The New M.E. Generation











‘Hi, how are you?’ read his chat.

‘Fine; thanks. Was about to reply to your messages’, wrote I.

‘Noticed you were online, so thought it was the best way to speak with you, for now.’

This gave me an uneasy feeling. More than misinterpreting what another person might be trying to communicate, I felt I was somewhat spied upon. It’s as if he was purposely keeping an eye on me, waiting for me to appear.

And what does he mean ‘for now’? Sounds to me that he’s going to decide my fate based upon a few sentences.

‘What do you mean?’ I asked him.

‘Your profile needs work. You’re either covering things or don’t want to be so open about yourself just yet.’

I was right. He’s somewhat interested in me, but because my first impression wasn’t that extraordinary to him, he’s going to decide to either continue pursuing me or not right this moment.

Second of all, who the hell are you to judge me, even less over a dating site profile?

I got angry, but I’m not letting it show.

‘I gave this site a try recently. Putting some more time into it is not my priority these days,’ I wrote.

‘If you want to get anywhere with it, you have to.’

Is that so? Wonder if I should mention that I get messages from 20-somethings.

‘How long have you been on the dating scene?’ asked I.

‘7 years.’

Give me a freaking break!

‘7 years??’ asked I.

‘Yes, but on and off. Have had some relationships here and there.’

And they haven’t worked out because:
(a) You’re a dick.
(b) You think you’re God’s gift to the world.
(c) You’re approaching this site as if it was a bride mail-order catalog.
(d) You think women in general need re-working so they can adjust to your mold.

Answer is: All of the above; but especially the last, because I (and women who are very clear of who they are) will not follow your shopping list.

I did that my entire life, living my existence for others or doing what they expected me to do at the expense of losing my self-esteem and sense of who I was. The one who needs to make changes around here is he.

I didn’t respond to his last chat right away, so he realized I wasn’t happy.

‘I’ve used different dating sites throughout the years, but I’m not active all the time.’

Whatever, you blew it. Still no response from me.

‘When you update your profile, let me know,’ wrote he.

‘Yeah’ is all I said.

I don’t (or care to) remember who ended the chat. After that day we never communicated again.

About a month later his profile was closed. I wasn’t surprised or even wondered if he had found someone.

Regarding my profile, still the same as he saw it and with the 100 answered questions.

And the answer to what to do about all this: you have to keep on trying.



After the brunch event, this guy and I saw each other on and off during the rest of the summer.

I took a college course as well as a part-time job, which made my time quite interesting.

He kept appearing on TV and other media, so I was always up to date on his whereabouts.

I think before I left again to college, his birthday came up, and I had a chance to see him. I gave him a card with a message I personally wrote. He really appreciated my gesture.

The last time I saw him on TV was in another soap. He was playing a gypsy named ‘Piero’. The character had been away from the community and there was a rumor that he had apparently returned to the area. Another male gypsy was trying to find out what was going on. From the look of his face, he wasn’t happy if ‘Piero’ was actually back, as it represented a threat to him.

In the next scene, two women found Piero unconscious on the beach and took him to their home. One of the two kept staring at him and seemed to know who he was (or was trying to conceal it from the other woman).

Piero was placed to rest on a bed. He was still unconscious and without a shirt. OMG!! Is this politically correct?

That was the episode. Wait!! I want to see more (of him, not the soap)!

Shortly after my return to school my birthday came up. I think he called me to congratulate me, and believe this was the last time we spoke. I don’t recall contacting him during the holiday break.

By the time my school year was over and returned home, he was already involved with his ex-wife, so that was pretty much the end of whatever connection there was, until now.

It’s ironic that, many years later, it was through TV that I learned what had happened to him. But this was no soap, it was very much ‘reality’.

So what’s next chapter of this drama? Am I going to contact him or what?

 



A few more months later, Jeffrey decided to go back home for good. I don’t remember how it all happened, but I believe he mentioned he was leaving again and did not know when he would return.

It did not take me by surprise. I knew it was coming. In a previous conversation, he had said he was very distant from his spouse and couldn’t handle the situation any longer. On top of that, he was so desperate, he just wanted to ‘drop everything’ and simply leave.

And he did. He left all his material possessions ‘untouched,’ meaning he didn’t sell them or anything. He left that for his ‘significant other’ to deal with it.  Sounds to me he ‘snapped’ one day and simply decided to leave immediately.

And after some time after his departure, he announced he was not coming back. Not another surprise. He ran away, yet again, but for the last time.

Some months later he sent me an email saying he was making a quick stop in ‘the city’ and asked for my number. He wanted to see me, but wasn’t sure if he would have the chance.

I knew it wouldn’t happen, so I didn’t make the effort of contacting him. I was right, nothing happened. He went back home and we haven’t made contact ever since.

Do I still hear from him? Sometimes I do, on and off, of course, online. Later on I did learn he finally got divorced and was happy.

Happy. Hmm, let me think this one over. Better? Probably. Entirely happy? Don’t think so.

I’ve seen pictures of him and he physically looks very good. But in some I can still see the pain of the life he’s lived and left behind.

