The “R” Files

Attention to Detail

Why open the door to … heartache?’

That’s what he said. My architectural photographer. Well, he’s not mine of course. He’s someone I have been corresponding with. He’s a bit wild looking, with longish black hair and turquoise-framed glasses.

Indeed. Why?

He lives a 55 minute commute away.

‘Why did you start this? You connecting with me? You are a smart woman. I’m not willing to move there; are you willing to move here?’

‘Well, that’s hard to say…’ I muttered.

‘No, it’s not. You would or you wouldn’t. Not hard at all.’

It’s black and white for him. I really live in the gray. Too much perhaps. That gray area…there are so many variables that come into play. How do I know what I would do if I fell in love with someone? I would be a different person with different needs. I would need him. Maybe I would. How do I know for sure if the water is warm without dipping my toe in. But, he has a point.

‘Well, I can’t. My work is here. How could I commute that far?’

‘Exactly. It’s brutal. And besides living so far apart we can’t have spontaneous popcorn nights.’

No, we wouldn’t be able to do that. The … hey, what are you doing right now? Meet me at the corner: I have to see you, touch your face.

‘I like you. You’re sincere and you don’t take any bullshit. You’re real. I don’t want someone I can’t have.’

‘You’re right. I did this not so long ago, met someone, got involved and he was a long distance relationship. Map Boy. And it caused me heartache.’

‘Did it?’

‘Yes,’ I replied.

And then I realized that almost all my connections have been in one way or another, with a guy who was not available. Map Boy was not only a ferry ride away, but he was a married man who recently separated from his wife only a month before I hit on him on the dating site. I saw the separated status on his profile, but ignored. Maybe that was his draw.

The most vital elements in life are often what appears only as a detail.

Trade show a decade ago. I was working as a consultant for an image company. It was all about the first impressions that we make. We were experts in presenting your best possible image using skin care, makeup application, hairstyle, clothing style for your body type. It was quite remarkable the difference we could make in someone’s appearance. A woman stood to the side watching me sell my ideas to passerbys with a cynical look on her face. When she stepped closer I tried my sales pitch on her. She just shook her head with disapproval. Throughout the day she kept returning and forgetting I’d already approached her, would try and coerce her to take my brochure.

“What about the inside?”

“What do you mean?”

“What about the inside of a person? Isn’t that more important?”

“I’m not selling that! I’m selling this…” and I waved my arm to all the products behind me.

Pay attention to the details, to the signal trying to reach us as we keep on with behaviour that isn’t serving us, but like a hamster on a wheel, we keep spinning.

I like this man, this Mountain Man, who tromps through the Valley with his historical maps looking for old bridges, or remnants of. He’s a songwriter, a musician. An artist. We argued good-naturedly the first phone call, like an old married couple. He left me a long rambling message on my machine. So long, I had to sit down to listen to his recanting of his day.

‘You can’t have me,’ he ended our conversation with.

‘I hope you find what you’re looking for.’

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