It helps to know that these emotions are not unique. It doesn't make them feel any less sucky, but they didn't last as long last night as they might have if I hadn't been able to check myself with the following wake-up call; "Dude, get over it. This isn't the first time and it probably won't be the last."
Last night, at work, I grew dumb and desperate. When I first got there, I still had my day clothes on and I do look good at my day job. So I felt good. I had about an hour before I clocked in, so I went to The New Employee's department to pick up my ordered merchandise. I got the merchandise. She wasn't there.
But on my way down the escalator, there she was, coming up. She had dark grey slacks on and a purple top. Her hair isn't long--I misremembered that. It is dark, glossy, and shoulder length. Like Chaka Khan, she has a sprinkle of freckles across her nose. (Or am I misremembering that too?) We exchanged hellos, but I wanted to jump the rails and ride up with her.
I didn't, of course.
Finally I change into my all-blacks and cafe apron, and commence to making lattes. There's another new cast member in the cafe who comes from another store. She's English, with a marvellous accent, and she's a ball of energy. She might like the way we Americans soak her up because she plays well to a crowd. I don't have a name for her yet.
Anyway, the drinks felt unremarkable. The thank-yous were not sufficient. Jabberjaw, Snapper, Attention Deficit Annie, and new English lady were my co-workers. Nothing felt special or noteworthy because all my attention was back upstairs with The New Employee.
It has been a long time since I've been so smitten. I hadn't seen her for the last couple of days, and combined with the drama which occured 'netwide in the last week, I had thought that maybe her presence in my life was now tainted and I wouldn't be interested in her anymore anyway. But then there she was again.
And this is what happens;
"She's awesome looking.
"You're an old man
"She's got big dark eyes
"You're probably old enough to be her father
"She could be in her thirties
"She could also have a child
"I could just say something to her and find stuff out
"You could also make an utter perverted fool of yourself
"Yeah, you're right. I'd better just keep it moving
"You're saving yourself a lot of embarrassment.
"But ... how will I ever know if I don't try?
"But how will you ever recover if you try and fail?"
This dialogue was driving me to pure distraction. I haven't seen The Linebacker all week, last night being no exception, but I needed some help. I looked to my co-workers.
At this point you're saying, "No, Alan! DON'T!"
But I so did.
I waggled my finger at Attention Deficit Annie. After all, she's a manager, like The Linebacker is. Annie has certain connections--certain freedoms. So I asked her to do me a favor, but make sure she kept this to herself.
Um, hello. Attention deficit. What part of that did I not understand? I mean, you'd think I never cracked open a psych textbook in all my life. Do you see what this love stuff can do to a rational mind? WHY? Of all the humans working in that store, WHY did I pick Attention Deficit An--WHY?!?!
Well I asked her to find out if The New Employee was "available." Off she shot, like a rocket.
A few minutes later, here comes Annie, into the cafe area, guns blazing. "I can see why you like her!" said she. "She's a spunky little thing! Oh, I like her a lot!" Annie went on to describe the bit of conversation they had as she went up to The New Employee's department and introduced herself.
Snapper was within earshot. I dared not look for Jabberjaw. New English Lady might have been on a break. Won't Go Away Girl may have even heard Annie's convo from her perch. I don't know. I just did what I could not to change colors or otherwise betray how badly I wanted to commit a homicide/suicide.
Energy finally discharged, Annie informed that she hadn't found out all the details about The New Employee--yet. But she liked her, and she said she'd have time to discover everything.
Possibly an hour later--possibly three--possibly an eternity later, The New Employee came to the cafe.
To speak to Annie.
Oh they had such a nice, animated conversation. I overheard her talk about yoga. Her voice is the definition of dulcet. She would put Lauren Bacall to shame and send Bogie scrabbling to his knees in supplication.
Annie and The New Employee, suddenly best buddies.
With nary a look my way.
I mean, not a glance, not an eyeshot, not a periph.
New Employee was ... enraptured by Attention Deficit Annie.
Now, it's a vibe and nothing more. But I felt it rise and fill my head like a backed-up sewer. The New Employee adores Attention Deficit Annie. Like that.
How do I jump to this conclusion, knowing that they had only just met three hours prior?
I don't know. Self-protection? Jealousy? Frustration? Rejected-Man Syndrome?
All I know is, The New Employee isn't sending me any signals. I was making drinks, and she didn't order any. She spoke to Annie at the far end of the cafe, and didn't check on me at all.
So, without making a final judgment, I must still conserve what's left of my energy for the next pursuit. I must try to believe that one bad apple (read; experience--not the girl. I still think she's awesome) don't spoil the whole barrel. There's more fish in the sea. --insert your favor additional cliche here--
I just think that if The New Employee was interested in me at all, I'd know it by now. I get more vibes from guys than I did from her.
So that's where that is.
On the plus side--I didn't eat any of the baked goods in response to the heartbreak, and I had been craving before I had even seen The New Employee, while still in my day clothes. At the point where I was ready to tear into the plates, screaming like a grieving bull elephant, I told myself no. I knew I'd only feel worse.
And this feeling I have right now? It's common. We all have felt it, in varying degrees. I can't plunge into a downswing of despair just because of disappointment. (Well, yes I can. I soooooo can. But I don't want to.) I can be sad, yes. Feel it, own it--and then continue to navigate.
I can, and I will.
But it sure sucks.