The New M.E. Generation











The next thing I remember about this guy is that he called to tell me that he finally located a position within his current employer…. In the Pacific!

“The Pacific?? What happened to the opening two states from you?” said I.

“The closer one, there could be a possibility a year from now. I tried negotiating for that, but I don’t know right now if it will happen. The one in the Pacific is the only thing available if I want to stay working with this company,” replied he.

I was listening to him and didn’t know what to think. This location didn’t feel good to me because of the distance, but it’s upsetting that he was now in this situation. He should have started searching for a job way back, but he didn’t because he wanted ‘to be in good standing’ with the people who helped him get the last one.

That may sound very ‘bromantic’, but when your bills pile up, they’re surely not going to help you on that. Honestly, he was being a cop out. The guy I knew always had a plan that knew well when and how to execute, and wouldn’t wait for no one to help him; he took charge right away and wouldn’t stop until accomplished.

“I’ve spent many hours at church thinking this over and this is where He wants me to be,” said he.

Oh, Lord. Here we go again. Nothing new as to the way he was now dealing with anything in his life, except that something way beyond you has control over you (which sounds more like that psycho ex of his).

“I respect your decision, you know I always do. Maybe this is good for you after all you’ve gone through? You’ve always managed to turn things around for the best before,” said I.

“The thing is I will be living at a military base and it don’t allow cars, so will rely on a bicycle they will have to supply to me. Plus, my mobile won’t work over there. The location is pretty, but the time difference and new environment will be a challenge,” said he.

Oh, definitely that and more. This is what I’m talking about; had he done his homework of getting a job earlier, this conversation would be way different.

He then proceeded to explain the decision to leave was done and he was departing rather quickly to avoid the expenses when without a job, like rent. He had already set aside a storage space for one of his cars and another for his personal belongings. He was to leave a second car with his mom.

That’s one thing I had forgotten about. His cars. And they were three. Why so many? Because, according to him, if one broke down, he would have two others to use and not be without wheels.

I remember his first one, which he acquired back home second hand and used to give it basic maintenance himself. I also remembered that another one of the three kept having problems, and he would drive it to the dealer in his previous location to service it, costing him vacation days, money, gas, etc.

It was quite a few times he did that trip back and forth, as the car kept having problems after the dealer worked on it. He would drive for days to get back home. We would speak for hours on the phone and as long he could stay awake, to then check in at a motel to rest, and then continue his journey the next day.

I never understood the need of a third vehicle or keeping one that was problematic, or taking it to the dealer for repair when he knows well it’s always more expensive.

We’re talking about triple insurance policies, gas, maintenance costs, etc., and now an additional storage space to pay for. There’s no value on that, not even sentimental.

Reality is he was being a hoarder trying to fulfill some emotional void he lacked. Had he being in his right mind, he would have stayed with just one, two tops, and gotten rid of the problematic one as soon as it started being a burden. He wouldn’t show any emotions towards a vehicle; he would be objective and would get rid of anything that wasn’t working any more (including people).

Unfortunately, he was now clinging to the wrong things, including the loser ex, the residues of a toxic relationship, a codependency with questionable religious people, an unstable life, and uncertain future.

And now you’re leaving to the Pacific? Hmm. Maybe this is more about that he’s running away from it all than anything else. So, it is good, is it bad? Can I say that there’s always something good within the bad? I guess this is what it means when they say that ‘the universe works in mysterious way’. Please hold.

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Another 2 days went by before I got another reply, this time around 4am and still on a work week.

I wondered again if he was getting up or going to bed and what his whereabouts were. In other words, were you at home or, most probably, somebody else’s place?

Back in my days when I was doing my undergrad and living on campus, if you returned very late to your room, it had to be that you were either at the library (that was the main excuse everyone used) studying or writing a paper, or at the computer center.

Yes, I said the computer center. That’s where people went to type their papers before personal ones became a normal thing to have. And the place was open (I believe) until midnight or beyond.

If those 2 locations weren’t it, then it meant you were probably having some sort of relationship with someone else and managed to spend the night with that person. You either convinced the other roommate to go sleep somewhere else, or that other person slept in your bed with the roommate there as well.

Doing the second was no easy task, as having roommates was difficult per se and meant losing more of the little space and privacy you already had.

Then there was the situation if anyone called you. It was one phone paid by many and the calls were usually from parents, family, or significant others living at school or not.

The calls would mostly occur after 10pm as they knew all classes were done for the day, you already had dinner, etc.

But, that was not always the case. If you took the call, you had the misfortune of telling the caller that your roommate wasn’t there and that you didn’t know where she was, either that was true or not.

It was an uncomfortable situation because you always sounded as you were lying and hiding something.

Then there was the task of having to call them back and explain yourself. After saying ‘you were studying’, things would quiet down until the same scenario happened again.

Yes, it was a time that keeping track of others was no easy task, but is it that different now? Not really, except that all devices are personal and mobile, and you have total control in how you manage them.

