"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Carla Story

There are a number of reasons I've been posting less on this blog - blogs are disappearing in general, I've posted daily on my movie blog and that's taken up time, I haven't run much and raced not at all - but also, I started seeing someone and, let's face it, relationships are time-consuming, if in a rather pleasant way. Well, that last excuse is gone and, for some reason, people seem to like my personal posts. So here goes...

She just showed up in my life, as we ended up in the same place at the same time on a regular basis. We're both people that tend to be remembered and at least part of that is that we're both a little weird, so when I didn't see her for a while, I noticed. In fact, I missed seeing her, though we hadn't even spoken. Then she showed up again one day and I said rather cheerily "Haven't seen you in a long time!" She sputtered out "Ga ki bah di mmmm...." shaking her head up and down and I found it completely charming (irresistible, really) that she was completely flustered that I deigned to speak to her. "Hi. I'm Steve," I added. She responded, "I'm waiting for a taxi." Non-sequiturs like that were going to be common in the rare occasions she spoke.

I have a tendency to fall for women that have qualities I wish I had and Carla (not her real name; her real name doesn't suit her) had an ability to do some things easily that I just can't, basic life skills that I really should've mastered. I in turn had some abilities she didn't, most notably her being nearly non-verbal made a lot of things difficult for her and I have a knack for deciphering what people need who can't explain things for themselves. [No, I'm not available for babysitting]

Getting to know her was a painstaking process, because I couldn't just ask her a question and get an answer. I discovered that I had misjudged her age by a lot - I noticed first that she didn't have any real sun damage to her skin, then that she didn't have any fine lines at the corners of her eyes; I was dating age-inappropriately. I also discovered, to my surprise, that others found her physically attractive and assumed that that was the only reason I was interested in her. I had to mull it over: tall, slender, blonde, blue eyed, with a tendency to show off her legs in short shorts and skirts - yeah, I could see what they saw.

Only photos I have don't show much (she's very camera shy):

80 degrees and wearing a hoodie - staring at nothing

Jaywalking bag lady look

Eventually, her weirdness was getting to be a bit much, even for me. She carried things in a Zip-loc bag rather than a purse, though I bought her a nice clutch in her two colors: red and black; it was practical - she could see what she wanted through clear plastic. I never saw her eat; she drank an enormous amount of soda (yet her teeth are perfect), but in six months I never saw her eat. I once saw her sorting laundry on a public bus, sniffing things to see if they needed to be washed, testing the elastic on a bra, etc. When buying something, she'd often find herself short of cash and would ask me or strangers for money; it didn't matter to her who she asked. For reasons I never figured out (it might have to do with attention or hearing), when she made a phone call, which was rare as she rarely spoke, she'd bend over - and when it got colder and she started wearing tights under her shorts, this would cause the shorts to slide to her knees; if she weren't wearing the tights, she'd be mooning the world; at first, I just pulled them up for her, later I'd tell her to pull them up, eventually I just stopped caring.

I figured out that what "gifts" she had turned out to be a simple lack of shame. If she wanted something, she did what she had to do to get it. That was so foreign to me that it seemed charming for a while. I tend to fall in love with an idealized version of someone and then, as I learn details, substitute loving the real things for the imagined. As I realized there wasn't anything that was going to work out or improve, she moved on to another guy, who quite frankly, seems a better match.

No comments: