Johnson, but you don’t qualify for us to assist you.” There was nothing left for me to say. I thanked her for her time and got my bags and walked back onto Fifth Avenue. When the cold wind hit my face, it stung and I could feel the tears beginning to well up. I jumped the gun thinking that I was going to get approved, that my mess would get cleaned up and that something new was going to begin for me. I hated having to go back to work but by the time I reached my office, I had to put my deflating news aside and focus on my writing.
Once work was finally over with that day, I barely had the mental strength to go to the gym but I had to push through. As I was walking to the gym, I was still feeling blue and so I sent a text message to Mr. Engineer just to say hi. He responded with, “Wanna eat?” I already had dinner plans that evening with a friend of mine and wasn’t going to cancel just because he suggested we go eat. And once again, had I not reached out to him first would he even had asked me out to dinner? I told him that I couldn’t and his response was an icy, “Ok. Maybe some other time then.” It rubbed me the wrong way but I wasn’t going to let him know this and instead I dropped it and told him that it would be nice if we could see each other this weekend at some point. His response was, “Ok.” That was it. I was done playing the game and I went and worked out. By the time I got to the restaurant, Arriba Arriba, to meet my friend I was slightly annoyed still by Mr. Engineer’s cold reaction to me not being available when he decided he wanted to meet. My friend who usually gives me the cold harsh truth was on my side with this one and said to not reach out to him anymore. It was what I needed to hear and the rest of the evening was nice with a fun dinner and one beer at the bar, Hardware.
The day was finally here. It was Friday and it was also going to be the day that some friends of mine would be getting married. The wedding was going to be held in a town on Long Island called, Westbury. None of us had ever heard of the town and I was in charge of arranging the car service to take us there and to pick us up. I thought I had done everything correct by printing out the instructions but when I went to the hotel to meet my friends who were in town for the wedding; I realized that I had only printed out how to get out of the city and forgot the instructions on how to get there. Luckily, the driver had that GPS thing to get us there. This wedding was for a friend that I hadn’t seen in awhile and I was looking forward to seeing his face. We arrived on time to the wedding actually, which was shocking for any of us and we immediately hit up the bar. We saw some familiar faces and some not so familiar faces. After finally getting to see the grooms and say hi, it was time for the ceremony. The ceremony is often my favorite part of weddings (aside from the drinking and dancing) but I really just love to hear what these two people actually want to say to one another before their friends and family. Everyone was dancing and then it came time for us to get back to the city. I had missed the call from the car service a few times and eventually got a hold of them and they informed me that the car had been waiting for me and that I was going to be charged a waiting fee. All four of us quickly said goodbye and grabbed our shit to try and find this car. Once we got inside the car, the driver wanted his waiting fee right away. We told him that he would get all his money once we got to the hotel. He decided on the highway to just stop right in the middle of the road and was demanding the money. We all kept arguing and next thing you know there is a cop with his lights going off and pulling over to our driver asking him what the hell we are doing. He acted like he didn’t speak any English and ask the officer how to get back to Manhattan (what an actor this driver was). We got back on the road and by the time we got to the hotel we all called it a night.
I was relieved when I woke up on Saturday not to be hungover because I was looking forward to the night time when the four of us would be getting together to party. All during the day I was expecting a text, call or some form of communication from Mr. Engineer to ask about the wedding or to see about meeting up. There was nothing. Finally around 6pm I sent him a text saying that I hope he was having a good day and that I was going to be at the bar, Madame X, later that night and if he wanted to meet up. He just sent a text back that said, “What kind of bar is that?” I told him it was a straight bar with great music and sent him the address. He never responded with a message back (and as of now I still have not heard from him). I decided to let it go, once again, and focus on getting ready and meeting my friends. When I left the apartment to begin heading downtown to the bar, I got an email from an ex of mine from this past December. His email was thanking me for helping him get adjusted to New York City and that while the timing wasn’t good for us he did find a new guy he is dating and this email went on and on about how happy he is, how great the sex is and how he can’t wait to really get to know this guy. Delete. I needed a drink badly by the time I got to my destination and once I had that first sip; I didn’t stop. All of us were dancing, drinking and laughing that it really was just what I needed to forget about all the events from this past week. We closed the night at Parkside Lounge and by the time 2 am rolled around. I got in a cab with a person I had just met but I was so drunk that I didn’t care because he lived in my neighborhood. He began talking about his dating troubles and how he can never find a nice girl. I didn’t even have the energy to give this man a pep talk; instead I looked out the window and trying to get some fresh air to sober me up.
Yesterday I woke up with a hangover. It was my own doing. I knew I was drinking heavily because I was having fun, of course, but also because I didn’t want to deal with my reality. The reality being that I felt like I was literally worth nothing from the attorney, having to say that this situation with Mr. Engineer and I is probably not going to work out and that I am right back to where I started from. I knew what I did, I jumped the gun and in my head I started moving before the pistol was even shot. I felt like I was ready for this race to begin and instead of waiting; I simply hit the track running at the speed of light.
In a city like New York, where everything and everyone moves at such a rapid pace; you can find yourself wanting certain things in your life to move just as quickly. When Monday comes all you can do is think about Friday. Or when miss the subway and you instantly become pissed off yet you know there will be another train right after the one you missed. We have become a world where we can’t wait for anything anymore. If it can’t happen right then and there or appear instantly on our iPhone’s than we become annoyed. Maybe it might help us if we examine our lives like the jumping of the gun. If we start the race before the gun goes off than we end up being disqualified. Our lives are one big race and hopefully one day soon instead of trying to get ahead of everyone in this crazy race that we find someone to run this race with…side by side.