The last e-mail I got from Tracey was Thursday night, so I had three days to get through before I could finally see this woman I had proposed to over the internet. Three days to do nothing but think about her, and what she might look like, and to wonder if I’d lost every bit of sense I might have ever had. I can tell you I was some kind of nervous . I’d like to give an anology about how nervous I was, but I’m just not that good of a writer. The best I can come up with is to ask you to imagine yourself in my shoes, as a man who had for most of his life done the wrong thing, made the wrong decisions, and who had just taken the biggest risk of his life by proposing to a woman I had never met. Who was taking a last shot at love based only on what I felt in my heart, and the imprinted words of an anonymous someone that had floated across my computer screen over the last few months.
If that in in itself weren’t enough to make me nervous, I had one other minor thing to contend with which was my father was going with me to pick up Tracey from the bus depot. Why would I allow that added strain? Because it was either allow him to take me to pick her up, or go there in a taxi to get her. At the time, I didn’t have a car, nor a license, so going to get her would have been problematic for me. It was either him or the taxi, and to be blunt about it, he was cheaper. Somehow I thought it would make a better impression on Tracey to have my father drive us back to my apartment rather than for me to arrange for a taxi to take us back. It seems absolutely crazy to me, I almost wish I’d still beeen drinking so I’d have an excuse, but the thought of my father and Tracey meeting and how awkward that may have been for her never entered my mind. As I’m writing this I’m thinking I was either certifiably stupid or crazy not to have thought about Tracey’s feelings having to meet me, and then my father in almost the same breath.
Anyway, after what seemed an eternity, Monday morning arrived. I was tired, worried, excited, happy, sad, on edge, calm, glad, hyper, and all the rest of those words that describe feelings and are completely opposite of one another. You say it I probably felt it that morning. I’d spend the majority of the night cleaning an apartment that already sparkled. Armed with Endust, windex, and comet I had scoured every surface within an inch of it’s life expectancy. I’d called my Dad at 3:00 a.m. just to make sure he knew what day it was, and what time we needed to be there to pick her up. At 8:00 a.m. I called to make sure he hadn’t forgotten about me, and when was he going to come and pick me up. I vaguely remember him telling me to relax or something like that, and if I called again he was going to stop on the way and pick up my grandmother to go with us. (You remember my mentioning my grandmother from an earlier post, don’t you?) Being sufficiently threatened, I begged for mercy, promised I wouldn’t call anymore, and hung up.
At 10:15 a.m. I was getting antsy. I’d already opened the curtains, so I could see out to the street where my father would be coming in, but then grew worried that it would take too much time to close the curtains when he came, and would make us late, so I closed them. So I opened the door in order to see when he pulled up, but the wind was blowing, and I worried that dust might blow in and get my place dirty after I’d spent so much time cleaning it, so I closed it. I started peeking through the peephole every few minutes looking for him, and almost had a heart attack when I looked through it for the 100th time and saw his eye looking back at me! I’m absolutely positive that if I hadn’t had a roof over my head I would have been able to touch the moon.
My Father being the calmest man I’ve ever known, and the biggest smart butt ever born preceeded to do what he always does when I’m stressed out. He made jokes. Here I’m barely holding on to my sanity, and my father is cracking jokes, and just giving me hell. Before I even knew it, we were pulling up at the bus station. He parked across the street, and asked me if I wanted him to go with me. I sucked in my breath, shook my head, opened the door, and walked toward the bus that was just pulling up . . . .You’re not going to want to miss what happened next. 🙂