Cafe Hitch-hike


Parts of the journey

I made ratatouille at home, one of my specialties. As I cooked, I felt all right but I asked myself when my emotions would sock me. I've come understand that I whisk unpleasant feelings away so quickly that I barely notice them, it is almost automatic at times. I wondered when?

I ate at my table by myself and listened to an R&B song, and then it came out. By myself. Of course, I started to cry. It was the first day back at work, after my little 13-day daze of skipping across another continent, trying to gain insight on what steps to take next and maybe find a little adventure to smear the sameness of the day-in, day out.

Of course, I missed Copperas. I already know what will come out of all of this. I've both screwed around and loved sincerely enough to recognize what's what. I know he cares about me and was sincere with the time we were together. He's a lovely person, and with such a sheltered and frightened heart. He's not going to pursue anything more than staying in touch, and I know better than to try to chase or go after something more; after all, guys tend to put in the effort to get something they want or makes them feel great. We are older now, and are both more road weary in our own ways.

We had what was supposed to be a hard talk. He told me he thinks we will eventually fall into a pattern of where we try to find what we wanted from our parent in each other; we didn't get the love and affection (or whatever else) that we wanted, and it turns into a cycle of attraction and repelling. He said he often had that pattern in his relationships, and thought we had different needs out of the relationship. I saw where he was coming from. However, I had something much, much different in mind and told him:

I got back in touch 3 years ago because my heart felt cold one night and I didn't like it. I tried to remember a time when it didn't feel that way, and he came into mind. I didn't feel cold, and I initiated contact to which he replied 3 years later. Copperas was my first love in the sense that yeah, I had a boyfriend before him who was a good friend and we had a degree of physical intimacy, but C. was complete different. There was bit of mutual attraction (like, 'hey, who's she/ he?'), and then we started talking. The more we interacted, the more we seemed to fancy each other. I told C. that it wasn't sudden and it took its time. If anything, it felt natural and I didn't have to persuade myself to feel or to turn things a certain way. I told C. that it was an interesting thing to see; efforts didn't have to be made for that to happen because the feelings just happened on their own.

They say love is a choice, but maybe it doesn't start off that way; the choices come once it is at a certain point to keep it going, perhaps. With the way things were flowing (at least in me), I wanted to make love with him for my first time because I thought it would be special (can you believe I was a virgin then? We both were). Yeah, I felt a bit randy but it felt a lot more like a natural expression of how I felt about him and us.

I also said he was my first love, but perhaps not what he thought. I told him what I told my sister after we departed last week: what do you do when someone reminds of you the divine, and what you feel is based more on friendship and affinity than romantic love? That was how how I felt then, and I still feel that way about him (Yeah, we are attracted to each other, but I sensed last week that we were intimately compatible up to a certain point because our energies are much different; perhaps it had little to do with timidness or feeling weird for being around someone new, or maybe I'm wrong). He was very special for me, and the 2 days were for sure. It helped me see my own heart in a different way, and to see that it hasn't changed very drastically in the last 28 years. If anything, it was the beginning for my heart and it probably was for him (he said it was).

I couldn't help but wonder how the hell all this happened for us to get back in touch (but now I know, we still had a connection intact AND we both had some degree of receptiveness towards each other). I've had and seen enough long-distance things to know they don't work (Copperas did as well), and usually 1 person sacrifices everything to join the other person; very, very few of those work out. As much as a schoolgirlish part of me may like that to happen, I know long distance anything is difficult. But, I really meant it when I said I was so glad he was a part of my journey both in 1990/1991 and now. If we were able to carry on the way we had last week and reconnect like there was no 28 year lapse, then surely we still possessed a part of each in our hearts. He meant something to me, he was special, and I hoped we still could be in each other's lives as friends.

It sounded tough, but we had some laughs in it, and yeah, we both cried. We both were exhausted by it, but relieved. About an hour later, I looked back at the messages we sent back and forth and realized I never sent him the pics I took of us like I said I would. He cheerfully replied that he wanted them, and I sent them. My favorite was one I had of us standing at the center of a concrete, knee-high labyrinth built near the Waal River. We stood half-facing each other with our heads leaning into each other. My dark brown and straightened hair was tucked neatly behind my ears and hung behind my shoulders, while strands of his medium-brown curls spilled on our foreheads. We both have big teeth (which is kind of funny) and our smiles were probably the same size! In the background was a metal, arched bridge, tall grass, and a blue sky specked with a church and some medium-high buildings in the distance.

I was able to admit to myself that as much as I bitch and moan about things, my life is objectively all right. In 1990, a part of me wished to be scooped up and taken away from the difficulties I had, but there's no need. Things are all right and I got beyond many of those difficulties. Well, everyone wants an escape and to touch the divine no matter where they are in life. I hope I was able to clarify I wasn't projecting any unconscious needs (at least as far as I can see) and that my ass wasn't owned by fantasies of running way (at least not yet). I joked that I couldn't promise I wouldn't give him a 'take me, please!' speech, but definitely embraced the experience of seeing him again.

Ok, now I hope I wasn't deluding myself or him (hahahah). Well, maybe I really wasn't. Maybe I was just glad to revisit him and what's in my heart. Better yet, maybe it was just amazing to revisit that connection between us and see that it was very real. Maybe I've seen enough in life to have a sense of what will and can work? I hope whatever happens helps him look into his heart the way this time has had me look into mine.

Of course, I cried over my dinner. The trip was unreal that it was so cool and magical that it had to be not real! After 13 days of wandering, meeting strangers, exploring, and allowing myself to have an almost-childlike curiosity, it's back to work. Deadlines. Lovely colleagues. News. Unhappy people (I'll never forget going on a trip last year and feeling such a difference in the levels of happiness between the poorer area I visited and more prosperous area where I live). Dating. Keeping life's annoyances from getting under my skin and turning into a scowling or bitter person. And, eating dinner alone. Wondering if my attempts to build a secure living for myself also built more fortified barriers around me (and so I eat and live alone).

Where does Copperas, what we have had, and my trip fit into all of this? If I go by what I told him, that hey... the divine and love exist if it's allowed to happen (and it's maintained after a certain point). Maybe I don't have to search for anything. Maybe it will come to me because we recognize each other (just as we had 28 years ago, and even now). Maybe it means once it does come, I then need to embrace or surrender to it (something Copperas admits he can only do up to a certain point before his inner wall is reached; yeah, we talked about our walls). Maybe it means also to keep my spirit open and ready for adventure in the mundane; we always will find the divine in each other if we are open to it, we keep ourselves connected to it, and reflect it to others when possible. This is my conclusion for now, until new things pop up in our heads or expressed to each other.

I think what gets me the most is I remember hearing certain songs in July 1991, when he and the other friends I met through him returned to Europe (and soon after, I visited Florida for the first time to spend time with my newly found paternal family). I wanted so badly to see them again and was afraid I never would. I heard those songs while I was in Europe and I remembered that sting inside from the longing, but I was able to see that I got back in contact with the 3 main friends in 2010 and finally got to see him again. That wish and longing from 28 years ago was answered and soothed, and so much fell in place to make it happen. All of that is truly special, beautiful, and almost unreal to me. The most beautiful thing is it all was real.

Maybe that is something I can carry when life is not so beautiful to remind how much it really can be.

downwind | upstream