Thinking of my days at the Spoon filled me with dread and embarrassment. I’d give anything to have again what it felt like in my early days there if only I could be ignorant to what it eventually turned into. But after having been burned by investing all of myself into an intimate workplace, my insular relationships at Hop Syn’s was more welcomed. Not because I liked being so detached, but because I was still too afraid to be close with my coworkers.
After I left the Rusty Spoon, I found out how little friends I really had. It’s not even like they ousted me or anything. I was the one who went AWOL. In fact, everyone back at the Spoon would check up on me. Messages on social media, some texts, some missed calls. At first I replied curt, as not to seem so rude. But then I think eventually they understood what was happening. Either that or they gave up. Whenever they tried to arrange a hang out or tried to get into what was really going on in my head, I diverted the situation with vague answers as to why I couldn’t commit. So happened my slow severing from the Rusty Spoon.
If I hadn’t been filled with shame, then I wouldn’t have been able to go through with it. I probably would’ve kept in touch with everyone from the Spoon. It was truly painful to keep myself alone, not talking to anybody intimately for such a long time. The pain on some nights, especially on the weekends, became so great that I considered driving up to the Spoon to casually grab a drink at the bar. It would’ve been guaranteed that I’d run into at least one of my coworkers if I had done that. I had even made the drive one lonely Saturday night. I drove slowly pass the bar, seeing if I might recognize one of the people smoking outside. But there were just a bunch of young college students, and that was enough to deter me from going in. Instead, I went to a nearby diner and had a cup of coffee and some buttered toast while chatting up the waitress.
She was not the best waitress. Nor did she have much to offer me in way of thoughts or basically any kind of stimulation at all. But she was nice. And at that time that was good enough. Especially on a cold, lonely Saturday night.