To Fall

What does it feel like to fall in love?
I haven’t been in love since I was 20. I haven’t fallen in love since I was 14. Eleven years for me to learn what love is. To understand that it’s sacrificial, biblical, big and heavy and life changing. And light and breezy and full of timing and circumstance.

I’m visiting my best friend (HLM) in the military town she lives in with her husband (J). HLM has always been brave at making new friends and bringing people together. I’m not surprised that she and J have made plans for a group of people to drive down to Austin together to see the USA national rugby team play Brazil. I’m wearing rolled denim shorts and a white breezy sleeveless top with a little cut out at the sternum. I feel pretty and easy. I briefly wonder if this is a set up. Its HLM+J, their married friends Captain America +Barbie, and their single friend Owen. Owen is personable and charming. He’s gregarious and funny and plays DJ in the front seat with Captain America and Barbie. Both of the married boys clearly admire him. Part of me is charmed and a little interested, but he’s not traditionally handsome. Maybe not exactly who I would go for. He also seems a bit like a partier. Fills his life with adventures to make up for a titch of insecurity. He barely looks at me, so I call it moot.

I focus on spending time with the girls. It’s fun to sit in the sunshine on blankets in the grass and watch huge men take each other out. We eat ball park food and gossip. It’s relaxing and one more reminder of why I’d love to live in a bigger city again someday. It was fun to learn about a new sport, meet new people, and bond over the loud lady that decided to sit too closely and put her feet all in my personal space.

We go to a little restaurant afterwards and get pizza and beers and listen to live bluegrass music with a bunch of older locals. Owen sits next to me and I perk up, “maybe he is a little tiny bit interested?” I ask him about himself, he answers but doesn’t really reciprocate. I drop it again. He must not be wanting anything to do with me in that way. I don’t even think he is interested in me in a friendly sort of way. The only time he really initiates anything is to tease me with J about a comment I made about how lucky we all were to grow up in loving families. Nope. Man, do I hate to be teased when I’m being genuine and open.

I head back to my hometown a few days later, still thinking about how he wasn’t interested. Why not? I’m smart and funny and cute. His friends like me. J told me that he had shown him a picture of me before and Own was like “Oh hey, who is that?” This doesn’t make sense.

I’m full of righteous pride and use my inherent sense that ALL men should love me to fuel this Facebook message reach out:

Owen! Was it you that was talking about The Man in the High Castle?

Well if it wasn’t than it should’ve been! I love that series!

Okay I thought I remembered correctly. I’m starting to watch it this week. Now I know who to yell at when I get too engrossed.

I guess I should prepare for the inevitable punishment because you’re going to be hooked. Fyi don’t bother reading the book. This is one of the few instances where the show is way better.

Perfect. I’m currently hooked on Chef’s Table on Netflix as well. And that’s good about the book. I have 4 books out from the library right now that I need to finish before I get fined. If they’re late I’ll just have them forwarded on to Owen, Infantryman Which Are The People That Everyone Else Supports, Army Town,TX, right? I don’t want to mess up that address and have it bounce back

Bahahaha you absolutely nailed it. It’ll get sent right to me! Along with the bill for your CD player and Jinko jeans because it’s 1998 and people still rent books from a library. I’m binging hard on some Shameless at the moment. Makes being poor look really cool.

Man! You must have been rich. 1998 I was rockin those spandex shorts and begging my dad to listen to his albums until my mom kicked us outside. And you leave me alone about the library! It’s a beautiful community resource, plus also, it makes me feel like it is 1998. You’re right.And I’ve heard good things. Emmy Rossum is super cute too.

I don’t think I got a CD player till 2003, but you can bet your ass I had some bitchin Jinko jeans. Libraries are obsolete, but I appreciate your quest for nostalgia. This show is becoming an obsession for me. And yea Rossum looks great for someone who appears constantly disheveled in the show

Pics or it didn’t happen. I appreciate your firm opinions. I would say I’m adding it to my list but I can only afford one new binge worthy show. I’ll be sure to let you know how large your bill turns out to be.

I’m sure my mom can dig up some dirt on me from back then. Definitely let me know what you think of High Castle. I just started a savings plan for your inevitable bill so I expect a riveting review
And then I left it. Oh you’re funny and smart? SO AM I you frustrating little man. I showed you didn’t I?!
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A week later a message pops up from him:
How’s your High Castle binge going? Do I need to take out a second mortgage on the house?

