Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Close, but not touching....

(music of the period: Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything for Love, Blind Melon - No Rain)

Maria. Maria wasn't like the other girls I had been dating up to that point. I didn't know what to make of her at first; she seemed almost...normal. We met at some frat party in a little town about an hour away. Alan, Pete & I had driven up for the night to hang out with our buddy Mark, who was in school there; Mark had shown Alan's picture to some girl who had thought he was cute, so half the reason we were there was to facilitate his potential hookup. When we got there, Mark couldn't get hold of the girl that wanted to meet Alan, but he knew of a party that was going on that she might be at. So, we ended up at one of those huge bonfire-lit outdoor keg parties that are usually filled with the guys I never talked to in high school. I don't drink beer, so I'm usually having even
less fun at these things than normal, but somehow or another, I started talking to this little girl in jeans & a red tank top, who wasn't really my type, but was undeniably cute....

She was about 5'2, with short, blonde hair and big, green eyes...think Chloe on Smallville. She said her name was Maria, and while I can't remember what we talked about, I do remember that, right away, I knew she was smart; she actually made me laugh once or twice, and I ended up having a genuinely good time that night thanks to her. Turned out, she & my friend Mark already knew each other as well, as they had a couple of classes together. The three of us stood around & talked for a bit, but Alan had never found his admirer, and had somehow gotten trapped in a corner conversation with some girl that outweighed him by a good 100 pounds & wasn't letting him get past her anytime soon, and before long (although not as soon as he'd have liked), we noticed he was looking for a way out. So, as the party was winding down, we all got together & decided where to go from there.

Mark & Maria both lived in the tiny lil' dorm rooms, so we suggested we should all just drive back to (my hometown) and hang out there; anyone who wanted to could crash at my house. It didn't take much convincing, as there was really nothing else to do, so all of us guys...with Maria in tow...piled into our cars & drove the 50 miles back to my place. Alan rode with Mark, and Pete & Maria rode with me, and I remember us having a blast on the way down screaming down the freeway & singing Asia songs at the top of our lungs.

We got back to my place & we listened to some music, and drank & smoked for a while...neither of which Maria participated in, I noticed. She seemed to be having a good time either way, so I didn't think much of it. I don't remember much else that happened that night, but we all had fun..and strangely enough, none of us, me included, were all over Maria...it was almost like she was one of the guys. She wasn't exactly the tomboy type (well, she was sorta), but it was just notable that, during that time, there was a pretty, single girl around and everybody wasn't fighting over her to be first. The guys later told me that they had sorta thought there might have been some sparks between she & I, but honestly, I didn't really think about it too much. I went to bed in my room, Alan passed out on the floor, Pete went home, and Mark & Maria slept fully clothed at opposite ends of my sofa.

The next morning, everyone but Maria & I was hung over, so she & I went out to a Waffle House for breakfast. We had talked a bit the night before, but there's only so well you can talk to someone at a party; that morning over pecan waffles, we both really started to get to know each other. Maria was a self-described lab geek; she was a scientist. I had no clue then what she did, nor do I now...something with proteins or something...but I thought it was cool. She had her shit together. Unlike most of the girls I had known, she actually had plans & goals in life, and she was actually working on achieving them. She was a honor student in high-school, she had been in the band, and she came from a nice family one state south...she almost seemed...normal. This fascinated me.

I think she was a little intruiged, as well; I definitely had a sense that she was a little out of her element....she was trying to hang with the bad boys. I mean, we weren't that bad, but we certainly weren't fraternity material, and I'm sure I was as mysterious & interesting to her as she was to me. After all, I had never really been with a nice girl before....or at least not for more than a few hours(this is not exactly true, but I thought it nonetheless). Still, it wasn't like there were huge instant sparks flying between us...I definitely thought she was cute & interesting, but honestly, I just never figured a girl like her and a guy like me would ever happen; not that anyone was out of anyone else's league or anything, but just that we were very different. So, consequently, I didn't give it much thought at first. We had a good time throughout breakfast, and when we got back, she & Mark took off back up to school. As far as I knew, that might just be that.

The next weekend, Alan & I were hanging out at my house when Mark called & said he was going to be coming down for the weekend. He also said that Maria wanted to come with him, and would that be cool with us? We said it would, and that we'd try to find something for us all to do. After I hung up the phone, Alan remarked on the fact that Maria was coming along, and we both wondered was up with her; did she like me, or one of us? Or does she just like hanging out with us because we're the coolest guys around? Well, we'd find out soon, we figured...

