Chasing Anna - May 17, 2002

by Joe Ruelos

Well, one week later and things have changed again. I guess things are always changing. I feel like a better person, though, for all that has happened, and if anything, as they say, we know better now. Haven't the slightest clue what I'm talking about? Maybe someday I'll write about it, just make sure to remind me with something like, "So Joe, what happened between May 4, 2002 and May 13, 2002?"

It's hard to believe that I've been at my apartment for less than two months now, but it's felt like I've been there longer. Maybe I've crossed the line from "is this a dream?" to "wow, this really is my own place!" Hard to imagine that, two months ago, I first contacted my roommate about getting a place -- we go way back to the days at Loyola College and years later when I played in his rock band. Hard to imagine what it would have been like two months ago had someone told us about what would happen in the coming two months. Obviously we were expecting good times (and some bad too) in the coming year. But if you told me two months ago about what I went through in the last two weeks, I probably would have laughed. Hard to imagine how I would have reacted if you mentioned the name Elena Duarte and entertained me with a tale about how a charming, seemingly innocent, yet convincingly manipulative, 19 year old player from Spain would storm through town like a tornado with a vengeance. Hard to imagine how such a tempest would change my life forever by tearing down in two weeks the barriers that had been built up over many years. In retrospect, perhaps almost as if I was reaching for nothing, I amused myself with the thought that she was angel sent to help resolve the problems I've had with my parents and brother. How fitting that someone with fewer years could create such change with her actions and virtual wisdom. And I thought I was done with 19 year olds.

And imagine the timing. How fortunate that I moved out of my parents house when I did, because if not, I would have still been living there when Elena arrived in mid-April for her month and a half visit. How different would have things been? Would she have even come for a visit? Would I even be writing this journal now if I didn't move out at the end of March? Oh the endless possibilities. It's scary to think about what could have been if things happened differently. I still might have taken an interest in her, simply because of her beauty and will of instinct. But being the apparently sheltered house-dog, I would have been in a poor position to get along, on an equal basis, with her vagabond soul. Or would she have even shown me that side of her as she did in the last two weeks? Nonetheless, we would have probably connected on certain levels in one way or another. Bottom line is, this whole apartment thing opened up a whole new set of circumstances that probably would have been different had I not moved out. Stay tuned!

Sadly enough, some things are left unresolved in that fiasco. And it seems that the best opportunity for closure, at least her departure from this country, will be apparently May 30, 2002. From the beginning, I've tried valiantly to distance myself from it all, going back to mid-April, when my mom requested on a few occasions that I show her (our new visitor) around Annapolis. I kept my distance with a resolve to remain uninvolved, and rejected with "Oh I don't know where to go, I would just be a buffoon of a tour guide, and I suck with the ladies." However, my compassion for her situation (having to stay at my parents house for 2-3 weeks!) and perhaps also my loneliness allowed myself finally to be drawn in on Saturday 5/4. After a few days which turned out to be a worth-remembering time of my life, the first attempt at letting go was Thursday 5/9, when I decided took a day off of work so I could hang out with her on what I thought would be the last time that I would see her. But I was rapidly drawn back into the whirlpool late Friday night into Saturday morning 5/10-5/11 in what my roommate and I perceived to be a Rambo-style rescue mission. By Sunday evening 5/12, with about 30 minutes of sleep in the last 30+ hours and after a completely inhospitable fallout, I was able to establish an arm's length distance again until the next day, Monday 5/13, when I felt an apology was in order. After taking the day off of work to sort through things and spend the morning with her in the hotel room before driving her to the airport (she was flying Norfolk to meet my brother, her supposed boyfriend and fiance), Monday afternoon seemed to be the final moment of closure, of making my peace with her, of letting go, never to see or hear from her again.

And so it seemed like "that was it", until last night, Thursday, 5/16, when foolishly, out of curiosity, boredom, and loneliness, I made contact, by tracking the venues she had frequented online and going there myself. After a fairly neutral and friendly session of yahoo messaging and loss of sleep (as before), I've currently decided to create yet another span of distance until further notice. At one point last night, not sure if she was serious, she informed me that she wants to have one last visit from 5/28-5/30, just before she leaves for good, but I told her that all parties (my brother and parents) must agree to it. What I really wished I would have said was that, "I'll only let you come over if my brother AND my parents give me an order to do so." However, vale (pronounced in Spanish, "vah-lay", meaning that's how it goes, or similar).

I promise one day to write in further detail about all of this Elena nonsense about which you are probably curiously scratching your head and wondering, "what is he blabbing about?" It'll be better when my head is a little more clear and objective, and when discussing these matters on a "matter of fact" basis won't be quite as touching as it is now.

As for Anna. Yesterday at work, I came up with a resolve to talk to Anna as a person, no longer holding her high on a pedestal as before. And my hope is to convey to her my regrets for not being more direct with her, so much so that she "got away". The thought is, although she has slipped away for now, I still hold out hope that there is a potential future for us, sometime sooner or later. At least we should be given a chance to test it out. Had I been more direct from the beginning, upon our first encounter many moons ago, things would be drastically different now. I've learned (I hope), in the last week or so, several things about myself and how I fit in this world of many different people. Best course of action is to take risks for the things we want, even if the consequence is loss. We've all known this since childhood, when we fell off the bike and hurt ourselves for going too fast over the bumpy, rocky road. For almost a year, I was convinced that Anna was the last one for me. If that is true, I should not give up now, given the current road block of her recently seeing someone for about a month. If she is to be the last one for me, I need, at the very least, to have given it a shot, a real shot, instead of playing childish games of getting someone else to talk for me. If she is the one, then I should not be afraid. We'll see what happens.

[ | Chasing Anna Index ]