Every day now, I try to think of something interesting or witty or something to type in this thing, usually it’s something dumb, what I did today, Tom said this and it was funny, I saw this and it was interesting. For some, I’m sure that’s enjoyable, the simple life of someone who’s a tad unusual. Although there are some of you, some of you readers, who read this thing for days like today. Those readers who turn their heads to look at the capsized minivan, hoping to catch a glimpse of the shattered rib cage of the seven year old who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt during impact. Who am I to critize though? There is a reason that there is a saying in this culture, “If it bleeds, it leads”. That’s not without basis.
At work today I felt stirred to call Grace. People who are new to my life don’t know the story about her. I’ve mentioned her in here a few times. We had a whirlwind romance that lasted about a month and then suddenly, and a bit mysteriously, came to a sudden end. A sudden and overwhelming desire to call her came on me. I don’t think I’ve tried to call her in four months, resorting to letters instead. In roughly seven months, I havn’t heard one word from her through e-mail, letters, or on the phone. When she tearfully hugged me goodbye and told me we could still be friends in front of her house was the last time I saw her or heard from her. I second guessed myself, “Why now?”. Here’s a secret about me, reader. Now, anyone who follows this journal knows I’m a bit nutty, maybe a bit crazy. Here comes an omission of a symptom of insanity. I hear voices.
No, let me rephrase that. I hear a voice, just one. Not all the time, not constantly, not even frequently. It’s been around for years and years, and I recognize it. Maybe that voice is me being crazy, or a slightly personified chunk of my own psyche, some spirit, or a demon, who knows. But that voice is the patron god of this website (you are beautiful//I offer up a hundred prayers for you), you blood thirsty vermin. If ever I have a “good read of a post” on this site, I heard from that voice that day. What does that voice tell me? To kill, maybe? No. To seed dissent in my mind? No. No. no. Nothing like that. Nothing that simple and that easy. I’ll tell you what that voice says to me, delightful lies and horrible truths. Today, it encouraged me. “Today, she will answer the phone,”. Turns out I even give that damn voice the benefit of the doubt.
Let me back peddle a bit. Why have I been trying to contact Grace? I think that’s an important question. Grace has been definitely in the top five most interesting people that have ever been in my life, that alone is enough for me to try. Before anything else, let me tell you this, let me tell you why I wasn’t trying to contact her- To be my girlfriend again. I can’t even think of a single time since I left her house that Monday morning that I wanted her to be my girlfriend again. Things didn’t work out, and I’m fine with that. Always have, always will. She told me that morning, we’ll be friends, you can still visit me and my family. I wanted her to live up to that.
I dialed the phone. She answered. My heart skipped a beat.
She sounded happy. She has caller id. She’s happy to hear from me. This is going so well.
Hi, Grace! It’s Steve.
It’s good to hear your voice, Grace. How have you been?
I can hear her voice. I’m still familiar with it. Things have gone down hill, I know that something is wrong. She didn’t know it was me when she answered the phone. Her voice has already taken on that tone I remember so well.
Did I call at a bad time? Are you busy?
Actually, you did.
Is there another time that I’d be welcome to call back?
Reader, you know what I just asked. I didn’t ask if there is a better time. I asked if I’d be welcome to call back. I’m testing the water, knowing full well that it’s infested with sharks.
I had thought that she needed some time after that day, I had thought she was embarrassed or too nervous to pick the phone back up and talk to me. I had thought maybe she was scared. Hell, I even thought maybe she had shamed herself and that’s why no contact. With that “no”, I realized I was wrong. Horribly wrong.
She told me that where she’s at in life, I would make things harder.
I said I’m sorry to hear that, but I’ve changed a lot since back then, I think for the better. Maybe I could fit the mold that’d be acceptable.
She tells me, to be blunt, when we were talking, I didn’t really care for you.
F!@# F!@# F!@#, I tell myself in my head. F!@# F!@# F!@# “talking”?! she can’t even use the word “dating”?! Reader, the memory of the remainder of that conversation gets hazy. I didn’t really feel overwhelmingly angry, like I did for the next couple of hours after that phone call, but that anger burnt the traces in my memory. I remember telling her that I still think about her, I still care for her, if she changes her mind about the situation she knows how to get a hold of me.
Samuel Clemens, you know: Mark Twain, he trusted other people. He gave people the benefit of the doubt. He also was taken for most of his worldly fortune by people who took advantage of that. Reading that in middle school, I promised myself I’d never be like that. Do I feel taken advantage of? No. But I did give someone the benefit of the doubt, for seven months or so. Turns out I’m the sucker. I’m the stupid girl that keeps calling long after her ass of a “boyfriend” starts ignoring her.
Ever see the Wedding Singer, reader? The Adam Sandler movie? I remember the scene where his fiance that dumps him at the alter, shows up at his door the day after. He’s sitting on the porch and she tells him about how things really weren’t working out the way she had wanted. He screams in her face “Jeeze, you know, that information might have been a little more useful to me YESTERDAY!” “I didn’t really care for you,” is information that would have been useful to me two hundred eleven yesterdays. Yeah, I know how many days. I know exactly how long it’s been since I quit drinking, which was seven days after Grace cut me loose.
I’m getting tired of whining about this. It’s a big deal to me, yeah, but I’m feeling super crushed. Were there any levels that I wasn’t rejected? Hell, I didn’t even want to hear from her every night, an occasional “Hey, how have you been? Great, good to hear. Oh yes, I’ve been doing good. Yeah, I saw that too, it was a funny movie.” F!@#, I just wanted to know that we were “cool” with each other! How much harder could I have been snubbed?
Let me close with this. The weekend Grace visited me here, it was my parents anniversary. She gave them a card which inferred that she was going to be around for a long time. This was two weeks before that Monday morning when I drove back from Michigan. The card talked me up, and said that, that she wasn’t planning on going anywhere. Where did the truth stop and the lies start? It’s only been about four or five hours since that call, and I’m already feeling a bit demure about this whole thing. I got my closure, that’s what I wanted right? What I’m damn sure not feeling demure about is the idea that she very well might have boldly lied to my parents. If Grace ever reads this, don’t feel bad about how things worked out with me and you. I’m serious. You know what’s best for you, and you did just that. I can’t blame you. I hope you feel real guilty about that card though.