Monday, 22 November 2010

"Dan"

The strangest coincidence...

I wrote in my last 750 words that I had an odd dream about this guy who I used to have a thing for years and years ago.

I remember that summer clearly. We had just moved into the neighbourhood and found out that there was a small soccer league that was being run by an even smaller local Baptist church. My parents thought it would be a good idea to get us working with them, keep up busy and help us make new friends in the community, so off we went to this church, meeting new people and helping out with the soccer league that was run every Tuesday night. (Not only that, they also did a summer camp for the poverty stricken kids in the community who would not otherwise be able to afford camp.)

The sheer amount of time we spent in the back of that church, working on crafts, sitting and talking with the kids, playing games and then settling down for long talks with each other after the kids had come home...countless hours, really.

At that point I feel my siblings and I were still very very sheltered. We hadn't been exposed to normal things that any other teen and pre-teen would know about. We hadn't even heard of U2, much to the consternation of Dan, the guy that I'm thinking of in particular.

Dan was so different from everyone else I knew back then, and I was immediately enamoured. I suppose he was flattered by that. Even though he was, at that time, dating another girl from the church, (who I also liked very much), we spent quite a bit of time together, flirting, I guess. I remember at one point a large water fight breaking out after camp hours between the leaders. I ran into the girls bathroom and stood behind the door, and he being over six feet casually reached up and tipped a bucket of water over the top of the door and soaked me.

And so the summer commenced. At the back of my mind the whole time was this knowledge that when summer came to a close, we would no longer see each other. I panicked, tried to hang onto every single moment, treasuring every look and every word that we exchanged. One day when I was working at the local library he came in, wandered through the aisles of books, browsing the titles, while I knew he wasn't a reader. The only thing he would read was a guitar magazine, as he sat cross legged on the cool hardwood floor in the gym, strumming the strings and humming American Pie.

Dan opened up possibilities in the world for me. Before I met him I saw everything in strict black and white, being taught that there was no such thing as a grey scale with regards to life. Situational ethics were non-existent in the world view that my parents had taught me. In some ways I still view certain issues as a black and white, but I've come to the realization that life isn't that simple, and Dan was one of those people who led me down the path to that knowledge.

Some memories are so clear, etched deep into the recesses of your brain. I can still smell that summer, the sunscreen and musty kitchen. I remember the hundreds of plastic cups we washed by hand every day. The surprisingly cold water that came from the fountain beside the bathrooms. Laying stretched out across the couches upstairs above the gym, looking down at the people playing HORSE. Sitting outside on the grass discussing life plans. Running across the fields with the kids. Carrying out the heavy goal posts to set them up in the playing areas. Laughing until my stomach hurt over silly little things.

Eventually summer ended, as everything does. I went to my aunt's for a weekend, and I lay outside in her hammock, unable to eat or do anything, except be still and think about everything that had happened and how it was over and I was the only person who cared, as always.

Time wore on. I picked up the phone one day, tracing my finger down the columns in the phone book...picked it up and dialed his number, awkwardly make small talk for about three minutes, invited him to come hang out, and he said, maybe. But he never showed up and I cried for days on end, the breaking apart from another person almost splitting me apart. So emotionally attached to someone who could blink his eyes and chase me away without a second thought, passing me to the back of his mind as smoothly as tossing back a glass of water.

The strangest coincidence...I moved on from him, continuing to grow and change, and he slowly faded away to being a dusty person in my history, someone in the past who I thought of every once in a while but no longer dwelled on, no longer dreamed about, no longer cried over. He became the first guy who moved me so deeply, the first guy who I could imagine myself falling into for the rest of my life.

And then a few weeks ago he found me on Facebook and added me. I was with Sarah after a long night of drinking and my cellphone alerted with a Facebook text...Dan wants to be friends with you on Facebook...and the world kinda shifted for a split second as I was thrown back to that summer years and years ago, back to when I was innocent and no one had touched my life or broken me.

I sat in contemplation and later that day approved the request. Nothing world stopping occurred. He didn't send me a message or comment on my photos or statuses. That was that.

Two nights ago I dreamed of him. I was with two people and we were in a hotel. Somehow he was there, standing in the room trying to catch my eye, but I turned away and refused to look at him, as if ashamed of him in front of my two friends, and he just stood there...waiting for me to see him. Startled I woke up from this lucid dream.

Today I went out for a bit and stopped at a store to look for a DVD. He walked right past me with a customer service worker and I looked away quickly, afraid of something. What was I afraid of? Myself? How he would look at me? Reliving the past? I walked out of the store flustered, unable to think clearly, turned the car key, and glancing up saw him walking past my car.

Some people, events, things, choices...they impact us so deeply, change us so thoroughly, there's nothing we can do to change that. Time doesn't change it, new people we meet won't change it. History has been written, whatever happened happened, and all we can do is accept it and move on.

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