As an introduction, I met this man we decided to call Ronald a little over two years ago. This is the same reference as my post
Exhibit B and C, but I'll just re-post it so we're all on the same page.
2006 Agreed to appetizers. Chatted for the evening. He nervously asks to get together again. I say no thanks. Get home to an email asking the same thing (How many times to they have to get rejected???)
As far as getting together again, please indulge me in bringing up the
always-awkward topic of clarification. I enjoy intelligent banter and
philosophical discussions thoroughly, but buffered by friendship, and nothing
more. I am always eager to meet new people and determine who they are and why,
and my emotional unavailability is often discovered late. I hate to be
presumptuous in this thread of conversation, and please forgive me if I am, it's
just that I have too often been accused of cruelty, when it's really
forgetfulness--that not everyone is necessarily on the same page with social
engagements--and perhaps naivety. So, there's that, and chalk one up for awkward
This paragraph was followed two days later by a Valentine's gift. I need to re-evaluate effective communication techniques.
Rejection attempt #2. Same guy. 2007:
Yes, I will be at Century on Saturday. I hate to be presumptuous, but I just
want to clear up something. If your feelings towards me are the same as they
were a year ago, you should know that mine haven't changed either. You are a
great guy, but I'm not interested in anything beyond that. You certainly are
welcome to come dancing on Saturday, but I just don't want your expectations to
be misled. Again, please excuse the presumption, but life is generally easier
when communication is straightforward, regardless of how awkward the subject may
Mind you, these are verbatim. Right. So then we followed up with this post this post, from which I'll just highlight the relevant communications:
I believe I may have showed up at another club meeting sometime in November. December rolls around and I start seeing him at salsa. Every week. Again, being well-bred and well-mannered, I graciously greet him and offer a dance (only because he's new and I so appreciate all the compassion and pity dances I got as a beginner). Again, he asks nothing, but this kid is a smart one. He figured out that the only way he was going to hang out with me was to show up where I was at. I'm at salsa every week. He came to salsa every week. See where this is going?By about the 3rd week, I send the email posted yesterday as Exhibit B #2...just clarifying in no uncertain terms that I AM STILL UNINTERESTED, even though he hadn't asked. I've never been that presumptuous, straightforward, or bold before. Sorry, not interested. That's that.He doesn't really respond to that particular note, but doesn't slow the communication--email and dancing. Ay-yi.
In February, he asked if we could maybe hang out in a setting where Ronald didn't feel as awkward and clumsy as salsa (and yes, he did refer to himself in the 3rd person). I decided that maybe I need to give a final, in person, face-to-face, once and for all, unequivocal no. I reply, "Yeah, we probably should chat."
Glad it was such a cornerstone event for you and
congratulations for following your killer instinct for interview
I know you've been frustrated with your job situation
and lack of opportunities in your chosen field. Have you ever
considered taking a break from normal? Why not join the Peace Corps
or some international NGO and spend a couple of years overseas? I think
the adventure would be good for you! Then you can come back, write up all
your experiences and badabing! there's your ticket to fame and wealth. I
hear it's also a great way to meet chicks... ;)
This time, I schedule it for the week after Valentine's day to try and push off any potential action/reaction/creativity on his part. He did better this year by only sending me a very sappy e-card with a personalized poem. *sigh* But it was an improvement. We meet up (after his salsa class, at which he is now a regular attender) for dinner at a local pub.I start the conversation asking about his job and such. He answers...I ask a follow up question....he answers.....I let the silence go for a half a second before asking another follow up question....he answers....then looks at me expectantly for the next question. Geez! I gab on until the food comes.
Then I launch into the "Ya know, just not going to work," bit. He replies, "I know you're not interested right now and I know I can't provide for you the way you'd want right now and I know there are some thing I need to work on right now, so I understand what you're saying." Don't think so, buddy.
