1:21 p.m. - 2012-02-18
Since I am lonely, and it is very hard to meet people when you are the stay-at-home mom of preschoolers in an unfriendly state, I decided a while ago to start looking up the people in my past who I really liked, but lost touch with for one reason or another. (Primarily the reasons are a) my having moved very often, b) my depression and self-isolation, and c) Matt's jealousy.) There aren't all that many of them, a half-dozen or so, but they're all people I've been fascinated by and still think about often.
I guess the test for me, what divides the interesting and the uninteresting, is whether I would feel thrilled or obligated if that person called me right now and asked if they could stop by here, or invited me for a cup of coffee. I am not a people person, and I do not like to socialize for the sake of socializing, especially if it's improptu and I'm still in my pajamas and need a shower, which is my current status. There are a few people, though, that I'd be happy to run out into the freezing connecticut February with wet hair to talk with them.
Some days Peter was on the list, some days he wasn't. Peter is a government lawyer I met when I was about 20 and reporting for a small newspaper; I was covering a groundwater contamination story and he was prosecuting the responsible parties. There was an incredibly strong attraction over the phone -- for me, kind of a kindred spirit thing; for him probably sexual. Looking back, I was incredibly naive; it didn't really seem unusual to me that we would quickly become much more than reporter and source, that we would talk for hours on our home phones, write letters ...
I'm sure Peter knew it was unusual; he was probably in his late 30s at the time and a great admirer of women -- lots of women, each valued and admired uniquely -- if this makes any sense. That's how he saw things anyway.
Marriage to matt made me very cynical about men; at one time Peter was the person I was closest to, maybe the only one I felt close to at all; I thought maybe I was in love with him ... but looking back now I decided that that connetion I felt -- that he made me feel -- was really just his ardent desire to get in my pants. Having never experiened anything like a sex drive myself, I had no idea that for the XY half of the world, it's the tail that wags the dog.
Peter was separated from his wife when I met him; I encouraged him to get back together with her and he did, and for me that ended any possibility of ever being more than friends; I am not a homewrecking whore like SOME women I know. Then I was with Matt and Matt was extremely jealous so ... Peter was married, I wanted to be married, and he kept pushing the envelope and making me uncomfortable, so I intentionally lost touch with him.
So I thought about e-mailing him for a long time. Couple years, actually, I think I've thought of it. But then I'd think, you know, I've grown up a lot, and the things that I had in common with this brilliant, self-destructive, crazy dashing older man -- namely, depression, drinking way too much, and thinking way too much -- really aren't part of my life anymore.
Plus, although I have always liked older men, I draw the line at geriatric, and Peter's probably getting close to that line. OK, so it's been 12 years for both of us, but 20 to 32 doesn't really change you that much, or at least it hasn't me -- I still weigh the same, my hair's the same color, I can still have kids ... whereas, late 30s to 50, your hair goes gray, you need viagra, you start downing handfulls of pills and checking your cholesterol every morning, your muscles disolve ... ok so I am getting off on a tangent here, but you get the point.
But I did email peter. this morning. At his work address. The peter I knew would not check his work e-mail over the weekend unless his job was on the line, so I didn't expect to hear back. I just said I had been thinking of him and wondered if he's ever in southern NH or vermont these days, because I am every couple of months or so.
But when I went to email matt about some mundane crap, there was a message from Peter.
"I've been looking for you."
It sort of took my breath away, because that sounded so like Peter, and me, and our conversations, and the feeling I had for him that I had forgotten.
Five little words, and yet they say so much -- because I know it's true, he has been looking for me; he wouldn't know how unfindable I have been for the last couple of years unless he had looked for me.
Back when I was reporting, I was the easiest person in the world to find -- even though I moved a lot, all you had to do is google my name and you'd have pages and pages of my articles, most with my phone and e-mail at the end of the story.
But then I got married, changed my name, stopped working, and moved a few more times ... google pulls up mostly someone else's softball scores. I'm not in any phone books, I don't have a myspace or facebook or even a linkedin page. The bank accounts, taxes and rental agreement are under matt's name alone. So I am pretty unfindable. I would have a hard time finding myself actually, if I was still reporting.
So he was looking for me. Why? Why, Peter? He gave me five words, so I replied with none -- just my cell phone number. Peter loves and writes poetry and loves succint words and phrases that can tell whole stories; I suppose that's what that e-mail exchange is.
But. Now I'm second-guessing myself. I do not want to be within a million miles of a relationship with Peter or any other man at this point in my life and maybe forever; god I do not want to fend off his advances like I used to at times, so exhasting.... I just want friends, dammit. Why are my very few friends always so damned complicated?