Nonetheless, I say this because this kind of thing has happened before; I've found myself in this position before. So what happened? A very noteworthy time this happened, and really, it's how I roll when confronted by these kinds of things nowadays, was the time it happened with Sara. I've talked about her before, look on the blog post from January, "I'm not bad," for the lowdown on her.
The semester when Sara started in on me came to an end. During the final, she turned her final in before I finished and walked out. I took my time, and did not attempt to chase after her. During the previous Winter break, I met a Mexican girl in Spain named "Monica." The day before I flew home, I made a clumsy pass at her in the train station. We exchanged addresses, but she never wrote me back.
All during my time with Sara the next semester I kept thinking, "What if I just let this one go, instead of getting all panicky like I did with Monica and blowing it for sure?" So I let go of Sara, and I had the Summer session to finish classes and graduate. I had no real reason to think I'd see her again.
But, one day in June in the art building, I rode the freight elevator down. On the second floor the door opened, and there she stood. She faced the opposite wall looking at some papers posted there. I pointed to her and smiled, she turned around, saw me, and started to wave. Just then, the elevator door closed, and I laughed maniacally all the way down.
A week and a half, two weeks later, I hear this giggling in my painting class. Sara comes up and says, "Hi-i!" mischievously as her girlfriends Eva and Cathy giggled behind her. This was great! They immediately go to the elevator and I follow. Sara said something about, "Weren't you in my Latin American Art History class?" Yes, I was, and she left.
The high from that lasted into the next Summer session. In that session I took a painting class with a teacher I had a genuine rapport with, and knew popularity with him and some of the students that I had not known in quite some time. I caught the attention of "Tarashula," top art babe in both of my classes that semester, and that was the beginning of the end. She started talking to me and acting like she liked me. Sara was nowhere to be found, I didn't even know her name at this point, remember. It was coming up on two months since I'd seen her, and it really seemed as if Tarashula represented bigger and better things.
One night in early to mid-August, I went into the big studio to work on a painting. Eva, one of Sara's friends, was there. I'd not even seen her or Cathy since the previous Summer session. Soon after I set up, and the girlfriend Eva was talking to left, Eva starts coughing. She keeps coughing, as if she's trying to tell me something. All she's telling me is that I really don't want to have anything to do with Sara. After all that I'd done, they still just wanted me to jump through hoops. Remember, Tarashula was someone I could actually see and talk to by this point, imagine that. That was when I cut Sara loose.
Tarashula did not represent bigger and better things. She just felt threatened by my attentions to her, and she did not let me down easy. I was so mad at Sara, I didn't know what I'd do if I ever tried to actually get with her, so my mind was made up about her. Even though Tarashula had a boyfriend, I willed it to be about her for this kind of reason. That was the state of things in the coming Fall semester, when I'd still go into the art building to secure teacher recommendations for graduate school.
In between the time I cut Sara loose in the Summer and I went to the school in the Fall, I read a true crime book titled, "Bad Karma." It was about a male Indian student's intense obsession with a female townie in Berkeley in the '60s. It did not end well. I saw Sara the first day of the semester and walked by her and did not say hi or anything close to it. I was determined that I was not going to go past the point of no return with her-however that would manifest itself. It wasn't out of some tender sense of self-sacrifice, it was more like I'd really had enough of her.
In grad school in the Spring semester of my first year, I came to the conclusion that I'd made a big mistake by cutting Sara loose. I tried to make up for it, and see if I could get some of that kind of thing back. I first tried this with "Gwen." I'd made a really bad impression right off at SVA because the move to the tristate area and the culture shock made my usual affect to other people even worse. This move towards Gwen only made things worse. I was the mad villain of the school in some circles, quite a few circles it seemed, actually. I tried to maintain this weird high-wire act, where I tried to apply the lessons I'd learned in my approach to Sara, but with an outcome of securing true, everlasting love. The drama dragged out into the Fall semester. I was really cut off from actually knowing anything about what was really going on with Gwen, and I was determined to carry this torch for her until I saw it through to the bitter end.
I remember the week before Thanksgiving, I rode the subway home. The vibe I picked up from those around me at school gave me the sense that it was time to, once again, get on my white horse and set things right with Gwen. I just had the notion that a lot of people had gotten the wrong idea about me, and that now it was time to set everyone straight. I went to see my sister for Thanksgiving break, and the following Friday back in school, I saw what was maybe my chance. I'd seen her in the wood-shop a few weeks earlier, waved playfully to her, and she just kind of looked at me. I made a point to not go back in there at the same time and day that I saw her, because I wanted the times I saw her to be more incidental. It was Friday night, so I thought, "Okay, she doesn't have a class there at this time, if she's there, fine, if not, I'll just get the waste materials I want for my art piece."
