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The One Week Relationship: Elaine and Jerry

January 15, 2015

Friday, January 9

He needed time to process. Ok. I was 7 days in to dating someone….. can I even call it that after 7 days?….. and we were already processing?

That afternoon he asked me to spend time with him after work.

“What’d you have in mind?” I wrote.

“Movie? Have you seen Gone Girl. I have but I want to see it with you.”

He asked me to spend the night. I guess he’s processed, I thought.

We had discussed a weird, Tannat wine I had discovered at the local wine shop so I decided to get a bottle and bring it over.

Z and I had been missing each other’s calls and texts. I asked him if we could schedule a phone call during the weekend to catch up. I was dressing hurriedly after a shower, on my way to wine, Lennon and Gone Girl when Z called.

“You got five minutes,” I answered.

“Why five minutes?” he said.

“‘Cause I’m going to his house.”

“Did you have sex with him?” he asked.

“Yes. It was pretty good. I mean not Z good, but pretty good.”

“Where do you think this is going?” he inquired.

“I don’t know but I really like him.”

“I was going to come to Lafayette to see you,” he said.

“Don’t say things like that to me, Z.”

“No, really. I bought a ticket. Remember like that Indian commercial with the plane and the train and the car and the guy surprises his mom? It was going to be like that. I was going to surprise you. Like the pizza thing.”

I sat down in shock.

“Are you serious? Send me a picture of the ticket.” He did.

“When I broke up with my girlfriend and you said, ‘You should come see me before you get another girlfriend,’ I bought the ticket then.”

I was stunned. I was sitting there in my living room, slipping on my converse to go see a guy I had just met, an age-appropriate, brilliant guy who I might even have a future with and Z…….., the love of my life, the never ending romance story, the one I can’t get over, the one who holds my heart like no other……was telling me that he was going to be in Lafayette.

“I hate you!” I said, fighting back tears.

“I know,” he laughed on the other end.

“I can’t see you, you understand? I can’t be near you. I can’t even look at you.”

“You’re not the only thing in Lafayette,” he teased. “I can go visit friends and play cricket.”

I was overwhelmed. He was going to show up at my door. Z. When I said goodbye back in April or whenever that was, it was supposed to be the last time I would see him. He had moved on. I couldn’t imagine that he would fly all the way here to see me again. I thought he had closed the book on me. He had been with others. So had I. Maybe I exaggerated the meaning of this gesture. I just didn’t think I meant that much to him. He was going to come back to me. One more time.

“Unless this whole thing goes to shit,” I joked. “Then you better come see me.”

I said goodbye to Z and grabbed a few things for my sleep over with Lennon, my head spinning. I’m on my way to spent the night with Lennon. He was going to come back to me. 

I walked into the wine store feeling kind of hyper and a bit dazed.

“I need the red with the thing and the six seeds from that time and the place…” I told the man who looked like Santa Claus and had recommended the wine in the first place.

“What?” he looked at me like I was crazy.

“You know, from Uruguay with the six seeds.”

“Oh yeah, the Tannat. Did you like it?”

He found it and helped me pick out a cheap white as well. I arrived at Lennon’s all wound up. He was just waking from a nap on the sofa. I started telling him about how goofy I was at the wine store. How the guy had laughed at me.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I’m just a little wound up.”

“I see that. I’m catching up to you,” he said. “We’re not in sync.”

He made us sandwiches. We opened the wine. His usual thought process poured out of him in long-winding monologues. My heart was still beating a bit fast and I interjected a few times. His annoyance with these interruptions was slightly more pronounced. He continued to make understated observances about our disharmony.

We watched Gone Girl. He enjoyed watching me watch the mystery unfold.

“I knew you would like this movie,” he said. “I knew you would get that part.”

We shared an appreciation for the lighting, the cinematography, the subtlety of the acting, the twists in the plot. It was fun watching it with him. The wine was easily consumed.

We went to bed. He got undressed to sleep naked. He told me he was sore from the time before. That my pelvic bone had dug into his groin. This was new. I’d never heard that before. More evidence of our incompatibility, our bodies didn’t fit quite right.

I thought about New York Times guy. “You’re an intuitive lover,” he had told me. “You’re curvy in just the right places.” He didn’t seem to mind my skinny pelvis.

