Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
An absence as I walked among the leaves.
An absence as I said my goodbyes.
An absence as I watched the absent, raising my hand in a ‘farewell’ as he looked away.
I will not be seeing him again until January – I had hoped this fact would cause him to wander closer to me, not farther away. He had never been this far away. He had been watching me here and there, like usual, but at the final minutes before goodbye he found himself in another room, in the midst of people not often his companions.
It isn’t the end of the world, of course. But still, clutching my jacket close against the wind in the peak of the Wintery tone of the morning – I looked to the window panes where, just beyond, I knew he sat. I knew he was looking back at me, even if it was just a gut feeling. And I knew that, even if I couldn’t see him, as soon as he saw me looking into the panes he would glance away in a moment of shyness. He’s sweet and…simple, like that. Just as he can turn into a witty, clever human being mid-conversation in class. How odd, that only recently did I realize a single thing that I genuinely fancied about him, only to receive the sense that he was backing away. Why wasn’t he in his usual spot beside the bookstore shelves? Why did he say goodbye to everyone but me? Oh, hush up Hannah – if he has moved on then that is that. Why wallow? Are you going to pity yourself now? Feel sorry for your could-have-been love story while losing yourself in frozen Cool-Whip and clips of Tim Conway on The Carol Burnett Show? Well, if I’m honest, yes. I think I will feel sorry for myself for a bit. Logically I know this is life, and I shouldn’t let this moment of finally feeling my heart open up for someone in vain ruin any potential future relationships. But still – I had started thinking about what I enjoy about him, instead of always wondering what he liked about me. I’ve finally come around to see we’ve gone full circle.
“What would you do if you were stuck on an island, and could only bring three things?” I asked suddenly. Shania looked up at me as she rung up a customer – an older, handsome gentleman in a sharp suit. The area in Kohl’s was empty except for the three of us and a lone woman working at Customer Service an earshot away. I had stepped in to help Shania bag Mr.SharpSuits items when her vocal tone had become less than respectful. I had just spent eight hours of peacemaking with rowdy and impatient customers, and I winced when I realized one of our own was treating one of the company’s beloved customers this way. I just walked over to her register with several sheets of blank wrapping paper and started wrapping and bagging the man’s three glass bowls.
“You can’t bring a cell phone, a boat, any type of communication. Just three things.” I said. She looked perplexed. I looked up at the man, who was grinning while getting his credit card from his wallet. “What about you?” I said impulsively, “What would you bring?”
“Well,” he said, “Probably you since you’re being so entertaining.”
I chuckled, “No food?”
“Would I be allowed food?” He asked
“Yep – anything you want except for a way to get off of the island.”
He tilted his head to the side, “Is this supposed to say something about my personality?”
I shrugged, “It would tell me something.”
“Then I would bring a ball of string, a hunting knife and my best friend in the world.”
I placed the bowls into the bag and looked up, “And who would that be?”
He looked down at his left hand, “My wife.”
I nodded, “Good for you-”
“What does that say about me?” He asked, steely grey eyes piercing into mine as an amused smile kept his features soft.
“I’m no psychologist,” I said, “But, I think it means that you’re empathetic, a family man and a good survivor – a sharp dressed one at that.”
“What about her?” He pointed to Shania as I handed him his bag.
“I haven’t answered yet.” She said, “I think…Food, water and…my boyfriend.”
“What does that say about her?” He asked.
“I think,” I paused and turned to her, “I think you understand the essentials of life, and just want to be happy.”
Shania handed him his receipt and he made his way to the door, “Good observation.”
“Merry Christmas!” I called over.
“You too, thank you.” He called back.
I felt oddly numb – that was something I had always felt I would do, but never had actually been presented with the proper circumstances. Stepping in and changing the mood of a moment from a negative to a positive. In the back of my mind I was pleased with how it turned out, but I wondered if I should avoid thinking about it, to avoid a silly dose of pride.
I’ve decided that I want severe change – I want more than to want to be happy and venture to be the person I want to be only when it is convenient. I feel that I should be more involved in my environment, in where I am, in what my own aims and thoughts are. There is more than waiting for a moment to arrive, and why not cease a fleeting moment upon me, instead of planning to in the distant future?