I try to explain that it's not a question of right now, but that we are unsuited for one another until death do us part.It was painful, but I believe by the end of the evening we had a meeting of the minds and ended amicably, albeit with me paying for my own darn dinner and drink. Sigh of relief. Clarification. FREEDOM!Email the next day. And the next. I bolted town for a bit on a work trip. He researched the city for me. I got back to another email. And the day after. Weblink the day after that. Text message the next. Two emails after that. The more I reject him, the more impossible I paint the options, the more he tries!
Ok, so we're on the same page, right?
After my rejection speech, he continues to send emails, about once a week. I thought we had come to a meeting of the minds on this. I send one email response (for a highly momentous occasion, a one line, "good luck"), but other than that, do not respond. February, March, April. In one of his email musings, he thanks me for being so supportive. Silence is supportive? Apparently. May.
We then have a month of silence. oh the bliss!
In July, we both show up for a party at a mutual friend's house. I get this excerpt:
"You’ll have to forgive me for being so aloof and stand-offish during the party.
I hope I wasn’t offending. As you can probably guess, I’ve been trying to avoid
you like the Mexican whooping cough for these past couple months, for
self-evidentiary reasons. Although for pragmatic purposes we’ll just chalk it up
to being so focused on getting a regular series of assignments for the Seattle
So I’m sorry for that and being so chump change."
Love how he apologizes for my behavior. I avoided him. Nice.
Shortly thereafter, he got a huge break in his career, so I did offer him a "Congratulations!' Maybe I shouldn't have, but I really am a nice person, very, very deep, deep down inside.
Here's where things start to go downhill (just now? yes! Trust me, it gets worse!!)
This past August 2008: For three weeks in a row, he tries to make it to salsa. Each week, some freak event keeps him from coming. I don't recall exactly what they were now, but things like radiators exploding, and lightening strikes, and the like. Each week, he sends me a text message, followed up by an email explanation as to why he was unable to make it. By the 3rd week, I shoot back a text to the effect of "Maybe if you try going to church, God would look more favorably on your salsa efforts." He immediately sends back a reply, and 15 minutes later sends back the more clever retort he came up with after some thought.
Ok, back to verbatim.
"OK. I intimated that I'd be doing it your way tomorrow in regards to making
sure my boogeymen don't sabotage my efforts to go to
Since you're wanting me to go to [Church] before
[dancing], maybe it would be fun to hook up before hand.
like I have to do a little bit of overtime on Saturday, a hated but necessary
task, otherwise I'd suggest making a day of it. However, the pursuit of lucre
intervenes and maybe it's just as well. Would you like to tag-team something to
munch on instead?
Your ever busy schedule permitting of
It would help me avoid getting cold feet over a couple
things. And I kind of miss your company anyway.
Talk to you
I do believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is essential
for life here and hereafter and I hope your spiritual pursuits are
fulfilled--for your sake, though, not mine. From our previous
conversations, you seemed inclined to think that a committed Christian faith was
somewhere along your path; your timing was the key sticking point. I would
love for you to have the joy and peace and purpose that come with a life devoted
to God. If I can provide an extra push to help you get over cold feet, I'm
happy to do so.
As to getting together, given your periodic interest in me, I think it
would be best if we limited our socializing to group settings.
Regarding this Saturday, I will be out of town for much of the day and am
not certain if I'll be back in Seattle in time for YP. I think you know at
least a couple of others that regularly attend, though, and I'm sure any one of
them would be more than happy to save you a seat!Take care, [Me]
(Before reading the rest, be assured that I'm being cheerful
and upbeat here. Rereading it might seem otherwise, but I am in good humor.
Despite having issues with the throttle on my Mustang. Fords... I hope you're
not terribly cross or perturbed with me.)
Anyway. You have the
darnedest habit of getting a guy's hopes up and dashing them. Now you know
perfectly well the one and only reason why I would commit to going to church in
the near timeline.
And it's not like I'm totally against the
effort. It is just that I've got two strikes against me already in the newspaper
business. One coming from a community newspaper background. Two being my
political inclinations. If I go off and do something silly like getting
religion, that might just completely torpedo my chances of doing the the thing
that I was put on this planet to do.
