The New M.E. Generation

I did not get to talk to Ivan one last time via phone, but in person. I don’t remember how it came about, but he came over to visit me.

He was resting on the sofa, looking more tired than I could remember. I even sensed some sadness in him.

“Is everything all right?” asked I somewhat concerned while holding his hand. It felt nice doing that. It’s like having forgotten how it felt.

“Just tired. Too much work,” said he while staring at me.

“Are you having problems or something? You can tell me.”

“We all have problems.”

“I know. But it helps to talk about things. It sure did for me when my whole mess started.” I kept holding his hand, hoping that, somehow, he would finally open up to me.

“Did I ever told you I was married once?,” said he.

“No! For how long?”

“Two years.”

I was totally surprised that he finally opened up, somewhat.

I finally realized the source of his sadness in his eyes. Obviously the relationship had gone wrong in such a way that he just wanted not to think about it. Sounds familiar?

I kept talking to him and holding his hand. But as much as I tried for him to open up more, he simply didn’t.

I think he is where I was some time back. You were hurt so bad you avoid that happening to you again by simply not opening your heart to anyone else.

You achieve that, not feeling anything for someone else or getting hurt. But you also achieve in turning people away, even when they want to love you (like me).

I couldn’t avoid feeling heartbroken. I was hoping something good would have come out of this. I couldn’t forget the night we met, when we kissed, when we held our hands while walking.

All I could do was to hold on to that memory.

Hold on to the wish that one day I will finally find love again, and hold it in my hands to never let go of it for good.

Creating a profile for myself was no easy task. The site provides you with pointers that help you develop your thoughts into a comprehensive outlook of oneself. If you really follow the steps, a very interesting profile can really come out of the process.

But, when I started writing a draft, I got stuck. It was surprising to me that I couldn’t put down those thoughts into words.

How is that possible after all I’ve lived, experienced and grown upon? I’ve regained my self- confidence and identity, and now I can’t define who I really am right now?

Or is it maybe that my insecurities, as it relates to men, are resurfacing again, and my mental block is that infamous wall that becomes erected to avoid getting hurt yet again?

Hate that every time it happens. It’s like a bad cold that refuses to go away.

All right Emma; breathe in, breathe out. You can do this. Take this profile thing slowly, but surely.

I don’t have to get it all done in one day. I’ll work on it little by little until it is representative of who I am right now (which is?).

The real test of who I really am (not what I’m pretending or wish to be) happens now.

Will the real Emma please come forward?

“I will level with you. I’m not here to play games. I’ve had met other young guys in the past and ended up getting involved in some way with them for the wrong reasons. I know why I did it and don’t regret it.

What I am trying to say is that I’m in a point of my life that if I’m with a guy, it is because we’re both in a committed relationship.

I could have fun with you and not care about tomorrow, but I’m tired of getting hurt and I will not do that to you either.

I probably sound corny, maybe melodramatic, or whatever else in between. But this is where I stand today.”

“Sounds to me like some of those guys were total a-holes,” said Jesse.

“You don’t want to know, believe me. You’re too young and nice to even go there. Besides, it’s irrelevant at this point. I’ve lived and learned and can only forge ahead.”

“Well, I appreciate your sincerity. You don’t get that every day.”

Shortly after the band resumed playing, everyone there continued with their dancing and partying. Jesse stayed at my side and the other guy stayed close to Dina.

Hmm, what’s the deal with that? I thought she had dismissed that one too.

I don’t remember if I ever got to see Jeffrey again after his visit to my new place. But we would talk on the phone, on and off, of course.

A few months later, his birthday came up. From our previous conversations, I knew things were still the same as usual. His relationship had gotten worse, his business was struggling, and he couldn’t see the day that his life in general would start change for the better (or he finally had the guts to make this change).

So the only thing I could do was to call him and wish him well. “Jeff, hi, it’s me. I know it’s your birthday so I wanted to wish you good things your way, and that all gets resolved for the best. Love you man.”

