Still, this year marked the first time since I left for college that I've attended a family Seder. Even when I'd last attended, my family's Seders were strange affairs. There's not a one of us that can carry a tune, so singing is always cut short if it's even endeavoured in the first place. This year, with my two year old niece involved, things were even more abbreviated. We barely hit two of the four glasses of wine, and aside from me, nobody is much of a drinker in the family. Thus, was I sent home with a bottle of kosher chardonnay. I would not ordinarily drink kosher wine, nor chardonnay, but free is free.
Now, I have a bad habit. I game on line. It comes and goes, depending on what else is going on in my life, and there will be times where I won't log in at all for a couple of months, or even years. As somebody who lives alone, and with a limited number of friends in the area, and with erratic schedules, it's a nice way of having people to talk to at strange times of day.
So, upon returning home, I logged into the game to see who was about. Soon afterwards, another character logged in as well. Somebody who I knew, and was friendly with, but hadn't really spoken to in a long time except in a general joking patter.
"I can't believe how tipsy I am," she announced on a semi-private line.
"Drunk on kosher wine?" I enquired.
So, we started talking of Seders, and I poured myself some more kosher wine. Conversation drifted to other subjects, and I found that there was more to this person who'd only ever seemed a slight amusement before.
From there it could easily have dropped. But a few nights later, we were talking again with various other people. Somehow, though I couldn't tell you how, the subject came to toes. (I, personally, am convinced that I have dreadfully ugly feet, a consequence of years of waiting tables and the like). MG claimed to have perfect co-linear toes, which is to say toes that have a perfectly straight slant. To prove it, she turned on her webcam, and showed us her toes. Afterwards, she returned the cam to its usual position.
Now, if anything webcam girl instills more fear in me than actual fascination. But it wasn't like she was stripping for the camera or anything. In fact, she was just sitting and typing. She was pretty, but I'd seen a picture of her before, so it wasn't a sudden revelation of "wow, she's hot!" But then, I made some sort of joke to her, and I saw the smile cross her face.
Whenever people ask the question, "What do you notice about a woman first?" I'm always stuck. There's something of an either/or aspect to the question that's in the subtext. Really, they're asking "Are you noticing her eyes, or her chest?" But really, it depends on the woman for me. I really enjoy looking at women, I will not deny that. I consider it one of the perks of the subway is that there are so many women to look at. And my discovery has been that most women have something extraordinary to see. Yes, I might see a woman who fits some cultural norm for hot in our society, or it could be the way she reads so intently that her tongue sticks out a little bit. Sometimes it's something so little, like a finely shaped earlobe. For MG, it's what her face looks like when she smiles. When that first smile passed over her face, I knew that I had to see it again. More than that, I knew I had to be the one who caused it.
So, I started telling her stories. I've always been a storyteller. Not only do weird things seem to happen to me, but I have a way of fusing them so that they have some semblance of meaning as to who I am.
A few days later, we exchanged numbers, and moved a lot of conversation to the telephone.
After about a week or two, though, I was worried. I'd told her most of my best stories. I don't know if I'd ever run out, but there are those which I could name right off, and those that only would occur to me if the right comments were made. What if we were talking one night and I ran out of stories, would she get bored of me? It's a silly fear, but when are fears not silly? And I'd been talking to her every night, and it's been a long time since I'd spoken to any one person that regularly.
So, one night instead of some story about myself, or just general conversation, I started telling her a bedtime story. I had some idea of how it would begin, but largely, it just flowed in whatever way it chose, and then I stopped, and told her there'd be more the next night. And so, I continued, taking our young heroine into an underground world where ghosts ride trains and eat casseroles, and cell phones are mined already ringing with calls from telemarketers.
And I wasn't just telling the story, but I also began making a few illustrations to go along with it. It was a ploy, but not a ploy. I'd told bedtime stories before, but this one was better. I wasn't just creating it for her, but because I wanted to create. Because I spent too much time saying "I should write something" and not enough time actually writing.
When we met in June, she told me it was when I started telling her the story that she knew she was falling for me. It might have been earlier for me, but I think that's when I knew she was worth falling for.
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