Friday, August 22, 2014


It's Saturday, August 16 - 14 days in. He picks me up. He whips his Mercedes around as a clutch to the chair, fit at my sides: “Your setting number is 2,” he reminds me, having set it 10 days before. We go to hibachi and stare adoringly. He had pulled out my chair, graciously offering me the seat next to an empty chair and taking the other seat on the corner, next to a twenty something guy on a date.

“You can sit beside each other if you want; no one else will be joining you,” the waitress informs us five minutes later at our grill table set for 12, but seating only seven. He declines and tells me he’d rather look at me. We are the two at the table, the two foolishly falling for each other; the ones I normally roll my eyes at and sometimes envy.

I wipe sauce from his beard, mid-meal. I refuse to catch the shrimp in my mouth. I’m fairly certain the cook thinks I’m just a wet blanket. Honestly, I just don’t want you to blow air in my face with your Pee-Pee boy or fish a shrimp out of my cleavage. Thank you very much.

Dinner ends, we take a short walk – nothing compared to the walk along the water at Georgetown’s boardwalk the previous Wednesday, when we lost track of time and sauntered aimlessly for hours, only to get home by 2am from a 9pm dinner. Then we head back to his car, the seat still at my setting; a little less I clench the sides or whimper as he took note of my previous fast-flying reaction and slowed down. I relax a little and breathe the wind into my hair. We discuss where to go and head to a bar on the way home for a game of pool.

He doesn’t drink. Never has - strike one, my list would suggest. His hazel eyes – a strike of two. The glimmers of green that cascade his brown eyes, I only just noticed the Friday before - just six days past when we met - after I canceled my date with 3 bottle of wine guy to see the Turk. When he came to my house, he was troubled. “What’s wrong,” I asked as he walked into my room. Something had happened to his brother in Istanbul. (He's okay.) So opposed to his normal hyper, I’m met with calm; his energy enigmatic, yet completely transparent. Fuck, I’m taken.

I sit him down, trying to figure out a way to fix his sadness. Watching the tears well up and die down. It's then that I delight in the glimmer of green in his eyes, all while his anguish becomes mine too. He insists we leave. We head to a local diner. On the wall of the patio outside they’re playing “Chariots of Fire”. We get a table, order some burgers and catch up on the film – intertwined even still at our table for three; gripping each other and holding on between the corner’s edge. This is where I’m comfortable.

The calm of that night reminds me who he is when, at the bar for a game of pool after hibachi, he orders a Red Bull with my vodka tonic and bounces off the wall like the frenzied guy I’d first met. But he makes me laugh. 'Thank god he doesn’t drink,' I think, 'maybe he wouldn’t be quite so endearing.' And that glimmer of green; those little glimmers might be what keeps me from moving.

That glimmer that finds me on a wall later that night, half drunk and half terrified at 2am outside the bar: ping-pong, ski-ball and pool have never been quite so unnerving. The green a mystery of the only sometimes seen; it keeps me interested; keeps me searching; it stares at me while he listens to my vodka-honest mad-man rant, consoles me, and then gets me off the wall and back into the car. “You’re beautiful,” he tells the frazzled girl beside him, while she thinks his interest has got to be feigning by now.

We go back to my place. He leaves early this next morning for a soccer game and I don’t hear from him all day. My mind grips back onto panic. All day alone: panic’s playground.

The day winds down and he calls to say goodnight – a now normal nightly routine that at first I thought was crazy and have since come to adore. (Sort of like him.) It’s 10pm. I’ve had all day with my thoughts; the stifling feeling of a caged elephant. The word “girlfriend” - he’s expressed desire to use - scares me. It feels like a loss of freedom: 'Girlfriend' at 30 means a whole lot more than 'girlfriend' at 21. “You sound crazy today,” he tells me after I go on for a bit, “and I just want to like you more every day. One day of like on top of the next on top of the next. One day I want to say ‘I love you.”

What I should have said was, “I’m not crazy, this is just what panic sounds like.” Instead I quickly quipped, "You have take the good with the bad," and changed the subject.

Because he already knew about my “wall” – as he called it the week before with no overtly guarded indication from me. He just knew. And followed that up with "I'm going to knock it down brick by brick. I wish I could use a crane, but a crane wouldn't work."

His admirable perspicaciousness led to another lengthy conversation during our nightly call on Monday. He inquired why I had been "cold" the past two days. And by now I have come to learn that in interpersonal relationships it is better to say exactly what you are thinking than fishing for what you want to hear. And so, there I am completely forthright with him about my concerns and misgivings. He quells my fears and explains what he meant by things versus my interpretations. The thousands of jumping fish calm to the bottom of my ocean. My poetic little Turk - through mildly broken English - ends the conversation with: “You are like my water in the middle of the desert.”

I hang up knowing that I’m losing giving my heart and with it, the power of owning it all alone. It’s terrifying to let go and I'm ever so cautious, but I'm also 30 now and there are really only two ways to handle these situations: 1. Eh fuck it. All I can do is give it a shot because I've been hurt before and I know I can survive. I've got nothing left to lose. and 2. I've been hurt before. AHH!, run because I don't want to go through it again! Then he calls each night, makes me laugh, reminds me that I’m beautiful, texts “good morning aşkım,” and I melt a little more each day.

In two days he leaves for Turkey for five weeks. And I don't plan to move while he's gone. I'm too curious to see where this goes. He did it - not quite "love" as he forebode - but that little mother fucker did it: For the moment he (in part) has kept me here...just like my mother predicted.

Mom, You'll be happy to know I should be home for the holidays. I'm happy too.