You know how it is when sharks smell blood in the water? How they circle? How they fight each other, growing ever more frenzied trying to get a bite of something good? When you want to attract sharks, you chum the waters, tossing bloody bait out to bring them in.
Friday night, I was the chum.
I wear my heart on my sleeve. Sometimes, this is a problem. Still, I choose to put myself out there, to share my feelings with all of you. Anyone who wants to look can see me.
So Friday was a rough day for me. I was nothing but a raw nerve, unable to even make much of an effort to get myself together, and I put it out there for all the world to see, as I do so often, right or wrong.
My plan was just to go out, get drunk, and feel sorry for myself for a few hours. I think I'm entitled to do that every now and then. I didn't bother putting on makeup or doing my hair. I wore jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt. My eyes were red and puffy. Basically, I was a hot mess.
At the bar, I hung out with my friends and I drank...a lot. Trying to maintain a level of drunkenness that kept me from thinking too much. All I wanted was to drink and dance and go home and pass out.
But somehow, I ended up in a shark tank.
I had put it on Facebook, that a relationship that had barely begun had come to an abrupt end due to some unusual circumstances. I'm not going to elaborate on that part because it's not my story to tell, but I will say that the guy I was seeing is a good person and I don't fault him one bit. Quite the opposite, actually. Which doesn't make it any easier to let go. I have no righteous anger to deflect the pain. Just a sense of having lost something that had potential to be really good.
This, apparently, was blood in the water.
I started getting texts and Facebook messages. Some from friends offering support...others from people masquerading as friends.
If you're not sure which category you fall in, ask yourself if you followed up your sympathy with an attempt to hit on me.
Yup, apparently there are people out there who see someone in a vulnerable state and think, "Maybe I've got a shot while she's feeling really low".
At the bar, I repeatedly told one guy that all I wanted was to drink and dance, but he just wouldn't quit. I enlisted the help of a friend of the guy I had been seeing to get rid of him, too exhausted to deal with him myself at that point.
The "friend" did help me in that respect, but then things took an odd turn.
He asked what the guy I had been seeing had said to me, what he told me, fishing for information. I told him that he was one of the few people I shouldn't have to explain the situation to and said no more. I did, however, burst into tears right there on the dance floor.
More blood in the water.
This guy...he actually sat me down at the bar and wiped away my tears and then started trying to get me to take him home, promising me that he would just hold me and be there for me, then offering some very specific sexual favors. He told me he wanted my number so he could call and check up on me.
I told him I would give it to him, but I never did. I sat there and I drank and I listened to him for far too long. I was so lost in that moment, wishing for real comfort and finding only this. This...disgusting attempt at leveraging my heartache to try to score.
He actually mentioned seeing me at his friend's house the week before. I wish I could remember everything he said, but I was so very drunk at that point in time and what I do remember is disturbing enough.
There are not enough hot showers in the world to get that kind of ick off.
In the end, I ran out of the bar, literally ran out the door, tossing on my coat as I went. I kept looking over my shoulder as I walked home, afraid someone would follow me. Afraid that there was too much blood in the water and the sharks would move in for the kill.
But I made it home safely. I locked my door and had a good cry before drifting off to sleep. I hate that feeling of being hunted. I know too well the terror of the prey as the pack closes in.
I may have been chum, but anyone who makes another human being feel that way is scum.