I walked in the shop, there she was, she looked as if she was about to cry. She was very emotive that way, and I knew if I could touch her in the right way, that might do it. She knew that I was not a threat to her, and I just kind of went about my business. At some point, when I was about to leave, I sat on a couch. An asshole ex-roommate from my dorm walked in. He'd spent one semester at the school. His dad was a famous rock star, but if one were to know by this punk, this asswipe acted as if he was the famous rock star. Just an arrogant, asshole prick who was riding entirely on his daddy's name. He acted like he was glad to see me. I mocked him and said, "What the fuck are you doing here?"
For all I knew, he was there to meet up with John, one of our roommates from the dorm. I sat there, Gwen seemed as if she was about to leave, she kind of grimaced as she put on her coat, hat, and scarf by me as I sat on the couch, a space open for her to sit. She walked out of the wood-shop by herself. A few seconds later this rock star's kid walked kind of rapidly out with John. It maybe took me a day to figure out that Gwen thought enough of me to not let me see her walk out with that guy.
For me, I knew what came next. I really came to hate times like this, by this point. It was one of those dreaded, beautiful, transcendent moments that ended up causing me nothing but further grief in the end. I knew there was going to be a bit of a breakdown, and that people at the school, especially those who'd been so intent of ostracizing me because I was that bad a guy, would think I was this endless ever-flowing spring of niceness that some of them might want to take advantage of....
That's it, being taken advantage of. That was the big problem I had with it-along with being treated like the villain of the piece up to this time. I let people know in an undergrad drawing class that I audited, taught by Facebook friend Brett DePalma, that I was not happy about this series of developments. I saw it as me clearing the air, and letting some of those in the class, one girl in particular, where she and the others really stood with me. That was not how it was regarded. I came off as really unhinged, I guess. Over the years I've put myself back in that place, at that time, and tried to imagine things I could have said to come off better. But you know what? At that point, everyone else was in my world, and I was calling the shots, sorry.
One of the things I did that day in that class was assign the role of love interest to a girl named Anne Marie. The next semester came, she dropped that class, and let me know in no uncertain terms that I was not welcome in her world. Again, I had this weird high-wire act going, where I mimicked the way I was with Sara, but I was doing it in the name of true love.
So I would see Anne Marie in the building, but if she didn't want to come up and say hi or talk to me, I just didn't push it. Like it was with Sara, my real priority was to graduate. I found myself on kind of thin ice one time, but I think the head of the department knew enough to just tell the aggrieved party to leave me alone, and I wasn't called into the office and threatened with expulsion, much less actually expelled.
As usual, a lot of people at the school heard about this, including, it seemed, Anne Marie. Anyway, just like with Gwen, I became determined to carry a torch for Anne Marie and see it through to the bitter end. All in the name of making it up to Sara, right? Funny thing was, about mid-semester, Gwen let me know she was available and interested, but I couldn't just jump the train to another track at this point, right? Live by the single-minded romantic obsession, die by the single-minded romantic obsession, I guess.
The second to last day of classes came, and I was on the first floor about to go up to the graduate studios. I remember having a running diatribe in my head where I was bitterly criticizing Anne Marie for not giving me the love I felt I so deserved. As I stood there waiting for the elevator, Anne Marie walked by wide-eyed, looking scared. I remember interrupting my diatribe to say to myself in my mind, "Now let's not push anything on her," as I looked at her. She quietly said, "Excuse me," and walked by.
Some of the girls who seemed to not understand my behavior after my encounter with Gwen the previous semester really seemed to approve of my handling of this incident. Particularly this pretty French girl who was in Brett's class on that day I really went off. Brett, whom she was talking to at this occasion when she beamed at me, and who also didn't seem to understand me either on that day I went off like I did, and, who maybe the day before this particular occasion looked in my direction during his class and forcefully proclaimed that he was tired of artists he knew committing suicide, seemed to be all smiles when I greeted him. There was this really beautiful undergrad girl who "tsk"ed when I passed her by, though. I guess she still thought me some kind of miracle worker.
Cut to the chase: a week or two after school ends, I'm walking through midtown Manhattan. Those shots that one sees of throngs of pedestrians on the sidewalks and bumper to bumper traffic are typically shot in midtown at anytime during the business day. It was just like what one sees in those shots as I crossed the street. For some reason I look over to my right, and there's Anne Marie! I smile as if to say, "You see, I told you so!" Maybe I looked over because her eyes were on me. She walked by in shock.
Again! I did it again! In the streets of New-York-fucking-City, baby! In the days that followed, my thesis advisor Tommy seemed real pleased when he said hi as we passed outside the art building. I figured that maybe Anne Marie worked at his gallery. I saw her just outside of the building in midtown where Tommy's gallery resided.
Some time passed. I graduated along with everyone else. I remember when they called my name, I walked to the podium as if I had an enormous weight on my shoulders. Half the auditorium seemed to chuckle at that. David, the head of the department, seemed really happy to hand me my rolled up degree.
