…ya know, in re-reading yesterday’s entry, I realized that I was a little unfair. I have, in fact, had some rather Hollywood-esque cheesy introductions.
I’ll throw three of ‘em on the highlight reel.
No fairytale endings(yet), but, well, they’re all stories worth telling, and guess what? If you’re reading this, you’ll be the lucky audience to receive this three day trilogy that I’m gonna cheesily refer to as: The Takes.
Sure, not quite as title and/or content savvy as say…The Hunger Games, but, you’re still reading, so obviously, you’re interested.
Take One: Dane Marshall circa August, 2001
I remember it like it was yesterday…I know everyone says that, but I really do remember it like it was yesterday, and let it be noted, I have a HORRIBLE memory, so, that’s saying a lot.
It was a hot, sunny, summer Sunday afternoon and I’d just finished hand-washing and waxing the ‘Geo Lex’, my ridiculous little hatchback Geo Storm, soooo far from the likes of a Lexus that it seemed only fitting that I refer to it as just that.
My hair was a frazzled, matted mess that lay plastered to my forehead as a result of the lethal trifecta of broiling summer heat, sweat, and the spray of hose water. For those of you who don’t know, all three of those elements spell out CERTAIN DEATH for a black woman’s hair. But, I digress.
Desert-sand colored khaki shorts, which were at least two sizes too large for me, with the help of one of my step-dad’s army-issued belts (about six sizes too large for me, so that in order to make it work, I had to wrap it around my waist several times and use a knife to make a new notch hole), hung on for dear life, to my scrawny shape-lacking, tomboy hips. Along with my black and white low-top Chuck Taylors, I wore my white Walmart value-pack tube socks pulled up to the bottom of my knee caps, a fashion trait I’d picked up from my days of life in Hawaii. The sock thing? That’s an actual thing there, I’m not making that up. Ironically, to top it all off, the black tank that clung to my sticky skin read, in silver lettering: BE SEXY. If that’s not irony at it’s best, I don’t know what is.
So there I was, looking like death warmed over, when I realized that I was out of that Black Magic Tire Shine spray that I loved so much as a finishing touch to the car-washing experience. No worries though, it was really nothing that a quick trip to AutoZone couldn’t fix. I didn’t change clothes. Or comb my hair. Or, pull my socks down…or remove the blue Superman sweat band from my wrist that I failed to mention earlier…I mean why would I? Who was I going to see at AutoZone on a Sunday afternoon?
That was the day that I learned you should never leave your house looking like an asshole.
I can actually pinpoint the exact moment when I realized it too. It was when I looked up and saw him walking in.
He was…well, he sort of took my breath away a little. I’ve never been a good judge of dimensions, but he was definitely taller than me. Dark curly locks sat perfectly atop his head, and his skin reminded me of a piece of butterscotch candy…you know, the little square ones in the clear plastic wrappers? The white cotton v-neck he wore fit him so well that it was as if it the shirt had been made with him already in it, and let’s not even talk about the jeans—let’s just say, he was wearing them.
As he walked further into the store, I began to panic…and then I hid. I’m sure if the store clerks ever had to go back through footage from that day for any reason, they had a really good laugh at my expense. I could NOT let this guy see me. NOT LIKE THIS. I some how managed to duck and hide, pay for my tire shine and get the hell out of that store without him seeing me.
I was safe.
Well, kind of.
Now that I was outside, I started to think…despite how I looked, there was something about that guy that I couldn’t let go. So I sat in my car, pushing my socks down, then pulling them back up…raking my hands through my hair to try to get bring some sort of order to it…and in the meantime I was giving myself a pep talk:
Robyn, it’s not often that someone truly catches your attention…you HAVE to say something to this guy…sure, you look a hot ass mess, but I mean, what’s the worst he could say? “You look a hot ass mess”?…and you already know that, so what’s there to lose? Go back in there and say something. But, what? What on God’s green earth could you possibly say to him?
I smeared some chapstick on my lips, smoothed my eyebrows down, and took off my Superman wristband before opening the car door. Except, I couldn’t force myself out because I still didn’t know what to say. So I sat…with the car door open, hoping that I wouldn’t have one of my frantic panic attacks. It really shouldn’t have been that serious…but, I swear, there was just something about him. I finally managed to get out of the car, and was just standing there beside it, looking like…well, an asshole.
And then he came out of the store. And there I was, still standing. Suddenly, I heard myself speaking.
“Um, hey, um, excuse me?”
“I know this is weird, but, do you have a girlfriend?” Dude…wtf…who SAYS that?