Oh, and as for any
infatuation, I thought I made it rather clear that I am in no way, shape or form
able to entertain any hopes of pursuing that end due to a variety of reasons.
[Me], you're completely squared-away with a career, a house, etc. Me on the
otherhand, I'm a starry-eyed romantic who has this completely off-the-wall
notion that I can go oand single-handedly redeem the institution of journalism
in America. Yes I'm that ambitious. Or foolish.
So. There's a
reason I've made myself scarce since February. As a friend, please don't
rub it in. Because doing so is rather cruel.
be real here. How's this hicktown reporter supposed to support your extravagant
However, so as not
to suffer too much embarrassment I'll probably play the coward and skip out
on church this week. We'll see. Have made my mind up about
Post Script: Oh, and one last
thing. Since I have been more than perfectly honest with you in regards to
everything (And [Me], most guys aren't). During our last "real" conversation you
made the remarks that 1) "I'm not spiritual enough" and 2) I'm not "adventurous
I took this as a dare and have been trying since to
contradict your false impressions of me.
Now we can both agree that
the second statement does not apply to me.
As for the first, well,
I am spiritual [Me]. I just despair at ever having the ability to show it.
Oh, one more thing since words have meaning.
It has never
been periodic interest. My interest has been pretty continuous
ever since we first met at Hale's Ales.
And therein lies the
rub, oh you believer in mysterious miracles.
Thanks for the email and for your call [I let it go to
voicemail]. No worries, your upbeat and cheerful tone comes through just
I appreciate your honesty. It is indeed
rare. I have tried to be honest, as well, and (honestly) while you may not
be *pursuing* me, I'm not convinced that you are quite *ambiguous* towards me,
either. You've been avoiding me in person, but the steady stream of
emails, and occasional text messages and postcards, do tell a different
story. I'm mostly recognize it from other guy friends who are still hoping
the object of their affections will eventually awaken to seeing them as the
culmination of their hopes and dreams. Or at least agree to a date.
And the fact that you would agree to come to church with me (especially a church
that's so...how did you put it? extreme?) also indicated that I still have a
pull that your other Christian friends who so deeply care for you lack.
As for Christianity being the third strike against you, consider
this: While it may further prejudice some, it does come with access to One
with omniscient and omnipotent powers, which is pretty handy in any career
path. Trust me, the rewards far outweigh any potential drag. I don't
recall the exact phrasing of our last conversation, but I doubt my issue was
"not religious enough." It's not about saying all the warm fuzzy
platitudes, or showing up at church twice a week, or even claiming the
label. When you give your life to Jesus, it transforms you from the
inside. You see things differently. Your attitudes, your
expectations, your responses all change when you allow God to renew your mind
and your spirit. You begin trusting God to do the impossible, stepping out
in faith, and being certain of what you cannot see. The City Church is
indeed fairly...intense... for most people on the first few rounds, but it's a
great place to plug in and learn about God. However, it's certainly not
the only one! There are plenty of Bible-believing churches that can help
explain the crux of Christianity and support you along the way. You are
always welcome to visit some services with me--as my invited guest--whenever
you'd like. Except tomorrow because I still don't know if I'll be back in
town, although you're certainly welcome to attend without me. But you
already knew that. :)
(If you'd like to hang out before
or afterwards, I'd still like to include a few other folks in the mix for my own
comfort level, though. I'm sure you can
Apologies for the frustrations and I hope my
explanations helped to clear up my perspective.
