08 May, 2008

Memories... continued

Location: to be determined
Mood: unsure

I don't really know where to start today. Spin the wheel and see where it lands, I guess? The question is, "Where have I not gone before?"

Okay, here we go.

Somerville, 1998. Maybe I should go back and fill in the location and mood?

That would be sort of dishonest, though, wouldn't it! So I'll just start over here.

Location: Somerville, 1998
Mood: uncomfortable

Edna and I moved to Somerville, Massachusetts, probably in June of 1998. Prior to that, we'd lived in Watertown, in the first floor of a 2-family house owned by Paul and Libby. I know I should not be using names, but I think these are generic enough names that I am not really damaging anyone's anonymity. And I don't really have anything bad to say about them anyway, so who cares?

I should back up a little bit and talk about that period of time. Or maybe I shouldn't. I don't know. Okay. I just decided. I will talk about it. Need to be very careful not to step on anyone's privacy wishes! But I think I can keep it kosher.

Wow... so I now find myself wanting to back up even further!

Do I dare go back to... Sarah?

Sure. Why not?

I met Sarah some time in 1996. It was probably Winter, or maybe it was Autumn of 1995. I could do the math. We were together about a year and a half, and it ended (finally) in February or March of 1997. So, it was Autumn 1995. Wow. A long time ago. I was living in Waltham with 3 former fraternity guys from Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Ed, Mike, and Craig. I could tell you lots of stories about living in that place, and maybe I will. But I got in there because Ed was a coworker of mine at Raytheon, and we became friendly. He heard I needed a place to live, I guess, and the two of us both moved into the Waltham house, on Goldencrest Road. I still remember the phone number - 890-8611. I don't know why I still remember that. I can't remember anyone's phone numbers from today because now that I am completely cell-phone-centric, I don't bother remembering such things. But there was a time where I could remember all numbers.

I was not in the fraternity with those guys because I did not go to WPI. They were nice guys, and certainly a lot of fun - but I am not sure I ever really fit in with them. There was a bond between them, and all of their friends, male and female, and I was always sort of an outsider. But occasionally I was welcomed into their events and gatherings. Fair enough.

Jumping forward.

It was around this time that I met Sarah. I am not sure who I was out with when I met Sarah, but I think I was out with Nick and his girlfriend at the time - or maybe it was Nick and Debbie (John's girlfriend). We were at a bar, late night, and I think it was in Beacon Hill but I am not really sure. And there was this extremely drunk blonde girl there (Sarah). Whoops. Rewind. That's not how it happened.

It's coming back to me now.

Sarah lived on Beacon Hill, but that's not how we met.

Starting over.

I was out with my housemate Ed, and I think Nick and Debby may have been with us? Or at least Nick. And we were out seeing the band Big Character - which was the band that rehearsed in the Waltham house. The guy who used to live in the house was this guy Brian, who was one of the singers for Big Character, and they still rehearsed in our place, even after he moved out. And we had all gone out to see the show. During the show, I noticed there were a couple of girls sitting near us (Sarah and her roommate Liz, I think, plus some guys). They were quite drunk. And at some point, Sarah started kicking my chair, and then she apologized, but it was obvious that she was just drunk and was flirting. It is funny thinking back on that, because it was a very playful, carefree moment - and I don't really remember Sarah as being playful or carefree. I remember her as being nervous and self-absorbed. But maybe the alcohol helped.

So after the band was done playing, they were leaving, and she said that they would be at such-and-such a place down the street, if I remember correctly (which I may not). I convinced Nick and whomever to go over to that place. By this point, Sarah was absolutely wasted. We chatted a little bit, and she gave me her name and said to look her up in the phone book.

The next day, I take out a note with her name, and much to my dismay, I realized that I cannot really read the writing. What is her name? Actually, what am I talking about? It's entirely possible that she didn't even write it down, but just told it to me, and I didn't remember correctly or hear it correctly.

Suffice it to say that after a trial period of guesswork, I found her in the phone book, and I got in touch with her. And we went on a proper date (at the bar in Beacon Hill), and we hit it off pretty well. I guess you could say there was chemistry. It didn't take long for us to be in a relationship, and that lasted, all told, about a year and a half. Sarah never really seemed that interested in me, though, and definitely non-committal. We never got to more than 3 or so times a week of seeing each other. She always wanted her free nights with her friends, and occasionally we'd get into phases where she wanted to spend even less time together. I think what it was is that she didn't really like me that much - but there were certain aspects of the relationship that kept it going. For that matter, I guess I didn't really like her that much either.

Sarah came from Fairfield, Connecticut, which is where rich people live, and her father was a rich, renowned doctor. She had three sisters, who were all as attractive as her, and for the most part, nicer than her (and younger). I visited the family down there several times, at least. I remember they had this Pembroke-Welsh Corgie named Beau.

No matter how much Sarah annoyed me, and she did annoy me a lot, I kept with that relationship, and sadly it is because I had this stupid idea stuck in my head, that came from my brother. At one point in time, maybe during that relationship, maybe earlier, my brother had said to me "If you marry a rich girl, you'll never be sorry!"

