February 05, 2005

Magic Happens

"There comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place and the universe opens it’s self up for a few seconds to show you what’s possible."

I wrote last tuesday about a gal I met at the bus terminal. I'd seen her before. In the evening, she takes the same bus home that I usually take. But, I only see her maybe once, twice, maybe three times a month. She looked Russian, and I'd thought, now and again, of striking up a conversation with her. Not just because she was pretty, but because I just lo-o-o-o-ve Russian accents.

So, I was standing outside in the blistering cold last tuesday and she walked up to me slowly. As I turned to face her she asked, "Excyuss me, may I baum cigardrette frdrom you, ordr buy?"

When I heard her voice and looked into those hazel Slavic eyes I just about melted. I, of course, gave her a cigarette, refused the quarter that she offered and lit the cig with my lighter. "Thank you," she smiled.

I'd never seen her smoking before. Maybe it was just because she didn't want people asking her for cigarettes every few minutes -- as is the norm at the bus terminal. I hoped she wouldn't walk away. She put her grocery bag on the bench - next to mine - and sat down. A minute passed.

"Dammit, talk to her!" I said to myself. Leaning over to catch her attention as she stared forward at nothing I asked, "Did I detect an accent?"

Long story short (and since I wrote about this already), she is originally from the Ukraine and came to America about three and a half years ago. We talked about language, I told her that I'd tried to teach myself Russian about ten years ago. We just, generally, had a nice conversation that lasted about ten minutes (until our bus arrived). She laughed at my jokes, and she's so cute when she smiles.

What I didn't mention a week and a half ago was this: When we got on the bus I sat in the seat just in front her. I faced mainly forward, but slightly to my left just in case I found the nerve to continue talking to her. She buried her head in a magazine and, I guess, I'd lost my confidence that she wanted me to talk to her. We rode the eight or ten minutes to my stop in silence.

After I'd pulled the chord to signal the driver to stop I turned sideways and put my leg out into the aisle to signal her that I was leaving. She didn't look up.
When the bus was coming to a stop I got out of my seat and stood at the back door -- just in front of where I was sitting.

It was only after the door had opened that I saw, out of the corner of my eye, that she'd finally looked up at me. I wanted to turn to say "goodnight", but by then the door was open, the snow pile was in front of me, and I just stepped forward and exited the bus.

"Idiot! I screamed at myself. "Now she thinks you weren't impressed. She knows that you know that she doesn't smoke! She went out on a limb and now she thinks you blew her off. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

But I didn't want to think about that. She could have stayed focused on her magazine. The fact that she finally did look up to get a "goodnight" meant that she wasn't unimpressed with me. I was on cloud nine all the way home.

Wednesday night I was at the bus terminal at the same time as tuesday night, hoping that she'd be there. She wasn't. Maybe she usually takes the bus that runs an hour earlier? I took Thursday off, but on friday I was there an hour earlier. She wasn't there.


Just as an aside, lemme tell ya where I'm coming from -- no long story, I promise.

I've been celibate for the past fourteen years. (Well, with one exception. But, that was with my "ex" so it doesn't count.) Over the past nine years I've become more and more convinced that I would never meet a woman that could possibly make me want to pursue that whole "relationship thing" again... until now.

I don't know this mystery gal. We talked for ten frickin' minutes. But, they were ten very special little minutes and, just from the way she talked and the way her body and face moved and all things intangible, it just felt like she was the one I'd been waiting for. And she walked up to me!


Okay, we're back.

Monday arrives. I got in at "our time". She wasn't there.

Tuesday, I got in an hour earlier. But... It was one week since we'd met and maybe she'll be there at the same time as last week! As I sometimes do, I decided to get a sandwich at Subway and a coffee at Dunkin' Donuts because it's usually 2 1/2 to 3 hours before I'll be eating dinner and I get hungry. And, maybe just maybe, she'll be there an hour later. She wasn't there.

On wednesday I did the same thing; sandwich and coffee to kill an hour. She wasn't there. Thursday (yesterday) I got in at "our time" and she was nowhere to be seen. Maybe she usually gets in an hour later? I had a sandwich and coffee which meant that I wouldn't be having dinner until about 11:00. She wasn't there.

