Whirlwind night. We shot pool and imbibed a dangerous assortment of mixed drinks and beer. Judgment? Ha! *Adrianna matched *Mike and I drink for drink. We ended up in the parking lot in the early AM (and it was a work night), talking nonsense. It dragged on, as if Mike was waiting for me to leave. I was doing likewise for him. By now, my reservations about Adrianna had faded. More small talk. Mike finally climbed in his truck. Within 5 minutes, Adrianna and I made out, right up against her car. Kid you not. Like in the movies.
It was electric, that night. But the next day I realized I was fishing off the company pier again. Despite these nagging thoughts, I began to date her. I justified it in that I did not work with her every night, as she still did hours in the Ft. Lauderdale location. As I said before, she wasn't really my type, but we had some sort of mysterious chemistry, despite having very little in common. We even behaved ourselves at work and were productive.
Adrianna was, at least at that time, not really interested in singular dating. I was still in my so-called carefree years, but I wanted exclusivity with her. She indicated that she wanted the same, but her actions and cover-ups spoke louder. It was history repeating itself. I am not going to recount specifics, and you really don't want to hear a lot of it anyway. But when I returned from a trip to Chicago/Wisconsin, I knew it was over. I had brought her back a foam cow from the dairy country (she had a thing for vacas) and wanted to grind it into hamburger minutes after I gave it to her, when she told me she wanted to break up. I didn't take it well, but I was able to separate business from "pleasure" and continued to work with her. Sometimes, through clenched teeth.
She was, faithful Lamplight Drivel readers, the girl to whom I was referring at the opening of my review for DAZED AND CONFUSED. That day she had helped me set up my new apartment. We had broken up by that point, but were still intermittenly dating. After a fight, she sped off.
What made it worse was *Rachel, the Pharmacy Director I not so lovingly told you about last time. You recall her, the unfailingly blunt one? Every job I've held since my teen years has paired me with at least one such individual. This includes a woman with whom I currently work who one day informed me that "your lunch smells like ass."
Rachel never liked me, telling Adrianna that I was "wrong for her." The Director even set up a date for her with *Todd, another co-worker, to a Miami Dolphins game. Todd later came to me and explained, hoping there were no ill feelings. Honestly, it was hurtful, but I shrugged it off, and moved on. Adrianna became a ghost, like so many of the others.
I saw her one more time, about 2 years later. There had been sporadic communication online and over the phone. She drove up one night to West Palm, where I was apartment sitting for the summer. We hit Clematis Street downtown for a charged evening of drinking and dancing. Like old times. Everything clicked that night (aside from her continued smoking habit. Ever kiss a smoker? Bah!); I couldn't have dreamt a better evening, right down to the music in the car on the way. We had more fun that night than any time previously. There was even something almost magical about it. It was a nice bit of closure. I realized that the relationship was best taken in infrequent, small doses. I'm sure she had long since concluded the same. And it was done. I haven't seen her since that reunion, some 13 years ago.
Oh, I also quit the institutional pharmacy for good in the fall of 1997. I had had enough of Rachel, the discord among employees, the long hours. Of passing myself out the door as I entered. I think I even began to mumble "Time to make the doughnuts". Having 2 jobs finally wore me down. I would miss the extra money, but it had to end. And unceremoniously, it did. I had been given going away parties for my previous departures. None were expected or necessary this time. The year had been marked with near non-stop aggravation and weariness. I was ready to just be a 9-5er for awhile.
But that gig would bring its own aggravation, high systolics, and real peril......
*Not the real name
TO BE CONTINUED...