It happened about a month ago. I was standing in line for BBQ’ed chicken at the supermarket. My only stop at this supermarket for almost a year. Funny that. You passed in front of me, and looked me in the eyes just briefly. Just like me you were unsure if you knew me or not. When I walked back to the car I was almost convinced I knew who you were. I couldn’t shake the feeling of warmth you gave me or how beautiful you looked. Something told me I had to find you. So, I looked you up and sent you a message on Facebook. “Was that you I saw?” You replied that it was. I suspect we both had a good understanding about who we were looking at, but this is Norway after all. We’re not Americans or Spaniards after all. We just don’t stop and talk to strangers unless we are absolutely sure we know them.
We couldn’t stop talking after that. We met again shortly afterwards. Two adults, a six year old and a three year old dog. We talked for two hours while your daughter and my little dog ran around playing. Without hesitation you invited me to come with you and your little family to a family park with lots of fun rides. It’s those places you can’t really go to unless you have children. Everything felt so natural and right. Not once did it feel awkward. It was the best day I’ve had for so long. As long as I can remember. And you know why? Because I felt normal. I felt part of society again. Considering my age it was the right place to be and the right thing to do. And I was with you. I didn’t feel like a nerd sitting at home writing novels. I didn’t feel lonely walking somberly alone with my dogs in a suburb full of happy families. I didn’t feel down because I was drinking beer with lonely guys above my own age staring down their failures in life. I wasn’t scared I might end up like them any longer. I was happy because I felt normal. I was in a family park, doing family things. It didn’t feel awkward because it wasn’t my family. I felt part of it. It felt right. I can’t thank you enough for that day when everything felt right for me. You included me on your family trip without hesitation even if you didn’t know me that well. I can’t thank you enough for trusting me and for giving me the chance to prove myself. I do not know what I have done to deserve your trust so quickly, but I will never abuse it.
I am yours now. I was hit by a lightning and I will never be the same. So, I’m tearing down the walls I have built around myself once more.
To quote Jeffrey Sinclair in Babylon 5’s War Without End Part II (even if it is corny 20 years down the road);
All my life I’ve had doubts about who I am, where I belonged. Now I’m like the arrow that springs from the bow. No hesitation, no doubts. The path is clear.
There is only one question I need to ask you. I think I know the answer, but I am still nervous about it. I feel like I have burned my hand once, and afraid of doing it once more. I think it will be alright. It feels like it will be alright.
And even if all fails, I will still remember the day when everything was alright.
I am not someone who does anything the traditional or stereotypic way. I always had different hobbies and interests than my peers. I was a teenage-geek and I didn’t even know it. I was the one who overdosed on an epic five-year 90s sci-fi show saga called Babylon 5 and spent countless hours talking about it online. I cried like a baby in the bathroom when the last episode aired. I was the one spending hours chatting online (who remembers mIRC?) to Americans and Brits before most could even get themselves online. I was into Aerosmith and rock n’ roll when everyone else was listening to the Backstreet Boys. I wore my TNT shirt with pride when TNT wasn’t cool (they still not cool though). I wasn’t pulling my pants down or put some kind of skateboard cap on my head to act like some kind of weird countryside wannabe New York gangster. Oh yeah, perhaps I should have done the pants though. I had no sense of fashion and the girls stayed the fuck away from me. In other words, had no luck with any girls in my hometown(s) or in my own country until I was about 21. Not that weird really. I was never around. Never out. Never at parties. I didn’t know anyone for them to invite me anywhere. No one knew who I was anymore. I had alienated them all in my geeked out interests no one else cared about. I wasn’t even keen on riding a moped! I would rather stay home to watch Formula 1.
Speaking of friends, it wasn’t until I started talking to a girl from Texas online that I finally found one. I think it was 1999 when I first started talking to her. Maybe 1998. My childhood friends were long gone in another direction than me by that time. I didn’t really care. They bored me. She didn’t. She loved Babylon 5 after all. Her name was Amber and she was my American counterpart. Insecure, shy, lonely and had a thing for science fiction and rock n’ roll. There was no one like around my parts. A sparsely populated country have its flaws. I had to stretch across the pond to find someone.
Being a lost and insecure countryside geek can be lonely and frustrating, but it can also open doors many mainstream people are not able to open. That’s why I found myself all alone on an American Airlines Boeing 767 heading to Texas in July 2001. She was my dearest friend, and I wanted desperately to see her. My mother was two shaken heartbeats from a heart attack when I left that morning. Don’t worry. Boyfriends that got in the way, excessive pot smoking, counterfeit money and semi-criminal behavior set aside – it all went well and I came back in one piece. Since then, being the untraditional way that I am, I have done many things that means much to me personally. I am quite pleased. Maybe it is like how someone told me recently; that those of us who went this far with our online presence (merging it with reality ) back then can now benefit greatly from it. I know I am.
I couldn’t do education traditionally either, so I went with healthcare. A typical female type of work. Then I went to college and chose Educational Research (Pedagogy). Another semi-female type of work. I aced that one by the way. First and only time I’ve gotten an A on anything. With healthcare I spent years working nursing homes. Fact is, I was rather good at it. I had a knack at professional care. I had a talent for working with elderly and children all the same. I spent almost three years working at an elementary school as well. To say my co-workers have mostly been middle aged women would be an understatement. But, I don’t do anything traditionally, in case you still didn’t realize.
The only traditional choice in women I did was dating a girl from my hometown. This blog will be about relationships and failures so why not mention it. She was a lovely, pretty girl with lots of naivety. I loved her like a dedicated pushover. I was 21 and she was 18. We stayed together for two years or so until she wanted to do something else. Or perhaps sleep with someone else. She was 20 and bored of me. I can’t really blame her for that. I was in love and rather boring.
So considering women, it was back to untraditional. And so the story begins.