…that quite possibly the biggest stand up of all time occurred. Care to take a walk down Humiliation Lane with me? In seriousness it is no longer humiliating, it is now this sort of humorous blip in my personal time-space continuum that makes me wonder about humanity, but beyond that, it’s all good. And yes, Uncle Reecie, I did actually fly 13 hours to get stood up. I honor my commitments. Or, well… something like that.
But no, seriously, here is the deal.
I met someone on the Internets with whom I developed a suspiciously (<– in hindsight) immediate connection. It was really intriguing. For about two months it was sort of all I did; email, phone calls, Facebook, g-talk… whoo hoo. My friends were extremely tolerant of this silliness and for that I will always be grateful.
I proposed manifesting a situation in which we would be able to actually meet each other and it appeared to be well-received. We continued to talk and speculate about the craziness of the adventure we were creating. It was fun.
Time ticked away. I told a couple of people about it – but didn’t want to tell too many at the risk of looking, what? Desperate? Yeah, something like that. One my longest standing and dearest friends was very supportive but her husband was not pleased at all. I should have taken that as a sign, I think it is probably fair to assume that boys can smell boy bullshit better than girls… The object of the adventure said he had told lots of people. I have no idea if anything he ever said is true at this point, but at that point, I was impressed.
I flew from Hong Kong to San Francisco for the long Easter weekend. I chose to make this flight in spite of receiving a text, or was it an email? I don’t remember, except to say it was certainly not a phone call, to tell me, three hours before my flight would leave that he “didn’t think he would be able to make it to San Francisco from Knoxville after all. It was a work thing…”
Are you fucking kidding me?
No, I am not.
(For the record, there was no patent issued, which was the claim at the time so….)
I went anyhow. All weekend we were in touch. I was saved, rather buoyed, by my friend Jill and her friend Jessica and my friend Chris and a couple of other people who will remain unnamed for their own sanity/recent marriage. I also want to say big ups to Ex #2 who was so very sweet to me via text and Facebook that weekend. The weekend passed in beautiful San Francisco style and I remember many phone calls with the man-in-absentia who even took the time to chat with my friend while I packed my shit.
We talked as I boarded my plane back to Hong Kong. He said he felt bad.
On my arrival back to Hong Kong we talked a few more times before he effectively cut me off. I was amazed. Devastated initially to be sure, but ultimately my mind was blown that someone could be so false. So false, that when I pretended to be someone else within his internet web, he borrowed a page from our “connection” and told “me” the same stories with a few little twists lies. Oops, I think you got sonned, poseur.
After that… Nothing.
About a year later I got a random email suggesting an apology and explaining that he could appreciate that I “thought” he was being deceitful.
And so where are we now?
Well, I stand here, a bit humbled to be sure, but mostly laughing. Laughing that I thought it was such a big deal. Laughing that I thought this person in his stupid hipster knit bear cub hat was really anything more than a Facebook profile. [Oops… did not realize that link directed to his photo and full name… even for a guy of his caliber that is a little over the top…] Giggling at what I might have lost for wasting any more time than I did being so upset to have been treated so badly. Tickled to know that I can up and fly around the world on a whim because that is how I roll. Smiling to think that this year took me to the Playa, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Burma, and soon India… and most importantly, home. Although home has some specific geographic constructs in my mind, it is so much more than that. And this year I found it. And the fuck if it was anywhere near a chem lab in Knoxville Fucking Tennessee.
I can talk about all this now because I know I did not act out of desperation. I know I did not act out of some pathetic need for something that had eluded me. I acted on the good faith of humanity, and perhaps a little optimism that may be – on occasion – disguised as romanticism. I believed.
We all have our own shit to sort out.
So, if someone tries to tell you a story about climbing Mt. Baldy too early in the spring, and the trials and tribulations of getting an In-n-Out burger, that story has been played: Payola style. You have been warned… I walk away a believer still. But a wiser one, and someone ever more ready to embrace authenticity, in whatever form it takes.
And that is some Tru Shit.