“Life just doesn’t care about our aspirations, or sadness. It’s often random, and it’s often stupid and it’s often completely unexpected, and the closures and the epiphanies and revelations we end up receiving from life, begrudgingly, rarely turn out to be the ones we thought.” Khaled Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner,” a heartbreakingly beautiful novel…one of my favorite books
Ahh, the universe. I’ve never been a woo-woo girl thinking everything was a sign from beyond the ethers. A practical, everything has an answer, nuts and bolts kind of gal, I may be a result of being born in the Year of the Snake, as zodiac followers describe us as taking whatever comes our way “with stoic determination.” Orphaned by the time I was 20, there’s also a high probability that that fact has a lot to do with me buckling down, and to this day, taking care of business like a good little adult.
But events in the past few weeks have left me feeling as vulnerable as I did as a young woman, where first one, then the other, shoe dropped, and I buried my parents during the coldest months of two midwestern winters. I was left asking then, “What the hell just happened–and what’s next for me?” And the answers were not at all clear, making fear burrow itself firmly in my chest for days that turned into months, and then years.
Decades later, the same cortisol-pumping fear was resurrected after mr. invisible stood in my office in our forever home the day I found out that he had a hobby that wasn’t me, and he placed his hands on the top of my desk and said, “If it will make you feel any better, just hit my hands.”
The contrite schoolboy ruse must connect to some Catholic shit from his past–but I bolted straight up out of my chair, our faces nearly touching, and I told him in a voice that sounded a little Linda Blair-ish that if I was going to hit him, I’d aim a hell of a lot lower than his hands.
Although totally unnecessary to make my point, mother fucker was tacked on for emphasis, and I later thanked god that there were no guns in the house.
So what’s the latest fear factor in my life?
A single, blue-eyed, heterosexual man who resides in a beach town about two hours from my desert home, one who swiped right on his cell phone about the same time I did.
Trust me, the guy I’ll call BF, is not scary looking or acting in any way. The exact opposite, he has a sweet ruggedness about him, plus the razor sharp wit that’s number one on my list of requirements in a dating relationship. Within minutes of our meeting, I asked him to tell me a joke, and he didn’t miss a beat: “A dog walks into a bar…” Kudos for his quick thinking, but the curiosity about people and things that he brings to a conversation are the traits that disarm me in the best possible way. A dreamer who uses some serious left brain skills in his work, coupled with a right brain sense of wonder, BF is unlike any man that I’ve ever met.
So is the universe at work, dear readers, or is it simply two single people meeting for tea who have some things in common and on more than one occasion, have completed each other’s sentences? All I can safely say is that our affinity for one another continues and that we both like a particular kind of wine from the same provenance; we’ve continued to text, talk and meet to see if that initial, indescribable something is still fluttering around us. But it’s way too early for a label or a status report or anything besides friendship in my brave, new dating world.
But what I do know for sure is this: When a man sits across from me at lunch and looks straight into my eyes and later asks me not to look away when our talks turn to feelings, and my vulnerabilities pop up like they’re bracing for a storm, I know for the first time that I’ve met someone with the capacity to look directly at the scorched landscape of my past without batting an eye.
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