MEMENTOS

changes are inevitable

April 22, 2007
photobooth copy

our very first photo booth strips

the roomies: after 2.5 years, one of our roomies is leaving to move in with “the love of his life.” It was an inevitable outcome, as we haven’t seen him much since he starting going out with this girl. Less than a year later, he’s moving into the place she bought. we predict an engagement by end of year.

the coworker: one of my old coworkers is getting married this year, after becoming engaged in february. The other day, I was joking with her about babies, asking her if she was going to be a stay-at-home mom and pop out babies soon. Surprisingly, she admitted that she was going to try to have a baby by next year. I freaked. We talked about how it was when we first met–how she was the girl I could always count on to go out, get drunk, and come to work bleary-eyed the next day. Though about 5 years older than me, I always looked up to her as an example of a person who was older, but who could also maintain an active social life. Babies. Man. We freaked out together about how old we were getting, and how unprepared we felt.

the exchange student: well, not really a student. But a girl who has been here for about 18 months on a work abroad program with her company. She ended up roomies with one of our friends, and for the past year or so, we’ve been hanging out rather frequently. This past Friday was her last day before leaving for good. We all gathered at her apartment for a final farewell, and watched a video/picture montage that one of our friends had pieced together. While I am exceedingly sentimental, so was the video. It almost felt as if someone died in a way–watching the snapshots in time playing before our eyes, and knowing that those memories belonged to the past now. At the end, there was a video of E playing his guitar and singing a song he had composed about the girl leaving. After the movie finished, he played the song live (on request), and I have to admit that I kind of got misty. The room fell silent as we sorta took in the meaning of it all–that it was like a summer romance soon to be over. It had the summer camp feeling–where you know that time with another person will be brilliant, wonderful and intense, but also short-lived. And it made me sad. Sad to think that even though I’m sure we’ll remain in contact, it won’t ever be like it was.

the job: my promotion finally became official. i feel nonplussed. i have a very hard time seeing myself as a manager. Actually, what it is, is that I have a hard time seeing myself as responsible.

the homecoming: I went home last week for a wedding, and came home to a living room of stacked boxes–my dad’s things. Dismantled and on their way out. Scattered throughout numerous cardboard boxes were pieces of my dad’s life. The room upstairs where he once spent so much time w/all his hobbies, practically didn’t exist anymore–it was completely clean. Letters were tucked away into boxes. Slides he took 40 years ago in vietnam were sitting in canisters on shelves. I started to go through his things, pulling out item after item, not wanting to let any of it go. I know that I can’t hold onto everything, and I know that the most important parts of my dad are things you cannot hold. At the same time, it was a shot to the gut to see that…and accept that my dad is no longer physically with me.

the wedding: also in houston. kind of a weird situation. I know the bride and groom pretty well, but am still building friendships with a majority of the guests. C was part of the bridal party, so for the most part, I was sort of on my own. Weddings always are bittersweet to me. It’s hard to see the friends you grew up with moving on with their lives, not necessarily bc I feel left behind, but because it sort of signifies the end of our youth. I got pretty drunk. Dirty danced with one of the girls there. Took lots of pictures in a photobooth. And danced with quite a few guys. I had a conversation with one of them. I don’t know if it was because we were both feeling the alcohol or what, but somehow I told him about my dad dying recently. He told me his dad died 4 years ago and that his sister died pretty recently. For some reason, I started crying–probably a combination of alcohol (though Im definitely not an emotional drunk, so this was a surprise), wedding, and being home, and of course, just being sad. We talked a little bit more. And I started to cry yet again. I don’t know what the hell my problem was, but in a weird way I was crying as much for him as I was for me. Afterwards, I drank a lot of coffee and water, danced, drank more water, then drove home, crying the entire way. What the fuck.

the boy: sf_050607_1

I haven’t really written about this because for the past month or so, there have been so many emotions swirling in my head. We’ve known each other for about 5 years, and although we haven’t really spent any real one on one time with each other over the past 5 years, we would see each other every now and then and say hello. It wasn’t until recently–the bachelorette party and C’s bday in Austin, that we reconnected. I found him on myspace and added him–just as a formality really, not really thinking anything much. I figured he’d add me. We’d say hello as we usually did in person, and then that would be it. Oddly enough, I had just updated my profile after a recent trip to tahoe to include a blurb about wanting to pick up and move to a cabin in Alaska. And oddly enough, we connected over that ideal.

