The New M.E. Generation

On the second day of the year, I flew back home.

Madeline took me to the airport. It was a sort of bittersweet good-bye with her. We were now living in separate states and as much as we have been friends for years, she was someone that heavily guarded her persona.

What I really knew about her were bits and pieces that she had shared with me, but of such a size that you couldn’t put together to create a timeline of anything.

If I had a wall in front of me for protection, she had one of thick steel, as one of those that you know there’s no way you can go through it. Even more, she’s one of those persons that you never know what they will do next.

At that time I didn’t thought about this much, as I needed friends on my side. But wondered somehow if all those issues that she vaguely shared with me would become resolved. How or what the results would be was even more mysterious.

The weather continued changing and now it was in the 20’s. Thank goodness I was carrying my coat.

While on the plane the captain said, “our destination has a somewhat warmer temperature, like in the 30’s”, to which everyone on board replied with a discontent noise.

It was ironic to think that I lived in a warm state that people traveled to escape the cold in the upper ones.

When I got to my destination airport, I stood at an area waiting to be picked up to get to my car at a garage I had left it at while away.

It was really cold, as cold as when I would arrive back to college from the holiday break. I looked around and tried to connect my emotions back to those years.

It was a mix of joy and anticipation that this year was going to be better than before. But now I was heading to an empty home with no one to share my space with like in a college dorm.

There are no classes to attend, but life lessons to be learned with the hope of graduating with a degree of knowledge of how to find a companion and successfully hold a relationship.

But as much as I may think I’m ready for whatever life throws at me, evolving, like the planets in the universe, is a process as timeless as creation itself.

I didn’t give up on my quest of finding a man after this minor incident. It was ironic to think that I wanted to meet a guy contemporary with my age and I was getting messages from 20-somethings as young as 21.

Looking at the ‘Visitors’, some were even as young as 18 and living abroad. Where’s the adult supervision here? For crying out loud, this is a child! Find someone your own age. You have no business in this dating site to begin with.

Let me see what the others look like or have to stay. I know it’s a waste of time even reading the messages. But since I’ve been unlucky with my search, at least feeling flattered for a few minutes it’s worth it.

‘What do you think about dating older men?’ read a message from a 23-year old. Oh, no, here we go again (that’s if I want to).

I checked out his profile and it read that he was doing his post-grad with the goal of becoming a doctor. What, another ‘beach guy’ headed my way? Please universe, not again!

In his main photo he was wearing this huge sunglasses and had very blond hair; bet he’s probably in a fabulous beach. In the second he was abroad. In the third he was shirtless with a beer in his hand, his tongue sticking out, and next to a guy. He was also in great shape and quite tall.

Let me guess, Spring Break with a ‘frat brother’ in Mexico. He definitely knows how to have fun.

I looked at all of them and started remembering my time in college and got mixed feelings. It was good in the sense that I away from home and finally had the opportunity of being myself.

But I didn’t know what I was to do afterwards, mainly because I was in the process of discovering who I was as a person, and had no sense of direction.

It took me a lot of years to get to a place that I was somewhat comfortable with myself and thought I had it all defined when I got married.

The result was that I ended up loosing all that I represented, to the point I was totally clueless about anything when my ‘past life’ ended.

I’ve been regaining my sense of self, esteem, and all that I am about, but have been a long and painful process.

I looked at the photos again and became sad. If I had the chance to go back in time and do it again, would I?

If I could go back to college with the present knowledge I have, yes. Doing it with the ‘blank canvas’ I was, not too sure.

I know that in going back you have your whole life ahead of you, but presently I still have that as well.

So, what am I doing with this one? Am I answering a message of a guy who seems to be the poster child of ‘party central’ or perhaps ‘globe trotter’?

Maybe I should do the same and stick my tongue out at him and this situation.

It had been a long and enjoyable weekend and still had the second city to get to for the day.

My friend got out of the water, rinsed off, changed clothes and else, while I sat on the car waiting for him when I checked my phone. It was around 3pm.

