I think I’m dating someone. She’s been over pretty much every night this past week. Mostly we talk, then watch a movie, then talk a little more then she goes home. Which is in my basement. Weird. Weirder. Weirdest.
It’s weird for a lot of reasons, not just the basement thing. She also works the counter at the convenience store where I spend all of my money. Also, even if we’re not dating — and I kind of think we are, this is the most intimate I’ve been with another human being in a year.
We met before Christmas when she started working at the store. I’m in there at pretty much the same time every evening so after about a week she was giving me a wave, a big smile and saying hello.
Over the next few weeks we had what I can only describe as a convenience store flirtation period. Which, I think, is something that happens to everyone a few times in their life.
There just seems like there’s always a certain amount of flirtation involved when someone is serving someone else. I think it’d be weird for a woman working at a convenience store.
From my experience as a customer, women working a night shift always draw a crowd at convenience stores. It’s like they attract groupies… it’s very easy for dudes to talk to a captive audience, and it’s hard for the women to say “dude, fuck off, you’re creeping me out.”
At least that’s the way it works around here.
She was working on Valentine’s Day and told me she had no plans for after work, so I told her all I was doing was eating Chinese food and watching a movie… then I invited her over. Which is not something I normally do. And she accepted.
I’m trying to remember what we watched… “My Name Is Bruce”, because I wasn’t expecting company when I rented it. It stars Bruce Campbell (“Evil Dead”, “Bubba Ho-Tep”, “Army Of Darkness”) playing a parody of himself. I thought it was hilarious. She actually fell asleep on the couch… she’s an insomniac so she falls to sleep pretty much anywhere she can.
She hasn’t been able to get a decent nights sleep in almost a decade, so since Valentine’s Day we’ve talked about health issues surrounding bad sleeping patterns. It’s weird seeing her at the store everyday, I don’t want her to catch any flack from her boss so I try to keep our store conversations down to a minute or two. It’s incredible how you can have a conversation in one minute moments over a week.
I do know she’s attracted to me — her new roommate, in the basement apartment in my building, told me. And I do know when we’re sitting on the couch and we’re facing each other I do feel a connection… an electricity I haven’t felt with anyone in over a year. But there are issues…
She has a three-year old child, she’s separated from his father but hasn’t started the divorce process and she’s ten years younger than I am… which doesn’t feel like a problem, yet at the same time feels like it should be a problem.
It’s the kid thing that freaks me out. A few years ago I started to date a beautiful and interesting woman with a kid about the same age and got freaked out enough about the kid getting used to my presence that I pulled back from her.
Convenience Store Girl (CSG) was borne and raised here and married her possibly soon to be ex-husband right out of high school. She also believes in spirits and ghosts. Which is something common to this area — I don’t have a lot of experience with small mostly-English speaking towns, but in the French-speaking towns and villages I’ve lived in there’s a tendency to believe in the supernatural.
I dated someone from around here last year… ‘M2’, who also had children — tweens, but we broke up last February. She had a strong belief in the powers of Sylvia Browne, a TV psychic who used to appear on the Montel Williams Show. Otherwise M2 was one of the smartest and most grounded people I’ve ever known.
So a belief in spirits and witches isn’t entirely a deal breaker for me. ‘CSG’ has taken over the part of the couch I like to sit in, however, so far it’s been a little awkward… I don’t know where to put my right arm anymore, and when I put it over the back of the couch my shoulder gets sore.
But she was over Thursday night watching a bizarre movie called “Repo: The Genetic Opera” and I noticed her hand and my hand were very close together on the back of the couch and I could actually feel an electrical current in my brain and chest.
And it felt really good. I’m pretty confident she’s waiting for me to make some sort of decision or “move”, but getting into a relationship with someones mom is something which has always freaked me out. There’s also the thing about the relationships I had with JG and M2 ended because they weren’t willing to wait around anymore for my recovery to speed up.
Convenience Store Girl still doesn’t know anything about the manic depression.
To her, right now, I’m the sanest person she knows.
She has never travelled, but she loves to read. She’s been reading medical text books to her son at night… apparently he can already use medical terminology.
Her father taught her all about car engines, her mother taught her all about self-loathing. She’s a neat freak, and obsessive about keeping order in her cupboards. She’s taking a College level law course, and a first-year university English Lit. course at a local adult learning centre. She wants to move away from here.
…I just saw her at the store and she’s coming over in a few minutes.
I’m seeing a possibility where I might be using this series of events as a test in the same way I used going to my brother’s wedding as a test for where I am in my recovery. To find out if I’m able to carry conversations with people, to find out who I am in specific circumstances.
She’s a nice girl, a little prematurely burned out, but nice to have around — although she is eating into my writing time. And I think I am attracted to her… enough that I’m asking her to come back, and not rushing her to leave. But it has been a long time since I was attracted to a complete stranger.
The last two serious relationships I’ve been in were with people I had known way back in high school. M2 and I dated just before I moved away, and JG and I — who I dated five years ago — have known each other since grade school. The attraction I felt for them already had a foundation.
When it comes to meeting new people, and finding a spark with them, I’m as useless as a Mormon at a Slayer concert. So I’m not sure how to interpret the feelings I’m having.
…she just left. She spent the night on my couch. We talked, then watched Letterman and Craig Ferguson until she fell to sleep. I gave her a blanket and left her alone… when an insomniac finally passes out it’s best to just leave them alone.
I think she’s having the same problems trying to figure out what’s going on that I am. She wants a better life for herself and her son, and I’ve missed three recycling days in a row (again) and have a knee-high pile of plastic milk jugs next to my fridge.
I did invite her out for lunch this week though. So I think there’s no getting around that being an actual date.