Have a good
*sigh* Yes, I know. But I think God has a different miracle for
you. She might be blonde. ;)
I am very greatful that you aren't terribly cross with me. I've been staring at
those two unopened email messages for about fifteen minutes with the dread a
rabbit feels watching a ferret slink through its
Fortunately rabbits always build
The biggest issue was that I was just bewildered
that you'd invite to something and then act like you're not supposed to be seen
E-mail is an imperfect medium. But the one thing I ask is
that you find a way to trust me enough so that you feel secure enough to let
your guard down and open up the way I've done with you. I've seen you let
your hair down, even when you've cut it short. (*rimshot*)
feel that it's incumbent upon you to be priggish and aloof just on my
This hicktown reporter can have a good time too. So just
try to keep up. Although the whole church and salsa thing does put him at a
Oh. And maybe it would be easier if at times
you'd take point on the
believe me [Me], we've all had those
socials, road trips, cowtipping, coffees, tagging Greg Nickles house. That sort
Anyway. Chaperones are cool. Although let's just
pretend that they're friends.
Post Script: Oh. And
I didn't mean for this email to be so long.
Post-Post Script: Oh.
And ambiguity is a rather ambiguous subject. Although, since I'm a little more
experience (although honestly, just a tad) I'm going to pull rank on you and say
this isn't terribly odd or unusual occurance. OK. Well maybe it is. But still.
And you're right not to trust those OTHER guy friends of yours. They sound
like a bunch of pikers and knee-biters.
Post-Post-Post Script: I do
prefer brunettes. And almost every male in my family have this incurable
fascination with redheads. But blondes are always bad
Post-Post-Post-Post Script: And I will be at [dancing]. Come
Deluge, Drought or act of Ford.
Post-Post-Post-Post-Post Script: And since
we're on the issues of posts, you better be keeping those postcards!
I feel that there's an underlying issue that still needs to be
addressed.You've stated in your recent emails that you have had a continuing
interest in me since we met. I don't know how else to say it, but
you need to get over your interest in me. Since our last conversation on
the topic, you indeed avoided me, but have made no effort to divert your
interest. You've narrowed in on my last statements of religion and
adventure as things perhaps standing in your way. These were just two that
I mentioned because I didn't see a need to list all the ways we are
incompatible. It's not just your financial standing or lack of a
passport. If you won a Pulitzer Prize and became fabulously wealthy and a
missionary on top of that, there are still insurmountable differences in our
personalities, our interests, in our respective l'essence de la Vie. [Ronald],
you have many wonderful qualities, but I have never considered you as a
potential interest. We are too different. I don't want to see
you waste any more time on me.
I wish you the best.
Don't think it is in me to be a missionary and given the
chance I'd turn down the Pulitzer. No joke. I've got little tolerance for
journalists who seek awards. The only one I've ever cared to, and set out to win
was the Third Place for Best Agriculture for the annual Washington
Newspaper Publishers Association awards.
It is a trick to write an
Ag. story good enough to get third but not good enough to get
As for the more important topic, I got through chatting and
communicating with [a mutual friend] and she offered a lot of good advice and
some information that I wasn't aware of.
Now since I'm all tied up
in a knot here, and since I've got a date planned later this evening and since I
have to figure out how to cram in watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech I'm
running on a short deadline.
So I'll edit out the long
explanations, excuses, lame jokes and 1970s disco trivia.
trust me. It's a hard thing, I know, to ask. And I don't blame you for being
suspicious or saying no. But I'm pretty dependable when it comes to
veracity. If worst comes to worster you can always play the honorable gentleman
2) Let's be cool.
3) Like The Fonz
4) And if it is alright with you, I am still game for
that "being a friend" thing people keep talking about. There are many things one
is good at and there are many things that one is lacking in. And I've found
being around people, who are often completely different, yields valuable
And you're someone whom I trust to learn a few things
5) Not to put the cart before the horse or
anything, but it was you who was the one that started opining about marriage and
joint-tax returns ever after. Whereas I was in the "Hey, I really like you,
maybe we should get to know each other more, etc." mode.
offense. There are a whole variety of things about you - which to be honest
[Me] you haven't really shared a lot about yourself - which are a complete
blank to me. There might be things about you which are a complete turnoff. That
toenail collection of yours, talking in tongues, your penchant for pet ferrets,
Instead of being beautiful and mysterious, maybe a little
more forthrightness might have solved this long ago. I don't
See. Turning this problem back at you.
