The New M.E. Generation











The next morning I rushed to work as usual, so it didn’t give me much time to speak to my friend, which was great to avoid last night’s situation. It was a long weekend and celebrating my birthday, so that’s what I wanted to concentrate on.

Work finished early around 4pm and I rushed home, as we were having dinner with a couple friends of mine whose wife is also a graduate of our school.

My then friend helped me choose my clothes, something he had done before. I didn’t feel intimidated or upset about his opinion after all these years, something that with other guys I’ve not been that easy with.

We met my friends at the restaurant and it was nice to be out with a guy and another couple, which hasn’t happened in a long time.

As we were having drinks at the table, my friend grabbed my hand and held it with both his on the table. “Are you okay babe?” asked he. I reacted surprised, as I wasn’t expecting it. I replied with a ‘yes, I’m fine’, with a face that I was happy with all that was happening. I let him hold my hand until food was served.

After dinner, the couple invited us to their place for additional wine. They also have a pet parrot; I then remembered that my friend’s mom had one that lived cageless and was infamous for what it would do or say.

When I asked him about it, he said it has passed away about 6 years ago. I also remembered about 2 small dogs that had vegetable names like ‘yucca’ and ‘onion’ because of their hair color.

He explained that when his mom decided to move was able to place them with other families. What I didn’t remember was that there were many other pets in the backyard, including turtles, which I don’t recall ever seeing. It sounded to me like a zoo and baffling that my memory had failed me on this one.

At one point when my friend was away from all us, the wife said to me, “OMG, you can totally tell he only has eyes for you by the way he looks at you. He’s totally into you.”

I was caught off guard again with her comment. Her husband and her have been good friends all these years and their opinion was important to me. I didn’t agree with them always, but knew that what they said to me they did because they cared.

The question about the possibility of being in a relationship with me came to mind again. But I replied to my friend something to the extent that I didn’t like his constant moving and that bitch ex of his was still present in his life. She looked at me as in ‘take advantage of the here and now’.

My then friend was claiming he was really over the bitch and had taken her out of his social media profile. He even said that ‘he wasn’t going to hide anything,’ meaning being quiet about posting photos or comments, including one image of us in a friendly hug. He was now ‘a free man’, able to do whatever he wanted and wasn’t going to care what other people thought or said, including his so-called ex.

I was enjoying the moment and was looking forward to much more the next few days. That was the ‘now’ that I was feeling, besides that voice in my head that kept circling like a major warning that something bad would happen.

Little did I imagine that the actions and photos of that day, and the following ones, would have so much impact in my life, even today, and he would be the one to blame.

Let’s say that I never pictured the after events that came from him. If there’s a ‘poster child’ for lies and betrayal, his image would be front and center. Smile, you’ve been framed!

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I was happy to be meeting up with Madeline and her family, especially during the holidays when single people tend to feel the loneliest. She was also single and had been very supportive during my post divorce. She was in essence the female version of my high school friend.

I remember the weather that year was really bad with heavy rain and the temperature dropped to the low 20’s. I still wasn’t technologically up to date, meaning didn’t have a smarthphone or GPS.

Both of them had one in their car and have used it successfully for years. Madeline told me to get one and make the trip; he said that if the weather was that bad, a woman like me driving by herself would be concerning to him, even if I had the device.

They both agreed that it would be a good purchase to make, as they felt that it would not only be useful to have, but would open my outlook into taking other trips in the future.

Ultimate the weather became the decisive factor, so I chose to fly instead. As simple as this road trip sounded, I was still too afraid to take risks at this stage.

Still, the temperature made me remember being in college, ending the semester, flying home for the holidays, arriving at a warm weather, and seeing my friend.

But as much as I was happy to be with Madeline and grateful for her invitation, I still felt displaced. I was still recovering from my divorce, trying to regain my sense of self, plus figure out what I was to do with my life. At least being around people who appreciated me gave me some sense of belonging for a few days.

I was also thinking about my friend. His mother underwent surgery and he spent many days in the hospital with her and later at home. Me in the distance could only provide support. His birthday happened during those days and he was more than pleased to have the gift that his mother would most likely have a full recovery.

It also started to daunt on me how loved one could be gone quickly, how oneself with age start facing calamities, how we are able (or not) to handle situations we always knew would happen, but not really ready for when they do.

In essence it was a question of how long will those important people remain with us, will they still be there near or far when the bad really happens, and if they’re gone either in life or death, how are we to cope with their departure?

It was a reality I had already seen: as much as you want to have certain people in your life or try to make things work in a certain way, like the song says, “baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.”

Yep, that’s how it’s sang.



‘Third connection’ and I remained as online friends and would comment each other on whatever situation we would write about.

One time, though, I got responses from other guys when I only asked him for an opinion. Halloween was coming up and was contemplating a few alternatives for wardrobe. Among them was one that had an air for ‘sexy’ but wasn’t too revealing, just fitted and short in length, long enough for me to consider suitable for my weight, body type, etc.

So when I posted a picture of the costume, I got more responses than what I bargained for, from single to married men. More of a ‘chain reaction.’

“Would love to see you wearing that,” said third connection.

“You can model that to me any time,” said another friend.

“Thumbs up to that,” another guy said.

“No, I vote for something more sexier,” a fourth guy said.

What is this? I only wanted to get comments from one person, and in turn I got an avalanche of responses. And whatever I liked it or not, it had to do with my looks and how others perceived it, even including as it relates to my level of sexiness.

Now I was not only dealing with defining how pretty I considered myself, I was asking myself if I considered myself sexy and how much.

“Ah, what are we talking about here guys?” asked I.

“You’re hot,” said third connection.

“Ditto that,” said one of the other three.

“Yeah!!!”

“Major hottie!”

Oh my goodness! Now I’m creeped out as to what to wear and post it online. Well, I hate to say this, but I enjoyed the brief attention I received from them guys. It’s still flattering to hear from others how great I look or would do wearing whatever I decide to wear.

I know they mean no harm and want the best for me. And I know that they’re also trying to encourage me into doing something that is new for me or perhaps not used to do.

They’re trying to take me out of my shell and find (or find again) that fun side of me that some of them remember me for.

I think it’s more about taking risks. Not that I hadn’t in the past, but now it is all for me and only me. It’s about standing in the spotlight and being admired for all those who love and respect you. Shine on.

 



et cetera