Monday, November 29, 2010
Of all things, my brilliantly conceived plan of attracting the right woman based on my "Simon Cowell eliminator" involving the enigma of Einstein's iPod succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. There, mere hours after signing up was a message in my inbox. "Nancy," a classical musician who loved nature and ran triathlons for fun, had expressed interest in me.
Mind you, I had been too stupid to select her, myself. My prefrontal cortex, I learned too late, turned out to be a far better thinker than decider. To make a decision, it needed input from the emotional regions of the brain, and - alas! - my strongest emotion proved to be fear. That is, until I came across "Tomatoe Girl," a woman with no obvious interests who couldn't spell tomato but proved to be boneriffic.
Our only reason on earth is to make God laugh, and by now He was snorting milk out his nose. Here was the catch: Any future with Nancy in it demanded the same reaction in my brain as I had with Tomatoe Girl. Okay, it didn't have to be right away, but something had to happen. Sparks had to fly. Nancy clearly had soulmate potential, and her photos revealed a very lovely and thoughtful woman. But boneriffic?
We arranged to meet on Thursday for breakfast overlooking La Jolla Cove in San Diego. This was the mandatory "coffee date." She stepped out of her car, a vision of loveliness. She looked apprehensive and I assured her she didn't have to worry about passing any audition. We would be seeing more of each other, I let her know. She breathed easy, and the relationship was on. We began talking and couldn't stop. We continued our conversation along the beach, checking out the seals and other marine life. All too soon, it was time to go. We made a date to see each other Sunday.
We wound up at the end of the pier on Imperial Beach, sipping beer and eating fish tacos. The dolphins cooperated by putting on a show beneath us. So did the moon as we strolled the beach arm in arm. An attraction was growing.
Tuesday was to be a low-key date. Some afternoon outdoor recreation, then an early night. We rented a kayak and I amazed her by demonstrating I was not an out-of-shape spaz. Apparently, this sort of thing matters to triathloners, triathletes, whatever. Later, over beers on an outdoor patio, in the middle of one of our now-signature nonstop conversations, time froze. There she was, talking. Then, there she was talking in slow motion, with the sound muted. The patio and everything around her changed into a blur, and there was only her, just her. That was when it registered:
Suddenly, I was back in fast motion on a noisy outdoor patio with a mad urge to send glasses and plates crashing to the concrete as I took her in my arms and threw her on the table in a passionate embrace.
"Can we have a little privacy, please?" I would admonish the startled patrons.
A slow-motion camera on my face would have revealed an explosion of give-away micro-expressions that are visible in real time only to trained observers. For all I know, my eyes popped out of their sockets and my tongue rolled to the floor like a character in a Don Martin cartoon, but to everyone on the patio I was just a guy with his date, sipping beer.
I managed to maintain my sense of perfect equipoise all the way to her driveway. There, I lost my equipoise. Our relationship was about to turn romantic.
It stayed that way for three months, and it seemed like it would go on forever, but it didn't. One dark sleepy Monday morning, I walked out her front door. I didn't realize it would be for the very last time. Nothing left to say.