The only appropriate way I could think of to try to forget about Burton was to go out with someone else. I called Eamon. I had been dodging his emails and texts, but now was the time to go out with him.
He happened to be free for the afternoon so we made plans to get bloody marys. We met at the corner of Damen and Augusta on our bikes and headed west toward Rootstock. It was closed for a private party. The next try was Scofflaw. Closed. Lula. Closed.
We ended up at Rocking Horse and that was fine. Conversation was hard. I still found Eamon attractive, but I started noticing little quirks about him that may or may not have been ticks. He sometimes opened his mouth wide like he was surprised before saying something. I think I thought it was cute the first time we went out. This time it made me uncomfortable.
He was having a good time. I didn’t feel very charming, but maybe I was doing a good job of faking it. He asked me what I was doing for Christmas.
“Nothing. I’ll probably go over to my friend’s house when she gets back from Ohio, but that’s it.”
“Let’s make a roast. It’ll be fun. We’ll have cocktails while we cook.”
“OK,” I said, trying to sound enthusiastic but failing.
After a bloody mary, a beer and sliders, we headed back to our neighborhood on our bikes.
When we got to my corner, we stopped.
“I’m serious about Christmas dinner,” he said. “I’d like to see you for Christmas and beyond.”
I smiled. “OK. I don’t know if I can do Christmas, though,” I said. “And so you know, I’m really slow about things. It might take awhile for me to ease into dating.”
“No worries,” he said. “You just let me know when you want to hang out.”
Christmas eve rolled around and I still hadn’t heard from Burton, but I didn’t expect to.
Dinner was eerily similar to Thanksgiving: same apartment, same company only this time we ate vegetarian enchiladas instead of turkey. It was OK. We drank a lot and had post-dinner drinks at Bangers and Lace. That was OK, too.
Still uncomfortable with the idea that things had ended with Burton, I left early. I was just drunk enough to think it would be a good idea to stop at Rainbo on the way home, but I was just sober enough to realize that would be an alcoholic move. Instead, I stumbled home and crawled into bed by myself.