In a way it’s harder as no one else knows what you’re doing, that is, if you keep it quiet to yourself.

So what am I thinking right now? That he probably had some chemistry with a girl in his biology class and decided to take it beyond the books. After all, he’s young, good looking and has goals for the future. What girl wouldn’t like that?

This got me thinking; this guy got my attention not necessarily for his merits, but because it’s making me remember my time in college.

That was a special time, as I finally got a chance to be on my own and started to discover who I really was, just like when I became single again.

The negative part is the age difference, which is making me feel old, and that feeling is not good at all.

I may have reversed the effects of what I’ve gone through, but there’s no ‘time’ capsule for the other half of the equation.

You have to swallow it no matter what.



I turned my chair to face the wall, so no one could see my tears flowing down my eyes. It was one of those moments when not even waterproof make-up could conceal the emotions that were pouring out.

It started getting so bad, I grabbed my shawl and wrapped it all the way to my nose. More than for warmth, the item became my mask and handkerchief.

“This year has been so difficult,” said I. “I’m still with no guy. Every one that I meet isn’t worth anything. This month would have been my 20-year anniversary.

I know the grass is never greener on the other side. But there are times when I just feel that my life sucks and won’t change for the better.

I’m grateful that I have many blessings. But I’m not asking for much. I’m a good person and don’t understand why I’m still single.

All I want is to settle down, have a family, and live a tranquil existence. Why can’t I just get that?”

“You will find someone,” said he. “You have to be patient.”

“How many times you’ve told me that and still nothing? At least you’re always with someone, for better or for worse.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m happy. And, no, right now I’m not with someone. I want to take a break.”

“You always say that too. When I turn around you’re back in being in a relationship.”

“I know; I’m a disaster. But I really want to be alone for a while. When Thanksgiving comes, I’m getting a bottle of champagne and drink it all alone at my place. Not interested in going to any parties or anything.”

“You don’t have to be so extreme. You can celebrate the holiday very low key with people that really care about you.”

“I’m not in the mood to be with anyone. How about you?”

“I’ll be with family. I mean, it’s good, but won’t help much that I’m so sad, angry, frustrated at so many things. I need an extraordinary experience to happen to me that will give me a new perspective and change everything that I am.”

“Things will get better for you.”

“When? I’m tired of waiting. I want it to happen already.”

Ivan and I talked for a few more minutes. It was a brief conversation as usual, but it was the first one that after talking to him I felt some relief.

After hanging up, I turned to face the computer again and luckily nobody saw or heard me while talking.

I quickly ran out into the bathroom to hide and chill out for a few minutes.

I could barely look at myself on the mirror. But turns out using the shawl as handkerchief saved some of my make-up, so I was able to fix it good enough that people wouldn’t notice my tears.

Once back at my desk, I realized I didn’t thank Ivan for listening, or that to remember he had (sort of) promised to meet me one day for drinks.

So, call him again? I’ll drink to that.



The conversation was still going, even after we got all sad for each other and ourselves.

“Emma, have you ever been happy?”

Wow, the question felt deeper than the pain I experienced when he dumped me. I gave it a thought before answering.

“That word for me is so delicate to define,” said I. “I think people use it all the time, but don’t understand the true meaning of it.

Honestly, yes, I’ve had my good moments to remember, but the not so good ones are greater and make me forget the first.

Right now I shoot for peace and tranquility, to get to a good place. But once in a while I should look back to those good times.

Although they bring me a brief joy, I have to wish for that again, don’t you think?

It’s like right now, all the situations that I’ve had with men have not turned out as I hoped for, but some instances are worth laughing about and holding on to.

And how much I’ve grown as a person and the knowledge that I’ve gained is worth every tear that I’ve shed.

In this few years I’ve lived so much, more than in other moments of my life, that I think I now know how to find this so called ‘happiness’.

How about you? What’s your take on it?”



About a week or so after I had gone out to the lounge, I got a call to my mobile. Since I did not recognize the number, I decided not to answer it and have the call go to voice mail (hey, isn’t it what it is for?).

The caller did leave a message and, to my surprise, it was Jeffrey. More surprising was what he said. “Hey, it’s Jeff. I was driving around your area and, don’t know why, but I felt the need to call you.”

Oh, how nice it felt when I heard that! I even put my hand at my heart and shrugged my shoulders for how moved I got.

It was a great feeling indeed. His tone of voice sounded soft and sincere, like he appreciated me for who I was and not some ‘crazy cougar’ he met at a bar.

And getting that line of ‘I felt the need to call you’ sounded very romantic to me.

Even more, I felt loved again. I felt for a moment like I was flying on air. I felt pretty and every other good feeling in between.

I heard the message again several more times before calling back. More than showing that perhaps I was desperate (which I was, greatly), I wanted to enjoy this brief moment.

I had no idea what would happen after I returned the call. But during those minutes that I sat there and listened to the message, I had the feeling that my life would be just fine.

It is, so far, right now.



et cetera