First and foremost, I would like to begin this post by sending my prayers to the victims, their friends, families and loved ones, and the entire city of Boston. I would also like to borrow the sentiments of Fred Rogers and urge all of us to look at those helping and sacrificing to provide aid, rather than be utterly and completely incensed. Evil does happen – it absolutely does – but so does good, and we must never lose sight of that if we are to remain loving, compassionate and human.
I must admit that the post I had planned for this evening now seems completely frivilous and in poor taste, at least somewhat. However, that being said, I am going to continue because not doing so will not help those afflicted in Boston and perhaps posting my ramblings will offer a distraction, at least for a moment or two. Then again, I probably flatter myself greatly in thinking enough people read this blog to place a judgment of value on the timing of my posts. So, please, allow me to talk about this past weekend.
I was seated with colleagues and friends in a purposely poorly lit bar. There was nothing remarkable about the venue; it could have been any Irish pub anywhere in New Jersey. I did think it was slow for a Saturday night, but that is not a complaint. I was idly sipping a Coca Cola and Jack Daniels, suffering through it patiently as some kind of demonstration of bravado that was unwarranted and probably unnecessary. We were gossiping and chatting, generally enjoying ourselves, when someone familiar walked in. All the blood rushed to my face and hands so that they felt swollen and numb, utterly useless, and I suddenly became unattractive to the point of being grotesque – or, at least that’s what I felt like. I wanted him to see me, but at the same time, I was comfortable with recognizing without being recognized. It was not like there had been some great love affair; it was only a schoolgirl crush, juvenile notions compounded with lonely fantasies and absolutely nothing more. Yet there I was all the same, reacting as if some great figure from my past had walked in with the sole intention of rekindling some great passion. It was silly and I know that, but it’s all I have and I can’t help it and I am not sure if I always feel like apologizing for it.
He did walk over to say hello, but he started with those seated farthest from me. He hugged and gave quick kisses upon the cheeks of the ladies, offered a firm handshake to the lone gentleman present. He did not say hello to me at first; he sat with those he knew the best and had a long conversation. It gave me a chance to sip at the alcohol through the straw desperately, to giggle to expunge nerves that were winding tighter with each passing moment. I delighted in the teasing, perfectly happy to entertain some farfetched notion that any kind of mutual attraction was possible when really, his mere presence made me feel so unworthy. “Indeed, when he did come over to say hello, he offered a genuine embrace, but then turned away to spend most of his time talking to the others. Though his arm rested upon the back of my raised chair – some kind of hybrid between a chair and a stool – he did not make eye contact. I received the impression that I was unimportant, boring and even a nuisance. I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else. How he had the ability to make me feel so small was perplexing until I realized I allowed it, because my writer’s imagination and romantic mind were turning nothing into something important, something worth writing about when honestly, it was baited breaths and daydreams – nothing more. But every time he left, he would place his hand on the small of my back ever so lightly, just to signal he was leaving but promising he would return.
He told us he was attending a wedding and for one positively horrifying moment, I thought it was his wedding, and that meant that the infintisemal window of opportunity I laughably deemed was present for him and I had been slammed shut. However, he was simply attending a wedding. So the next day, when I was attending informative workshops during which I should have been paying more attention and behaving in the fashion of a consummate professional, I was imagining. What else can I do when my expectations never ever come to fruition? I closed my eyes and saw myself, in some kind of slinky, sexy yet elegant evening gown, colored emerald green. I was not wearing shoes – perhaps they had been discarded on a dance floor, or thrown to the side to better enable movement because I was running, and running fast. My long hair flew out behind me, all waves and curls that no blow drying or hairspray could ever possibly hope to replicate, and my arms and legs pumped in unison with my heart like some well-oiled machine I have never before seen. Across cobblestone warmed in the sun I run, and there he is, running towards me. Left behind is his jacket, and the sleeves of his shirt are pushed up from his wrists to his elbows. His tie is blown back over his right shoulder as he sprints towards me, just as eagerly and as quickly as I am running towards him. Eventually we will collide, fall into each other’s arms, crash against one another’s body. Will it be a passionate explosion, or will we both slow just before contact is to be made and simply stare, chests heaving from breathing hard? I do not know, because the daydream always ends, and it is always unfulfilled. I have never run towards someone who was running towards me.
I imagine it is one of the greater experiences of this world.