Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Infinite Jest

I generally reserve this spot for my pointless and poorly written stories. Sadly I feel the need to share a personal story this time.

As some of you know, a while back with my ex-wife caused some problems for me and the woman I was dating. As a result, my girlfriend broke up with me. Since then, I haven't really had the desire to be with anyone else. However, a few weeks ago I decided to cautiously wade back into the dating pool.

I met a woman who seemed really nice and we started talking. Eventually, we began seeing each other. It was kind of strange, though. Every time we made plans, she either cancelled or she had to leave early. She often brought her niece or sister with her when she came over to my place. I didn't think much of it as I thought she might be concerned about being alone with a guy she hadn't known that long.

The few times she came alone, she would stay for a very brief period before rushing out for some emergency or another. She never wanted to meet me by her office, but she had no problem coming over to mine. She gave me her work number, her mom's phone number, and her niece's cell phone number but she was rarely around when I called. Clearly, something wasn't adding up.

Those of you who've already figured it out are much smarter than me.

Earlier tonight I was out having drinks with some friends. (What? If you were me, you'd drink a lot, too). I looked across the room and much to my surprise I saw her sitting at a table. She wearing a wedding ring and snuggling up to her husband. Not one to cause a scene, I got up to leave. As I passed them, she looked over and our eyes met. I just smiled politely and kept walking.

Shit.

My phone hasn't stopped ringing since then. She keeps sneaking off to what sounds like the ladies room to leave messages apologizing for both what she did and for the way I found out. Does she really expect me to answer?

So I've decided that I'm done with this dating thing. I leave with a less-than-stellar track record. I've been cheated on or lied to in the vast majority of my relationships. My marriage failed. And I ruined the one shot at happiness that I truly had by letting my ex come between me and the only woman I've ever truly loved.1

To quickly recap that relationship for the newcomers:

  • I would have crawled across a desert of broken glass just to see her smile.2
  • She taught me what it was like to love with complete passion and abandon.
  • I listened to every word she said, not because I thought that she wanted me to, but because everything she said was important to me.
  • As hard as it was to lose her, I consider myself fortunate to have had any time with her at all.
  • I'll always treasure the memory of her kiss, the sound of her voice, the words she wrote to me, and the feel of her in my arms.
  • In summary, as James Joyce once wrote, "There is no word tender enough to be her name."
Anyway, I'm done. From now on, this is the only girl I'll ever love.

My vacation next week couldn't have come at a better time.

Let me see if I can come up with a joke about all of this....

Nope. I've got nothing.

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1Ironically, about eight months ago my ex-wife madly in love with someone. On the rare occasions that we speak, she almost always apologizes for the things she did. She says that she finally knows how I felt about this woman, and that she feels horrible for the lies she told to drive us apart. Hell of a lot of good that does me now.

2 Fortunately, it never came to that. Instead, a pint of Karamel Sutra Ice Cream, an hour long massage, and a Bratz doll or two frequently did the trick.