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2005-01-15 :: 10:56 a.m.

things, remembered

This past week has been a montage of thinking about David and all the events that transpired since July.

It was funny; at and after the reunion, both of us were remembering things about each other that we didn't know we'd remembered or even knew in the first place. He remembered I used to be so quiet he used to think I couldn't talk. And how I was so shy I wouldn't even look at people. He remembered me playing the piano at the senior tea the year he graduated high school.

I remembered that too. My mother was the president of the women's club that held the tea every year and she made me do it; that year was the first year and I had to do it every year until I was a senior myself.

I also remembered when I was our school's fifth-grade representative for the regional spelling bee, and he was the eighth-grade representative. I was so nervous and terrified, I got out on my very first word-- "everybody". I was so embarrassed afterward, I didn't say anything or even look at anyone while we waited for the bus to bring us back to school. While we were waiting there, he came up to me and asked me if I wanted to know how to spell "everybody". I remember hating him for that and wanting to burst into tears.

Now, of course, 13 years later, I think it's funny. I told him that story when I was visiting him in Columbus; we laughed about it together then and he apologized for being such a jerk back then.

It was weird how everything looked in retrospect; it all seemed so serendipitous and yet it all made sense. I wanted to slap myself in the forehead and say "why didn't I think of this sooner?"

But... as is always the case with me, it just wasn't meant to be. It's hard to accept, but with so much out of his control and out of my control... it just can't happen.

And there's nothing I can do about it.


And now, since everything has fallen apart, I've remembered other things, things having nothing to do with him, or even me.

It jumped to my mind just this morning; it was almost four years ago, on Valentine's Day. It was my sophomore year here and I was taking the organic chemistry lab for majors on Wednesday nights, and it so happened that Valentine's Day fell on a Wednesday that year.

So, for the TA and everyone in the class, the evening was spent in the lab, doing some synthesis or other. Chem majors don't work in pairs, so I was struggling through the synthesis alone and, because I was so afraid of wrecking my experiment I plodded through the synthesis very slowly and deliberately and, as usual, I was the last one there, bottling my product and cleaning up right at nine, when the lab ended.

The whole evening the TA, a chemistry grad student, had been moody, sulking. As I was confirming my product (I remember I was bending over a mel-temp waiting for my product to melt so I could determine the melting point), TA began explaining his mood.

He had been dating this girl, an undergraduate theatre student. It turned out, oddly enough, that I sorta knew this girl through Morgen (who disliked her) and I had seen her perform with the Charles Darwin group (I'd always thought she was pretty awful, ironic now).

Anyway, they'd broken up recently and he was still in love with her and unable to cope. He told me about how he'd saved everything from the time they'd been dating-- movie ticket stubs, mini-golf scorecards, programs from the plays she'd been in-- and he still couldn't bring himself to throw them out.

He was just to busy with research and teaching and all the other crap that comes with being a chemistry grad student to give her the attention and time she demanded and she dumped him. He said he begged her not to, and said that if she could just wait a couple of years, everything would be better and they could have a happy life together. But she dumped him anyway. She and I were the same age and I remember thinking I probably would have reacted the same way-- that's a lot for a 19 year-old to handle.

He told me about how he was going to try and "win her back" that evening. He'd baked her a cake ("she loves cake") and tried to make the frosting red, but it just turned out pink... blah blah blah. He sounded hopeful, but it was obvious that this was one last, desperate attempt. It was very, very sad and I didn't know what to say. I wished him luck, but even as I said it I knew there was not much hope for him and I hoped to God I would never find myself in his situation.

And now I find myself in the same place. "Just wait a few weeks. In a few weeks I won't have any more responsibilities and I can make things work." But then a few weeks turned into a few months, which are now turning into a whole year.

It's just too much to ask of someone, when there is no guarantee of success.


I ran into that TA my last semester in school. He still remembered my name and said hello. For a second I thought of asking if he managed to make things work with that girl, but I didn't. It doesn't really matter, anyway.

The only way out of this is through.

Right now I am listening to --- and am feeling wistful

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