Well, every time I got annoyed with Sarah, I would think, "I'll never be sorry... never be sorry... never be sorry" but I was definitely feeling kind of sorry.

First of all, my brother didn't exactly marry a rich girl himself, so I am not sure where he got that idea from. And second of all, I think the idea is a crock of bullshit. There was no way I was ever going to marry Sarah, because she wasn't going to marry me - but either way, if you marry someone who really annoys the shit out of you, you will be annoyed as shit, regardless of how much money their family has. Nonetheless, I was caught up in the Sarah concept for awhile.

Sarah was really into sensual things. She liked "smells". Flowers, and that kind of stuff, would get her very emotional. And at one point, as a present, I bought her an aromatherapy kit. She really liked this a lot. But not enough to want to see me more than 3 times a week.

Other than the aspects to which I alluded earlier, I think the other thing that kept me interested in Sarah was that she always needed me to help her with things. She needed advice about her job, about her finances, about all sorts of problems. And I guess I needed to feel needed. And she certainly was needy. I don't recall us ever dealing with any of my issues. Maybe we did. Maybe we didn't.

I do recall that every time I came to pick her up at her apartment, I would need to wait for no less than 15 minutes for her to be ready, because she had zero concept of time, and zero respect for mine. That got really old, really fast. It's not fun to start a date pissed off because your date is never ready on time. And every time I came over to her place, I would be stressed from needing to spend 30 minutes looking for a parking space. Sarah didn't even own a car, if I remember correctly. Yeah. So rarely did she come to my place, and if she did, it was always me picking her up.

When I met her she was in her final year of law school. So I needed to constantly give her support about that, which was another stressor in her life (I realize I am not telling the story about Somerville, but maybe I'll get there eventually). In the end, Sarah finished law school, and then failed the bar exam. And during the time that I knew her, she never retook the bar, though she did start working for Fidelity Investments in their Compliance department, which sounds like about as much fun as organizing beads into different piles according to size and shape. But that's just me.

Sarah and I had a lot of fights. Over things like the lateness. That was a big one. And we probably also had fights about the relationship itself, since it was never really advancing. I am not even sure how we lasted as long as we did.

Did I mention that she was not the brightest bulb? I know that's a mean thing to say. But she really wasn't. She was kind of fun, and knew how to party. And I thought she was attractive - though some of my friends referred to her as "Monica Seles" or "Miss Piggy", and other friends commented on how close together her eyes were, and noted that this was an indicator of low intellect. I can't really argue with any of those. If she was Miss Piggy, she was at least Miss Piggy with a really nice body!

On one occasion, after a family get-together, my sister takes me aside and says to me "So, I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but... like... is she going to be smart enough for you?"

So it was that obvious.

The breakup was kind of messy. We were on the way toward falling apart. Then somehow I bought us tickets to go to Cancun, Mexico. And we were very close to broken up at that point, but we went on the trip. And it was really like bringing a complete stranger on the trip. We did, as I recall, have a romantic time - but it was like romance with a stranger. With someone to whom you have no real connection. Something on the inside was already dead. Unfortunately, something else on the inside was alive - namely some funky bacteria in my intestines - I got incredibly ill on that trip, intestinally, and was not right for almost 3 weeks afterward, and needed to take Ciprofloxacin to recover.

I think we broke up almost immediately after the trip. We didn't speak for about a month or so. Then I think there was some type of relapse. If I recall correctly, she called me. I remember that I was "doing so well" and not calling her. I was upset it was over, but I had "stuck to my guns" and not called. And then she called me. And well, I figured, I did the best I could sticking to my guns, but here's the opportunity for the booty call, and I am not going to pass on it. So we had a little relapse that didn't last very long at all.

Then, I ended it. The second time I ended it. And I ended it angrily, and with fairly brutal finality. I drove over to Sarah's place, with a friend (story to follow) waiting in the car, and I went up to Sarah's apartment and we yelled at each other for a little bit, and I took all my stuff, and I left. And that was the end. Final.

I only saw Sarah one more time, ever - over a year later. It turns out, she moved to Somerville too. And I think, in borderline stalker fashion, I may have run by her house a few times, but I never went up to the windows or rang the bell or anything! So I am not a stalker.

But I did see her one time. I was out running, and ran by the T-Station in Davis Square. And she was coming out of the subway, as I was running by. We stopped and talked to each other for maybe 5 minutes. And it was quite awkward. The stone cold reception suggested to me that she was not single. And neither was I. It didn't really give me anything - no closure, no nostalgia. It was just a meeting that didn't need to happen.

It would be nice to stay friends with our exes, but I think that one precondition for that is that you must have been friends with them in the first place.

So, I got myself to Somerville. Sort of skipped over Watertown. And I never even told you the story that I planned on telling. So I'll save that for next time. Unless I get sidetracked again.


  1. You never mentioned Luna, the fleas, or (most importantly), the fabulous giftwrapping job someone did on the aromatherapy kit!!

  2. Hey, this new 'comment approval' component is crap. and how do you remember libby's last name?!?! i'm not even sure i ever even knew libby's last name... you have a chillingly good memory for certain things.