Wednesday, December 9, 2009

She's Not The Human Race

So I've been shadowing Randall for a little while, popping up every now and then as he went to his local places. Marley found out from following his fiance that the wedding was actually a few months off, so we had time. You can't take too much time; you want to set your inspiration in before his doubt gets too great, otherwise you risk letting them go beyond help. It started with a conversation over the football game that was on. He's a Giant fan, like me, and we've both been a little frustrated for a lot of the season. Good thing he's not a Dallas fan; it was hard enough accepting the idea of helping people, I don't think I'm ready to extend it to someone who actually likes the Cowboys. So, I tried to steer the conversation towards girls and relationships, but he was a little more guarded than most, even with a few drinks in him. This was gonna take some time.

Anyway, after that, I'd see him from time to time, and usually I'd just swing by and say hello while he was rapping with his friends. Then one night, when I saw him by himself, I appeared and struck up talks. Finally, he told me he was engaged.

"Wow! That's awesome dude!"

"Yeah," he said. "It's not easy though. It's a big step."

"But you're ready, right?"

"I guess so."

"You guess so?"

"Yeah. I mean, you always wonder, right? It's like, I'm thirty-two. I've never been engaged before, but you know, years ago, like, just a couple years out of college, I met a girl I thought I was gonna marry. Man, I was so in love with her. Then, I had this job, I was a writer at a travel magazine, and we got downsized after 9/11. A few weeks after that, she dumped me."

"Because you were unemployed?" I asked.

"I don't know, at the time I didn't think she was shallow like that, but the timing was pretty suspicious."

At this point, once you've figured out what the problem is, it's often better to say it before they do. It makes them feel like you really understand. So I said, "And you're worried that if you get married, what if your wife flakes on you when there's trouble."

"Exactly, man! It's like, how can you trust anyone?"

"Well, you know, ask yourself, have you ever dated anyone who didn't bail when things got rough?"

"Well, nothing that bad ever really happened before."

"Anything though. Even a minor crisis can say a lot about how people respond."

He said, "OK, then, yeah, sure."

"Well that's what you should base things on. Not to cling to hope based on the slightest glimmer, just to know that not all people respond with such negativity." Then I went in for the kicker. "If you base your life on your worst experience, you're never gonna find any satisfaction for yourself. You might as well give up now. Go hole up in your room and try to forget how alone you are by playing video games. I've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and I'm telling you, if there's a risk, it's NOTHING compared to the chance of letting that happen."

He smiled, and asked, "You got a girl?" I grinned too and said yes. "How long you been together?"

"A few months now."

"Going well?"

I smiled again. "It's forever."

I looked up and Marley was there in spirit mode. She looked at Randall and gave me the thumbs up sign. I finished my beer and left.

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