Business tonight was surprisingly … busy. The reservation book was completely empty, which is unusual for a weekend night, and we had a ton of walk in business. Marty was on line with me and Ryan. Someone had decided that we weren’t going to be busy (all of us thought that) and told Tom he could have the night off, and Marco was hosting. That left Ryan and me being the only veterans on line. Marty still has some things to learn and occasionally that slowed us down. Can’t blame him, he’s still new to line.

Early in the night, as we started getting busy, I thought Ryan was going to murder a server. He seemed very very annoyed. We made lots of tea through out the night though, so that was good. Ryan was still sampling out of his grab bag of tea packets from the Tea Lady. Before anyone got there I brewed up some strong rooibos/vanilla/cream tea with a bit of sugar. I think it was the most successful of the teas we had tonight. He didn’t like the Dr. Stuart’s Triple Ginseng, which I said “You can’t really cite a tea made by Dr. Stuart for tasting medicinal.” I drank most of it. That mix has lemongrass in it, which Ryan doesn’t like.

Today was Jan’s birthday. I didn’t know that, so I felt sort of stupid. When one of the other servers brought me a card to sign for her, after Ryan’s name (who had signed already) I wrote “(heart) Steve”. As soon as I wrote it, I realized that it was in the same pen and very close to his, not just humorously close, but right next to it. Jan is Ryan’s work wife, so I thought this might be an annoyance to him, me putting this into her birthday card, even though the strength of the action was a bit more than I had intended. So I didn’t tell him about it at first because he was irritable to start with, and then later because I forgot about it. But I did over hear Jan looking at the card and say out loud “Ryan heart Steve? Oh, God.”

Katie started at Bob Evans today. I was under the impression that she’d be at her dad’s after work, so I went there, and knocked on the door twice with no answer. Then I rode my bike to Bob Evans and perched in the dark under a tree nearby. Although the primary reason for being there was to see Katie, a secondary reason unexpectedly and quickly came to me. This was going to be a bare minimum of a half hour wait, unless, of course, Katie came out during that time. Nostalgia. I could see my two favorite spots for stalking my friend (past tense I think) who worked at Olive Garden a couple years prior. So I straddled my bike, and watched the traffic go by, and the occasional Bob Evans or Olive Garden employee leave the buildings. 11:00-11:30 is very busy in that area with all the restaurant people moving about. A little before 11:30 I determined that Katie wasn’t there, so I went home. I called Katie, and she told me that she was only there for orientation and that she had left Bob Evans around sixish. That whole conversation felt weird. Things have changed between the two of us, I think. We put up with less crap from each other. During the course of any relationship the levels of tolerance a person has for the other, whether this be friendship or romance or coworkers, fluctuates. Sometimes you can let some pretty big things slide, some times little things are the best you can manage. Recent fights with her have escalated (from my side) when I don’t feel like I’m getting the respect I deserve. I’ve put her at the forefront of … well … pretty much my life, for a fairly long time, and I think that no one could say I did a bad job of expressing my care/love/affection for her, and the times that I felt she became negligent of my tenure as someone supposedly “special” to her, I got angry and said lots of angry things. Lots and lots of little things, I’d let go. But now, I call her when she says something immature. And now, she doesn’t put up with it when I do things like that.

For awhile now, I’ve thought that something like this would happen and it would spell out the sign of things to come. I had hoped for a summer like last summer. With the exception of one very large portion of last summer, the romance. Last summer was great. I spent lots of time with Katie, we did things together, we spent some quality time together talking about life… Maybe not every night, but I’d hoped for at least a couple of nights sitting on my porch, listening to the bats, and sipping on some cold tea, talking about things, or sitting in front of a fan in the dark after we both got off of work… I don’t think that’s going to happen. Maybe a few times in the next couple weeks, but I sincerely feel that there is a definite schism growing between the two of us. Ryan and I have a history. There are things that we could do now that would offend each other mildly, that three or four years ago might have started a fist fight. Jason is the same way, there are things now we can talk about that years back we couldn’t. I don’t know where I’m going with this…

Maybe what I’m trying to say is that I see something happening here, and I’m not convinced that it’s a problem. I’m male, we see a problem we try and fix it. If we don’t see it as a problem, we don’t try and fix it. My lackluster attitude towards this isn’t personal to Katie, for the most part. I have the realization that people come together and people come apart. Am I saying that I wouldn’t mind if Katie was gone from my life? No. I’m not saying that. I am saying that I’m not opposed to some distance. What I am opposed to is us being continually mildly crappy to each other until a moderate, instead of minimal, distance is achieved. Thinking about this should bring around a simple solution, right, reader? Just ask her about it. What is problematic about this application of Occam’s razor? Some things that I bring up in conversation are received well and rationally on Monday and the same topic poorly on Thursday. If this topic was something that is ultimately negligible in importance, I wouldn’t mind one bit about the possibility of being received and dealt with poorly. But this is important.

I have said that I had hoped for a summer sprinkled with cool nights talking with Katie. I remind myself of a personal maxim: “Dreams reliant on others, are dreams doomed to fail,”

Forgive my pessimism reader, it’s a defense mechanism.