Thursday, October 27, 2005

Reason to believe...

So, I had another girlfriend. Or, at least, I was pretty sure I did; I don't remember exactly when we had the talk about being exclusive, but I vaguely remember her asking me if there was anyone else I had been seeing or been interested in, and I told her that I'm not the type of guy who is interested in more than one person at a time; I've never been able to grasp that casual-dating, musical-partners thing. In any case, it was understood pretty early on that neither one of us was interested in seeing anyone else, but we were interested in where this could possibly go.

Although I didn't realize it until I was actually in the situation, I remember very early on realizing that having a girlfriend who lived an hour out of town would have it's advantages & disadvantages. For instance, at the end of every weekend, she would leave! I don't mean to sound like that's such a great thing, but I'm a person who likes their space, and right away, I saw a definite bonus in not having to be constantly 'on-call', as it were. I could leave my apartment messy throughout the week, and know that I had until Friday to clean up. It was long-distance to call each other, so I knew that we wouldn't be calling back-and-forth night & day; and also, since she lived in a dorm room, she was always the one who had to make the hour-long drive to see me, since it was my place that we could spend time together in. Yes, I knew even then that these were selfish things, but they were only added bonuses, not the reasons for being there.

And, there were also disadvantages. For one, well...she was an hour away. If I wanted to, I couldn't just hop in the car & go see her. I mean, I could, but it wasn't really a viable option. By the same token, she couldn't just come over and watch Letterman with me at night if we were both lonely & couldn't sleep, or drop into work and bring me lunch, or do anything spontaneous. Also, she was constantly out of my sight, away at college, where the girls go to parties, drink beer, and meet disreputable guys like me, and there was no way I would be able to know what she was doing when she wasn't here....I would have to trust her, perish the thought.

Trust was not exactly high on my list of doable things back then, but just as I had said at the beginning of the summer, (you know, all that stuff about making a new start & not repeating my mistakes & all that?) I was trying to change...I was trying to look at things through new eyes, and I knew that, if I wanted this to work, I would have to give her the benefit of the doubt: I would have to trust her.

Somehow, I found it a lot easier than I thought I would. Maybe it was just because I could tell that she was trustworthy; she just didn't seem like the cheating type. Sure, we had met at some frat party, but it had taken us weeks to even kiss each other, and if all she wanted was a sting of college flings, she wouldn't have been there with me, anyway. Something about her just let you know that she was a good person, and I guess I was lucky to meet someone like her at that point in my life (in fact, I know I was), because, had I been burned again by the wrong girl at that point, I shudder to think how much worse off I'd be than I already am...

So, the first week came & went, and I don't remember much about it, other than I genuinely missed her. Maria was very missable; there was no shortage of things about her to like. She had the most peculiar way of answering the phone; when she would pick it up, she would say "Good morning?" or "Good evening?" instead of "Hello?", and I just thought that was too cute. She had the most adorable geekiness about her; she wasn't exactly a nerd, but she wore these precious little glasses sometimes & she had the cutest, most matter-of-fact way of talking that was just completely charming. Like I said last entry, if you've ever seen Smallville, she really had a lot of Chloe in her, which is probably one of the reasons I've always secretly wanted her & Clark to hook up, but I digress.

She had this old, beat-up Volvo that she called 'Sherman', and I remember she told me that her parents were always offering to help her buy a new car, but she just loved that old blue Volvo, and I could totally relate to that. I felt really bad a couple of months later when I put a dent in Sherman while driving him to see a Violent Femmes concert downtown, but that's another story. She also was the first person I knew to have a real computer - like an actual PC, not a Commodore or Atari, and I remember one weekend she had a test to study for in some lab, and she brought that big behemoth of a PC over to my house & hooked it all up, crawling around on the floor with a dozen wires while I just sat back in amazement & watched her go. I remember thinking that if it was Kara, she'd probably just say to hell with the computer & sleep with the professor for an A....which I knew wasn't true, but still made me feel better to think it....

Anyway, so I was missing her. I remember I called her the next night, and I knew that we were really getting used to each other when she started chiding me about our first sex session & how apparently I had left an accidental telltale hickey behind that her roommate was bugging her about. We made plans to see each other the coming weekend, as it was going to be Halloween...which happens to be my personal favorite holiday, so I was excited.