That night, Mark & Maria showed up, and we all went out to one of our local watering holes. I don't remember a single thing about what happened, but afterwards, we all ended up back at my place again. This time, Mark & Alan fell asleep on the sofa, and Maria & I sat up in my room talking until the sun came up. I remember telling her pretty much my life story that night, and she seemed genuinely interested. At some point, I was sitting at the head of the bead, leaning my back against the wall, while she lied down on her stomach at the foot of the bed, looking up at me, listening & kicking her feet back & forth, and I looked down & realized that I was becoming attracted to her...and that realization was like a rush of cool water being poured over me. I was thrilled to learn that I could actually be attracted to someone again other than...well, the usual suspects. It was a good feeling, and I remember I paused for a second & she asked me what I was thinking about. I just smiled & told her "nothing", but I think she already knew. We fell asleep beside each other; close, but not touching...

The next morning (or thereabouts), we all woke up & I made us the worst pancakes ever...because I'm the worst cook ever. Even so, they all appreciated the effort, and we cranked up some music, opened the doors, and had breakfast outside on the patio watching the cars go by. Afterwards, Mark got up & started getting ready to drive back up to school. While he was gathering his things, I noticed Maria was acting a little fidgety; like something was on her mind. Mark pulled me away to help him with something, but Alan had my back; he asked Maria what her plans were for the rest of the weekend. She said that she didn't really have any, and so I said that she was welcome to stay & hang out if she wanted to...I could give her a ride back tomorrow. She hesitated for a second & asked if I was sure I didn't mind, but I think she knew I didn't. Either way, Alan piped up with "Of course he doesn't mind!" just to be sure, and so she agreed. Mark gave me a wink, told Maria he'd see her back at school, and took off, leaving the three of us there.

We watched some TV for a while, but Alan & I both knew that it was only a matter of time before Mr. Tony Banks would enter the picture. Allow me to explain. First of all, let me say that I really shouldn't be telling you this. There have been many things I've disclosed in the course of this project, but I don't think I've written anything yet that my friends would really not want me to let out into the open...except maybe the secret of Tony Banks.

Tony Banks, as some of you may know, is a keyboard player extraordinaire & a founding member of Genesis, but that's beside the point; he's also part of a code that my friends & I came up with & that we've used for years....mainly thanks to Pete. Briefly, Pete is one of those guys that doesn't take a hint real well; he's apt to linger when it's not appropriate, if you know what I mean. There have been many occasions where one of us has found ourselves in a room with both a girl & Pete, wanting to be alone so we could put the moves on them or whatever, but with Pete still hanging around oblivious, playing Nintendo or watching TV, inadvertently getting in the way of our action. He doesn't mean to do this (or at least, we don't think he does), he's just oblivious to these kind of things, and I can't tell you how many chances Alan, Mark or I have missed out on because of it. So, we all got together & devised a code, by which we could alert each other that it's time to leave & give us some privacy, without the girl involved catching on.

All you have to do, when you want everyone to clear the room and leave you & her alone, is to mention the name Tony Banks. "Hey, guess who I saw today...Tony Banks!", or "Have you heard from Tony Banks lately?"...anything will do, and when you hear that, you know it's time to go & let whomever go about their business. Tony was picked because he was 1. a famous person we all knew & whose name we could remember, and because 2. he wasn't so famous that most girls would be likely to have heard of him...except for your hardcore Genesis fans, and those girls shouldn't have to be tricked into being alone with us in the first place.

So there, sorry guys...the secret is out. Kids, feel free to use it if you want. We had other codes for other things, but Tony was by far the most often utilized.

Anyway, sure enough, after we've been sitting there for about a half hour, Alan looks over at me & asks me "So, didja talk to that guy, man?".

I smiled back at him & asked "What guy?"

He said "You know...that guy?"

"Oh....oh, you mean Tony!", I said.

"Ya, that's him", Alan said.

"Ya, he wanted you to stop over & see him, man.", I told him.

"Oh yeah? Maybe I'll do that on my way home. What time is it, anyway?"

Alan is a good friend.

So, he left, and there we were...just the two of us. I asked her what she wanted to do, and she said it didn't matter to her, she was just glad to be away from school for the weekend. We decided to just go rent a couple of movies & bring 'em back to my place, and I thought that boded well. We went to the video store, grabbed a pizza, and spent the rest of the evening watching movies, talking, and just enjoying each other's company.

