Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Year Ago

Chicagoland had been rained on day and night for some 4 days. We received something like 17 inches over a 4 day period. It began on September 12th and didn't quit until the evening of September 15th. If it wasn't pouring, it was overcast and drizzle.

I had a guest at that time. I'd met a guy and he flew to Chicago for the week. The weather on the 12th prohibited his arrival at 2 p.m. It was 8:30 p.m. before he arrived.

I thought we had a marvelous week. We went out to eat a lot, in spite of us going grocery shopping Saturday, dodging a torrential rain. We went to Milwaukee to watch the Cubs play the Astros because the Houston area was going through a hurricane. We went shopping for souvenirs. We went into the city so he could say he'd been to Chicago. We went to Wrigley Field.

Over my objections, he bought tickets from a broker so he could see the Cubs play the Brewers at Wrigley Field. I never found out how much he spent.

He spent a lot on me. There were the meals we ate out. He bought some computer equipment so he could set up his lap top. He bought groceries and a couple of souvenirs. He paid for gas. I tried to pay for a few meals but he refused to allow it. I was giving him a wonderful week and the cost was minor compared to his vacation.

We parted at 5:00 a.m. at O'Hare on Friday, September 19th. His delay getting here had earned him a free ticket, as he had given up his seat for a woman to get home to her daughter. He swore Thursday night that free ticket was to come back to see me, in April probably because October to March was the busy time for his work.

I wanted to believe him. When I kissed him goodbye at the airport, he held me close and said, "It will be soon. I promise." It was all I could do to drive home through the tears. Betsy and Rascal liked him and were a bit confused that he wasn't in the house now.

The days passed. He stayed in touch for a week and then total silence. He had been the guardian of his sister's two boys. The oldest had gone to live with his father in Las Vegas that August and that weekend was a weekend of sloppy conversation over the computer and my just being at my keyboard while he vented. Still, he had the youngest who had made it clear he didn't want to go to Vegas.

Something happened that first week of October. I don't know what, but communication stopped. Emails and phone calls went unanswered. I sent an email toward the middle of October saying that I would box up the things he'd left behind and there were a few, and ship them back. Plus, I had calculated the cost of what he'd spent on me and would begin paying that off. I wasn't going to be seen as a gold-digger, or worse.

I got a reply and he begged me to hang on, that he would be better and I just needed to be patient for a couple weeks, or through the first of November. He would explain as much as he could then, but right now, it was too raw and he didn't want to be seen as a complainer.

The first of November came and went. Nothing. Again I sent an email saying he was to expect a box and again, there was a, "No please don't send me anything" email in return. His mother's birthday was, I think, November 12th. He mentioned he needed to shop "for someone special whose birthday is at the end of the month". "I need to make up for being such a slimeball," he said.

My birthday came and went. My daughter and my girlfriends remembered. Ten days later, he contacted me to say he was considering a promotion. I know it's petty, but I mentioned how Thanksgiving was lonely because I spent my birthday alone. He fell all over himself apologizing for missing it when he specifically had referenced it right after his mother's birthday. Then he said he had to go and would not tell me when we'd next talk.

That was it. I boxed up half of his stuff and shipped it back. A week later, I boxed up the rest and shipped it back. He contacted me Christmas Eve. He was drunk and his nephew was in Vegas visiting his father. He said he missed our conversations. He missed how understanding I was, how wise. But he wouldn't give me a date for when we'd next talk. There were always excuses.

I issued yet another ultimatum in January. On the 26th, he sent an email saying that he knew I would do whatever was best for me. That was it.

I fell. I fell hard. Girlfriends will vouch that I spent many, many nights crying myself to sleep. I never believed anyone could like me for me and he claimed he did. He was the only man I had ever considered moving from Wheaton for.

I have dreaded this week and the memories that would dance with it. Having the new cats has helped a lot because my energy is directed toward them. There has been more drama within my WOW guild and I haven't done a good job of dealing with that. Sometimes, my people skills leave a bit to be desired. I try but it doesn't always come out as nice as I would like. So, I have been able to keep the memories at bay.

But tonight, knowing that this marks the end of the week that he was here, the memories are like ripe apples waiting to be picked. I've been listening to Nat King Cole all evening. One of my favorite albums is called "Night Lights" and there is a song on that album called "Sometimes I Wonder". I have played it quite a bit tonight. These lyrics catch me:

Sometimes I wonder when I'm deep in memory.
If you ever give a little thought to me.

And while I'm under this old magic spell of you,
Sometimes I wonder if you ever wonder, too.

Beverage: Cold Assam


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