"That's it," I thought. "She's gone." Unless I'm having some really serious-ass hunger pangs, tonight I'm going straight home. I've had it. Maybe she bought a car and wont be riding the bus anymore and we met last tuesday because she knew that that was her last chance to talk to me... and I blew it. "Now stop thinking about her, Dumbass!"


I got in at "our time" tonight with only one thought. If I convince myself that she wont be there, and don't even bother to look around indoors for her because she is obviously not going to be there, she might actually be there.

I walked into the terminal and there she was.

Her head was buried in a magazine. I walked over to get closer. As I approached within about ten feet of her she looked up and saw me. Her face lit up!

"Hi-i-i-i," she smiled. "Izdravtsitsya," I smiled right back.

I passed her slowly and she returned to her magazine. I set my grocery bag down on the floor by the soda machine just behind and to left of her. A minute passed.

"Talk! To! Her!" I berated myself. I paced a little bit and noticed that every ten or fifteen seconds she'd lift her head and turn it just ever so slightly in my direction.

As my friend Lawruh told me the other day: If you want to talk to her then talk to her. The worst that can happen is that she'll tell you to bug off. Let her reject you, don't reject yourself for her.

I picked up my bag, walked over to her, leaned down and asked, "Would you like to join me for a cigarette?"

"Sher-r-r-r-r!" she beamed closing her magazine with her smile wide and her eyes closed. It was like the game was tied for 27 innings and I'd just hit a triple with nobody out. Er.. and somehow I'm still at bat. The cosmic tumblers were falling into place. And "sure" is my new favorite word.


I'd anticipated this for a week-and-a-half. I knew how to begin the conversation and how to keep it going. I'd had time to think and rethink it.

I told Lawruh that "I hope she has a pretty name... like Elenya. That way I can say 'Elenya, that's so pretty... You LOOK like an Elenya,' so's I can tell her she's pretty without saying it bluntly." "You're allowed to tell her she's pretty," Lawruh encouraged. "No, not yet!" I protested.

When mystery gal and I got outside I turned, with cigarette pack in hand, and said "My name is Bob, by the way." She nodded.

"I'm Yelena."

**insert dumbfounded pause here**

"Yelena?" I stammered. She nodded. "I... actually thought that that might be your name.... I swear to God..." I don't know if she thought I was BSing or not, but she seemed to believe me and thought that it was as weird a coinkidink as I did. I focused my thoughts and got out the "it's so pretty" line. I then, trying to control my glee, got to say "You look like a Yelena," and mean it. Cosmic tumblers were falling like rain.


One thing I'd planned to ask her was about how life, in general, was different in the Ukraine than it is in America. "There's so much," she said, trying, I think, to think of an example. "The culture is so different; the people act so different," she said as looked around the crowd of noisy obnoxious Americans milling about.

Just then a stranger came up to me and asked if I had an extra cigarette. I pulled one out of the pack and handed it to him and thought of giving giving Yelena a knowing glance. But, um, I remembered that that's how we'd met.


At one point a got her to play a little game. I would say something in Russian and she would say it back to me in English. That way I'd know if I was sayng it right.

I turned on my best Russian accent and the first thing I said was "U menya yest Anglo-Russki slovar." She actually gasped, suprised at how clearly I'd spoken it.

"That's so yes, yes... 'I have a, a, an Anglo-Russian dictionary!"

We did some more phrases and words and it was fun and we both lamented about how bilingual dictionaries will, when a word has more than one meaning, list all of the possibilities without telling you which word applies to which definition. "There are so-o-o many synonyms!" she cried.


Longer story shortened: I have her email address. (I'll get the phone number later. Playin' it cool... all in good time... ) We'll be chattin' over coffee in no time.

Life is good. :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at February 5, 2005 12:18 AM

Wow. Got my fingers crossed for ya!

Posted by: david at February 5, 2005 10:20 AM


Posted by: Ted at February 6, 2005 09:22 AM

I am so happy for you. How sweet is that story?
Aw. Wishing you luck,

Posted by: Mermaid Jones at February 7, 2005 08:54 PM
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