Chasing Anna - April 29, 2002

by Joe Ruelos

Okay, so something was telling me that it might be her (or "might have been her", depending on your tense preference). And it seemed like it was telling me all of my life. Anyway, now he sings, now he sobs. Shoot me, I'm pathetic. Call me "Jack's broken heart".

"What's this have to do with anything?" you might ask. Well, yesterday was seemingly one of the longest days of my life -- as are most of my days filled with church activities. Sunday followed an extremely wasteful Saturday, which featured my missing a morning oil change and an opportunity to get a haircut. The bulk of Saturday was hosed indeed because of a rather uneventful, yet long-lived Friday evening (featuring, among other things, allstar baseball 2003 on x-box from 2am to 7am).

Friday evening started off on the weak end (and that's "weak" as in "sucking" or "lacking strength", not "week" as in "business week"). I came home after a painstakingly boring and slow work week -- remember last week was the week I was getting my pine on over Anna, during which time I was rather uninterested in doing any kind of work whatsoever, like now actually. Anyway, so I got home Friday and I basically had no plans whatsoever, and since I didn't feel like doing anything responsible, I called up my cousins to see if they were doing anything. The elder of my two local cousins would be off Saturday so I asked if he wanted to sleep over Friday night and do stuff (hah!) all Saturday. He was down with that, but he wouldn't be home until midnight. I planned to meet him at his crib in Essex after midnight, then we'd go down to my Annapolis pad. To make that long story short, we got to Annapolis by around 2am or so, we hooked up his x-box, got in some halo action, then played allstar baseball 2003 till the sun came up.

On Saturday (4/27), reminiscent of my college days, I planned on sleeping for an hour around 8am and getting up at 9am so I could make my oil change appointment in Westminster by 10:30. Being a little older now and less motivated, I woke up around 9:30, called Heritage Honda of Westminster, and told them I wouldn't be making my appointment. It felt like calling in sick for work. I asked if I could schedule another time either this weekend or next, and the lady said that would be fine. So I went back and slept until 2pm. Later in the day, after missing the whole morning, we bought some foods from Safeway and cooked up bacon and pork chops and added to our cholesterol. I actually got a load of laundry done too, so Saturday wasn't totally wasted. Around 10pm, we got into a little halo frenzy with my roommate. That progressed until about 1am when my cousin decided it was time for me to drive him back to Essex cuz he had to be up at 5:30am for work. Needless to say, after dropping him off in Essex and getting back to Annapolis, it was close to 4am, and I still had a few things to take care of before going to bed. I went to sleep around 5am and I woke up at 6am (basically on the dot) so I could get ready to make it to the 8:30am mass in Eldersburg. Interesting how I couldn't go on an hour's sleep on Saturday for the oil change, but I went on just an hour for the Sunday mass.

Granted, I convinced myself that Sunday (4/28) was going to be a big day in this whole Anna situation. After the events of last Sunday (4/21), I was determined to leave yesterday with her phone number. As promised over and over again, I will write more about my four meetings with her, so everything will make sense. I just now got a chill down my spine thinking about the first time we met, how we walked out of the church together (although not hand in hand) but walked out almost like... well, you know, like we were together. In reality, it was probably not much more different than if I would have walked out of church with anyone else, but oh you had to have been there, in my shoes.

Anyway, yesterday (4/28) turned out to be an event-filled (although not exactly "eventful") Sunday and I was running on an hour of sleep with a heart and mind full of inspiration to get my mack on. Not only would there be mass at 8:30am and an opportunity (at least I thought there would be) for me to see and talk to Anna again (hopefully leaving with a phone number), but there was also going to be a youth band rehearsal from 1-4pm and a youth mass at 7pm. I wouldn't be getting back to Annapolis until 9pm or so. Blah, only on an hour of sleep, I would practically be awake for 15 hours. Fortunately, I went to my parents house when I didn't need to be anywhere, and I slept for about 2 hours -- it totally hit the spot. My dad had moved all of the computer stuff from the room next to mine (which used to be my brother's room, now occupied by my grandmother, my dad's mother) and he set everything up in my room, re-arranging a lot of my stuff, but in a way that I totally agreed with. For a brief instance, I had an urge to move back home, back to my room cuz it looked so much better. The youth band stuff in the afternoon and evening went pretty well, and I was off for Annapolis by 8:15pm, got in around 9:20pm (lucky for me, I programmed the vcr to record the x-files at 9pm). On the drive home, I was all set on doing another load of laundry and taking care of a bunch of other things, but when I got home, I was completely ready to drop. I laid on the living room futon (in couch mode) and watched the recording of the x-files, after which I changed to the 11pm news and drifted off to sleep hearing about the tornado disaster in Charles County earlier in the evening.

