Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Deep End Of The Pool

“Let’s go swimming.”

That’s what he said to me.

I have had a Lemony Snickett month. A series of unfortunate events. But you know what? I didn't give up on men. In fact, I continued forging on, unwilling to give up. I know, I've been ruthlessly hard on them in Blog World. But those guys - they deserve it. I know there are good men out there.

Eventually, all my friends keep telling me, something's gonna give.

And not all that long into it, I came across someone special. Someone who got me. I was overjoyed to finally meet someone, although he’s far outside of my zip code, who thinks like I do. He had no use for the shallow end of the pool. He loved that I told him that I am a mermaid who enjoys the deep end of the pool, where the water is warm and your feet can’t touch bottom. We talked for a week, several times a day. In long, soul exposing letters. He said to me, “You’re so outwardly focused, always doing things for others. Tell me. Do you know what lurks deep inside?” And we shared. We both typed to each other with tears clouding our eyes, talking about years of inward self-exploration which led to life changes and journeys into dark places only to come out eventually into the light.

He was unafraid. He welcomed the brightness of my glow. The intensity of my being. After so many recent disappointments, my spirits were lifted, even though I had to go looking 2 1/2 hours away to find someone my own age who thinks on the same level, and wants to explore a relationship the same way. He just wanted to make sure that if he was going to take a chance on me, that I wasn't someone who had a brick wall built up around my heart. That I was willing to open up, ready to give and receive. That the hurt of my past didn't cause me to exist on only a superficial level in the future to protect my tender spots. He wanted to know that I was willing to go on a journey of self-exploration with him. If I would hold his hand when we jumped into the deep end of the pool together.

He wanted to meet me.

He had a long way to drive.

But he was up for it.

I knew that if he liked my letters, he would love meeting me in person. Because I have so many journeys to tell him about that we hadn’t covered. I knew we’d spend hours and hours talking when we finally met, being forced out of the restaurant when they turn off the lights. And that we’d continue our conversation, walking along the river. 

In an email he said, “Next Friday. I’ll come to you.”

I said, “Yes. Let’s meet. It’s going to be wonderful. Here’s how to find me.”

The next morning I was on the phone with a friend. I told her I had a date.

“Don’t get too excited,” she said. “You know how you are.”

I said, “No, I’m not. This is a good guy, very sincere. We’re connecting at a very deep level. But I just gave him my phone number and full name. Isn’t this, judging from the past, when he’s supposed to fall off the edge of the earth and disappear?”

As we were laughing, I clicked on my email.

I had 1 message.

It was from him.

You already know what it said, don’t you?

“Thank you for the reply and insight. I have a confession to make. I had dinner with a group of co-workers last night. I have worked with most of them for 10 years off and on. One of my friends introduced me to someone I have known for a while but timing was never there.
I was given the opportunity to talk with her about her travels, life journey, and her passions. We talked until 2 a.m., until we were kicked out of the wine bar. I told her about you, and our great communication. What is strange is we had shared the same information that you and I had. Only because we have worked together was this "connection" created. I wasn't expecting anything. I did want anything. I can not help but get that meeting and sharing out of my head. I have come to the decision to explore this connection and ideals of life. The main choice was not only timing but our distance. I do not mean to offend but would rather be upfront with you. I will put myself on hold for now with this site, and see what life brings. Thank your for your time, communication, and openness. A part of me is tormented.”

You think you're tormented? Oh, honey. You don't know torment. You've just met someone. You're ecstatic. You're filled with hope and excitement and giddiness. Butterflies in your stomach, tears waiting to spring forward from your eyes. You spoke to her about me and our amazing conversations, and how much you were looking forward to finally meeting me. Your heart was swelled. Your insides were swirling. She saw that light in you, and wanted it for herself. I don't blame her. I'd like to take some of the credit for priming you to be ready to experience the true joy of opening up your soul to another and having it polished, filled up and handed back to you. Plumper, redder. More delicious. You are not tormented. That would be me.