Anyway. I do have to go. Like as of 5:15. I'll give you a
call later sometime.
I have a hunch there are still things under
the rug which need smoothing out.
Post Script: One other thing has been bugging me for a year now. And I'm
always keen on when I hurt someone's feelings.
Last summer during
the "[A local broadway production attended by 20 of my friends]" musical you
weren't doing very well. Now I remember talking to you, meeting your dad right
before the play started. And I made a remark about you spending your time salsa
dancing, or being a great dancer, or something. You looked kind of aggreved and
then a short while later you had your episode.
I don't pry, but I'm
prying now since who knows when I'll have the opportunity again What was
that about? To say I was concerned was probably an understatement. But then I've
read too many Walter Scott and James Fennimore Cooper novels.
I don't respond.
He follows up with this :
As a note, not all, but some of my correspondence has been anxiety-drivenI don't respond. He waits a month and a half then sends me this:
over worry for my little bro. Probably about four or five of my more goofy or
WTF emails. As you may have noticed, one of the ways I deal with trouble is to
make light of the situation. Gallows humor, very British.
have time now, before heading down south tomorrow I should probably add a couple
more things. You've been misreading my actions as an attempt to change myself in
order to impress you. "Maybe if I do this, the [Me] will come around".
Quite the contrary.
I've been wanting you to like me
just the way I am with all of my flaws and attributes.
emphasizing the adventurous, spiritual meme not in some attempt at passing a
test. I was correcting a mistaken impression you had of me. I think we can both
agree that I'm pretty damn "adventurous".
As for the "spiritual"
part. I'm still at a loss how to explain, and since you grew up in a
rather religious family, I'm sure you're no doubt rather
But I choose not to go to church because I
don't like those "fuzzy platitudes" and the times I've gone, that is all I saw.
But when friends whom I cherish and trust invite me to partake in something that
is very important to them, like [friend 1] and [friend 2] did and like
you've done - repeatedly - I'd be a cad not to share. If the
subjects weren't about King David killing off henchmen -so don't have sex in the
summer - or stories about whiny, spoiled yuppies who have everything
but can't seem to live a happy life, then I might actually show some
I'm kind of looking for something more. A lot more. But
this is a subject better expanded upon some time in the distant or near
Another example is when you mentioned "if I won a Pulitzer
it still wouldn't be good enough, etc. If you knew me well enough you'd know my
disdain for that prize is only exceeded by the rigged contest put together for
(recent) Nobel Peace Prize winners.
This is obviously my fault for
miscommunication. But a lot of times I just assume things. Other times I'm
intentionally vague about myself because I do have a Puckish sense of humor. And
also I was quite obviously hoping.
None of this is meant to change
the status quo. It is just a statement of facts.
reemphasize. Re-reemphize? Once upon a time you seem to have enjoyed my
company and seemed eager enough to seek it. I'm a great guy with unique
qualities. It is obvious I like your company. Sometimes you can be rather
So when I get all this family stuff sorted out,
whenever that may be, it would be nice to either rewind or fast-forward out of
this quagmire. Besides, I can kind of guess that you're rather busy and have
better things to do than wade through this garbage.
*Proffers olive branch*
Here's the thing: I am not interested in you. I never have been
interested in you. I have communicated this fact to you on five separate
occasions. Meanwhile, I've tried to treat you like a friend. All my
gestures have been construed and interpreted as some latent, suppressed,
furtive interest. But I am not interested in you. And I have never
been interested in you. Therefore, I think any attempt at a friendship is
[my FULL legal name],
It's probably fortunate I'm up to
my elbows with axle grease, helping my brother change the ball joints and wheel
bearings on his Jeep and can't write more.
1) It is true one of us has clearly and demonstrably
misconstrued the actions of the other. Despite my being completely honest, it
seems I've failed.
2) Will have to search back in my memory for the
one or two times you've shown any hint of friendship and see if I've
misinterpreted those rare acts of beneficience...