One thing I’ve surely learned from my experience is that you may run away from all your past. But your demons, unless you confront then face forward, they will run back to hunt you sooner or later.

But I’m hopeful for him. I think he will overcome everything, but, when? That’s not up to me to provide any longer.

This cougar has served her time with this guy.

Do I want to be a cougar again? Don’t know. For now I’ll just keep on roaming until my next ‘catch’ occurs.



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.



Whatever Jeffrey and I shared, it kept going for a few months (on and off, of course).

I wasn’t thinking about what to expect or even hope for it. I took it as it came because other situations had taken priority.

The divorce was about to be finalized and one of the agreements was that I would move out of the residence. That meant I would loose the home I worked so hard to build, and downsize my existence into a smaller place.

On top of that, the lease on my vehicle was about to expire and my job was on the line.

The time was coming close for me to face the world on my own, and I was utterly scared.

And, like it happens in life, may it be good or bad things, when they come, they do in multiples.

I was working on the computer when Jeffrey sent me a text message: ‘I can’t keep doing this any longer. It’s not fair for anyone.’  I felt as if someone had just stabbed me on my heart.

The thing I had dreaded the most happened. He was walking out of my life. And the thing I shouldn’t have done, also happened. I had fallen for him.

I knew his departure would eventually happen, but did it have to be now?

All I thought I could do was to call him. He had mentioned he was going home for a couple of weeks, so at least I wanted to give closure to this.

“So I guess she found out about it, right?” asked I.

“Yes, which have made matters worse.”

“Is she going with you?”

“No way! I need to take care of some family matters and need to be alone to figure things out.”

I took a quick pause before continuing. “I never expected anything from you, you know that.”

“I know,” said he. His tone of voice lowered and I could tell he was looking for a way to end the conversation. “Hmm, I’m leaving tomorrow and need to get everything ready.”

“I understand… I know you get uncomfortable when I’ve said that I care about you and wish only the best for you. Please take care of yourself, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

I believe Jeff got emotional when he said good-bye. I surely did. I sat there with my face sunk between my hands crying miserably.

I was crying, alone, with no one to give me comfort. I had lost so much already, and now this?

What’s next in line for me?



Jeff and I kept communicating on and off for some time. We would talk on the phone or have extended conversations at my place.

With time, he started opening up to me. I got to understand why he was the why he was. He had experienced life on the edge; lived situations that were beyond his biological age.

They were ones that I can never imagine getting myself into, or know how I’ve would have handled them during the time that they occurred to him or if they would to me in the future.

But, the more he shared things, the more I grew to respect him.

I also felt sorry for him. A few times he got really emotional and that broke my heart. Although he had recovered from those bad moments, he was still deeply scarred and there was a pain within him that seemed to refuse to go away.

There were times when I wanted to reach out to him but couldn’t. In a certain manner I had lived a life much like his.

My marriage did not turn out as I hoped it would have, and many situations left me feeling that I also had lived way beyond my years.

I was deeply scarred as well, and my emotional pain was so bad it almost made me ‘emotionally challenged.’ It was so deep that I had lost some sense of empathy towards others.

But I did care about him and told him many times. But him, like me, had a hard time believing this from others.

Being hurt and in pain had become part of our lives. It had become second nature.

And what was this cougar playing in all this? I will say this: what we both lived made each other ageless. There wasn’t an age difference here.

But with his uncertain look at life, the cougar simply let him know that ‘hey, I’m still here. I’ve lived through it all and, although I’m down now, I will make it back to the top somehow.

You have lived enough to be practically my age. But if I survived it and still have a positive outlook for the future, so should you.’

Like I said, I did care about him. Hopefully I’m drilling some sense into him.



Jeff did kept ‘popping up,’ on and off.

Sometimes he would call me or I did. But if I were lucky to get a hold of him, the conversations would be very quick.

He was always in a rush, or talking when ‘that other person’ wasn’t around, meaning he was away from ‘his significant other.’

I wasn’t particularly upset about it, but was questioning what was I providing to him with these communications.

It almost felt as if he knew that what he was doing was wrong. That I was the only one that provided an escape, a quick fix from his reality, someone who let him be who he really was for a few minutes of his life.

Maybe I was just all he had to whatever he was running away from.

And running away he also did…to my place. Sometimes he would just show up unannounced sometime in the night.

I didn’t mind that he did. But after some initial conversation, I could see a sadness and uncertainty on his eyes that just broke my heart. It even made me feel not so bad about my own situation.

Why does he come here? What am I doing for him?

I mean, we have a lot to deal with and can’t really take care of ourselves the way we deserve, or even each other. Or are we?

In a certain manner, we were reflecting ourselves in each other. We were both stuck in a situation we didn’t asked for or expected to be.

There wasn’t any remote chance of us ever being together in any level, but, in a way, we were.

We both were unhappy with our lives and being ‘together’ gave each other the reaffirmation that we needed to get away from it all and start new. But not with one another.

Sometimes seeing yourself in the mirror is not always a pretty sight.



et cetera