I remember looking in the papers & stuff and trying to find something fun for us to get all dressed up & do, but somehow, since all my idiot friends were also in tow, we ended up at some stupid dance club again. Still, contrary to most guys, I enjoy stupid dance clubs a lot more if I have a girl there to dance with already, so I actually remember having a pretty good time, as far as those things go. One reason was, I remember there was another guy there wearing the same costume as I was, only his wasn't half as cool, and all night, he kept trying to get next to Maria (who, for a self-proclaimed geek, looked pretty damn hot dressed as a biker chick on that dance floor, if I do say so). So, at the end of the evening, when she went home with me, it was kinda cool...since i'm usually on the other end of that stick.

That night, after we left the club, I kicked the rest of my idiot friends out of my house, and we went at each other with abandon on my living room sofa, still all hot and sweaty & full of adrenaline from dancing (which I do hate, just for the record). The next day, we went & rented a pile of scary movies, and laid in bed in our underwear all day & night, watching TV & doing unspeakable things to each other. Halloween was fun.

Heck, it was all fun. That's about all I can remember when I look back on Maria & the time we spent together....good things. I'm sure we must have fought, but for the life of me, I can't remember when or about what. I remember we laughed a lot, and she was always very sweet to me, but I really don't remember us talking all that much, at least not like I had used to talk to....other people. I mean, we did...I remember us talking about the future & such, and what we wanted to do with out lives...but I remember wondering, even then, if Kara & I hadn't had a very rare thing between us in the way we were able to communicate, and if I would ever really find that with anyone else again. But, I digress...again...

I can't really remember what came next, after that first couple of weeks, but pretty soon, Maria & I had settled into a sort of routine; we'd talk on the phone 2 or 3 times a week, and she would come spend the weekends with me, school & such permitting. I do remember she surprised me one day early on; I was at work one afternoon when she snuck in & enlisted my co-workers into a scheme that involved them luring me into the back of the store, and then her jumping out from behind a pile of boxes where she had hidden herself. I remember I got a big kick out of it, and all the guys at work ribbed me mercilessly about it afterwards. Turned out, she had gotten out of school early or something, and had decided to come down & surprise me. She asked if she could have the key to go on up to my place, and I remember handing it to her while silently thanking the gods that I hadn't left any of my porn out the night before.

That evening, I got off work & came home, only to walk through the door & have her come up behind me & put her hands over my eyes. She said she had a surprise for me, to which I responded that she was just full of 'em today. She walked me toward my bedroom and I started to fantasize about what she might be up to, when she took her hands away from my eyes & I saw what she'd been doing.

The first thing that went through my mind was: this girl has got balls. She had re-arranged my bedroom, completely different than the way I'd had it before. My first reaction was to be shocked...I wasn't mad, and even the thought about her being ballsy carried a bit of respect with it...but I was a little taken-aback that she would think to come in & re-arrange my room after only dating me for a month or so. Only thing was...it looked good.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a trained feng-shui practitioner or anything; basically, my bedroom has looked pretty much the same ever since I was about 15 years old....there's been some progress today, but we still haven't gotten real far. She had really done things in a way that was much nicer, though, and that I would have never thought to do. I suspect she probably knew that, and counted on me knowing it too, and not being mad, but I'll have to say, she was probably lucky; there's plenty of times in my life that I can pinpoint where I probably would have been a huge prick about something like that. But, this time, I was actually impressed...and more than a little touched. Heck, she had actually cared enough to do it...that had to count for something. At the very least, it showed me she planned to be spending a lot of time in there, if she was so concerned with how it looked, so against all odds, I was very happy with it. I don't know why, but just now, sitting here, I remembered that we ended up having sex on the living room floor that afternoon, as well. I can't remember why we didn't do it in the newly-remodeled bedroom...I guess we were just crazy kids.