It’s time to plan a new experiment for The Center, and seek out topics of research and everyday adventures. I’m finished sitting around daydreaming when I understand fully that I am capable of more. I’m more than who I am when I’m waiting for Chase to do something every week for me to analyze, and who I am when I follow the basic script of ‘how do you do’ in life. I’m amazed at how quickly people at Khol’s will turn a simple transaction into a 2-minute therapy session… What if I gave strangers such therapy that they obviously crave (minus the 200$ credit card bill)? Perhaps this is the start of an experiment idea. Perhaps I could ask basic questions and see what deeper meanings make themselves known. Perhaps questions that make old men grin into their billfolds and tilt their heads like curious puppies at someone young enough to be their offspring’s offspring.
Friday, December 9th, 2011
On the market.
I blinked rapidly for a moment – did I really just think of those words to describe myself?…Well, yes. Because I am.
But why think it? Are you going to go out hunting for a guy now?
Heavens, no! I’m me – I don’t seek out guys, I don’t even care about dating, or, ah, I didn’t. I still don’t.
So why were you just thinking about being ‘on the market’??
I don’t know! I’ve been working for eight hours straight and the strain of repetitve bagging movements alongside the tedium of inquiring “Do you have any coupons?” has finally made my little brain snap! But I am not going to date any time soon!…Unless Matthew (Chase) pops up in my life, and even then I don’t think I would date him – if I’m being honest.
I heard Gladys giggling across the registers. Gladys had trained me from day 1 and has become a second mom to me at work.
“What’s so funny?” I said, chuckling. Gladys has the most infectious laugh of anyone I’ve met.
“He’s got his eyes on you.” She said, still giggling.
“Who?” I looked around, no customers in line for the evening rush.
“My son.” She said, a twinkle in her eye.
“Really?” I said, shifting uncomfortably, “I didn’t notice.” I needlessly opened a new pack of large plastic bags to avoid eye contact and halfway hide behind my register.
“You didn’t see him standin’ here gaping at you just now?” She seemed severely amused.
“No, I must have tunnel vision today.” She turned back to her counter, still smiling.
I’ve become good friends with Gladys’ son, David (a fellow employee). He’s fun to joke around with, banter and all that. I had gotten the impression that he liked me, but I didn’t want to run the risk of reading too much into it. He is amusing and laid-back, two qualities that I do, generally, enjoy in a male friend. But he’s also immature and impulsive, more like a brother than (anything even close to) anything more.
Maybe you should ask him out – you wanted to date a guy for fun once upon a time.
I resisted the urge to slap myself across my absurd face, absolutely NOT!
How on earth do you expect to end up with anyone if you don’t give guys who like you a chance?
I already have given guys a chance! And the majority of them ended up being juvenile narcissists. I want to date someone I actually want to date.
You shouldn’t be so picky.
I’m only 17, Madame, I have plenty of time to be picky.
Well, that is that, then…
“I can help the next customer!” I called over to the forming line.
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
I smiled with victory when I realized that I had not yet forgotten the combination to my locker at work. After several good tugs my messenger bag finally escaped from the metal prison and I dug through for my little black book as I reentered the break room.
(Note – my little black book is, literally, a little black notebook, it has a small pocket on the last page where I hide my money.)
I sat down by the vending machines and noted (with an unhappy stomach) that I had no bills left, and had only brought my Vitamin Water Zero (terrible tasting stuff, mind you.)
“You look lonely sittin’ over there.”
I looked up and saw David with a fellow coworker, Laurence, sitting at a nearby table.
“Not really,” I said, “I have my book, and my phone.”
He cocked an eyebrow.
“What?” I said pitifully, “They make good listeners.”
“Why don’t you sit over here?” He asked, patting the chair next to him. I winced inwardly.
“I’m really awful dull,” I said, “and I’m just going to be checking the schedule the entire time.”
“I don’t care, I want you to sit over here.” He punctuated his point by hitting his closed fist on the chair’s seat.
