It’s been one week and one day since I saw Matt and gave him the last box of stuff I collected from my house. In the week leading up to that, I had tried to call, email, and text and he had not responded. Then, AFTER I drop the box off, he replies to my email and suggested we meet up this week. I agreed to it and even selected tonight as the date, but as the days of this week have come and gone, I began to feel dreadful about the idea.
As it turns out, there was a storytelling “slam” at a local pizza shop tonight and I wanted to go to that but had forgot all about it. So I had the perfect excuse to cancel. Actually, at first I suggested he could meet me there, but under closer scrutiny that was a bad idea. I didn’t want to have a repeat performance of my emotional volatile state AND have that ruin a lovely evening of storytelling. I elected to cancel with a “sorry, maybe next week” and went to the slam alone.
I was alone right up until the moment I wasn’t. The guy I was seeing directly before starting to date Matt 5 years ago showed up. The girl he was with volunteered to be a judge. A “slam” event is when the written word, mostly poetry but sometimes short stories, are read or performed on stage and then scored by a panel of judges. Once she volunteered, she had to move up to a table at the front, which left him all alone with strangers. He asked if he could sit with me and I said yes.
We didn’t really talk much.. because of the entertainment and also I was stuffing pizza in my face. It felt kind of awkward but not as strange as it probably should have given the circumstance in which we parted ways in 2011 (that backstory would require a very robust collection of blog posts). In any case, we were cordial and then when it was over he went in for the hug and I reciprocated (because I’m not an asshole). I then headed for the door.
He caught up to me walking to my car and commented about the nice weather and I remarked that it was perfect for tennis. He suggested that we play sometime and I left it at “maybe we should” and then we parted ways again.
When I got home I conjured up the courage to call Matt (because I’m totally sick of the email back and forth communication) and I told him I was sorry for flaking out and suggested we meet next Tuesday. So Tuesday it is.
There are a dozen different ways this evening could have gone. I could have met up with Matt, but I didn’t. I could have had him join me at the Pizza Shoppe, but I didn’t. I could have said no to Rich when he asked if he could sit with me, but I didn’t. Is it all just random, or do our choices really carry weight in how our lives unfold? Probably a little bit of both.
P.S. The theme of the Story Slam was “worst date ever”. While the story of my love life fits this perfectly, I would most likely go over the 5 minute time limit so I couldn’t enter the contest.