Parallel lines

I met an EMT a few weeks back. He was going to work at Ginnie on the weekends in the park.

I was standing on register, the one in the corner that no one wants to be at on a slow day. The corner feels like isolation. Every so often someone walks by and talks to you. But mostly you are standing alone. In a corner.

When my boss walked by with the new employee and introduced me, my initial reaction was just to look and politely introduce myself and then move on. But it wasn’t what happened.

You know those moments in romantic movies where the two main characters see each other and it appears as if time stands still. For me thats what happened. I looked up from my register to see this very cute guy standing on the other side of my counter. Both of us did a double take.

During that second glance my world slowed down. I could feel the smile forming on my lips. I could see his cheeks starting to rise and a smile form on his face. Our eyes locked and I could feel the invisible thread that our gaze followed to each other. Physically my body stood taller and I leaned more towards this mystery man. I wanted to know him. I felt something pulling me towards him.

Either my boss was completely unaware of the moment that had just happened and the universe was doing my a solid or she picked up on the whole thing, because she asked me to show him around the store.

It felt like a weird request. Showing someone around a store? The shop at Ginnie is very easy to navigate around. But none the less I jumped on the opportunity to talk to this guy in front of me. Honestly I hadn’t really met anyone out in High Springs and this was the first time I felt excited in a while.

We walked around the store and I showed him everything in my dorky kinda really awkward way that I do. I showed him the grocery section and told him that people buy snacks here and that employees get an extra 20% off. I showed him the drink coolers where he could get a free bottle of water or something else. I showed him the diving section and asked if he was a diver, which the answer was no, but he wanted to. He asked if I was a diver, I told him I am. I showed him the camping section and then the rental department which was directly across the shop from my lonely corner.

In the rental department we talked about the fact that you use the rental gear for free and bring your family. At that point we had finished with the tour of the store.

We started to talk then. I asked him what kind of job he would be doing. He told me he was a fire fighter and EMT. I told him I was a writer. He asked me if I was in college. I told him I had just graduated. He told me that he wanted to work at Ginnie after working at the fire station because the money was good and he couldn’t sleep after his shifts. He asked me if I ever visited Gainesville, I told him I write at coffee shops a lot and hang out by myself.

He asked me if I was from the area. I told him no. He told me he was from Orlando. We instantly bonded over the fact that the new place we had found ourselves living in was very small compared to our previous locations. Later he asked me when I got off. It wasn’t for about five more hours. He looked disappointed and told me he would see me later.

The next day I saw him. As he was leaving to go home he waved good by to me, I waved back. Later that night after we all got of work I sat around with my coworkers. One of them told me I should go for it, that he had sparkles in his eyes for me. Another told me he had a bubble butt.

I thought to myself why the hell not go for bubble butt.

I waited for the next time I would see him. A month later I still haven’t seen him. I heard something that the EMTs on staff had been fired. But who knows what really happened.

***

I really do believe that some people are just parallel lines. Everything looks like it is falling into place. That two people should be friends, enemies, lovers, neighbors, coworkers, etc. But for some reason those lines never collide.

I’ve had a lot of moments like this one in my past. Yet, this was the first time that I was honestly disappointed that our lines didn’t collide. In that moment I felt so many things that were yet to be discovered.

When I was talking to him I didn’t feel like I had to try very hard. I felt the chemistry in the space that we occupied. It didn’t feel forced. I felt at ease talking to him. I didn’t feel like I need to act a certain way to get him to notice me. I felt the start of something happening.

Now I feel like he was another parallel line. I really wish I could go to an alternative universe where our lines collided. I can see how two regular lines could have become an explosion of beautiful colors.

***

The universe has other plans for me. But I wish I would stop getting so many damn parallel lines. Around me I feel like my fiends keep finding these others that they crash into and have amazing adventures. They fall in love or don’t. But they still crash.

I just want to crash into someone. I want to feel that connection. I want to crash and burn if thats what happens. Or tangle lines together.

I want less parallel lines and more intersecting lines. I’m ready to fall in love again.

I keep telling myself that when my line doesn’t collide with someone else that it’s because they would hold me back from my potential or distract me. I’m so tired of telling myself that over and over again.

***

I go to coffee shops and I write, completely losing myself in my work. But every now and then I find myself looking around the shop hoping I see a certain EMT walking through the doors.

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