The New M.E. Generation

I made the call and about 4 rings later, got his voicemail, not with his voice, but those who are automated (‘You have reached the mailbox of…).

I’ve always hated those, so impersonal and robotic. Besides, he’s a guy and the voice is that of a woman. Why aren’t there other alternatives that might ‘personalize’ it somehow?

So, in my usual manner, I left Ivan the same message I always do. “Hi, Ivan, it’s me, Emma. Just calling to say hello and know how things are going with you. Hope all is well. Call me if you can.”

He called me back about 3 days later while I was at work. That’s what usually happened; he would either never return my call, or do so at a day and time it would be difficult for me to give him my undivided attention, forcing the call to conclude quickly.

I know he’s always busy and returning my call it’s done in-between the little free time he has. But the real reason he would do it this way is because he’s not much of a talker, especially with me. He knows I will tell him the truth about his existence and, when I do, I’m not nice.

But this time around, I was the one who needed to be listened to. It was almost the end of the year and this one had been particularly difficult.

On top of that, I was still without a guy, would have been my 20-year anniversary, as well as my late father’s birthday.

At work, things were complicated as well. My boss was giving me a hard time and the other assistant couldn’t take the heat from her either.

Every day that I would walk through the door, this person would have a long face and would immediately start bitching about the boss.

Everything just piled up and I was reaching my breaking point. I didn’t know what to do. Beyond feeling that life was unfair to me, I felt time kept going by and I was stuck in the same place as always. That moment of great change hasn’t happened and was wondering if it would ever do.

“Hey, Ivan, how are you?”

“Fine, sweetie; how are you? Sorry I’m calling you at work.”

“It’s all right; I can talk for a few.” Lucky me, my boss wasn’t in the office. “Actually, no, I’m not that well.”

“What’s going on? Talk to me.”

“Question is, what has not happened to me.”

And just like that, this need to cry out all my emotions suddenly overwhelmed me.

No turning back now. Have to let it all out.

There are people in everyone’s life that touch you in such a way that you never forget them.

Of course, one particular person I’m talking about is a guy. But, it’s not one that I met after I became single again. No, this goes all the way back to high school, and it all occurred in a daring move that I did, which it’s probably the first time that I had the guts to do something like that.

It all started one afternoon after school when I was about 16 years old. I was with two former girlfriends and we had walked to a pharmacy/cafeteria to buy something.

Among the people that were there included three guys wearing naval uniforms. There were talking in a foreign language and those two elements caught my attention (hey, what girl doesn’t like a guy in uniform?).

I looked at them guys with great curiosity. Although I grew up in a big city, I was educated in a conservative catholic school and rose by on overly protective family.

Looking at men who were total strangers and, even more, foreign sailors, while still wearing my school uniform with other female students, and walking around the neighborhood on our own, was not exactly the correct thing to do.

But something inside of me went against all that.

I told my girlfriends about these guys, wondering where they were from and what were they doing here.

My girlfriends paid no attention and couldn’t understand what my interest was with them. I kept the conversation, but never loosing sight of the men.

What happened next is something that still baffles me until today: I went over and started talking to them.

Yep, the girl who was told how to live her life went out and broke all the rules. Just like that, with no reason to do so, she introduced herself and made a connection she had no idea how it would cross all borders.

After dinner, we all walked ‘next door’ to a bar that had a live band playing. Other friends of Dina soon arrived. We all got hold of a drink and stood where the band was playing, coming together with other people as well.

Everyone was enjoying the music as they danced and sang along each song, either you knew the person next to your or not, and having a blast.

During one of the intermissions, I noticed two guys, who were not part of the group, talking to Dina. I was not far away from her and I felt glad they were showing an interest in here.

But it wasn’t very long before Dina’s body language signaled to me that she wasn’t all that interested in them.

From where I was standing, them two seemed like descent, well dressed and mannered men. They physically looked like what Dina would go for, but there was a ‘minor’ problem. They looked younger than Dina, I mean, way younger.

I quickly sensed that she would soon ‘discharge’ them, so I stepped in. “Hey, they look like nice guys,” said I to her in her ear.

“They’re too young for me!” responded Dina quite quickly. It didn’t matter if there were no other strikes against them; she had already ‘stroke them out.’

(‘Oh, c’mon you,’ I thought to myself, ‘give them a break at least.’) “There’s nothing wrong in being a cougar, you know.” (Yeah, and this one standing next to you can give you plenty of insight on this matter.)

“No! They just got out of high school.”

“You probably heard wrong. They can’t be here if they’re under 21.”

I was trying to make some sense out of her when, out of nowhere, Dina grabs one of the guys by the arm and pushed him through the back towards me. “Here, why don’t you talk to my friend?”

And, just like that, I have a guy standing in front of me looking me up and down with a big smile on his face.

‘Why is this happening to me?? Damn you Dina, why did you had to ‘throw’ this situation at me?’

And, yes, he does look younger than her, but waaaay for me.

What is this? Is the universe playing game with me again?

So, now, how am I going to do this?

Well, I have two options. One is a phone call. Two is an email.

And what did I choose?

Option two of course.

I’m not going through any more of those ‘under three minutes of less’ conversations that really pissed me off in the past.

Yes, email will be.

I know I will probably get (if I do) a ’30 words or less’ (make it more like 20; better yet, 10) response from Brian, which, at the end, will equally upset me. But that all depends on how much I’m willing to let that affect me.

Keeping this in mind, I decided to keep my message as simple and direct as possible, with no mention of meeting up in the future or anything like this, which I did, and read something as follows:

“Hi Brian. The other day I was at a bar with my girlfriend and we met a colleague of yours, Stephan, who tried to pick her up. Nice guy.

I also heard from him that your life is doing well. Glad to hear that.

Best regards, Emma”

Now it’s a matter of waiting for a reply, if any.

I can’t deny I’m curious to know if Stephan mentioned the encounter with Brian and what was Brian’s reaction was when he learned about it.

Brian probably responded like a typical ‘surfer dude’ would do: “Yeah? Cool.”

That’s it, with not a lot of fuzz about it. And then, he simply went back to work as usual.

That’s it, just like that.

et cetera