March 08, 2007
Yeah, Karen let me know she was dating. One time, several weeks ago, I met her for lunch and we walked the short distance to the cafeteria. We have to stay close because of her new job. We used to walk 15 or 20 minutes to lunch and choose something different every time, but now we don’t go far. Waiting in line to order, she speaks to the new guy working there. “I’ll see you later right?” she says. He confirms that. Sigh. What can I say? We talk about his blue hair. The guy who used to work the coffee cart had blue hair. She remembers him. After we eat, we head out the door back to her office, but he runs out and calls her; some detail about their plans. Karen runs the few yards back, excitedly, and drops her glove, so I walk back towards them to pick it up. I can hear their voices, but not what they’re saying and I try not to. I hand Karen her glove as she walks back to me. She hadn’t even noticed that it fell. Thanks, she says. Her face is flushed and happy. “We’re going to dinner,” she says. Almost under my breath, I say, “I wish I could take you to dinner.” She just glances at me. Her look says: it’s not something I’m supposed to say; after all, she shouldn’t need to remind me I’m married again.
Next Friday I wait for her email. She does send the email with the time she can go. Sometimes it’s 12, sometimes it’s 1:15; she doesn’t know in advance. After we get our food, and the two of them say Hi, I internally debate whether to ask. I decide to see if it’s OK to ask a personal question, so I ask her about her date. She says, “Oh, we didn’t go. He was in the mountains and got stuck there (there had been some snow), and couldn’t drive back that night.” That’s very odd, and I want to say I don’t believe that, but I bite my tongue. None of my business. Now I’m worried about her. She is very trusting, but, then again, she also doesn’t let people take advantage of her, so I shouldn’t worry. The following week I don’t ask again, and she doesn’t volunteer any information. Valentine’s Day is coming, so I begin to worry about that. I want to get her something, but it can’t be romantic. Of course, Valentine’s Day IS the romantic day of all days, so I should do nothing. I can’t do that; I’m going to have to remind her, hint at my feelings without blowing our friendship. Of course, even the electronic Valentine card, and the long-stemmed rose had no effect on her. At least I didn’t offend her. Well, shifting back to present time, tomorrow is Friday. I don’t know if I will hear from her. I’m determined not to email first, but the closer it gets to 12 o’clock, the harder that becomes. I’m looking forward to seeing her, as I always do, every Friday.