Isn’t it odd how one thing can change everything? One day, one choice, one idea, one declaration, one stop light, one smile, one drink, one missed call. This list could go on forever. You probably even have a few one whatevers to add to the mix. The fact remains that the one thing, could be anything. For me, it was a text message.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer texting over traditional phone conversation any day of the week. Written communication allows you to be truthful and bold, not to mention witty. Add spell-check and it’s borderline orgasmic. But I think it’s the way it can make a person the mystery in someone’s inbox that I am most attracted to. Texting bares no true tone, emotion or delivery. What someone is “really saying” is anyone’s guess. The down side of this ambiguous communication is that it’s often manifested fantasies and false-truths in my mind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent a text and screeched, “eeee!” Especially if it was a message from the heart, and/or the vj.
I am a dreamer in every sense of the word. I blame it on gender stereotyping we were all victims of as children. Sure, I played GI Joe and cops and robbers, but that’s only because my very first friend was a boy. My true love was the Barbie doll. I had several blonde beauties and only one Ken doll. You can imagine how 90210-style my make-believe was. I just never imagined my real life panning out in virtually the same way. Even though my Ken doll was always a womanizing piece of shit, I always hoped that as an adult, I would find my diamond in the rough.
I received a text message on a Friday morning. I was late for a shoot and weaving in and out of traffic like Paul Walker, only I didn’t look confused. I am always late and I prefer to speed. My ‘04 corolla and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was jamming to Britney Spears, getting into character and running my lines. My sidekick vibrated in my lap. “Hey, slow down girl!” I looked around, but realized I’d already left him in the cluster of people who were apparently not late for work. I’ve always loathed those people. Part of me wishes I was them, but deep-down, I secretly dig the way my heart pounds when I’m late, the way my mind scrolls through believable excuses like a rolodex as I blare my music for inspiration and the proud feeling that races over me when I arrive exactly on time. No, I’m never early, but who the hell has time for that?
If you assumed his text was “the” text, you thought wrong. I should have never responded. I should have scrolled to the discard button. But that’s precisely the problem with text messaging. Had he called me, I wouldn’t have answered, nor would I have returned the missed call. I somehow feel like calls are easier to avoid and if questioned, easier to say you never saw. But there it was – the mystery in my inbox. My mind wondered and my heart fluttered. How did he say it in his head? Was he laughing? What is he wearing? Was he nervous to initiate communication after all we’d been through? Is he thinking of me now?
I’m a bright girl, I’ve always prided myself on that. Hell, I was graduating from the Walter Cronkite School with an award-winning documentary in a week, but the mystery flooded all logic and memory of heartache. I scrolled to the reply button. “Hey, you know me, late for work. ☺”
And just like that, one thing changed everything. I’d opened a ticking bomb.
And with all the sincerity I can muster after a year of mystery, fantasy and false-truths, I can whole-heartedly say that there’s nothing like regret to remind you you’re alive.
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