Tuesday, February 24, 2004
quote du jour:
"Our lives improve only when we take chances -- and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." - Walter Anderson

K eyboards can affect your writing. The Dell keyboard is quiet. It's a stealth board of sorts... just enough click to let you know that you're hitting the keys without so much clack that you are distracted.

The Gateway I'm on right now, however... is a full-scale noisy keyboard. But, for some reason, I like that right now. It's a good noise. By simply typing these few sentences, I sound like an entire secretarial pool.

It's just shy of Midnight on Mardi Gras. The police and street sweepers are lining up downtown and the party is about to end. Carnival is soon to be over. I'm hanging out in Zoë & Patrick's guest bedroom. I've hijacked their computer because I can't seem to write longhand -- regardless how hard I try.

Today was a good day. We woke up just shy of the butt crack of dawn. We packed a cooler full of beer, daquiries & junk food. We camped out along Veterans Boulevard in Metairie and caught an entire carnival season's worth of beads through three parades. Maria drove in last night to join us and I really had fun just the four of us out in the mist. (Thank God the rains stayed away.)

Certainly, there could have been a fifth person along today... and yesterday... and the day before... and the day before and... Well, you get the picture. I'm talking about Jessie. I know she wanted to come as there is no doubt how much she loves carnival. However, we definitely have issues we have to work out. And selfishly, but most importantly, I needed a vacation alone.

It was 505 miles from Franklin to Kenner, Louisiana and I needed that many or more to get into a good mindset. The pressure of work & relationships has been too much to bear lately. I've done my best to ignore the relationship saga so that I could get work stuff done. I'm guessing that my ignoring days are over.

I think Jessie threw me an ultimatum when I saw her Thursday afternoon. She says that she can't take being my friend. It's obviously too much for her. She says that she hasn't gotten over being rejected by me last month and doesn't think she can. She even said that she'd gone through her apartment and made a list of the all the stuff of mine that she'd have to pack up and send to me. Wow.

It was sort of odd. She said that she was not going to issue a formal ultimatum -- to date or cut ties -- because she said that Fletch is the kind of guy to call someone on their bluff. Of course, she followed that up with a warning that if I called her bluff... she wouldn't be around. Whether you've been reading me for a month or for nearly all four years, you know how crazy the Jessie issue has been. I've been confused about her forever. Maybe now, things have to be decided.

I've been around Zoë & Patrick for almost all of my trip down here. They were just married in December and are very much in love. Of course, their marriage is new but their relationship is anything but. They've been dating for nearly as long as I've known either of them. I've always set my benchmark for a loving relationship on what they have. Maybe that's where I've gone wrong.

Certainly, I still think everyone has The One. I think you feel it... and you know it... But what I haven't realized is that it feels different to everyone. Regardless of any decision I make, I've gotta go and figure things out on the Thomas Fletcher scale of love... not Zoë's or Patrick's or anyone elses. Granted, that might be a tough project. I've failed to be honest about relationships for so long, it's going to be hard. To be honest in a relationship, you have to give up a piece of you to someone else. I'm not good at that.

I've decided that through the various women I've been involved with, I've rarely given them any of me. With most, I considered that a fair trade because I didn't take too much of them, either. The relationships were just two people sharing the same space... not much else. How can anyone ever find love with an attitude like that?

So often, I don't question whether or not I'd like to date Jessie... but it's whether or not she's The One. I think I've been looking at that the wrong way, too. How can anyone be The One without being in a mutually loving relationship... a relationship where everything is a two-way street? I'm not sure they can.

At one of the New Orleans parades Saturday night, I overheard a group of girls talking about a spoiled relationship that a friend of theirs just ended. It seems that the boy she was dating acted like her boyfriend only when it was convenient for him. I have no idea who they were talking about... but I know that they were telling my story. Perhaps, that's how I've been dealing with Jessie. And perhaps, it's time for that to end.

I think Jessie and I would have started a serious dating relationship by now if it wasn't for my fear of hurting her. For so long, I didn't want to date her because I worried about how she would act if things didn't work out. Well, now I'm facing the thought of losing her without ever having given a relationship between the two of us a chance. To let her slip away now would most certainly be a mistake.

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