For lack of a reason to deny his request I stood up and walked over, “Alright, but I’m not going to be able to talk much.” I said, keeping my tone light. I grabbed the weekly schedule binders and flipped them open needlessly. I had already written down and memorized my work schedule, I just suddenly wanted to avoid conversation. I flipped open my notebook to a page with my schedule copied down.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“Double-checking my shifts for next week.” I lied. This was odd for me – it has always been a rule of mine not to lie to my friends, but it came naturally, and I wasn’t about to confess.
The three of us sat in silence for a minute or two before he spoke up again, “Why aren’t you talking to me?”
“I’m sorry,” I said sincerely, “I’ve been told that I’m a quiet person.”
“Alright,” he said, crossing his arms, “Whenever you wanna talk, that’s cool.”
Laurence stood and walked out of the break room suddenly. The rest of my fifteen-minute break was spent trying to amuse David while not sending any signals that could be misread. But I knew that obediently sitting where I was told to in the first place might not have been my wisest choice.
Whenever I pause and think about dating David, I feel slightly repulsed at the notion, even more so when I suddenly see Matthew’s face in my mind in comparison. The difference in their presence, their phrasing…the way they talk to me. It’s so extreme.
Sunday night I worked late with my closest work friend, Seema. Me and her have bonded over our similar situations – hers being that she likes a guy who works at a gas station near her house, and mine being Matthew. Last night we came up with nicknames for them.
She smoothed out a new stack of plastic bags in between our registers, “Well,” she said, “I don’t need him, of course, I just want him.”
“So,” I said, “He’s your chocolate.”
“Exactly,” she chuckled, “Or better yet, he’s my Häagen-Dazs ice cream. He may not be the most expensive and hardest to get, but I’ve been settling for the little bitty containers of BlueBell for a buck on the bottom shelf because, even though I reaaallly want the Häagen-Dazs, I’m just too lazy to go get it.”
I laughed out loud at how serious she sounded, “I have to call him that now, you know.”
“I know..Häagen-Dazs,” she seemed to be trying out the name, and liked how it sounded, “Then your guy needs to be called something, too.” She thought for a moment, “since he knows chemistry he’ll be called something sciency, like CO2.”
“CO2 and Häagen-Dazs. I like it.” I said.
Overall, this post has taken five days to write. Due entirely to hesitance – just a pause of one moment to the next, double-checking my intentions and phrasing. Honestly this newfound drive to recreate myself has been born of my inaction regarding Matthew. I wish dearly that becoming fond of him hadn’t been so much like pulling teeth. I suppose I just kept wishing that I could meet another Last-December-Matthew, when I saw him for the first time and was charmed instantly. I just don’t want to open my heart to anyone ever again until I feel that way again – a part of me says with a large amount of gusto that I have the right to hold out for the moment of being charmed… But back to my point – I know what I need to do next in life, and that is simply to pursue life, and do everything I can to be the best that I can be. I suppose, come January, I want to be a different person.
It is a tad odd for me to write about relationships – the entire topic was very nearly unheard of on my blog until these past couple of months. I suppose I’ve never felt that I needed to tell you all about the males in my life, but now some part of me finds the need to place everything out in the open, a sign that there is something I’m going to figure out regarding this topic.
In a way, this blog has become my companion – I needed to discuss my current situation a little here and there the past few days and this page before me has been waiting for my explanations and rants.
I’m entirely (dare I say the word yet again?) honest when I’m here. And I think that’s why I love my friends on WordPress with a special fondness – because all of you read who I really am and yet still find pride in being associated with me. The sort of friends people seek out their entire lives, who prefer them the way they are beyond the veil of social politeness. I sincererly appreciate all of you.
P.S You would think that a devoted letter-writer would be superb at the simple act of replying to comments in a timely fashion – but apparently my calligraphy skills far surpass my ability to efficiently communicate through the web. Truthfully I will try harder to reply much faster – you’ve taken the time to read my blog posts and lay out what you think, the least I could do is reply to what you have to say. I sincerely apologize.
P.P.S What would you do if you were on the island? 3 items/people, no way to get off – assume you’ll be trapped for the rest of your life…Choose wisely (or unwisely, your choice.)