Sunday, August 28, 2005


It started with a simple, innocent question: What do people do in this town for fun?

The e-mails volleyed back and forth like a spectacular rally in tennis. Forehand, backhand, overhead lob, backcourt smash. But without the grunting or sweating. Just friendly banter seemingly bordering on flirtation.

L is easily the most beautiful woman I've met in Salem so far. She has one of those smiles that makes butter melt. And her big, expressive eyes can hold you like a vise.

But from the day we met I have assumed she's married. But then the e-mails. And an invitation to an event with a group of folks on Saturday night. And one day the ring(s) I was certain I had seen on her finger was/were gone. So, my head started spinning. Had she been engaged and was now free? Was she just one of those women who sometimes wore jewelry on her ring finger to keep some men at bay? Or was her jewelry just in for repair?

So one day on my lunch hour I stopped and talked with her about taking her up on the extra ticket she had for the dinner. And the ring was back. The conversation was still light, and smiles still lit up her face. But later in the day, in another e-mail there was confirmation.

She is married.

There it was, in a casual reference to her husband, tucked in to the text.

My heart should have sank. But truth be told, it was a relief.

She's married. I'm off the hook. Thank God.

Oh, I am certainly ready to date again. I'm almost 40 for fuck sake, we need to get on with the program. But this was not the right opportunity. Too many potential complications. And one big reason for wanting to save myself.

There is a woman back in the Midwest.


We keep fucking up our opportunities to get together. And usually it's me doing most of the fucking up. You'd think in more than 7 years of conversing online or by phone off and on we would have found a way to get together.

I had plane tickets in hand and was hours away from boarding a plane once, but she got sick.

And I've tripped over my dick a few times too.

I had an on-again, off-again affair with a woman from out of state who I would meet up with when one or the other of us took a vacation.

And D and I reconnected.

But eventually I turned my back on her again to date a clerical assistant who worked in my last office. But it turned out that woman was still technically married. But she was separated from her husband. She got cheating on him. She got pregnant. She ended the pregnancy and her marriage. I knew quickly that relationship would go nowhere. She was too young for me. She didn't want or like kids. She didn't want anyone to know we were dating. We never actually had intercourse, but we fooled around a little and she absolutely refused to be on the receiving end of oral sex and was convinced she would never change her mind. Can you imagine? But I was still smitten and it still hurt when it ended. First she put me off because stuff came up. Then she just suddenly quit returning phone calls and e-mails. It took me weeks to figure out that there was more than something wrong, but we were in fact through. And it took many more weeks not to feel that sinking feeling anytime I saw her face or heard her voice in the office.

And D and I reconnected again. And I later tossed it all away again. Although in my own defense the next woman I decided to ask out did get serious. We moved in together. We got engaged. We were together about 15 months. But that ended too.

And D and I reconnected yet again. And if truth be told, she was probably the most important person in helping me move on and have a reason to smile again. We had hoped to get together this summer, but her summer is now over and it will obviously be some more time before we can meet for the first time.

So, yes, I allowed a pretty woman who was merely being nice and friendly to turn my head. I developed a little crush. It felt good and it was harmless. But fortunately she is married. And I don't have to go all gah-gah.

And maybe, just maybe I'll have a new friend. It never hurts to have a few of those who aren't 1,000 or 2,000 miles away.

Whoever said distance makes the heart grow fonder, whether between friends or lovers, was full of shit.

I'm a believer in a sort of fate. I think some things happen for a reason. But I know too that fate needs help. Phone numbers don't pop into our pockets. It's hard to dance unless you ask someone to join you on the dance floor. Plane tickets don't buy themselves. We have to act. We have to make things happen. Serve the ball. Swing the racket. The score is love-40 G-man.

Game point.

What the fuck are you waiting for?

1 comment:

3rdtimesacharm ( 3T ) said...

What the fuck indeed! ;-)
I hope you and D put it together this year G-Man! Seven years is a lot of years to go without actually meeting face to face. Just cuz she is back working, doesn't mean you can't fly up for an extra long week-end. My fingers are crossed for the both of you.
;-) This was a great post by the way.

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