It doesn’t explain, really, how since that time, we have been emailing/texting/chatting with each other nonstop. For the most part, it was just talking. No intentions from either side. But somewhere along the course of the past month, I started to wonder if I felt something more. At about this same time, we sort of got into an argument. I got pretty pissed at him, and he felt really bad. Then, he kind of laid everything out on the table–how he felt about me. This occurred over IM, and when he was telling me this stuff, something happened w/my IM so that I was unable to see what he was typing when he was typing it.

It was only after our “fight,” when I reviewed our conversation, that I realized what he was saying. The admission from him was scary and surprising on its own, but more than that were that my feelings towards him were not nonexistent either.

Everything with him sorta happened fast and out-of-the-blue, but at the same time, we have written 10 page emails and have stayed up until 5am talking. There is a strange level of comfort that I feel with him, and I have no explanation for it at all. It is completely unexpected, and I am having a really hard time processing the whole thing. He’s not what I would consider “my type” nor do I really think that I’m really ready for any sort of relationship. At the same time, I can’t say that I don’t think about it either.

Also strange–we have been completely honest with the other. I have told him where I am and how I feel. How I am confused and how I am willing to see where things go, but that at this point I don’t want to define our relationship in any way. Maybe our connection turns into something more, or maybe we’ll end up as friends. Either way, I think it will be a positive outcome.

I will say he is different than any guy I have ever met, but that might be because most of the guys I go out with are duplicates of the other. I think what it is, is that I really respect him as a person. I respect how he treats other people. I respect how much he values things like friends and family above everything else. And ya, I respect that he has devoted a large majority of his life to serving in the military. Beyond that, I respect how honest and open he is with me, even when I give him so little to go on; even when I tell him out of honesty that I can’t grasp what *we* are and where *this* may be going.

I don’t want to make it seem as if he is head over heels for me, because that is not at all the case. I think we are both trying to figure things out as they come, and determine where this sort of “connection” will lead. At the same time, he is so thoughtful and sweet and all these other things, that its hard to dismiss that there could be something more.

For example–last Friday, he sent me a book of his favorite poetry. Maybe that sounds cheesy and overly romanticized, but we had been talking about spanish/latin poets a few days prior, and I had told him that I enjoyed reading the poetry in its original language. The book he sent was his favorite latin poet, with both english and spanish translations. I am not easily impressed, but I was by this gift.

And then, the other night, he told me that he had been out with his friends recently, and that they had mentioned to him that they noticed a change, “you seem different; happier, what’s going on?” He told his friends that he had been talking to a girl and that it was the weirdest thing–even though he wasnt getting much sleep, he didn’t really seem to notice, in fact, he felt really energized. I know I explained that in an oversimplified manner that probably robbed what I was trying to say of a certain significance, but the gist of it was that he was telling me that I was affecting his life in a good way. As he sincerely stated, “Just talking to you makes me happy.”

Anyway…we’ll see how it goes, and where. I don’t really have expectations or really any sort of plan for *us* right now. I still am so wary of any talk of “relationship”. I just really want to live in the moment and enjoy what we do have, without worrying about any sort of notion of what the future holds. I still haven’t made up my mind, but I don’t feel any real pressure to do so right now. At the same time, I’m not completely oblivious: I do realize that whatever *it* is that we have–friendship or otherwise–is pretty special and extremely rare.

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