Bad Habits Die Hard

For the seven of you consistently reading my blog, hanging by a metaphorical cliff of suspense, let me help you out here. I got myself a job, a new place to live, and moved on with my life. By ‘moved on,’ I mean two months later I fully embraced the art of masochism and gave it another shot with Anthony. We weren’t FBO (Facebook Official) or anything – which in my opinion represents an iron-clad contract – so I knew we were half-assing it at best. Fair enough I suppose, since we’d been through more in nine months than either one of us cared to go through in a lifetime. I also knew that I was only a couple months away from taking a back seat to baseball again, so I clung to what life we had left and anticipated a clean break from each other in May.

Time passed. We went through the motions of agreed upon monogamy – holidays together, football Sundays apart – and waited for the Superbowl. Not because the Patriots were playing, although I’ll take a big screen of Tom Brady any day, but because it was the last night we’d spend together in Maine, maybe anywhere. I’m not sure either one of us really knew for sure, but we laid next to each other that night in silence and just waited for morning to come. I remember being so overwhelmed with anger and resentment that any real sleep evaded me for hours. At some point though during my tossing and turning, it finally dawned on me that having him there next to me, that night or in the past year, never really meant “having him.” This revelation, and ultimately the acceptance of it, allowed me to find sleep for whatever hours remained that night. Morning came, and Anthony had an early flight to catch from Boston to Arizona. The distance between us as I walked him out to his car (okay, his mom’s car) said more than either of us needed to. We hugged, and the tears inevitably came, but I accepted our fate and what was in the best interest of our happiness. Anthony needed to fulfill a dream, and I needed to rebuild the life I selflessly, but idiotically, had sacrificed for baseball. With that,  I walked back toward the house to join my 8AM conference call.

“Angela” is all he said, just as I was reaching my doorway. I always kind of loved that he called me by my full name, a formality that everyone else had bypassed for the one-syllable ease of “Ange.” When I turned around, he was at the end of my driveway emoting the first real bit of emotion that I’d seen from him since the day we met. I’d certainly never seen him cry, or even show an ounce of concern for anyone other than himself and his wooden bats, so this was the most awkward moment on earth. To this day, he swears it was windy and there was dust in the air, but the loud sobbing and snot running from his nose while he buried his face in my neck makes it a tough one to believe. The poor guy found his soul right in front of my very eyes, and he spent the next five minutes sharing how much the thought of leaving me frightened him. Really?! Two hours before you leave to fly back across the country for four months? Perfect timing. Just perfect.

If this were The Notebook, or some other entirely implausible storyline, Anthony would have headed for the airport in a torrential downpour and then caused a near accident when he whipped his car around in traffic to come back save me from my misery. But then there would be nothing left to write a blog about, and we all know you’re hooked on my drama so let’s all be a little more grateful for his short-comings, shall we?

Anthony and I talked and texted every possible moment during his trip back to Yuma. Yes, he voluntarily went back to the RV in Yuma, but he had an opportunity to play for a team that was actually in America this time. Just kidding. That team’s operations completed folded one week before he was supposed to show up for Spring training, so when he headed to Arizona this time, it was on the hope that the Mexican team from last year would pick him up half way through the season. There were no guarantees, but he still wanted to head out there and give it a shot. You have to give the guy some credit. Aside from our relationship, he was a pretty committed individual, and he was even coming around on the whole relationship bit. In fact, it took all of twenty four hours of “wish you were here” and “it’s so hard being apart,” for me to find another one of those $4 billion flights to Yuma so he didn’t have to be alone.

And here I go again.

Bus. Boston. Shuttle. Flight. Layover. Flight. Phoenix. Rental. Yuma. Grandma. Mexico. Love.



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