Still, no sign of Anne Marie. A couple of women in the grad school class below me seemed to hint in an out-of-context way that I should go to Tommy's gallery and get her. Oh boy, okay, sure. I go to Holly Solomon Gallery and check it out. I ask the young guy behind the counter if Lance, a guy who'd graduated a year before me, was there. He said Lance was on vacation. I look at the press release for the current exhibition, and I hear a young woman's voice from the next room back. She talks on the phone to someone in a very confident sounding, professional manner. She hangs up. I read a little more of the exhibit brochure, the guy at the front clears his throat, and I walk out.
That whole time I'd beat myself up for blowing Sara off and remembering how I'd passed her multiple times in the hall and ignored her and if I just had another chance and, oh yeah, jump through hoops. Apparently my gesture of letting Anne Marie go and seeing her on the streets of New York afterwards was not good enough in and of itself, and I still had to jump through hoops. I tried to be super nice about it, and I came back the next week or two later and asked the same guy about Lance, but it seemed like what was done was done. So much for Anne Marie.
I find myself in the same kind of place with this woman at this business that I did with both Anne Marie and Sara. I'm afraid that now, once again, is the time where I just have to sit back helplessly and watch yet another one of these women proceed to shoot herself in the fucking foot. But, what good is previous life experiences I can't relate some of them in the hopes that I can head that kind of thing off?
Last September, I talked to "Vernon Hoe" and said, "This girl's in my world now, and at this point in my world, girls like her get cut loose." I did do that, only to now find myself in this same kind of place that I have been before with other women. All those female employees at that business she works at who seem to hint in an out-of-context way about a "first time for everything," or, "I changed my mind, wait," etc. All those people who don't even work there, but who may or may not read this blog, including a fair amount of young woman who seem to be for her, hell I'm for her too, all those women who are not going to step on her deal even if they would otherwise be inclined to do so, have to know that I've kind of been in this same place before.
I don't want to criticize her too much. I come from a family of total asshole types who criticize and judge those around them to no fucking end and then wonder why they don't have any friends. I don't think that there is a "Billy Billiams" type in her life that is putting pressure on her like I suspected with "Jenna." (see blog post from April, I think, titled "Movies") She seems to be going through quite a bit of stress, though. She seems to have cut back to part-time hours on this job I see her at, and I think maybe she's having a hard time in a more financially rewarding but more stressful job. I wish her luck.
Hell, maybe all this stuff I'm going on about how I compare her to Sara and Anne Marie just means that I'm barking up the wrong tree and I'm just wrong in all of my guesses that I've talked about. Still, I have to make a decision about her. What is most definitely true about her, as it has been with so many others before her, is the presence of her absence in my actual life.
At these times with previous women, it's been on these occasions that I ask myself, "Do I really need this person in my life, and what am I willing to do see that come about." Make no mistake, I at least strongly suspect that this woman is now more in my world than I am in hers. Sara and Anne Marie didn't seem to appreciate that fact and tried to pass it off like it was about me having to kiss their respective asses on those occasions when I begged to differ. I genuinely feel as if now, it is not on me to do anything more on my end. Even if this young woman has never read these posts, I sure as hell put in a Facebook friend request for her, so I've definitely done my part to reach out to her. It may not be the miracle romantic gesture I bestowed on Anne Marie, but seeing as how it seemed as if, if that was Anne Marie back there in that gallery in the first place, right, it seemed as if she was telling me that that was not good enough, and it was on me again to prove something I felt like I'd already proven. How am I supposed to take any implied suggestion from anyone, I'm looking at this woman's coworkers in particular for the possibility of this kind of an attitude, that somehow it's on me, once again, to show up?
I've had to fight mightily with family members to even have the right, in their eyes, to write words such as these on a platform such as this. Apparently, I'm not someone who can be entrusted to do something like this without raising the specter that I'm really doing an awful, terrible thing that a family member can thoughtlessly accuse me of with no consequence to them for leveling that kind of accusation at me. Apparently, I'm not someone who can patronize a business where a young woman is employed, because admitting to thinking obsessive thoughts about her on past occasions is the equivalent of a criminal act, and another family member is free to attempt to forbid me from going to this business ever again-how am I supposed to feel about fuck anyone implying that I'm not doing my part for the cause?
If I decide to cut this woman loose in the coming weeks, trust me, it's probably because it's the right thing to do. Sara turned out to be gay, and anything that could have started up with Anne Marie probably would have just gotten in the way of "Jenna Cruz," "Gil Wilson," "Billy Biliams," and .....destiny.
The only difference between now and earlier times, is that at no point since this woman fired a shot across my bow in May of 2015, and at no time in the foreseeable future, have I even attempted to or will even attempt to caste about towards the other women in my world for another love interest. It is definitely not the case that I have been keeping some kind of eternal flame going for her this whole time. Believe me, she has been off my table for months at a time, several times. I am really trying to not do the love interest thing anymore. I think that is where all of my trouble starts, and if I accomplish nothing more with her or any attractive young or youngish woman in my foreseeable future, it is that the era of the near constant presence of a love interest in my head or anywhere else is over.