February 18, 2005

Magic Happens ---- Until You Know It's Just A Trick

I wrote previously about Yelena HERE. If you haven't read it yet it'd be best, for this post's purposes, that you did. G'head, I wait!

Condensed version: She's a gal I met at the bus terminal who asked me for a cigarette, revealed herself to be a Ukraine emigre, seemingly was a non-smoker, is smart, pretty and fun to talk to. Cosmic tumblers were falling into place and, I finally let myself believe that she was the gal I'd been waiting for for 14 years. I got her email address. This was Friday before last.. almost two weeks ago.

Here's the thing: I sent her an email on Saturday saying something like: "Hi, Yelena. You're so fun to talk to. Maybe we could meet at a coffee shop somewhere on Black Rock Turnpike -- away from the bus terminal. It'd be fun!" etc etc. The email was returned as undeliverable.

I tried it again. Same thing. I tried a variation on what she'd written that seemed logical and it went through. But I had no idea if it was her address. Did she make a mistake when she wrote her email address? Did she give me a bogus email address when she realized that I was interested in her in a way that she hadn't expected?

No! Couldn't be! If you read the link you'd know that I could not possibly have been THAT wrong about her non-verbal communication.


I met her, for the third time, two nights ago.

I was outside smoking a cigarette when I noticed her enter the terminal from the opposite side. I threw away my ciggie and walked inside and toward her.

"Hi," she sorta smiled, and then buried her face back into the magazine she was scanning.

"May I join you?" I asked.

"Sure," she said almost dismissively.

Ooookay. I sat down beside her. "Did you get my email?" I asked. "N-n-n-o..." she said with an air of either a) confusion, or b) annoyance.
I took out a memo pad and pen from my jacket pocket and wrote her email address just as she'd written it.

"Is this it?" I asked.
"Yes," she nodded. "Maybe it's because I haven't checked it in so long that maybe it was discontinued I don't know..." she rambled while looking at nothing in particular.
"Do you still have my email address?" I asked suspiciously.
"Yes," she assured me.
"Then you should write to me, so I'll know that I have your correct address."
"Okay," she nodded into her magazine, "if I ever get near my computer again..."

Shit Almighty.

I began to accept that I had been so-o-o-o wrong about her signals. But.... how?!

"Well," I sighed, "I think I'll go outside for a smoke. Care to join me?"

"Nooo, it's so cold," she demurred.

Well, of course I couldn't leave her 'til I knew if and how I'd gone so wrong. I noticed the title of an artical she was trying to read: Strategic Defense.

"Do you follow politics?" I asked.
"Oh, yes, you know, somewhat, you know, when I can..."
"What are you reading?"
"Business Week."
"Aah. And just what do you do for business?"
"What do I do?"
"I study,"
she laughed.
"Oh, are you in school?" I asked.
"I was... I hope to go back again, yes. Maybe next semester..."

I began to wonder if she was a lot younger than I thought she was. I dunno. All women 18-35 look alike to me.

"Well," she chimed, "I think I'll have a cigarette now..."

We got up, she collected her bags, we walked toward the door, I waited and held it for her and she gave me a delicate "thank you".
I then walked to where we had talked the previous time. I leaned on the newspaper dispenser and pulled out two cigarettes; one for me and one for her. But, she was busy pulling out her own cigarette.

I was wrong. She's a smoker. Dammit.

She stood just about where she did the last time, but, further away. Maybe three or four feet. I got the feeling that she wanted to be close enough to help me not to think that she was ignoring me, but far enough to tell me that she wasn't WITH me, f'ya know what I mean.

I made some idle chat about the differences between daily life in the Ukraine as opposed to the U.S., and she was responsive yet more distant than before. Her attention wasn't on me, but on the greater surroundings. She was on the lookout for the bus.
Our bus arrived and we boarded.

We sat inn the same seats as we almost two weeks ago. I knew that it'd be a while before I ran into her again, so I decided to get things straight. I wasn't about to keep on wondering if she's just too tired or just too disinterested.
I turned to her.

"Yelena, may I ask you something?"

"Sure," she said with her eyes closed and her voice decidedly seperated from me in a way that it never was up 'til this point. I took a deep breath and slowly began:

"That first time that you asked for a cigarette; I didn't know that you smoked. In fact, I thought that you didn't because I'd never seen you smoking before."
She closed her eyes and smiled knowingly.

"And I thought," I continued with our eyes now locked, "I thought that maybe -- just maybe -- you were using it as an excuse to meet me... to talk to me."

"Oh," she smiled in a way I hadn't seen her smile since our last encounter. "I had finished my pack and didn't have any..."
"You just wanted a cigarette," I nodded.
"Yes..." she said sheepishly bowing her head almost appologetically.
"Y'know, I used giving you a cigarette as an excuse to talk to you."
"I know, yes, yes,"
she winced.

"Well," I sighed pensively before turning back to her and shaking my head in her favor, "You don't have to write to me then."
"No, no. I, I...." she trailed off as she returned herself to Business Week.

We rode the next few minutes in silence. When the bus was coming to a stop at my stop I turned to her one last time and said:

"I'd really like to get together and talk over coffee sometime. It'd be fun!"

"Okay," she smiled brightly. "Bye.


"You said all the right things," Lawruh tells me. Yelena put up the wall because she may encounter so much rot from guys who just don't know the difference between courtship and stalking. And, believe you me, Lawruh is an expert on the rap (wrath) of forward guys.

I know that my regular male readers see it the way I do. A woman is always a lady. And you treat her like one. My friends are like that, too. But, yes, I see the other side all the time: Guys that talk to gals in ways that are repulsive and, no surprise, the gals usually get up and walk away after too many minutes of taking the insulting banter of horny feaux gentlemen.

"First he's all sweet," Lawruh said, "and then, suddenly, he's telling me about how 'big' he is!"

"You said all the right things."

I hope so. Even if Yelena never emails me (and I expect that she wont), I hope that she at least understands why I asked her for her email address: That I sincerely believed that she saw me the same way that I saw her. I think I did it right. Gals can find "the field" hard to deal with, and hope that I let her let me down easy.

I'm not upset that she's not destined to be the girl of my dreams. I barely know her. I'm more disappointed that she isn't who I thought she was: a dreamgirl making excuses to talk to me.

Two nights ago I was mad at myself for allowing myself to believe that I'd found the girl of my dreams; for opening my heart to that possibility. Last night and tonight I'm actually happy for having had this experience. For four weeks I've been dancing on air convinced that magic was happening.
It wasn't, of course, I only thought it was.

But, still, I wouldn't trade the past four weeks for the previous four weeks or the next four weeks. I'm glad I had the chance to dream a little dream and believe it was real.

Disappointed? Yes. Regretful? Nope. Not by a long shot.
Even if I never ever never see her again, Yelena will always be special to me. I only hope that my behavior, in the face of my obvious disappointment, has made me special, in some way, in the name of chivalry, to her.

I said all the right things; I let her go. I know she appreciates it. I'll just keep telling myself that.

Posted by Tuning Spork at February 18, 2005 09:30 PM

My sympathies...and I know exactly how you feel.

Hang in there.

Posted by: david at February 19, 2005 03:13 PM

I know I'm late, but I'm sorry, Spork. It's truly, truly her loss.

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at February 27, 2005 10:56 PM
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