Wednesday, November 24, 2004

This is How It Happens

This is how it happens. You're shelving in Transportation one day and one of your coworkers passes by and makes a casual comment. You look up and notice that some time in the last six months he has shed the unique look that made him a cross between Jerry Garcia and Grizzly Adams and you can actually see his face - and it's a very nice face. And you realize that he's also been a bit more outgoing and less...scary. So you think about it for a little while, and one night you ask him out. You're not really that interested, but what the hell.

You go out on a few dates, and things are kind of nice, but then you wake up one morning a few weeks later and realize you are in love for the first time in years. You move in together and proceed to live in a relationship which you think of as The One. You know. The One that will last forever.

But it doesn't last forever. It lasts eighteen months, because he has some issues to work out and a lot of growing and learning to do, so he leaves you and moves out. He dates other people, but you can't and you don't. You leave Big Bookstore because you can no longer bear to work there where the other people he is now dating also work. You can't even bear to drive by Big Bookstore on your way home without crying uncontrollably, so you take alternate routes.

Six months later he is back. He moves back in. You try vainly to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. You try and try and try, but you can't and he won't. He moves out again.

* * *

This is how it happens. You are working at another branch of Big Bookstore, and you begin to realize you have a crush on another coworker. You resist. Not because you have been down this road before, but because he is totally inappropriate and completely lacking in social skills or redeeming qualities. Although you still have enough sanity to realize this, it doesn't help. Reluctantly you give in to the crush. One night, you confide your crush in another coworker. He responds by paying you such an extravagant compliment that you are forced to look at him with new eyes et voila, the old crush is extinguished. Within two weeks you are dating your confidant. You do not yet know that the extravagant compliment is one of the last nice things that your confidant turned boyfriend will ever do for you. A year and a half later, after you have helped him through some incredibly rough times, he breaks up with you by pointedly ignoring your birthday. Another Big Bookstore relationship ends.

* * *

This is how it happens. You are walking around the store with the Trainer talking about various work issues when he stops to introduce you to a new coworker. The new person gazes down at you from his perch on the sliding stairs and offers his hand and his name. The French call it the coup de foudre. You have never believed in it before but now you do, because instantly you are lost.

This is how it begins.


Blogger billygoat said...

This is how it happens. You're reading one of your favorite cow-worker's blogs, and you realize what a great writer she is. Then you think, "Why haven't I written anything in God knows when?"

6:20 PM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

Why haven't you written anything, billygoat? You could start by writing a comment right here about your Big Bookstore heartbreak.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Mediaeval One said...

I don't know what to say.... A very moving piece, even moreso because it's not mere fiction. I do hate that first bastard; and you haven't even told the worst of what he did.

But...Jerry Garcia?! Grizzly Adams?! Why couldn't it be someone Biblical, like Jonah, or David, or Jeremiah? Joshua, at least. Or, more fitting, Absalom.

11:50 AM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

Thanks for the compliment, Medieval One. And don't hate the first guy. I don't. He's still one of the most fascinating people I've ever known, and certainly the most intelligent. And he's also a very, very good friend to me.

2:11 PM  
Blogger billygoat said...

I'm gonna take your style and run with it:

This is how it happens. You meet a girl at The Big Bookstore and she's fantastic. She becomes part of your inner circle. The two of you start hanging at when you're not at work and go to the odd movie and bar every once in awhile. This continues for a few months and she becomes your best friend. Your other friends notice the way you two are together and suggest becoming more than friends. It hadn't really entered your mind, but then you think, "Who better than your best friend?"

So, you start dating. You go on a trip to her old college town and you realize there *is* an attraction. You share a first kiss in the snow and you drive home thinking she is *definitely* special. A few more dates follow and just as things are about to get serious, she gets flaky. There's no other way to describe it. She pulls away at work and becomes hard to reach at home. She tells you she's going to work on a political campaign over the holidays and will be back in six weeks. In a manner lacking in both intimacy and honesty, she e-mails you the day she's leaving for the holidays and campaign, to say that the two of you will talk later.

So, a couple of weeks go by. You e-mail her and call. Trying not to be too desperate, you wonder in your e-mails and calls if she's doing alright. And, of course, why she hasn't called. Nothing. Eventually--and this takes a good month or two--you just hope she'll never come back. You experience schadenfrude(sp?) when her politician of choice fails spectacularly in his bid for the White House.

Then you hear word that she's back in the area--that she may even come back to work at The Big Bookstore. There is no way that the two of you can work together now and you vow to quit if she returns. Although, you don't want to quit. You kind of like your job and you just want to forget about her.

Well, she doesn't come back. Your tries at forgetting her and moving on, are comical. You try not once, but twice, for superficially beautiful girls who lack many of the great qualities your previous girlfriend had. Including an age in close proximity to yours. You waste the whole year on these attempts.

Your friends tell you that you're getting *this close* to pathetic. So, you give up on dating for awhile. One night you go to a friend's birthday party and meet someone. She floors you. She has the intelligence, personality, and beauty you've been looking for, and as an added bonus, she actually likes you back. This relationship may be shiny and new, but it makes your recent past seem distant and forgettable.

8:27 PM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

That was lovely, billygoat. I hope this relationship turns out to be everything you had hoped the last one would be, and more.

And don't listen to your friends. When you stop hoping for love is when you become pathetic.

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damned good writer, this Disgruntled Bookseller.



10:08 PM  

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