It’s Not a Walk of Shame. It’s a Stride of Pride.

You’re wide awake this morning.


Much earlier than you’re used to.

Slept even worse than usual, too, which is kind of impressive given your general inability to sleep well or at all.

But sometimes glory comes with a cost and a night of little rest is clearly a price you’re more than willing to pay.

There is nothing really like waking up around dawn in a (welcomingly) strange place you hadn’t expected to end up when you set out the night before, and reaching over to discover that the person who owns the bed is still there asleep right next to you.

Then there are the groggy goodbyes as you don your outfit piece by piece, plucking each item from various areas of their bedroom floor, before you set out on your way home.

You could take a car.

Or public transit.

It’s cold and clear and crisp — the kind of weather that lets the cold run free and make its way straight through you.

Not too comfortable — much less temperate than you’re used to, but that’s what you signed up for when you moved to this new place, is it not?

So you decide to walk anyway.

You have nowhere you have to be anytime soon.

You’ve got all the time in the world.

May as well embrace your triumph.

It takes every fiber of restraint in your being to not try to high-five the first person you pass — to not shoot finger guns at the mailman completing the beginning stretches of his daily route or just randomly pump your fist and do an Anchorman leap in hopes another passerby will randomly and almost clairvoyantly vibe with you and follow suit.

They just won’t understand — won’t be prepared to properly share in your victory.

Which is fine.

Because it’s yours.

You briefly consider calling your Mom but realize that even with the time difference it’s still a little bit too early, and besides, she’d just start planning a wedding date and you don’t know yet what if anything will happen here.

Could have been your last first date.

Could be you blow it in epic fashion.

Or something in between.

That’s not a right now problem.

That’s a consideration for future you, and you’ll find out one way or another soon enough.

Sometimes you have to live in the moment, if only for a little while.

There’s likely plenty of time in the future to have your dreams come true or be completely crushed.

Will it be love?

Is that what you even want?

When will you start to get afraid to find out?

Not now.

For today the end does not matter.

Better to bask in some optimism, the excitement of wondering what if anything will come of what just occurred, what you’re walking away from, literally, because, you know, you don’t want to, like, overstay your welcome, especially so soon, but you are hoping it will take place again — that you’ll walk into that same apartment on a different occasion.

Past the halfway point you stop for some to-go coffee and breakfast, looking all disheveled and not giving much of a fuck.

You over-order because you worked decently hard last night and might even deserve it, if they weren’t faking it.

(Can you fake muscle spasms, and what kind of person would go through that kind of trouble if so?)

You can never really have enough hash browns anyway, if you’re being honest with yourself.

Next stop is for whiskey because you’ve got a whole weekend day ahead of you and while you don’t want to rest on your laurels it’ll be a nice partner in your celebrating having a story to tell if even only to yourself and, quite frankly, a brand new addition to the spank bank, not to be crass, though crass is real sometimes.

While you were checking out at the shop your phone buzzed and when you pull it from your pocket you see they’ve already sent you a text — something nonchalant, a new budding inside joke calling back something you spoke about the previous night, and a brief explanation of a strange dream they had.

So now while you day drink you’ll try to read between the lines, spend some time drafting a response.

It’s a little victory.

You must again refrain from fist pumping.

Your doorman greets you with a knowing smile, asks how you’re living.

He knows what’s up.

He’s seen this so many times before.

This is all only really that special to you.

It’s not unique.

Not at all.

Doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.





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