(A Random Post)

Gin-scented tears

N.B. Sorry, this is a long and boring post.

Whenever I’m with this girl, I always glibly jest that she’s ruined my life, and that because of her I’ll be alone in my room crying gin-scented tears. I don’t think she realizes it’s a reference to 1984. I don’t care.

*****

I met this girl after a December exam in first year. As much as I love romantic movies (like McAdams loves Gosling), I don’t buy into that love-at-first-sight bullshit. But the moment I met her, I knew there was something special about her. And I thought I’d never see this girl again for the rest of my life.

*****

About a week after the Christmas break, I see her in class. I’m still the scared freshman, but for some reason I feel comfortable going up to her and striking up a conversation. She tells me her boyfriend is coming up this weekend. I’m used to getting that from girls, whether it’s true or not, but I think that she’s worth having as “just a friend”. I ask her for her MSN contact right after.

*****

We’re both in the same program, and by the time third year rolls around, we have practically the same schedule. We’re always sitting together. She’ll later tell me that although she sees me in almost all her classes everyday, she’s always happy to see me, converse with me, and even go to coffee with me after class. We chat effortlessly. By now, I’ve realized that I think she’s the most funny, kind, and gorgeous girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. So I do what I used to do in high school when I found out that I liked someone. I made sure she never found out. It’s possible that I was scared of what that means, and was subconsciously distancing myself. I don’t know. But I started saying things like “You’ve ruined my life, woman!” and “Don’t call us friends. We’re acquaintances… at best.” My plan backfired; this became our bit, and we were closer because of that.

*****

Over this last Christmas break, I realize that I have to do something about this. I despise emotions, and right now I’m feeling too much of them. I have to ask this girl out. And yet I’m wracked by self-doubt. Our friendship means a lot to me. Whenever I talk to her, I feel like I’m on pure oxygen. I’m high as a fucking kite. I can’t focus on anything else. I almost got hit by a car once when we were crossing a street together and chatting.

I usually triple check both ways before crossing streets.

I don’t want to fuck up what I have already, but I can’t deny that I’ve fallen for her. Hard.

*****

The start of the new term. I keep trying to get her alone, but I can’t. Timing gets awkward as midterms approach. I curse myself for figuring out what I wanted over Christmas, instead of a term before, when I sat beside her alone everyday in my neuroscience class and then walked her home afterwards. And I wasn’t doing the “I’m walking you home because I want to be on you” trick. I just would come out of class chatting with her, and before I realized it, I was 15 minutes out of my way.

*****

Reading Week comes and goes, and I MSN her, asking her to have coffee with me. We sit in the crowded Biosciences Complex. We’re the only ones without seats, and are sitting on this stage-like ledge in the middle of the atrium. I feel so exposed, and can’t muster the nerve to ask her the question in the present location. So after we finish our drinks, I decide to walk her – at least partly – home. The streets are usually pretty deserted, but that day there were people everywhere. In an appropriately awkward move for me, I drop the question while two large groups of students approach us from both sides of the sidewalk.

“I’m going to have to ask you an awkward question. You’re going to feel awkward. I’m going to feel awkward. We’re all going to feel awkward, and I apologize in advance. Just to warn you, the answer you’re probably looking for is ‘no’. As you may know, of all the people I know at Queen’s, I can barely tolerate you the most… This is a horrible place to ask you something like this…”

“Hey, you picked the place. Suck it up.”

“Anyways. I was wondering if you’d let me take you out to dinner tomorr–“

“Sure.”

“What? Are you sure?”

“Yes”

“I didn’t really plan for this outcome. I had a lot of exit strategies for when you said no. Are you sure?”

“Are you fishing for a no?”

“God no.”

*****

Last Tuesday, I take her out to a classy restaurant. Before the date, she messages me, as she’s usually a jeans kind of girl and doesn’t know what to wear. I offer advice a female acquaintance gave me regarding the restaraunt’s dress code. I think she’s dressing up because of the restaurant. I’ll later find that she was dressing up for me.

Her housemates make her wear these stupid high-heel shoes that are a size too big for her. I tell her to wear normal shoes, but she declines. She walks like a drunk penguin while she’s in them, and I mock her relentlessly for that fact.

Our date is amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better first date. I’m comfortable, enjoying myself, laughing so much at one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. I do the stupidest things due to inexperience, and she just says that I can bitch about it to her the next day (like I do with most everything in my life).