And then we didn’t stop messaging for 2 weeks…

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My Dating Life Is Under Arrest

The Second One was an alcoholic. 6 months after I broke up with him, he has coffee with me. He originally asked me to get a drink but then texted me the next morning to say coffee instead. He bikes up to the shop. The Second One looks sheepish and handsome which is not unusual. We toss a few biting barbs as our way of saying hello-the wounds are still fresh from each other and an easy target in which to pour some salt. 

Then he tells me about his second DUI he just got. 

No wonder we’re getting coffee. 

He had been “hanging out with his friend Richard” earlier he says with a slight wink in his voice, hinting that hanging out may or may not have included clothes being worn. They were drinking all morning and TSO thought he could still drive to work his shift as a barista. In front of the store there are about 6 places in a row for parallel parking. He whips around the corner and plows the sides of all 6 cars. 

He wants sympathy and acceptance. He has God for that. I just feel sad. 

Fast forward about two years. I’ve moved back to my town. I’m swiping away for distraction and entertainment and good ol’ Texas boys. There’s a cop that seems very upright and quiet and has really deep brown eyes. He’s adamant that he should get to know me. We spend a few dates together talking about music and such. He seems a little…slow…but sometimes you just need someone around to make out with. And boy does Cop fill that bill. We have great chemistry. He’s very tempting. He also works nights and is a bad texter, and his family dynamics seem strange, and he doesn’t really have any true friends, and wait-is that racist/sexist/bigoted shit coming out of his mouth? He keeps trying to nail me down and make it official. I dip and dodge and eventually sort of agree. One week later I never hear from again. After he begged, y’all. Makes no sense. 

The best part though? It turns out Cop was heading to a trial of a guy he arrested 1.5 years ago for a second DUI. Turns out that guy was TSO. TSO was suing Cop for a technicality. I dated the guy who arrested my ex. My ex sued a new guy I dated in order to be able to leave the state to move in with his new boyfriend in NYC. 

Dear Lord, why am I even trying? 

Dolly Parton & Ouija Boards

“You have a record player? How does it work? I’ve never listened to one before.”- Mr. Hard Body Security last Sunday night when he first walked in to my house.
I turned it on and started playing the Dolly Parton album that was already loaded onto the turnstile. He wanted to know if they still made modern records. I showed him the new Aloe Blacc album and The Perks of Being a Wallflower album.

“I love that movie!”, so on it went. He opened a beer and played with my dog. I sipped on a cider and tried to figure out what on earth we could do besides sit on the couch and pretend to watch television while mostly trying to not jump on top of him.

“Do you have any games?”, Mr. Hard Body Security inquired. The only game that was not buried underneath the pile of crap I still have yet to put away from the spare bedroom was a Ouija board. He was game.

“I’ve done this before. I got you.” He assured me as he stood in my bedroom holding the glow-in-the-dark board up to my ceiling light. I stood there in amazement and awe at how completely fine he seems to do something as mildly embarrassing as calling on spirits with someone with whom he’d gone on 1 1/2 dates. Okay, so the awe mostly comes from the definition his shoulders show when he holds something above his head. I turn off the lights so only the glow from the living room shines down the hallway. We position ourselves cross-legged on my bed with the board between us.

“Alright…you can’t laugh. This is serious business.” He whispers with a twinkle in his eye. He grabs my hands in his, then decides better, and directs me to ever so gently place my pointer fingers on the triangular piece. He does it so delicately and precisely. Intentional and honest and oh my goodness he makes me do a double take. I have a thing for hands. Strong ones that know how to touch you to make you feel all of the feels.

“Spirits!” he calls out loudly while I die laughing.
“Hey now! You can’t laugh. You said you wouldn’t” Mr. Hard Body Security smirks. He calls out the spirits again. Prompting them to use our bodies to deliver any unsaid message they would like to convey. My body convulsed mildly with my laughter, and I could feel him looking at me and smiling. The Ouija board never moved.

We ended up laying next to each other, just talking. He tells me he likes me. I laugh. I’m not ready to feel any real feelings towards anyone. But the way he was so confident, his silliness, his unabashed way of being himself…it’s charming.

I’m not going to overthink the good. As the songstress of ours from earlier in this post once said “My weaknesses have always been food and men-in that order”- Dolly. I’ll keep it as simple as that.