A) And Plan
B. And Plan C. Will be with Plan B tonight and with any luck the rest of the
weekend. If memory serves, I pointed her out to you the Thursday at [dancing]
right before flying off to Chicago. Ever since that night you've kind of
acted... odd. Certainly a coincidence.
4) It does get a bit
annoying trying to argue with you that I'm not good enough for you. And then
have you come back with the rejoinder (apparently five times) stating that I'm
not good enough for you. Then I have to agree while adding that it's important
to me that we remain friends. And then you come back and put on the table for
discussion the fact that I'm not good enough for you. Hurts a guy's pride
considering the circumstances.
5) I've got to go. If you look back
on my actions you'll see that I have been trying to get you to do one thing. And
that's just to LIKE me. Forget other four letter words that start with the
twelth letter in the alphabet.
[Me], I don't think you really
understand the kind of person I am, and that is no doubt part of the problem why
you don't understand my actions.
Here's the deal. When I met
you Hale's Alehouse and the Dragonfly Restaurant over two years ago I've been
trying to breach your defenses. Because you sit apart from everyone like a
citadel on a hill. Dazzling to behold but forbidding, it takes only the stoutest
soul to approach you. And when they do, they're turned away at the first sight
of your barbicans. Since that time over two years ago I've been curious
whether your battlements encompass rich tapestries, treasure rooms and a warm
mead hall to welcome those privledged few allowed inside. Or do chill
drafts blow through the empty corridors of a stony
I've seen through enough chinks in your defenses to
hazard a guess. At any rate, I do have to go right now. Despite the imperfection
of this email.
Post Script: Yes I've been re-reading Ivanhoe. Hence the craft of
that one paragraph. What's the point of reading classical literature if it
doesn't crop up into your conversation at ill-timed moments. *Note attempt at
humor for those who have the habit of misconstruing*
Two weeks later, from him:
Not sure if it helps but I never was under the impression
that you had any furtive interest of any sort. For the longest period of time I
honestly believed that you didn't like me at all, thinking perhaps that I was
too gauche or not up to your academic standards. After that, I was under the
assumption that you were just "palling" around to recruit me into church; a
common strategy that. Getting attractive gals to bring lonely guys before the
After that, well, I didn't know what to make of your
friendship. You never explained yourself nor are you in the habit of
At any rate, I'm writing to say Happy
Halloween for starters. Hope you have a good time tonight. Also I'll be going to
the [dance hall] for their Costume Ball/Disco Party. As you are no doubt aware,
I have a certain affectation for music from that period, [Me]:-) Now I have to
figure out how to "Do the Hustle".
Also, it is almost certain I'll
be drawing on my investment in time and money some
in the future. So no angry recriminations if
you see me there. Or at events or parties thrown by mutual
And with that said, my car tonight will probably drop its
exhaust system or I'll be abducted by Sasquatch, what with my luck in heading to
Have to go right now. I do miss your wit and company.
Sorry I brought things to this point.
I don't respond.
He includes me in two group emails in November. Sends me a Merry Christmas email. Then we both show up at the same New Year's party. I surround myself with friends and hardly move from my defensive position all night. I do not acknowledge him. I don't even look at him. We do not interact. He took pictures the whole night, quite a few of me. New Year's Day, I find this present in my inbox.
Yes I know it's 4 a.m. Gotta get these sent out.
And no I don't have anything
more intelligible to write at the moment, although I'll think of something no
He sent me pictures from the party. Charming. (Except the pictures weren't, many were actually quite unflattering of most withing the frame.)
A few minutes later, he follows up with this:
More of the first.
Have the whole clutch up on Facebook.
Anyway, just click the yes on Friends for Facebook as I
sent you an invite and you took me up on joining and you can peruse at your
Or wait until someone tags you on the photos, and then you
should be able to see.
Or do neither.
Could write more
but I won't. At any rate, it was good to see you, even if we had our backs to
each other strategically throughout the evening. Oh, and I miss being able to
talk with you. So there.