And, there it was, a missed call from an unidentified caller. Looking at the number, I took a guess it could be no one else but ‘the beach guy’.

I called back, got his voicemail, and left a message.

Great, now this is going to be like the ‘back and forth’ emails that we send to each other at random times.

I had mixed feelings when I heard his voice. On one end I was glad that, after all these years, we would finally get to speak to each other. On the other, I was having a gut feeling life was to repeat itself.

My friend got inside the car and, when I was about to start it, the phone rang again and it was he. The moment of truth had arrived and I was nervous.

We exchanged the usual greetings and small talk before getting down to business.

“I’m 2 hours away from you,” said he. “I could drive down today and stay at a hotel to sleep.”

“The thing is I’m headed to another place now with my friend to have dinner there and then drive all the way back, so I don’t know what time I’ll be back. You should have called me ahead of time. Can you make it tomorrow?” asked I.

“No, I have a lot to do tomorrow, starting with my kids. It’s difficult for me to plan ahead. Also, is that guy your boyfriend?”

I knew this question would come up. “No, he’s not my boyfriend!” said I in an upsetting tone. “I’ve known him since I was 13 and graduated from our school as well.” (Dude, if I invited you to come see me it’s because I have an interest in you.)

I thought to myself, why am I giving this extensive explanation to him? Worst of all, I should have stepped outside my car and taken the call away from my friend. The way I responded to the question was totally wrong.

The conversation got into more of ‘who should done what and when’, or who was responsible for this failed attempt to see each other.

So, I agreed with ‘the beach guy’ that I would call him when I was traveling back from my dinner.

I took the wheel again and tried to concentrate on my driving, but my friend knew I was upset. I didn’t want to talk about it because I was sure his opinion about the other guy just got more negative.

At a certain point I did vent out because I was frustrated yet again at my bad luck with men.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have told him about meeting. I feel like a fool for getting my hopes too high like you said,” said I.

“Better now than later,” answered he.

“I know, but nothing happened. I don’t know what to make of it.”

“Don’t think about it. Enjoy your vacation.”

Yes, I should. I’ll figure it out (or not) after my trip ends.

Some people believe that when we sleep, our souls leave our bodies to wander and, at many times, go to places or find people that otherwise would be impossible to do in our present state of existence. These encounters are presented through our dreams.

If such is real, I then journeyed to find him, the guy who ‘unfriended’ me. And I did.

From what I remember, it was a brief dream. We were both walking slowly side by side on a city street.

It was winter and he was wearing a brown suede jacket. Our hands were inside our coat pockets and looking straight ahead at all times. Other people passed us by.

This occurred in the present time because he was discussing with me the incident that lead to the ending of our friendship.

I was still upset, but was listening to him objectively. I allowed him to speak and I kept quiet while he did.

That’s all I remember.

I had mixed feelings when I woke up. There was a part of me that was glad we finally had the conversation I wanted. But I don’t think I got the resolution I needed.

I didn’t forgive him for what he did, and I never heard something truly important to me: that he had feelings for me back then and now.

I need to believe that what we shared in college was real. I know in part I was in need of affection, but had I not felt the way I did when we reconnected, I wouldn’t feel the way I do now.

Part of the reason for the friendship ending is that he had to ‘delete’ his feelings for me because he can only have them for his spouse.

At times I still question, did he ever love me? Or did our present chemistry was as a result of me helping him reconnect with who he was and those moments that made college so special to him?

Possibly (for both), and I’m just holding on to something that probably won’t happen; getting to hear ‘Emma, I did love you’.

I won’t deny that I still think about him, but not as often as I used to. I wonder if he does the same. We haven’t communicated for a while and probably will remain that way.

If what I said in the beginning is true, I can only wish we might find each other again, even for another moment, in a place we can finally embrace, away from everything and everyone we know. A place where we can be ourselves, that will allow me to forgive him and finally let him go.

What a soulful experience that would be.

et cetera