I remember how different sex was with her than it had been with Kara, also. Kara was pretty open with herself sexually, and while she wasn't exactly kinky or anything, she definitely was very playful & experimental. Maria was also very comfortable with her sexuality, but she wasn't quite as experienced, and with her, it was usually very passionate, with just a hint of real innocence still there...or maybe not innocence as much as that wonderful awkwardness that only happens when you're first really exploring things with another person...something I knew even then that I'd probably never see again. I'm not saying it was better or worse, or more or less meaningful than with Kara, but it was different, and it was very special.

In a lot of ways, even though she was by no means a rebound-girl, Maria was the antidote to a lot of things Kara had left behind. Or, if not an antidote, at least a pretty good anesthetic. More than anything else, she definitely restored my faith in a lot of things about womankind (much in the same way J.C. would, years later) that had been shattered by years of girls sleeping with my friends & other assorted horrors. She made me realize that being in a relationship didn't have to mean being constantly worried & on edge; she made me realize that sometimes, people are still worth trusting; that not everybody is going to hop into bed with somebody else the minute I turn my back. God knows how I didn't let my paranoia kick in & drive her crazy with all my baggage - I can't imagine what kind of hell it would have been to try and date Kara if she had lived in another state, on top of everything else - but somehow, I didn't. It was the first, real "grown-up" relationship I felt like I was ever in, and although I didn't know where it was going to lead, I knew I was gonna give it my best shot...

14 Comments:

Blogger PAINKEY recalled...

FINALLY! Jeepers Creepers, I am glad to hear that Maria, Maria, wasnt some psyco. Just like I'm sure there are really a few good men out there, there are still a few good women too ;)

keep bloggin....

Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger T.S. recalled...

it always feels so good to be in a relationship where you and the other person are connecting like adults. i guess that's what makes it so hard when such love turns sour...

Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Pro-Divorce recalled...

X, you're still killing me here. I can only imagine at some point you're going to screw this relationship up. Everyday I keep waiting for it, but your story gets better and better. I'm guessing there is a crash and burn scenario in future chapters.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Luke recalled...

Obviously the relationship with Maria doesn't work out, but I can't help reading this and pulling for you and Maria.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger mikey recalled...

i had a few distance relationships and came to really be in love with my personal space and time, too. but that's a double-edged sword, because if the relationship has permanence, the distance can't, and vice versa. sure is nice on the short term though.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Joe recalled...

It's the sweet, innocent, "inexperienced" ones that can leave the nastiest scars. They are either hiding a deep dark need or secret, or like Professor Harold Hill sings "Those kind of girls tie knots, no sailor ever knew!" He of course was speaking about knotted nylons. (I think)

Thursday, October 27, 2005 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Charlotte recalled...

aw. well don't that beat all. and i'm glad you weren't a prick about her rearranging your room ... i was kind of shocked about it tho. cute girl!

Thursday, October 27, 2005 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger Manda recalled...

if she had the balls to re-arrange your things, you can be certian she found the porn, too. :-)

but glad to hear not all was horrible once upon a time.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jhena recalled...

We should admit she's really sweet. But now I'm sure she's not me because I don't remember coming out of the box to surprise someone. This entry makes me remember that time when I got off early from work so I headed to my fiance's house so early while he was still at work. But I didn't rearranged his stuff. I just stayed there, cleaned the mess, got some grocery items and cooked something special for dinner. It's always good to reminisce about those old sweet memories. Keep it coming! Nice post! This time, it wasn't too bad.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger PrincessMax recalled...

Joe, I'm pretty sure Harold Hill meant it that way and not in any way having to do with nylons. Very apropos. Nice call.

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:39:00 AM  
Blogger Pharod recalled...

Man, this relationship seems like a great happy ending... Too bad there's something that we still don't know :S

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:45:00 AM  
Blogger True recalled...

I am so addicted to these stories. I am having flashbacks of my youth. Scary how similar some things are.

Friday, October 28, 2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Brain Dancer recalled...

I loved your story...wasn't love so much more innocent back when we were in college...it reminds me how refreshingly clear we were...how little baggage we carried...how open we were then.

Saturday, October 29, 2005 2:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dom recalled...

For whatever reason you are going to break up with Maria, I hereby give you a very hearty kick in the nads.

You frick'in fool let that fine lady slip between your fingers :rolleyes:

Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:21:00 AM  

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