Late January, Him:
This is just a pre-apology for anything that goes wrong
tonight. It's 9:03 in the P.M and I'm heading into [dancing] to see if I
can't make good on any of those Salsa lessons I invested in once upon a
Have interviewed high-powered politicians and celebrities,
been shot at (twice) and have been involved in a Hollywood-style car chase at 55
mph plus speeds on a gravel forest service road, pursued by an irate (and
probably packing) operator of an illegal junkyard in Cashmere. In fact I've been
in more adventures than your average civilian this side of military or law
But I only really get nervous psyching myself up to
walk out the door in a situation like this.
will turn out splendid. Or at the very least, not terribly
So he did a suprise attack that night and was waiting for me in the lobby. I was shocked to see him (I hadn't seen this email before I got there), so when he made a crack about my parallel parking (apparently he had watched it), I just murmered "Thanks?" and quickly made my way into the dance. I escaped into the bathroom for about 10 minutes then went to the coat check. He was at the balcony and didn't see me pass the first time, but on my way down to dance, he caught me and asked, "Does it make you uncomfortable that I'm here? Should I leave? Do you want me to leave?" I shrugged him off as I walked away, saying, "I don't care, do what you want." He didn't dance the entire night, just watched from the balcony. He made sure to say goodbye as he was leaving.
He then sent me a short, non sequitor follow up email.
I don't respond.
The next week, Him:
In the old days, riders would be dispatched under flags of truce and hostages
exchanged. Instead, email shall suffice.
There's a 50-50 chance
I'll be at [dancing] again tonight. Maybe this time, won't have stage
fright... No promises though
Then he invites me to an event.
Then the infamous Feburary 14 rolls around and he sends me an "Awkward Valentine." Quite literally, that was the name of it.
A week and a half later, I get this:
Have squirreled away the resources and found the time to
take another set of dance classes. Am up to Salsa 3. Whenever I start a project,
I finish it.
First off I am considerably rusty. And yesterday, had
to go to class with a blister on the back of my right heel the size of a
quarter. My own fault. Was breaking in a new pair of hiking boots on a four mile
hike. They need insoles, since my feet are so slender.
It's been a year since we've been able to talk at any
length. And not being able to be friends with you is a
disagreeable experience. Who do I have to talk to, now, about classical
literature? Or Orson Scott Card novels for that matter:-)
be nice to just hit the reboot button and start things over afresh from this
time last year.
Will give you a call as soon as I can. Juggling
some things at the moment.
Although professionally, I might have to pick your brain too.
That same day, he posts a note on my online bookshelf site, he calls and leaves a voice message, and sends me a Facebook message once again begging me to accept his friend request.
I reply to his email with this:
I'm feeling stalked and you need to stop.
Oh good gravy [Me]...
I'm trying to give you a second chance. While
also trying to tie some lose ends up.
Look, I've been completely
honest about everything. Everything. Whereas you have been a bit more opaque.
And I've done everything to avoid you. Going out of my to do
Here's the deal. We came to our understanding last year in
February. That was the way things were going to be. Then the day before I headed
to Chicago, last March, I showed up at [dancing], on a Thursday with my rather
beautiful and buxom friend and you acted completely weird and strange. Didn't
realize it at the time, but in after thought it sure seemed like you
were jealous. Could be wrong, but then I've only seen that reaction
from jealous women.
I've asked you questions before and you haven't
answered them. Why did you befriend me in the first place? Why, if I'm such a
bad person, did you invite me to go dancing with you and [another friend] two
Octobers ago? Why did you insist that I take classes? Or come along to plays? Or
go to church with you?
Surely there was something that was
important enough to make you want to invest that time. And don't give me the "I
would have done it for any random person on the street, ax murderer or junkie or
Latter Day Saint".
Here's nother example of me being brutally
honest, even though I probably shouldn't be. I had a date yesterday. Going out
on a date with a different person this weekend. Been with a few different gals
since last we met. So please don't think that I'm holding a candle for
you. I'm not. So can we table that topic of discussion. Until after I win a
Pulitzer at any rate...
