Sunday, November 2, 2003
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quote du jour:
"For every romantic possiblity, no matter how robust, there exists at least one equal and opposite sentence, phrase, or word capable of extinguishing it." -- Malcom Gladwell
    

   
I
had a stack of real mail in the box outside of my apartment when I came in from work yesterday. It was a nice change of pace from the usual coupon books and mass mailings addressed to "occupant." Among the envelopes was a card from Alex.

As friends, I've always been the one that goes off the deep end. I do the mellow and heavy thing. I write long letters filled with emotion. With a handful of exceptions, her job has been to avoid deep conversations with me at all costs. Of course, our roles seemed to have been retired last weekend. Her card, along with a handful of lengthy phone calls throughout the past week, appear to be proof that things have indeed changed for the better.

Excerpts from the card:

     "After this weekend, my perceptions have changed about a
     lot of things. Just getting these things off my chest that I'd
     never said and tried to avoid for nearly five years... Well,
     let's just say that it really helps a girl's stress level."

     "I'm not sure what we are anymore. I know that we'll always
     be friends -- but I think there is "more" -- now as to how that
     is supposed to be interpreted is left up to fate."

     "We went to dinner on Friday and you did something you
     probably never even noticed. As we walked into the room,
     you put your hand on my lower back to usher me into the
     room through the door, and just like that I was done. It was
     Atlanta and D.C. and 4th of July 2000 all over again. All of
     those feelings that I had stored and hidden were back just
     like they had never gone away... maybe they never did."

     "Who's the one getting weird now? Take this for what it is
     worth to you. I just felt after all these years you deserve
     more than the wall I constantly throw up as my guard."


Without you having the chance to know her as long as I have, there is probably no way I can convey how out of character this would seem to be for Alex. While it's not unfathomable for her to express her feelings -- she's done that a few times before -- it is odd for her to be candid about those feelings for any extended period of time. The card is just one example. We've talked on the phone every night but one since she left Franklin a week ago. Every conversation has seemed incredibly open & honest.


The real question is, "what now?"

Alex and I managed a few short phone conversations last night. In one, I told her that I'd received her card... but had only skimmed what she'd written. Since she hadn't heard from me today, she called me about 10 tonight.

We talked a bit about what she had written. Since I'm totally lazy and haven't sent her my letter, she asked me to read it to her. I obliged. We agreed that we're probably thinking and feeling many of the same things right now.

She mentioned distance as a possible problem. We're only three hours apart, but Oakdale and Franklin feel almost mutually exclusive. It's odd, actually. People from Oakdale rarely make it to Franklin and vice versa. (I'm not just talking about my friends here.) More important than any distance, however, is the ability to make time to do anything. For the next few months, our schedules make that seem somewhat impossible.

I spoke frankly about how I didn't want to jump into anything too quickly. If something is going to happen, it's happening after five years in the making. There is no need to rush things now. I think the idea of a relationship is something we both want to think about... I'm certainly not opposed to it... But I think it's important to take things as they come. I want to be smart and responsible on this deal.

She wondered aloud if Jessie would have the attitude, "oh, no... not her again," if Alex and I were to get involved in something more than just friendship. The question is legitimate. Her true feelings notwithstanding, Jessie has never appeared to be keen on the girls I've dated.

Speaking of Jessie, Alex & I had an honest discussion about her, too. We talked about how Jessie brings stability and sensibility to my life. We talked about how so many people I know think I'm a fool for not carrying her off to the alter. Alex confessed that it does seem like Jessie is a good influence on my life. However, just because Jessie & I work well together doesn't mean that what should be a foundation for dating or marriage or whatever is in place. At least, I'm not sure that I see it right now with Jessie... more importantly, I don't think I feel it. Of course, I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for, either.

We admitted to each other how some of the past sins of our fathers still haunt us and affect our relationship decisions today...

We finally gave up and hung up after more than two hours on the phone. Needless to say, there wasn't much Alex & I didn't talk about. I'm not sure if we came to any great conclusions about anything... but we certainly had a good time just knowing that the other person was thinking and feeling many of the same things.

These conversations are something, indeed. They're purging years of bullshit build-up. I feel confident that if we keep doing what we're doing, things will work out exactly as they should.

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