Chasing Anna - March 27, 2002

by Joe Ruelos

Okay, so it's been a while since I've written. It's been about three weeks since I last talked to Anna. I've met with her twice now, the second time being the Sunday following the Sunday that I first met her (which I have yet to describe), for a total of two encounters. After that second Sunday, our second encounter, she didn't show up for the coffee and donuts gathering after mass. More than likely she had somewhere to go that was more urgent. The next two Sundays, I decided to be childish and to just leave after mass and not attend the donut gathering. All to my regret.

This most recent Sunday, I actually walked past Anna and her grandmother while they were sitting in her car before the Palm Sunday mass. The mass was scheduled to be thirty minutes earlier than normal and I pulled into the parking lot around 7:30am just to be safe. I parked at the end of the lot and started walking towards the church. I then passed a vehicle in which I saw two people sitting, and it took all of five seconds for me to realize who they were, as I saw an old lady (Anna's grandmother) in the passenger seat and Anna in the driver seat. Anna's head was facing the church, not in the direction from which I was approaching, so when I glanced at the car, we didn't immediately make eye contact. But I kept on walking, and there's a good chance that, as I passed, she probably noticed me. As I passed, there was an urge to stop, turn around, and greet them at the car. But, I was a child again, scared, and decided against it. Then I made it to the church, went into the front, the Narthex (sort of like a foyer), and saw that the previous mass was still finishing up, and I decided to go out and walk around to the back side to the choir room entrance. As I walked out of the church, I saw Anna and her grandmother approaching from the car, about 300 feet away. This was my second opportunity to be cool and greet them, but I continued around the building and made it to the back. Then mass as usual, a good mass. After mass, I bolted to my car in the hopes of avoiding anybody. I waited in my car a few minutes to see if Anna would go to her car. Nothing. More than likely, she stuck around for the gathering after mass. My bad. I drove off.

In almost completely unrelated news, in the last two weeks, I completed my search for an apartment in the Annapolis area. I applied for an apartment in the Watergate Village apartment complex located in Eastport. To my surprise, they accepted my application and said I could move in on March 30, 2002. My friend, Alex, who I met in college and for whom I played bass in his band, will be moving in and sharing rent as soon as he runs into some money. So much can be said about this venture. I've done several calculations and projections, to make sure I can make it happen on my own income, and how Alex would be able to help out. All signs look good. I bought two foutons and a dresser, and my parents set aside several items that would be nice to take with me. I reserved a U-Haul truck for saturday. The tricky part about this move will be that I need to be back in Eldersburg to sing in the choir for the Easter Vigil mass that's at 7:30pm. Most of my conservative calculations place me in Eldersburg by around 8:00pm, which is not acceptable. Either we'll have to expedite our moving efforts, or curtail our moving efforts, or I'll need to miss that mass. And the problem with missing the mass is that it's part of the Easter Triduum celebration (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil), and it's preferrable to attend all three parts or none at all. More to come on that outcome.

As for Anna, I might consider changing these writings to a regular diary, instead of one devoted to Anna. Who knows where this thing is going, if anywhere at all. My immediate goal is for this Sunday, Easter Sunday, to approach her after mass as she's walking out, and say hi, etc. Of course, it might be pretty busy with all the seasonal catholics, and Anna may not be sitting in the front as usual. So there's always the next Sunday. I've found inspiration (at least today) in a prase from a recent reading, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened." Let this be my guiding mantra for achieving forward progress.

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