The reason I have been in contact with you,
right now, is because I'm going to be taking a rather big chance,
career-wise, really fast. The gears are turning on it as I type. You're someone
whose judgment I respect. You're someone whom I admire. It's probably because
you're one of the few people who happen to be almost as smart as me. Not to
mention almost as good looking, almost as moral and almost spiritually
One or two of those were meant to be
Whenever I write you, or hang out with you or whatever,
usually good luck follows. (That might seem an odd statement, but you might have
noticed I'm kind of superstitious and keep track of those things. It's a long
More importantly, I could use just a little help
here. I rarely, if ever, ask people to help me. I wanted to ask this to you in
person, so dang it [Me], would you take the time over the next few days
to send along a few prayers for me?
That's why I've been wanting to get ahold of
I know you've frowned on my journalistic efforts, calling it
"just a job". Wish I could explain to you more at length that it is something
more than that. Sure you go to church. But I'm not sure if you can truly
understand what it is like to be called to do something, to save something.
Maybe not a text message from the Burning Bush but damn close. (And that's too
long of a story to relate).
So am I worthy enough of your
consideration and help? Because I'm not going to resort to standing
outside your window in the rain with a boombox. Because that's so
Post Script: If you refer back up to
paragraph #3, you'll notice that bit about me going out of my way to avoid you.
It's worth repeating. I've said it before. The reason I have been avoiding you
is to set aside all doubt that you might have in your pretty little head that I
have been stalking you. That's why I haven't gone to [dancing] in forever. It's
also why I haven't gone to church.
Some more facts. I ain't going
to [another locala church]. The folks at the [his association], for whatever
reason, have a bug up their ass about the folks there. Committing career suicide
is not in my cards at the moment.
I'm only going to a church
that has some of my friends. The only two houses of worship, locally where I
have friends I trust enough to go with happen to be [other local church]. And
your little conclave.
Would have gone last August when you invited
me. But then you got all weird and wobbly, thinking things that weren't so.
Instead of just accepting what I had to say at face value. (Forgetting
that whole thing about me being completely honest).
gone since. But I don't want to be THAT GUY who is looked at sideways who, Oh My
God, is stalking [Me]. See how complicated things are. And see how I'm trying
honestly to uncomplicated them?
Help a guy out,
Post-post Script: Anyway, if the below still holds. I'll accept
your wishes. Not sure who's giving you advise but it's pretty poor. But I've
always allowed people to make their own decisions.
Can I just clarify that when I saw him dancing and he pointed out his little friend, I wasn't sure who he was talking about and wasn't convinced he even had another friend there. I was just annoyed he showed up on a night I didn't expect to see him there. I have been nothing but sweet about his career ambitions because I try to always be gracious towards those struggling for success.
I don't respond, but I do contemplate a restraining order.
The next week, he is at the dance hall's anniversary celebration. Again, he doesn't dance, but he does have a camera and isn't afraid to use it. I know he took several pictures of me that evening. Fortunately, my wonderfully dedicated friends posted themselves throughout the ballroom to warn me if I needed to move my location to avoid him.
A week later, I get this:
This goes against my better judgment. So don't take it
as anything else than what it is. But I'm sending you one of the shots
I took at [the dance hall's] 12th Anniversary Bash. Out of the couple
shots that I took, there were two or three with you in
more if you want. But this is a very good one of
you, which is surprising since
I didn't think my camera had enough lens at
the time to capture this
It's a happy picture. You are
doing something you quite
One of my great loves
is photography. One day, I'll
be able to get to the point where I can go
across the country or overseas a
month or so out of the year to cover
stories from afar.
meantime, I enjoyed that evening and
it gave me the opportunity to practice some
difficult low-light photography.
And it was a good show. Liked the guy with the
guitar and the ABC dancers
the best. On the other hand, wasn't expecting
"Yosemite Sam" in a dress,
although it would have been better if he had kept the
Anybody? Anybody? What the heck?