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His Foot in the Water (Ren Man cont.)

August 25, 2016

Ren Man and I don’t have the rapid fire back and forth that I’ve enjoyed with others. I admit, I like that kind of attention. It’s fun. This guy doesn’t play that way, though I often wonder if he’s playing with me in other ways. Sometimes he texts me a question, I answer and I don’t hear from him for hours or a day. Sometimes I feel the momentum slipping and wonder if he’s still interested. And then I get one of his videos. Him and his niece and nephew. An adorable little girl blowing me kisses and saying, “Hi Marie,” to the camera, as he talks to her calmly and directly, a combination of loving nurture and respectful discipline in his voice. When he finally pans to his face, his salt and pepper beard is grown in. I hope I get to see him like that one day. I want to feel his scruffy beard on my cheek. I want to touch his face.

Last night, after another slightly annoying period of non-responsiveness, the doubts crept in again. I was sitting with the usual gang at Pamplona when I got an e-mail from him. There was a video attached. I smiled and waited for the download. It was titled, “Toe.”

It was a panorama of the lake he swims in, slowly panning the water and tree line at dusk then finally showing just his lower leg as he dipped his toe in the water. It ended just as the ripples started to travel away from his foot. It was beautiful.

I couldn’t hear it. I didn’t know if he was saying anything. When I was walking home, I put my headphones on and watched it again. Just crickets. No words. Just the lake and his foot in the water.

Who is this guy? I thought.

“Can you talk?” he texted.

I called him as I approached my apartment. Instead of going inside I went into the cemetery across the street. It’s a small, Jewish cemetery in the middle of town, hidden by trees with a giant statue of an angel. I climbed on the back wall behind the angel, its giant hand just in front of me and talked to him.

I asked him if he knew what he was doing with me.

I listened as he rambled on with beautiful prose for about 10 minutes. He said at once, yes, he knew what he was doing and no, he didn’t. “It all boils down to one thing,” he said. “We all want the same thing. To be happy. To feel a connection. Connecting with someone is what life is about.”

“I just want you to understand that when you send me a video or a long text, it’s not something I just look at and forget about. It means something to me,” I told him.

“I know it does,” he said. “That’s why I send them.”

He tried to explain why he didn’t think the distance should matter, that maybe it wasn’t what other people might do, but he didn’t care. He wanted to be with me, to have a week or a weekend and enjoy each other.

“I understand what you mean and I completely agree.”

“You could’ve said that 10 minutes ago,” he said.

“I just like to hear you talk,” I said.

“You like prompting me with questions to see what I’ll say,” he teased.

“No,” I said. “I just like the sound of your voice and the things you say.”

He supposed to be going to California soon. He suggested I could join him out there for a little time. I’m curious to see if this vague suggestion turns into the reality of me walking up to him in an airport. A man I haven’t even kissed. A man I’ve had intimate, long conversations with. A man I’m falling in love with.

 

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From → Rantings

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