After some technical difficulties that seemed to prove his point, we went to sleep. I tossed and turned. He snored. We didn’t sleep well together.

Saturday, January 10

He wanted to walk with me in the morning, so we got up, had coffee and breakfast and went to the park.

Over the course of the five mile walk, we had the most extraordinary conversation. We dissected the past few days, our personalities, our strengths and weaknesses. We were calmly honest, with compassion for each other. He told me I had been aggressive, coming over late at night. He called it a bootie call. I denied it, pointing out that coming over had been his idea.

He called me a coiled spring again.

“You keep saying that,” I said. “What do you mean? Is that the same as having fences up, being closed off?”

“No, it’s not negative. It’s potential, kinetic energy. Like an arrow drawn back, about to be unleashed.”

Our conversation went round and round like the circling path and finally we, or was it he…came to the conclusion that we weren’t a good fit. Where I saw great sex, he saw aggressiveness and potential bruising. He witnessed the bit of the chaos I live within, empty gas tanks and headlights out, clothes strewn on my bedroom floor. “You’re with a man now,” he had said at one point, “Can you handle that?”

We looked at each other, still walking round and round the Girard Park path. We were bummed out.

“So, we’re calling it now?” I asked.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said.

“Check please,” I yelled to no one in particular with my hand up, summoning a non-existent relationship wait staff.

“I really dig you, Lennon. I see you and I’m intrigued by you. You’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. And I’m attracted to you. I want you to be a part of my life.”

He said obligatorily or genuinely similar things to me and we kind of hung our heads for a while, bummed out that we were so compatible in so many ways, but not the ones that counted. At least not the ones that counted to him. I think I might have given it a bit more time. I mean, these things take adjusting right? I couldn’t decide if he was the wisest person I had ever met….maybe this is the conversation my ex and I should have had some 28 years ago…….or the most foolish, to just quit, like that, 8 days in. He went from intense interest, to the point of being jealous by a meet and greet to a general…..meh…..let’s be friends.

What the hell just happened? I wondered.


And then it dawned on me as we continued side by side on the path. Z. I could see Z. Oh my God, I could Z again. I wanted to text him right at that moment before he made other plans. I was desperate to message him. I asked Lennon if it would be rude of me to shoot off a quick text. There was something I had to tell somebody. “Wait until I go to the bathroom,” he requested.

“Text your buddy,” he said when he trailed off.

“Come to Lafayette!!!! Let’s talk later!” I wrote to Z.

We went back to his place and had water and more coffee. We debriefed a bit more and agreed on friendship paramenters.

“We can be Elaine and Jerry,” he said.

“Ha, that’s right. That’s exactly what we can be.”

I gave him a long hug.

“I like you so much, Lennon. You’re such an amazing person.”

“You bring that out in me,” he said.

We kissed lightly on the lips and I left.

I got home, my head spinning with confusion. I really did like him. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what actually happened over the past several days. It was like a mini-marriage. It was years worth of processing in a week. It was weird. He was weird. I didn’t feel the rejection until days later. Out of sync. Lack of harmony. Imperfect sex on the first few tries. The fairy tale? Was he throwing something away? Or was he just he wisest, most intuitive, most mature man I had ever met? I have no idea.


But I couldn’t think about any of that. Z. I was going to see Z!


He finally replied.

“???” was all he wrote.

“I had a weird night. The dude and I friendzoned each other. I want to see you if you want to see me,” I replied.

“Because of me?” he wrote.

“No! It’s just a coincidence.”

“Fuck! I should have waited.” he said. He had wanted to surprise me.

“So, will you come to me?” I asked.

“What do you think?”

“I want you to say it.”

“Of course. HELL yeah!” he wrote.

Z was coming. I was going to be with Z in matter of days. He was coming to see me. I couldn’t stop crying over the very idea that he had planned to come see me. He hadn’t let me go, really. He was still my Z. I was still something to him. Maybe I was even as special to him as he is to me.

The next day, I texted him.

“Was I dreaming or are you coming here.”

“I coming back home,” he wrote.

The End


……and to be continued.




From → Rantings

One Comment
  1. Are you sure this isn’t a scripted series?

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