Thursday, April 22, 2004
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quote du jour:
"One late rainy night I got a phone call. So I went back to see her again. And through the dance we both stumbled and with the buttons we fumbled, so we decided just to call it at friends. If we ever had a thing now it's over and only the memory remains of a roadside cafe on a September day I relive every time that it rains" - "Everytime That It Rains," Garth Brooks
    

   
I could still taste her peach-flavored lip gloss on my lips. The warmth from our goodbye hug still lingered in my arms and across my chest. I was making the 15-minute commute to work. She headed the opposite direction as she began her three-hour drive home.

She was gone... And, depending on for how long, it was a good thing.


This afternoon, I sat down at my computer. I launched the mp3 player that had sat minimized since she last played music for me Tuesday night. The first song queued was "Cold Day In July."

     "The moon is full. My arms are empty. All night long, I've
     pleaded and cried. You always said the day you would leave
     me would be a cold day in July."


When I walked into my apartment this morning -- little more than 24 hours after our goodbye -- I missed her just a little. Just enough of her scent lingered to make my mind think she was still here...

She's not here. Her visit that began Monday night ended yesterday morning and with it, I think, went the affair that Alex & I have maintained since late last year.

I wish I could wax poetically about how the strong emotions I feel right now. But, the truth is, I'm neither happy or sad. I just am. As important of a person Alex has been in my life, it doesn't mean that she is The One. And her not being The One is no reason to toss her aside. It's my hope that normalcy will return and we'll be great friends once again.

Throughout college, there were many times where I felt as though I was the only one of my friends that had faith in Alex. People questioned why I continued to be her friend -- especially when the two of us acted more like enemies than friends. The reason I gave was that I was convinced that there was much more to her than what she revealed to us. There have been a few periods in our friendship -- including the last six months -- where I've been proven correct.

Some people simply confuse the hell out of me. Alex has been one of those folks on many, many occasions. What makes Alex different, though, is that I can see through most of it. She's one of the few people -- if not the only person -- that I can look at and see her from the inside out. She says that when I look into her eyes, she feels as though I'm staring directly at her soul.

Years ago, I thought that it was my purpose in life to figure that girl out. Now, she's grown up enough that it's easier to understand her. I've grown up enough to know that I can't always understand everything. It could almost go without saying that we get along better now than we ever have before. But, unfortunately, I think that we're reaching our understanding a few years too late.

The two of us are probably still stuck in 2000.

That was the year that began with her hating me. That was the year her grandfather died and we became friends again. It was the year I almost flunked out of college. It's where I experienced one of the greatest moments ever spent with Alex -- the night of July 4th, 2000. It was the year she left the newspaper. It was the year that I wished on a star and kissed her in front of Jonathan's apartment. It was the year we went to Washington, D.C. and I groped her on an airplane. It was the year where it felt as though we were everything and nothing at the same time. It was four years ago.

Alex was the first to point it out... but we don't know much about each other anymore. Sure, we get along great. We still experience a connection with each other that is unlike anything either of us has felt with anyone else. Alex & I are something special and always will be. Yet, if we had to make a short list of things we know about the other's life in the last three months, we could use a single Post-It. We lead different lives now. Our worlds are not only separate in distance, but also in function. Our only common bond is each other. Maybe that would have been enough for a relationship... but I'm guessing not.

Back in the "Year 2000 Era," I did a lot of writing to Alex. Certainly, there were actual letters... but my trademark was the Post-It note. I'd sneak into her office while she was out and neatly write a thought-provoking quote on the Post-It pad on her desk. I never signed the notes, but drew a unique smiley face that she knew only I would draw.

At the time, I was trying to force her to have a few deep thoughts every now and then. Historically speaking, she was known to avoid all things deep -- appearance often beat substance. Some days, I thought my efforts were successful. Other days, I wondered why I continued with what could only be described as futile.

Late last year, I found out that something sunk in. When I visited her in late December, she showed me the album where she's stored each of my notes, quotes & letters. I was in awe that something I'd done had been treasured like that... and very nostalgic as I read through some of the things I'd written.

A few weeks ago, she told me that she was going to pack up everything I'd ever given her -- including the contents of the album -- and send it to me. She was tired being caught in limbo. Since our friendship took a turn towards interesting last year, she didn't know if we were in a "friendship" or a "relationship." I was worried that with either choice, things would end with her out of my life forever. So, I stalled. I made no decision. Finally, Monday night, I found that she simply wanted me to pick one or the other. We had "the friendship talk" twice during her visit. After she left, I knew that was the choice I had to make.

Our friendship has made lots of twists and turns since I first met Alex in 1998. There were times when it looked like it was dead... and times when it felt more important than anything else. Only time will tell where we're headed now. I just hope the story continues.

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