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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Undivided Attention: a Delayed Story

     I have been off track for a while, writing a series on--I don't know what you'd call it--technology and narcissism? Then the tragedy that struck home. Finally, I was just thrown off course by the greatest mishap of all: inspiration. May it throw me off course everyday, if it so wishes. Now, I'll let it throw me off again...or back on.
     Here we go...
     It is funny how many times I have started past blogs, or written past blogs, about dates with girls and girls that I've dated. I haven't dated that many, and have kept even fewer around constantly. Yet here we are, again. 
     But this one has a nicer tune to it than the last few. Happily I can begin this blog with something other than a relationship or girlfriend gone sour. This story ends happily--with things going great. (If you're the kind of person who doesn't like the ending revealed to you, I'm sorry. You have my permission to go take a bathroom break.) This story involves my current girlfriend, and it took place in the same year that my son's mother walked out...
     It was the summer time, and my son and I were winding down our lease at the old apartment. I was still in a custody battle that was fast turning out to be less of a fight and more of a staring contest, to see who would blink and relinquish parenting time first. Most of my money had gone to the greatest lawyer on Earth, and I say that without any irony. She is the best. But my health was deteriorating, I dropped a lot of weight, and my writing was done. I was blocked up completely.
     There was not even a thought in my mind regarding dating.
     I take that back. I did try. It was one of those online deals, and nothing came out of it, save for a couple more bruises to my ego. Then there came a funny little message:
     "This might seem weird, but I met you at my Grandmother's house a few years ago."
I won't bore you with minutia. She wasn't lying. We did meet. I did remember with a few more clues. We went on a date.
     Aware of my situation, she agreed to come over to the apartment and have dinner--she thought the dinner part was just a joke. Only in retrospect do I see just how uncommon this really is. I guess it's downright weird. Cut me some slack, though. It had been almost half a decade since my last first date. I wasn't just rusty. I was terrified.
     What does this have to do with undivided attention, like your old posts?
      I will tell you.
      My one great fear is not having anything to say. Not anything good, mind you. Shooting the breeze is a great American past time: an event commemorated through divulging into idle gossip and superfluous daily events. Now, in many cases--mostly in music but in recitation of scripts too--I could memorize with the best of them, but when it comes to conversation I freeze up faster than a Floridian at the Ididerod. To combat this, I prepared. Like Nixon, I committed to memory what I thought was a solid hour's worth of material. Or so I thought. As it turns out, conversation doesn't move as fast as a play, and it often takes unexpected turns--like a play. We went on until four in the morning.
     And yet it could have all been over before nine thirty. How is that? That's a story for next time.

That's all from Elliott McCloud at the Kitchen Table rewinding his Olivetti Lettera ribbon spools.