Friday, April 01, 2005

The Dateless Boy Wonder

She had deep brown hair that cascaded far enough along her neck to just tickle her shoulders. She had these amazing deep brown eyes that sparkled when she laughed. Mix that with tactless honesty and pulsating sarcasm and I was hooked.

I had always been attracted to her, but had never mustered up the nerve to ask her out. We had been working together for about 45 minutes every weekday morning for the last four weeks as I trained her to put together some production for our station's morning show.

She's really bright and smart, so I thought she would catch on quickly. After about the third week she still wasn't getting the idea of a morning promo. I assumed maybe she enjoyed spending time with me.

Here are the signs which I mistook for mutual admiration:

1) After we were completed with the promo, we would always take 15, 20, 35 minutes to just talk.
2) It seemed like it was taking a little longer than it should to get her trained.
3) She always dressed very attractively every single morning.
4) We shared the same sense of humor and laughed a lot in that studio.

So when she appeared as though she was going to vomit when I asked her out, it came as quite a shock.

To both of us apparently.

Her beautiful eyes suddenly glazed over. Her smiling lips mutated into a frown. You could almost here the cranks turning as she struggled to come up with an excuse as to why we were not going to be spending a glorious first date together.

And this is my favorite part of the whole miserable experience...

"Um, I, uh..."

At this point I can feel my heart begin to sink into a big pool of self-loathing.

"...well, but, we..."

My pool of dislike is rising in temperature.

"...I'll have to get back to you on that..."

Fully immersed in boiling repulsion, my heart slowly breaks apart. If you were to glance at the cracks forming, you would see light burgeoning from inside. But as the pieces fall away, the light fades.

What a fool! What a hopeless, romantic fool!

You should really pity me right about now, but I won't let you.

I'm barely five foot seven inches. I tip the scales at 123 when I'm fully loaded with fluid. I have a three foot catheter in my belly. And on dialysis days, before my treatment, I resemble the Pillsbury dough boy.

I know what my true problem is though.

When women peer into my eyes, two words, and only two words, enter their mind.

"Damaged goods."

And they would be right.

Who wants to spend time with a guy whose health meter is always running on empty? Who wants to listen to stories of blood and suffering? Who wants to visit their boyfriend in the antaseptic dialysis center?

The answer?

Less than none.

In fact, that's what I am. Less...than...none.

So why do I fight and struggle and suffer week after week? What's the point this late in the game?

Deep down, in the bowels of my soul, where light fears to tread, there's a tiny space filled to the rim with...

Hope.

All-American, family bred, weakened and bloodied hope.

I sometimes wonder, if you took all my past experiences, poured them into a bowl and served them into the past of another soul...how many would survive?

That's right.

Less than none.

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