A few hours later he returned my call. His voice sounded that he was touched by my message and even teary-eyed. ‘Thank you very much’ was all he could say because his voice chocked.

He was on the verge of crying but he held back. I knew he was deeply sad but didn’t tell me.

I told him again that I appreciated him, thought he was a wonderful person, and that nothing would give me more peace than him finally turning his life around and be happy. All he could answer was ‘I know’ repeatedly.

Yes, I was reaching out to him, but I could feel he was holding back to accept my love for him. I know why he did.

When one has been hurt so much and the pain takes over, you don’t allow yourself for the good to touch you because one feels that, in the long run, it will turn around to become bad and hurt you yet again.

It’s easier to build a wall that shields you because it is all one has known.

We want the good, but we’re scared of it. One thinks that if we shift our emotions to neutral, or not feeling anything, we will be fine.

But we’re not.

After I hung up my phone call with Mark, I remained seated for a while with my head resting on the back frame of the sofa. Some tears were still coming down from my eyes.

I knew that Mark, one way or the other, would get me to confront the real issue at play, which was ‘I don’t want to get hurt.’

This was the real deal. It had nothing to do with giving myself a chance, or finding that other person I was back in college, or that I offered my sofa to sleep, and whatever else had me all mixed up.

Yes, this is what it boiled down to and I’m running away from it so doesn’t happen again.

So what’s next? All I thought was to have another serious talk with Jay, expose him to this situation and, depending on his response, make the final decision about his trip.

Since I was still too emotional, I decided to place the call the next day after getting a good night sleep and my thoughts in order. After going through the usual ‘hello’s’ and ‘how are you?,’ we picked up the trip topic.

After reviewing it one more time, and me expressing my anxiety for the millionth time, I finally popped the question to Jay: ‘How do I know that you’re not going to hurt me?’

“Emma, I promise, I promise, I won’t hurt you.”

Jay said other things afterwards, which I don’t recall. I do remember closing my eyes and finally exhaling in relief. It was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I opened my eyes and felt no more anxiety. Everything now just looked clear to me.

“All right Jay, you can come and visit me.”

I’m really, really freaking out about this whole thing. And what am I going to do about it? Easy, I’m calling one of my boys, Mark or George.

If I call George, he’ll probably get somewhat upset with me at first, followed by a lecture of how men’s minds work, with the hope of scaring me straight. But he will come around further in the conversation to expressing words of wisdom such as, “you have to go with your gut feelings and make the choice that you believe will make you happy. Whatever the results turn out to be afterwards, you will have to pick that up, learn from it and move on with your life, just like you’ve been doing so far.”

If I call Mark, he’ll probably approach this with a line like, “finally, you’re getting laid!” Meaning, he will see this whole situation from this point of view and not mine. I will freak out completely and will end up not going for it. So either way it’s a no-win situation.

But Mark, besides his ‘over the top’ remarks and outlook at life (and the ‘s’ word), he manages to spin it around and dish out the other side of things that at many times I don’t see because I’m overwhelmed (or want to be), making me see situations for what they really are, and help me make more than ‘the right decision,’ but ‘the real one.’

Mark it is.

“Emma, chill out. When was the last time you had a guy showing such an interest in you? It’s obvious he wants to hit the sack with you, but it sounds to me that’s not on the top of his list of activities.”

Besides doing water skiing, he’s going to test the water and ‘dip in’ when the temperature is just right.”

“Meaning?” I asked.

“That he’s not going to end up sleeping in your sofa. You already invited him to stay over and he’s going to find a way to share the bed with you.”

There’s total silence from my end of the line.

“Oh c’mon, be real with me. You’re allowing him to do it because you want it to happen. (Still more silence.) You are your own worst enemy if you can’t admit it to yourself that you have a curiosity to be intimate with him.”

(Even more silence.) Hello, anybody there? OK, when was the last time you had any activity in your bed?”

“Do I have to answer that?” asked I.

“You’re alive! And, no, you don’t ‘cause you know and I know the answer. Emma, seriously, what’s really going on in that mind of yours?”

