Saturday, November 4, 2006

Sunset Horseman.

I’m sorry ’cause someone told me to watch, and I watched for it all over Spain with my eyes.

The latest short-term relationship must come to an end, this time on my accord, since there appears to be nothing more than suspicious and undesirable crossings. It was the morning following my return to Portland from a family visit to Illinois the evening prior, and I was punishing through rain puddles with a friend who was treading to work on the same path as I was to the university. We crossed over the train tracks and went our separate directions – he to fight the noble fight against local measures featured on this year’s election ballot and me to the Powell & Milwaukee bus stop. I arrived at the depot in time to peer through my rain soaked glasses and notice the bus I should have caught charge ahead to the next awaiting congregation of commuters. So I ducked under the covered benches, waiting to step on the next bus that is due in fifteen minutes. Time is passed by observing a dreadlocked panhandler pacing the boulevard in miserable pursuit of charity and exchanging subtle glances with a stranger standing next to me under the awning. Here she is, the bus has arrived, and as I board I notice that she has also arrived. She is a recently familiar encountress who is intelligent and sitting predictably, almost in a display of planned figurement, in the front of the bus. Oh, unwelcomed surprise.

Communication had been fading between us prior to my just-finished trip, and I planned to use this distancing to begin a typical cut-and-run without any new destination. An obviously immature and emotionless attempt to make for a clean-break without the “whys?” or “what ifs?” Yet, I act somewhat delighted to see her and sit my uncomfortable body on the vacant seat next to her. I immediately direct conversation into a usual exchange common to friends who have not seen one another in a week or so, and then I touch on the only topic of communication we have shared in the past week: Fannie Mae candy. “I received your text message… I wasn’t able to get you the mint meltaways.” She states how that is alright and that they were intended to be given to her boss at the candy shop anyway. You see she is a sweet(s) girl, and that is what I want, but we just do not share much in common other than sarcastic tone and the state of Illinois. Ten minutes of cycling conversation continues and passes, and a building of Advanced Technology arrives. Our stop. Umbrella is visible and functioning as soon as we step off the bus. “You’re too tall” and “I’m comfortable in the rain” fill conversation as we briskly walk up to the division between our two halls of destination. As we approach the divide, I begin to reach for any distraction – in order to avoid the questions pertaining towards a future rendezvous. Aha! I have found the distraction necessary to my spontaneous ploy of distancing in the presence of an old friend. So I gasp her name in exasperation and relief, and give frank words of departure to the familiar encountress –oh, she was late for a midterm exam in French and I did not wish to keep her.

That is where it all should have ended; that is where a clear lack of attention should have been more carefully observed. But there will be no clean-break since I have received text messages (one of the present’s attempts to maintain lines of communication more easily at the expense of intimacy) that will force me to make another physical encounter with her to avoid a more uncomfortable surprise on future commutes.

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