I just received an extraordinary email from an old college friend. On a whim, I’d looked him up and we’d exchanged perfunctory emails. I responded to his with a bit more detail, and his response tonight has me fairly blown away. It’s 11:22 and I wanted to pick up the phone to call you, to tell you about it, because I felt you would understand how it struck me.
I was here, in the dark, in bed, with a perfect song playing in the background, and I wanted to pick up the phone, to reach out and share how I was feeling and what I was thinking.
I ran through all of the people I could call, but you were the one I wanted to speak to. I am really fortunate to have wonderful people in my life to whom I am close, and I am not lacking for conversation, but I think you would get it.
My friend’s email was all about his choices, how he ended up where he was and where he may go from there. It moved me and made me think . . . about my choices, about the nature of choice itself, about how the choices you and I have made have brought us to where we are in our lives.
Our paths have converged at a fascinating moment in our lives, when so much is spinning and changing around us. I feel as though I am standing still, with detritus swirling around me. I am less in control than I have ever been. I see so many different opportunities, but I do not know if I am able to choose what I truly want.
I wish we could fast forward so I could call you. I have no idea what, if anything, we’re doing now. We exchanged email today, but it’s late Thursday and you have not asked me out. We were dating before you left, before you were injured, before you were sullen. Now, I have no idea.
(As an additional impediment, I am dating him again, although it’s not serious. If I had been dating you, I would (probably) not have allowed him to kiss me in the first place. But you never called me. And he was here. I was still surprised that he kissed me when he did. I was more surprised that I liked it as much as I did. He’s not you, but he is special to me, too.)
With you, I saw a path opening up before me. That feels gone, now. It’s understandable, given what you’re going through. It’s not just the injury, but that was the only thing I could help you with. I know it’s so much more. I am afraid that, like A and my mother, your coping mechanism is through athletics. When it works, it’s great. When you’re injured, it makes everything worse.
Until I know differently, I have to assume we’re not dating. It’s been more than two weeks since our last date. Granted, there have been extenuating circumstances (like your long business trip), but there have been no overtures in that direction. I know you’re dealing with pain issues, but you seemed a bit closed, like perhaps you’ve decided it’s too complicated to have a girl right now. That would be understandable.
If that’s the case, can we just skip all the awkwardness so we can be friends? I genuinely like you and, of all of the people I could call tonight, you’re the only one I wanted to share this with.