I'm still wrestling with the right way to talk about this. So I'll be as vague as possible.
I found out last Saturday night that someone I have been admiring from afar for the last two years is somebody I have "peripherally" known since we were both at the University of Delaware in the 70's. He was a science major whilst I was wasting time in the theater department. I was way "out" in those days. He, not so much. But we both knew some of the same people. Then we both moved on. Me to Seattle. He to graduate school for an MBA.
Then, a decade later, and unbeknownst to either of us, we wound up working not more than 30' apart on the equity trading floor at one of New York's Mega-Brokerage houses. And we did that for nearly two years without ever having an "AH-HA" moment with each other!!
But I guess everything happens for a reason, and this is no exception. When we started talking and revealing more and more about our pasts to each other, it kept getting funnier and funnier just how close those "shaves" with each other had been.
I was pretty mocus in those days on Wall Street. (MOCUS = MOstly out of foCUS). It's also pretty clear how monumentally unhappy I was. By the time the two of us wound up working cheek by jowl, I was so chewed up and spit out by all the unhappy results of my nascent alcoholism, including being in a career that I never wanted and a relationship that was so miserable that I swore off even looking at other men as a result of it, that I wouldn't have noticed him even if he'd been standing there stark naked in front of me.
That's exactly how miserable and out of it I was in 1986.
And now, here we are, 20 years later, both in a much better space than we were in those days, suddenly "discovering" the existence of each other.
Somebody asked me recently if I believed in any degree of "predestination." I answered that I didn't think so. In fact, I think that God created us pretty much "for amusement purposes only" and that it would totally defeat the idea of mankind existing solely to provide celestial entertainment if God already knew the outcome of everything.
I think part of the joy of being God is in watching us flail around trying to figure life out, only to screw it up, time and again.
Anyway, I'm excited by finding (more like "stumbling across") this old/new friend. I want to call him up and talk some more. I'm hoping to see him again this coming Saturday night. But I'm also nervous about it. I don't know why. Except that he's really very good looking and, for some reason, I find that scary.
And all of a sudden I'm a tongue-tied, awkward, gangly, pimply-faced teenager, full of unbearable pain and embarrassment and dying to talk to him again, just to hear the sound of his voice and terrified of rejection.
I'm 58 years old, fer gosh sakes.
I gotta go throw up now.