*****

I can’t concentrate on work all week. I’m trying to figure out how she feels about the whole thing, and I come to the conclusion that she’ll give me the “let’s just be friends” speech anytime now.

The morning before our date, I noticed things were off during class. It was as if she was actively avoiding me. I bring this up during our date. She admits that she felt awkward, not knowing what to do since we were seeing each other later that night. I added that it was probably for the better, because we would have run out of conversation options. That’s a lie. That would never happen.

All week, things continue to feel a bit off in class. Thursday morning, I finally get her alone, and say to her, “I’m ready to bitch about the date now. I was going to tell you that you looked really good Tuesday night. But then I saw your ridiculous shoes, and I demoted you back down to normal good. So I figured it wasn’t worth mentioning.” She’s a big fan of Will Ferrell movies, so I think it’s appropriate to say “I immediately regret this decision”. But her response doesn’t skip a beat.

“Am I supposed to take that as a compliment?”

“Oh god no.”

“Ok, good.”

*****

We have a 50% midterm next week, so we decided not to do anything until after that. But I get an MSN message from her on Friday, asking to meet up with me to talk about stuff. I reply with “That sounds ominous. Ominous is bad, right?” She says that it’s hard to generalize over MSN.

I’m completely ready for the big letdown. I’m not ready for what I get.

She starts the conversation off with “I need to know where you see this going.”

“What?” I ask stupidly.

“Well, it’s just that I value our friendship so much. But things have been off the last few days.”

“Yea, I’ve noticed that too. I thought it was just because I’m naturally awkward, but things were definitely off.”

“I really like you. And I really enjoyed our date. I think we have a good thing going for us, and I want it to work out. I just need to know where you stand with this.”

My mind pumps its fist in the air.

“I… really… can… tolerate you too? And I want it to work too. I think the awkwardness in class will pass with time.”

We both smile.

“Umm… there’s something else. I don’t believe I’m going to tell you this.”

And then the shit hit the proverbial, motherfucking fan.

She continues. “Last night, I went out to the Ale House, and made out with some random guy.”

I look down for a second.

She inquires, “You think I’m a horrible person, don’t you?”

I respond quickly with “Not at all. We’ve only been on one date. I don’t care.”

“But I do. And it’s weird, because I’ve never felt like this before. Caring so much about what I do, that I have to tell a guy I just went on a date with. I’m worried because I know myself. It might happen again. I don’t want to hurt you like that, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. If I’m in a committed relationship, I can control myself. But while we’re sort of getting to that point, I don’t think I could control myself. My housemates told me not to tell you, because it might ruin a good thing. But I had to.”

“I’m glad you told me. I think it speaks volumes about your character. Part of the reason why I like you is because I think you’re so moral.” I take a second and soak in the irony of that statement. “Whatever, don’t worry about it.” I knew she had a reputation for not being able to hold her liquor, and I’ve seen her dance with guys before.

The thought had crossed my mind.

And yet I still asked her out.

I tell her this.

She looks pained, and says, “I know what the right thing to do is. I should just party less, because I don’t want to jeopardize what we have going for us. I think it could be a very good thing. But I’m stupid, because I can’t make the obviously right decision…”

“Well, I don’t want you to take that away from you. It makes you happy.” I suddenly do something I didn’t plan to reveal for a long time. I explain to her what Magic is. “It’d be like you taking Magic cards away from me. To be honest, I’m more worried that you caught mono. You should get that checked. I don’t want you to get sick.”

The conversation left the happy, joking tone of norm about three exits ago. Suddenly we’re in the trust tree, and spend three hours laying everything out on the table. She tells me about her crazy shit, I tell her about mine. She now knows that I’ve liked her since I first met her, that I can’t concentrate on anything else when I talk to her. I now know that she thinks she was avoiding me all week because she’s afraid of commitment. She thinks that eating someone else’s face is also her subconscious lashing out at the idea. She’s worried that this means she’s not ready for a relationship.

Three hours later, our conversation sounds normal… for a couple who has been on enough dates to decide on being committed to one another.

It is fucking emotional. I don’t usually experience emotion.

I walk her home. I leave her at the door with, “What you did last night at the bar? It crossed my mind. And ruining our friendship? I thought about that too. I weighed the consequences, and yet I still asked you out. I don’t care about all that shit. Because I’m willing to take that risk. You’re worth that risk. I want this to work.” I inwardly wince. I said some pretty corn-ball lines that night.

