"Confusement"

Some years back, I had my palm read by an old Indian woman who lived a dingy flight up in New York’s Chinatown. My intrepid friend and I saw the sign and decided that we had to check it out, if for no other reason than to say that we had our palms read by an old Indian woman who lived a dingy flight up in New York’s Chinatown.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

We also were in need of some guidance in the love arena, and we hoped that our palms would reveal something. So up the smelly stairs we went. We knocked on the door and were let in by a young girl who called out for her grandmother. Other children were eating in the kitchen, and a woman was standing over the stove. The whole place smelled like an earthy curry. Out came the friendly—yet decidedly mysterious—old woman, and she promptly ushered us into a little hallway, decorated ornately with draped lamps and Indian cushions.

“It is ten for fifteen minutes, OK?” and she took my hand.

Aside from her flatly stating one eerily specific, alarmingly accurate, thing about my life that she would have had no way of knowing or guessing (seriously—my friend and I are both skeptics, and our mouths dropped open when she said it), the only thing I really remember is a word she used, confusement. “Ah,” she’d say, “I see some confusement here. You need to make a decision.” “This confusement will resolve itself in time.”

My friend and I were both very taken with the term, and we’ve since used it to describe tricky romantic situations. Well, I have to say that I have confusement up the whazoo. I’m feeling better than I did about everything on Saturday, but that could just be because my hangover disappeared. Who’s to say?

So most of the day on Friday, I sat around and got madder and madder at McI for not calling me. I was absolutely convinced that he’d just split and that I would never hear from him again. However Zen I may have been on Thursday, I was anti-Zen on Friday. I cried as I got ready for my date with CraigslistGuy and then I got mad. Fuck it, I said to myself, I’m going out with this guy, and I’m going to have a good time. Someday this is all going to hurt a lot less, but let’s just focus on getting through tonight. I made myself presentable, and waltzed out the door.

En route to the T, I got a text message from McI. He’d had a terrible week, hoped I was doing well, and wanted to see if I’d get together with him on Sunday. Perhaps it was weakness on my part that I didn’t say no, but I didn’t. And I was happy. Of course, I was also on my way to meet a guy I didn’t want to meet for a date I didn’t want to have.

Too late to back out now, I thought as I headed to the bar. The guy was late, and I thought about leaving, but I didn’t. When he showed up, I realized that he was just what the doctor ordered—cute but not too cute, and while appealing, not someone I was going to fall for. Perfect for an evening out on the town.

He joined me at the bar, and we proceeded to talk and drink. And drink and talk. The conversation was easy, nothing too interesting, as we didn’t have much in common, but interesting enough. There was a certain attraction. The time came, and we headed over to the show.

Listening to the National is like that last sip between tipsy and drunk. The world is clear and hazy, full of hope and impending sadness. Matt Berninger’s baritone lulls you, tempts you, makes you think that something might be OK, even when you know it won’t be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always translate well in a live set. The band’s amazing, all of them incredibly talented, especially the drummer, but I’m in it for the voice. And I couldn’t really hear it.

Still, the show proved to be very good, and on a whim, I kissed Craigslist guy. It was nice. He asked me about the chances of it happening again, and I told him rather good. When the show was over, he got us backstage, and we met a couple of the band members. I didn’t say much, and we left soon afterwards for his place. In the cab, I told him I wasn’t going to sleep with him, and he said that was fine. We’d just hang out.

“So,” he said, while we were drinking water in his kitchen, “why did you have an extra ticket? You obviously aren’t available.”

I grimaced. “I’m sorry. I’m really not. I was mad at someone, and so I posted the ticket instead of asking him.”

“You’re in love with him, aren’t you?”

“I suppose I am, but I really don’t think it’s going to happen. We haven’t made any promises or anything, so it’s not even like I’m cheating on him.”

“OK,” he said. And with that, we went to bed. We fooled around a bit, but in the middle of it, all I could think about was McI, and so I stopped. “I’m sorry,” I said.

“That’s OK. I know how you feel. I’ve done the same thing.”

When we woke up early the next morning, we were both still a bit tipsy, so we hung out for a bit to collect our wits. We talked about his ex, my situation, we laughed ruefully over our fates. He found me a bus, gave me a hug, and I left.

I laughed to myself on the bus. I must have been a fright. I didn’t have my brush with me, and I’m sure I didn’t smell all that nice. I’m getting a bit old for the bus ride of shame, I mused. Oh well. I’ll live.

