Although it occurred last June, I did run into Karen one more time. In my fevered imagination, she’d be single and open to dating. In one of the convolutions and permutations of my old obsession with her, I imagined that, even were she pregnant, she’d be single, and I could convince her that I’d be a good dad to her baby, or even that she was a single mom, and we’d hook up, whereupon we’d subsequently live together, probably in marriage. Such was the depth of my obsession that I always imagined there was some slim chance that we’d still get together.
Now, of course, I know there is no such chance, ever. I saw her, spoke with her, was dissed by her. She’s an ass, really. I was taking photos at the Albuquerque Comic Exposition last year, and saw someone in my viewfinder that looked like her. I think I’d recognise her profile anywhere, under any circumstances. She was standing near a booth in a crowd. I snapped a couple of quick, badly focused long shots. I think she saw me, but she moved away. I saw where she was going and circled around the area, so that I would be walking directly into her as I came around a line of booths. It worked. I walked directly at her as I came around. At first, she gave me her nod, the nod that says: “I know you. I see you, but there is no need to speak to each other.” Fat chance of that. I walked right up face to face and said hello. She was polite. I asked her if she still worked at the medical school (where we used to see each other). She said: “Yes, but that may change soon.” I asked: “Why? are you going back to school or something?” She said: “No.” It seemed she glanced down because my eyes traveled to her stomach. She appeared to have gained weight since I last saw her, both in the face and in her abdomen. I was trying to think of what to say, not sure what she was hinting at, when she just turned and walked away, right to a nearby booth she had already been to and chatted up the proprietor. Rude, but effective. She really doesn’t want to ever have anything more to do with me, never talk, or be friends or acknowledge my existence, really.
That settled that fantasy.
But, I did realize what she meant: she is pregnant. There’s no mistaking that bulge. That would explain why she’d leave a good job in an uncertain job market. Whether she married or is still living at home I have no idea. I suspect she has a husband to support her when she quits work. I’d have asked her, if she’d paused long enough, but she was in a hurry to get away from me. I would have congratulated her on her pregnancy. I know how much she likes kids, and I remember how much time she would spend with her nieces and nephew. She loved reading to them and playing with them and taking them places. I knew she’d make a good mother. I dreamt so often of impregnating her myself, of being the father of a kid or two with her. In my mind, it would have been heavenly. I’d have adopted a kid with her, since she often spoke of adoption. Such deluded fantasies I used to have! Oh, well.
At least I can shut down the little loop in my mind that still entertained the possibility of hooking up with her after a random meeting.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Fuck you Karen. I hope I never run into you ever again, or hear anything about you.