“Okay, like I said, I know this is weird, and, I know I look horrible right now, but, I promise I clean up okay…I’ve just been washing and waxing my car today, that’s why I look like this, I normally don’t look this bad, I mean, I don’t usually look AMAZING, but, I don’t look this bad…”
I can’t blame him for what he did next, which was start laughing. Hard. I would have been humiliated, but I was so enamored by his smile…with those immaculately pristine, flawlessly shaped ivories…and those dimples.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that was just funny though…you don’t look that bad, you’re being hard on yourself…I’m actually impressed that you washed and waxed your car by yourself. I’ll tell you what, why don’t I get your number and we’ll go shoot some pool or something sometime, and we’ll see how well you clean up, cool?”
I honestly couldn’t believe it. Not only had I gotten up the nerve to approach an incredibly attractive guy, while looking an absolute ridiculous mess, here he was asking ME, for MY number.
“I’m Dane, Dane Marshall. What’s your name?”
My first thought? My honest to goodness first thought: oh my God, this is fate, if we get married, I won’t even have to change my last name! …I probably should have been thinking…oh my God, is this guy my cousin? But, I’m just being honest here.
Luckily, after a quick family background chat, we figured that we weren’t related and were in the clear. And so it started.
I gave him my pager number (ballinnnnn), and he paged me later that night. We talked for hours…and that’s saying A LOT, because I HATE TALKING ON THE PHONE. I HATE IT…but I liked this guy, and I liked listening to him talk…everything he had to say, was interesting to me. He seemed to feel the same way. I think what we liked most about one another was that we had so much in common. We were both diverse. Honestly, we just clicked without effort.
Our first date was as we’d talked about on the day we’d first bumped into one another…we met up, shot pool, played darts…laughed and joked with one another, had an absolute blast. Afterward we sat in the parking lot under the light of the moon, sitting on the hood of my car, talking for a solid two hours. And you know what? I know in the fairy tale, there’s always some magical kiss…but as odd as it may seem, it’s actually pretty refreshing when someone respects boundaries and doesn’t move in for a kiss. And he didn’t. And I liked that, very much. I felt like HE felt it was already special enough, I know I did. It was perfect.
It was absolutely perfect.
Well, it was absolutely perfect…until the next day. The next day, when my home phone rang, and I answered and had a lovely, and by ‘lovely’ I mean incredibly awkward, conversation with a very nice young lady (she actually was very nice). A nice young lady who introduced herself as Dane’s girlfriend and had found my number and wanted to know what was going on. I told her that we’d met, and as far as I was concerned, at this point he and I were just friends..and she said something to the effect of ”..oh, okay, because I saw you guys outside of the pool hall last night”…I felt bad for her up until that point…because once she basically admitted to stalking us, I told her that she didn’t have to worry about me, that I’d had no idea he had a girlfriend and I wasn’t trying to break up their happy home…which translates to: “I’m not tryna get kilt up in here, you can have him.”
I didn’t talk to him again, except to tell him that I’d chatted with his girlfriend and that he might want to have a chat or five with her if she wasn’t actually his girlfriend, because it was clear that she was under the impression that she was.
Years passed and somehow, we were later drawn together again. I think it was probably online or something, I don’t exactly remember. We lost touch again…and some years later I randomly ran into him at Best Buy. And then we drifted apart again, and then out of the blue I heard from him again on Facebook…by this time, he’d moved nearly 800 miles away. I was dating someone and told him as much, but that if I were to become available again, I would let him know. Two months later, I got dumped and was single again, I kept my word, and told him as much. We went back and forth making plans to see one another, but it never quite happened.
A YEAR after that, summer of last year, to be exact…I randomly received a message from him.
Okay Ms.Marshall, let’s cut all this crap…when are we getting married?
He also told me that he believes somewhere in the universe, we are soul mates..that he believes a soul can spot it’s counterpart, and he believes I am his, and he is mine…(how’s that for romance?!?). I believed him.
From that point, we were talking about finally cutting all the crap and seeing if the connection that we had so many years ago was real…I mean, we were talking about moving, and marriage, and we even named our kids! And….and, I thought we were really going to give it a shot this time—we even pinned down a date for him to visit….and as the time drew nearer? He disappeared.
I’m used to people disappearing, or rather, losing interest…so it didn’t come as too much of a surprise, but, it was still disappointing, nonetheless. Weeks later, he reappeared, and instead of writing him off, as I do so often, I decided that I’d TALK to him, tell him that I understood if he had issues he needed to work out, but that he needed to communicate that to me instead of disappearing. He agreed…he was apologetic and said he still wanted to visit..and we started talking that talk again..and then, he disappeared again.
And then I had to delete him from my life because I couldn’t take that kind of disappointment again, not from someone that I’d had this sort of history with for so long..not with someone that I felt could have been something….not with my ‘soul mate’…
He’s vegan…and I was even thinking of giving up bacon for him. I almost did.
Until next time…
[ ♥ ] . Peace. And Bacon Grease.