To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.
~ Federico García Lorca
I moved across the country for a job. Not just any job but a career, an all-consuming one. I moved to have a better life for my son and to do work that is making a tangible difference in the lives and education of children in the United States. I did not come here to “hook up” with anyone.
Friends and acquaintances, who are familiar with the history of my less than stellar dating experiences, told me I would find a nice man in Texas. In response, I mostly tried to keep myself from audibly rolling my eyes and would instead smile politely and say something along the lines of: “Well, I’m going to be really busy, so I don’t think I will have time for that anyway.” I also kept myself from saying that I might be just as happy to find a nice woman in Texas because that hasn’t been, until recently, a conversation I have been comfortable having openly.
But that is neither here nor there because what happened is while I was busy taking my self so seriously and not at all looking for romance, I met my soul mate. The problem is that he doesn’t know.
It turns out my friends were right: I did meet a “nice man” in Texas. I traveled 3,000 miles to fall for a guy who is from the same state I left, the same city, the same university. We even know some of the same people, but we met for the first time here. at an elementary school. in Texas. Oh the irony.
When we met, we geeked out about dual language education, about how important it is and how it can change the world. We bonded over tattoos, Northwest culture and our love of Jarritos. We have spent hours talking about any and everything. We have the same weird, often inappropriate, sense of humor, and for maybe the second time in my life I have that feeling of coming home, of being home, just by being in the presence of a particular person. And it’s beautiful… and confusing.
We sit together on the bus on the way to and from school almost everyday. We have dinner together. During training sessions he will come sit with me and/or he will come and find me during breaks and between classes. He walks me to my room, holds my things when I have too many, etc. We spend a great deal of our “free time” together, and we can’t seem to sit a normal distance away from each other. Some part of us is always touching, even if we start out separated, within minutes we have moved together. Our knees touch while we eat dinner. Sometimes I pull away to test and see if it’s just by coincidence, but his leg always finds mine again. He doesn’t do that with anyone else. Yes, I’ve checked.
When we are together, we are like two peas in a pod. We have inside jokes and conversations other people can’t follow. I mean, seriously, we are fucking adorable.
And I’m pretty sure he is mi medianaranja… but sadly, he does not see it.
Maybe it is because I am not blonde or maybe it is because I have a kid or maybe it is because I don’t party or some other multitude of somethings, but the point is he’s not interested in me… at least I don’t think so. I haven’t actually been able to get a straight answer… which of course is the answer. And pushing for an answer has only resulted in pushing him away.
And today when we did finally sit down to have “the talk,” it was clear that regardless of the numerous indications to the contrary, friend was all he ever intended to be. Unfortunately, friendship now feels very awkward.
So in the span of a few short weeks, I found a rare someone with whom I felt a profound connection, but then essentially I lost him, solely because I wanted to keep him… this person I wasn’t expecting to find, because I wasn’t even looking.