I took a deep breath and waited a few seconds to answer. I felt like crying, but I didn’t want Mark to notice it.

“I’m afraid of getting hurt.”

“Hey, don’t you think you deserve to at least give yourself this chance? I think you do more than anything.”

Tears started coming down from my eyes and he managed to realize it.

“Emma, listen, I may joke with you and maybe push your buttons too much at times, but you know I care about you. I want you to go after things like you used to without being afraid. That girl I knew from college is still there inside of you, and all it needs for her is to come out again. (I started crying.) You don’t know how much I miss that part of you. Let it out again and just be yourself.”

Yeah, me too. I miss that girl very much. Will I ever find her again?

It’s all up to m.e.

Honestly, I did not know how to respond to this situation.

I believe it was the first time that I had one like this in which someone had developed an interest in me without really knowing much about my character.

And adding that this person was considering making a trip to pursue one of their hobbies, but being seeing me as the decisive factor for doing so or not was quite extraordinary in my world.

It was expected that my first thought was a solid ‘no,’ but combined with a feeling of curiosity that wanted to say ‘yes’ to him.

It all boils down to this: I have been hurt before and in order to avoid this happening again, I’ve built up a wall that would secure this. But by doing so, I’m ‘blocking’ any opportunity that may come my way, like this one.

I kept thinking about this over and over in my mind, and my anxiety level started getting higher and higher.

I don’t know what to do, except to discuss this over the phone with Jay, and really get to the bottom of this.

I emailed him and asked him if it would be possible that he provided me with his phone number and when would he be a good time to talk to him.

Hmm, there’s another thing I’ve got to check. Does my long distance plan have a special rate for Canada?

It’s the end of a workday on a Monday, and I am wishing it were a Friday. I’ve worked so much in a single day I feel I’ve completed work for five. I need a drink, badly.

Dina is out of town, so I contacted Madelyn instead. She felt the same way, so we decided to have dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Our first order of the night was a Margarita and a beer, followed by dinner.

As the night progressed, I see a man come in and sit at the opposite side of where we are. I stared at him from time to time, and I could see that he’s also looking back at me.

This man had dark hair, blue eyes, and he seemed to be in a more appropriate age range for me. From what I could observe, he was definitely not in the ‘under 30’ category.

When Madelyn and I had pretty much finished our meals, the waitress came to our table and brought us another beer and Margarita. “The man at the other table sent you these,” she said. We both looked at him and smiling, raised our glasses to thank him.

When the man finished his meal, he came to our table and asked us if he could join us. We gladly complied. He introduced himself as Fernando.

During our conversation he disclosed that he’s from Spain, divorced with kids, in his 40’s, and that he has never done something like buying a drink to women he doesn’t even know. We both confessed that neither had we, but that his action was very flattering to us.

I was in Spain once when I was about seven years old. I almost returned there for my honeymoon, which I regret very much not doing so. This is a country I would really like to visit again sometime in the future.

I thought to myself how nice this guy was and how much I would like to get to know him more. But, wait, what if he was actually interested in Madelyn?

We are all pretty much done for the night when Fernando excused himself from the table before getting the check.

“Wow, sweetie, you made quite an impression on that guy,” expressed Madelyn.

“How can you be so sure? Maybe he’s interested in you, or maybe both?” I replied.

“No, it’s you. I noticed how both of you were looking at each other. Besides, I’m not interested in any relationships at this time, you know that,” concluded Madelyn.

When Fernando returned, we all started wrapping up for the night. I then got nervous; I wanted to contact this guy again, but after my last encounters with ‘those two guys (Erik and Ross),’ I was really at a standstill of what to do here.

Fernando paid his bill, thanks us for the nice time he shared with us, and left. He didn’t ask for a phone number from neither of us nor we provided ours. I watched him leave and I regretted it badly.

Madelyn saw how upset I was with myself. “I could tell you would have liked to see him again. So why didn’t you say something?” she asked.

I didn’t answer her but I did to myself, ‘because I’m scared of finding myself in another disappointing situation where I end up getting hurt yet again.’

et cetera