Thursday, April 14, 2011

M Part 1--How we met

Scrolling through the list of "blogs I follow" I thought I saw the line "people do live in other places you know".
I scrolled through again (alot of scrolling). I couldn't see or find the line on the second scroll. Another sign? Or just a prompt?

I've been dating M for over six months now. I just had to count it out. He lives in another place. Yes, it's drive-able, but eleven hours drive-able. Our love is still new. Not brand new, but very new to us, two lonely people, who somehow, despite the eleven-hour-drive distance, despite the twelve years ago we met, found our way back, to each other.

I realized, as I scroll back through my blogs of the last few months, I've barely written about him. Just my own tradition I guess. Despite previous long relationships, I've very much been a 'quirky alone' for most of my adult life. And it suits me. I can be alone and enjoy it to the point of reclusive. But I don't consider it reclusive when you like it.

Back to M.

I may have mentioned I worked in a restaurant for years, practically half a lifetime. Even while holding down my full-time job. I met unbelievably fascinating people. Much more so there than in the corporate world, with its' unimaginative drones and auto-pilot non-thinkers. I loved the hours, I loved the environment. Let's just say it--I had a thing for badly behaved waiters. That was how I met M. But not the way you think. No, I didn't work with him. No, he was not one of the many badly behaved waiters whose attention I couldn't do enough to get. He was the best friend of my favourite person. A person whom I worked with, worshipped, would have done anything to get the attention of.

M visited his friend on a fairly regular basis in the late nineties. We had the odd rapport, upon meeting, of each of us having a 'list' of foods that we would not eat. Not for any dietary or allergic reason. But simply because we hated them so much we felt the need to list them, categorize them and keep them ordered. I had never before (or since) met anyone else who had this list of foods. Our lists differed, but our fascination for each having said list was mutual. Mine contains (in order):
bananas, all fruit, cinnamon, all breakfast food, pre-made sandwiches of ANY kind, weird wraps (related to the sandwich thing), avocado (shiver), and many, many others, too numerous to list here. All I know is this: I remember each and every food I hate when confronted by them. One of the first things I ever said to M was, "What's on your list?" and I didn't need to explain that question. Our mutual friend had given us the heads up that we each had this peculiar oddity. M, without a pause, the true litmus test of a REAL list; "Mayonnaise, peanut butter, mushrooms". Those were just his top three. There were (there are) more. I could sympathize.

We also had the same odd habit, eleven hours apart, twelve years gone, of setting the clocks in our apartments to different times. One clock of mine would be forty minutes ahead, guaranteeing I would make it on time for work. He did the same thing. But other clocks would just be ten minutes ahead, that 'just-in-time' feeling. He did that too.
We hung out, casually, driving here and there around the city when he visited from his city, staying up all night in the company of our mutual friend, whom I focussed on. Going out for drinks, sharing snippets of each other's far off lives. I was about twenty-six, twenty-seven at the time, and he was six years older, already into his thirties. Truth? I barely noticed a whit about him except that he had his list and the time thing, that we both wanted to hang out with our mutual friend all the time, and that he was a gifted conversationalist who never seemed to run out of things to say, but not in a way that was annoying. He was genuinely engaging, asking questions, wanting answers. He once, in a dark pool bar, in a corner, alone, invited me to come and visit him in his home state. I looked at him like he'd grown another head. I only had one guy on my brain at the time, it was all wrong, but the blinders were on. And they would stay on for quite some time.

Twelve years dissolves quickly in this land of adulthood, where your routines are established and yes, despite wanting to live your life to the absolute fullest, you do sometimes sleepwalk through your days.

Until one day, one abnormal day, you are jolted awake.

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