I'm not talking scary because of violence or crime, I'm talking about just general survival. My skills are so rusty! I'm really bad a meeting new people at the friendship, potential relationship level. For years that was automatic because Charlie was the gregarious type - loud, funny, Irishman. I guess I road his coattails a little. Now I find myself looking for these friendships and am coming up at a loss at times. I've met a couple of women close to my age that may be fun to pal around with but the guy thing is really, really hard.
There is this guy I've known as a "bar" acquaintance for years. He, Charlie and I used to always have these great debates and conversations when we saw one another. He talked to me a lot more than Charlie and we both love the same music. About a year after Charlie passed I saw him for the first time since. He was desperately trying to quit smoking. We talked for a while and then he had to leave - the temptation to smoke was too great (even thought you can't smoke in a bar in Mass, there are smokers lurking outside). As he left, he looked at me and said "I hope to God you're here when I come back. I really really do." Sigh...
Friday night I'm at the bar, yakking with a girlfriend, when she tells me he is across the bar desperately trying to get my attention. I looked, almost didn't recognize him, then waved. He was close to the jukebox so I went and played some U2. He came up and said something about how I always play the best music. I responded stupidly I'm sure (too many beers maybe) but he came over to talk to me. He keep trying to convince me it was really him with a little extra weight because he actually did quit smoking. I'm just smiling and staring. I finally saide I know you look good. Then we chatted a bit - the place is huge and loud - makes it difficult. My girlfriend decided to give us some space and leave. Well in the midst of telling her goodbye, he disappears. I hung around for a bit and he must have just left (he's always done this quit disappearnce thing). But he seemed so happy to see me. I was thrilled to see him but can't piece together the bits of the inane conversation we had.
Here's the scary bit - I am realizing that I could maybe like this guy. I can't quit thinking about it. I'm obsessing (why else am I writing this!) and that's not good. I don't know who to find him except to get up the nerve to go back to the bar and pray he is there. He's great fun, good-looking, and lord help me - Irish.
The whole potential is a bit overwhelming. Even if nothing comes of this except his friendship, I am rediscovering feelings that I didn't know I could have again. That anticipation, anxiety, excitement that there may be someone out there. Now I'm sitting here crying. I even took a chill pill. It's been over 3 years and I've been so alone. When I saw him two years ago I was definitely not ready for anything - I was still grieving and trying to survive. I'm in a much better place now. But this really is driving me loopy.
I was so shy, so scared of people when I was in high school that I had a very small circle of friends. Lots of people thought I was stuck up. Nope - scared! Why? Tons of reasons - none that make sense. When I got to LSU and then to New Orleans, I gained confidence in myself. Now it's like starting over again. I am not that sexy little 20-something with the sassy attitude down in NOLA. I have great self-confidence when it comes to work and I can carry on a conversation with most people. Now I'm that 50-something that looks pretty good but has very little confidence in meeting people, or getting to know people better. I'm back in that shell and I need to break out.
So life is hard and sometimes very scary. Maybe this is some type of epiphany for me that it's OK to think of other guys and to think of having another relationship.
So here I go again...maybe...baby steps!