The New M.E. Generation











The boat day progressed without a hitch. We left at a reasonable time since Bob still had to wash the boat at his home, to then take it back to the trailer park.

On the way to his home I get a phone call from my mom asking me how my day was. I didn’t tell her I was out with a guy because I didn’t want to get into explanations about it just yet. Even more, I was sitting next to him in his truck, making it impossible to keep this conversation private.

Instead, I told her that my Saturday was the usual as always. All of a sudden, Bob makes a comment about me which I won’t repeat here because it was way, way, way out of line for its content, and even more inappropriate considering my mom could have heard it.

I will just say that I was very unhappy when hanging up the phone. I controlled myself of telling him anything because I was stuck on his vehicle.

When I sort of questioned him about it, he replied something to the extent that, ‘he is what he is and will always speak his mind’. Yep, just like the colors of the ocean, I finally saw one of his dark ones. He’s been using a filter until now and I wondered if this is was a preview of his other shades that are yet to surface.

I felt like asking him, “how would you feel if your daughter’s husband made that comment to you about her?” That would have definitely stopped him in his tracks and get me in big trouble.

Still, I kept my anger under control and decided not to make a scene of it. Maybe this is a one-time thing with him, maybe not. But it was definitely early to say.

We reached his home and he set out to wash the boat. He then asked me to empty the cooler and place any leftover food or drinks in the fridge.

Standing at the kitchen sink, I finally had the chance to look around the place with more detail. What struck me was that there were different pieces of furniture or decorations that didn’t really go well together. It made me confused as to what design style he was trying to present.

The other thing that got my attention was the repetition of the color brown in the dinning table and chairs, the big sofas in the living room, the bedroom and bathroom.

It was specifically a dark wood that made the spaces look heavy and that, dark. Even the bathroom fixtures had a dark cooper color. Even more, the room was itself dark as there was barely any light coming in.

I don’t know if Bob is trying to pull his own ‘man cave’ in his sleeping quarters, but I guess this is the closest as it gets.

Some time later Bob came back. He completed everything that he usually does after spending a day on the boat. We then sat down at the kitchen to have a drink.

He said that his house was the model home when the complex was under development, and that some of the decorations were part of those used when showing the property to potential buyers.

‘Oh, no wonder’, I thought to myself. I honestly would have put them right next to the garbage bins for anyone to take them before moving in. Whatever was left should have been donated to charity.

Regarding the darkness, Bob explained that because people had broken in into his home, he closes the shutters in his room and the doors leading to the backyard for security. He opens them when he gets home.

I would do the same had it been my house, but I felt trapped, so much that I told him he needed to open the shutters and doors for the yard, as I was getting anxious. I quickly went outside and breathed a sigh of relief.

I may be exaggerating, but I prefer the big windows in my apartment that provide a lot of light and sense of tranquility, which is contrary to him. In other words, my home = light, sunshine; him = dark, cave.

I don’t know how it happened, but he started telling me with a sort of sad face that he had been the one that had distanced himself from his wife, making me understand that the end of the marriage fell solely on him.

Because of that, he felt that the right thing to do was leave her the home they shared and take care of some things to make her life, and that of his children, as comfortable as possible.

I could have asked him to expand on the causes of the distancing, but it felt that his divorce had been so long ago, it made no sense getting any more information.

By this time I had forgotten the phone call comment and decided it was time for me to go home. We again said the usual that we would talk again one of these days.

You may ask, what do I think will happen next? To be completely honest, I’m as much in the dark as with any other guy I’ve met.

Boating again perhaps? Not sure. I think I would rather stay on solid ground for the time being.

 

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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.



A few weeks later I received a surprising text message from Jeffrey: ‘How are you? What are you doing?’

Whoa! Where did this come from? Is he back? If he is, why is he looking for me? I took my chance in calling him and, lucky me, he answered the call.

“So, you’re back?” asked I in a tone of voice pretending nothing had happened.

“Yeah, I’m on the road taking care of business. Did you move?”

“Actually, I did while you were away. Are you close by? Can you make it over here?”

Lucky me, again, he did make it to my new place. When I greeted him at the entrance of my building, he was still looking as good as I remembered. He seemed to have rested somewhat. He also had a face of not entirely being happy to be back in town, a.k.a., back to reality.

He sat in my sofa and I on a chair. I did not bring the question of the reason for his break-up text and now him contacting me again.

“So…how was it? I asked.

“Great! Saw my friends, spent time with my family. I was saddened when I had to leave.”

“And…were you nice or naughty over there?”

Jeff opened his eyes wide, looked down and grinned a smile of ‘gotcha.’” “Yes, I was naughty with two ex-girlfriends of mine.

‘Lucky them,’ I thought. Why can’t I? Yes, I will admit, I felt sort of jealous. What did you expect?

I rolled my eyes up and smiled as well with a look of not being surprised at all. I mean, of course it was bound to happen. He is on an unhappy relationship, he manages to get away from it for a few weeks, and finds former flings willing to provide what he’s lacking. It’s obvious you’re going to for it! Hmm, doesn’t this sound familiar?

“So, what are you going to do now?” asked I. He gave the usual ‘don’t want to talk about it’ look. “It’s not only about your relationship. I meant your life in general.”

“I don’t know. Been thinking of moving back home permanently on my own.”

“Oh? What will you do with your business?”

“Not sure about that either. The only thing I truly know is that if I became single again, I’ll stay like that for a good long time.”

Jeffrey and I kept chatting for a while. And when he left, we said good-bye to each other as we always did before: no agreements or discussion wherever we would talk or see each other again or anything.

We would always say ‘see you later’ or ‘nice seeing you’ as if there would be a next time.

But that no one knew. We have taken each encounter as it came, without thinking about in the present or for the future.

I closed the door and kept on with my life, like nothing had ever happened.



et cetera