Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sonriso, Part 8

“The shortest distance between two people is a smile.”
~Author unknown

The Wood House had turned from an exotic oddity into a Friday ritual. In a way, it was an escape from the conflicts that had little-by-little crept into my life without running off to Salt Lake or chatting extensively online. There, despite differences in religious views and practices, interests, and even nationalities I felt somehow more human, able to be more open about my strengths and my faults and discuss pieces of my life even my closest friends didn’t want to hear about. I was with Lila sitting on our couch in the corner watching everyone else get drunk as we privately shared our observations with each other. It was our part of that Friday night ritual.

It was a week after that memorable night with Evan, and I’d replayed it in my head several times with looming hopes for the future accompanied by equal and opposite feelings that I would soon learn the definition of “too good to be true.” Lila, one of my closest confidants in discussing my boy stories, leaned towards the latter.

Wood House Couch

“… All I’m saying is don’t get ahead of yourself. It was one date. You know as well as anyone how one date can be amazing the next just plain ‘Blah.’”

“Well, the fact of the matter is you never know when Mr. Right will come along,” I said. All clichés we’d experienced in some way or another from the time we’d learned what romance was.

“I do hope it works out, and I’m happy to see you happy, but putting stock in your boys no matter how much you or I adore them hasn’t turned out so well.”

“It just seems too good to be true minus the long distance thing.”

“And the whole relationship thing. Alberto mentioned it.”

“Yeah. My instincts say he needs some time.”

“What are you saying about me?” Alberto interrupted.

“Oh nothing. We were talking about Evan,” Lila explained.

“Oh yeah?” His lip curled at the opportunity to pass along international student gossip. “Well, you know that Nikita is really good friends with him and his ex. She said that they had a really big fight not very much before he went out with you.”

International Gossip


“That is definitely over, but he’s gone through two major disappointments in the past few months.”

It made sense to me, but I still wanted to feel my way through the murk of the situation.

Later that night, Evan stopped by the party with a couple of friends.

“Becca and Jane, this is GMB. He and Erik served in your mission, Jane.”

“Seriously!?” Her beautiful complexion went from glowing to radiant. You have to tell me all about it.”

Surprised at being posed a question about my mission in such an openly gay atmosphere brought an ironic smile to my face.

“I’ll tell you all about it. Be prepared to walk a lot because that place is hilly. You’re lucky enough to not have to worry about the food…”

I went on aware that the gay and Mormon parts of my identity happily and readily converged on that moment. She was happy that I’d served a mission and equally happy about the feelings she perceived in me for Evan. They went off for her a harmless birthday adventure at the local bar. There alcohol was involved, but Becca explained later that she wanted to at least say that she’d been before heading out to be a missionary.

Evan and I met up later that week following a meeting I had in Salt Lake. There was some unsurity to the moment as Alberto’s caution over the situation had left me more neurotic than usual.

“Let’s meet at Nostalgia,” he said.

Nostalgia Coffee

As the night unfolded, the location’s name became somewhat ironic.

“Two chocolate chais,” he called, ordering as a regular at the counter.

We sat down content for a chat leaving work and school responsibilities for a few free moments.

A half hour later, we found ourselves discussing the times we were happiest in life—when we were in love and sharing life with someone else on a moment-to-moment basis. I found myself discussing Mark and he found himself discussing his exes, but that emotional bridge between us, connecting over our past loves, came up short. Though I was finally able to move on, and bridge my heart to someone else’s in a relationship, I knew that Evan and I could not connect as anything more than friends.

We continued our chat at a little Greek place, and as I awkwardly looked at him as I paid for dinner, I knew that he needed the time and space I’d been so lucky to have the past eight months.

The night ended with another awkward kiss on that awkward doorstep as we both wished to connect the way that we were once able to with other people.

End, Part 8.


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