Wednesday, December 28, 2005

About a girl

If you read the post the other day, you already know there are some factors that make this situation tough. What you don't know is that none of them concern me as much as one I didn't mention: another girl.

If she finds her way here and reads this, it'll probably solve the whole problem itself, but, mom always said "Honesty is the best policy," and besides, she actually told me to do it (see someone else).

Shit, I might as well start at the beginning.

Ok, so it's May 2005 and I've got my eye on the lady (who shall be known as B) in the aforementioned post. She's a pretty face at the office and a bit of a mystery to me. We'd talked a bit at the company party (a pitcher of beer broke her shyness quite a bit) and started chit chatting at the office, but that was it. I get wind from my uncle that he's having a big get-together in Tallahassee, FL. For the better part of the year to this point, I've been chatting off and on with someone else (shall be known as S) and getting on really well. But still, it was a casual interest as we'd had no opportunity to meet in person. The partay in FL changes that, as she lives between me and there, and actually grew up in Tallahassee. I email her an invite, expecting the odds are against it. She replies. She can make it. All is right with the world.

I jump in the car on Friday morning and set out from NYC for Myrtle Beach (my first stop on the journey). All I can think about is the road ahead, the thousands of miles I'd be driving in the next three days, who I'd be meeting when I got to Florida, and what it would all mean at the end of the trip. I make SC in decent time and crash for the night at a friend's place.

The next day I get an oil change and set out for the next leg: Myrtle Beach to Tallahassee. Again, more than anything else, I'm fueled by the excitement that, in less than 12 hours, I'd meet this mystery girl from a chat-land far away, and get to see my uncle revelling in memories and faces of yesteryear.

I hit Tallahassee right on time, around dinnertime. I see a horrible car accident that's delaying traffic a bit, get around it, find the hotel, and start to feel at home. All the while, I'm getting more pumped up. I then go to the place where the party is about to happen, talk to Tommy (my uncle), get a key, head back to the hotel, and start cleaning up for whatever was to come of this night.

Actually, no. I talked to S and she was headed to the hotel to meet with me and go to the party, but wasn't sure when she'd arrive. Thus, I couldn't rightly jump in the shower in case she showed up right then. So I get out the laptop and start busting heads in Unreal Tournament 2003 until there's a knock. I hadn't showered in two days of driving and sitting in the sun at this point. I was ripe. Rotten, perhaps. I hear a knock. I open the door and see a body I couldn't believe existed, but in the John Wayne stoic tradition, I didn't let on that I was floored by her very presence. I also kept my distance because I knew I smelled something fierce. I showed her in, got her settled, then desperately needed a shower.

Skip ahead, we go to the party. We talk, walk, sit by a lake and talk some more. I can't take my eyes off of her. Imagine the body of a model with the brains of.....I don't know, somebody who has two MAs (Philosophy and English Lit) and is working on yet another BA (Multimedia Design), since she is. She's the kind of anomaly that mom never warned me about. So I'm smitten. We stayed out late, danced a bit, and took a good liking to one another. A great time was had by all.

I went to sleep shortly before sunrise and had to be on the road by 7am to make my timetable. It was fucked up, but I was riding high from what an amazing night I'd had. I was debating stopping off somewhere in between again, but instead made the whole drive from Tallahassee, FL back to NY, NY in about 17 straight hours. It was nuts. She was on my mind the whole time.

So I get home and still have Monday off of work since I didn't expect to be home yet. Monday morning, my phone rings with an unknown number. I answer, and don't recognize the voice. Blame it on a then-unfamiliar Ecuadorian accent. It was B. She was calling to see how I was and whether I'd made it back safely. So just when I think things can't get any better, someone ELSE takes an interest in me.

Skip ahead about a month, and B and I are seeing each other every day at work, taking long walks around Manhattan in the evening, and really starting to dig each other. I still hear from S periodically, but she's dodging a jealous soon-to-be ex (he's officially an ex now, but wasn't at that point), and was walking on eggs. Things were really stressful for her, and I wanted to be there for her, in any capacity. I did what I could. We inevitably started aching to see each other again, and tried to find some logistics that would work, but nothing prevailed. We just kept that glimmer alive.

At this point, you're probably starting to think I'm a shit, stringing along two people at a time. That's not it at all, but you'll probably call BS in the face of my intentions. One was HERE, someone I could see every day. The other was distant but still needed me, and I wanted to help as an emotional support, if that's all I could be. We began to talk about the reality of the situation. S was still in a doomed relationship and didn't think it was fair to tell me to stay single for her sake. She had a point, but at the same time, there was a part of me that said, "You being single gives her hope." So I kept quiet about the person I was sort of dating at the time, totally unsure of where it was going. Why bring it up if you don't know where it's headed? Bear in mind that at least once a month, B tried to break it off with me, despite having so much fun together.

One time she tried to break it off due to her belief (cultural, I'm sure) that the man should be older in the relationship. She was 36; I was 28. Several odd events occurred that day (fate, maybe?) to show her what a silly reason that was to split up. Other reasons were a little more flimsy (she couldn't bear the intra-office gossip; apparently some other ladies wanted me but couldn't be bothered to say anything?), but they all were thinly veiled efforts to get at what I assume was her own fear of being happy and/or letting a man back into her life. I showed her how silly they all were and fought to stick with her. I was having a great time, and obviously so was she. Why just stop seeing one another?

She was bringing me food at work, cooked for me whenever I went to her place...I started thinking about Clerks, wherein Silent Bob reminds Dante that, "There are a lot of fine-lookin' women in the world; how many of them will bring you food at work?" Man's got a point. Things were really good.

Skip ahead to August. I tell her I have to leave for a while because I was broke and burned out on NYC, but I wanted to see her again. In essence, as the Governator would say, "I'll be back." My next move back home to Ohio, an utterly depressing trip by many standards, and I saw myself go $1200 further into debt trying to get on my feet back in my hometown. So I left again.

Now I'm up in Massachusetts, four hours from the girl who wanted to end it, and 11 hours away from the one with whom I've barely started. But she's not available in a practical sense. Still working away on a degree that won't wrap up till 2007, and even then, I start to wonder if she'd have time in her busy life for me, and how long it would take her to get bored with me. On the other hand, she's a great conversationalist and knows my native tongue as nit-picky well as I do. Definitely a plus. Compare that to the language barrier between me and a native Ecuadorian. Sure, it's kinda fun to learn some new Spanish every day, but would that grow tired when I wanted to really express myself about something and she just couldn't understand me?

Neither situation is perfect, but I'd be a lucky fool to be with either. When confronted with the possibility of getting booted out of my living arrangement here in Mass, my first thought was to go back to NYC. It'd be a short and fairly easy move, back into a place with good friends and the busiest city in the world at my doorstep. I may or may not be able to get B back. It has been three months since we called it quits. I still think about her a lot, but who knows if it's mutual. She specifically requested I not email her, so if I were gonna try to get back with her, it'd have to be some flowery public display of affection. No worries there. I've already got several ideas. But SHOULD I? Chances are I'll never be able to afford to live in NYC permanently, and she won't want to leave, so the whole notion seems stillborn.

On the other hand, moving 11 hours to be with someone I've spent all of one day with seems a little silly, too. The interest is there, sure. But if she can't stop analyzing life long enough to just live it and enjoy it, that's a life unlived. Sometimes intellect is a weakness.

These things (relationships) always attack me in pairs, and the contenders are always so evenly matched. I guess it gives me something to do, at least. And you have something REAL to read for a change.

I encourage your thoughts, dear readers.

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