Dearest Rachel –
I’m not entirely sure what prompted it; I think it was some comment on the possibility of an impulse trip this autumn (despite already having lined up this immensely long cruise next spring). I’d probably gotten the idea in my head after inviting the girls over to, among other things, share in watching this A Place Farther Than the Universe anime I’d discovered over the last weekend – if and when that does happen, it’s apparently not going to be this week, as Ellen will be headed downstate to see her mom. On the other hand, she’s supposedly returning on Sunday, so maybe the Memorial Day holiday itself is a possibility (although she’s bringing her mom up with her, so probably not)?
I mention the anime not just because it might have been something interesting to share with the others, but because of what I’ve managed to see since then. During the convention, I’d walked into the screening room in media res, so I’d missed the first episode entirely, and probably a respectable chunk of the second as well. However, I found the first episode on YouTube (although the rest will require a bit more searching), and caught myself up with the story. The original lead character (and yes, it shifts between the four main girls as to who’s truly the ‘lead’ – indeed, as you’ll see, Kimari is least qualified for the role) is somewhat aimless in her life, with every day passing much the same as the day before, just trying to keep up with her classes and whatnot; you know, the typical high school life. Somehow, she comes across a notebook in which she had listed things that she wanted to do with (or in) her life, and she has a minor breakdown as she realizes her high school career is half over, and she hasn’t done a thing on that list. One of those things is to ‘travel without a plan’ (another is to ‘skip class at least once,’ which I’ll admit I never did, but obviously both of these can be done in a single attempt), and out of this – combined with a chance meeting with another, more single-minded girl, is what gets the story rolling.
Anyway, that’s a long and involved introduction to the fact that the subject came up after dinner last night about the idea of just hopping on a flight to some port city, and taking off at the last minute to… wherever. Obviously, not the most brilliant of ideas – I really need to focus on arranging excursions for the trip I’ve already got planned, among other things (to say nothing of the fact that I’m still not entirely satisfied with traveling alone; it’s infinitely easier to do things on such an impulse, sure, but once you’re underway, then what? Without anyone to share it with, what’s the point? All it boils down to is sightseeing and writing everything down for me to send it to you. There’s none of this real-time “oh hey, look at that! Isn’t that cool?” interplay going on. I miss things you might have homed in on, and there’s no conversation to be had.
Somewhere along the lines of this discussion, Dad mentioned that “I know we don’t believe in the concept, but wouldn’t it be just your luck that, just as you’re about to leave on this trip, you’ll have found somebody, and have to leave her behind?” ‘Sorry, dear, but I’ve booked this trip, and I’m not going to be back for the next three months! Ta!’ Yeah, that wouldn’t cut a lot of ice with some girl that I’d met and started something with, now, would it?
The irony is that it might yet be a possibility. I hadn’t said anything about her up until now because our conversations are relatively short and far-between from one exchange to the next (as well as the risk of jinxing things by mentioning them to you), but I’ve actually been carrying this one with someone who just moved to the area (well, she was in the area beforehand, but just moved to the same town) to watch over her parents – it seems that, in a reversal of your family situation, her father is the one dealing with Alzheimer’s. I’d actually spotted her profile on both dating apps, and may have communicated with her on the original one (albeit to little apparent effect, as I didn’t keep a record of our conversation, such as it was, like I did with so many others), but on this one, we’ve actually started talking.
Or more like, resumed talking, as we were chatting off and on back in late December on into January, at which point, she went radio silent. I didn’t pursue the matter, having other things to deal with then and since, but just this past week or so, she reached out to me again. With the school year coming to a close (being a teacher, she’s been busy with her job), and her subscription running out (as I guess she must have started it shortly after the end of the last school year), she wanted to be able communicate outside of the app with me. As always, I’m open to that, and we’ve been talking – again, still fairly off and on, taking things slowly – ever since.
Her speed, or lack thereof, gives me a good feeling that she’s real in a way that most of the encounters I’ve had online haven’t been. As she’s been single all her life, she’s been expressing an honest unsureness about whether looking for someone at this point in her life is really worthwhile. She hasn’t gone into any detail about what she’s encountered online (and, to be fair, neither have I to her), but I suspect that might have a bit to do with it, and that’s understandable. With that being said, she’s letting me know that this may not work out either, as she may decide that the pursuit isn’t right for her, be it now or ever. It’s a far cry from these women who insist on throwing out terms of endearment upon first connection, and actually rather refreshing, if a little less reassuring. And for what it’s worth, she tells me she continues to pray about the wisdom of her decision, which is also a good sign (although it’s also a bit humbling, as I don’t do that often enough, having basically left it up to Him to work things out without constantly running to Him about it; I figure if He doesn’t want this or that person in my life, He’ll throw up a roadblock or put up a sign, and I can react accordingly, but I admit to not often find myself pressing Him on the matter much anymore).
Her name even could translate to (or from, depending on the direction) Megumi. Again, a literary editor might tell a writer to ease up on the naming, as it’s a little too ‘on the nose,’ but that’s where things stand. Still, we’re not quite to the point of meeting up, and there are certain differences to resolve – and I’ll admit to not really having my hopes up or my heart set on her, either. So, we’ll have to see what happens…
…especially once next February rolls around. Like Dad says, wouldn’t it just be my luck?
Anyway, keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.