As soon as I got home, I started to sob. I knew what I wanted. I knew that it was unlikely that I was going to get it. I felt confusement. I smiled. The confusement would resolve itself in time, I supposed.

More to come…

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16 responses to “"Confusement"

  1. Wow. This is confusement. I say you should have a serious talk with McI. Just do it. Ask him if this is the right time to have a serious talk. If it is, go for it. You have to get some resolution. You want some resolution right? Be honest. Deep in your heart, you know what’s right. I know this all sounds trite, but it’s going to have to get done sooner or later, and wouldn’t you rather do it on your terms rather than wait for it, wondering, listening for it, building it up in your mind into something you don’t know if you’ll survive?

    You will survive. It might hurt a lot, but you will survive.

  2. On the bright side, may you and Craigslist guy could become friends for life.

  3. Hmm… Sass, if I remember correctly McI had a bad week before, it was just when you were hoping to have the chat with him? And you postponed it, in deference to his need to chill out?

    You’ve got to tell him he can’t go awol when he’s otherwise preoccupied and expect you to be living on standby for his call. If he doesn’t accept that then you’ve a decision to make.

    Sounds like you had a good time with the other guy and, as Ian says, he could become a good friend.

  4. “Eating in the children” Yikes! I’m confusemental now.
    And I love “the bus ride of shame”.

    Sassy, however it all works out you’ll still be you.
    And you rule.
    And you know it.

  5. Sassy, confusement sucks ass! That is all I have to say about that! Hang in there darlin’

  6. At first, based on the title, I thought this was going to be about a Bush blunder, but this is so much more poignant. I’m sorry you’re in the middle of such a confusing time. Ride it out, without shame–hee hee–and it will work itself out.

  7. My father used to have some wise words…

    It will all work out, one way or the other.

    It’s time for the talk.

  8. Flirty Something

    No healing words I am afraid but the talk is needed.

  9. The opening part about the fortune teller reminded me of the Oracle in “The Matrix.” I was waiting for the spoon bending.
    Confusement sums it up rather nicely. At least the Craigslist guy turned out to be nice and understanding instead of a jerk trying to get laid.
    My fingers are crossed for your talk with Mcl.

  10. Hang in there, friend.

  11. You have GOT to have the talk. Even if he’s had a bad week. But, even when you have a bad week, you owe it to the one you are with to let them know ASAP and not just sink away into the ozone.

    And, you know…maybe the guy at the concert wasn’t for you…but hey, he might be nice to hold on to as a friend. And sometimes, after the confusement passes…well, things get clearer and you might find yourself feeling a little more open towards the guy.

    I just think that if Mcl is doing this shit NOW…what will he do when you are both knee deep in it?

  12. That was beautiful, painful and funny all at once. Confusement – I like it, is descriptive. A hybrid of confusion and amusement, a state that I am very familiar with.

    I agree with all the aforementioned parties who agree that you should have a chat with Mcl. No more, time to square the shouder pegs and find out what’s what.

    -P, in your corner

  13. Not to sound mean, but I am so glad I’m married. If I had to go through all of that again, I’d join a nunnery.

    Hang in there, and if you need anyone killed, just e-mail me.

  14. The Hangar Queen

    Courage mon enfant…courage.

  15. Thanks, Before Girl. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s even a need for it. I know what’s going on. And I will survive.

    Welcome, Ian! From whence did you come? I don’t think he’ll be my friend for life, but I defintely wouldn’t pretend not to recognize him if I saw him again.

    Conan, it isn’t going to be a right time for a talk ever, I don’t think. I just have to get through this. I’d be delighted to be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

    Thank you for pointing out the horrible typo, Dive. I had to have a slip somewhere! And thanks for the encouragement.

    Thanks, Prudence.

    Hee hee is right, Robyn. There is something funny about the whole thing.

    Zirelda, I think my dad uses the same phrase. It will.

    Thanks, Flirty.

    Medbh, it reminded me of that scene, too, and I had intended to mention it. CraigslistGuy was a decent fellow.

    Thanks, Terroni.

    Maria, CraigslistGuy and I had very little in common, and I don’t think I want to see him again, but he was a decent sort. I agree that the GDA is never acceptable, but I think it tells me a lot about what he thinks about me. I know I should talk to him, but I might just let it go.

    Thanks, Proxima.

    Fat Sparrow, if ever I need a hit bird, you are my first choice.

    Thanks, Hangar Queen. I need it.

  16. This stuff is too complicated for me. don’t do this to me. Why do things have to be so complicated?

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