I don't remember all of what happened, but I know that, as it started to creep close to bedtime, I started to wonder if anything would happen...and if I should try to make something happen. She had slept over before, but the pull-out sofa had always been occupied. That night, there was no reason she couldn't have the whole sofa bed to herself, so I suggested that she could sleep there, or that I could sleep on it & she could sleep in my bed. She said that she didn't want to drive me out of my bed, and that we were both adults, and there was no reason we couldn't sleep together & be responsible if we wanted to.

She didn't say why we should be responsible, and she wasn't really trying to be seductive in any way that I could detect, but if it put us in the same bed, whatever was fine with me, so I stripped down to my boxers & got into bed. She went into the bathroom & came out in one of those too-big t-shirts that can make the right girl look like the absolute cutest thing in the world, and it was certainly working for her. She climbed into bed, and we lied there & talked for a while. I tried as hard as I could to read her & see if she wanted me to make the first move, or any move, but I remember I just couldn't read her. I thought she was into me, but we men aren't known for being able to read signals too well. In fact, I'm still pretty bad at it even today, and I was only 21 then, so the potential error margin was pretty high. So, eventually, I resigned myself to just being a gentleman...I figured it was the safest thing to do, even if it wasn't quite the way I'd have written it...

You know, that's another thing that was different about Maria; she was very pretty, and I was very attracted to her, but I didn't want to...well, I didn't just want to jump her bones. It's hard to explain, I'm not really saying that I had deeper feelings for her at that point, it's more about the different ways I find myself attracted to different women. It's like...if I meet a girl, and I find her really physically attractive before she even opens her mouth, then there's always that feeling of "Boy, I'd like to jump her bones" going through my head; but, if I meet a girl whom I'm not initially that attracted to, but I become attracted to as I get to know her, it's almost like I feel bad about wanting to jump their bones...like looking at someone you respect & picturing them naked: it's exciting, but you feel kinda dirty about it at the same time? I dunno....maybe I'm just crazy. In any case, it wasn't making me want to jump Maria's bones any less that night.

Instead, though, we just lied there & talked some more until we fell asleep....or actually, until she fell asleep....it's rare that I fall asleep before anyone. I remember I lied there, looking at her face in the light from the sreetlamp outside the window, and wondering just what wondrous mysteries this beautiful little creature held for me to find...

14 Comments:

Blogger firedancerdancin recalled...

she was licking her feet back and forth? ew.

;-)

I have insomnia. anxiety about life brings it on. damn life anxiety.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:18:00 AM  
Blogger Pooh recalled...

Damn, I think I have maybe missed a few "Tony Banks" signals from my friends. But then, I probably could have used it on occassion myself...

So, not to get ahead of ourselves here, but either Maria has some unexpected baggage, or at this point in your life you were completely unequipped to deal with the prosperity of a 'normal' relationship with a 'normal' girl, right?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:37:00 AM  
Blogger MandyGirl recalled...

That Blind Melon song brings back so many memories.

(hahhaha @ firedancer)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Frankie recalled...

Interesting post...and I love that you were diggin' on a science chick!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Moon Watcher recalled...

This post was definitely worth the wait, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like Maria the best so far. She reminds me of the way I would have met guys and how I would have interacted with them. Bush bashes are the best!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Pro-Divorce recalled...

I agree with moon watcher, so far Maria has my vote.

Having said that, I can only assume that this is what you referred to earlier in reply to some of my comments about how things get worse and eventually I'll see how you fucked it up.

I have to admit, I'm eagerly awaiting your next chapter to see how you go wrong.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger T.S. recalled...

great post, can't wait to read the next installment. now i have blind melon in my head.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Charlotte recalled...

oh man, Tony Banks. That is hilarious ... there were so many dorm moments where that would have been SO APPROPRIATE. you guys are geniuses.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Chris recalled...

Man I'm loving this, i hate the fact the i know it's not going to work out when at the moment it all seems so perfect.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:06:00 PM  
Blogger Manda recalled...

it all sounds so sweet and innocent. i think i like this one. :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 7:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jhena recalled...

Tony Banks, I like that!

This situation is too familiar. But maria's taller. Oh my! Now I know how really small I am.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger pookalu recalled...

scientists are cool.

i should know, i am one.

Friday, November 04, 2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Dom recalled...

You are definitely not crazy for that different levels of attraction thing. Or that feeling bad for wanting to jump her bones. At least I have had it with girls that I liked due to thier personality.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:02:00 AM  
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