I've felt embarrassment, quite often. Who hasn't? None quite as so devastating as the BP incident. This has probably been my most well documented, and most told story. Let me take you far back. Way back to 2007.
I worked at Barbecues Galore, as most of you already know. Right next door was BP. As well as selling petrol, there was a large amount of coffee sold during morning sessions. One of the regulars was a young, naive version of me. I can still remember the taste of a fresh caramel late from there, made by one of the most beautiful girls I've known, and I'm yet to find an equal.
Every morning I walked in there, and saw her. The first month might have been weird, but soon after we striked up a familiar ship. I can't remember how it started, but soon we could take about anything. My coffee girl would put me in a zone I felt comfortable in. We'd talk like the oldest friends, about people the other only knew. Her friends became my friends in my head. She'd always go out of her way to see me/do things for me. Rush through her duties to serve me coffee, shout me coffee some mornings. I have coffee to thank for a lot of loves.
After a while, I started to convince myself she liked me. The acts of friendship I received became strong views of affection. Every conversation became a subliminal cry for affection. I was meant to be the sexiest man alive.
After weeks of talking and being nice, I finally worked up the courage to do something. It was a massive plan. John Dillinger wouldn't have spent longer on his plan. I'd strike up conversation as usual, then when I received the coffee, I'd ask her if she wanted to do something afterwards. Easy.
I decided on one morning. It had to be that morning, because everything was working out well for me. I was early, feeling/looking good. Smelling a million bucks. It was all falling into place. I walked in, and saw no-one but workers about. Great.
Ordered the usual caramel late and made idol chit-chat. She looked stunning, even in her stained uniform. She handed me my coffee, and it was judgement time. I looked around and to my sheer horror, people had flooded the building. My preparation couldn't be wasted, I was too far. I swallowed my pride and asked her "Did you want to do something later?". The response wasn't what I was looking forward to.
She replied with "What?"
Oh dear god. She didn't hear. I could feel every ounce of blood rush towards my face. I felt faint, like I was about to fall over. She didn't hear! Imagine performing the most amazing feat for a Guinness world record, then finding out it wasn't seen properly. Sheer devastating. All my confidence was drained, so when I asked again, my voice was sincerely drained of feeling, quietened and shaky.
"Did you want to...umm...do something later?" I asked, as quick as possible, while 4-5 patrons behind me listened in.
"Sorry, I'm busy..."
I've never felt a bullet impact my chest, but that's what I'm sure it felt like. A freight train just disemboweled me and left the waste behind. Pretty sure I lost breath. I can't remember what I said afterwards, but in the span of what seemed like 2 seconds I was gone. I could have broken the sound barrier with the speed walk I did that day. I don't think I made it past the car wash before stupid, insecure tears welled up in my eyes. I didn't want them to appear, but they squeezed them out from underneath my tattered ego. Made it inside the confides of work before I lost composure, and my shit.
That night I bought a bottle of black Douglas and drank my ass off. Enough to spew all over the kitchen floor of my Aunt's. I sincerely apologise to my cousin for making her boyfriend's first night with her, one of spew smells and loud noises.
I think I avoided coffee for the next few days. When I came back, things were as if nothing had happened. Everything ignored. I nervously tried to get back to routine, but it just wasn't working. She told me something about her being pregnant, and only finding out that same day. Odd coincidence. One day she failed to arrive to work and I never saw her again.
I wish I could say my experience has changed me, but it hasn't. I'm still the naive young boy, jumping at conclusions. If an attractive girl says "you're a nice guy" or "I like you" I immediately think I'm in. I conjure up situations in my head. I convince myself of these feelings until I get shut down. I ride an everyday roller coaster. I hate myself for this thinking method. It overrides any logical thinking and restricts my friendship connections. Worst of all, I think it made me into a self loathing, bitter and twisted individual I am today. I love the person I am, but feel that this part of me brings out the most pathetic, cowardly and immature actions. I need a hobby.