Well, hey, I finally got a reaction from Karen. I had asked her to just email one word, like “No” and she’d never hear from me again. She didn’t respond, hasn’t responded to anything I’ve written her, which is response enough, but being the hard-headed type, I wanted to hear it from her that she really wanted nothing to do with me anymore. We had been friends for years at work, eating lunch once a week together. At first, it was a simple friendship, despite a big gap in our ages. We talked about anime, and Sci Fi, and writers we liked, and the world of animation, comics and manga. We traded books and videos. It was great. I was, unfortunately, married when I met her. Before long, however, I was in love with her. We stayed friends, even after I was divorced. She considered the idea of the two of us meeting outside of work to have dinner, or seeing a movie together, as dating, and dating was, in her word: inappropriate.
Still, up until I left that job, we still ate lunch together, but the weekly ritual had lessened to an average of every other week, sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on her work schedule. That was fine. I missed the regularity of our lunches, but I was still in love, albeit unrequited, a strange state of being, an alternate reality where there was a slight chance we might connect some day, even though I knew how unlikely it was. The psychology people call it limerence. I was crazy, basically. I felt I got over it, and let Karen know what my feelings had been all along, how I’d gotten over it, and how I wanted to resume our normal lunches. By this time she seemed to be avoiding me. After that, she was avoiding me, even to the extent of spinning on her heels and going the other way. Well, I left that job anyway, so I didn’t see her again.
I didn’t, however, stop thinking about her. Recently I watched a fascinating movie, Mary & Max, about an older man in New York with severe Asperger’s Syndrome who ends up as a pen pal to a little girl in Australia. Despite the difference in ages, they strike up a real friendship, and write regularly. It is a great comfort to both, because neither have any other friends. Well, I bought a copy and had it sent to Karen. I wanted her to watch it. Unfortunately, after I did that, I noticed that, although the movie was in English, it was only formatted to play in Australia. I quickly sent Karen an email, saying I’d made a mistake, but maybe she could still view it in her computer’s DVD drive. Not getting a reply, I found another copy online, and had it shipped to her. This time I made sure it was the correct region for US DVD players. No word from her. After a period of time, I was going to write to her, ask if we could be friends again, just like Mary and Max, writing each other, and sharing events in our lives, what we were reading, watching and doing. Her 30th birthday is approaching, and I was going to wish her a Happy Birthday also. Hell, I thought, maybe she wouldn’t think I was a pervert anymore. Yeah, she’s way younger than me, but it wouldn’t be that perverse of me to be interested in a sexy 30-year-old woman. I mean, she is an adult, right?
Today, wonder of wonders, I got a package from Karen. I knew what it was before I opened it: the two DVDs. Sure enough, they were both in there, and neither had been opened at all. She hadn’t even thought enough of me, or is so disgusted with me, that she didn’t even try to watch the movie. And, a note fell out with the movies:
Well, that was plain enough, even for someone like me. I just had to have it spelled out clearly, without any possibility of misinterpretation. Thanks Karen. Message for Karen.