Intersection: First Movement

3rd Ave. EL
Image Source: Olde New York

It’s funny how two lives can intersect.

I met Dolores at the Christmas party. She had recently moved from Arizona, and had been working in the office for a few months. I was unattached, and we gravitated toward each other and stayed together the whole party.

As it turns out, she was soon moving back to Arizona on her way to Los Angeles. There wasn’t much time. We met a few times after that, each time better and more, shall we say, cozy. We had so much in common! We liked the same pictures and orchestras and radio shows…everything. She even liked the Dodgers! She was perfect.

I thought about her all the time, and told everyone about our relationship. I called and called. We talked for hours, but the calls gradually grew shorter. One time she said she didn’t think we should get cozy anymore, since she was moving. I agreed, but kept calling.

Eventually her room mate started picking up and saying Dolores wasn’t around. I thought that was a little strange, but I kept trying, and eventually got her. I’d had a few Rheingolds, like usual, and I was feeling really good about us and what we had, even as it was ending. We made a date to meet at the Automat on 3rd Ave at 42nd the next day and I went to bed.

And Delores never showed. And I never saw her again, and I never heard from her again. Dolores’s room mate told someone that Dolores thought I was a creep because of all the phone calls and especially the last one.

I guess I can see that. I just couldn’t believe I had met someone so perfect. And she was leaving me! Like everyone I ever fell for, leaving me alone and mortified and wondering. Maybe I did get carried away, but you would too, right? Anyway, I didn’t mean to…

Two people come together, and it’s like two rivers flowing south and coming together. Sometimes they cross and keep going separately, and all you can do is wonder where they would have ended up if they had stayed together…

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28 comments
  1. Well done. You really captured what it means to be NEEDY. What an unpleasant personality trait. Everything gets filtered through a very skewed lens leaving the other person to wonder how they got involved with such a creeper to begin with. When the big picture finally emerges it’s a little scary, isn’t it?

    • Frightening stuff indeed, for both sides.

  2. Poor guy – to think he has something special but discover it’s not so. To realize (briefly) he’s may be the problem, then rationalize it away. Almost makes me feel sorry for him. Maybe he is hooked on the mystery of what might have been?

    • It’s so hard to see past our own interpretations of things sometimes. That’s when we learn the hard way, unfortunately.

  3. Great one. Been on both sides of that.
    Love that you threw in the Brooklyn Dodgers and a Horn and Hardart.

    Looking forward to the upcoming intersection movements. Do thy follow the same guy?

    • Oh yeah, both sides for sure. Guh…

      My dad was born in Bay Ridge Brooklyn in 1940, and my grandmother stayed until I was almost 10, so I’m very conversant in the Brooklyn Dodgers, automats, Rheingold (the dry beer!), Choc Full’O Nuts….

  4. Delores seems kinda heartless and lacking in courage.

    • Me 10-15 years ago thanks you for that! 😉

      • Good! I liked the guy, and I also liked the story. : )

  5. Interpretation is SO important. I’ve done things in the past that seemed absolutely normal to me at the time (similar to your main character’s actions) but to the other person, it was borderline OCD behavior. Good story. 🙂

    • Big heart = big blind spots.

  6. One person’s neediness is another person’s enthusiasm. I think you’ve done a really good job of capturing how we do— and don’t— intersect.

    What I love about this piece is that it’s really raw, in that you lay bare something about yourself we wouldn’t know otherwise. But! You don’t spill over into maudlin self-pity. Nice little touch of the early Didion voice there, Brian! Good going!

    • Note to self: add “maudlin self-pity” to list of memoir titles…

      • Um, but that’s not you! You’re the opposite of maudlin self-pity in my book. You’re more of a… (searches brain)… “enthusiasm spoken here” kind of guy!

  7. I am enthusiasm spoken here now. But only because I learned from many years of blind spots and maudlin self-pity. 😉

  8. Beautiful piece….I went through the same phase recently. It’s easier said than done but sometimes its better to let go than to hold on.

    “It’s better to love somone who’s far and craves to be with you than to love someone who’s near yet doesn’t even care to see you”. ~ Unknown

    • So sorry you’re going through it, MG. It sucks, flat-out. But it gets better. Hang tough.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

  9. This goes against the flow of your other comments for the most part, but my heart breaks for him.

    If she didn’t like him, she should have told him flat out instead of leaving it open. Telling someone you are moving or you don’t want to be cozy, doesn’t just stop that person from loving you. It just drags their body through the mud of their own self doubt and others opinions. She should have just said it’s over. I don’t want to see you anymore. Love doesn’t stop just because you want it to.

    • Apparently WordPress won’t allow me to make the same comment twice, so I’ll have to throw on this dumbass preamble: Me 10-15 years ago thanks you for that! 😉

  10. You raise some good points, Hobbler. This is, of COURSE, a work of fiction, but I think it speaks to the need for sometimes painful honestly, and I also think it speaks to my suspicion that men are just fundamentally bad at reading signals. No means maybe, maybe means probably, and we can’t get past that false hope. Unless one hears specifically “Not YOU specifically, not now, not ever”, (rather than, say, “I’m just not ready right now”, which can easily be heard as “but it’ll be you when I am ready …tomorrow…”, hypothetically speaking, of course) men will continue to grasp at the delusion of hope. I also think this works both ways, and I’ve certainly dragged on a few relationships way longer than they should have lasted. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

  11. metan said:

    Your last though was great, I think most of us have had that ‘I wonder’ in their lives.

    • All too often, right? Siigh…

  12. curvyelviesays said:

    It was heartbreaking so myself on both sides and neither side is very pleasant.

    • Solidarity, sistah.

  13. Oh my gosh, I feel so bad for him but if he’s indeed such a great guy, he should be able to meet someone that’s perfect for him again. I felt like this guy equates a lot of liking and similar interests in things as “perfect” where in real life, we all know that “perfect” is a perspective. Those things mentioned (similar interests, liking the same team, having positive chemistry, etc) really are keys to an initial relationship, but holding up a complex but real relationship afterwards is so different with things like career, lifestyle, and money getting in the way.. This also makes me feel like I have only heard one side of the story. Any chance you can tell us Delores’ side? 🙂 By the way, you made us really care about your characters which is a great sign. If this is a book, I will buy it.

    • I have a funny feeling that our protagonist ends up juuuuust fine. *grin*

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

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