April 29, 2010

Go! Back to the Past

I just got back from my most recent pilgrimage to Bristol, CT. It's about a four-hour drive, and this latest excursion was marked by a driving rainstorm that made it a longer-than-usual and far more stressful affair. In order to pass the time on this solo drive, I usually listen to the Mets on the radio. Of course, with the weather, they were rained out. Luckily, I had loaded my CD player with a few discs that I had randomly grabbed from my collection.

It's amazing to me how certain songs take you right back into the past - a form of time travel that all of us can experience under the right circumstances. Tracy Bonham's The Burdens of Being Upright was the perfect mood music for the drive. I probably hadn't listened to this album since the late 90's when it was released, which was also the last time I was single, and it had just the right amount of dark mystery to its sound to match the evening sky and the rainclouds.

Apparently, my CD collection had been arranged by era, since the next selection was Letters to Cleo. When the song "Veda Very Shining" came on, I somehow recalled that was the tune which had been playing at a bar on the one and only time I demonstrated any "game" in such an environment.

She was a friend of a friend of a friend of mine who was leaving town, and one of the many folks who met up a local bar for a "going away party" for Charlie -- Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter were also in attendance to say farewell -- and the two of us hit it off instantly.

The girl in question -- I can't recall her name in the slightest -- gave me her number when we came up for air. She explained that she and her friend -- who had spent the majority of the night walking by us, rolling her eyes and sighing heavily -- had not planned on staying long because they were leaving for a weekend trip to Boston that night.

Bargirl suggested I call her when she got back so we could arrange to get together again the following weekend. Upon making said phone call later in the week, she immediately apologized to me, saying she had gone to Boston just to pick up a few things from a former boyfriend's apartment, and to make a long story short, apparently the ex in question was no longer using said hyphenated precursor. "Game" over.

No matter. It wasn't too much longer that I met my wife, coincidentally at a party outside of Boston, though both she and I lived in NYC. (Go figure.) So, your loss, Bargirl.

Still that random trip down dating memory lane made one more stop before I arrived at tmy destination. While trying to recall Bargirl's name, my synapses stumbled across the name of Anna Cody. Anna was a sweet girl I met one New Year's Eve. She was a bit quirky, and I found it a tad odd when she wanted to leave the party before midnight arrived to be "by herself on the streets of New York" and she politely declined my offer to even make sure she got to a taxi safely.

I asked a mutual friend about her after she left and was told that my assessment was correct -- Anna was a sweet girl indeed. However, my buddy Ross told me to tread lightly as she had just been left at the altar. Literally.

Ouch and a half! I did go on a date with her a few weeks later, but really, where do you go from there? To her credit, she recognized that she was light years away from any relationship of any kind. But that's an elephant that never leaves the room, and although her bravery was endearing… well, you get the idea...

As I pulled into the Residence Inn parking lot and rejoined the present day, I thought to myself how lucky I was to be happily married - to not have to deal with temporary hookups and wondering if they were really real, and not knowing for sure if rejection and heartache lay just around the corner, even from a seemingly trusted source.

Then I said a quiet prayer to the universe that Anna Cody was happy too and continued on towards the future.

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