Tiny Story #19: Who Was I in love?

Just out of a very brief marriage, so short it rivaled those of Hollywood, I wasn't quite ready for another relationship. But I was ready to start dating as a way to figure out what I really wanted from love. To figure out who I was in love -- and who I wanted to be. One day into a my three-day free trial on a dating site I got my first opportunity. 

*****

How are you? I like your profile. Especially this part:

Have a strong curiosity about people and just about any subject you can think of.

The laws of attraction are unwritten and pretty much a mystery to me. You just seem like someone I'd like to get to know. So, just an icebreaker. My name's D. Here's hoping you'll drop me a line and say hello.

******

After the first date, that mysterious attraction between us was obvious.

After the second date, I panicked because feelings were growing. And I wasn't ready.

After the third date, I knew there would be a fourth.

After the fifth, he told me he wanted to give us a shot. That if we were going to have a chance, we couldn't see other people.

I knew a sixth date was assured. When, rather than if.

I wondered if I would be strong enough to resist the lure to mesh; to fuse with another person before I knew who I was in love.

Tiny Story #15: The Standing Ovation Kiss

My job produced the kind of anxiety that led to nausea every morning as I dressed in a suit and heels. My fingers shook as I hit the elevator button at my office building every morning. At work, I leapt up every time someone stepped into my door. There were 9, 10 or 11 hours of surging anxiety all day. Every day. The only relief, my daily trip to the Starbucks across the street.

I enjoyed the brief reprieve from the stress, yes. But there was also a certain barista. His wiry hair stuck a half a foot into the air, greeting you before he did.  Soon he knew my order, especially the second part. A grande ice water with lots and lots of ice. He called me Ice. I called him the  Hair.

Many months into my horrible job I was laid off. I hadn't had time to get coffee yet that morning so, I went to Starbucks. The Hair was there. He took his "lunch" break with me. We sat talking, for an hour. I learned his actual name. We admitted a mutual attraction. 

That night we went on a date. After sushi and a couple of beers, we stood at a fence in front of a restaurant. He leaned and we kissed. When we parted, I saw the restaurant behind me full of people, standing and applauding. My first standing ovation for a kiss. 

The constant anxiety melted away. I felt human for the first time in a long time. I felt like someone who mattered rather than a cog in a machine. 

Tiny Story #8

The DivorcÉE

I'm trying to cauterize the wound so I don't bleed all over you.

It was our tenth date. He said it just after he played me the Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah on the guitar. I was his date to his big art opening. He called me his girlfriend. But still, I felt him hold back. Not quite give in to the feelings. His ex-wife remarried, he was still trying to move on. Wounded. Inching forward slowly.

A few weeks later he was successful. His emotional bled all over our connection. Drowning it. The wound still gaping, we were over.