Everyone has a gripping stranger in their lives, a stranger who unwittingly possesses a bizarre hold over you. Maybe it’s the kid in cut-offs who mows your lawn or the woman wearing White Shoulders who stamps your book at the library – a stranger who, if you were to come home and find a message from them on your answering machine saying, “Drop everything. I love you. Come away with me now to Florida,” you’d follow them.
— Douglas Coupland
Holy unexpected turn of events, Batman! I got a surprising, butterfly-creating, smile-inducing, ego-boosting text message from this guy as I was walking home from the bus this evening, after riding the train home with him. I’m not spilling the details, because they’re just for me, but let’s just say I wasn’t wrong about him. The message doesn’t change anything – it still can’t happen, because he’s spoken for at the moment (and I was intentionally vague about it in my earlier post because it feels like a terrible thing to admit, wanting another girl’s boyfriend), but . . . I’m not wrong.
His message has done three things: First, it’s opened the door to the conversation I’ve been wanting to have with him, but couldn’t quite figure out how to start. I almost asked him on the train tonight to come over later so I could tell him something, but I chickened out, so this has solved that problem – because, in a subsequent message, he asked to get together to talk about it. Second, it’s relieved me of my worry that I was reading too much into everything he said and did, which has been a big problem of mine my whole life – when I want something so much, I convince myself that the other person feels the same way, and so often I’m wrong and get hurt. Third, it’s reassured me that neither of us want whatever these feelings are to ruin our friendship – he prefaced his message by saying that he hoped he wasn’t crossing a line.
And so, tomorrow, we talk. I’m not working tomorrow (because I’m going to Baltimore to Johns Hopkins to see if they can’t find something wrong with me), but he’s coming by after work. I’m excited, and relieved, and a little sad, and nervous – I went to the gym to run to work off the nervous energy, but it didn’t really work. I’ve been furiously cleaning my already clean apartment (he’s never been here before) and trying to figure out what one wears to hear the man she thinks she loves tell her he has feelings for her but can’t be with her. If I’m totally honest with you, I’m also fantasizing that everything has miraculously worked itself out on his end by the time he shows up here and we can have a movie moment. It’s not going to happen, but a girl can dream, right?
Whatever happens, it’s all out in the open, which is the biggest hurdle, I think. And the best advice I got in this whole thing was to tell him how I feel and tell him to look me up if he’s ever single again, and then stop waiting around for him to pick me. And that’s my plan for tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.