"Oh, but what about Anna? Did you see her? Did you get her number?" Sad to say, Anna wasn't at mass yesterday. Her grandmother was there, and she even left a little space next to her where Anna would normally sit. But the seat remained empty for the duration of the mass. I hoped that maybe Anna was sitting in the back with Cathy and Jackie (her two lady friends which she joins for coffee and donuts after mass). But Anna was no where to be found. Poor me. Neill came up to after mass and said he was going home, but he suggested I should talk to Cathy cuz he saw her sitting in the back. I didn't know what to do. I walked into the gym for coffee and donuts and I set my stuff down at the choir table. Very little exciting conversation. I went to introduce myself to the Orlins' relatively new baby boy, Kevin James. He started crying. So I got up to get coffee and a donut, and talked to Rich Unglesbee, the loyal knight of columbus who manages the donut table every Sunday. Then I went over and sat with the family of bass player from the youth band, and we chatted a little about music.

All of this was helping me to go over to the table where Cathy and Jackie were sitting (sans Anna). I saw them when I first walked in, but I didn't see Anna, so I kept on walking. And for about 5 minutes, I mentally calculated if I should even go over there, and if so, what should I say? It wasn't as bad as I thought actually. As in the previous Sundays, the ladies provided enough conversation to keep me awake, and they even included me in discussion. Not bad. Interestingly enough, and more relevant to this writing, not a single mention of Anna, from either me or the two ladies. Jackie, if you recall, is the mother of Anna's friend and co-worker, Vicki, who graduated high school in my year. Cathy is the mother of Rich, who graduated a year behind me, and who is now married to Vicki. Anyway, not a mention of Anna. When the children from the 10am mass filtered into the gym, we all decided to leave. The two mothers-in-law went off, and I went to the old church (where the youth band practices), so I could setup the equipment for practice.

Impressions? Maybe Anna got scared off last week when Neill went up and asked for her number (jokingly, but more so to hint that I was asking for it). I was hoping that was a step in the right direction, although my asking her directly for her number would have been the absolute best giant step. So I pondered most of the day (albeit in a dreamy tired state of being) what it all meant. Maybe she came down with something nasty and was so sick that she couldn't make it to mass. Maybe she was having a chemically depressive episode. Or maybe she was sleeping over at her boyfriend's house -- that's a poor attempt at humor, since it's not yet known (to me) if she has a boyfriend. Then again, it's also not yet known (to me) if she's straight (i.e., heterosexual), but that's another story. Maybe she spent the weekend with her father, who lives out of town, round-about Catonsville. Whatever the reason, it seems very unlike her to miss mass. In the last year or so that I can recall, she's been absent probably 5 times, so it's unusual not to see her at mass.

Maybe she got scared. It all comes back to that. Did I scare her off? Did I fuck it up? What really bothers me more than not seeing her was that last week, according to Neill, she said to him after he asked for her number for me, "Well, just tell Joe I'll see him next week." If she did indeed say that, then why wasn't she there yesterday? On the other hand, maybe I mis-interpretted what Neill told me. Maybe Anna actually said something like, "Oh, I'll just see you guys next week." But even still, even if such comment wasn't directed at me, her statement was something along the lines that she would be at mass yesterday. But she wasn't.

Come think of it, if she was scared, would she really, really go out of her way to avoid me? I mean it's church for christ's sake. It's her opportunity to be with her grandmother at church, and to get her social on after mass with her lady friends (the mothers-in-law). If she _was_ taken aback by anything that has happened, it still would seem absurd, for someone as seemingly mature as she is, to avoid church just so she could avoid me. Only someone as immature as me would do something like that. Although, I could be wrong. Maybe she's not as mature as she appears. During my conversation with the mothers-in-law, I gathered a few reasons to believe that she's probably younger than the 22-24 age range in which I've currently placed her. But 18-21 wouldn't make her too immature, although I've known some girls in that range, and boy... Also, Anna's one of the nicest, kindest, sweetest girls I've met. She wouldn't do something this cold. Or maybe, she doesn't want me, but doesn't have the heart to break the news to me. Maybe she did it to make a point. To throw me off. Or, on a positive note, maybe she wanted me to go talk to her lady friends and have them see if I would ask about her.

All of these thoughts have been running through my mind since 8:30am Sunday, almost guaranteed whether I was awake or asleep. It's actually useless for me to waste my time thinking about this. What'll happen will happen, and at this point, whatever will happen is still on a week to week basis. Basically I'm stuck until next Sunday to see what happens. So thinking about this will only make the rest of the week suck. And it doesn't help that there's not much to do around work, at least nothing urgent.

Again, I will restate my promise to the loyal readers out there, that I will write about the first four meetings with Anna. Standy by.

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