She tells me she has to think things through. I thank her yet again for ruining my life, as I won’t be able to concentrate on my midterm.

*****

She MSNs me later that night, telling me that she can’t handle all of this right now, and that we should probably take things slowly and casually date. I tell her that I expected no more before our 3 hour heart-to-heart.

*****

Yesterday, I spend the whole day mulling over what has happened. I’m annoyed that I’m feeling like this. I’m annoyed that I’m causing her so much stress. I’m annoyed that things are so bittersweet – yes, she really likes me, but…

I wish things would be simple.

My heart is hurting all day. I mean, come on. That makes no sense. That’s just bad science.

By the evening, I still haven’t studied at all. I can’t take it anymore. I call her up and tell her I can’t stop thinking about her. About what happened yesterday. She was also mulling over it too, and hadn’t studied either. It’s becoming increasingly evident that we’re poison for each other.

She admits to me that she has a problem dating her friends. That a lot of her guy-friends have asked her out, and she’s never said yes. That she honestly thought that I would be the one that would work. She tells me that she still really likes me, but can’t handle all the “drama” right now. And she doesn’t want to bring me down with her, as we’ve both got a lot of shit going on right now.

I know from the beginning where the conversation is going. In desperation, I try to stall. I start reasoning with her why we should try to make it work. The more unhappy I sound, the more she doubts her decision. But I can’t. I can’t cause her all this grief. She thinks that we worked better as friends, and just wants to return to that. A part of me is pissed, because on paper it looked like this could have worked. But I have to take the high road. I agree that we should probably end this now, before it gets too out of hand. I tell her that if she ever feels like she’s in that “relationship place”, to tell me and I’ll take her out immediately.

She says it’s unfair for me to wait for her, and I tell her I can’t help it.

I also tell her that I’d want nothing more than to still be her friend, since I enjoy her company so much. We spend another hour slowly throwing joke upon joke into our conversation. It’s our unspoken understanding. We’re transitioning back to friends already.

We don’t really know how to end the chat. I tell her that before I die, I want a girl to hang up on me in anger. I tell her that I hope she does that.

Her cell phone battery dies.

I smirk, as she quickly comes on MSN to explain. I message her, “Thank you for that. I can cross it off the list now.”

*****

Amicable end, right?

Wrong.

Come Monday, I’m not sure how I can stare into those beautiful eyes, return to telling her how much I hate her, and force a smile. It almost worked. It almost did.

A don of mine from first year, who once nursed me back to health when I was unconscious from the drink, called me when she found out. Long distance too. I don’t deserve that, but she does it anyways. I let my heart bleed all over her for another 2 hours. During that time, I come to the realization that, although I don’t really know what love is, I’d hazard a guess that I’m in it right now. And it’s not just a knee-jerk reaction from the depressing, accelerated relationship “break up”. This girl has shit going on in her life that she told me about on our date. It’s scary. And yet I wanted to be with her more. To help her. Be there for her. To fix her.

Since I’ve broken out a million cliches already, I feel no remorse whipping out another.

I’ve never cared so deeply for a person before. And now it’s all fucked up.

*****

I told the girl, during our final phone conversation, that I had to thank her for giving me many amazing firsts. My first asking of a girl out, and my first date. And it’s true. Warning her that I was using a dirty euphemism, I told her that she deflowered me (in the realm of dating) in a very pleasurable way.

But because of how screwed up things got, and how emotional and deep things got in the span of one week, I feel like I’ve just went through Relationships 101. I know, I’m probably making it sound like more than it is.

*****

I finally leave my room after speaking on the phone to various people for 5 hours straight. I’ve never done anything like that before. I despise the phone. My housemate and a friend are playing poker. There’s a bottle of gin out. They offer, and I oblige.

Whenever I made the “gin-scented tears” reference, I always realized that I was lying to her. I don’t own gin. I don’t drink gin. I guess it was just some form of foreshadowing. Dramatic irony.

*****

Back to the night we were in the trust tree, and all hell broke loose as we put everything out there. I told her that when we look back at all this, no matter if we’re together or not, we will laugh about it. Because, it’s kind of funny, in a perverse sort of way.

Right now, I’m not laughing.

“He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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