A Post-postscript Karen Interaction


Karen at the ACE

Karen at the ACE

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.

 

Karen, in My Dreams Again


09/14/08

Had a dream with Karen in it last night.  We were sitting together along a street.  Our bodies, from the waist up, were empty and translucent, and there was a light bulb in our stomachs.  Our heads were white, rounded wheel-like shapes and detachable, hung to our necks on pins, like the lid of a trashcan, or a roll of tape.  She wanted to try my head on, so I gave it to her.  She handed hers to me, and put mine on, but she missed the pins, and it fell down into her body.  I said, “Be careful! Don’t break my bulb,” even though it was her bulb. I helped her pull my head out of her body, and get it set right on the pins.  I put her head on, and she gave me her hand.  The feeling I got was so exquisite.  I could feel the smoothness, the coolness of her hand. She smiled at me. The pleasure spread through my hand, and up my arm to my brain.  Oddly, it didn’t matter which head we had on, my thoughts were still my thoughts, and I was still looking at her.  I woke up.  I was erect.  Despite the best efforts of my conscious super-ego, Karen is still roaming my subconscious Id, somewhere near my libido.

We had lunch Friday. It had been four or five weeks, I think.  She’s been busy, at work, and with her aunt’s illness.  She was visiting her aunt several times a week during lunch at the hospital right there alongside where we both work.  She always let me know when she couldn’t make lunch.

Lunch was uneventful.  When I saw her I said it was nice to see her.  She nodded her head without saying anything, but her smile remained.  OK to say that, I guess.   She told me about her aunt.  I asked about her aunt’s sisters who are in town, whether or not they were around much, but she said they spent most of their time at the hospital.  Her aunt has been moved to a nursing home now.  She is recovering from surgery, so that the doctors can then treat her cancer.   I couldn’t tell how this affects Karen.  She didn’t seem sad, just distracted.  She did say that, “I don’t know why these things always happen to the nice ones.”   So, she likes her aunt.   I asked her if they talked much, and she said they didn’t.  I was trying to find out how much this meant to Karen, but I guess she didn’t want to say. Too personal.  I wanted to express my sympathy, but I don’t know what to say if I don’t know what someone is feeling.  She was hard to talk to about other things.  I mentioned the small gathering, the Obamarama party I hosted at my house to watch his acceptance speech.  That got a small smile.

She brought a book with her.  I guess she wasn’t sure I’d show up.  It was a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories.  I couldn’t remember if I’d read any.  I know the name, and often come across references to him in science fiction magazines.   His Cthulhu Mythos stories have a cult following.  According to Wikipedia, “His works are deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Christian humanism.” He is sometimes compared to Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all-time favorite authors.  I guess I’d better try some of his works.  Karen knows a lot about him.  She told me he never wrote anything but short stories, and I didn’t know that.  She was surprised I thought he had written novels too.

She got anxious towards the end of lunch. She wasn’t checking the time on her phone, but she became visibly tense.  She hadn’t been sure she’d get to go to lunch because there was so much going on at work.  She has an interesting job which involves children’s health programs.  She sometimes has to travel now, so that’s why she’s not always around.  She only had time for lunch Friday because she didn’t have to travel.

Karen looked at me, I felt, expectantly, like she was waiting for me to say something.  There isn’t much to say.  I could talk about how lonely I am at times, or how I’m adjusting to living alone so well that I’m staying away from gatherings of people.  I could tell her how little I can stand people anymore.  I could tell her how much she means to me.  I could tell her I’d visit her aunt with her.  Unfortunately, these are things she doesn’t want to hear.  Too personal.    I told her instead about my new digital TV, and how I’ve joined the 21st Century by going wireless on my internet connection.  She didn’t seem interested.

I asked her about Halloween, but she said this thing with her aunt has her too preoccupied to give it much thought. She is already prepared anyway, since she spent about half the year or more thinking about it and getting things together.  She seemed disinterested, which was too bad, as I thought it might make her happy to talk about how soon Halloween will be here.  Perhaps her aunt’s illness is really bothering her deeply.

I wish I knew how to talk to people, how to talk to Karen, how to be a friend to her.  I think my dream means that I can’t keep my emotional and sexual hangups from interfering with any possible friendship.  I think she knows this.

Another Happy Friday


August 13, 2007

happiness.jpg Friday has been my favorite day for a long time, and not for the usual reason. Actually, my weekends have been full of hard work in sometimes brutal weather, and little joy or fun. However, meeting Karen for lunch on Friday is the highlight of my week. It’s only an hour, and we no longer walk to a different location each week, but seeing Karen is all I need to get through the weekend, and the following week. We’ve missed a few Fridays of late, and I wondered if that was going to be the new pattern, and if it signaled the coming end of these lunches together. It doesn’t! Karen is often busy on Fridays, and just as I’d given up this past Friday, after not having seen her or heard from her the week before, she suddenly sent me an email at the last possible moment. happiness_ahead1.jpg Such a feeling!

Karen looked wonderful of course. We ate quickly and went off to find some good coffee. We talked, and I can’t remember much of it, but when we talked we smiled at each other, and there was such a feeling of camaraderie and connection. I just can’t understand why it has to be that we can’t date, can’t meet away from work, can’t be lovers. Sigh. She did ask me if we’d see each other next week, with a big smile on her face. I hope I said yes. I remember basking in her smile and floating a little. I called to her, as she turned to walk away, to repeat my invitation to stop by and check out the new place sometime. At least she didn’t say no, and she kept smiling.

Of interest to me is having a child with Karen (in my wildest dreams!). She talks about her nieces a lot, so I asked her if she was wanting one of her own. Her answer shocked me. She doesn’t want to go through childbirth! She does not want to experience the process or pain at all. Not just the natural birth part, but, not even a c-section. Turns out, not only is she adopted, but so is her whole family! Karen wants to adopt! Interesting. She greatly admires her parents for doing that, so her rejection of pregnancy is buttressed by her desire to adopt. Hmm. Interestingly, when I was younger, my goal was never to have children, but to adopt only. I’d given that up, but the women I’ve met and married already had kids, and either wouldn’t have more, or couldn’t. Of course, it seems like a silly idea to raise children at my age, but meeting someone young like Karen has rekindled that desire, especially since I’m so in love with her. Well, Karen, tell you what: I’ll raise adopted kids with you. The happiness I’d have being with you would obliterate any need for our children to be my biological offspring. adopt.jpg

Now, if only we could do something about this age difference! If only it didn’t matter!

What is it about Karen?


May 23, 2007 (part 2)

I see things in Karen that remind me of myself. She has a depth of character, a love of animals and deep affection for children. She has the obsessive nature of an introvert and the shyness of someone without fake pride. Those are a few things I see, but I feel something else, something I can’t put into words. Perhaps I have only come to recognize that I am not alone in the world. Knowing Karen has made me feel as though I’ve found someone like me for the first time. Perhaps there are others. I know this sounds crazy. I’ve worked with people in carnivals, in science, in unions, neighborhood associations and dozens of groups with similar beliefs to mine. I loved them all. I have felt friendship and love. Still, as I get older, there is always something missing, and I feel it more and more.

Karen is passionate about life, intelligent, hard-working, and fun. Her smile lights up my world.

karenssmile.jpg