A and I got together again the other night. To cut to the chase: as I suspected, there’s no mojo there.
(God, I haven’t even told him yet. That’s kinda terrible, isn’t it, that I’m telling the whole word – even if it is anonymous – before I tell him? But more on that in a sec.)
We got together at a bookstore. Browsed a bit. Found our way to another coffee shop, and, like the first time we got together, we talked and talked and talked. Talking, we’re good at.
But it was immediately clear to me that that’s all we’ve got going for us. He pushed a few of my buttons – the wrong ones, I mean: he loves science fiction and computers and video games, and I harbor unreasonable mistrust of people who love science fiction and computers and video games. (I know! It’s not fair, and I’d be pretty pissed if someone dismissed me because I love poetry and horses and board games, but there you have it. I’m a sci-fi bigot.) More than that, though, was just a feeling: This isn’t going anywhere. He’s a nice guy, but he’s not the guy for me.
Trouble is, I think he’s pretty into me. I’m going home to Minnesota for a few weeks, and he joked around how he was going to pine away for me. He asked whether I was planning to stay in the area after I finished my sabbatical; I said I didn’t know, that it would depend on where my life took me; he said “I hope I can be a part of your life.” He talked about driving up to Centralia when I get back.
I’m terrible at this sort of thing. Letting him down easy, whatever you want to call it. I’m a disaster. My preference would be to just disappear, pretend it never happened. And maybe that will work, without unfairness on my part, by virtue of the my long absence over the holidays. Maybe I’ll come back and we just won’t get back in touch and everything will be fine, no problem, no hard feelings, back to regular programming. But I doubt it; I think I’m going to have to call him, or see him (or could I just email me? please tell me I can email him!) and tell him that I just don’t see us headed in the direction he seems to want.
God, I wish I had some excuse. The last time I had to do this – when I broke up with a guy named Ben, I guy I’d known from the first date wasn’t for me but, when he said “So, are we ‘go’?” at the end of our second date, I was too flabbergasted to protest, and thus was born a three-month relationship – I pretended that I wasn’t over an ex. I said I was so sorry that I’d mislead him, that I was still in love with someone else, that it had taken me a while to realize it. This was all a lie, and I wish I could do it again, but these days I’m not lying, it’s a thing I’m trying, and that means I have to tell him the truth.