A. Part I – New

Enough procrastination. I’ve been struggling trying to decide how to write this next bit. I’m still not confident I’ll be able to adequately explain everything in a way that makes sense to anyone else. It’s going to take a while to get it all down, but I think it will all tie together well when it’s done. We’ll see.

As I mentioned previously, loneliness was quick to set in again after I stopped having someone to talk to. I went a few days without looking at dating sites before signing back in. I got a few conversations going, and went out with a few people but never had a second date. In each situation neither party bothered to reach out again. Translation: super boring.

One night I was looking through the people suggested by one site and reading profiles and came across one person who really interested me for several reasons. She had a fun summary, but more than that was how one of her pictures stuck out. It was with her back to the camera, sitting in the grass with what I assumed were her kids. I can’t tell you exactly why I liked that so much. It just looked like someone comfortable with life, with her kids and it spoke to me.

I ‘liked’ her profile and tried to figure out what kind of message to write, telling myself I’d come back to it later.

Then the next day she ‘liked’ me back. I wrote her a message I hoped was thoughtful and interesting and waited. She responded.

We talked back and forth, sending a couple messages a day for a week or so. She was fun to talk to, engaging, and asked me questions about myself which felt good. We had similar interests and outlooks on life. She didn’t talk incessantly about $800 shoes. She told me she wanted to ‘learn’ to hike and eventually gave me her phone number and asked me to take her for a walk on a trail.

We set up a day we’d go. Then I asked her out to go out to dinner with me so we could meet before the hike. Just to ensure I wasn’t a murderer before I took her off in the woods. A couple days before we were to meet she sent me a text. She had updated her profile. She wasn’t looking for a relationship. She only wanted to meet a friend. I liked talking to her and told her I was totally OK going on a non-date.

I met A at the Hammering Man statue outside of the SAM on a warm Wednesday evening. She was wearing a long diagonal striped dress, one half white stripes and the other half blue and large, brown sunglasses.

I thought she was cute.

We walked to the ferry, making our way through that awkward first in-person conversation. We missed the boat by a few minutes and decided to have a beer while we waited for the next one. I learned more about her job, she learned more about mine. We talked about kids. The next ferry came and the conversation continued.

We arrived at the restaurant. I ordered tacos and she ordered cioppino. When I asked if she wanted an appetizer she ordered a cup of clam chowder.

Me: You’re having two soups?

A took off her glasses. She had a deep wrinkle on the side of her left eye. When she smiled I noticed her teeth were just slightly off centered. I’d later find out she hated these traits, thinking of them as imperfections. Isn’t it funny how people think the things that make them different make them less attractive but it’s often these same things that make them the most endearing?

Christine had two moles on her face on almost the same spot on either side of her nose. She would cover them up with makeup, and she did that for years until I told her it was my favorite thing about her face.

Imperfection doesn’t equal imperfect.

Now I thought she was pretty.

We talked and joked. The conversation had become easy. I escorted her to the light rail, hugged her and watched her walk away.

We met as planned the following Saturday for a walk and brunch. While on the trail I saw a hummingbird. It buzzed around and then perched on a branch, watching us for just a moment.

I don’t think I’ve talked about the hummingbirds.

After Christine left us one of my cousins sent out an email talking about hummingbirds, and how when you see them they are your deceased loved ones saying hello. Yes, I know it sounds dumb, and I dismissed it. I also started seeing them everywhere I went. They were at my parent’s house after the service. They were at my friend’s house the first time we were all together without Christine.

And now there was one perched looking at us. I still don’t believe in the dead visiting us through birds. But hey, there it was.

I remarked that I’d never seen a hummingbird sitting still before. I didn’t tell A about my other sightings or what my cousin thought it meant.

However, A did ask about Christine. She had stalked my facebook and informed me she knew about how my wife died. We talked about it a bit. She talked about losing her spouse to divorce.

She had to go to a nephew’s birthday after our brunch but asked if I was available to watch a movie that evening at her house. I said yes.

Now I thought she was beautiful.

We met at a local wine bar for a tasting. I wanted to impress her so much that I spent the entire time swishing my glass and talking about the different notes. I figured A wanted to go wine tasting because she was a big fan of wine. I later found out she was, but more as a tasty alcohol vessel and I definitely looked like a pretentious asshole.

We bought a few bottles and went back to her place to watch Gaslight. Her daughter unexpectedly showed up a few minutes into the movie. Neither of us had planned for me to meet her kids, but there we were. Her 14 year old daughter is intelligent and hilarious and watching the two of them banter was great. It was clear right away that they loved each other and had a special relationship. Also, her kid was super cool.

We split the a bottle of wine while we watched the movie. I noticed there was a little bit left and was looking forward to sharing the last. I got up to use the restroom. When I returned A was sitting on the couch. The bottle in the kitchen was now empty and her glass was just as empty as it had been when I left the room.

Here’s the part where I point out that every activity we had done together to that point included alcohol.

After the movie we hugged and I left. We had kept the ‘just be friends’ deal for three whole non-dates. We also agreed to go to a Sounders game the following day. For those keeping track at home we got together four times in five days. We’d also been texting almost constantly.

I was absolutely smitten with a woman who wasn’t looking for a relationship.

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