Oct. 18th, 2015

tspencer227: (Karma)
"You seem to spend a lot of time reliving your glory days instead of facing the fact that you're not 24 years old any more."

I bit my tongue, nodding, and told her, "yes, you're probably right."

I resisted the urge to say what I was really thinking:
"because we don't do much adventuring or anything fun now. Or if I'm doing it, it's because you don't feel like going out, and then I feel guilty about having fun without you."

This was last night. The husband of one of the minister at our church is a drummer in a local band, and he'd invited us to this show, opening for one of the better known local bands, several months ago. As a bonus, his wife had a babysitter for the night for their year old son and would be able to join us. I'd reminded Katie about this via text while we were at work yesterday, and wasn't honestly very surprised when she replied back a bit later in the day that she wasn't feeling like going out, but apologized.

History repeats itself. In all fairness though, she was planning on leaving early for a conference she's due to attend for several days in Myrtle Beach. Still, I'm getting more and more used to coming up with excuses for why I'm appearing solo when I go to meet with my friends.

The show was great- my friend's band, only playing their third show together, were very good, and the main band was amazing. It was about 2/3 of the way through the headliner's set that I spotted her.

I wasn't even really looking around to see if she was there, though I should have suspected she might be. I'd found out earlier that the guitarist for the headlining band was also the guitarist for her band- the music scene in the Raleigh area is really a small, tightly-knit community- and I'd already seen the violinist from her band.

As for "her," I'll call her "K" for now. That all started maybe four years ago, not long after I'd moved to Raleigh and started at State. She'd found me on my old OKCupid account and there had been a bit of flirting back and forth. Nothing happened for a few months, because let's face it, musicians can be flakes. Especially young ones who are just out of college and still finding their place in the world. Still, I was intrigued, and hoped that our paths would eventually cross.

It was a graduation party after friends of mine finished their Master's program at State, and we ended up at one of the better known hipster dance clubs in downtown. It took me a while to put two and two together, but there she was at the bar- tall, gorgeous, and apparently holding court with other local artsy hipster types- some of whom I recognized, one of whom I'd dated briefly- and definitely standing out to the point that everybody in the group I was with commented on her presence. And as a fellow alpha who tends to hold crowds, I was mesmerized. Eye contact was made, shy smiles were exchanged, but as I was still sort of seeing another musician at the time, nothing else happened.

Fast forward to January of last year. My youngest brother Chris was in town for a few days to hang out over his winter break, and a coworker's wife is the lead singer of a band here in the area. I was familiar with them, and already knew that K was in this one- her name had been blowing up in local projects all over the area for close to a year at this point- but I wasn't expecting any interaction, instead, after her set, here she comes towards me. Thankfully, I was by myself on the way to the bar as she said hello, introduced herself, and asked how I enjoyed the set. We chatted for a few minutes, then hew brow crinkled up.

"You look really, really familiar from somewhere. Have we ever...?"

Her voice rose in a playful tone. I stammered something in reply about being at shows for her previous band, deciding to spare the awkward conversation that could result from saying something like,

"oh yeah, we totally matched at around 94% on OKCupid about 3 and a half years ago."

Better part of valor and all that. Besides, I'd seen her boyfriend (at least that was my assumption) come up behind her while we were talking. Still, during the following band's set, she turned around to look back at me several times, always with a smile.


The next time we crossed paths was the entry I wrote about back in August, going to see Nora Jane Struthers with a friend and being the only one there without somebody to dance with. No more needs to be said about that, though.


And then last night. I caught sight of K about 2/3 of the way through the headliner's set, and a few minutes later she started walking towards my direction, heading back towards the bar. She got close- inside personal space close even- as she passed. Eye contact was made. Shy smiles were exchanged. *something* started to happen- I'm not sure exactly what still, but at that point my pulse was pounding in my ears and my chest. Then she suddenly drew back, and was past me. I hadn't even realized I'd been holding my breath as I exhaled deeply.

I'm still more than a little confused by the whole exchange, and by how to feel about it.

So, here I am now, and not sure of what to make of it.

In the past, I had a large circle of friends eager to go out and do things, take in shows, take weekend trips, and otherwise seek adventure at the drop of a hat.

In the present, I'm unfulfilled on a physical level pretty much constantly, most of my friends have drawn back (either because my wife flat out doesn't like them or doesn't want to get to know them better, or because I've flaked on them too many times making excuses for why we (she) can't go out), and when I do go out and do things, I feel guilty having fun without her- and I'm constantly reminded that there are couples out there who go out, do things, and have fun together- on a regular basis.

What does the future hold? I can't say yet. A lot of our engagement I found myself repeating in my head, "it'll get better after school is done/ the house is done/ she gets a new job/ I get a job." I'm still waiting for it to consistently be better. The question is, how long can I wait? A year? Two? Five?

On a somewhat related note, every night for at least the last week, my dreams have been haunted by pretty much the same tall, athletic dark haired mystery woman. Who she is, I have no clue. I just pray I'm not talking out loud in my sleep.

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Tiger In A Cage

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