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.

The bar was quite a nice place to sit down and enjoy the night, as it allowed to being more relaxed and less formal from sitting at a table. There was even music playing. I was feeling surer of myself already.

“Do you want to have a drink first and then move to a table?” asked he.

“I’m fine staying and eating here. The ambience is quite nice.”

When it was time to order the drink, I made the mistake of asking for a mixed one, which I normally don’t.  I thought because I had munched at home I would be fine.

But when I tasted it, damn, the effects really hit me hard inside, like in my stomach, and how it felt was not good. It was like a bomb. Then the second one touched ground.

“So,” asked he, “tell me about yourself.” (Small talk here it comes.)

“Well, I’ve been single for a couple of years now…”

“Shit happens.” (That’s not nice! I was very disappointed by his comment, but I wasn’t going to show it.)

“Yes, it does,” said I. I said it just to keep the conversation going.

He then asked me what I did for a living, fun and else. I answered that my life was not that different from others. I work, get home, exercise, make dinner, clean up, go to sleep, etc., and take care of things during the weekend.

Regarding fun, I would usually meet with my girlfriends for a drink and maybe share an appetizer or two, either at a bar or someone’s home. There were all inexpensive and simple, allowing us to chat and share an update of our lives.

On the other hand, this guy had nothing in common with me, other than he didn’t have children. He’s never been married, works hard and equally plays so, which I already knew. Whatever conversation followed did not have much substance, so the best effort was made to keep the night as enjoyable as possible.

I kept drinking so I wouldn’t have to talk much and cover my angry face, but eventually it caught up with me. My stomach was getting upset too.

How can this date be saved from sinking? Food?

et cetera